5 things you should know before remodelling your garage

Sabine Neumann Sabine Neumann
Garage loft, Studio OxL Studio OxL
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If living space in your own house is becoming scarce, but a new extension, basement or attic conversion is out of the question, there is often only one option left to create new perspectives and additional space for living: a garage conversion. Old garages are increasingly being integrated into living spaces and converted into bedrooms, kitchens, guest rooms, etc. However, there are a lot of things to consider, both technically and legally.

1. Insulation, cables and co.

If you want to integrate your garage into your home or convert it into a living space that can be used in all weather conditions, you have to equip it with completely new insulation, radiators and electricity. Warm water should also be available—depending on the intended use. This project can be quite complicated, especially when it comes to insulation because garages often have a heat requirement that is many times higher than normal residential buildings due to their anything-but-optimal surface-to-volume ratio and: The low room height can make it difficult to insulate the floor.

2. New access and natural light

A very important point when converting a garage is new entrances and the provision of natural light. The old garage door has to be removed and the remaining opening is bricked up and provided with a door. In addition, new window openings are necessary if the former garage is now to be used as an attractive living space. By the way: Old garage doors usually sell well. Depending on the condition and model, the resale value is between 200 and 900 euros.

3. Construction law

Before you even think about aspects such as windows, doors, insulation and power supply, you should deal with the legal side of garage conversion. German building law sets strict limits for builders for any type of conversion or expansion, although these can vary considerably from state to state. If you want to avoid unpleasant surprises and legal consequences, you must go the official route and submit a building application to the responsible authority.

For which extensions and conversions do I need a building permit?

4. Costs

From insulation to the power supply and from water pipes to windows and doors – a garage conversion like this can be quite complex and therefore expensive. It is therefore advisable to make precise calculations before construction begins and to consider all eventualities, including the interior work and interior design.

5. New use

Of course, it is important to think carefully about how the new additional living space will be used before the renovation. Based on this, you can then plan whether window openings are really necessary, whether the extension is already provided with enough daylight through an opening to the house, whether you need running water in this part of the house and where the electrical cables should run.

An architect can help you if you need ideas on how you can convert your garage and integrate it into your living space.

Now it's time to convert your garage

Do you also have a house or apartment with a garage? More and more people, especially in the city, are deciding against owning a car and would rather expand their garage instead. If you also want to insulate the freed-up space in a garage and then use it, this article would certainly be of interest to you.

You have already received some tips and ideas on how you can plan and implement the conversion of your garage. There are many creative ways to build and furnish an extraordinary garage. No matter how you want to expand your garage, the new living space will pay off.

As already mentioned, don’t forget to check all legal aspects before you start construction work. You should only convert a garage once you have a building permit—otherwise, it can be expensive.

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