01 Aug 2016

One of the most popular garage conversions that we do is to convert a garage into a workshop – usually for the man or woman who restores classic cars or has a passion for motorbikes and wants a bit more than a standard home garage has to offer. We offer this as a full conversion or a partial conversion – the latter usually combines a hang out area for socialising with fellow enthusiasts, which can incorporate a bar or a space for relaxation with a TV and video games.

This, however, brings challenges to a garage conversion as a fully-stocked workshop requires a lot of tools and equipment which take up valuable floor space. The key is to use appropriate storage solutions in order to maximise the available space – fortunately there are many clever storage& vehicle support ideas available that allow you to make the most of such a garage conversion.

Your requirements for a home workshop

As with all garage conversions, your starting point for a home workshop conversion should always be, “what are my specific needs?”, “what exactly will I be using my home workshop for?”. Answering these questions clearly and honestly will mean that you end up with a design that suits your individual needs, limits materials and equipment to those that you need and will use (keeping costs down) and helps to ensure best use of the available space.

Flooring

With a home workshop, flooring is vitally important – it must be hard-wearing, capable of withstanding the load from garage equipment and vehicles, resistant to oil and fluid spills and easy to clean. There are a number of options available including rubber flooring, sealed resin and specialist interlocking garage tiles. If you are opting for a partial conversion with an attached hang out room/woman cave/man cave then you may well opt for one type of floor in the workshop area and with something else in the relaxation area but bear in mind that this will also have to be somewhat durable to deal with tracked-through dirt, spilled fluids etc. Garage Conversion Glasgow can advise you on all of the appropriate floors available.

Storage

A home workshop means that you have many tools of various shapes, sizes, cost and (potential) danger. The aims of tools storage are:

* Keep the tools you use most frequently readily to hand

* Keep tools organised logically

* When not in use, keep tools secure from thieves

* Make tools inaccessible to children

A cost-effective solution is freestanding shelving which offers flexibility and reasonable strength (we would always recommend coated steel and never wood) but they are relatively insecure and can look unsightly when “fully-loaded” so shelves will probably not be a complete storage solution.

Cabinets allow tools to be stored in a fully-enclosed, properly-organised and childproof manner – some come with their own locking mechanism whilst others have the facility to attach a separate padlock. These protect your tools from prying eyes and the atmospheric damage that can occur to some tools if they are left out in the open. These cabinets can be either freestanding (usually wheeled to enable easy movement) or wall-mounted and are available in a range of finishes at various price points to suit most budgets. Cabinets provide a clean, modern look to a home workshop and reduce the visual clutter of tools.

At Garage conversion Glasgow we are familiar with all of the storage options available (including shelves, cabinets, wall racks, overhead storage) for a luxury home workshop so we can advise you on what storage solutions will best suit your needs.

Workshop equipment

A critical part of your home workshop will be garage equipment and what kinds of work you will be doing will determine your layout and what larger equipment you will need. If you are doing DIY carpentry you will most likely need a workbench with a vice and will need to consider carefully the space around it you need to bring in materials and work with them in safety. In the case of a motorcycle workshop, you need to consider how many bikes you have, where you will store them and the kind of work you will be doing e.g. will you need a full hydraulic lift or just a lift stand and a mover-lifter to easily move bikes around the workshop. If it’s classic car work, will you need an engine hoist, service ramps or go the whole hog and have a car lift?

The friendly staff at Garage Conversion Glasgow will help you through all the options to get the home workshop garage conversion that’s just right for you.

Give the green light to your new home workshop by giving us a call on 0141 280 4334 and we’ll help you from the opening lap to the chequered flag.

01 Aug 2016

This is one of the questions we at Garage Conversion Glasgow get asked often by prospective clients – “Should we go “the whole hog” or should we keep a bit as a garage?”. As with many of the questions related to garage conversions, our answer is usually, “It depends.”

Your garage’s current use

We will always encourage our clients to think about how they currently use their garage and the space they have available in it i.e. is it big enough to be multi-purpose? If your garage currently houses only junk, you don’t do much gardening/car or motorbike maintenance/have loads of tools/isn’t wide enough for your car then you should ask yourself if you really need a garage at all. Many of our clients find a new shed (which we can also help you with) can comfortably house the few useful items that once occupied a whole garage. If on the other hand, you love tinkering with your classic Triumphs or enjoy a bit of carpentry then maintaining a partial garage may be the best option for you especially if you have a larger garage.

The purpose of your garage conversion

As well as existing use, we encourage our clients to think clearly about the main purpose of their intended garage conversion. Is it, for example, to create an extra living or entertaining space? If so, then how compatible (if at all) is this with having your partner’s motorcycle workshop right next to it? If your priority is the extra living space then this probably pushes you towards a complete conversion into habitable space, particularly with a single garage.

If the conversion is to create a hang out area (e.g. a man (or woman) cave, a band practice room or a luxury home workshop) and not for continual living or cooking then a mixed use space is perfectly feasible, allowing you to maintain some flexibility of use and to ensure that the conversion meets all of your needs.

It is important to talk this out with your partner and be in full agreement as to the nature and purpose of the conversion before you begin any detailed design with your architect as this will save you time, money and arguments.

Cost – is a partial garage conversion cheaper?

Some clients think that doing a partial conversion will be much cheaper but whilst it may involve slightly fewer materials overall, preparing a garage for conversion into even a partial habitable area requires a significant amount of work and we often find that clients who want a partial conversion also want the remaining garage area to be properly finished so it does not look poor in relation to the adjoining converted room. Deciding on a full or partial conversion should be done purely on the basis of your current and future requirements and not on the false premise of a partial conversion being “cheaper”.

To explore the most suitable garage conversion option for you, simply call us for an informal, no-obligation chat on 0141 280 4334.

01 Aug 2016

At Garage Conversion Glasgow we read the depressing statistics about the rise of obesity and the dangers to our health of sitting in an office or a works van all day and whilst we all know that we should go to the gym to keep ourselves in shape – we also know that going to the gym is one of those things that we put off due to the hassle of going before or after work, the time wasted driving there and back home, how packed it can be at peak times and the tedious wait to get on the machine you want because everyone tends to go at the same time.

But what if you could get your fitness fix without all of the hassle of going to a gym miles away? That is where Garage Conversion Glasgow comes in – we can build a bespoke home gym for you from your old, draughty and underused garage. Think about all of that precious time you could save – no more travel, no more waiting for others to finish, no communal changing or showering – by having your very own gym right on your doorstep.

You only need to buy the equipment that you need and set the room temperature, decor and music to your own personal taste to provide you with the motivation that you need (you need no longer be forced to listen to the gym instructor’s dodgy taste in music over the PA). If you have a personal trainer then he/she can come to you and help you choose the best equipment for you or our resident fitness fanatic, Tony, can come and advise you on the right flooring and suitable gear and layout – whilst no doubt showing off his “guns”.

A home gym need not be expensive – there are many “nearly new” treadmills, cross-trainers, exercise bikes and weights out there as New Year’s weight-loss resolutions fall by the wayside and we find that having your own dedicated, on-site gym can help keep you motivated, can still be social (invite your friends to use it too) and take the hassle factor out of going to the gym.

Take your first step to getting fitter easier by calling us on 0141 280 4334.

01 Aug 2016

Here at Garage Conversion Glasgow we are often what kind of flooring should I choose for my garage conversion and our answer is always, “It depends”. Every garage conversion is unique and the type of flooring most suited to yours will depend heavily on the end use (or mix of end use) that you have planned for your finished conversion and the likely level of wear and tear that will be bring. Below we shall explore some of the many flooring options available.

Textured rubber

This kind of flooring is best suited to a conversion where you will not be using the room constantly as a living area (e.g. a home gym) and perhaps still wish to retain partial use as a workshop. The beauty of rubber flooring is that it offers high grip, good wear resistance and is surprisingly warm – it is both easy to clean and acts as a waterproof floor covering. The only drawback can be the slightly industrial appearance.

Carpet

It is possible to install domestic carpet in a garage conversion but it is vitally important that your existing (most likely) concrete garage floor is properly damp-proofed either via a membrane or special liquid prior to installation to prevent damp from the floor penetrating the walls and surface. If your conversion is for a home office we would recommend considering carpet tiles which are typically more hard-wearing and can be relatively easily replaced if stained or damaged – also a consideration for children’s play rooms.

Wood

If your conversion is into a living or entertaining room then a popular choice is laminate flooring. As with carpet it is imperative to fit a damp-proof membrane but also to ensure sufficient warmth underfoot a relatively thick underlay is required. Another consideration for laminate is that it is relatively thin so your existing concrete floor must be sufficiently smooth and level before installation can proceed – a poor concrete surface can be expensive and time-consuming to rectify.

Plastic tiles

These combine many of the benefits of rubber flooring and carpet tiles – being hard-wearing, forming a waterproof layer in themselves, easy to replace individually and easy to clean. They are also relatively fast to fit as they can be altered to suit any shape. They are again most suited to where the garage still involves some use for a car/motorbike or for a workshop-type conversion due to the slightly industrial appearance. A popular choice is tiles that just snap together which can give a workshop a professional, high-tech, motor-racing look for relatively little outlay.

Tiling

Traditional porcelain tiles can be fitted to a garage conversion – these offer good insulation properties and are likely to need less regular replacement than carpet or plastic tiles. They are generally not capable of handling the load of vehicles and offer less grip than rubber and are also unlikely to support the weight of heavy home gym equipment without being damaged so we would recommend considering them only where you intend the garage conversion to include a kitchen and/or bathroom.

No matter what flooring you need, be assured that Garage Conversion Glasgow can advise you on the best type of flooring for your requirements and will professionally prepare your existing surface and fit your floor in accordance with best practice to give you the best possible finish. Call us on 0141 280 4334 now.