Carrying out a garage conversion

Converting a garage is a great way to make the most of space, but it does require careful thought and planning to ensure you maximize the opportunity and value that can be added to your home.

If you have a garage attached to your property that is not used for anything useful, then converting the garage is an idea worthy of consideration. As well as adding up to 10% on the value of your property, combined with internal remodelling, it can greatly reduce the pressure on the rest of your home space. A garage conversion is also a fairly low maintenance project, causing minimal disruption and an economical way to improve the space you have available before extending.

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Do I Need Planning Permission for a Garage Conversion?

Most garage can be converted without the need for planning permission. For the majority of projects, a garage conversion comes under permitted development – particularly if there are no structural changes to the property. It is almost a certainty that planning permission will need to be sought if the property is registered or is located in a Conservation Area.

However, there is a need to check that there are no conditions attached to the planning of the garage (ie, that it should remain as parking) before you begin your conversion – if conditions are attached, you will need to implement to eliminate them.

If you convert a detached garage, a standalone as opposed to an integral, then you may have to apply for a change of use.

You will need to be aware of the factors that can affect your garage conversion costs, including:

foundations need strengthening

wall, floor or roof in dubious condition

ceiling height will need to be raised (you need about 2.2-2.4m headroom once the floor has been raised to 15 cm above the external ground level)

design costs

planning applications

the services of a structural engineer

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Can I design it myself?

Some people prefer to come up with their own design and carry out all the jobs they can DIY – a good choice for those with limited funds and time to get stuck in.


You can also use builders who are recommended – a good builder will be able to take on a garage conversion. For Builders Bishops Stortford, visit a site like

Garage Conversion Specialists

These companies will have a lot of experience in dealing with issues surrounding planning of garage conversion, as well as building regulations.

Do I Need A Designer?

How you choose to design your garage conversion depends on the scale and complexity of the project, but you have several options:

Architect or Architectural Designer

Using an architect or architectural designer will mean design expert input and ideas that you might not think of. A design professional will also have trade contacts handy and will have experience in dealing with building regulations.

In terms of design costs, expect to pay from as little as £ 1,200 to £ 3,000 for the rights, depending on the complexity of the design.


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