A garage conversion is a great way to expand your home without the inconvenience of an extension, building up or needing party wall agreements. If your lifestyle has changed, you need more accommodation, or you’re simply not using the garage much, converting it is straightforwards thanks to Permitted Development Rights

Combine your garage conversion with a remodel of your existing ground floor and you can maximise the feeling of space and light throughout the whole floorplan, and transform how you live in (and interact with) your home.

In addition to giving you more room, a quality garage conversion can add up to 20% to the value of your home, according to a report by Nationwide – so as long as what you spend on the conversion is less than the value you’ll add, it’s a no-brainer.

Do I need planning permission for a garage conversion?

Most garage conversions fall under Permitted Development, but there’s a few conditions:

  • Detached garages generally require planning permission as there is more work required in terms ofto turn it into living accommodation;
  • Similarly, if you live in a conservation area, you’ll need planning permission and listed building consent to make sure the design fits in with the surroundings
  • PDR might have been removed in your area if the council have places restrictions on removing parking. This is common on new-build estates, land close to city centres or if your house is relatively new. 

Of course, if your garage falls into these categories, this doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to convert it, but there’s the extra considerations needed to get planning permission for your design. 

Fortunately, the vast majority of garage conversion projects don’t require planning permission, but there is other paperwork that you’ll need

You’ll likely be turning the space into living accommodation, which involves a Change of Use. As such, you’ll need a Building Regulations Certificate to make sure the build is of a high quality and meets fire safety regulations and energy efficiency guidelines, the drainage is correct, and so on.

In addition to your Building Regulations Certificate, it’s wise to invest in a Lawful Development Certificate (as with any development done under PDR) as proof of the build quality and the legal status of the conversion if you want to sell or re-mortgage further down the line.

How much does converting a garage cost?

As with any conversion project, there are plenty of factors involved when costing, so here are some very ballpark figures for garage conversions in the Birmingham/West Midlands area:

Single garage (15 sqm)

Low spec: £6,000
High spec: £15,000

Double garage (30 sqm)

Low spec: £12,000
High spec: £30,000

Most of the cost of converting a garage comes from bringing it up to the same standard of comfort (heating, electrics, plumbing) as the rest of your house, but is still great value for money compared to a new-build extension.

Remember that you’ll have to pay VAT on top of these figures, and that the fit out and spec – where you can really go mad – are not included. Do your homework and make sure that you’re going to get a a good return on your investment, whether that’s in terms of quality of accommodation – such as a family room, larger kitchen-diner or extra en-suite bedroom – or financial gain – think of the increased value of your home, or rental potential. 

Ideas for your garage conversion

garage conversion

Given that the conversion will be on the ground floor, it’s worth considering the long-term use of the new space, and incorporating a certain amount of flexibility will help you meet your needs now and in the future.

Kitchen-diner extensions are very popular for garage conversions, as they often make for often-used open-plan spaces with plenty of storage.

Similarly second living rooms are another popular option, and can be a real godsend for families craving space, privacy and somewhere to keep the toys and games. 

Perhaps the most timely option might be converting an underused garage into an office – working from home is here to stay, and investing in somewhere Zoom-friendly you can leave your laptop is definitely a good idea.

With family structures changing, we’re also seeing more garages being turned into granny annexes and en-suite bedrooms as a practical solution to providing ground floor accommodation. It’s worth remembering that ground-floor bedrooms don’t tend to add as much value (unless you’ve got a bungalow, of course), so having a bedroom that can convert into a family room, for example, is a good idea. 

Whichever option you choose for your garage conversion, remember that it has to have the same building standards as the rest of the house, requiring insulation, electrical connections and plumbing to meet building control regulations. 

Ready to start? Come and talk to us

Whatever you decide to turn your garage into, make sure you’ve got design experts on side – spending money at the right stage of a build can really save money in the long term. 

At Lapworth Architects, we can offer what you might call a garage package – we can survey the relevant areas, draw up some designs and also complete your building regulations drawings for around £1,000, and can help you find the contracts and experts you may need (party wall surveyor, structural engineer if required) throughout your project. 

If you’ve got any questions or have some ideas about how you’d like to transform your garage and get more living space, drop us a line on our live chat, or call us on the number at the top of the page! We’d love to hear from you. 

Call us on 0121 455 0032 today to book your
FREE consultation

We are award-winning architects working across the entire West Midlands to help you at every step of the process, whether you’re needing an extension, developing land or designing a new build house.

– Birmingham
– Bromsgrove
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abid shah
abid shah
13:03 17 Sep 20
Lapworth Architects provided me with a excellent service, which was responsive, high quality, professional and dealt... with the council on my behalf. I would strongly recommend them.read more
10:56 23 May 20
I contacted lapworth to carry out a site survey for a self build. I got great advice and a very fast turn around of my... report. We will definitely be using lapworth again for our designs.read more
nibha hegde
nibha hegde
19:51 20 Apr 20
I am extremely pleased with Lapworth architects. I just told them in my amateur way what I imagined or wanted in my... bungalow and they drew lovely accurate plans. Michael patiently took on board my multiple requests to make changes as new ideas came to me and he always incorporated them with even further development which shows his expertise. Michael provided monthly supervision service which I think is priceless and is the best part of hiring him!. He visited the site regularly, liaised with various other professionals involved like building control people, engineers, etc, did trouble shooting promptly, ensured costing is kept to minimum, and made sure the work is being carried out to the highest standards in a timely manner. The contractors and builders have also found this service very useful because of helpful professional advise and on-site discussions. I have noted from his late night/weekend emails/calls that Michael has worked very hard on my project- which was a total makeover of a rather dilapidated-closed- space building with poor lighting and access- and made it into a well lit, open spaced bright modern bungalow. He has always kept me well informed. Lastly, I have to say, because of his dedication, the project has carried on with practically no stress or worries imparted to me! He is well connected and tendered my project to a very good builder- for which `I am grateful. I sometimes hear other friends' stories of 'nightmare building projects' and I secretly thank my stars that I gave this project to Lapworth. I wish Michael and his team well. If I were lucky enough to acquire another property, I will promptly give the project to Lapworth again! :)read more
Hugh Humphreys
Hugh Humphreys
23:23 19 Feb 20
Did a very competent job with good value for money, understood my needs and produced the drawings for a complex... extension quickly. Made the small changes requested and continued to provide support on detail on request. I would use them again on further projectsread more
Kay Bedi
Kay Bedi
16:54 01 Feb 20
I used Lapworth after using two different architects who were unable to secure planning permission due to lack of... knowledge in relation to green belt policy and lack of expertise in relation to producing reports alongside planning applications. Ultimately these were the two things that were required to get out planning application approved and we were impressed with the knowledge, expertise and professionalism of everyone we had interactions with at the firm. The firm is better value for money than others we have used as they provide better quality of service at the same price. I would definitely use them again and would recommend them. The staff have a great attitude and work hard to get you the outcome you want. We finally got our application approved and if we had come to Lapworth to start with we would not have wasted two years and a considerable amount of money trying to get planning approved. Thanks to all at Lapworth, particularly Tristan and Tumi for working so hard and providing a great customer service and quality work also thank you to Mike for the great service he has provided. Kayread more
Colin Andrews
Colin Andrews
16:25 15 Jan 20
I can honestly say I don't give reviews, but on this occasion I felt I must. Michael Singh of Lapworth Architects spoke... on behalf of my Company's planning application at Walsall Planning committee for an Adventure Golf Course situated in the Green Belt. The application was submitted in February 2018 and at last came before committee with over 40 objections from residents. Michael Singh spoke on my behalf and obviously new his stuff. He showed he cared about this application. His passion caused others to be convinced not just because of his force of reasoning, but also because he was visibly enjoying the beliefs he wanted the committee to accept. Michael Singh won over the committee members through his professional manner. Accurate, competent, credible, intelligent, knowledgeable, likeable, and believable. The committee voted in favour and gave planning approval. I highly recommend Lapworth Architect's. I definitely will use them again. Thank you so much Michael you were just BRILLIANT Regards Colin Andrews Directorread more
Rajashankar rao
Rajashankar rao
09:53 18 Feb 19
We ( me and my wife) would definitely recommend Lapworth architects without any hesitation.They have been professional... and very prompt in answering our issues. They have been efficient in getting the plans we desired and did the whole application from scratch without any delays. We personally had Manraj to look into our case and absolutely none issues. He has been very efficient in chasing the application process along with updates and infact, got the application approved without any changes.read more
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