How to insulate a garage conversion: Part 1 – Building Regulations/Standards
Converting a garage is an easy (and often affordable) way of creating more space in a house without carrying out major building work.
A key part of the work will be adding insulation to the garage in order to make it a warm, comfortable living space.
This is a common project which we often get asked questions about, whether it is to convert the space into an office, bedroom, dining room or play room, so we thought that we should go into a bit more detail. There are a number of factors to consider when insulating a garage conversion and in this series of blog posts we will go through it all stage by stage.
Areas to consider
There are three main areas to consider insulating when converting a garage into a habitable living space; the floor, roof and walls. They all have specific challenges and solutions and we will look in more detail at the insulation requirements for each of these over the next few weeks. This week we will be looking at the Building Regulations or Standards that will have to be met when carrying out this work.
Converting a garage into a living space will usually be considered as an extension to an existing property under the building regulations/standards and there will be a requirement for the work carried out to meet the specific thermal standards for each application specified in these for the location of the property, as different standards apply in England, Scotland and Wales. You may also wish to meet higher standards than these, for example if the rest of the property is built to Passivhaus Standards then it is likely that the new room from the garage conversion will be insulated to the same standards.
Basically each element of the garage conversion; walls, floor and roof, will have to be constructed and insulated so that its U-Value (rate of heat loss through that element) meets or is less than the value stated by Building Regulations/Standards. These U-values, applicable to an extension of an existing building, are shown in the table below.
U-Values for Extension of Existing Buildings in W/m2.K
*The first number applies where the existing building has U-values worse than 0.70 W/m.K in the walls and worse than 0.25 W/m.K in the ceiling.If the U-values are better than those figures the second number applies.
Please note that different values apply for refurbishments and new builds – we always recommend you check with local building control before starting any work.
In our product literature we give the U-Values for a range of different construction build ups and insulation thicknesses. More information about the building regulations/standards can be found on the Knowledge Base section of our website.
Before starting planning the conversion it is important to check what the existing construction of the garage is, as the type and thickness of insulation you use will depend on this; the first thing to check is the construction of the wall as next time we will look at the best methods of insulating them.
The other posts in this series will be coming soon and when they go live we will add the links below:
- How to insulate a garage conversion: Part 2 – Wall Insulation.
- How to insulate a garage conversion: Part 3 – Roof Insulation.
- How to insulate a garage conversion: Part 4 – Floor Insulation.
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