If you’re a little short of space and have a garage that’s just collecting dust (or, more likely, collecting everything you don’t know what else to do with) it might be time to think about converting it into a more practical room. Here’s the info you need to know to transform your garage into a room.
Maybe you can convert it into an annexe for your elderly relative to live in relative independence. Or perhaps you’d like an office to get your work done without disruptions (or you could turn it into that home cinema you’ve always dreamed of). Or maybe you’d like a place that your teenage (or grown up) children can hang out with their friends and make noise away from the house.
Whatever your reason for wanting to transform your garage into a room, it’s important to understand the costs before you get going. Although it can seem like a relatively small job, the costs can shoot up if you’re not careful.
Transform your garage into a room: the costs
According to Real Homes, a basic garage conversion costs between £850 and £1,150 per square metre – but that’s a bit of a vague figure. (And one that makes it sound cheaper than it is.)
In real terms, you can expect to pay between £4,995 and £7,000 to convert a single garage (a garage designed to park one car). You can expect to pay just under double that to convert a double garage.
(Partial garage conversions, obviously, will cost a little less.)
However, those figures only represent the cost of getting a very basic shell in place – there are a lot of other concerns – from planning and design to plumbing – that can run the cost up.
Of course, if your garage is in a bad way then you’ll be looking at the higher end of those figures to repair the existing damage before you begin conversion.
On top of that, you can expect between £1,200 and £2,500 for design and planning and an additional £400 for a structural engineer to check that it’s all OK.
If you have to remove pipes, add heating or rewire the garage before it is fit for purpose, then you might have to add between £1,000 and £3,000 to the bill. And, unfortunately, you might have to add another £5,000 onto the bill if you need to do any work on the wall that divides your house and your garage (like putting a door through, for instance).
(Figures taken from Home Advice Guide.)
That’s why it’s important to check the value that a garage conversion will add to your house
In many cases, a garage conversion adds value to a property – it’s an extra room (and a lot of people have either elderly relatives or teenage children that would love to use a converted room.)
However, make sure that you check the house prices in your area. Pay attention to how many of them have off-road parking and consider whether your decision to transform your garage into a room is going to leave a dent in the value of your house.
Here’s a quick video from Real Homes on things to consider before getting a garage conversion. If you’re considering transforming your garage into a room, give it a watch:
Ways to keep the cost of your conversion down
As you look to transform your garage into a room, there are a few ways for you to keep the costs down.
For example, if you’re looking to just create a chill-out space for your children, then you can do it relatively cheaply, provided the garage is already in pretty good condition. Here’s a guide on how to convert your garage into a lounge area for less than $300 (it’s from the US, so take the costs with a pinch of salt.)
However, if you’re looking for the full works, it pays to shop around. Get a few conversion experts in to have a look and give you a quote. And – as with any time you hire professionals to make home improvements – remember the two golden rules for keeping the costs low:
- Do your research and decide exactly what you want before you meet them: by knowing exactly what you want done (and why), you can avoid any upselling tactics that the builders might try to run the quote up. (Of course, use your intuition, if the builder seems like his suggestion is to help you or is suggesting a change for compliance reasons, then take that into account.)
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate: Negotiating can be an awkward and squirmy process, but it can save you money. (Pro tip: instead of flat out asking for a discount, get quotes from a few tradesmen and ask if they can beat the other quotes. Even better, ask things like ‘is there anything we can do to bring the costs down?’ – sometimes you might be able to advertise their company out the front of your house for a small discount.
How can I afford my conversion?
Obviously, the cost of converting your garage into a room isn’t cheap (although, it’s significantly cheaper than a like-for-like extension).
But there are a whole host of ways you can afford to finance it. Looking at all of the options, from zero-interest credit cards to guarantor loans, we’ve put together a handy guide on how to finance home improvements, even if you’ve got bad credit. Why not give it a read?