The garden can be an underused area of the home occasionally but normally is full of garden sheds, summerhouses or garden workshops. All these buildings have different uses – the garden sheds for storing tools, furniture, bike and lawn mowers – the summer house for relaxing in and the garden workshop for working in and indulging in one’s hobby.
The garage is a different beast. Made from timber, concrete, plastic or brick their main purpose is for storing the car and its accessories and keeping them dry. Often, nowadays, these garages are built into the house with direct access into the house. Or in the houses built from the thirties alongside the house. These normally were made from brick. In all instances, the garage is a great addition to the home.
If you have moved into a house without a garage many people take the decision to add one so their ‘pride and joy’ the car can have its own home. These extra garages are mostly made from timber or concrete, and you can examples on this web site, or sometimes plastic or metal. The timber garage tends to look more at home in the garden but it’s important that this is made from pressure treated timber.
The concrete garage is widely used as well. The concrete is very long lasting with most concrete garages having a 10-year guarantee, however, you can get concrete garages with 10 years guarantee. You can examples on this web site. Obviously, a company offering 10 years guarantee on their garages should be given special consideration. Plastic garages and metal garages can also serve this purpose well.
However, modern living has evolved the use of the garage from storing the car to a general storeroom and the car is left outside. Often, when converted into usable working space, these rooms can take on a different life.
I had a brick built garage in my garden which was not used and had become a dumping ground for all sorts. After great of thought, my wife and I decided we would like to make better use of our garage so we cleared out all the junk and I set about converting it into usable working space.
I decided this would need lining and did this by screwing 2″ x 2″ timbers onto the walls and then filled the gap with loft insulation. I then screwed onto the 2″ x 2″ timber some thin plywood. With the garage roof, I put insulation in the roof void and then also screwed plywood onto the underside of the garage ceiling. I intended to paint the plywood to make it look better but the paint just kept soaking into the wood.
In the end, I decided to wallpaper the walls with an embossed paper. I was then able to paint over the paper and got a great finish. The ceiling was painted but I needed 4 coats to get a decent finish. With the addition of coving and skirting boards I ended up with a great looking room which can be used all year round as the insulation helps to keep the garage warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Needless to say after all my hard work my wife requisitioned this new room for her and her craft making friends who meet every Wednesday. Still, this does leave the house for me on those nights.
This use of garages is backed up by Santander Mortgages who confirmed that over 1 million outdoor buildings, mainly garages, have been converted into viable living space, such as home studies, bedrooms, utility rooms and hobby rooms. Besides the everyday value which homeowners receive, they believe these garage conversion will increase the value of their homes.
The director of mortgages at Santander, Phil Cliff, explained that garages have lost their original purpose or housing cars. Homeowners have realised for a small investment these garages can be converted into extra and valuable space. Clearly, this is a case of homeowners realising they can save money instead of moving to a new, more expensive, property. The garage being turned into a garden home office is the popular change of use for these buildings.