Making better use of your garage could be a simple and cost effective way of extending your home. Garage conversions can make better use of underused space at your home. However, many newer properties with a garage may be restricted from doing so.

Car parking standards vary only slightly across the country and are informed by local trends. New houses built with a garage are considered to be providing an off-street parking space. However, the reality of garages actually being used for parking a car is not very often.

The problem of parking a modern car in a garage, built decades ago, is that cars have got bigger. Parking is therefore harder and many people take the easier option of parking on the road. Councils however are reluctant to allow the loss of a garage for fear of increasing demand to park on the roads. Increasingly tougher standards means the battle to obtain planning permission for a garage conversion is becoming more difficult.

The approach that we take, and have successfully won on appeal, is to set out clear justification and evidence that the garage is not serving a useful purpose. The argument sounds very simple, but every home is different and needs to be looked at carefully. The first questions we ask is whether the garage has ever been used to park a car, often the answer is no!

The availability of parking on the road and nearby bus and train links are also useful variables that can help to obtain planning permission for a garage conversion.