Garage Conversion

How to get bright daylight in to your garage conversion

Increasingly we are seeing more and more people converting garages, sheds and outbuildings in to new work spaces, as the ‘work from home ethic’ continues to build momentum as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. However, frequently what these buildings lack is good daylight; and what makes a good work space a successful workspace is plenty of daylight to keep you bright and alert.

With space at a premium in many homes, a garage conversion can be a great way to gain that much-needed workspace. If your garage is more of a storage space (or dumping ground) than a safe place to park the car, it could be the ideal location for a home office and a tubular daylighting system such as a Solatube sun pipe, is an ideal way of ensuring its light enough.

It’s worth bearing in mind that a garage conversion could add up to 20% to the value of your home, while you’ll gain valuable extra living space that’s less prone to planning complications. So if the cost of the project is less than the extra value added to your property, this works out as a cost-effective way to add more space.

Pipe daylight in to your garage with a Solatube

Most garages don’t have windows or only small openings, so the interior is often dark and dingy. Take the time to think about lighting and how it will feel to work in the space. If your budget can stretch, it’s a great idea to have a bigger window installed. Submitting a planning application will be necessary if you want to fill in the garage door space with bricks and possibly add a window or door.   If you are replacing your garage door with a window, but all other walls to the garage remain as is, planning permission is not usually required. However, if your garage conversion involves adding windows to the side or back of your garage, then permitted development may not apply. Ultimately, you’ll probably need to consult a structural engineer or architect before knocking a hole in the wall.

So, whilst putting in a window is the ideal option, sometimes this is just not practical, in which case a Solatube sun pipe is often the next best alternative and usually far cheaper, quicker and easier to install. Fortunately, a Solatube sun pipe does not need planning permission, architects or structural engineers.

A Solatube can pipe bright daylight down a highly reflective tube, from a dome on the roof right down to the ceiling above where you want to work. It gives you masses of daylight and almost certainly far more than you might expect (the reaction from most of my customers is ‘Wow! That’s really bright!’). They are quick and simple to install with little mess and no ‘make-good’ or redecorating required afterwards, providing a totally leak proof and weatherproof solution.

A Solar tube sun pipe is often the cheapest option

A Velux style window with a light well beneath is another option, although they require far more work to install, often needing structural cutting of timber and almost certainly needing plaster boarding, plastering and decorating in order to finish them off. You would also need a far larger Velux style roof window to deliver the same amount of light as a much smaller Solatube sun pipe. A smaller Solatube therefore also gives you additional thermal insulation properties, keeping you warmer in the winter and preventing heat build-up in the summer.

A Solatube sun pipe tube can be as long or as short as you need. We often install them in shed roofs and the short tube run simply means you actually benefit from more light for less money – a short tube costing less than a longer one. A win-win situation!

A Solatube is easy to install and totally waterproof

The intelligent design behind the Solatube sun tunnel system means that the single, one piece roof flashing ensures your roof remains completely weathertight and waterproof. With a properly installed Solatube we just don’t get leaks, thanks to the quality of the design and also the use of high grade materials throughout.

Light up your garage conversion with a Solatube

So, if you are interested in bringing natural light into your garage, shed, outbuilding or home, why not contact us at Solatube Southwest (; 07989 976 010) to find out whether a Solatube sun pipe can help you. Typically, a fully installed system might cost anywhere between £900 – £1,200; that’s supplied, professionally installed and includes the VAT.

Call 07989 976 010