How to Insulate a Garage - Preparation

9 June 2020 EcoTherm Insulation
Once considered only good enough for storage space, the humble garage has been revitalised in recent years as homeowners and landlords look to add extra living space to their properties without dealing with the cost and disruption of an extension. Whether you’re setting up a home office, building a workshop or creating a children’s playroom, one of the first things you need to consider is warmth. Typically, garages are uninsulated so, before getting the decorator’s brush out, it is a good idea to fit some insulation.

In the next this three blog series, we’ll go over the key steps in the conversion process. In this first blog, we look at how to prepare the space and tackle any issues.

Next, we’ll discuss the regulations around insulating a garage and how to choose the right insulation.

Finally, we’ll talk you through the installation process for typical roof, wall and floor constructions.

Is planning permission required for a garage conversion?

In most cases, planning permission is not required for garage conversions as they are considered Permitted Developments. There are, however, some exceptions – most notably if your home is Listed, within a conservation zone or if the garage is separate from your home (in which case you may have to get permission for a change of use).
For peace of mind, it is a good idea to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate from your local planning authority before starting work. This ensures the development is legal, avoiding any issues if and when you come to sell or lease the property. Regardless of whether planning permission is needed or not, you must ensure work is compliant with the Building Regulations. We will discuss how to achieve this in the next blog.
How to clean and assess the condition of your garage

Whilst it can be tempting to rush ahead with the conversion work, it is important to take your time whilst carrying out an assessment. A careful check at this stage can save you time and money in the future.
Start by clearing everything out of the garage and giving the walls, floors and ceiling a good brush down and clean. During this process, look carefully for any signs of damp, such as black mould or walls that are cold or wet to the touch. If this damp is present around the base of walls then it is likely rising damp and it will probably be necessary to fit a damp proof course. The simplest way to do this is with damp proof creams, which can be injected into the construction. These are available at any hardware store and should come with clear instructions.
On the other hand, isolated patches of damp are likely to be penetrating damp. This can occur through a variety of issues such as cracks in bricks, missing mortar, leaky guttering or damage to roofing. By isolating the area (or areas) that are affected, you should be able to identify what the problem is and fix it.
Other obvious issues include poorly fitted garage doors or windows, which may create drafts. If you’re planning on spending plenty of time in the space then it is advisable to replace these with more suitable alternatives such as insulated doors and double-glazed windows. It’s also a good idea to take a close look at the condition of the roof to ensure the current waterproofing system (whether it be tiles, metal or a membrane) is intact and unlikely to leak.
By following these steps you should be able to get your garage in tip-top condition, ready for the conversion work. In the next blog, we look at the regulations around insulating the garage, and how to select the right materials.

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