Wednesday, 16 March 2011 7:22 PM
The current financial climate may mean you are not in a suitable position to move, but by having a garage conversion you could find that not only do you increase your living space, but also that you improve your home.
Indeed, converting the garage into a living room, dining room or using it to extend an existing room - such as the kitchen - could leave you feeling as though you have taken a step up the housing ladder.
If you have a property that has a garage but you don't own a vehicle and find that the space is just being wasted or used as a dumping ground then now could be the perfect time to empty it out and revamp it.
Similarly, you may find that there is plenty of space to park your car or motorbike on the drive or street in front of your home and feel that after several years of doing this it is time to re-think how you use your garage.
One of the main benefits of converting your garage is that it will increase your usable living space by a significant amount.
When people are looking to buy a new home, many are attracted to a property based on how spacious it feels and if you have converted the garage it could arguably be said that buyers will be more drawn to your house.
However, even if you are not considering selling up and moving, refurbishing the garage could be a wise option for you, particularly if you have a family.
Children are only going to get bigger and as they grow up it is likely they will want to spend more time away from their parents - creating an additional room in your property could allow them to do this.
So just what could you do with a garage conversion?
There are so many options that you could consider. It may be that you want to work more from home and a garage could provide the ideal space for an office - which could also be somewhere quiet where children can go and work on their homework.
Alternatively, if you are fed up of your living and dining room looking cluttered with kids' toys, you could transform the garage into a playroom, which in turn could evolve into a den as the children grow up.
If there is no way for you to add to the upstairs space in your property, you may also find that a garage could serve a useful purpose by being turned into a guest bedroom, perhaps even with an en-suite, while you could also use it for a home gym.
But if you feel you do not need any extra rooms but would still benefit from some additional space, depending on the layout of your property, converting the garage could allow you to boost the size of your kitchen or living area.
With so many different options available, you may by now be wondering what is keeping you from getting stuck into such work.
Of course, taking on a garage conversion yourself can be a rewarding project, however, it is not always the case that DIY of this scale will save you money.
While you may have plenty of experience in tackling smaller jobs around the home, this may not have prepared you for the work involved in a large project such as this and if you make a mistake, it could be extremely costly.
For this reason, before you dig out your toolbox, it may be worth talking to experienced and qualified tradesmen.
This is because there are a number of factors you need to consider before embarking on a garage conversion - such as whether or not you need planning permission and how to get it.
If you go ahead with this type of project without ascertaining if you need permission, you could find yourself having to turn it back into a garage further down the line.
Experienced tradespeople will be able to offer you advice on the regulations you need to keep in mind with this type of DIY project.
There are also a number of other things you need to consider. When you convert a garage, you need to make sure it is well-ventilated, has the correct window and door fittings and is properly insulated to ensure it is as comfortable and safe as the rest of your home.
It could be that some structural work needs to be carried out before you can go about knocking down walls and extending and in this case, qualified builders in your area will be able to provide professional advice.
Hiring the services of plasterers could also see you left with a more aesthetically pleasing room than you may have achieved tackling the job yourself.
So, whatever you are hoping to get from your garage conversion, ensure you get all the help and support you need from the professionals.