Having been married for just over 20 years and with three children, thankfully, we have not hoarded everything from our lives together … but we still have lots of stuff. Most of said stuff and lots of work/building paraphernalia was stored in the garage that we wanted to convert into a tiny house. We sorted and boxed up, passed on or threw out some of our belongings. We transferred most of it to the new garage mentioned in part 1 of the tiny house blog.  So now we had a empty brick garage.

The existing garage ... ripe for converting
The existing garage … ripe for converting
Existing plan
Existing plan of the garage – approximately 3m x 7m

 

The brick garage is only 3 metres wide and a little under 7 metres long … but we had big plans for it as it appeared to be a good size for conversion with few tweaks here and there. Being detached from the house would create a few issues regarding services but would also be an added bonus for anyone who could use it as a tiny house. Who wouldn’t want a detached property?  As it stood it had a broken and rotten wooden garage door, a sticky side entrance with two small side windows (one of which was broken) and a further window which looked over the back garden. The roof leaked a little and was made of asbestos. Whatever we did to it would improve it … surely!

Below are the basic elevations that were passed by the council. The main difference to the structure and the reason why we needed planning, was because we were adding the pitched roof and the garage was close to the property boundary line. Alterations needed to be made so that the edge of the pitch and the guttering did not encroach on the neighbour’s property.

Basic elevations of existing garage and proposed tiny house
Basic elevations of existing garage and proposed tiny house

The first thing we needed to do was knock this 1950’s garage into shape. The roof was removed and disposed of safely as it contained asbestos. This is something that you should not attempt to do by yourself due to the health risks – get some quotes, budget and get a company to sort it out. It is so much better to be safe than to save a little bit of cash.

There were some internal walls, a coal bunker and redundant roof trusses These were not part of the design so had to go.

These internal brick structures had to go
Not needed internal brick structures

A little bit of muscle and enthusiasm go a long way to shifting bricks. Normally, in a structure like a garage, the bricks will be tied into the exterior wall so take care when knocking them out. The exterior wall was strong enough to cope with the removal of the internal walls as there is no existing damage to it. We started from the top of the wall and worked our way down removing a few bricks and not a few rows at a time. Slow and steady rather than demolishing what we already have in place! If you are trying this you could consider recycling the bricks. They can be used for hardcore for a concrete base, used by local builders or even advertised as free to collect for someone else’s building project.

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The coal bunker had to go.
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And so did the internal wall.

Next, the slightly sloped side walls would need to be addressed since we were going to lay a couple of extra courses of bricks to raise the height of the walls. The height would match the soldier course at the front of the garage. The incomplete and cut bricks were removed from the top edge of the walls. At this point, if there were any loose bricks they were also removed.

We were left with a roofless brick shell, that quite frankly, looked like it would be too small to do anything with. But with plans in hand, I was confident that there would be enough space when we had finished with it …  it was early days.

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Don’t forget to check out other posts about the tiny house. There are also some samples of my fiction writing on this blog too.

Tiny House Building has now been put into book form with more detail than this blog. It is available here.

 

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