The base is one of the most important elements of your concrete garage, and if not built correctly you could soon end up with an unstable build rather than the desired strong platform. There are several factors that you should consider prior to converting your garage and we will discuss just a few here.
Firstly, look at the dimensions of the concrete and surroundings of the garage. Concrete garages from Lidget compton always ensure that the surface of the base layer is at least four inches of compacted hardcore material and allow for an extra three inches around the perimeter for extra support. Furthermore, many people often forget about the underground water level which may affect the structure from beneath. Lining the concrete base with a damp-proof sheet creates a waterproof seal stopping your structure succumbing to damages.
The second key factor to consider is the consistency of the cement used. In order to reach the perfect cement strength (also known as the Standard Consistency) you must add the exact amount of required water to form a paste. This paste will be used on the base of the garage, so it’s important to ensure the exact amount of water is added according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The next thing to consider is the weather conditions during the build which may impact the cement consistency. If it is raining, it’s important to halt mixing or do so under cover to avoid any addition of rainwater which may change the cements consistency. The cement base needs to be at least four inches thick on top of the compacted material and eight inches around the edges for extra support.
The following essential six step process can ensure you build a sound structure:
- Check the ground level, material substance and space
- Accurately measure the consistency and depth of your cement
- Start working on a dry day or at least make sure you are undercover out of the rain
- Ensure the base layer is flat, consistent and level
- Design the base layer to deflect water and add a waterproof sealant for additional protection
- Allow seven days for the concrete to set before building on top
Garage conversions can be easy and often affordable, making them a very popular way of creating more space in a house without any major building work. However, if you are converting a garage into a liveable space that requires warmth, it must have insulation.
One of the most crucial factors when beginning to insulate a garage is making sure it’s completely airtight. Garages aren’t built to contain heat and more than likely you will find lots of airgaps leading to the outside. You can insulate the walls, ceiling, and doors of the garage but if you fail to fill the gaps, it will be a big struggle to keep the area heated. When you’re satisfied the place is completely sealed, double check all the windows and door frames to make sure they are fit to prevent any drafts coming through.
The rate of how fast heat can be lost through an object is measured in U-Values. England, Scotland and Wales have different thermal standards, so it’s important to ensure you meet the requirements that abide by the building regulations and standards.
The three main forms of insulation for a garage are as follows:
- Fiberglass Insulation
- Cellulose Insulation
- Foam Insulation
Ultimately the decision is up to you when it comes to deciding which insulation material to use. There are many different types of insulation to which satisfy different objectives.
Typically, a material which creates an air barrier is best to keep the cold air out. Insulations like fiberglass and cellulose don’t do that, making foam insulation a popular choice.
Perfecting the base and insulation are two of the most important considerations when constructing a secure and long-standing conversion. Once they are in place everything else will follow. Making a list of all key considerations to follow when converting a garage is a great way to achieve a successful build. We have provided our very own checklist of key aspects to consider when looking to start a conversion.
- Always make sure the building is suitable to convert
- Check specific building regulations apply to the conversion
- Perfecting the base and the insulation is crucial for the durability of the conversion
- Ventilation will be required by building control
- Consider how electricity will be inputted
Once you have considered all the above, you’ll be ready to begin converting the space in line with regulations, in order to ensure it’s a comfortable and secure build for many years to come.