Converting your existing garage into a new living space is a cost-effective way to extend your home and provide extra space for you and your family. Given the fact that many people simply use a garage for storage, this is really dead space when you consider the cost of property. Moreover, a garage conversion is often cheaper than an orthodox house extension as it will not require additional outside building work, including digging up the foundations etc. In addition, it can often be completed more quickly than a normal extension because you are renovating existing space rather than creating additional structures.
Converting your garage to a living space can also add value to your house. Some experts suggest that a well-designed space could add as much as 10%. In addition, converting a garage does not usually require planning permission so this keeps costs down and makes it hassle-free.
What does a garage conversion cost?
Converting a garage is much less expensive than creating a new extension from scratch as there is no need for foundations, brickwork or a new roof. A simple garage conversion should cost around £5,000 to 7,000 whereas a brand new three-by-four metre extension could easily cost double that figure.
Of course, it goes without saying that the exact cost of your garage conversion will depend on the existing structure and what you want to achieve. Converting an integral garage is simple and easy to do as the existing structure will already be suitable as a living space. However, if your garage is external to the house, then a little more work may be required to bring it up to the standard required. For example, it may need new internal walls, insulation and a new floor.
If you are planning a simple new living room or playroom then costs will be quite low. A conversion to a kitchen or bathroom will involve more plumbing and wiring work and will cost more.
What could you use your new space for?
You can create whatever type of space you need including a playroom, office, kitchen or even more than one room such as a bedroom with an en-suite or a kitchen diner. Of course the type of room (s) you decide to create will impact upon the overall costs to do the work. For example, a kitchen may require new plumbing to be installed, something you would not require if you were just creating extra bedroom (s).
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What are the steps involved?
There are several stages of work that will need to be undertaken to create your new room. If your conversion is a simple one, some of these jobs may not be required.
(1) Building regulations
Whilst planning permission is not usually required for a garage conversion your new room will need to meet building regulations.The conversion will need to be inspected at intervals and, upon approval, a certificate of completion will be issued. This is a relatively simple process but there is a fee of around £300 – £600.
(2) Removal of garage door
You will, of course, need to remove the garage door and either block up the hole or install a window. To remove a garage door, block up part of the opening and install a window will cost around £1,300 to £1,500.
(3) Installing doors and windows
If you have blocked up the garage opening, you may need to install or replace a window elsewhere. You may also want to change the internal door or move it to a more convenient location. A new door or window will cost around £500 – £600 but you should allow more if a new opening is required.
(4) New flooring
Your existing garage floor is likely to be uneven and damaged, so you should factor in the cost a new one. Pouring a new concrete slab will cost around £1,000. In addition, depending on the age of the structure, a damp proof course may be required. You should also factor in the cost of the new floor finishes such as wood flooring, tiling or carpet.
(5) Walls and ceilings
If your garage is integral to your house, then the walls and ceiling may be suitable as they are. Plastering of existing walls may be required to provide a clean smooth finish for decorating and this would cost around £500. An external garage will need insulation to keep it cosy and warm and reduce heating bills. If you are dividing the room or converting an external garage, you may need internal stud walls. If you require stud walls you should allow around £750 per wall.
Your garage may well already have electricity, however, you will probably still need extra plug sockets and light fittings. Your new room will also need some form of heating installed. Installing an additional radiator connected to your existing system would cost around £200. If you are converting your garage into a kitchen or bathroom you will also need to factor in all the wiring and plumbing required.
The cost of utilities can vary depending on the final use of the room. Installing a new electric socket would cost around £100. However, wiring and plumbing for a kitchen could be closer to £1,000.
Whilst the above points include the basic requirements, there may be additional costs depending on the use of the room and the finishes required. For example, if you want hardwood windows and doors these will cost more than basic PVC ones. You might also like to include extras such as roof lights, underfloor heating or fitted furniture.
If you choose to use a designer or architect to help you make the best use of your space than you should also add their fees to your build budget.
A garage conversion is the simplest way to create a space that enhances your home and adds to its value quickly, easily and with less expense than a conventional extension. Costs can vary depending on the work you have done, but compared with a traditional extension, a garage conversion is nearly always guaranteed to cost you less.