With property renovations set to soar in the next few years, it’s clear that more people than ever are opting to give their garage a new lease of life. If you have the space at your disposal, garage conversions can be an attractive option. Garage conversions are generally cheaper than loft conversions, certainly less expensive (and less stressful) than moving home and in many cases, do not require planning permission.
So, why do people choose to convert? Most put the main reason down to having outgrown their current living quarters while seeking a purpose-built office space or a self-contained living area separate from the rest of the house.
To help unlock some garage conversion inspiration, we have put together our round-up of the top five ideas for garage renovation alongside a few crucial considerations.
What does a garage conversion entail?
At face value, converting a garage might appear relatively straightforward. Unlike an extension, you do not need to build new foundations or walls and the area is usually already connected to the power supply. However, there is often more to garage conversions than meets the eye, so it’s important to know whether it’s a truly viable option for your property.
Below is an outline of the potential works involved when converting a garage:
- Inspecting the ceiling and walls for leaks/cracks
- Raising the ceiling
- Levelling the floor
- Adding doors/windows
- Heating/electrical/water supply installation
Things to consider when converting your garage
Much like a loft conversion, you need to be mindful of space. Ideally, aim for at least 2.2M headroom. Ensure your garage is damp proof, well ventilated and has suitable safety features like fire alarms and escape routes.
Although few garage conversions require planning permission, it may be necessery in cases where you are changing the use of your garage to a stand-alone home. Requiring permission is also likely to apply if your garage is part of a listed building or within a conservation area.
Garage conversions often take between three to six weeks to complete, possibly longer if any major structural changes are required. This timescale will subsequently mean a period of disruption to your everyday life and require you to clear the garage of its existing contents whilst the work is carried out.
The good news is that if you have weighed up the decision and determined that a garage conversion is right for you, you can expect an increase in property value of around 20%, all for a cost of approx, £5000-£7000, making it generally a good return on investment.
The conversion will also have to take into account the structure of the garage itself. Many garage conversions maintain the garage’s original infrastructure so it can easily be converted back to its former use in case of a change of heart or the sale of the property. In that case, installing an appropriate garage door is of utmost important for security, insulation and aesthetic reasons.
Top 5 ideas for garage renovation
Ready for some garage conversion inspiration? Below are our top five garage conversion ideas.
Convert your garage into a self-contained annexe
If your garage is spacious enough, you could potentially turn it into a stand-alone apartment. It may be an ambitious option but renting the space out could be a lucrative source of income. An annexe will have added appeal if you live in an expensive city or an area popular during the summer months. Alternatively, it could be an option for adult children returning home to save up, who want some privacy and independent living. If an annexe is something you are considering, it’s a good idea to check the terms of your mortgage and ensure all health and safety guidelines are followed.
Convert your garage into an office
More of us than ever have swapped the office for our own homes, increasingly blurring the lines between work and our domestic lives. One solution is to convert your garage into an office separate from the house, as this will allow you privacy and the ability to switch off at the end of a working day. Ensure you have adequate lighting and heating to work comfortably, especially in the winter months and also that you have a decent internet connection.
Covert your garage into a gym
With the cost of living on the rise, many people have chosen to forgo expensive gym memberships. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to forsake the physical and mental benefits of exercise when you could turn your garage into a makeshift gym of your own. There is plenty of space for equipment while the rooms relative privacy would suit people uncomfortable exercising in front of others.
Convert your garage into a bar/entertainment room
We all missed months of socialising over the pandemic, so it is little surprise that many are keen to get together and celebrate the good times. A cost-saving alternative to going out is to convert your garage into a bar/entertainment room. You will have the added enjoyment of decorating the space, which could incorporate a flat-screen TV, a jukebox, a pool table or a bar. Whilst there is nothing wrong with some levity, it would be wise to ensure your garage is suitably soundproofed, so you don’t disturb the neighbours.
Convert your garage into a workshop
A garage makes a fantastic area for a workshop. Whether you have a creative hobby or even your own business, there is ample space for tools and other storage. If you are self-employed and not in a customer-facing role, it could save you a great deal of money in business rates. You can easily add units, shelving and display cabinets, just ensure your garage is fully damp-proof and well ventilated.
Garage conversion ideas: final thoughts
There is no doubt that a garage conversion will add a whole new dimension to your property. Whilst we are not short of ideas for garage renovation, we also understand the importance of a good quality garage door. Garages are all too often soft targets for would-be thieves, and are a focal point from both inside and out, so having a secure, aesthetically pleasing and insulated garage door is crucial. Thankfully the garage door specialists here at JH Garage Doors are on hand to answer any security questions you might have. If your existing garage door is ready for an upgrade, contact us today to find out more.