Garage Conversions: What You Need to Know

This is a collaborative guest post.

How often is your car parked in your garage? Do you even have a car to park in your garage? If you’ve got alternative parking space, you might be considering whether you need to keep your garage as a space for simply storing your car? Have you had a Garage door inspection recently? If you’re wondering how a garage conversion might improve your property, read on for some tips on how to put your garage space to better use. Hell, if you wanted to you could even turn your garage into a car shop or something. Obviously, if you did that you’d need to get motor trader insurance from somewhere like One Sure Insurance first, but once you did that, you’d be good to go.

Planning information

Generally speaking, you don’t need planning permission to convert your garage under the regulations of the Town and Country Planning General Permitted Development Order (amended 2015). However, a lot of properties located on new build estates have their permitted development rights removed, which means normal rules might not apply. With this in mind, it’s always worth speaking to your local council’s planning department and checking your deeds to see if this applies to you. Before approaching a builder it’s sometimes wise to work with an architect to discuss your plans for the space. If you then decide to extend the new room beyond the parameter of your existing garage you will need to approach the project as an extension rather than a conversion. This will mean applying for planning permission. Again, your local council will be able to guide you through the process.

Garage Conversion

Cost and value adding

The exact cost of your conversion will depend on things like the size and the specification you want to meet in the interior with different fixtures and fittings, though the standard cost of a garage conversion is considered to be around £10,000. This might seem like a lot, but it’s important to think about how much value will be added to your property by gaining an extra bedroom or living room. Estate agents usually tell you to calculate the additional value by finding out the average cost of a square foot of property in your area and then working out the size of your new room and adding it to your home’s previous value. While the map featured in this Telegraph article was produced last year, it does provide some interesting information about the value per square foot of properties in relation to the London market where space really is at a premium.

Of course, calculating added value is not always as straightforward as working out added area. Another way to estimate potential value add is by looking at properties in your area with the number of bedrooms and reception rooms that you will have after the work is carried out. Be careful to choose a property without a garage and with similar parking arrangements so that it’s a fair comparison. Then there are the benefits to your lifestyle that the extra room could provide. For example, your children may no longer have to share a bedroom or you may gain your own office space.

Possible uses and extra considerations

If you’re thinking of making major changes to your home you might be put off by the prospect of how it could impact on selling your home in the future. Experts usually advise making changes if you’re confident it won’t impact on the appeal of your home or if you’re planning to stay in the property for five years or more.

Generally speaking, having extra living space is usually a welcome adaptation as long as it doesn’t impact on things such as garden space. To avoid eating into your outdoor area too much you’ll want to make even compact conversions seem larger. Clever use of light such as ceiling spotlights like these and glass internal and external doors like these examples from Vufold can make a little light go a long way and make your room appear brighter and bigger.

You might choose to use the conversion as an extra bedroom, a home gym or even a home cinema and if you really want to keep one eye on the future, these types of changes can be carried out in a way that future owners can still repurpose the space for their own preferred use.

For a little insight into how buyers weigh up potential properties, a recent survey found that men and women have different priorities. Women are generally more concerned with space within the home while men prioritise things such as location, with convenient commuting to work and proximity to green spaces and the local pub proving to be more pressing concerns for gents. In contrast, access to a private yard, garden or terrace was more likely to be on the must-have list for females. You can read more about the research conducted on behalf of Santander, here.

If you were to carry out a change or improvement to your property, what would it be? Does a garage conversion appeal to you?

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