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Detached garage modernisation/conversion advice

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Persephone

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How about building a stud wall inside the garage complete with vapour barrier then when you have the time you can dynamite the garage leaving the stud walls ready to be clad on the concrete + brick base...
It's not a bad idea to put me on for a short while to use it while we renovate the house. 😊
 

Persephone

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Looking at the picture it appears that no guttering is used on either yours or the neighbouring garage so the gap between the two must get completely saturated when it rains, I'm not surprised there's water coming under the wall. If you use it in it's current state then I would try and at least address that otherwise it will always be damp. Trouble is it involves the neighbour which can extremely variable....
I noticed the lack of gutters too and had planned to fit them. If I can I'll run one between the garages below both roof levels as a stop gap. We tried to buy the house next door before this but pulled out as it has subsidence so potentially the new owner will need to do a lot of ground work and might demolish their garage which would make it easier to build a new one if I demolish mine, which is where I am leaning! 😊
 

Persephone

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OMG! @Persephone I've got the exact same garage which is in the same state, including the ivy crawling on top and lifting the roof! Striking similarity!!
The damp is so bad that it's growing fungus and a lot of my boards are rotting because of it!

I've sealed all the joints between the slabs with expanding foam as temporary measure against too much water coming for for now, and I've replaced the roof a couple of years ago. I also added gutters before last winter and it did help a little bit, but I know full well that the time has come to do something about the whole thing.
As others said: don't waste any time or money on it!!

Whilst it's empty, bite the bullet now and replace it. I wish I did that first thing when I moved in...

My next large project will be to demolish it entirely and start from scratch with a properly tanked slab and footings, make it longer and insulate it.
Thanks for the advice. I don't think I'm going to waste any money on this garage. I will just fix the electrics to use it to renovate the house and then I'll probably build a new workshop from wood.
I was appalled at the state of the garage but it's sort of reassuring to know I'm not the only one faced with this issue. It does seem a shame to demolish it but there's no point throwing money at it only to replace it in a couple of years.
Regarding your message below it does seem to have a good concrete pad so I will just build on that. 😊
 

Persephone

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+1 for new, it will end up like triggers sweeping brush if it doesnt fall down first. It would be a nightmare to get it done up after all that hard work and still be in a position where its not stable.

Rob
Thanks Rob, that was also a concern - I put a lot of effort and money into the interior only to discover the exterior structure is falling down on top of it. 😳
 

Jameshow

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It's not a bad idea to put me on for a short while to use it while we renovate the house. 😊
Ok the stud wall would be lower than you might like but best practice is to put it on a row or two of engineering bricks.
 

Spectric

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That is just something you don't want to throw any money at, it could easily become a money pit where you just have to keep throwing money at it to keep it usable. If you could build a new large shed elsewhere in the garden then this one could suffice as a temporary working area.
 

Richard_C

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Father in law had a garage like that - they were built when cars were a lot narrower overall, he could just get a modest modern car in and open the door enough to get out as long as there was nothing else along the sides of the garage.

It strikes me that you should knock it down and start again, and build either a functioning garage - a bit wider perhaps - which can be a workshop as well, or a purpose built workshop. One issue might be the roof - if its corrugated cement it might have asbestos in it which can push the disposal cost up. I suspect thats why so many people just leave fairly useless garages alone to rot in peace.

3 questions to think about:

  • will you ever want to use it as a garage ?
  • if you don't have a garage will it detract from the value/saleability - you will move out one day even if its years hence
  • are there any planning issues if you demolish the garage and build a workshop?
Many years ago a friend applied for PP to build a workshop in his large not-overlooked garden. It was refused. He then reapplied using exactly the same plans but replacing the word workshop with "hobby and storage area". Approved.

A neighbour has recently converted his garage by keeping the up and over door at the front and building a stud wall about 6ft back. That gives him room for bikes and bins through the front and a nice draft free workshop behind. Any future owner could take the stud wall out if they really wanted a garage. Struck me as a sensible solution.

New house, first house, very exciting times - enjoy. I moved from a flat to a 1910's 3 bed semi in 1976 - that's when the learning started.
 

stuart little

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Unusual to see a garage with a thatched roof! :ROFLMAO:

In all seriousness, if the roof is original '60s would it not contain asbestos?
 

Persephone

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That is just something you don't want to throw any money at, it could easily become a money pit where you just have to keep throwing money at it to keep it usable. If you could build a new large shed elsewhere in the garden then this one could suffice as a temporary working area.
There isn't another part of the garden I could use but I can use this while the house is being renovated - I just need to make the electrics safe. I will replace the garage as I agree with the general consensus that it's reached the end of its life. 😊
 

Persephone

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Father in law had a garage like that - they were built when cars were a lot narrower overall, he could just get a modest modern car in and open the door enough to get out as long as there was nothing else along the sides of the garage.

It strikes me that you should knock it down and start again, and build either a functioning garage - a bit wider perhaps - which can be a workshop as well, or a purpose built workshop. One issue might be the roof - if its corrugated cement it might have asbestos in it which can push the disposal cost up. I suspect thats why so many people just leave fairly useless garages alone to rot in peace.

3 questions to think about:

  • will you ever want to use it as a garage ?
  • if you don't have a garage will it detract from the value/saleability - you will move out one day even if its years hence
  • are there any planning issues if you demolish the garage and build a workshop?
Many years ago a friend applied for PP to build a workshop in his large not-overlooked garden. It was refused. He then reapplied using exactly the same plans but replacing the word workshop with "hobby and storage area". Approved.

A neighbour has recently converted his garage by keeping the up and over door at the front and building a stud wall about 6ft back. That gives him room for bikes and bins through the front and a nice draft free workshop behind. Any future owner could take the stud wall out if they really wanted a garage. Struck me as a sensible solution.

New house, first house, very exciting times - enjoy. I moved from a flat to a 1910's 3 bed semi in 1976 - that's when the learning started.
I have a Honda CRV and I think it's too big for the driveway (which is another story) so I don't think I'll be able to get it in this garage! I think the house was built with the Austin 7 in mind! 😄
I don't intend to use the garage for a car so would not build another. I don't think I'd need planning permission for a small workshop under permitted development but I will check at the time (it's going to be a while).
The roof might well have asbestos - I'll have to have it professionally removed. The seller says it's 1960s but it could be a later replacement.
There's a wooden shed behind the garage which I'll use for bikes, etc. Without that I'd probably erect a small bike shed.
Having rented a flat for 20 years (it was the only affordable way to live in the city centre) I can't wait to get a house that's mine. I'm done with city living! 😊 I've watched lots of YouTube videos on house renovation. Skill builder has lots of information on replacing the bathroom suite and tiling. There is a man caller Peter Millard who makes cabinets so I intend to follow his instructions to build the kitchen units myself rather than buy generic cabinets from IKEA (the galley kitchen is quite small). And I recently watched a man in the North East renovate a similar house. He put PIR insulation under the floorboards so I'm going to do that too. I'm thinking that while everything is exposed I might as well lay one of those DIY wet underfloor heating kits so I can remove the radiators downstairs... Ah I have so many plans I can't wait for the purchase to complete! 😁
 

Persephone

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Unusual to see a garage with a thatched roof! :ROFLMAO:

In all seriousness, if the roof is original '60s would it not contain asbestos?
Haha it's very odd isn't it? That said, my other half says he wants to use the garage roof to grow pumpkins!!! Apparently you trail the plants up the side. Hmmm. Over. My. Dead. Body. 😄
I wonder if it's later as it seems to be quite solid inside but you never know. Under the thatch could be all sorts of damage. It looks like it just unbolts but if it contains asbestos I'll get a professional in. 😊
 

mikej460

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I've got one just the same (except for the 'wig') and it's coming down soon as I'm building a new one. Up to now I've suffered badly from damp just like yours. It has ruined tools, cupboards and timber.

Assuming you've decided to put up with it until the house is renovated my advice for the short term is to spend a little money on keeping the damp out. Put an OB1 black sealant bead between the concrete slab and bottom of the garage sections, it can be applied over damp concrete; do this inside and outside. Also definitely fit guttering. Remove the wig if the roof underneath is still solid and undamaged; it is likely to be asbestos cement which is safe as long as it's undamaged but all that dead bramble will just be holding moss and debris which in turn is holding water.

If your budget can stretch to it fit some insulation foil to the inside of the roof to prevent condensation which will otherwise drip everywhere. You can do this using battens fastened to the inside of the metal trusses with tie wraps then staple the foil insulation to it. It doesn't have to be expensive foil, get the cheapest to prevent condensation.

I hope this is useful
 

Gordon Tarling

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A small word of advice from me, although it's already been mentioned - calling it a workshop is very likely to lead to all sorts of objections from anyone able to object, so call it a 'hobby room', 'craft room', 'garden room' or anything else you like, except 'workshop'.

G.
 

Nightwood

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Hi Steff
If you do decide to go with it for now I would stay away from using MDF or OSB both are a nightmare if they get wet MDF especially it just blows out, plywood even tho quite dear now is pretty resilient to a lot of grief and will last you a lot longer on the electrics I did all mine myself then got a proper electrician in at the end to test it and certificate for me a lot cheaper good luck to you whatever you decide
Rodney
 

Richard_C

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so I intend to follow his instructions to build the kitchen units myself rather than buy generic cabinets from IKEA (the galley kitchen is quite small)
Drifting off topic I know:

That seems sensible, but its worth looking at Ikea designs in one of their showrooms just for ideas. Their cupboards/cabinets go almost to the wall rather than having the usual 2 inch or so gap behind the back panel. That brings some potential difficulties - you can't run pipework or cables behind - I ran the pipes down in one corner and along at plinth level and channelled in a short lenght of 30a cable to the hob. The drawer runners are slim and sit below the drawer sides - a lot of other types run in channels at the side. So for a given cabinet size you can get quite a lot more internal room than some older mass market ones. I installed one 12 years ago, still going strong.

If I were doing it now, being retired rather than trying to fit it at weekends/evenings I probably would make my own, but I would still steal some ideas from Ikea and wherever else I could. The price of timber and board might make me change my mind when I got to the cost calculation.

Back to garages. A new estate near us in Cambridge got in the news a few years back, with pictures of (un) happy new house owners getting their Ford Fiesta in the garage but being unable to open a car door to get out. "We complied with Government guidelines" said the builder.
 

Allen Quay

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If you’re planning to remove the thatch from that roof you’ll need to be careful. It’s possible that the plants will have air roots which have grown out of the stems and bedded themselves into the roof material (which could be asbestos, as others have already said). If you pull the thatch off the roof the air roots could bring some of the roof material with it, causing the surface to crumble and create dust, which is potentially asbestos dust.
It’s an exciting time for you though, enjoy!
 

Lons

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I'm a retired builder and agree that you need to start again as soon as it's possible to do so, your tools and machinery will rust badly if you stick them in there.

Go with temporary roof insulation and ideally a membrane to combat roof condensation which will increase as soon as you seal any drafts and air flow in the building and you would urgently need to sort the water ingress at floor level, looking at the pics that's being caused by the concrete path at the side and probably whatever is at the back of the garage as the path is higher than floor level, at very least you should clear any existing channel between path and building or cut a new one and direct water away from the building as much as possible, it might help if you can tank the lower part of the panel with bitumen or even a plastic sheet or DPM for a temporary measure, there are several methods that will help. Gutters will definitely be an improvement also as mentioned.
That also applies when you eventually construct a new building. as the path will be just as much an issue.
 

eribaMotters

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We bought a bungalow to do up end of 2017. There was a small single brick garage attached, which although in OK condition was to small. We decided to wrap a larger building around it and applied for planning permission for a garage hobby room that would come 3m forward of the existing structure and 5m forward of the building line and got it passed without any issues. If you word things correctly it is surprising what is acceptable.

Colin
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