Make my mind up re: garage

This is our garage. It’s not evident from the photos that the ceiling is completely shot - holes in it etc., parts fallen away due to historical leaks. You can see daylight under the doors which isn’t great with the price of energy.

Basically £20k to screed the floor, insulated board out the walls, including a stud wall to seal off the doors. A few extras like a glazed fire door back into the house, a new electricity consumer unit, “rationalise” the rat’s nest of pipes etc.

The big-ticket item included in the above which the builder explicitly said he would pad is £7k + VAT for joinery for building an array of storage and work surfaces. His joiner Keith is very good, although he consumes tea at an alarming rate. The builder said we could go cheaper at Ikea, but buy cheap buy twice etc.

We’ll basically end up with a well-specified utility room that would win us back at least one bedroom being currently misused. It’s a lot of money for the unwaged. The wife is keen and is pulling the full “love it or list it” compared to the costs involved with moving.

The builder isn’t ripping us off. His team are very good and we’ve done well by him in the past.

So, please whack a button, and / or post abuse.

  • UR mental mate
  • Cheap out on the storage
  • Go for it
  • Massive horns
0 voters

Rent it out after as a local sex dungeon to recoup the costs?


Based on where you live Guy, I assume £20k+ would insta be added to your house value. I know it’s wooden dollars but you can’t really lose can you?


On a related note, we’ve just been doing up the place we bought and for our bedroom and my eldest son’s bedroom, have had to get IKEA wardrobes as we couldn’t afford getting fitted units. I resent it; they look ok but not great, with annoying gaps and spacing etc., and of course feel a bit flimsy when you use them.

If you can afford it I’d pay and get them done properly. Satisfaction of ownership will be much greater.

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If you are unwaged and have no income I would be spending the money on holidays and the like. Tart the place up yourself for a grand and enjoy life.

If the love of your life places having this full on rebuild and the joy that would bring as a priority then, frankly, you’re fucked, time to open the wallet and reduce the savings stash.

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Have you checked the dimensions? It would be a shame if it was suddenly smaller than you think.


Get more tonic in !

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I’d second that. It doesn’t look very wide as it is and the ‘boarding out’ and new stud wall will reduce it further.

If you don’t plan ever to drive a car in again then you could draught-proof the doors by putting timber stops (maybe it already has these ?) at sides and top and a sill on the threshold at the bottom. The doors would still be uninsulated though.

I’m slightly curious about the brickwork. The wall on the left looks like it has a bond (English) corresponding to a 9" thickness, but the other two walls are simple ‘running’ bond suggesting either a proper cavity wall or perhaps just a 4.5" thick one. 4.5" might be OK for a garage but walls like this weren’t always built with a damp-proof course and might let a significant amount of water soak through if the outside is unprotected and exposed to the prevailing wind. Are you sure the floor has a DPM as well ?

If you’re going to go for it though then my preference would be for not cutting corners.

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We’re just having fitted wardrobes done in one of the bedrooms. Builder / joiner bloke said he could make them but much cheaper to go for Howden stuff. We went to a showroom last week. All quality, not flimsy like IKEA.

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We used to use ikea for kitchen cabinets 20 years ago in student houses. They are still in use and working fine


I just measured it, it’s about 9’ wide and 18’3" long. Designed for 1960s cars.

The only guy on the estate who I’m aware of actually using the garage as a garage keeps an old Citroen Traction in there.


Aside from “do it”, only a couple of thoughts -

Builders can charge whatever they feel like, there is way more work available than people to do it, so The Price Is The Price. What you’ve been quoted seems commensurate with what we’ve got (not) going-on. FWVLIW.

You’re adding value. Whether cost = benefit in terms of any future sale in the UK’s current fucked-up state is the square-root of fucknose, but you’re in That London, so you have the best chance to recoup of anywhere. Why would you move anyway? You don’t strike me as the wannabe cuntry-squire type, so may as well make where you live more-liveable. Life Is Short / can’t take it with you…

Good luck with it all.

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Would you actually use it if converted? Personally I doubt if I would actually go and sit in a converted garage to listen to music.

Guess you could convert it into a home cinema instead?

I thought the plan was to put a utility room into the garage at Guy’s place and take over the utility room for the hi fi. We’ve done a kitchen and a laundry recently. It seems to me that £7k is not far off what we paid for the laundry to be fitted out and tiled etc.

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Which means you’re either doomed to do it or face some other even more wallet draining fancy to make up for the disappointment.

Flip it the other way - happy wife = happy life, plus it looks like better use of space and as said above it won’t be money down the drain where you live.

That said I’d be happier with the £20k to refurb it, but I’m less convinced that £7k for storage is money well spent compared to spending it on something else but ymmv.

Err, so go for it with cheaper storage.

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No, it would definitely be a utility room, not a listening room.

But we currently use one of the bedrooms for all thing “laundry” so I could probably nick that if I wanted it.

ah in that case go for it.

My brother converted his garage to a ‘man cave’, got the builders to leave the garage door in place but seal it off inside with a stud wall and insulate etc. His plan was to put lazyboys, big TV and playstation etc in there…

it is now a utility/ironing room :joy: :joy: :joy:


Having a dedicated utility room would be a great idea, as it stops that kind of shit from taking over the house.

IKEA kitchen and wardrobe stuff is ok. It’ll last for years and be acceptable, especially for the fairly light use that it’s likely to get. When it’s bolted together and to the wall correctly, it’s perfectly sturdy - my IKEA wardrobes in our bedroom are 12 years old and are fine.

That said, getting something joiner built would be much more additive in terms of house value and, I imagine, “pleasure of use”. If you’re planning on staying there a while, I reckon just do it.

I voted massive horns. It’s a bit narrow but you could still do it.

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From this perspective joy is visible.
Your wife will have the space she desires as you will not care about the rest of the house and so it can be painted floribunda and crammed with soft furnishings etc.

I would do it at that price, had similar work priced on our place recently and that is not taking the piss. Also storage is not excessive, get a price yourself from the likes of Howdens and it will add up the same. Been there. Let a skilled carpenter you trust do it.
My only suggestion for adding value would be partition off a study/home office at the front and add a window, this is typical of all new builds these days catering for hybrid working. Worth a thought, laundry could still be circa 2.5 x 2.