Insulating your converted garage
The garages of today are fastly becoming new opportunities for those looking to maximise their living space without having to go through lengthy planning processes or spending huge amounts of money. Whether you want to add another bedroom, a workshop, study, gym or even a screening room a garage has the benefit of being a pre-established structure. This means that you are spared the lengthy and at time patience-trying process of gaining planning permission – a hurdle that many homeowners are met with when trying to erect new structures and cosmetic works. When converting a garage into any of the above you need to remember that converting a space previously used to store objects will require changes to accommodate human habitation. Chief among these is insulation.
Why Do I Need Insulation In A Converted Garage?
The importance of insulation in a converted garage is two-fold, with comfort taking precedent. If you wish to turn your garage space into an area where people will spend long periods of time, it needs to be comfortable otherwise it won’t be fit for purpose. Take for instance a home office space – productivity is going to be seriously impacted if the garage room temperature is so cold that it’s uncomfortable to work. The same goes for a screening room – sitting still watching a movie for two hours is not going to be comfortable in 5 degrees.
Energy costs are also a factor. Compared to building a conservatory or a protruding extension from scratch, a garage conversion can be achieved for as little as a quarter of the price. The economic benefits of this can be quickly skewed if your garage is energy inefficient and costs a small fortune to heat every month. The greenage.co.uk estimates that 25% of household heat escapes through the roof whilst 35% is lost through the walls with a further 10% through the floor. If these figures relate to the heat loss from an established habitable structure, then you can imagine how much a garage would have lost.
How To Insulate Your Converted Garage
Insulating The Floor
Cold concrete floors are not the least bit appealing especially if you are not wearing any shoes. Depending on the type of flooring you wish to put down, the insulation layer will be different. Floating floor insulation is often the quickest and widespread method of floor insulation. For this type of insulation, a layer of liquid screed is applied in order to perfectly level out the floor. Once this layer has dried, you’ll need to lay down insulation panels which will stop the movement of air and prevent heat from escaping. Plywood chipboard is then usually installed and “floated” on top of the insulation panels. After a few coats of floor paint, the surface can then be fitted for carpet, vinyl panels, lino or whatever flooring option you desire!
Insulating The Doors
Many people opt to keep their garage doors in working order even when turning their garage into a habitable space. If the garage in question is detached from the house, then the only way to access it would be through the doors. If it’s attached to the house, keeping garage doors is still a good move as it provides an easy entry point and enough space for loading things in. Luckily, keeping your garage door doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice insulation as there are a number of specially insulated garage doors that prevent warm air escaping and cold air from penetrating. Insulated roller shutter garage doors are essentially two slat curtains in the middle of which sits a layer of insulation foam. They also come fitted with extremely advanced side sealant technology to eliminate any gaps where wind, weather, pests or dirt could enter the garage.
Insulating The Roof
Remember, any heat created as a result of heaters, people or electrical equipment will rise thus making the roof of your garage a frontline in the fight for insulation. As mentioned previously, a quarter of a buildings total heat is lost through the roof so getting it right with your garage conversion is critical. Flat roofs are the most common type of garage roof and the best way of insulating these is again using 100mm thick insulation pannels and between or underneath the joists and rafters (you can also use fibreglass to but panels are easier and simpler). Thermal plasterboard is best used to add on top of the panels to then create an extra layer of insulation.