Are you looking for a way to add more living space to your home without spending a fortune? A garage conversion may be the perfect solution! 

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to plan a garage conversion so you can make the most of your new space. Keep reading to learn more!

Are We Required To Get A Building Permit For Converting Our Garage?

In most circumstances, the work needed to convert a garage will be considered an approved development. If you are using these privileges, having a certificate of legitimate development is a smart idea to show your buyer when you come to sell.

Some new developments have severe limitations (some homes are built with a stipulation that the garage remains as parking, so you’d need to apply to change its use), so it’s important to find out what’s permitted if you live in a conservation area or a new estate.

Detached garages are significantly more likely to need planning approval for a change of use. Therefore you may have to get planning permission:

  • A garage conversion may not be allowed if you live in a historic district or if it would increase the size of your property above the limits set by permissible development rights.
  • You are adapting the space for business;
  • City ordinances constrain your ability to lessen parking requirements.

Even if these limits apply, you should be able to modify the garage inside as long as the exterior remains intact.

Find A Reliable Builder And Designer

Let’s start by interviewing architects and design-to-build professionals to learn about their backgrounds and see examples of their previous work. Find a professional adept at communicating with clients and has honest pricing policies. To ensure they have experience with garage conversions and that their work meets your standards, you should ask for examples of their previous work.

Your chosen architect and builder should enquire about your ultimate objectives, financial constraints, design preferences, and anticipated completion date. In addition, they need to ask about your expectations and voice any concerns regarding the project.

If the specialists you’re thinking of hiring act like they don’t care about your needs or aren’t invested in your project, you should go elsewhere.

What To Think About When Converting A Garage

Moving your household or business operations into your garage requires careful planning. The following are some factors to think about.


The building crew will have to connect to your existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to make your new garage living space habitable all year round. To do this, you should upgrade your current HVAC system or install a mini-split heat pump that can cool and heat the additional room independently.


Do you plan to build a garage, kitchen or bathroom? If that’s the case, your building crew will need to instal pipes. This can affect the time required to convert your garage into usable space.


Your builder will also need to finish the walls to make the room more liveable. Finally, insulation must be installed to maintain the space’s energy efficiency.


Depending on your plans for the room, you may choose to instal a new entry rather than keep the door leading into your home. An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is ideal for hosting large groups of people who wish to maintain their personal space.

Detached Garage Door Replacement

Since garage doors are typically less energy efficient than regular walls, their removal is a crucial step in the insulation process for your new space. First, you should consult a designer to discuss how to make your home’s new wall blend in with the rest of the landscape and be less like a garage. Alternatively, you might work the doors into the overall layout. Numerous options exist.


You will likely need a permit to convert your garage, and any contractor you choose to help you will inform you of the expenses and requirements associated with obtaining one. The investment value of your home might be safeguarded by obtaining a permit. On the other hand, your home’s resale value may decrease if you perform a conversion without the proper permits.

Converting A Garage: Structural Considerations

A few structural issues must be addressed early in the planning stages of a garage conversion.

Repairing The Garage Door

The old garage door opener must be sealed off by building walls and installing windows. Timber frames and masonry need to be structurally strong, joined to the existing walls, insulated, and watertight.

A masonry wall’s weight necessitates a new foundation dug to the same depth as the surrounding walls. In addition, putting in new bricks or blocks requires toothing properly and bonding them to the existing ones.

Your city council may insist that you keep your historic door if you live in a designated historic or conservation district. For example, a phoney interior wall with glazed panels can be constructed behind the doors. To put it another way, this is a good spot for a kitchen sink.

Improving The Garage’s Roof

You’ll have to upgrade the roof if you want a dry garage. Match the main roof’s tiles and materials while replacing them. Making the roof pitch higher will hide the conversion from the street and provide an opportunity to instal skylights. If you plan on doing more than simple roof repairs, you’ll need permission from the local building control office.

Walls, Both Inside And Out

Most garages’ exterior walls are made of single-course brickwork, which does not adhere to current insulation and moisture standards. However, an insulated stud wall built inward off a damp-proof course on a couple of layers of bricks will do the trick. Because it is positioned 75 mm from the existing wall, this stud wall has plenty of room for wiring, insulation, and drywall.

GarageSmart® products are designed to make your garage more functional and stylish. We have everything from garage shelving to flooring to GarageSmart® SmartWalls that can completely transform your space.

Garage Heating, Cooling, And Ventilation

Ventilation: Extractor fans are a need in bathrooms and kitchens according to building codes, and you may want to instal one in your home gym as well. Otherwise, you’ll need air bricks or trickling vents for background ventilation and an opening window.

Insulation: To meet the code, your home’s exterior walls, windows, ceiling, and floor must all be insulated. It’s crucial to perform this properly, as a poorly executed job may leave the room cold and damp.

How To Wire And Plumb A Garage

If you intend on putting in a toilet or shower, it could save you money on the overall cost of the garage conversion if you locate the fixtures close to the existing water and soil lines.

To avoid overloading your mains (fused at 100 amps), you should check with an electrician or builder before rewiring your garage to add lights and electric radiators. They may recommend costly additions like a second mains supply and a new consumer unit.

The garage could also be wired into the main electrical panel, possibly with its separate circuit breaker. In addition, you should think about installing at least one new 20-amp circuit.

Wiring for a detached garage conversion can use an existing underground conduit, but a new connection may be required if the garage is to be used as a secondary house (an annexe, for example). In every situation, a qualified electrician should be able to offer assistance.

Keeping Your Converted Garage Safe From Fires

Should I Do If My Detached Garage Door Is Stuck Closed 3

If your new room is indeed an interior room without the need for a door leading to the outside or if it does not open onto a corridor that gives direct, protected access to an exterior door, then you must take fire safety into account and provide a fire exit window and direct smoke detection.

Why are you converting only a portion of the garage? To turn part of your garage into a liveable space, you’ll need to build a fireproof wall that stands 30 minutes tall. Construction can be accomplished with either blockwork or wood stud work, with fire line plasterboard installed on the garage side.

What Kind Of Insurance Coverage Is Necessary For A Garage Conversion?

The builder’s insurance should cover the construction project if you’re going to hire one. Before hiring them, verify that they have professional indemnity insurance.

Notifying your homeowner’s insurance company of your planned garage conversion is also a good idea. It is important to verify whether or not any planned renovations may void your homeowner’s insurance. If your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover the repairs, you may need temporary coverage from a specialist.

Contact your home insurance provider once the conversion is complete. Depending on how much the renovations raised the value of your property, you may see an increase in your premiums.

The Downsides Of Converting A Garage

The benefits of transforming your garage are evident. You can increase the home’s worth, get more space to live in, and even extend your time there. You get all of this for a fraction of the price of an addition.

However, there are a few drawbacks to converting a garage:

  • Although a garage conversion is less disruptive than a loft conversion, the construction process will still cause noise, mess, and discomfort.
  • You may only be granted permission to convert your garage if doing so is legally required.
  • The homeowner is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the garage satisfies all applicable building codes. It could be costly to fix work that doesn’t meet standards.
  • This, like any construction endeavour, requires an investment of time, effort, and resources.

Ready to Renovate Your Garage?

We know that a well-functioning garage is crucial to a happy home. That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to creating the best possible garage renovation experience for our customers. We want you to be thrilled with your new garage space, from design consultation to installation.

Imagine turning that cluttered, dark space into a bright, elegant area of your home. With GarageSmart®, it’s easier than you think. Our team will help you create the perfect garage renovation for your needs and budget. You won’t regret choosing us as your partner in this project!

Request a quotation on our website today!


Do you want additional room in your house but don’t want to break the bank doing it? Converting a garage could be the best option. In this article, we’ll go over some garage conversion planning tips to help you make the most of your newfound living quarters. Plans must be submitted to the local municipality for approval before a detached garage can be converted to another use. To make the new garage liveable all year, the construction staff will have to hook up to your home’s existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.

There are a few structural considerations that must be made at the outset of a garage conversion project. Garage door opener must be enclosed by walls and windows to prevent access to the old opener. Strong timber frames and masonry must be linked to the existing walls, and insulation must be installed. What you need is an insulated stud wall that is constructed inward off a damp-proof course on top of two layers of bricks. In addition to being required by code in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens, extractor fans can be useful in other spaces like a home gym.

It can be more cost-effective to instal a bathroom if it is situated near preexisting water and soil lines. However, if the detached garage is going to be used as a supplementary dwelling, a new connection may need to be made. In order to convert your garage into a usable room, you will need to erect a fire barrier 30 minutes in height. Garage code compliance is ultimately the responsibility of the homeowner.

Content Summary

  • Converting a garage could be the best option.
  • The renovations required to transform a garage into habitable space are usually deemed a permitted change.
  • With these rights comes the need to produce proof of legal construction to a potential buyer.
  • Finding out what is permissible is especially crucial if you reside in a conservation area or a new estate, as some have strict constraints (some homes are designed with a provision that the garage remains as parking, so you’d need to apply to change its use).
  • Plans must be submitted to the local municipality for approval before a detached garage can be converted to another use.
  • If you live in a historic district or if the conversion would increase the size of your property above the limits specified by permissible development rights, you may not be able to convert your garage.
  • Find a dependable architect and builder.
  • Let’s get started by gathering some information on and looking at some instances of the work of architects and design-to-build professionals through interviews.
  • Find a specialist who is good at talking to customers and who has transparent pricing.
  • Make sure they have done garage conversions before, and that their quality of work is up to par by inspecting some of their previous projects.
  • In addition, they should express any worries or questions they have about the project and ask about your expectations.
  • Consider looking elsewhere if the experts you’ve been talking to give off the impression that they don’t want your business or aren’t committed to the success of your project.
  • There should be a lot of forethought put into relocating household or company activities to the garage.
  • Your new year-round garage apartment will require the construction crew to hook up to your home’s existing HVAC system.
  • Pipe installation will be required if this is the case.
  • The amount of time needed to transform your garage into a liveable area can be impacted by this.
  • For the walls to be habitable, your builder would need to instal insulation.
  • After all other work is done, insulation must be put in place to ensure the building continues to function efficiently.
  • Whether you preserve the door leading into your home or replace it with a new entry depends on your goals for the space.
  • Removing the garage door is an important part of the insulation procedure because garage doors are often less energy efficient than conventional walls.
  • You should first talk to a designer about options for making the new wall on your property look less like a garage and more like it belongs there.
  • Or you might incorporate the doorways into the design itself.
  • Your chosen contractor will be able to advise you of the costs and requirements related with acquiring the necessary permits for your garage conversion.
  • Obtaining a licence could protect the resale value of your house.
  • However, if you execute a conversion without the necessary permissions, it could lower your home’s market value.
  • There are a few structural considerations that must be made at the outset of a garage conversion project.
  • Garage door opener must be enclosed by walls and windows to prevent access to the old opener.
  • If you live in a preservation or historic district, your city council may require you to maintain your original door.
  • To provide the illusion of more space behind closed doors, a false dividing wall with glass panels could be built.
  • It’s safe to say that a kitchen sink would fit nicely here.
  • If you want to keep rain out of the garage, you’ll need to fix the roof.
  • Replace missing tiles or materials with new ones that are a close match to those used on the main roof.
  • Raising the roof’s pitch will conceal the transformation from the street and allow for the addition of skylights.
  • The local building control office’s approval is required for any roofing work beyond minor maintenance.
  • However, a wall made of insulated studs and constructed inward from a damp-proof course on top of two courses of bricks will do the work.
  • There is sufficient space for wiring, insulation, and drywall on this stud wall because it is set back 75 mm from the existing wall.
  • Garage HVAC System: Heating, Air Conditioning, and Ventilation Ventilation: Extractor fans are required by building rules in bathrooms and kitchens and you may wish to instal one in your home gym as well.
  • If you don’t have a window that opens, you’ll need air bricks or trickling vents for ambient air flow.
  • Insulation: All of your home’s exterior surfaces (including walls, windows, ceiling, and floor) must be insulated for it to pass building code.
  • Garage conversion costs may be reduced if plumbing amenities like toilets and showers are installed in close proximity to preexisting water and soil lines.
  • Before rewiring your garage to instal lights and electric radiators, you should consult a professional electrician or builder to ensure that you won’t overload your mains (fused at 100 amps).
  • In some cases, they may advise replacing the consumer unit and/or installing an additional mains supply, both of which would be pricey improvements.
  • The garage could have its own circuit breaker or be hooked into the main panel.
  • A new connection may be needed if the detached garage is to be used as a supplementary dwelling, however wiring can use the existing subterranean conduit (an annexe, for example).
  • There must be a fire exit window and direct smoke detection installed in your new room if it is an inner room and does not have a door going to the exterior or opens into a corridor that provides direct, protected access to an exterior door.
  • In order to convert your garage into a usable room, you will need to erect a fire barrier 30 minutes in height.
  • If you’re going to hire a builder, make sure their insurance policy includes coverage for your building project.
  • Check their professional insurance coverage before you hire them.
  • It is also recommended that you inform your home insurance provider of the upcoming garage conversion.
  • Before beginning any major improvements, you should check with your insurance company to see if you will be covered.
  • Temporary coverage from a specialist may be necessary if the repairs are beyond the scope of your homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • Once the transformation is over, you should get in touch with your home insurance company.
  • There’s little doubt that upgrading your garage will improve your life.
  • The value of the house rises, you gain living space, and your stay in the house is prolonged.
  • All of this, and it costs far less than building an addition.
  • Converting a garage does have certain drawbacks, however:
  • Even though noise, dust, and discomfort are reduced during a garage conversion compared to a loft conversion, they still exist.
  • Converting your garage is only likely to be approved if doing so is mandated by law.
  • Garage code compliance is ultimately the responsibility of the homeowner.

FAQs About Garage

Does Converting A Garage Devalue House?

In most cases, converting your garage can drop your home’s value by as much as 25%.” A full conversion isn’t the only thing a homeowner could do to the garage that affects the value of their home.

How Long Does A Garage Conversion Take?

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.

Can I Brick Up My Garage Door Without Planning Permission?

Planning permission is not necessarily required for bricking up a garage door if the work is internal and doesn’t involve enlarging the house. However, planning permission is required if you’re converting the garage into a separate house, if your house is listed or if you live in a conservation area.

Can I Put A Toilet In My Garage?

If your garage is adjacent to your soil stack, you may be able to plumb a toilet and waste pipes from your basin, shower and bath directly into it with minimal disruption. The same goes for your water supplies.

Can I Put A Door From House To Garage?

Yes that will be fine, you will need to install a lintel above the doorway to support the opening. You may be best to seek out advice to find out if the wall is load bearing. You will most likely be best to use props that will need to be used to support the wall above whilst making the opening.


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