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Stu's Garage Conversion


Well-known Member
Hi folks,

I have waited years to do this and had plans at my old house so this is not a new idea for me but the time in now right. My mate has converted his bedroom to a very high standard and my aim is to get as close to this as possible. It's a good benchmark.

I have started to convert my integral garage into some kind of home cinema heaven. I have never tackled such a project before but hopefully I can finish to a reasonable standard. This will be a work in progress and I will upload pictures and thoughts as I go along.

Firstly, the room will be about 12 ft long and 10ft wide. Not huge but I like the idea of a nice compact project. The garage will be converted without needing a building warrant and the garage door will remain in place, albeit it sealed (hopefully) to a very high standard.

I want the room to be up to the heat standard of the house and acoustically sealed. Consequently, work is underway to bring the garage up to the same floor level as the house with timber joists and 170mm insulation.

Here are some pictures of the work after one afternoon.





A radiator will be installed next and I am awaiting a cable haul from Joe Fernand. I don't need video cables until I do the false ceiling which I intend to do but speaker cable will arrive tomorrow. Once the speaker cable is run, then the insulation will go in so far then the moisture resistant flooring will be put on to give us some room to work.

The list of cabling is;

1 x BetterCables Display Magic II HDMI (8m) -
1 x VanDamme Standard Red Series 3RCA>3RCA (8m) -
1 x VanDamme Mini Red VGA>VGA (8m) -
1 x VanDamme Blue Series 2x2.5mm (50m) -
1 x VanDamme 4mm plugs (x28) -
1 x VanDamme RCA>RCA Sub cable (5m) -

I have not picked a projector yet and want to see how the UK prices of the 1080p projectors come in at. However, in saying that I am firmly of the view that a 6ft screen that intend to use won't see any difference between 720p and 1080p on a small'ish screen. I will wait and see.

So far the floor is progressing very quickly and I have electrical sockets in place for wiring up. There will be two stud partitions erected where there will be another 6 sockets put in and connected to a new ring.

The sound will be taken care of using my Denon AVC 11SR running 7.1. I have an M&K system the s-85 models. I have yet to hear better to be honest and my Velodyne DD15 will also be living in the room too.

I will keep the updates going as much as possible.

Cheers guys.


Well-known Member
Next update, been working for a few days over christmas and the latest position is;

Floor is fully complete, insulated with 170mm wool and 18mm moisture resistant boarding as the floor. Took me ages to nail the boards down. The floor level matches the rest of the house and the planning regulations with regards to insulation.

The garage is being split into 2 rooms, the first is the HC room and the smaller bit will be a small utility room. The partition is up and nearly finished.

Two radiators have been installed one in each room, it was hellish trying to find the pipe to 'T' off in the house but we found it and hooked them up. They are burning hot so very happy with their installation.

All the cabling has been run, and the rear speaker cable is in position as well as the sockets. The power sockets have been run as per the ring regulations and fortunately the fuse box is in the small utility room so wasn't too hard to run.

The phone cable has been fed through to 3 locations and I am using CAT5e cable so my ADSL line should be nice and clean signal wise. I will install Sky to the room, it's in the rest of the house so it's just a case of running another cable through the wall. However, I want to get Sky HD so I will need to get the proper cabling for this future upgrade.

Next up is to hang the new door and then look at sealing up the garage door.

Here are some Pics.


This shows the new floor from front to back and two radiators together with the new partition which will get finished tomorrow.


A close up of partition, this time there is only 100mm of wool needed here. Cabling inside.


Definately sore hands from putitng this thing down so fast.


This is where the cables meet. It's a right mess just now, but it will all sort itself when I need to set up the amplifier etc.


This is the back wall where the projector will be mounted from. The rear speaker cable is there together with some power socket cable and CAT5e phone cable.


Look right through to the kitchen and new utility room.

It's taking shape.



Distinguished Member
Nice build there mate, im thinking about doing something simular with my garage but i have a slight problem in that there is a manhole in the garage.
im sure i will also need planning permission as i intend to take the door away and put a window in instead.I work for a builders merchants so at least the products will be cheaper


Well-known Member
Nice build there mate, im thinking about doing something simular with my garage but i have a slight problem in that there is a manhole in the garage.
im sure i will also need planning permission as i intend to take the door away and put a window in instead.I work for a builders merchants so at least the products will be cheaper

Yeah planning permission definately required. I think you can buy special manhole covers that are safe for indoor use but you would have to check.

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
why do you need planning permission to stick a window in?

I had my garage done a while back and all we had to do is inform the building inspector and he had to come round once at the start and once at the end to give us a certificate. No planning permission needed.


Well-known Member
don't know 100% but would have thought that changing the face of a building needs consent. My partners dad is an architect and says it would be needed. Maybe the regulations are different in different parts of the country....Scotland vs. England?


Standard Member
Sorry to put a spoiler on things, especially on 1st Jan, but both developments sound like they need Building Warrant - the OP for sure - and possibly Planning Permission. That's speaking as an architect (Scotland based, so can't comment on England but pretty sure the same or similar set of criteria would apply. The Saltire on the wall hints that you may be in Scotland too!)

Windows can't just be added to properties on a whim. There may be issues of privacy to consider. Local Authoprioties will have different regulations determining how close windows on adjoining poperties can be. It's to avoid one neighbour looking directly into anothers habitable rooms. Also have to consider closeness to your boundary, openings adjacant to fire escape routes etc etc. Probably unlikely in detatched rpoperty situation, but you might bear this in mind.

As far as Building Warrants are concerned, if you start mucking around with the structure, electrics, plumbing etc of an existing property, you should be seeking LA approval that what you are proposing meets the relevant Building Standards ie "the regulations". You'll also run into issues of heat-loss from habitable rooms which your Home Cinema will become (looks great btw!), compared to a garage which is not a habitable room and therefore does not require thermal insulation.

Sorry to possibly be the bearer of bad news, but fore-warned is fore-armed. And as a final suggestion, even if you don't do the development 'by the book' I'd definitely stick in some under-floor insulation. Couldn't really see from your pix if you'd already done this or not, but again for a habitable rom, you need sub-floor insulation on the ground floor, and you'll definitely feel it if you don't insulate at this level. I'm also assuming you've done something sensible to prevent wind-driven rain coming into the garage below the existing door? Feel free to give me a shout if you've got any questions, I'll try and help if I can.:smashin:

Good luck.


Well-known Member
That's good advice fraser.

I have put 170mm insulation under the floor as the garage floor was lower than the rest of the house. The levels now match the rest of the house.

The outside wall of the garage unfortunately does not comply with a habitable room thermal wise but it's only about 35mm short of insulation, so I am putting another layer of thermaline plasterboard on to make it up to the correct value.

There is already one small window in the garage that I am not touching, as you say you can't just change the outside of a building willy nilly. The garage door will remain in place and I took advice from building control (I work for the local authority and I have a couple of colleague/friends in there and they say that strictly speaking any plumbing work and electrical work should be certified professionally to be 100% correct, but otherwise they were quite happy.

I remember when I build my Conservatory last year I did need a building warrant (obviously) and whilst everything was done by me and helpers, I had to get the electricity (not plumbing strangely enough) signed off by a registered sparky with the appropriate paperwork before I could get a completion certificate.

The reason I was allowed to put radiators in the conservatory was because I made sure that the floor had massive amounts of insulation as well as the timber frame for the dwarf wall.

If I was to sell the house on, I suspect that there may be some questions from Solicitors about cedrtificates for the conversion to home cinema, but then again, I could rip it out at anytime as it's only really insulated stud partitions.

You are correct about the saltire BTW;)


Standard Member
Sorry, I should have read all the posts before sending my own!:oops: No sooner had I uploaded mine than I saw your comments about having put down the floor insulation.

Nice and handy having colleagues who are in the various LA dept.s, so good job. The certification thing reminds me of a certain *cough* 'plumber', who was doing soe work on a flat I was converting a few years ago. I warned the main contractor beforehand that I'd be checking up on the CORGI certification, so to make sure he got a proper certified plumber in for all the gas work. After the job was done, when I checked the certificate, the so-called plumber had simply used another plumber's certificate and CORGI registration number, without his knowledge! I had to get a third party in and do an independant check of the full installation. Sorry I digress, but the incompetence (not to mention sheer balls) of some folk get me wound up.

The project looks great from the photos - wish I had that much space for a HC! You may be right about selling ultimately but from what I hear, a letter of comfort can sometimes satisfy potential buyers; other times they'll just ignore the lack of documenttion if they like the house enough and are willing to 'take the risk'. The fact you've got photos will no doubt help, so I'd keep a back-up copy of them somewhere. Cheers. F


Active Member
To remove a garage door and build a wall/window or put a window into a garage door you will probably need planning permission. My local planning department (Wales) refer to it as "changing the appearance of the terrace". I have recently applied formally to remove my garage door after being turned down informally.

I also have a manhole cover in my garage and I intend to raise the floor for my conversion (subject to planning permission) so I'll proably build a removable lid into the wooden joists in case access is ever needed. I guess a stanley knife cut into the carpet to access the hole won't be too bad.


Well-known Member
Well, progress has been made, more details are;

This image is the false ceiling joists. The cabling is lighting only at this stage. In this space will be 60mm of acoustic insulation and 25mm of insulated plasterboard.

This image shows the video cables being run to the projector, one component, one HDMI and one VGA. All very good quality cables and should serve well. I covered the ends in freezer bags to keep dust off the connections.

This image is one of four outside vents in the garage. They were sealed from the outside with silicon sealer. Then on the inside I used a layer of silver foled thermaline for a moisture barrier, then 4 layers of 30mm acoustic insulation to fill it up. This was then further covered with 25mm plasterboard and insulation. Totally sealed. Here is the thermaline board.

Now that the ceiling is finished it was time to tackle the garage door.

This is the garage door side fully finished. Lot's of cables on show; the door skin was covered with 25mm thermaline then a timber frame mount with sterling board and vapour barrier material. Then 60mm of acoustic insulation and 25mm insulated plasterboard. It's not totally silent from the ouside but very good indeed. I don't think anyone will be able to hear anything material from just beyond the garage door. Still need to seal outside of door properly though. There are 3 rows of bricks to keep the water out.

More cables....6 sets of speaker cables, new dual coaxial satellite cable for sky hd, the video cables for the projector, cat5e phone cable, and power sockets.

This is the back wall where the projector will be mounted. The holes are made for the M&K SW85 inwalls that I am putting at the back of the room. I still need side speakers though.

The cables are pushed through for the projector. Mounted it today temporarily to check height and they are perfect and will be hidden well when mounted. The high tec shoes belongs to my father in law:rotfl:

This shows the wall with the radiator mounted. Room is very warm cosy.

That's it finished to the extend that the walls now need skimmed. Once done it's skirting boards and that's it really.

Can't wait until completely finished. By the way a sneak peek at the projector (having a few problems with it hopefully getting it replaced soon :)



Wow !! you really are going for it :thumbsup: I bet it will look superb once it is finished Stu :cool:


Active Member
It's looking very good. Well done. I look forward to more pictures.

FYI you'd have to take the floor up too if you move as (I understand) a garage floor has to be lower than the rest of the house by 100mm (or you need a raised threshold).


Well-known Member
It's looking very good. Well done. I look forward to more pictures.

FYI you'd have to take the floor up too if you move as (I understand) a garage floor has to be lower than the rest of the house by 100mm (or you need a raised threshold).

If we planned on moving, then I would say to prospective buyers if they wanted garage left as is or partitions ripped out.


Well-known Member
not many people actually bother putting cars in garages anymore, better use of space IMO


Well-known Member
Well chaps............the room is finished. We had it completed about 2 weeks ago but only now getting around to posting results.

From start to finish the job took about 8 weeks in total working weekends only. I am delighted with it and am looking forward to many happy hours ahead.

Still setting up projector and having problems with 1080p over VGA but 1080i over component is simply the best picture I have ever seen bar none. I will post pictures shortly.

This picture shows the Denon AVC11 SR , sky box (not connected) and xbox 360 and HD DVD drive connected over component outputting 1080i. Behind this wall is the garage door, fully sealed and secure. I cannot hear anything outside. Behind the amp unit are 3 sets of electrical sockets, all doubles too and they are all on a ring circuit which is fantastic. We damaged one of the electrical cables after the floor was down but managed to trace it back and replace cable (behind skirting) without lifting the floor to fix it :mad: There is a telephone socket below the screen running CAT5e from the junction box and there is another phone socket at the back of the room also CAT5e.

I went for brown colour scheme which I think works well. I looked at the velvet paint but it wasn't for me. This is flat matt crown paint and is great when watching a movie. The colours are darker in real life, the pics don't do it justice.

The next two images shows the wall lights and ceiling lights in place - 4 wall lights £5.99 Argos and two 3 gang spot lights. I opted not to recess due to keeping the noise from leaking above. The single cable hanging down is for side tripoles/dipoles which I haven't got yet, but at least the cabling is in there.

Lastly, my pride and joy, the Mitsubishi HC5000. My 1080p 3 Panel LCD projector. I had a few hiccups at first but this machine is a replacement and has been fully calibrated to D65. I have the test results to prove it from an ISF engineer. Quite simply the picture is the best I have ever seen and the projector is so quiet.

For an LCD in a relatively small room, maximum sharpness without distortion and no screendoor. Some HC5000's seems to suffer dust blobs. This one was hand picked by Mitsubishi and tested on a bench, so far so good. No more dust should get in being a sealed unit but there appears to be a slight QC problem in Japan.

Once I have the pj running and the time I want to post some images, won't do it justice but will do them all the same.

The shelf is home made for this and sit about 6ft 2 above floor level. No one will bump into this thing. It is painted into the wall for maximum effect. I think it looks much better than a ceiling mount. The in wall speakers are M&K (as all my speakers are) and all I have left to do is paint the grills the same colour as the wall. Job done...

Very Happy....


Well-known Member
Thanks, really pleased with it as its been hard work and a full converstion to boot.


Looks great, i really like it; kudos to you :thumbsup:

Dr Force

Distinguished Member
Superb install, good thread and a fantastic set up.

You should be proud of yourself it looks brilliant:thumbsup:

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