If your garage is going spare, acting like a glorified storage unit, then it could be time to get this space working harder. Garage conversions are one of the easiest ways to create new functional space in your home - not too mention, one of the most cost effective.
Because this ground floor space is basically an empty box, it is the perfect blank canvas for getting creative. With nothing holding you back but your imagination, here’s just some of the ways you might transform your garage…
If your garage is next to the kitchen, you could knock through your walls and expand your dining area. This would be a good option for anyone suffering from a small cooking area, as more and more buyers are looking for open-planned living, and large industrial style designs.
If creating a new dining area, you’ll need to focus on good thermal performance, flooring, and whether any walls you’re looking to remove are structural. If you plan on bringing your actual kitchen out into your garage, you’ll also need to think about plumbing and gas lines.
Remember: if modifying walls, windows, or doors, you’ll need a building regulations package - and you’ll definitely need them for anything concerning plumbing, electricity mains, and gas.
Second Living Room
Why have one living room when you could have two? If you have a family, or want to market your home to families, a second living room can be sanity saver for a lot parents. You might find some stressed out parents meeting asking price just at the thought of the kids’ cartoons (or moody teens) being confined to one place.
Remote working is on the rise, and it’s not uncommon for someone to work from home part-time, or even full. If you find yourself in need for a quiet place to get those excel spreadsheets done, creating an office could provide your home with a productivity haven.
Make sure you include plenty of windows within your design, to avoid working in a dark cave 9-5. Natural light helps release the happiness hormone melatonin, and will help improve your concentration throughout the working day.
If you love working out (or want to love working out) but find yourself making excuses about travelling to your pricey local gym, then building your own is a great solution.
Converting your garage into a work out space can be as simple as buying the right equipment and shoving it in there. However, you will need to make sure your have plug points for those running machines. And you’ll also need to think about the ventilation in the space, so you don’t end up freezing in winter and sweating (for the wrong reasons) in summer.
Tired of stepping on toys around the house? Then perhaps your little ones need a space of their own. A playroom is a great addition to any household with young children, as it allows you to create a space that’s specifically geared towards both their enjoyment and education. Plus, it means their bedroom can be solely associated with sleeping.
There’s a lot of fun to be had creating a playroom. You can experiment with wall murals, soft flooring, and even consider attaching play equipment to the walls. And when they’re all grown up, this space could easily be converted in a second living area for the whole family.
Now this would be a modern conversion, and definitely one to impress future guests. You’ll need to make sure the area has good sound-proofing, and the ability to create a blackout. You should also hedge your bets and create windows anyway, just in case you (or future buyers) want to change this space in the future.
If you’ve got a detached garage sitting separate from your home, you might consider converting it into an annex. This is great for any member of the family who needs a little extra space, such as older teenagers, older relatives, and even lodgers (AirBNB, anyone?). Creating an annex will require a bigger budget, and take more work, as you’ll need to hook up both suitable electricity and plumbing - not to mention sort out insulation and central heating. However, all this work will be worth it, especially when it comes time to sell your home. For a stylish annex, and in prime locations like London, they have been known to add as much as £100,000 to value of a property.
Bedrooms are a wonderful conversion option. Because of their simple design, you only need to focus on the basics of the room: walls, windows, flooring, and furnishing. If you want to include plenty of plug sockets, for those all important phone charging sessions, you might also need to look at the wiring.
Adding a new bedroom is one of the best things you can do for the value of your home. Though, saying that, those located on the ground-floor tend not to bring as much in as those upstairs. If you want to counter this, perhaps give this space the WOW factor, you might consider connecting it to the garden. This would only work if your garage backs onto your green space, but if it does, having something like french doors opening out into nature can make this bedroom something truly special. Potentially offsetting any value lost by it being based downstairs.
Another popular addition to any home is an extra bathroom. And, if you don’t have one already, having a downstairs WC has some pretty nice benefits for your household. They’re ideal for anyone who has guests popping in. Giving your own family bathrooms some extra privacy. Plus, they’re also in easy reach for children, who you might not want running up and down stairs just yet.
Of course, bathrooms do come with their own complexities. Plumbing is going to be be your biggest hurdle, and expense, when it comes to this project. Though planning permission won’t be required, if you have permitted development rights, you will need building regulations approval to get this project underway.
Lastly, if you want to keep work to a minimum, and are looking to invest in a new / current hobby, why not try a studio?
Now we’re cheating here, as the term studio could mean all manner of things. It could be a yoga studio, an art studio, maybe you want somewhere expand your carpentry skills? Whatever your passion, repurposing your garage to suit your pursuits will do wonders for your recreational time.
In most cases, you’ll likely be able to keep the structure of the garage as it is, even leaving on the doors, if you don’t mind the space being colder than the rest of your home.
Leaving your garage doors, and using the space in this way, means that future owners of the home will still be able to enjoy the garage for its intended purpose. And if you live in an area where parking is at a premium, this will likely do more for your house price than fully converting the space into a new function. It’s also a great work around any strict planning rules regarding your property. Listed buildings, those in conservation areas, and flats/ maisonettes all fall outside of permitted development rights.
Want to convert your garage but not sure where to start? Book in a free consultation with our experts. We’ll not only advise on possible development opportunities, but help you get an idea of timelines, budgets, and professionals required.