If there is one thing that we can’t seem to get enough of now we have kids it is space. We moved house when I was pregnant with Piglet to a much bigger house. We thought it would be perfect for our growing family. At first it seemed we were right….. but then our family grew again!
Moving again is not an option so we’ve been looking at other ways to make better use of the space we have. We have a garage on the side of the house which is falling down. I would love to bite the bullet and knock it down completely and replace it with one of the double garages from Lidget Compton. It would give us some much needed space for all our extra things! Or, we could convert half of it in to an extra living space.
Whether you’re building a new garage or converting an existing one, there are a few things you need to think through before you convert it from purely a storage space to a usable living space.
1. Where Will Everything Go?
Garages tend to be a dumping ground for everything you don’t want in the house. Bikes, lawn mowers, christmas trees – garage classics! Although it may seem appealing to have an extra room for the house you have to consider where all of those things are going to go. It’s a good chance to go through your belongings and get rid of things you really don’t need, but you can’t get rid of everything!
There are solutions. You could utilise loft space, or pop a shed in the garden to store outdoor items. Just make sure you’ve thought of it all before you start.
2. Do You Really Need It?
What are you planning on using the space for? If it is simply to be another living room, is it necessary? If you have a definitely use planned out, such as a home gym or office then you are far more likely to make good use of the space rather than just another room to have to clean and tidy for no real reason.
3. Will It Add Value?
Before making any major changes to your home you need to think of the financial implications. If you spend a large amount of money converting your garage it needs to add value to the house in the long term. Most people don’t do these conversions and plan to sell straight away, but the chances are you will sell up eventually and so it’s worth thinking ahead.
I’ve never been one to make a major decision without discussing it with every man and his dog first, so this is what a few people had to say about it:
Laura – We converted ours into a playroom and it was the best thing we ever did. The kids now have a huge room to fill with toys (which technically should mean that the rest of my house is tidy, but it isn’t…) and what was a wasted space just filled with crap is now a very usable space (also filled with crap), we don’t regret it at all!
Hayley – I’d never consider converting our garage, we’d still need somewhere to keep the lawnmower, buggies, freezer, garden bits, the list is endless and I definitely don’t have room for it elsewhere! We’re planning on putting a log cabin style room in the garden instead when/if we need extra room instead.
Tracey – We had a double-length garage in our old house – we converted the back half into a gym … just put a fake wall up to separate the two zones. Gym was great and we still had a garage for all out garden/car ‘stuff’.
Amy – In our new house the garage has been conveyed into a room which we use as the office. But beware of quick fixes and cutting corners as the garage door has been replaced with a UPVC window panel rather than bricking up the bottom – which I imagine was super easy and cheaper but it let’s in so much cold air and makes the room freezing in winter. Saving up now to replace the window and properly brick up the bottom half.
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