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H-Town Kitchen & Bath has been bringing quality all over the US for over a decade. We provide personalized remodeling projects including; full or partial renovations, tile, carpet, or hardwood flooring, kitchen, and bathroom with innovative space saving cabinetry designs.

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Q&A

What do you use your garage for these days? With cars getting bigger and houses getting smaller, more and more garages are turning into wasted space. These days, garages tend to get filled up with forgotten fitness equipment, old toys and useless memorabilia that would take more time to throw out than it is actually worth. In days gone by the family car had to be protected from the elements - but that was before they were routinely galvanised. So, if you can park in the street, don’t let this valuable asset go to waste! Converting a garage can be one of the most cost effective ways to add space to your home and it can even add extra value too - a garage conversion's value will rise in tandem with the house price.

1. Design and space planning (The typical garage has a longer and thinner build than most rooms).
2. Planning permission ( If you’re not planning on altering the structure of the building for a garage conversion, planning permission is not needed. But if you live in a listed building or a Conservation Area, planning permission may be required for even minor modifications)
3. Building regulations ( Changing that garage into a habitable room will mean complying with building regulations, including delivery of a building notice to your council. Building regulations apply to ventilation, moisture proofing, insulation, fireproofing, escape routes, and structural soundness.)
4. Insulation and damp proofing
5. Plumbing and rewiring
6. Flooring etc.

You need enough headroom to make it worthwhile, obviously. And the insulation requirements these days eat into that headroom quite quickly. Also if your roof is built with trusses (as a lot of modern houses are) then many of the supports would need to be removed, requiring structural strengthening by other means and generally adding a lot of cost. Older roofs with simpler construction (joists and rafters) are usually easier to convert. Basically if you can stand up and walk around in your loft without having to climb over/around lots of timbers then you are probably OK.

Before you do anything else, you need to work out whether your loft space is actually suitable for a conversion. Most houses will come with an allowance for permitted development, which means that you can go ahead with your conversion without planning permission. However, if you live in a conservation area, or if, for example, your roof space isn't tall enough, it may be more complicated. You can ask a builder, architect or surveyor to visit your home and check this out for you, but there are also a couple of checks that you can carry out yourself prior to this. Look for other conversions on your street An easy way to get an idea of whether your loft can be converted is to see whether any similar houses on your street have had loft conversions. If you do spot examples, it's more likely to be a possibility. If you can, it's also worth going one step further and asking to take a look at the loft of anyone in your street that has had it done. Measure the head height The minimum height you need for a loft conversion is 2.2m, and you can easily measure this yourself. Take a tape measure and run it from the floor to the ceiling at the tallest part of the room. If it's 2.2m or more, your loft should be tall enough to convert. Victorian houses tend to be lower than those built from 1930 onwards, so may not have sufficient head height. Head height in your loft conversion needs to be 2.2m or more Check what type of roof you have Depending on when it was built, your house will either have roof trusses or rafters. By looking through your loft hatch, you should be able to tell straight away what type of roof you have. Rafters run along the edge of the roof and will leave most of the triangular space below hollow. Trusses are supports that run through the cross-section of the loft. Converting a loft with trusses is possible, but extra structural support is needed to replace the trusses, and it's likely to be more costly. You can see examples of these in the gallery below by scrolling to the final two images. Consider the floor below Many people neglect to factor in changes to the floor below the loft when planning a conversion. It's worth having a think about where the staircase is likely to go and how much room it might take up. Even a well-designed space-saving staircase could take up a sizeable chunk of a room, so make sure you have space you're happy to lose. Once you've assessed whether you are able to have a loft conversion, it's worth visiting our page on loft conversion costs, which includes average prices and tips from experts and people who have had a loft conversion on how to keep costs down. Which type of loft conversion should I go for? There are four main types of loft conversion: roof light, dormer, hip-to-gable and mansard. The one you choose is likely to be determined by a number of factors, including the type and age of house you live in, and your budget. Flick through our gallery below to see examples of each type, and read on for more details on how they work, what types of houses they would suit and how costly they are.