Detached Garage (attached to neighbour) Conversion help and questions

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Beff, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. Beff

    Beff New Member

    conversion layout copy.jpg Hi all, I'm hoping for a little help from the informed elite (you lovely lot).

    I'm currently in the process of getting some ideas together for a kitchen conversion in my current house space.
    However, I'm having these far fetched wonderous plans of extending the current kitchen space out into the garage through a conversion and making it enormous and everything I could ever want in a kitchen. But, as with so many brilliant schemes, it raises a lot of questions I cannot answer myself so any help would be incredible. Following are the details.

    The garage is adjacent to the current kitchen wall but is detached from my home with a paved walk way and access into the garden at present. So obviously this would need 'attaching' for the plan to work, however our garage is attached to the neighbours detached garage. To clarify, we both have detached homes with, essentially, a detached double garage between the two of us. So, by 'attaching' my garage and by proxy, theirs, are we then no longer a detached home? Will this effect value? Will affect the neighbour in any real way? We're friends with the neighbours and obviously will be discussing any plans as we move forwards should they be concreted, but this is currently a dream plan for me at present.

    Would these plans require any form of planning permission etc?

    I'm going to presume the external wall of my kitchen is load bearing, and will need some support alterations, however we would not be removing the full length of the wall, as some of the length of the house is taken up by another room. But what are my options here? could we have a large archway instead of taking out the wall completely? I don't know what is and isn't possible.

    As it will remove all access to my garden unless you go through the house itself, would I NEED to put alternative garden access into my garden elsewhere on my property? i.e add a new access gate somewhere else around the garden perimeter?

    The final complication is that my husband is not best pleased about the idea of losing his '**** room' of a garage, and I do agree he needs somewhere to work on his bike and other dirty tinkering needs, so would be looking to maybe extend the garage building further into the garden than it currently is (at present it ends where the back of the house ends) and add a door into the garden with a wall between the new kitchen (converted garage space) and new garage 'room'.
    For this would we need building permissions etc? Again I understand I would need to speak with the neighbours, as although we have a tall fence between the gardens, it would mean they were overlooking onto our extended garage roof as apposed to the rest of the estate.

    And finally; I'm going to be the most annoying person in the world but I am serious when I say that I completely understand there is no absolute, or definite when it comes to quoting, I do it all day in my own job and it's infuriating, but I'm genuinely just looking for a reasonable ball park.
    So for the 'attaching', garage door being turned into a window, studding out, insulating, gas and water pipe moving, additional sockets adding and lighting, basically everything to get it to a point where I can have a new kitchen installed, what kind of price point is a good estimate?
    And then in addition, a price point to add the extended 'garage room' also.
    Again I understand estimates are not definitive, but I just need to know if this is even within our financial remit or not.

    Ive attached an incredibly basic line drawing to try and help describe my questions, the black lines define what is now, and the red, the plans I have.

    Any help anyone could give would be amazing, I'm literally starting down this road but the problems are so specific they're really hard to search for answers online for. Sorry for the long rambly post, just trying to get all the info in so no one has to ask questions about the current situation to help. Thanks in advance.
  2. I wouldn't know where to begin...

    This looks to me to be fraught with issues. Yes, planning permission would surely be required - you are converting a garage in to a habitable space. You are also taking over some outside space - the walkway - and finally you are attaching your house to your neighb's property.

    If you did this you would still be 'detached' but with a neighb's garage fixed to your house. Weird but surmountable - I'd have thought the advantages of your new kitchen would outweigh any drawbacks. However, if your neighb does the same, then you'll both be 'link detatched' rather than fully.

    Not sure who to approach to get an idea of how feasible this is - an architect? He/she would point you to the necessary consents required.

    I suspect this plan will cost you a lot more than you think - there are two walls to go through for a start.
  3. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    Party wall act might come into it as well.

    Why not build out from the present kitchen,not too difficult to open up wall in kitchen with doorway, a single storey with either a flat or pitch roof,easier?

    What's width of walkway, is it covered.

    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
    Deleted member 33931 likes this.
  4. Beff

    Beff New Member

    This was a concern to be honest. Which is why I thought I'd get a perspective from beyond me staring longingly at photos of beautiful kitchens. Thanks for the reply
  5. Beff

    Beff New Member

    It is a consideration, the first plan was to knock through to the dining room and open up into a kitchen diner that way, this is definitely feasible, however I'm just concerned it's going to cost an arm and a leg, for me to still not feel like it's 'perfect'. It's a super difficult one, which is why I wanted to consider these alternatives, but they do throw up massive issues and concerns.

    To build out from our current kitchen would begin to take over the garden, and would create a bizarre shaped garden as it would stick out into the middle of it, so i dont think that would work honestly. And we can't build out from beyond what is currently the dining room as it would go beyond the front of our house face which there's covenants to stop us doing that as we are practically sat directly onto the street.

    The biggest issue with elongating the kitchen is that it is fairly narrow now, so to make it longer, doesn't exactly extend the space if you get me, it just makes it longer rather than more functional.

    The walkway is around 80cm I would estimate, just wide enough for a wheelie bin if this is any more accurate for you. Currently uncovered. No one else on the street has done any form of connection to the garage either.

    I understand that what I want to do may just be completely undoable, I'm just hoping for some suggestions or info to help me come to terms with the feasibility or, complete unrealistic expectations.
  6. KIAB's is the obviously best thing to do.

    LOTS of reasons:

    1) Fit LOTS of glass panels in the roof and make is a GLOWING sunny room - what a kitchen! (Have a Pinterest search)
    2) No Party Wall issues.
    3) You are still fully detached
    4) The cost will be easy to estimate - and should be reasonable. And almost certainly (more than) recoupable when you sell.
    5) You'll have a kitchen in your garden - make the kitchen/garden wall also sliding glass panels so's you cook 'in' the garden on sunny days. Just imagine that.
    6) Hubs still has his s***room - very important.
    7) You'll still have a garage - almost as important.
    8) You WILL have your dream kitchen - in fact it'll be a lot more dreamy than your ex-garage one (where is light going to get in to your 'garage' kitchen when hubs has built a den on the garden side? Dullsville...)
    KIAB likes this.

  7. Totally understand your reasoning, and you obviously have some constraints due to existing room sizes.

    BUT, you'd be amazed at what's achievable with good design.

    Having the kitchen 'long and narrow' might not be ideal, but I bet it ain't as narrow as you think. And I also bet a good design layout would deal with this very effectively.

    Having it stick in to the garden would, of course, eat up some garden, but think of it as a way of getting your living space right 'out' there - that should be the plan; a glass wall you look out on while you cook, chill and eat in your new kitchen/diner. Slide away glass doors - just imagine the air and sunlight coming in to the room in summer!

    As for it looking awkward sticking in to the garden, that'll come down to landscaping - how it's cleverly paved, raised beds and features - the inside and out should all be designed as 'one', to flow.

    And, yes, I would also look at knocking through to the dining room at the same time - separate rooms are silly. Sit and visualise having a meal in the dining room and looking through your amazing new kitchen - and out to the garden.

    Do lots of surfing for images and ideas.

    It wouldn't have to come out in to the garden by much to have a great effect. Design costs would be minimal too - this is all simple 'lintel and knock through' stuff, bread and butter to any builder. Your original plans would have to deal with far more structural issues, how to blend in roof shapes, etc.
    KIAB likes this.
  8. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    Party wall agreement can be expensive,sometimes thousands of pounds,then you need to allow for surveyor fees,repair costs,etc, it all adds up.
    Deleted member 33931 likes this.
  9. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member


    Your house would sell better with a garage,& have a a sensible size extension for the space available will bring the garden into the kitchen,& making a usuable space for entertaining.

    Secondly design the kitchen for the space,even if it means having a galley kitchen, don't try build around a exsisting kitchen to fit.
    Can work wonders with a long narrow space for a fully working kitchen, & you don't need to extend too far into the garden to achieve it.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
    koolpc and Deleted member 33931 like this.

    Yes, forget what your kitchen is like at the moment - you will be tarting with a blank space.

    Obviously a much wider extension, but note how the kitchen is quite narrow and units are only on one side - always an option:

    KIAB likes this.
  11. Beff

    Beff New Member

    Thank you very much for your reply, you should be a salesman. As stated the garage idea was somewhat of a pipedream but I didn't want to let it go un-assessed and ignored only to return to it in the near future. However from what you've said it does make more sense to make less work and still have what we want. If we weren't going to use the garage in this manner we would definitely knock through to the dining room, that's a no brainer. But as simple as it sounds, I had not considered opening up into the garden, even just by adding different doors, it makes a lot of sense. Thank you
  12. Beff

    Beff New Member

    I'm definitely ripping out what we have as it just isn't functional and starting again with what we have. If we're going to hve a new kitchen then it's going to be the right one and done well for sure.

    So in your well versed opinion; let's say I'm now in a situation where I've returned to opening up a room to create an open plan space and possibly thinking of adding a single level small extension out into my garden as you've suggested. But in the same breath want someone to come and take my ideas for what we need in a kitchen and create something that is both functional for a small growing family, and that looks beautiful and 'fits' the room well. What industry sector do I begin in? Are there humans that will do the job beginning to end in a project manager kind of way or do I need to begin the horrendous ritual of picking someone and then finding plumber, electrician, plasterer etc. Again, very limited knowledge myself on this one, hence the questions.

    Ive attached a new image with a little more detail to the shape and layout of my home. We have a bit of a negative zone at the back of the house, behind where the stairs are but on the outside of the home. The previous owners added the conservatory with a side door that faces the kitchen wall. I have considered if we were to extend into the garden, it may be worth turning the corner to fill that negative space also (see blue and red lines), maybe have a dedicated utility room/ space to reduce the need in the kitchen for so many white goods and give us more cupboard space. Does this seem more / less feasible? Would it compromise the conservatory to a point of uselessness? I understand the doors would need moving but frankly, its probably in need of a revamp anyway and I was considering changing it to a tile roof anyway. What are your thoughts on this option? Am I just adding complication for complications sake?

    Im sorry to be such a nightmare but Ive been stung in the past by diving into projects head first (my own fault admittedly) and by getting not the best work people (again my own fault for not checking and asking around). I tend to get gung ho on an idea and want it done tomorrow so I go with what's available now and it tends to only work out 20% of the time, so I've vowed this time we're doing it once and we're doing it right. So thank you again for your invaluable input
  13. Beff

    Beff New Member


    Attached Files:

  14. Beff

    Beff New Member

    Or even, and this is me dreaming too big probably again, bridge the negative gap with an extension out to the garden and across to the conservatory, get rid of the conservatory and just create an elongated sun room from the end of the kitchen over to the end of the living room as a dining and kitchen extra space, keep the kitchen proper where it is and keep the current dining room as a utility. You've got me going now. This is where you tell me this is work you specialise in and can so it with no problems whatsoever - ? haha
  15. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    From your sketch, I can see that idea working very well, but with out measurments as to current room sizes,patio area,& size of area from blue line across to outside wall of conservatory it's hard to work things out 100% & visualise things.:)
    Even a photo of rear of house would help.
    Deleted member 33931 likes this.
  16. Beff

    Beff New Member

    Sorry, I know its missing info, ive got a 10 month old scrabbling around at my feet most of the time, i will get a picture tonight or tomorrow morning with the light when Im back at home.
    On estimate level alone, I would say that the width of the current kitchen is 3 metres wide, the conservatory must be similar if not slightly bigger, let's say 3.5 meters wide. And the gap between the two projections is the width of a winding staircase so 2 metres? The conservatory projects out about a half metre further than the current kitchen does. So the kitchen would need pulling out to that equal level I think, and then the two areas meeting up but this would not go beyond the current patioed area as the conservatory ends with the patio. I would love to get rid of the conservatory completely, and form this whole space into a new sun room style space either with dwarf walls or not, I don't know which would be better. But definitely with a real roof, and maybe a couple veluxes in to help with sunlight into the space.

    So although the extension would attach to the current space of the conservatory, it wouldn't keep the conservatory as one, but would absorb it into the new space. Understandably this will cost more, but again, im wanting to do this right, not cheap. I've added an altered version of my drawing, as apparently, until you made me describe it better in this message, I forgot what my house actually looked like. Amazing isn't it.
    The other image ive attached is stolen from Devil's Advocate as it was this image that really got me thinking, I'd love the back of the house to become something like this as far as how it opens up etc.

    But i will get photos for you to see when i next have good light to take them. And please fire any more questions and suggestions in order to clarify.

    Attached Files:

  17. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    Deleted member 33931 likes this.
  18. Looking forward to Beff's photo.

    Another thing to think about is, most 'conservatories' are summer-use only as they are poorly insulated and draughty, or 'winter' use only if provided with large amounts of heat. By expanding your idea to take over and replace the connie space, you will be making this a fully habitable, fully insulated room - as you say it'll be more of a 'sun' room than a 'connie', with a proper insulted roof with double-glazed panels in it.

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