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Property 101: Convert Your Garage to Living Space

When you’re a homeowner, being able to add value to your property is always going to be a good idea. And one way to do just that is by making the best use of the space that you have. If you haven’t got much garden space to play with for an extension, then looking at converting a garage or shed into a useable space can be a really good thing to do. It will add value to the property, and enhance the home’s saleability too.

When it is well thought out, a converted garage can add around 10% to the value of your property, so it is not to be sniffed at. And it does give you an indication of how much to spend on it (ie. don’t spend more than ten percent of what your property is worth, and that will make it worth it). So if this sounds like something that you’re interested in doing, then here are some things that you need to be thinking about.

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Overall Goal

Knowing the end goal for the room is a good idea, right down to where you want a TV aerial installation to be and what plug sockets and lights need to go where. Will you have it as a second living space, an extra bedroom, or more of a playroom? Whatever you choose, make sure the design is thought through before you start the work.

Planning Permission

If you want to remodel your garage then you need to be aware of how local planning permission can affect you. If you don’t plan to change the structure of the building, then planning permission is not required. So it means you can just get on with converting it at your own pace. If you were planning to change windows, add or remove walls, or live in a listed property or conservation area, then you would need to seek planning permission from your local council. This can set timelines back a little.


Going from a cold garage or shed that was only used for storage in the past, will need a certain level of insulation of the walls and the ceiling. Otherwise, you’ll be sat in a freezing cold room in winter, and too hot in the summer. The flooring may need some insulation too, depending on the current materials. But when you take measurements of the space, this should be taken into consideration.


There are certain building regulations that do require new rooms to have ventilation, especially as you will be getting a more secure door on the front of the garage. So this needs to be planned into the design. Will you create new windows, add air vents, or have a free-flow space from where the garage joins the house? Working with a builder or architect to design the conversion can be a good idea, even if you don’t plan to use them to do the work.

A conversion can be a such a good idea especially if you think you may move in the next five years. One in ten house sales falls through. But if you have something to tip the scales then it is more likely to happen. Good luck!