Incredible Garage Conversions That Will Blow Your Mind

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If you need additional room but don’t want to relocate, extend into the yard, or convert the loft, the garage is the logical place to look.

According to RAC Home Insurance, around six million UK garages – roughly half of the country’s projected 11 million garages – are no longer fit for a car due to clutter and garbage.

Imagine what you could do with all that space if it wasn’t being wasted. According to specialist business Garage Plans, a typical single garage is 3m (9.8 ft) width by 6m (19.6 ft) long, equating to 18 sqm (192 sq ft) of floor space alone, not including the wall height, which may be put to good use, making your existing home larger and easier to live in.

According to Virgin Money, converting a garage increases the value of a home by 10% to 15% on average.

Here are 11 ingenious garage conversion ideas, along with how much each one costs and what benefits and value they could provide to your home.

Garage conversions: need to know

To begin, make sure your garage is ready for conversion. If it’s an older freestanding structure with asbestos, for example, conversion is never recommended; you’re better off dismantling it and starting over.

Although there are rigorous requirements regarding not building out the front of the garage beyond the existing curtilage (perimeter of existing structure) or raising the height, most garages do not require planning permission for conversion. Conservation areas, AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty), and listed properties all have their own set of laws. The work needed in converting a garage, on the other hand, is usually classified as authorised development, so you won’t need planning permission. Just to be sure, check with your local planning authority.

Building laws must always be followed while converting a garage to guarantee that it is safe and structurally sound. Drainage, electrics, walls, and roofs are all covered by building standards.

If you hire a builder, architect, or garage conversion company, they’ll usually arrange for building rules inspections and approvals through the local council’s building control agency or a certified independent inspector. However, the homeowner bears ultimate responsibility for construction rules, so make sure all checks and approvals are completed correctly or you may face legal complications when it comes time to sell your property.

Garage conversion idea 1: Home office or business premises

A converted garage provides a great home office if you’ve opted to work from home permanently or use ‘hybrid working’ to split your time between office and home. You may even start a business in your garage, such as crafting, dog grooming, or beauty treatments, subject to any local regulations (check with your local council) and the necessary insurances in place.

You’ll need to make do with limited space, but you’ll also need to work in a pleasant setting all year. Instead of radiators, consider underfloor heating. Given the surge in gas prices, an electric system rather than a ‘wet’ system connected to the hot water supply is easier to install and may be less expensive to run.

Garage conversion idea 2: Family annexe

Converting your garage into an annexe, whether for an elderly relative or a young person saving for a home, provides flexible living space that may adjust as requirements change.

This significant renovation necessitates meticulous attention to detail; after all, you’re creating a home within a home. So don’t be frightened to enlist the help of an architect. The additional value that a well-designed annexe will add will outweigh the costs. ‘Even if the proposal you agree on requires planning clearance, this will allow your architect the freedom to design a valuable addition to your home,’ explains Wayne Greenway, director of Greenway Developments.

Garage conversion idea 3: Extra bedroom

This conversion will be better for rest and wellbeing if all available natural light is utilised. If the garage is freestanding, a VELUX window in the roof will let in light without taking up valuable wall space. Another alternative for privacy is to install clerestory windows high up in the external wall, or even an internal wall if there is enough natural light inside the main home. This would work for a garage that is either connected or integral.

According to Elaine Penhaul of Lemon & Lime Interiors, use décor and furnishings that maximise natural light: ‘Light-colored walls and furniture reflect natural light from any windows, making the space appear lighter overall,’ says Wayne Greenway, director of Greenway Developments.

Garage conversion idea 4: New kitchen

‘You may lose a parking spot by converting your (attached) garage into your kitchen, but you gain so much more space to create a kitchen that is big enough to hang out in, entertain in, and, best of all, have a big island or family table,’ says Helen Parker, creative director of kitchen company deVOL. ‘We usually urge individuals to appreciate what they already have before considering relocating.’ There are a plethora of options for rearranging your home to create new rooms or expand your family’s living space.’

Repositioning walls and carving out totally new sections, such as a pantry or utility room, are all possibilities when this space is opened up. To help you structure the new space properly, you’ll need a skilled kitchen designer, so plan ahead and gather at least three potential designs and quotations before making any decisions.

Garage conversion idea 5: Studio for art, music or other creative pursuits

If you’re planning to use the space for painting or other arts and crafts activities, make sure to follow the requirements for bringing in natural light, which can be found in the additional bedroom section above. If the studio is to be used for music, get professional soundproofing advice, especially if the garage walls are adjacent to the main home. A nice place to start is the Sound Proofing Store.

Also, consider future-proofing. A well-planned studio may be an excellent addition to any home. ‘These days, smart studios must include not only mains water, power, lighting, and heating, so they can be utilised all year, but also underfloor heating, air conditioning, and completely networked and connected spaces,’ explains Mark Pollack, co-founding director of Aston Chase estate agency in London.

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