Four Investments We Made For Our Garage Extension

This morning, my phone reminded me that this time last year we were just kicking off on work for our bedroom extension over the garage. At 32 weeks pregnant in the middle of yet another lockdown, homeschooling a reception aged child with a toddler running around and trying frantically to work myself, I look back and wonder what on earth we were thinking at the time! Yet whilst I might regret the timing slightly, I don’t regret the extension work at all – it’s transformed our home in a way we never expected, making it entirely worth the cost; emotionally and monetarily! As with all major building work, budgeting was a huge factor and I’d be lying if I said that we didn’t have to make difficult choices along the way based on what we could afford to do, but there were certain things we decided were entirely worth not compromising on. Wanna know what they were? Read on to find out some of the major investments we made for our garage extension, and why I’d make them again… if we were ever insane enough to take on another renovation project!

Underfloor Heating

Originally we’d planned to instal traditional radiators in the space, in keeping with the rest of the upstairs of the house. In the bathroom, we’d have a heated towel radiator and then two radiators in the bedroom. However, as work began we quickly realised that underfloor heating, whilst more expensive, would be a better way to go. Not only does it give a cleaner look to the finished space but it allowed us to have a constant, soft heat throughout the entire room rather than the patchy heat from a standard radiator set up. Underfloor heating also allowed us to mitigate the naturally cooler areas such as next to the large glass doors and provide heat in the dressing area, which we would otherwise have had to leave due to a lack of wall space. Thanks to the fact that we were going to have to lay entirely new pipework the whole length of the garage to fit traditional radiators, the cost, whilst more, wasn’t excessively so and has given us a wonderfully cosy space no matter where in the room you are.

New Boiler

It’s not up there on the most exciting spends, but a new boiler installation is one of the best investments we’ve made. When we did our original building work four years ago, we looked at replacing the boiler and decided that it could wait a little longer. This time, with changes to our entire water tank system and the addition of another bathroom, we decided it was time to make the investment before our old one gave up – after all, if the boiler went wrong it would leave us with no hot water or central heating, and with three young children that really wasn’t an option we wanted to consider! When our old boiler was inspected they agreed that it wouldn’t have survived another round of being serviced, especially with the additional demands of it and a growing family. Thankfully, this one is far more efficient than our old one, which is very welcome given the huge rises in fuel costs too!

Electric Velux Windows

As our new room is partially in the eaves, it means that both the dressing space and the bathroom are fitted with high level Velux windows. Not only do these give us a huge amount of light and great ventilation but they’re also perfect for these spaces where we want added privacy and can’t sacrifice wall space for a standard window. Due to the raised ceiling height, we decided to go for electrically operated Velux windows rather than standard manual ones. Whilst they’re significantly more expensive, the electric versions are controlled by a control pad meaning there’s no need for us to keep a pole for opening and closing them. One of our favourite features is the rain sensor which automatically closes the windows when the external pad sensors continuous rain – no more accidental leaks! Finally, it’s meant that we can fit them with electric blinds so that we can easily black out the room at night time. All three of those things make them entirely worth the added investment over standard models if you ask me!

Built In Wardrobes

Built in wardrobes certainly aren’t for the tight of budget, especially if you’re working with various different angles and slanted ceilings! In the planning stages we looked at many different options; built in, building them ourselves, stand alone and we kept coming back round to the benefits of having them properly fitted out by a company who’d be able to manage the variations in measurements. After much discussion we went for a full run of fitted wardrobes on one side and fitted drawers on the other, and haven’t looked back since. Not only do we get far better use out of our space than we would with stand alone (hello floor to ceiling storage!) but we worked out that trying to build them in ourselves would have been a costly nightmare for our builders and would have quickly added up to similar if not more – a definite false economy there! Although there was a substantial wait, the fitting took place in a day and a half and quickly transformed the space for us. Plus, because we went for a very streamlined look, it doesn’t feel like we’ve lost any of the room size at all. Pricey but utterly and entirely worth it.

And that’s it for some of our top expenses! I could go on for hours about why we chose to add a picture window or the thinking behind adding a balcony, or even what encouraged us to take the plunge in the first place but I’ll save those for another day. Let me know in the comments if you’re thinking of doing a similar project and extending over your garage, or if you’ve done one already and want to compare notes! What would your biggest investments be, do you think they’re worth it? Let me know!

1 Comment

  • Tina Bailey 2nd March 2022 at 8:08 pm

    Electric Velux windows sound like a complete game changer!

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