Dangers and risks of cheap garage conversions

Why Cheaper Is Not Always Better

It has recently come to our attention that similar construction companies to us are cutting corners, leaving clients with a conversion that cannot meet building regulations. We have recently been competing against quotes well below the average m2 cost. Upon clients sending these to us, we have noticed that firstly they do not conform to building regulations; an example is the specified insulation is 50% of the thickness that it should be. Secondly, the structural specifications of materials are below what a structural engineer would specify. Therefore, using a reputable company with a proven track record is essential.

If you're considering a garage conversion, it's important to be aware of the risks involved and to take steps to avoid them.

You must work with an experienced and reputable firm to ensure that your conversion is done safely and properly. Not doing so means putting the lives of everyone in your home at risk. And while planning permission is not normally required for a garage conversion, it will be if you are converting a garage into a bedroom or a 'granny flat'. Also, if you are making a structural alteration, for example to the size of your home, then you need planning permission. It's also worth noting that your conversion will need to comply with building regulations - even when the work doesn't require planning permission. This includes having someone check and validate the fire safety, electrics, ventilation, insulation (U values) and drainage you have installed. However, since this article is only a helpful guide, you should check with your local authority before any work begins.

What are some of the risks associated with cheap garage conversions?

The risks when you opt for a cheap garage conversion include:

  • Fire hazards because of the cheap materials being used – they MUST meet legal regulations
  • Poor insulation materials will lead to higher energy bills and poor comfort levels in your new space
  • Lack of proper ventilation can cause mould issues
  • Electrical work that is done poorly can create shock hazards
  • Sloppy construction can result in injuries from falling debris.

The risks that may come when you decide to carry out a cheap garage conversion, aren't just being highlighted by us - the Federation of Master Builders also stresses how important it is for you to comply with building regulations and use quality materials to avoid future fire issues. And if you do need planning consent then be aware that a building inspector will call regularly to check that the conversion complies with the rules. They will hand you a final certificate when the work is finished.

How can you avoid these risks when you begin a garage conversion?

There are a few things you can do to avoid the risks associated with cheap garage conversions, including:

  • Make sure the construction is done properly to avoid injuries and that it meets building control regulations
  • Have a qualified contractor handle the electrical work to avoid shock hazards
  • Make sure the space is properly insulated to avoid high energy bills and discomfort
  • Ensure that the space is well-ventilated to prevent moisture build-up and mould growth.

Who should you work with to ensure a safe and proper garage conversion?

For your garage conversion project to be a success, you should:

  • Use a firm with experience in garage conversions
  • Ask to see examples of their work
  • Get a written estimate of the cost of the project, including materials and labour, before making a decision.

How to avoid the dangers and risks of cheap garage conversions

If you're considering a garage conversion, it's important to work with a reputable company with lots of experience in converting a garage successfully - and that means working with the friendly team at Croft Garage Conversions.

By doing so, your garage conversion project will be the success you want it to be – without risking anyone’s life once the work is complete.