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Converting garage to living space

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  • 21-05-2019 5:58pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,005 ✭✭✭


    Hi,

    2 houses on my road have converted their garage into a habitable space. 1950s semi d. I've no issue with it, just wondering if this is exempt from planning as it is something I would look to do also in time. They didn't get planning permission as far as i am aware.


Comments

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 39,194 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo


    Yes exempted development subject to a few minor conditions.

    Strangely enough, if you had the space, you could build a garage to the side of your house today. Then tomorrow convert to habitable accommodation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,005 ✭✭✭downtheroad


    kceire wrote: »
    Yes exempted development subject to a few minor conditions.

    Strangely enough, if you had the space, you could build a garage to the side of your house today. Then tomorrow convert to habitable accommodation.

    Oh right, good to know. It seems strange to me as you're changing the front of the house. Somebody else was asking about permission to widen a driveway and that does need planning, so I assumed a garage definitely would.

    Any idea what the minor conditions might be?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 39,194 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo


    Oh right, good to know. It seems strange to me as you're changing the front of the house. Somebody else was asking about permission to widen a driveway and that does need planning, so I assumed a garage definitely would.

    Any idea what the minor conditions might be?

    Widening a driveway is an alteration to the front boundary and alteration to the vehicular entrance, so it requires planning always.

    The garage conversion is subject to the provisions of Part 1 of the 2nd Schedule to the Planning & Development Regulations 2001

    N.B. Garage must be attached to the dwelling.
    40 Sq. M rule applies
    Garden Space requirements apply


    http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2001/si/600/made/en/print#sched2


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,005 ✭✭✭downtheroad


    Last question kceire, what are the regulations about putting a separate access/front door onto a garage converted into living space. Essentially to make a granny flat.

    I can't see anything in the link you shared, but notice several other houses in my area that appear to have done this, however I think they did it years ago and have a feeling I heard this is no longer permitted?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,817 ✭✭✭podge018


    I'd have thought a garage would have to have it's own access door at the front. My question would be can this garage-come-habitable accommodation have a connecting door into the house?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 33,624 ✭✭✭✭Penn


    Last question kceire, what are the regulations about putting a separate access/front door onto a garage converted into living space. Essentially to make a granny flat.

    I can't see anything in the link you shared, but notice several other houses in my area that appear to have done this, however I think they did it years ago and have a feeling I heard this is no longer permitted?

    There's a difference between changing a garage to a habitable space, and changing it to a separate habitable space (such as a granny flat). The former is about changing the garage into extra rooms to be used by the occupants of the house, similar to an extension but using the existing structure. To convert it to a separate granny flat with its own individual front access requires planning.

    Under Exempted Development guidelines:
    6. Can I convert my garage to domestic use?
    The conversion for use as part of a dwelling house (e.g. as
    a living room or bedroom) of a garage, store, shed etc.
    attached to the rear or side of a house is normally
    exempted development, subject to the 40 square metre
    limit and conditions as set out in Question 5 above

    To make it an independent living space, even a granny flat, exempted development rules no longer apply and planning permission is required.
    podge018 wrote: »
    I'd have thought a garage would have to have it's own access door at the front. My question would be can this garage-come-habitable accommodation have a connecting door into the house?

    A garage would normally have a garage door at the front, so the majority of the time when people are converting it to a habitable living space as part of the house, the garage door would be converted into a window (so long as the finishes match the existing house), and wouldn't require planning permission. There would then be an internal door between the main house and former garage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,005 ✭✭✭downtheroad


    Penn wrote: »
    There's a difference between changing a garage to a habitable space, and changing it to a separate habitable space (such as a granny flat). The former is about changing the garage into extra rooms to be used by the occupants of the house, similar to an extension but using the existing structure. To convert it to a separate granny flat with its own individual front access requires planning.

    Under Exempted Development guidelines:


    To make it an independent living space, even a granny flat, exempted development rules no longer apply and planning permission is required.



    A garage would normally have a garage door at the front, so the majority of the time when people are converting it to a habitable living space as part of the house, the garage door would be converted into a window (so long as the finishes match the existing house), and wouldn't require planning permission. There would then be an internal door between the main house and former garage.

    I suppose under section 8 of those guidelines you could build a porch without planning permission and have 2 doors inside the porch, 1 for the existing house and 1 for the new granny flat in the garage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,067 ✭✭✭✭Lumen


    I suppose under section 8 of those guidelines you could build a porch without planning permission and have 2 doors inside the porch, 1 for the existing house and 1 for the new granny flat in the garage.
    Don't think so, because that would require a separate entrance door for the granny flat, and that requires planning permission as it's effectively a change of use.

    Or more simply: it doesn't matter which route you take to creating a granny flat, it still requires planning permission.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,624 ✭✭✭✭Penn


    I suppose under section 8 of those guidelines you could build a porch without planning permission and have 2 doors inside the porch, 1 for the existing house and 1 for the new granny flat in the garage.

    Once you're creating a granny flat, the rules of exempted development no longer apply even if you tick all the other boxes of exempted development rules. It's because you've now created a new habitable living space which can function independent of the existing house. Even if you build it all to the rear and it complies with all exempted development rules for an extension, if its purpose is to be used as a granny flat or separate living accommodation, it's not an exempted development.

    Exempted development deals with extensions or alterations to a house. A granny flat is a separate living space connected to a house. As such it requires planning permission.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,005 ✭✭✭downtheroad


    Penn wrote: »
    Once you're creating a granny flat, the rules of exempted development no longer apply even if you tick all the other boxes of exempted development rules. It's because you've now created a new habitable living space which can function independent of the existing house. Even if you build it all to the rear and it complies with all exempted development rules for an extension, if its purpose is to be used as a granny flat or separate living accommodation, it's not an exempted development.

    Exempted development deals with extensions or alterations to a house. A granny flat is a separate living space connected to a house. As such it requires planning permission.

    How about if there was a connecting door between the newly created living space in the existing garage and the original house? For example at the bottom of thr stairs of the house, a door offering access into the "granny flat" but the granny flat also having it's own exterior access?

    Apologies, getting technical and nitpicky here. Just considering the idea of an independent space possibly for an elderly relative or au pair, but also having direct access through the house if necessary.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 33,624 ✭✭✭✭Penn


    How about if there was a connecting door between the newly created living space in the existing garage and the original house? For example at the bottom of thr stairs of the house, a door offering access into the "granny flat" but the granny flat also having it's own exterior access?

    Apologies, getting technical and nitpicky here. Just considering the idea of an independent space possibly for an elderly relative or au pair, but also having direct access through the house if necessary.

    Granny flats connected to the house will usually require access between them anyway. It's because the Councils usually want to ensure people aren't just building or converting under the guise of a granny flat for an elderly relative, but then wish to rent the space out and keep them as separate accommodation. It's why the rules of exempted development don't apply to granny flats at all, even if it's constructed as per exempted development rules regarding area, heights etc.

    Granny flats will almost always have its own entrance, but also some physical connection with a door into the main house, and one of the planning conditions will be that the granny flat is to be converted back into part of the main house once it's no longer needed by the family member it's for.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,434 ✭✭✭wolfyboy555


    Penn wrote: »

    Granny flats will almost always have its own entrance, but also some physical connection with a door into the main house, and one of the planning conditions will be that the granny flat is to be converted back into part of the main house once it's no longer needed by the family member it's for.

    Looking at a house that has s granny flat at the moment and is as described above.....own entrance as well as a four connecting to main part. Will we be required to change it back if we buy it under the planning law you mention?


  • Registered Users Posts: 695 ✭✭✭JimmyMW


    Penn wrote: »
    Granny flats connected to the house will usually require access between them anyway. It's because the Councils usually want to ensure people aren't just building or converting under the guise of a granny flat for an elderly relative, but then wish to rent the space out and keep them as separate accommodation. It's why the rules of exempted development don't apply to granny flats at all, even if it's constructed as per exempted development rules regarding area, heights etc.

    Granny flats will almost always have its own entrance, but also some physical connection with a door into the main house, and one of the planning conditions will be that the granny flat is to be converted back into part of the main house once it's no longer needed by the family member it's for.

    What if you are converting part of the existing living space to accommodate same?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 39,194 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo


    Looking at a house that has s granny flat at the moment and is as described above.....own entrance as well as a four connecting to main part. Will we be required to change it back if we buy it under the planning law you mention?

    By the letter of the law yes.
    But it is not policed as such so as long as you are using it as part of the main dwelling.


  • Registered Users Posts: 162 ✭✭bleaks


    Resurrecting an old thread to ask this, but is anyone sure it is okay to replace a garage door (side of the house, facing out to the road, end of terrace) with brick and a window (provided it matches the the finish of the existing house) without planning permission? If someone could point me to the statute in planning law where it says this is exempt, that would be very much obliged.



  • Registered Users Posts: 46,063 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    Planning & Development Regulations 2001. See Schedule 2 Class 1.

    One of the many "clear as mud" parts. It states the conversion is exempt but you wont find any mention of replacing the garage door with a window. However most if not all planning authorities around the country accept that the conversion does include removing the door, adjusting the ope and providing a window.



  • Registered Users Posts: 39,303 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    As above it doesn't go into the detail of specific fixtures. But it does describe the spaces.

    The understanding is that A Garage has a vehicular entrance and a house does not. So in order to convert a garage to be part of the house (as permitted). Removing the garage doors and filling into to suit the appears of the rest of the elevation is required



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,786 ✭✭✭DownByTheGarden


    I think if you put a back door or side door in your (coverted to living space) garage and keep a door between that and the house you will be fine.

    We bought a house and put a door in the hall to block off the two rooms at one end of the house. Put a small kitchen in and already had an en suite.

    Then we knopcked a door in the side wall. For all intents and purposes now its a granny flat with kitchem, sitting room and bedroom and bathroom accessible from kitchen or bedroom side.

    It could even be 2 self contained rooms to rent either. No alterations to the outside of the house apart from a door in the side wall. You cant even see it until you walk down the side lane of the house.



  • Registered Users Posts: 39,303 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    What you did was not exempt and require planning. You may run into issues if you need to sell.



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