Costs Involved to Complete a Garage Conversion
If you have a garage attached to the side of your property and have been thinking of ways to utilise the space instead of parking your car inside or using it for storage, then a garage conversion is a perfect way to do this. It increases your living or storage space with easy access from inside your home.
Garage conversions can be used to create an additional annexe to your home. They are the ideal way to create a space where a relative can live independently – usually referred to as a ‘granny flat.’ Building a home space like this is the ideal solution to increasing the living needs within your home without having to move house.
Another positive of the garage conversion is that it will add value to your property if you’re thinking of selling it in the future. It will also open your potential buyer’s profile – people requiring the extra space or personal living space will want to purchase your property. Plus, it saves them from having to do it themselves.
If you’ve been considering extending your property with an extension, converting a garage instead is a much cheaper option as the outer walls are already in place. Also, you usually won’t need planning permission, although some garage conversions do require planning permission if they fall outside of the permitted rules.
The cost of a garage conversion varies. It’s dependant on many features and factors, ranging between £7,000 and £21,000. Depending on how much work needs to be carried out, it could potentially be lower or higher.
Factors That Alter the Cost of a Garage Conversion
The cost of converting your garage into a new usable space within your home varies. As mentioned above, it’s dependant on many factors that will either increase the price or keep it towards the lower end of the scale.
1. Size of the Conversion
Firstly, the highest difference in cost depends on whether you’re completing a single garage conversion or a double garage conversion. This will set your minimum costs due to the size of each space.
2. Existing Garage Type
The next factor is the actual type of garage you currently have and where it is in comparison to your home. The three types of existing garage styles include: integral, attached, and detached.
If you have an integral garage in your home, your garage conversion costs will be lower. The good news about having an existing integration between your home and the garage is that it takes away the need to have to build something entirely new.
An attached garage will either be at the side of the property or the back. It’s classed as attached if at least one wall is, well, attached to your home. This type of conversion will cost more than an integral due to the additional work that would need to be completed.
As you can imagine, a detached garage carries the highest cost to convert it into a new living space. A contributing factor to this would be because you may need to carry out work to install a connecting electrical system. Also, new plumbing will need to be added, although this depends on what type of conversion you want to complete, as plumbing won’t be necessary if there’s no need for a new kitchen or bathroom.
3. The Type of Conversion You Require
Another important factor to consider that will alter the cost of your garage conversion is the type of room or space you would like it to be. You can convert a garage into any type of space that you prefer. Popular ideas include making it an office space, gym, extra living room, kitchen, bathroom, or an entertaining room. The options are endless. You can turn it into a full living space with all the home comforts.
In order to convert garage space into an area that requires a kitchen or bathroom, the cost will increase as new plumbing and electrics will be needed to ensure it’s a fully functioning area. This could also include costs to fit a heating system. This will ensure the conversion is warm, and there will be a need to insulate the walls fully.
4. The Condition of the Existing Structure
Garage conversions are easier and less costly if there is an excellent existing structure. This includes the condition of the floor and the brickwork walls.
If the condition of the floor needs to be changed or added to, this will increase the cost. If the floor isn’t level, it may need a new concrete floor – this increases costs. To keep costs lower, you could opt for a floating floor, instead. This type can be installed quicker than a concrete floor, as once constructed, you don’t need to wait for the new floor to dry.
To ensure you meet building regulations, you will need to make sure the floor includes a damp course, even if the floor is of suitable condition.
Consider garage doors within the structure of the existing garage. You’ll need to consider the costs of removing the door and creating a window instead. Costs will increase with the addition of brickwork and a glazed window. If you’re creating an entry door for an individual living area, this will add to the overall cost.
5. Additional Design Features
Features, such as the type of flooring you want, the lighting, the bathroom suite, and a new fitted kitchen, will affect the cost of your project.
As with your home, these features are important to plan when creating a new usable area that will become part of your existing home.
Flooring is essential within the conversion, and choosing the right type is key to making it usable. If you know the area will receive a lot of footfall, then a durable floor is necessary. You won’t want to replace it after a few years, so it’s best to pay out now for something that will last. Consider who the area is for.
If an elderly relative plans to live there, then choose the flooring that would best suit their needs. Think non-slip vinyl in the bathroom and kitchen and carpet in the living room area and bedroom. The carpet will also help keep those areas warmer in the winter.
The flooring options you can choose from include lower-end options of vinyl or laminated flooring. For a mid-range cost, go for carpet and real wood flooring (although this can also be classed as a higher-cost option.)
If you prefer to have a fully tiled floor, then you may want to think about new underfloor heating to ensure the area is efficiently heated. This is also a higher cost option, but it’s very durable.
There are many different lighting options that you can choose from, and a good lighting system is needed if the area lacks natural light. Include spotlights or downlights if you want to brighten kitchen and bathroom areas. If you prefer something less bright, then a wall light might be a good choice to provide a lower lit room.
If you’re building a kitchen or bathroom in your conversion, you’ll have to factor in the cost of the items needed to ensure both of these areas are fully functioning. Due to the size of the converted area, when it comes to the bathroom suite, it’s advisable to install a shower instead of a bath. This is along with a sink and toilet.
The cost of the suite can vary depending on the style you choose – you can go from basic to a more elaborately styled. This also applies to the kitchen. There, you can go for low-end products or pay more for a bespoke design.
Another thing to think about is the cost of adding tiles to a bathroom or a kitchen. If you plan to tile the walls of the bathroom, this will be more expensive than painting the walls. Paint is another consideration, although some paints can be more costly than others.
The Stages of Converting Your Garage
As with any home improvement or build within your home, you will need to plan and prepare the area before the building work can take place. There’s always a need to plan to ensure you’re not spending money on a project that won’t work or will be faulty once completed.
1. Prepare and Plan
This stage is vital. You need to take time to carefully consider what you want to achieve with your garage conversion. Are you only converting the room into a single-use space like a living room? Or will it be a multi-use space like an independent living space with a bathroom and kitchen? Even the fine details need to be planned to ensure you achieve a great build.
If you want to complete the garage conversion yourself, make sure your plans are drawn up using the right measurements. Take into consideration any plumbing or electrics that will need to be installed. The best way to ensure you have the correct plans drawn up is by consulting an architect.
This will increase costs, but in the long run, you will be thankful you did. The architect will ensure the design is feasible. Plus, they’ll offer additional ideas on how best to use the area and will make sure it’s compliable with regulations.
If you’re confident that you don’t need an architect, then you should get a professional structural engineer to inspect the condition of the current garage walls. The structural engineer will make sure they are right for the build and advise you of any structural issues that need to be dealt with.
Once the inspection is complete, finalise your design plans and check if you need planning permission. If so, submit your intended plans and acquire the permission – you can expect to pay for the permission.
Another pre-build requirement is the Party Wall Agreements, but this is only if you share the wall with a neighbour.
Once you’ve drawn all the plans, and signed all legal documents, you’ll have to begin removing items from the garage. Ensure the garage is empty and ready for the conversion to take place.
2. The Construction of Your Conversion
Firstly, your builder (if you’re using one) will make sure any wall coverings or anything from the floor area is removed, exposing the existing structure.
From here, the critical features of structure and flooring should be inspected to complete a final check of the level of the floor, and if it’s above the damp course. If, not this will be the first area to be worked on. If the structural engineer advises on any structural changes, these should also be made.
The final structure change will need to take place – the removal of the garage door. This will be replaced with either a window and new brickwork, or a door and a window with brickwork. While this is taking place, insulation and other building requirements are also completed.
The shell of your conversion is now finished.
If you’re converting your garage into a new living space, the stud walls will now be added. There will be an additional cost if stud walls are used in your garage conversion. The wiring and plumbing will also be added at this point if the build requires these functioning utilities.
Now, the building work should be completed, and you’re one step closer to fully converting a garage into a new living space!
3. The Flooring and Internal Walls
The conversion is nearly complete. First, the flooring needs to be laid, and, from here, the walls will be plastered.
If you’re converting it into a living area with a kitchen or bathroom, units, kitchen appliances, and bathroom suites are added at this stage.
It’s now time to add the finishing touches to your new area by applying paint to the walls or adding wallpaper or tiling. Complete any final decorations to ensure it’s up to your planned standards.
DIY Conversion Compared to Hiring a Professional
If you’re knowledgeable or have a bit of experience of completing a conversion project previously, then you may want to do the garage conversion yourself. By doing it yourself, you will reduce costs – although you’ll need the time and effort to complete the work. It will always take longer to complete if you choose to do it yourself instead of hiring a professional.
You would also have to consider if you can confidently complete such a large task. If it’s a single garage conversion, this is more achievable as a solo project. But if it’s a double garage conversion, then you should hire a professional. However, the garage conversion cost will be more.
If the garage is attached to your home and will only be a single-use room, this is much easier than converting a detached garage. That would require a lot more work and more skilled workmanship for utilities such as the electrics and plumbing. Plus, you’ll need a lot of tools to do these jobs.
Garage conversions completed by a professional are guaranteed to be compliant with regulations. They’ll also be finished to a high standard. It’s worth using a professional, especially if the space will be an independent living area. You’ll want to ensure everything is in working order.
Completing the work yourself may still cost you a considerable amount, and you may go over your planned budget. Whereas, with a professional, costs will all be worked out before the conversion even takes place. You should expect to pay more than a professional would for items such as a bathroom suite or kitchen appliances and storage spaces.
Are There Any Legal Requirements to Consider?
Most garage conversions won’t require planning permission, but you should always check first to ensure you’re permitted to carry out your planned conversion.
If your garage is attached to your property, this permits the development of this area. You’ll probably have to apply for planning permission if you live in a particular area, but it’s always best to check before completing a new conversion.
The Party Wall Act is another consideration, depending on if you share a wall. This could create more costs if an agreement is needed.
If you intend to create a living space, then you will need to check building regulations with the appropriate authorities and ensure this is permitted. If not, you may have to seek approval.