In the back garden of my property there is a workshop/garage type outbuilding (20ft x 10ft) that the previous owner used as a carpentry workshop. When I moved it in was used as a sort of dumping ground, glorified shed if you will.
I entered a relationship where my partner had a 5 bedroom house, about a year after being together I (stupidly?) quit my job to retrain as a teacher, so it made sense for me to move in. I didn't like the idea of letting my house out to strangers, so as my sister & her boyfriend lived in a flat I decided to offer it to them for the price of the mortgage (about £200 lower than local rates for this size). They snapped it up. The plan was that was the way it would be for a very, very long time. Really, until my sister decided to buy her own house which seemed decades away.
18 months into the story me & my partner split up - hated living together & realised he was a violent idiot. I was left in a pickle at short notice (violence/police/the works), I had racked up debt in my training year for day to day living costs (but I was playing the long game), so couldn't afford to live on my own in a private rented place, nor could I kick my sister out of mine & live there (she doesn't have a great job). So I moved into a tiny room with my 'rents (which is conveniently next door to my house), where I am now (& hating every day).
At the time all of my worldly belongings needed a place to be stored. The workshop/garage seemed ideal but it was a bit damp & cold. So I renovated it to house my stuff & also my cats to live in during the night. It's been insulated, boarded, plastered etc. Changed the doors so it's weathertight etc. It's actually quite nice in there.
It was agreed I'd stay with my Mum until around March '15 (which gave me a year) & I've paid off half of my debt but it's still not affordable for me to rent. I need to move because I'm depressed & my relationship with my mother is strained. My sister is saving for a wedding & also isn't in a position to be comfortable and rent, so I was thinking about living in the 'garage'. I've been through a lot in the last 5 years and the thought of downsizing, living a 'simple life' actually excites me. I often retreat to the 'garage' for 'time out' from 'rents.
The main issue is that I could do with a teeny bit more space, I'm talking 10ft x 10ft and it also needs a water connection, including a loo and shower. For the last 2 months I've been going over lots of different options, asked on different forums, not to find any concrete answers. People just seem to talk about planning, not DOING. So these are the ideas that I've gone over:
NB. I understand these will ALL require planning. What I want to know is, which is the most sensible, viable for cost (I don't want to spend more than £2-3k, and which would be most likely to be granted planning. I'm quite hands on & can do a lot of things myself (albeit a little slow - took me 2 days to render a wall), my sister's partner is good too and he has a lot of 'trade' friends, including an engineer (a busy one) who are lovely & will do things where they are paid in beer & BBQs. :) So the cost will be where things need specialised equipment or knowledge.
I do have plans from the water board from when my 'rents renovated an upstairs bedroom, which has been useful. I'm number 41.
Idea 1: was to extend the 'back' of the garage by about 10ft, there is a 120cm window in the back wall, which I wanted to turn into a doorway which would lead to a 'bathroom'. However I didn't know if this was viable for cost or for the linking up to waste & water based on the distance.
There is a waste drain a few metres from the FRONT of the garage but not the rear. The kitchen in the main house has the main water flow point.
Idea 2: was to get a small caravan & place it in front of the garage for toilet/shower use. However I didn't like the idea of going outside all of the time to use the toilet, even if it was under cover, in the middle of the night. Then I realised it would have to be craned over the house because there isn't a large amount of access at the side. Probably only 6-7ft.
Idea 3: I thought, well if I would need to hire a crane, then I could crane over a static (you can buy them for £1000) & crane hire is around £500, then put it at the back of the garden. However I don't know at this stage how you would attach them to the waster & water. Is it the same as a house would?! Static would be good because all of my things & amenities would be under one roof per say. I would need to insulate & clad it for winter use but that could be my summer project. Cladding to make it look like a a garden building & not an eyesore.
Idea 4: Accept the 'garage's as it. Get a tiny toilet and shower installed in the space as is. Deal with the fact I won't have space to move around in there once a bed is added & probably a wood burner. Then find additional storage for my 'things' instead.
Any other suggestions welcome. Obviously I've only got one shot at planning so I want to make sure I make the right choice and I also give a good plan so they say yes! They're notorious for being ogres in my LA.
We would get a static with its own water tank which you can fill by hose and its own water heater. Electricity (via an armoured cable) can be run out there easily and a cartridge toilet will allow you to easily empty the waste into a toilet every couple of days.
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