Garage Conversion Guide

By Josh
Last updated 22nd September 2021 - Reading time: 14 mins

Would you like to convert your garage?

Check out this complete guide full of everything you need to know about converting a garage, including garage conversion ideas, timeframes and costs!

Garage conversion

What is a Garage Conversion?

Garages are typically separate from the home, in the sense that there isn't usually a door from the home into the garage while still being physically attached to the property by sharing a wall. Garage conversions will bridge this separation by knocking the adjoining wall down or adding a door between the home and the garage.

Additionally, depending on what you plan to use the space for, more work will be done on it. Insulation is the main addition to garage conversion, along with the plastering and decoration of the room to ensure that it is keeping with the home's aesthetic and no needless energy is lost through uninsulated walls.

Modern garage conversion

A garage conversion is a pretty common project, and when looking for big home improvements and changes, the garage is usually the first port of call for increasing the amount of floor space in your home.

Additionally, once the garage has been converted to become a part of your home, you can build on top of it to add more rooms to your home and ultimately more surface area on the first floor and the ground floor.

In the next section, we're going to explore the different types of garage conversion, the pros and cons of each, and some more key information that will help you decide whether this is the best option for you.

Types of Garage Conversions

Here is a list of different types of garage conversions:

Single Garage Conversion

A single garage conversion is the most common type of conversion. They are fairly cheap to complete when compared with other types of conversion, they impact the homeowners very minimally, and there's no need for planning permission.

It takes around ten working days to complete this job, and while this is the shortest time possible for a project like this, it's still a substantial amount of time, so bear this in mind when planning a time to pencil the work in.

Double Garage Conversion

If you're lucky enough to have a double garage attached to your home, you'll be able to convert it into a much larger space to do pretty much anything you'd like with it! Naturally, the cost and timeframe for a double garage conversion are much more than a single garage, but it's well worth the added time and expense.

Double garage conversion

Converting a garage of this size can transform your ground floor into something completely different, whether that's an enormous island kitchen or something more creative!

Detached Garage Conversion

A detached garage conversion is very different to the others, mainly due to the fact that it doesn't share a wall with the home. To convert a structure like this, you will need to check with your local authority about planning permission, particularly if you plan on building a throughway from your home to the garage.

There may also be added expense for the addition of plumbing or an electrical source, along with the addition of a lot of insulation.

Garage Conversion Ideas

Struggling for ideas on what your garage can be used for? Check out these garage conversion ideas below:

Kitchens & Dining Rooms

Almost everyone has a room in the home that they would love to change. Whether it's an oddly shaped living room, an awkwardly placed bathroom or any number of rooms and issues, however, a very common complaint is a small kitchen.

With a garage conversion, you could extend or move your kitchen to give you the massive kitchen you've always dreamed of. Whether you'd like to add an island cooking station, a large capacity oven or maybe even a wine fridge, a garage extension could the answer to your prayers. If you're planning on moving your kitchen, you'll get the old space back to extend another room.

Living Rooms

Living rooms, much like kitchens, are some of the most popular rooms for utilising a garage extension. Some people just want a little more room, especially if they have a big family, while others want to split up the living room into cosy reading corners and quiet spots.

A very popular option in modern homes has been to have two living rooms, with one for watching TV and socialising and another away from technology and the noise of a busy household.

People are finding themselves much more relaxed in a comfortable space away from mobile phones and screens. This will have a positive impact on your mental health, making it an incredibly popular home improvement.


Large kitchens and grand living rooms are nice, but are they as exciting as your very own public house, with no closing times, no inflated prices or watered-down beer? The introduction of bars into sheds and garages has never been as popular as it is right now, and due to the current world issues, it may be the best investment for the future.

Your own mini-pub is a great way of socialising with family and friends even when the big pubs and bars have shut their doors, and they're even great for chilling out after work with a glass of wine and a packet of dry roasted nuts.

Garage conversion bar

The advancement in home beer pumps means that you can kit out your bar with the real thing for around £100 per pump, and you can install dartboards and pool tables if you have the room to do so. It may seem like an overly spontaneous option for your home, but we all need a little fun in our lives, and there aren't many better ways to have fun than inside your own pub!

Games Rooms

If the pub isn't your thing, maybe you'd prefer you're very own games room. Now, gaming has evolved so much over the past few decades that the industry is incredibly varied. If you're a fan of old school arcade games, maybe you could fill your converted garage with the likes of Tekken and Pac-Man, or maybe some old-school pinball machines.

If you prefer more modern gaming, you could kit out the garage with a high-tech gaming chair, state of the art monitors to play your games console of choice on. Fridges, music speakers and other appliances would transform the space into an absolute gamer's paradise. Another popular games room addition is a snooker or pool table.

For games like these, the room does tend to be completely taken over by them due to the size of the tables and the space you need to play properly. However, if this is your thing, why not treat yourself to a professional standard setup? You'll be surprised how cheaply you can put a room like this together by utilising second-hand products found online or at local stores, especially for old pool and snooker tables.

Cinema Rooms

The epitome of luxury is a big screen TV or projector, soft reclining seats, dim lighting and maybe even a snack stand. With the rise in popularity of home projectors, more and more households are building themselves fully operational cinemas at home.

All you really need is something comfy to sit on, a good projector and a room with dimmable lights. You could opt for a super-sized TV screen, but that would increase the cost of the project by quite a large sum, and honestly, a projector is much easier to set up and operate.

Dimmable lights are incredibly easy to install, and with the smart home products available on the market now, you could set up auto-dim times for the full experience. Snack carts or popcorn machines are available online, and again, you'll be surprised how cheap they actually are!


You could turn the old garage into another bedroom, which would, in turn, add value to your home. If you have a 3-bedroom home and all the bedrooms are upstairs, why not turn the garage into another bedroom as the chances are that the garage is already in a space aside from the main traffic areas downstairs.

This would be perfect for utilising as a guest room, too, keeping it separate from other rooms in the house for additional privacy.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Garage Conversion?

There aren't many outwardly obvious cons to a garage conversion other than the fact you lose a very good storage space for your home.

However, if you utilised the garage as a storage space for these items, a garage conversion is probably not an option at all. Other than that, and the cost of the project, you only stand to gain from a garage conversion.

The pros of a garage conversion are quite extensive, with the main benefit being the added space you have in your home. A garage can only really be used for storage or as a temporary workshop or laundry room due to insulating and security issues; however, once converted, there really are a wealth of options.

Garage conversion living area

Secondly, your house value should rise after a garage conversion, along with the kerb appeal of it. Garage conversions also set the home up nicely for further renovations, such as double or rear extensions.

Lastly, your converted garage will give you more of your home to enjoy. Whether it's a brand-new kitchen or a traditional pub, it's yours to enjoy.

How Much Does a Garage Conversion Cost?

The average cost of a garage conversion is £13,500, and it takes between 2 and 4 weeks. However, there are a lot of factors that impact this price, so you could pay more or less based on these.

These factors range from the location of your home, whether you need plumbing installed with the conversion, how far a detached garage is from the home, whether you need planning permission and a whole host of other factors. For a detailed look into garage conversion costs, check out our article that delves deep into the cost of a garage conversion here.

Garage conversion living room

We also have a huge collection of other cost guides on similar projects like House Extensions and Garage Extensions, so if you're still trying to work out what option is best for you, check out these cost guides to get a more detailed look into them.

How to Convert a Garage

Planning & Designing

Before any work can start, you need to have a good idea of how you'd like your garage to look and what you plan to do with it. If you're hoping to use it as a kitchen, for example, you'll need plumbing integrated into the conversion. At this stage, you should also find out whether planning permission will be necessary.


After the planning has been done, it's time to get some contractors out to price the project to give you an accurate cost to work from. This will help you determine whether you'll need to re-budget or whether the work can start quickly! Always get a few different quotes before settling on one contractor.


The foundations are the first job to be done once work starts. The work site will be cleared, a hole will be dug in your garage and foundation material will be set in. This will take around a day to complete depending on the temperature and weather.


This stage will differ depending on what style guide you have given the contractor, but in any case, once the foundations are set, the construction of the conversion will begin.


Once the construction is complete, the roof will be installed next. Again, the style and process will differ depending on what style you have requested.


Once all the foundations, construction and roof has been completed, you'll begin to see the space come to life as the interior work is completed. The walls will be plastered, fixtures and fittings installed, and the end is well in sight!

How Long Does It Take to Build a Garage Conversion?

Typically, a garage conversion takes between two and four weeks to complete, but it all depends on the size and type of the garage and job. For example, an attached single garage will take around two weeks to complete, but an attached double garage can take between three and four weeks to complete in full.

Garage conversion with corner sofa

If you have a detached garage, there are far more hoops to jump through and things to construct before being complete, so this could take over four weeks. Ask contractors about timescales when you get a job quoted by them to determine how long you're likely to wait for the work to be complete.

Building Regulations or Planning Permission Approval for Garage Conversions

Unfortunately, it can be a little tough to find out whether you need planning permission for a garage conversion as local authorities have different rules and regulations for each type of garage.

Garage conversion kitchen

A general rule of thumb will say that attached garages don't need planning permission, whereas a detached garage does, but it's safer to check with your local authorities and the contractor you hire.

Alternatives to a Garage Conversion

Of course, there are options other than a garage conversion. We've got an abundance of cost and information guides on our websites for everything from changing a tap to demolishing a house. If you think you may need something other than a garage conversion, you can check these articles out here.

Side extension

More specifically, you may be better off with a side extension or a garage extension.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Garage Conversion Builder

You should always get multiple quotes from different contractors before selecting one to hire for the conversion project. It can be helpful to ask the following questions during the quote for each of them to get an idea of how suitable each one is for the job.

  • How long will the job take?
  • Are there any potential problems you can foresee?
  • Do I need planning permission?
  • Have you completed these jobs before, and if so, could I see some examples?

You may have more specific questions relating to the exact conversion you're looking for, but this is a good base to get some ideas about the job.


What is classed as an illegal garage conversion?

An illegal garage conversion is a conversion that is completed without planning permission if planning permission is required.

How much value will a garage conversion add?

Typically, a garage conversion will add around 20% of value to your home. Again, this isn't guaranteed as it depends on a couple of other factors, but 20% is a good target.

Can I convert my garage as a DIY project?

A garage conversion must be completed by a trained professional, and it is not a job to attempt as a DIY project. There are a ton of potentially fatal safety issues in relation to foundations and structural integrity, so we do not advise that you attempt this.

Is there anything I can't use my converted garage for?

Provided that all necessary fire regulations with windows and escape routes are adhered to, there are no restrictions on the use of this converted room. However, if you are unsure, speak with your local authority for advice.

Can you only convert some of the garage?

Yes, you can convert half of your garage and install a wall to segment the garage into two. This is great for utilising the extra space while also retaining some storage space.


Ready to get a price for your home improvement project?
Get started

Over 1 million homeowners and over 50,000 tradespeople
use MyJobQuote nationwide each year