Modern House With Garage

Our Guide To: Converting A Garage Into A Room

Let’s be honest, we all know the story – a garage starts off with good intentions, but sooner or later, it’s crammed with stuff we hardly remember we own. It’s like the Mary Poppins bag of our homes! But people are now starting to realise that those four walls hold much more potential than we give them credit for.

As the UK’s real estate market keeps soaring, people are rethinking their spaces, and instead of playing the moving game, they’re turning to other, more innovative solutions – that’s where converting a garage into a room has come into play.

Here at Clarkson Builders, we’ve witnessed this trend catching fire first-hand, and have spent a lot of time helping homeowners transform their dusty garages into spacious living zones, cosy ensuite bedrooms, or even play havens for the kids.

Converting A Garage Into A Room – Our Ultimate Guide

In this article, we’re diving deep into our stomping ground to reveal the hidden gems of garage conversions, straight from the expert minds of our highly-skilled builders in Milton Keynes and it’s surrounding areas. Trust us, we’re no strangers to pushing boundaries and building dreams, and we’re excited to be your guides in this exciting journey.

But this guide isn’t just about DIY; we’re here to empower you with all the knowledge you need to make informed decisions for your home. We’ll show you how converting your garage isn’t just about gaining space, but also about adding value and tailor-making your home to your changing lifestyle.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get straight into why transforming your garage is more than a DIY daydream – it’s a practical, creative, and downright amazing way to unlock your home’s potential. Get ready to reimagine your space – your garage’s makeover story starts here!


Do You Need Planning Permission To Convert A Garage?

Converting a garage into a habitable space can be an exciting and practical home improvement project, but it’s essential to understand the regulations and requirements involved. The need for planning permission when converting a garage primarily depends on the specific circumstances and the scope of your project; here, we’ll delve into the topic a bit further to help you navigate the process with confidence.

In the UK, the rules and regulations surrounding garage conversions are governed by the Planning Portal, which outlines the following specific guidelines:

Permitted Development Rights (PDR)

Garage conversions in the UK often fall under permitted development rights (PDR). This term refers to a set of rules and regulations that allow homeowners to make certain changes to their properties without the need for formal planning permission. Converting a garage into a room often falls within these PDR guidelines, making it relatively straightforward, however, there are conditions that you must follow:

  • Size Restrictions: The converted space must not exceed a maximum floor area of 30 square meters if it’s a detached property or 40 square meters for attached or semi-detached houses; this includes any previous additions or outbuildings under PDR.
  • Exterior Changes: While internal alterations are generally allowed, making significant changes to the exterior, such as altering the roofline or adding windows or doors, may require planning permission.
  • Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas: If your property is a listed building or located within a conservation area, you are more likely to require planning permission for garage conversions.

Building Regulations

In the UK, even if your garage conversion falls under permitted development rights, you will typically still need to adhere to building regulations, which ensure that the conversion meets safety, structural, and insulation standards. In order to go ahead with your garage conversion, you will need to obtain building regulation approval, which is a separate process from planning permission, and usually involves inspections at various stages of the project to ensure compliance.

Parking Space Requirements

It’s important to consider the impact of your garage conversion on parking spaces. If your local council has specific parking space requirements, removing a garage may mean you need to provide alternative parking arrangements, such as a new driveway or parking area. Be sure to check with your local planning authority for their specific parking regulations.

Party Wall Agreement

If your garage is attached to a neighbouring property or shares a party wall, you may need to comply with the Party Wall Act 1996. This act requires you to notify your neighbours and potentially obtain their consent for the work, especially if it involves structural alterations.

Use of the Space

When converting a garage, ensure that the new use is in line with planning regulations. For example, converting it into a habitable room, an office, or a gym is usually acceptable. However, changing it into a separate dwelling may have different requirements.

Team Planning

How Much Does A Garage Conversion Cost?

The cost of a garage conversion can vary widely depending on factors such as the size of the garage, the complexity of the project, and the level of finishes you desire. On average, a basic garage conversion can cost anywhere from £5,000 to £10,000, however, if you’re looking for a more high-end conversion with additional features like insulation, heating, plumbing, and premium finishes, the cost could range from £15,000 to £30,000 or more.

This great video from Aaron Blankenbyl on YouTube is very informative and breaks down the costs of his garage conversion journey, but remember, obtaining detailed quotes is the best way to get an accurate estimate for your specific project – if you’d like a free, fully transparent quote, please don’t hesitate to contact our team who would be happy to discuss your options with you!

Does Converting A Garage Add Value?

Converting a garage into a functional living space can be a wise investment strategy for homeowners seeking to enhance the overall value of their property, but the amount of value added depends on various factors. The most significant being the quality of the conversion itself; a well-executed transformation that seamlessly blends the new living area with the existing layout can significantly boost your home’s market value. As well as this, the state of the local property market plays a pivotal role. In a seller’s market with high demand for homes, the allure of extra living space can translate to a substantial increase in property value.


How To Convert A Garage Into A Room

Now we’ve got all of that out of the way, it’s time for the fun part! Embarking on the journey to convert a garage into a functional room is an exciting endeavour that holds the promise of both expanding your living space and enhancing the functionality of your home. That being said, this transformative process involves a series of crucial steps that demand careful consideration and meticulous planning. From conceptualising the design to managing your budget, each phase plays a pivotal role in the successful conversion.

In this section, we will delve into the intricacies of these essential steps, guiding you through the process of turning your underutilised garage into a space that aligns seamlessly with your home and lifestyle. Whether you envision a cosy guest bedroom, a dynamic home office, a gym, or any other purpose, these comprehensive steps will equip you with the knowledge and insights needed to navigate this exciting journey with confidence.

Planning and Design

Clear purpose should always be the first step in garage conversions – defining the room’s purpose allows you to set the objectives and the tone for the entire project. For instance, if you’re converting your garage into a guest bedroom, you’ll want to consider aspects like comfort, storage, and creating a warm and inviting ambience. On the other hand, envisioning a home office would involve prioritising ergonomics, lighting, and aspects that will help you create a conducive work environment.

The arrangement of furniture or equipment should align with the room’s purpose – for a playroom, it’s essential to have open space for kids to play freely, while a home gym demands strategic placement of equipment for efficient workouts. A well-planned layout ensures that the room not only appears organised, but also fosters a natural rhythm as you move within it. It’s this fusion of purpose and spatial arrangement that transforms a room from a basic space to a functional and harmonious living environment. This initial clarity serves as a compass, guiding all of the decisions that follow, so take your time – the possibilities are endless!

Obtaining Permissions

Before you embark on your garage conversion project, it’s essential to navigate the regulatory landscape. Begin by reaching out to your local planning authority to find out whether your planned changes fall within permitted development rights or require formal planning permission. The specific regulations can differ based on your location and the extent of alterations you intend to make – this step ensures that you’re well-informed about the legal aspects and can proceed with confidence, avoiding any potential hiccups down the line.


As you set your sights on transforming your garage, establishing a budget is paramount. Craft a comprehensive budget that accounts for an array of costs, including: materials, labour, design services, utilities, and a contingency fund for unexpected expenses. Having a clear financial framework in place empowers you to make informed decisions throughout the conversion journey, and acts as a guiding parameter, enabling you to find a balance between your aspirations and the practicalities of your budgetary constraints.

Structural Changes

The transformation of your garage into a functional space usually involves reshaping its physical structure to align with your envisioned purpose. This could encompass erecting walls, framing windows and doors, and even considering alterations to the roofline, if necessary. Ensuring proper insulation is so important for sustaining comfortable temperatures, and addressing any dampness or moisture concerns is vital for the longevity of your new room. This phase is where the transformation truly takes form, turning an unused space into a personalised room that meets your needs.

Interior Finishes

Once you’ve finalised the structural changes to your garage, it’s time to focus on the interior finishes that will enhance both the aesthetics and functionality of your newly converted space. Consider the following aspects to ensure your room is comfortable and efficient:

Insulation and Temperature Control: Proper insulation is crucial to maintain comfortable temperatures year-round. Insulate walls, floors, and ceilings as needed to prevent heat loss during winter and excessive heat gain during summer. This step not only ensures your comfort but also reduces energy costs in the long run.

Heating and Cooling: Depending on your location and the purpose of the room, you may need to install a heating and cooling system. Options range from central HVAC systems to ductless mini-splits, space heaters, or fans. Ensure these systems are appropriately sized for the room to maintain consistent comfort.

Electrical and Lighting: Plan the electrical layout carefully. Install sufficient outlets and switches to accommodate your appliances, lighting fixtures, and electronic devices and consider energy-efficient LED lighting to reduce electricity consumption and create the desired ambience.

Plumbing and Ventilation: If your garage conversion includes a bathroom or kitchenette, plumbing will be essential. Make sure you ensure proper drainage and ventilation to prevent moisture buildup and mould growth, and install exhaust fans where needed to maintain air quality.

Flooring: Choose flooring materials that align with your room’s purpose. Options range from hardwood, laminate, and tile to carpeting. Consider the ease of maintenance and the aesthetic appeal when making your selection.

Walls and Ceilings: Finish walls with paint, wallpaper, or panelling to match your design aesthetic and make sure that drywall is properly installed and finished for a smooth, clean look. Ceilings may require insulation and can be finished with paint, textured plaster, or even decorative beams, depending on your style.

Doors and Windows: Select doors and windows that complement your design while providing adequate security and insulation. Energy-efficient windows can help regulate temperature and reduce noise. We suggest taking a look at Crown Windows, which specialises in bespoke double glazing in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas.

Cabinetry and Storage: If your room requires storage, such as in a kitchen or home office, plan for cabinets and shelving that maximise space and organisation. Custom-built storage solutions can be tailored to your specific needs.

Floor Plan and Layout: Ensure that the final arrangement of furniture and equipment aligns with the room’s purpose and your initial planning. A well-organised layout not only enhances functionality but also contributes to the overall aesthetics of the space.

Finishing Touches: Incorporate finishing touches like curtains, blinds, decorative accents, and personal touches that make the space feel welcoming and complete. Don’t forget to add artwork, rugs, and furnishings that reflect your style and create a harmonious environment.

Remember that the interior finishes are where you can truly infuse your personality and style into the room, so pay attention to details, and don’t rush this phase of the project; well-thought-out interior finishes will ensure your garage conversion becomes a seamless part of your home.

Spirit Level

It’s Time To Get Started!

So there you have it – our ultimate guide to converting a garage into a room! We hope that you’ve found our tips useful and wish you the best on this exciting new venture! Remember, if you need a helping hand along the way, our team would be thrilled to be made a part of your journey, and can help you navigate each step of the process, from acquiring planning permission to the finishing touches.

Our builders in Buckingham and it’s surrounding areas have extensive experience providing premium construction services; if you would like to discuss your options with a member of our team, contact us today!