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How to convert a garage into a room

Increase you living space and add value to your home with our handy guide on how to convert a garage into a room or living space.

How to convert a garage

Painting garage floorGarages are often one of the biggest missed opportunities in a home. Far too often these large spaces become relegated to storage dumps, when they could be converted into fantastic rooms. If you’re wondering how to convert a garage into a room yourself, we’ve got all the steps you need to follow.

What’s more, a garage conversion can increase the value of your home, brilliant if you are looking to sell in the near future.

For this project, there are a ton of great options. You can learn how to convert a garage into a living room, dining room, home gym, extra bathroom, office and so much more. And, whether you have an integral, detached or double garage, you can create a liveable space.

Factors affecting a garage conversion

Of course, not every garage conversion will be the same. There are a number of factors that will affect the cost, timescale and scope of your garage conversion. Before we move on to our garage conversion guide, let’s quickly cover the key areas:

  • Current garage condition: The better the condition of your garage, the simpler the conversion will be. Garages in poor condition will need extra work to be made habitable and therefore be more expensive and time-consuming.
  • Type of garage conversion: The new purpose of your garage conversion will affect the level of finish required. For example, bathrooms will need to be watertight and living rooms will need proper insulation to keep you warm. Depending on the level of work to be done, your conversion cost and timescale will change.
  • Added extras: Again, the way you use your conversion will impact the price and duration of the process. Adding extras like underfloor heating, plumbing, gas, or air conditioning will all increase the scope of the project.

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Garage conversion underway

Types of garage conversion

If you’re wondering how to convert an integral, detached or double garage into a room, the good news is that all of these garages can be converted. If you’re unclear what type of garage you have, here’s a quick rundown:

  • Attached: Connected to your home.
  • Detached: A separate building.
  • Integral: Similar to an attached garage but built into the house’s walls.
  • Double: Wide enough to hold two cars.
  • Partial: Only converting a specific section of your garage.

Legalities

No matter how experienced you are or how small the job is, it’s essential you ensure you are following the law. Usually, a garage conversion will fall under permitted development, but it’s always worth checking if planning permission is needed.

You must also comply with any building regulations that are relevant. For more information about building regulations, please click here.

Important considerations for converting a garage into a room

Once you have ensured you have the correct legal permissions you are ready to begin your garage conversion. However, you may be unsure how to convert a garage. Try not to worry as we are here to guide you through this exciting process.

Begin by reading the following important considerations:

  • Always start with proper planning and preparation (more on this next).
  • Consider hiring an architect to ensure you make the most of the space (see our guide to architect fees for more information).
  • Choose what the purpose of your new room will be. E.g., bathroom, office or living room.
  • Decide what different tradespeople you will need to hire and start getting quotes for your conversion. Please note there are companies who will be happy to project manage your job for a fee.
  • Get a garage survey or inspection to check it is up to scratch. Please be aware that you may need extensive foundations put in plus a damp proof membrane.
  • Work out your budget and inform any professionals you are working with.

Building a garage for conversion

Garage conversion guide

Ok, you are ready to dive into this project. The following garage conversion guide should help you to know the different stages of the job. Each step is essential to ensure the process goes smoothly with incredible results.

  1. Planning: This stage happens before your garage conversion begins. You will need to have plans drawn up, decide the layout and intended purpose of the space, hire any necessary professionals, check the legalities involved and decide on your budget.
  2. Preparation: Now it’s time to prepare your garage for conversion into a room. Foundations will need to be excavated along with groundworks, drainage will need to be addressed, you may need to have floor slabs fitted for stability and any necessary scaffolding will need to be erected.
  3. Construction: Your conversion begins. The walls and roof will have extra insulation fitted, plastering will be done, doors and windows will be added, plus ventilation will need to be considered.
  4. Fitting and fixtures: Once construction has finished, utilities like electrics, plumbing and heating will need to be installed. You can even consider underfloor heating at this stage.
  5. Decoration: Now the main work has been done, it’s time to transform the space into a beautiful, habitable room. This can be done by painting, wallpapering, and adding flooring.
  6. Door: Considering converting the garage door into a normal door for easier access.
  7. Finishing touches: Here you get to add personal touches to your new room. These could include lighting, furniture, art, mirrors, shelves etc.

Specific room requirements

Now we’ve learnt how to convert a garage into a room, let’s consider some additional extras you may need:

  • Gym: Add ventilation (e.g., air conditioning or windows), use padded flooring, cover a wall in mirrors and install wall storage.
  • Bathroom: Add plumbing, make the space watertight, consider underfloor heating and add ventilation to prevent mould.
  • Office: Add extra insulation and heating for winter months, add windows for natural light, install electrics to power laptops and add storage for files.

Convert a garage in to a gym

FAQs

How long does converting a garage take?

The time needed for your conversion will of course vary from job to job, but a garage conversion is not a quick job. Partial conversions will be a lot quicker than full conversions and in general, the larger your garage is the longer the project will be. On average this job will take 25 – 40 weeks.

How much to convert a garage?

As we have learnt, the actual amount you will pay for your garage conversion is dependent on a range of factors. Still wondering how much to convert your garage professionally? You can expect to pay anything from £5,500-£25,000 for a standard garage conversion.

If you’re wondering “how much to convert a double garage into a room” then the costs will be more expensive, typically from £17,500-£45,000.

Planning to do the conversion yourself? The price you end up paying could range from £2,500 – £6,000, but this could climb exponentially depending on issues down the line. For more information on how much to convert a garage, please see our garage conversion cost guide.

Useful garage conversion checklist

  • With a garage conversion, you could choose to add a new room to your home like an office, a new bathroom, or a dining room.
  • The steps for how to convert an integral, detached or double garage into a room are all very similar. Whatever your garage type, it can be converted.
  • Planning is an extremely important step in how to convert a garage and will prevent issues down the line.
  • Using our garage conversion guide should help to ensure your project runs smoothly.
  • Learning how to convert a garage into a living space involves making the room fit for purpose and habitable.

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