Converting your garage: Roofing and flooring

The roof and floor specifications in your garage conversion may be influenced by a number of standard building regulations. The construction and insulating of your roof and floor areas can determine whether or not a structure is deemed as being suitable as a living area. Please find below general advice on roof and floor building regulations and a few tips on roof and flooring requirements for your conversion.

Please note: this guide is not exhaustive, if you have any questions about the roof or floors in relation to your specific project you should seek professional advice before commencing with any work.

Roofing and Flooring building regulations

Here are a few general building regulation guidelines in reference to the roof and floor in your garage conversion;

  • Floors: Many people choose to increase the height of their existing garage floor to align with the ground floor of a property. This can be done using concrete or timber battens. When using concrete, damp proof membrane and a bed of insulation should be used underneath. If timber battens are used, they should be tantalised and fitted over rigid floor insulation - on the existing concrete slab and over a damp proof membrane. A vapour barrier can then be laid under the boarding.
  • Roofs: If you intend to carry out general repairs on or re-cover less than 25 per cent of the entire area of a pitch or flat roof, you won't usually have to submit a building regulations application. However, you will need approval if you;
    • Perform any structural alterations
    • If the performance of the new covering will be significantly different to that of the existing covering in the event of a fire.
    • If you are replacing or repairing more than 25 per cent of the roof area. In this case, the roof thermal insulation will normally have to be improved.

    It is important to note that the removal or alteration of any roof elements can affect how the roof functions and may even cause movements to occur. These movements can cause cracks and could possibly lead to the collapse of a roof. Care should always be taken when working on a roof to minimize the possibility of movements occurring.

    Roof and floor requirements for a garage conversion

    If a garage roof is structurally sound and water-proofed it should have little impact on the aesthetics of a room. However, correct insulation is required to keep heat in a space. If you are replacing your garage roof, you can usually choose either a standard flat roof or a pitched roof – although you will need to check for planning permission and any building regulations attached to each type of roofing.

    Floors will also need sufficient insulation, as outlined above and you may also prefer to have them boarded – this can provide a solid base for decoration i.e. carpeting or the fitting of laminate flooring or lino. The kind of flooring that you choose will depend on the purpose of the room, although generally speaking, carpets are preferred for living room areas and bedrooms.

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