If your garage is nothing more than a place to store stuff you barely use anymore, you may have considered if converting that space to something else is worthwhile.
However, there are certain things you need to keep in mind should you decide to convert your garage.
Is your garage suitable for conversion?
It is essential to know if the height of the room will comply as a habitable room. Once a floor has been laid, the minimum height of this room to the ceiling will need to be 2.4metres.
The next most important question is, is your garage waterproofed. This is not normally necessary when used to park your car or store tools and bikes. The fall of your driveway may be directing the rain run-off towards your garage where mostly there will be a drain or at least a gap in the concrete to act as a drain. The concrete slab in the garage is not normally laid to the same waterproofing standards as the rest of your home so there may be a risk rising damp. One way to rectify this is to add a concrete slab and membrane over the existing slab.
Determine why you really want to convert your garage
Consider the space, or function of the space, that you require so that you obtain the best advice. Are you wanting a recreational room, studio, granny flat or a cabana beside the pool?
Making an extension to your house or a first-floor addition may be a more effective way to obtain the extra space you are seeking. Most likely this will provide you with much higher quality of living.
In addition, excavating or removing the garage floor to lower it, to meet the height restrictions, can be quite costly. Raising the roof and ceiling is not always feasible due to construction limitations.
You will need an approval to convert your garage
In NSW, converting a garage or any other non-habitable space into a habitable room requires the approval of the local Council with a DA or State Government under the CDC approval system.
Before you contact a builder, or try a DIY, investigate who can advise on regulations and design options so you can have a submission prepared for approval.
Consider the costs
A DA can seem quite expensive if the size of the project is quite small. The reports and documentation required for a DA for a garage conversion cannot be ignored, as the level of information required may be similar to that required for a large extension.
If you are one of the fortunate ones with sufficient height of at least 2.4 metres inside your garage and you are able to successfully waterproof the garage, then converting your garage could be less expensive than building an extension.
Please note that we are not the most suitable company to design garage conversions, unless they are part of a larger project.
This related article may help you to determine which way to extend your house.