I'm looking to buy a house that has a detached brick-built triple garage
that we don't need, and I'd like to convert it to a home cinema room. The
garage sits within a concrete-covered section of the back garden.
Is anyone aware of any regulations or planning requirement that might cause
me problems in doing this?
You'll almost certainly have to get planning permission for "Change of Use".
Since you are effectively converting it into living space, you'll also have
to satisfy the building regs with regard to thermal efficiency etc.
Spend a couple of hours at your local council offices - talking both to a
Planner and to a Building Control Officer. They are usually very helpful,
and will make you aware of all the issues to be considered. Take with you
some photos of the garage as it now is and some rough plans of what you want
If it is a hobby room and not equipped for living (ie no loo or plumbing or
beds) then I don't think that you do need change of use so long and it is
for your own personal enjoyment and not commercial - so no selling tickets
or ices at the intermission !
Assuming it is in good structural order, the most important and expensive
part of converting it is likely to be insulation, which shouldn't be too
difficult. Lining the walls and ceilings with suitable quantities of Celotex
and installing a new floor, with DPM and Jablite is likely to be requested,
as is double glazing. A mains powerered smoke detector might be needed. All
these changes are well worth having, you want to be nice and cosy when
watching the films, after all. The difference between a single skin concrete
garage and one with 75mm of Celotex all round is quite startling.
Just have a blackout curtain/blind and then you may be able to use the room
for other stuff as well. You get dead cheap plain blinds for kids rooms,
designed to eliminate all light during the late summer sunsets.
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