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How long does a garage conversion take?
by
Checkatrade

One of the most popular questions we get asked when talking about converting a garage is: “How long does a garage conversion take?” We’ve got your answer in this guide.

Garage conversions are all the rage with British homeowners, and that’s no surprise. Converting your garage can make valuable use of space that is often unused or filled with junk – according to Admiral Insurance, 45% of British homeowners rarely or never park their car in their garage.

With that in mind, it makes perfect sense to convert a garage to become a part of your home you actually use and enjoy – like an office, home gym or additional bedroom(s).

How long does it take to convert a garage?

Double garage ready for conversion In general, garage conversions are seen as a pretty quick job to do – as long as the existing garage building is in good structural condition. You can expect a standard, single garage conversion to take roughly 3 – 6 weeks. That’s the time it will take to turn it from a garage into a livable space.

That said, the length of time it takes to convert a garage depends on a number of factors that could increase or decrease how long it takes to complete the conversion work.

Some of the most important factors to consider are:

  • Size of the garage
  • The complexity of the conversion design
  • Types of materials, fixtures and fittings used (some can have much longer lead times to source than others)
  • Any prep work or structural fixes needed
  • Additional pipework, electrics and other services needed
  • Planning permission applications (if needed)

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How long does it take to convert a garage into a bedroom?

Based on a space with an area of 15m2, it would take somewhere in the region of 2 – 4 weeks to convert a garage into a bedroom. That would include insulation, plastering, bricking up the front of the garage, installing a window and sorting the electrics and plumbing.

If you just want to create the space as a single room bedroom it will be quicker. To split the space into two rooms to create a bathroom, the conversion will take longer.

How to convert a garage

When dealing with a garage conversion and speaking with tradespeople, it’s useful to understand the process of converting a garage. Below is a very basic overview of the typical steps to a garage conversion:

Garage in the middle of conversion work

  • Step 1: Prepare the building – Make sure walls and roof are in good condition and watertight, and fix any damage or structural issues.
  • Step 2: The floor – Create the floor slab, which may involve levelling, damp-proofing and insulating the floor.
  • Step 3: Fill in the garage door – The simplest and most common way to fill in the main garage door is by bricking it up, ideally matching the style of the rest of the building.
  • Step 4: Insulation – Any additional insulating of the walls and roof should be done using the appropriate insulation materials to ensure your new living space is energy efficient.
  • Step 5: Doors & windows – Install doors and windows to suit your home’s style, ideally matching the windows and doors of your main building.
  • Step 6: Heating and electrics – Make sure you hire a qualified electrician to install the heating and electrics so that they adhere to current building regulations.
  • Step 7: Decoration – The final stage of a garage conversion is putting your stamp on it and making it a real livable space with decoration and furniture.

Should I convert my garage?

Garage conversions can be a real bonus for homeowners, but you need to consider whether it’s the right decision for you. If parking is a pain where you live and you use your garage to park your car, then it could be more valuable to leave it as a garage.

However, on the other hand, if parking isn’t an issue and you have your garage empty or storing junk then converting your garage could be a great move to give you a wonderful new living space – and boost the value of your home at the same time.

Benefits of a garage conversion

Converting a garage comes with a number of benefits that might help you make the decision to convert (or not):

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Do I need planning permission for a garage conversion?

Garage conversion for a home gymAs most garage conversions involve internal works only, you don’t usually need to apply for planning permission as they count as permitted developments. However, if you’re making any changes to the size, structure or height of the building you’ll probably need planning permission

Also, if you’re planning for your garage conversion to create a separate home you may need planning permission. We always recommend speaking with your local planning office to double-check if you need permission if you have any doubts.

Building regulations for a garage conversion

Converting a garage into a livable space counts as a “change of use”, which means you’ll need all the work to be approved as being in line with current building regulations. As such, you’ll need to advise your local authority before starting any work.

Building regulations dictate that your garage conversions needs to:

  • Be structurally sound
  • Have sufficient insulation to be energy efficient (walls, floor and roof/loft)
  • Have electrics that have all been safety tested by a qualified electrician / engineer
  • Be fully water- and fire-proofed
  • Have adequate ventilation throughout

Upon completion of the conversion, a building inspector will need to visit and conduct a full check of the finished building to issue a certificate of completion.

Is my garage suitable for a conversion?

Most garages are suitable for a conversion, though you may be limited to certain specifications based on the size and structure of your existing garage building. The most important factor is that the garage is structurally sound and fit for a conversion.

Speak to your local garage conversion specialists to ask for their professional advice and to get an idea of the options that you have available.

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How much space will I create with a garage conversion?

A standard single garage will generally add around 150 square feet of livable floor space to your home. A double garage conversion will typically add around 300 square feet to your property, and is often ideal for splitting the space into multiple rooms or areas.

Standalone garage conversions will usually create an additional 150 square feet of space, however you may need planning permission to change its use.

How much does a garage conversion cost?

The average cost of a garage conversion is somewhere in the region of £9,500 – £20,000 – depending on the size and complexity of the conversion.

To find out more about prices, check out our guide to garage conversion costs.

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