Jump to content

Garage Conversion Project

Recommended Posts

  • Founder

The first step was understanding how to convert the upstairs.  Structurally the attic trusses (as you can see from the picture above) allow a space with plenty of head room and a good room size without having to remove any of the truss work, but the trusses are only designed to take the load of the roof itself and enough for storage.  With that in mind we had to design a floor capable of holding a habitable living space and a way of getting up there (stairs!). 


My dad (he features a lot in this) calculated floor joist dimensions, but to be able to use timber joists we needed to break the span with a load bearing wall downstairs.  Otherwise, to span 6.5m I would need steel beams and the cost of doing so would break the budget significantly.  Having a wall downstairs was not such a problem as it allowed me to divide the space into garage and workshop quite neatly.  


So, with the initial designs figured out, I ordered the first delivery of timber and materials to build out the framing and floor joists.  And work started...  













  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Founder

Once the structural timber work had been done, and the flooring was done, the next stage was the staircase.  the location would be at the rear of the garage where the existing personnel door is and allowed for a small lobby area at the bottom of the stairs.  the lobby would allow a separate door into the downstairs workshop area, which for building regs requirements also needed to be a fire door.  


The staircase was designed by us (Dad) and built by a friend of mine who owns a business building stairs and arrived ready assembled.  The staircase was not only bloody heavy, but also a difficult shape to man handle.  After preparing the space and load bearing members to support it, the fun of trying to fit it began.. 








  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Founder

Another key aspect of the project at this stage was figuring out the electrics.  The power to the garage was at this point fed from a socket inside the house to a fuse box in the garage.  Our consumer unit in the house doesn't have breakers (at the moment) and so it wasn't the best solution and probably (definitely) wouldn't conform to part P building regs.  My local electrician helped me design the lighting and mains circuits and he would run a new supply from the mains, bypassing the consumer unit in the house to a new consumer unit in the garage.  I got to work installing all the cables and points of termination on the circuit as part of the first fix.  


Insulation was another consideration at this stage.  The upstairs office would require a certain level of insulation as a living space and I also decided to insulate the ceiling and the external walls of the garage and workshop downstairs, albeit to a lesser degree than required upstairs.  This required stud work along all of the downstairs walls and upstairs gable end walls.  


Whilst doing this I also created a cupboard area to use some of the eaves upstairs for storage, so this was framed out at this point.  Also, framing went in the roof for a floor to ceiling Velux window.  This required removing a rafter and installing supporting timbers around the frame.  












Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Founder

Next up was plaster board, there was a LOT of it!  All the walls and ceiling in the upstairs office would be done, the ceiling downstairs needed to be double thickness for fire safety as part of building regs, and the walls in the garage.


In the ,workshop area I re-used the old loft boards (chipboard) and some reclaimed timber to clad the walls.  



















Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Founder

A another job that needed doing was to dig a trench across my garden to the other side of the house for the power cable, to a depth of at least 600mm.  I'd also use this trench to bury my internet cable (so I could hard wire internet back to the router in the house) at 300mm depth.  


I hired a man with digger to do this bit as there was no way I was going to dig it out with spade myself, too old for that!!  


I wasn't popular after this aspect of the project, it left a bit of eyesore...  I also had to backfill by hand ofter my electrician had done his bits.  


The cable that went in and the supply from the house is rated to allow for a fast charger to be installed at the garage as/when we acquire an EV vehicle, so future proofing for that eventuality.  







Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Founder

Since June I'd been working from home at the dining room table and so I had to concentrate on getting the upstairs office sorted, so I focussed on this and left the garage and workshop alone for a while.  


I pushed on with filing, sanding and decorating.  I opted to not skim the walls and had used a tapered plasterboard to allow for this, but this was still my least favourite aspect of the project so far.  I may have saved £1,500 on a plasterer, and the finish won't be quite as good but it was horrible.  The dust literally gets everywhere and to get a smooth finish takes patience and skill - neither of which I had much of for this particular job.  


Once done, I was able to start painting, the finish was acceptable and started to look like an actual room at this point which helped spur me on.  


I decided on a commercial grade laminate floor for the office and at some stage I'll put a rug down.  


I built a shelving unit from plywood, laminating 2 board together in places to create a fairly strong structure.  This will be fixed in place along the top edge of the stairs in place of bannisters, the building inspector was happy with this (if you can spot why I'm surprised we'll say no more).  


The downstairs lobby area was painted, skirting board fixed and a coconut/coir matting fitted as it's the entrance from outside.  I also painted the stair case.  




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Founder

Moving back downstairs, I knew I wanted my workshop to have cupboards rather than shelving to keep my ever expanding collection of power tools and stuff out of sight and collecting dust.  


I eyed up and toyed with the idea of metal garage units, but again the cost of providing enough storage for what I wanted was running into several thousands of pounds and I was trying to achieve the whole project on a budget.  So alas, my options were buy the timber and build myself, or buy a kitchen....


The cost of timber at the moment means that it was far cheaper to buy a kitchen, that also made things quicker and easier.  Welcome to my lovely IKEA kitchen!  


The worktop I made from new scaffold boards which I glued together and sunk counter bracing into the underside to prevent the boards from cupping.  I was fairly pleased with the result.  




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Founder

Back upstairs...  


The windows arrived just before Christmas.  


The existing window in the gable end was an old softwood frame with single glazing and was rotten in places, so this needed to be replaced with something more efficient and modern and I opted for a UPVC French window with a flush casement style on the exterior to try and be in keeping with the period style off the house.  


The Velux windows also arrived and we had much fun knocking a hole in the roof and fitting this over a weekend.  


I finished up the remaining insulation and plaster boarding around both windows and decorated to match the rest of the room.








Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Founder

Back downstairs, the garage!!!!  


I had 2 weeks off over Christmas so I decided to use this time to work on the space for the car.  I am aiming for a clean tidy space free of any other stuff apart from the car, probably my bike and some car cleaning bits...and thats it!  


I had to do more of my favourite task, filling and taping the plasterboard joints, creating a cupboard under the stairs for a bit more storage.  Then painting up, flooring and skirting.  


I have ordered a dark grey recycled floor tile suitable for commercial spaces (warehouse, factory etc).  Its a 7mm solid tile so will take a jack and more than enough load for what I'd expect in a domestic garage space.  I will be fitting this in a couple of weeks hopefully.  


For now, and quoting my dad...it's a showroom or art gallery, I can't decide...  













  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.