Outgrowing your property can pose difficulties for many homeowners. The cost of moving to a new house makes choosing to pack up and relocate out of the question for many but there are other options available for those looking for more space.
If your home features an existing garage, converting it could be the solution to your problem.
Of course, there are other ways to extend your home, such as building an extension, converting your loft, or even adding a conservatory. Garage conversion costs, though, are typically more affordable by comparison.
If you don’t use your garage for much more than storing junk, or you find that you tend to park your car on the drive, having a garage conversion installed could be the best way to extend the liveable space within your property.
To get quotes for three or four reliable local garage conversion companies free of charge and with no obligation, please fill in the form just below.
Because a garage conversion may involve structural changes, it’s wise to breakdown the cost of the entire project.
Some estimated costs are as follows:
Garage Doors – £1,300
You’ll need to have the existing garage doors removed so you can install a weather-tight replacement. The space will need blocking up, and you may want to add in a small window.
Doors and Windows £500-600
These are essential to making the garage feel like part of the house, and not just a box.
Flooring £1,000 (concrete slab professionally laid)
If the garage is old, you may need to pour a new concrete floor before you install linoleum or carpet.
Walls £750 (stud wall average)
Installing stud walls and cavity wall insulation will increase energy efficiency.
Utilities (new electrical socket £100, moving gas/water pipes £1,000 – £3,000)
Running new utilities into your garage will likely be at an unprecedented cost. Many garages have electricity but lack a water and gas supply. Depending on the extent of your project, the cost of this will vary. A bedroom conversion may only merit a few extra sockets, whereas a bathroom or kitchen will involve more work.
The cost of a garage conversion will also depend on the finish you want. A new living room may set you back around £6,000 but the price of a bathroom or kitchen will cost you much more.
Administrative costs – for example, those attributed to architects and project managers – will increase the overall cost of your garage conversion.
Why would someone want to convert their garage? What are the main benefits?
Choosing to convert your garage brings with it a whole host of benefits. If you have a double garage, you may even be able to only convert half the space, giving you a brand-new room, and leaving a space for parking your car.
Since a garage conversion uses an existing structure, you don’t need to lay new foundations or build walls from scratch. If your garage already has electricity, you won’t need to pay for rewiring.
A 3m by 4m extension may cost you upwards of £15,000, whereas a standard garage conversion should cost in the range of £5,000 and £10,000. Of course, this will depend on your desired use of the room, and the finish, but the point stands – converting an existing garage could potentially save you thousands, with the same effect of a single storey extension.
What are the disadvantages of a garage conversion?
Though a garage conversion can be a cost-effective way to extend your home, it may not be the best choice for you.
Converting your garage means you could lose out on parking space, forcing you to leave your car on the drive or in the street. For some homeowners, this may not be possible as the garage is their only viable parking option.
Garage conversions may add value to your home but it may also put some buyers off. If on-street parking is at a premium around where you live and you think you’d struggle to find a parking space after picking the kids up from school without your existing garage space, you may fetch a better price when you come to sell your home by leaving the garage alone.
Are there alternatives to garage conversions?
As long as you have the budget for it, an extension may be a better choice, especially if your existing garage is structurally unsound. They can cost upwards of £30,000, however, and will require planning permission if it’s going to be two storeys high, or extend in front of the facing wall of your property.
Another popular space-making option is having your loft converted. Again, this will cost significantly more than a garage conversion would and it can only be completed in properties with roof space 2.4m+ high. However, a loft conversion is a great choice for those who want a spare bedroom, or an additional bathroom.
Although garages can also be converted into those types of rooms, many homeowners prefer to keep their living and sleeping areas separated by floor and converting your loft will be in line with this way of thinking.
Will I need planning permission for a garage conversion?
Unless you’re planning to alter the structure of your garage, you won’t need planning permission to convert it.
However, you may need planning permission if:
- You live in a listed building or a Conservation Area (this applies even to minor changes)
- Your home was built with a condition requiring the garage to remain as parking space
You may need to apply for ‘change of use’ planning permission when converting a standalone or detached garage into a habitable living space.
Who can I buy a garage conversion from?
The cost of a garage conversion in the UK will vary depending on who you hire to complete the work. Some firms may specialise in garage conversion, and other contractors will be willing to work together as individually hired workers.
Depending on how you want to convert your garage, you may need any number of the following types of contractor:
- Builder – walls, cavity wall insulation, laying concrete slab floor
- Plasterer – plastering the walls
- Electrician – rewiring/installing new wiring and sockets
- Plumber – rerouting pipes/installing new pipework
- Heating/gas engineer – rerouting gas pipes/installing or modifying existing central heating pipework, installing kitchen appliances such as cookers
- Glazier – installing windows/doors
- Carpet fitter – laying carpet/flooring of your choice
Using the Tradesmen Prices form at the top of this page, you can access 3-4 quotes from local tradespeople for the cost of converting your garage. Big companies have to pay large overheads and running costs, so we find you reputable local tradespeople
Should my garage conversion installer be a member of anything (trade body, government scheme, etc?)
Accreditations for building companies may be found on their website. Look out for the marks of:
- The Federation of Master Builders (FMB)
- The Chartered Association of Building Engineers (ABE)
- The Association of Specialist Underpinning Contractors (ASUC)
- The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
- The Guild of Builders and Contractors
- The National Federation of Builders
In addition, you may wish to ask individual specialist contractors for relevant documentation regarding qualifications or accreditation.
- Glazier – Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF).
- Electrician – Registered Competent Person Scheme, NICEIC
- Heating Engineer – APHC
- Plumber – CIPHE
- Plasterer – British Gypsum
Before I get my garage converted, what should I ask a potential installer?
Because garage conversions vary, it’s worth asking your contractors a few questions regarding the project. You could ask them:
- How long will the conversion take?
- Do you have public liability insurance?
- Can I see your supply and price lists?
Finding out if your contractors have a plan in place that covers complications occurring can give you peace of mind, as well as confirming their experience.
How long does it take to convert a garage?
The length of time it takes to convert a garage will depend on the extent of the project, who is doing the work, and your desired result.
You can expect work to take anything between 2 and 4 weeks. Again, it’s wise to ask your contractors how long each individual stage of the work will take and try to schedule it so any independent workers come in one after the other to do their part of the job.
Because the garage conversion industry is so varied in terms of required skills, there will be many companies and independent tradespeople vying for your custom.
Use the Tradesmen Prices form below to receive 3-4 quotes from local contractors who will be able to offer you a competitive price to complete your garage conversion.
We pre-validate their credibility, and check their history too, so you can be reassured that whoever we put you in touch with is a genuine, trustworthy local tradesperson.