Garage conversions are a great way to make efficient use of the space you have. An existing garage can be transformed to create a beautiful large living space or even a bathroom or kitchen to suit your family’s needs.
In your noble quest to increase the amount of living space in your home, you might be considering an attic conversion or a conservatory. But in our experience, the best type of conversion is actually a garage conversion.
Here’s why: garages are already built. The structure is already there to transform. The bricks, the mortar, and the foundations exist. It’s a blank canvas that only needs someone who knows what they are doing to transform it!
Garages are under-utilised and under-appreciated. Converting yours will add significant usable square footage to your home – and most estate agents agree it could add 10% to the value of your house too. If that sounds like something you’d be up for, this helpful guide to garage conversions will explain everything you need to know.
How Much Does a Garage Conversion Cost?
Garage conversions cost £400 to £650 per m2. A garage conversion with a contractor specialising in this type of work will start from £8,000. This is for a basic conversion which would involve the following work:
- Raising the floor level to that of the house
- Insulating the walls and roof
- Plastering the walls and roof
- The installation of electrics and outlets
- The integration of central heating and appliances
- Reconfiguring the external wall. This will replace the garage door with a solid wall and window matching the exterior of the house.
More specific garage conversions, such as converting a garage into a bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom with an en-suite, can cost up to £30,000.
Find out more by reading our guide to garage conversion costs.
How Long Does a Garage Conversion Take?
Garage conversions typically take two to three weeks to complete. The length of time depends on the size of the garage and the work involved. A standard conversion for an 18 feet wide by 20 feet deep garage will take around three weeks. Some conversions can take up to a month if special work is involved.
The biggest factor that can affect project duration is a contractor underestimating the time for completion. This often arises because of problems that were missed during the first survey. However, this issue can be eliminated by choosing a contractor who knows what they are doing. Ideally, you want to use a specialist and not a general builder or building firm.
What Types of Garage Can Be Converted?
Any type of garage can be converted.
Triple garages, double garages, single garages, outdoor garages, in-built garages. New build, old build. So long as the structure is sound, a reputable contractor will take on the work following a successful survey.
A survey will consider a garage’s:
- Wall thickness
- Weather resistance
- Fire risk
Find out more by reading our guide to converting a garage into a room.
Is Planning Permission Required for a Garage Conversion?
In 99% of cases, the answer is no. Planning permission is not required for garage conversions, because the building work is classed as permitted development under planning rules. This is the case because we are not building a new structure.
If you plan on extending (enlarging) your garage (in the case of it being external) or extending your home from your garage (in the case of it being built-in) you will need planning permission for the extra structure, because you are building in addition to the existing structure. This work is classed as external, not internal, so planning permission is needed.
Find out more by reading our guide to planning permission and garage conversions.
Does a Garage Conversion Require Building Regulations Approval?
Yes – but your builder will take care of this for you.
Building Regulations are rules that must be followed for some types of building work. They exist to ensure building work is safe and fit for use. With a garage conversion, the following aspects of the build will fall into building regs:
- Damp proofing
- Structural soundness
As part of the garage conversion process, your contractor will apply to the local council for you with a building notice application. Work can commence once this has been submitted to the council. After the garage conversion is complete, a building inspector will inspect the work. The homeowner (you) will then receive a certificate stating the conversion as sound.
Does a Garage Conversion Add Value?
Estate agencies we talk to tell us they typically add 5 to 10% to the value of a property if a garage conversion has been carried out. Some garage conversions add up to 15% to the value of a house if they are done particularly well.
This means a £200,000 house could legitimately become a £230,000 house following a garage conversion that cost just £8,000. A £500,000 house could become a £550,000 house. That’s a big jump in asking price!
Higher returns are attained with conversions that extend the rooms in a home (for example, those that enlarge a kitchen area or create a kitchen-diner) and conversions that create separate living space to the main living room.
Prospective buyers (and especially families) like to have space they can grow into and these types of conversion really appeal to them. Professionals and business owners will also pay a healthy premium for integrated office space.
Find out more by reading our guide to how a garage conversion can increase the value of your home.
Where Can I Get More Advice About a Garage Conversion?
Speak with a local contractor who specialises in garage conversions.
You are also welcome to email us any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call us on 0800 009 6065 / 07984 293894 for a friendly chat. Advice is free.
Further informational sources can be found below:
*Planning Permission [https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/25/garage_conversion]
*Building Regulations [https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/25/garage_conversion/2]
Raven Improvements Ltd.