Does our detached garage conversion need building regulations?

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Hi all,

As the title suggests, we're looking to have some work done on our 17m2 garage. It's detached, at the end of our garden, and currently just stone inside with three windows, a side door, a garage door, and an asbestos roof.

We've got someone lined up to safely remove and replace the roof, and then plasterboard and insulate the interior of the garage. They'll also brick over the main garage door, and replace the side door and three windows with a PVC door and windows. We're also going to have electrics run down to the house for a socket and lights, and the floor will be levelled (and timber put down) too.

Will this require building regulations? We've been quoted £8,000, but supposedly this will be much higher if building regulations are required. Is the builder having us on, or is this genuine? Ideally, if we can avoid higher costs, we would rather not go down the building regulations route - but we don't want the room to be unsafe or illegal.

We plan to use the room for storage, perhaps as a gym for some yoga, and occasionally as a temporary office/hobbies room.

I also contacted our local council about this, and they seemed to suggest it wouldn't need building regulations if the change of use was something like a home gym. But I'm worried it might, and it could affect the sale of our property in the future, which we might do in a few years.

What do people think? Any advice appreciated! Alternatively, can we do the work now and retroactively get building regulations in future if required?
 
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From your description it sounds like it is presently a B reg exempt building, ie substantially non combustible, under 30 sq m, no sleeping accommodation. As the alterations you are proposing will not change its use, the work will be exempt from B regs with the exception of (if applicable) G1 and G3(2) and (3) and Part P.
 
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Thanks. But if we wanted to use it as a home gym/office, would that require building regulations? I wasn't clear on that - it seemed to be only if someone was sleeping in it...

Also, regarding Part P and electrcity, if we run any wire down there it needs building regulations?
 
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(and just to add, if we don't get building regulations, when we come to sell the house can we list it as a usable room?)
 
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But if we wanted to use it as a home gym/office, would that require building regulations?
No as there has not been a change of use from an exempt building unless as you say there is sleeping accomodation.
Also, regarding Part P and electrcity, if we run any wire down there it needs building regulations?
Yes, but in most cases this is carried out and self certified by the electrician.
(and just to add, if we don't get building regulations, when we come to sell the house can we list it as a usable room?)
As long as it still falls in the exemption of schedule 2 describe it however you like.

Small detached buildings
1. A detached single storey building, having a floor area which does not exceed 30m2, which contains no sleeping accommodation and is a building—

(a)no point of which is less than one metre from the boundary of its curtilage; or

(b)which is constructed substantially of non-combustible material.

2. A detached building designed and intended to shelter people from the effects of nuclear, chemical or conventional weapons, and not used for any other purpose, if—

(a)its floor area does not exceed 30m2; and

(b)the excavation for the building is no closer to any exposed part of another building or structure than a distance equal to the depth of the excavation plus one metre.

3. A detached building, having a floor area which does not exceed 15m2, which contains no sleeping accommodation.
 
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It depends what you mean by "useable". It is currently "useable" as a garage. If you mean habitable I would say that is a material change of use and would require building regulations approval. Whether a home gym or garden room/office is "habitable" is open to interpretation, I would say probably not but Frutbunn is the expert on that.

Edit, he beat me to it, typing too slow.
 
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Ha yeah thank you, that's also what we were struggling with. Sounds like it's probably okay.
 
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