Garage Conversion, what to look for
Transforming a garage stuffed with junk into a useful room is a popular choice, particularly for home with an integrated garage; but what should you look out for if you’re looking to buy a home with a garage conversion?
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to carry out such a conversion to meet the ever-changing needs to their lifestyle. I’ve seen garages converted into playrooms, utility rooms, home offices and man caves.
Ideally the seller will be able to provide you with the necessary certification to show that the conversion has been signed off as a habitable room. This certification is usually issued by the local Building Control Officer and gives you the reassurance that the works have been done in accordance with current building regulations and gives you a safe, warm and properly constructed additional room. However, it’s not uncommon for a garage to be converted only to find that this paperwork has been overlooked.
Firstly, when you’re viewing a property it’s always a good idea to ask what changes have been made to the property. That way you can identify early on whether there has been a conversion. If it’s apparent that works have been done, it’s a good idea to ask whether the seller has the Certificate of Completion for the work. The absence of this may influence any offer you wish to make on the property.
If you decide to proceed with a purchase then making your solicitor aware of this as early as possible can avoid delays. They can then establish what, if any, certificates are in place and, if it’s needed, they obtain any necessary indemnities from the seller. This is of importance as if you’re having a mortgage on the property it will be a requirement of your lender.
In the absence of the Building Control certification you may wish to satisfy yourself that the standard of works are acceptable, taking expert advice on key areas such as insulation levels, fire protection and any structural changes that may have been made.
Buying a home with a garage conversion is the same as buying a home that has undergone any kind of alteration works. It is key to understand what it is you’re buying, seek copies of the consents, any warranties and certifications that sellers may have for any works carried out and if these aren’t available take expert advice on how best to proceed.
Want to know more about buying a home with a conversion, then please get in touch.