Garage to Office conversion

9 Feb 2010
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United Kingdom
A neighbour of mine wants to convert their attached garage to an office but at the same time leave it so it could go back to a garage some time.

Would I be right in thinking no building control will be required or planning ?

There is no connecting doorway between the garage and the house and none will be formed in using the garage as an office. What they hope to do is simply add additional sockets, dryline and insulate the external walls and just dry line the internal (to house) wall. Ceiling is already a concrete beam arrangement and the floor has already been tiled. Garage doors replaced with glazed doors.

It is so unusual I wonder if I have missed something!

Edit: Its been a long day and I did not think enough before posting!
I figure the bottom line is if it is used as an office then it requires planning permission as a change of use. However as the owner clearly wants to be able to revert to garage use and has doors that could make that work, it is the temporary office use that threw me.

Essentially the owner would have an "office" that can be used as a "garage" and visa versa!
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If the office is ancillary to the house it wouldn't be a change of use. That would be if it's a separate office.
He would need building regs as it's changing from a garage to a habitable room hence damp proofing and insulation would have to be up to standard.
Or do what thousands of homeowners do, just do it.

Maybe fit new glazed garage doors with a double glazed screen behind, so it looks like a garage.

Im not suggesting thats my advise, just saying its possible.
Since the project put to me is so that the change can be undone I am thinking what would the authorities demand. Building control would hardly be bothered if it was not a habitable room and used as a garage again. Planning would no doubt insist the change be removed as it did not get permission (if any was required). So long as the owner is aware some pressure to revert may happen sooner than they planned it, I can't see it would present any significant risk. I have no idea if insurance of the building is something that would be affected.
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I'd have a chat with Building control, and ask what they'd want, as they don't always talk to the planning guys. But I suspect it'll just be a case of adequate insulation and ventilation, as the garage should already have a DPC. The only changes to undo it, would be to remove the new wall and door, and to reinstate the garage doors. You'd only neeed to remover the insulation etc if the garage was no longer wide enough for a car. If you ever need to keep it as a permanent office at a later date, then I'd suggest applying to planning to legitamise it at that point.

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