Garage Rebuild Information

Please ignore this for now. Wanting to use it to give info to builders/architects.

Rob and Kate Lang are looking for an architect to design and project manage:

  1. Rebuild of the garage into a home office.
  2. Use the roof of home office as a roof garden.
  3. A lean-to or conservatory in the alleyway at the back of the house.
  4. Replace the fence adjoining us and #8 (our fence)
  5. .

Other considerations

  1. There must be a way into the new office from the house and Alpine street.
  2. The existing steps are much too steep to navigate safely.
  3. The new office requires power, heating and lighting but minimal interior design.


The Garage and Deck

The existing garage is accessed down some steps. Above the garage is a deck. The big bush is actually part of (on the left) and is difficult to cut back because of its location over the garage roof.

The steps looking up


I know you say ignore it, however I do have a question...

"There must be a way into the new office from the house"

What are your thoughts on how to accomplish that? The height difference is massive, and all I can think of is a spiral staircase, a slide (think Thunderbirds) or a fireman's pole!

babychaos's picture

The stairs down the side will be fine but just not as fucking steep as they are! Talked to architects based in our building today. The process has begun!

brainwipe's picture

Ahh, OK. I thought you meant some kind of internal connection.

Having a virtual look along Alpine Street in Google Maps, it's a bit surprising more hasn't been done with the garages in terms of conversion/renovation. Seems an obvious expansion choice for the houses. Maybe you'll start a trend?

babychaos's picture

There are a couple now and I think it's an excellent idea. Many of the properties are rented though and there isn't much need if you're not living in it.

brainwipe's picture

So we had the architects over and their professionalism and knowledge was staggering. Rarely drawing a tap measure (they will survey on their next visit after a quote) he estimated widths, gaps etc (I checked after they left). They asked pertinent questions and explained what the limitations would be. The next step is for them to come up with a quote for their work and to discuss the overall design idea.

We're not having anything too fancy, a box for a room with as much light as possible and a fake-grass garden on the roof. New steps, new fence and a utility room "lean-to" (or veranda as my mum would say). It's quite exciting because we've wanted to do this since we moved in but money and babies have put it off.

brainwipe's picture

Oh Pete, the architects also walked up and down the street and were amazed that this had only been done in a couple of places.

brainwipe's picture

Might be worth seeing if they offer a discount for advertising boards when they do the work, it does seem somewhat of a no-brainer to turn what are generally dilapidated garages into usable living space. With the house prices in Reading seemingly continuing to rise (Zoopla suggests an average of 33% increase in the last 5 years) it's way cheaper to extend and develop the existing plot, especially with the older houses where the plot is comparatively big (unlike the postage stamp land area we have as a new build, where the house covers ~60-70% of the total area).

Looking at how modern developments are laid out, if your house was built today I reckon you'd have 2 houses back-to-back in your facing Edgehill Street, one facing Alpine Street, and probably 3 floors to remove the kitchen extension out the back (most the houses they built on the old Bulmershe campus are 3 stories, with the master Bedroom as a loft room), to give you a humorously small garden.

babychaos's picture