1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Building Regulations for Garage Conversion

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by voodooflux, Jan 28, 2003.

  1. voodooflux

    voodooflux
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    265
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Redditch, UK
    Ratings:
    +12
    I'm just kicking off my garage conversion (hopefully posting some initial pictures very soon), and I'm currently trying to get my head around all the building regulations so I can deliver a building notice to my local authority. However, in their guidance literature (and confirmed by a chap a spoke to in the dept) they state that the garage conversion must have an alternate "means of escape", and they basically describe a window. I'd rather not put a window in if I can get away it, and the other garage conversions I've seen on the forum don't appear to have windows at all. Has anyone else encountered this issue?

    Just to give you the whole picture, I'm sealing up the main garage door with a wall, just leaving an internal door into the garage via the kitchen.

    Cheers
    v.f.
     
  2. Stuart Little

    Stuart Little
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    A friend of mine converted his garage and instead of messing about with local councils etc he just bricked up the garage door with about 3 inches set back then replaced the garage door.

    Still looks like a garage from the outside and no problems with building regs.

    Seemed like a good idea, depends on your view i suppose.
     
  3. museumsteve

    museumsteve
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Messages:
    7,591
    Products Owned:
    3
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Nth Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +1,014
    same as me basically, looks like a garage from outside, yet inside..lush..;) We simply built a false wall, MDF attached to the garage door frame, then hi-density sound proof blocks and batons then another layer of MDF. Outside around the garage door is clear silicone sealant, to keep the damp out.:) Nothing can be heard from outside.:) and nothing gets in and if we decide to sell it'll take a few hours to dismantle..
     
  4. X3ELS

    X3ELS
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    1,134
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Surrey
    Ratings:
    +105
    Don't mean to put a damper on things but it isn't that simple really. Unfortunately if you have a fire for example the insurance company will not pay up as it is still legally classed as a garage unless you can produce all of the relevant paperwork showing that it was granted permission to be used as habitable space.

    I went into this in depth in a previous thread:

    Um, not sure how you link to an old thread but searcyh under my username in this section and you will find all the details....

    Don't mean to put a damper on things but it isn't that simple really. Unfortunately if you have a fire for example the insurance company will not pay up as it is still legally classed as a garage unless you can produce all of the relevant paperwork showing that it was granted permission to be used as habitable space.

    I speak from experience :(

    Cheers

    Ellliot
     
  5. voodooflux

    voodooflux
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    265
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Redditch, UK
    Ratings:
    +12
    Cheers X3ELS - I remember you posting about the insurance issue, and this is what prompted me to seek the proper permission and regulatary approval.

    I starting to resign myself to the fact that I will need to install a window :(

    Cheers
    v.f.
     
  6. X3ELS

    X3ELS
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    1,134
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Surrey
    Ratings:
    +105
    Not sure about this means of escape thing, my conversion is almost finished and i had to go through the whole thing of planning permission as well as building regs.

    It was never a problem for me, the only thing the building inspector didn't like was the fresh air and ventilation issues but when i showed him that i was fitting a proper exchanger air con unit he was perfectly happy :)

    The room is nearly finished now, first coat of paint went on yeterday and the fabric has arrive to cover the walls and ceiling, can't wait to fire her up :) Just got to buy the rest of the kit now.....
     
  7. voodooflux

    voodooflux
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    265
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Redditch, UK
    Ratings:
    +12
    The ventilation thing was something else that the Builduing Regulations Officer mentioned to me. Basically it seems I have two choices:

    1) Install a window with suitable venting panels, that will serve as both a means of escape and a ventilator.

    -- or --

    2) Install another door, and seek advice from a structural (?)engineer about additional venting.

    As an aside, can I ask what kind of material you are using for your walls and ceiling, and whether you are going for 100% coverage?

    Cheers
    v.f.
     
  8. X3ELS

    X3ELS
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    1,134
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Surrey
    Ratings:
    +105
    I spent absolutely ages working out the best way to fabric the walls and ceiling, i can go into details if you like.

    To answer your question i am covering approx 75% of the room, basically anyhting in front of the projector so as to avoid any reflection. The ceiling will be a very thick black speaker cloth (texture of felt). The walls will be a very dark blue velvet, should look great.

    I would suggest that you argue your case for ventilation only.

    Cheers

    Elliot
     
  9. voodooflux

    voodooflux
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Messages:
    265
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Redditch, UK
    Ratings:
    +12
    Cheers Elliot, I'd be very interested to hear more about your choice of material. Feel free to email me (I think we exhanged a few emails a while back)

    Think I may drop in on my local building regs officer for a chat actually - I'll let you know the outcome.

    Cheers
    v.f.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2009
  10. X3ELS

    X3ELS
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    1,134
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Surrey
    Ratings:
    +105
    I've sent you an e-mail.

    Hopefully i got the right Stu from my old sent items folder !!!!

    Cheers

    Elliot
     
  11. on1

    on1
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi,
    I am in a bit of situation and needed help :lease: I am at the process of selling (sold) my house and do not have the building regulations certificate for the garage conversion; this conversion was done by the previous vendor and I never saw this document; I definatley know it was done properly through the council as I would not have bought the house; would there be a problem in getting this certificate from the Local authority? will my solicitor or the buyers solicitor apply for it?? I am hoping this will not cause any obstructions to the sale.

    I dont know who the company was that did it otherwise would have gone to them direct; again I am hoping the council will have this information.
    Any advice would be good :lease:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2009
  12. Dave_Gregory

    Dave_Gregory
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    99
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +8
    Hi On1 welcome to the forum,

    If the conversion was signed of by building control as you say then they will have a record of it and for a small fee will send you a duplicate, so you should be ok.

    good luck
    Dave
     
  13. albriscoe

    albriscoe
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    5,356
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    ideal home cinema dem room
    Ratings:
    +522
    Hi everyone

    as to On1`s question Dave answerd it correctly, the local council will def have it all on record and if you go to the planning office they may well give you a copy for free if you smile at them :)

    As to the means of escape situation, well imagine this.

    Your engrossed in the premier on opening night in your new garage conversion with everything cranked up and the lights out.

    before you know it the kitchen is well ablaze due to an electrcal fault or the av kit under the stairs has burst into flames, all the smoke alarms are blearting out but you can`t hear them due to your wonderful new sound system.

    The neighbours are banging on the garage door but you can`t hear them either

    Smoke starts billowing under the only entrance/exit door

    You know the rest......................

    Sometimes building inspectors do come up with things to not only cover themselves but they are thinking of you as well.

    Sorry to be a downer lads but its common sense really :eek:

    Put a window in frosted or non see through glass with trickle vents then use black out blinds, simple but safe :smashin:

    And no I`m not sat here with my firemans hat on :D

    PS. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES LET YOUR WIFES OR GIRLFRIENDS READ THIS IF YOU HAVE ONLY ONE EXIT OUT OF YOUR GARAGE CINEMA.....

    YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED :eek:
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  14. albriscoe

    albriscoe
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    5,356
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    ideal home cinema dem room
    Ratings:
    +522
    Seems I`ve killed this thread then !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :eek::eek::eek:

    I hope I`ve not caused all you garage conversion guys to get the Stihl saw out and fit a side door/window in then.

    Nice little bank holiday project ;)
     
  15. albriscoe

    albriscoe
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    5,356
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    ideal home cinema dem room
    Ratings:
    +522
    I didn`t mean it lads.................... honest :rolleyes:
     
  16. Dave_Gregory

    Dave_Gregory
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    99
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +8
    How could you Al :D
     
  17. duffy78

    duffy78
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,396
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +84
    second means of fire escape can be a window 450mm wide by 450mm high no greater than 1100mm above floor level.

    install trickle vents in the frame and there is a means to ventilate as well.


    if you cant black out a window that small then................:suicide:
     
  18. skaterstan

    skaterstan
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Messages:
    110
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +8
    They're all on fire.
     
  19. johnalli

    johnalli
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Have just completed a conversion of part of my garage, all decorated, carpeted etc., only to find that I should have obtained building regs approval: I am sure that it has all been completed to proper standards, but the men from the council haven't seen it.

    I can apply for a "certificate of regularisation", basically a retrospective application, but I understand that this may involve "opening up" works eg lifting floors, scraping off plaster, which I just couldn't face at the moment. Is it likely to cause problems if I leave this until perhaps such time as I sell the house, or is it best to get it all sorted now?

    Advice gratefully received as this is a real worry
     
  20. deefadog

    deefadog
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2,052
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Ratings:
    +76
    Did you take pics pf the process? maybe the pics will be ok for the regs?
     
  21. johnalli

    johnalli
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    unfortunately not
     
  22. ajwatson

    ajwatson
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Messages:
    161
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +17
    You dont have to conform by putting a window into your garage to complie with document b of the building egulations in terms of means of escape. You just have to provide safe escape!

    Ive recently done a building regulation applications for a friend of mine and to get us over this problem we agreed to install self closing fire doors throughout the hallways of the house including the door to the garage in turn this ment that each room was compartmented meaning no fire could spread from one room to another.

    ie if the fire was in ur kitchen it ment it stayed there and you would still have safe passge through the hall.

    This only tends to work if your garage door is off ur main hall to be fair, also u would have to install interlinked fire alarms so if one went off in the kitchen the one in ur av room would go off aswell.
     
  23. gonzo39

    gonzo39
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi guys,

    I am in a similar situation to yourself voodoo flux. My wife and I have a large garage and were not sure if the building regulations and such like would stop us from blocking off the door and eventually turning it in to a home office. Obviously I understand that the office may need planning permission but was not sure on the idea of bricking up the door myself. But after reading this it has helped me no end.

    Thanks for all the advice guys
     
  24. richard plumb

    richard plumb
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    14,340
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Windsor
    Ratings:
    +1,026
    assuming its night our window would be locked and our keys are in the kitchen. So even though its technically the escape route, I'd still be stuffed. Any regs that tell you to keep keys in the same room?
     
  25. IanD

    IanD
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Messages:
    122
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Ratings:
    +8
  26. alexSBS

    alexSBS
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Most garage conversions don't require planning permission. As long as you don't change the footprint of the building 90% of garage conversions can be completed using your permitted development rights (2008). Generally if you have enough space to fit 2 cars on the drive way and do not live in a listed building you will be able to convert your garage.
    If you do need planning permission for the garage conversion its best to contact your council and get approval for the work before starting the otherwise they could make you return the property to its original condition.
    In terms of building regulations its best to organise three meetings with the building regs inspector. Before, during and after the job. This is to ensure you comply with all the safety standards etc. They often get very funny about insulation and fire alarms being linked into the mains electric. But if you've just finished plastering the room the last thing you want to do is rip holes in the walls to fit fire alarms etc.
    If you don't tell building regulations about the conversion you wont have a building regulations certificate for the works on the house. Meaning that when you come to sell the house none of the work is verified safe reducing the value of your house.
    As always its best to get a professional to do the work but if your intent on doing it your self you can get some help with what's necessary form this government site.
    www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonprojects/garageconversion/
    Hope that helps a bit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011

Share This Page

Loading...