What you need to know about garages and the building regulations

When garage-related work takes place at your home, whether that’s the construction of a new garage or converting an existing garage into something else, there are instances where the building regulations will apply and you will need to appoint a building control inspector for your project to ensure it is built to regulations.

Constructing a new garage

Building a new garage that attaches to an existing home would usually require building regulations approval.

If you are building a detached garage, the building regulations generally do not apply, so long as all the following conditions are met:

  • Have a surface area of less than 30m2
  • Be erected at least one metre away from the main property
  • Be sited at ground level
  • Be primarily constructed on non-combustible materials

In the case of other small detached outbuildings, such as garden sheds or summerhouses, the building regulations generally do not apply so long as the floor area of the building is less than 15 square metres and there is no sleeping accommodation.

When floor area is between 15 and 30 square metres you are not normally required to get building regulations approval providing that the building contains no sleeping accommodation and is at least one metre away from any boundaries or is constructed substantially of non-combustible materials.

Converting an existing garage

If you are converting an existing garage, or part of a garage, into a liveable space, you will generally require building regulations approval.

Areas which the regulations are likely to apply to when converting a garage include doors, windows, drainage, electrics, external walls, internal walls, and roofs.

As always, you should check with your local authority whether planning permission is required for your project and consult with a qualified professional to ensure that construction work takes place in line with the law. This article is intended as an introductory guide and does not constitute legal advice.