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Why Convert Your Garage?

If you’re looking to add space and value to your home, then converting your garage is a cost-effective way to achieve both objectives. 

Converting a single garage will add around 150 square feet of space. In comparison, a double garage can deliver around 300 square feet of extra room, either of which will benefit your day-to-day life and achieve significant capital growth as the value of your conversion will rise in line with the value of your property. 

If the garage is attached, it’s unlikely that you’ll need planning permission so that the project can be relatively smooth, and it’s not uncommon for a garage conversion to add as much as 10% to your house’s asking price.

If you currently park your car on the drive or the road, your once-neglected garage space can be put to far better use for a range of activities, any of which will be more productive than leaving it as a dumping ground for old exercise equipment, packaging cartons and general household clutter.

Ways To Convert Your Garage Into A Magnificent Space

Entertainment Area

If you love to host parties and get-together events with friends, you could convert your garage into an entertainment area, which is easier than it might sound. If your garage is large enough to support at least two cars, you should have enough room for an entertainment area.

Some of the items you can add to the room include a custom bar, comfortable chairs and areas for seating, Bluetooth speakers, and an additional fridge. 

While some garage conversions involve removing the garage door, you might want to avoid this step when changing the room into an entertainment area. If the room gets too stuffy during a party, all you need to do is open the door to let some air in.

Studio Flat

Among the most valuable garage conversions to consider is changing your garage into a studio flat, which allows you to charge rent to potential tenants who require a room. This option will allow you to put some extra money into savings or pay off your mortgage quicker. 

Renting this room would be easy if the space is large enough to satisfy prospective tenants.

The main amenities that the room should have to include a small kitchen, bathroom, and bed. If the garage is large enough, you could add a spacious lounge area for relaxation. 

Before performing this garage conversion, you must look at the local zoning ordinances to make sure that renting out a room in your home is possible.

Art Studio

Anyone who is an artist or has a family member that loves to draw or paint should consider converting their garage into a cozy art studio. This type of conversion also saves you from needing a separate art studio away from your home. 

If you’re a still-life artist, think about outfitting the garage with large window panes, which will give you ample amounts of natural light. If you use toxic materials and paints, the room must be well-ventilated. There are numerous roof ventilation systems to consider when building an art studio.

Guest Bedroom

If you host friends or extended family members regularly, consider converting your garage into a guest bedroom, which is possible even with a one-car garage. When you want to avoid your guests having to sleep on the family couch, turning your garage into a guest bedroom is a great idea.

This option will also allow you to provide your guests with more privacy. While this might seem like a simple and affordable conversion, there are some hidden costs to consider. Your home’s HVAC system will likely need to be expanded. Extra insulation and plumbing may also need to be added.

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Playroom/Teenager Hideaway

If you have children and want to provide them with their own space, you could convert the garage into a playroom or a teenager hideaway. Keep in mind, however, that your children will grow up, which is why the room shouldn’t be designed in a manner that they will quickly grow out of.

If your child is a teenager, providing them with their own space is a great way to give them some privacy and a sense of independence even when they’re living in your home. 

When designing the space for a younger child, but some games in the room and a TV. If you have a teenager, they could provide their input on what they would like the room to be.

Game Room

If you have a relatively large family or like to entertain guests regularly, among the most exciting garage conversions is a game room. You could outfit the room with tables for ping pong, pool, or air hockey. If the room is large enough, consider purchasing a pinball machine or similar retro gaming systems.

The game room options are practically limitless and allow you to select the types of games that you and your family members most enjoy. This type of room can be implemented into any garage size. It’s recommended that you keep the garage door, which will provide guests with easy access to the yard.

Converting Your Garage Into A Bedroom

One of the most popular uses for a garage conversion is an additional bedroom. With care home fees continuing to rise, creating a space for an elderly parent enables you to deliver home care while allowing them to continue to live independently, and the costs of the conversion would soon be offset by the savings in care home fees. 

At the other end of the age scale, more and more young professionals seek to stay at home. At the same time, they save for a deposit for their first property, and making your garage habitable is an excellent way of giving them a separate area with more privacy. And if you’re lacking a spare bedroom for visitors, a garage conversion can provide that with ease.

With any of these uses, it’s prudent to factor in an ensuite bathroom or wetroom to make life easier for the occupants, even though that will eat into the available space to some degree. It’s worth noting, however, that adding independent access, such as a separate front door, to the conversion is likely to incur an additional Council Tax liability.

Converting Your Garage Into A Living Area

Assuming you have enough bedrooms for your requirements, a garage conversion can be utilised to create extra living space in an additional lounge or quiet area, possibly for homework, reading or yoga. With multimedia dominating everyone’s home life, there’s merit in developing a dedicated room where any family members can escape for some peace and tranquillity.

The costs of moving house can be prohibitive, so converting your garage into a playroom is a fantastic way for young families to make their homework harder and deliver more on all levels. 

As well as giving the children their own space, which can be designed and decorated accordingly, having a new playroom ensures that the rest of the house stays free from toys and games. A key consideration here is storage, so it’s helpful to take time to plan the flow of the room and explore creative solutions for keeping the floor free of obstacles.

Converting Your Garage Into A Home Office

There’s no doubt that the digital era has moved towards flexible working patterns. With more and more professionals working from home regularly, a garage conversion can offer the opportunity to confine work to a single room. When working from home, it’s tempting to do so at the kitchen table or in the lounge, but blurring the line between home and work can be detrimental to family life. 

Having a self-contained office environment is likely not only to increase productivity but also to make it easier to close the door and ‘leave’ work once the working day is done. Many self-employed professionals also create a home office in their garage to conduct client meetings and video conferences in a business-like environment rather than hunched around the kitchen table.

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Cinemas, Gymnasiums, Craft Rooms And More...

On the more glamorous side, the size and shape of a single garage are ideal for a home cinema. However, it’s advisable to investigate soundproofing to prevent the noise from permeating into the remainder of the house. 

With boosted WiFi and clever concealment of wires and cables, however, there’s no reason not to recreate that cinema experience in your own home. 

Alternatively, if you struggle with the motivation to go out to exercise, a home gymnasium can easily be accommodated within a garage conversion. In reality, there’s space for a workout area, a range of equipment and a shower room.

If you’re looking for a haven for crafting, a garage conversion can fit the bill, especially if you replace the main garage door with a large window to allow natural light to flood in. Whether it’s painting, sewing or cardmaking, you’re guaranteed to have space for working and storing your materials, all in a peaceful, inspiring environment.

If your requirements are a little more practical, a garage can be converted as a utility room to free up space in the kitchen that can be taken up by a washing machine and tumble dryer. 

In addition, converting your garage to a clean, dry storage area can take the pressure off the rest of your home. And with so much clutter, it’s easy to mislay important items, so having a clearly defined area for storage can help to reduce the likelihood of wasting hours and hours searching through disorganised piles of paperwork.

Newton Fraser of Refresh Renovations in Nottingham believes that the relatively low outlay required for garage conversions makes them an ideal way of investing both in your family and in your property. 

‘At Refresh, we’re big fans of garage conversions,’ comments Newton. ‘In the main, they’re straightforward and can be completed efficiently without planning permission as garage conversions are usually classed as permitted development. 

They also, we believe, pay for themselves over a few years, either in terms of the improvements they bring to family life or in the uplift they offer to the value of your property.

‘As with any building project, there are technical considerations to be aware of, where we come in. We take time to understand your motivation for converting your garage and explore the design and specifications that will be required to deliver a great result. 

From the foundations and exterior walls to the damp proofing and insulation, it’s vital to cover every aspect of the conversion. We do that with our concept and feasibility study before moving on to plans, drawings and budgets. 

Only when we’re confident that we’ve developed a full brief and shared the total budget with the client do we commence any work.’

If you want to stay fit and healthy but don’t have the time to travel to a nearby gym every time you want to exercise, you could benefit from converting your garage into a home gym. It’s much easier to get in a daily workout if the equipment you need is just a few feet away. You can choose to outfit a home gym with any equipment you want.

Consider focusing on the form of exercise you enjoy the most, which could be yoga, lifting, or biking. If you want the full gym experience, this type of conversion would likely work best in a two-car garage or something even larger. With enough space, you can add separate areas for a sauna, laundry and storage, cardio equipment, weight training, and yoga.

Five Things To Know Before You Convert Your Garage

In a heated property market, converting your garage can seem like a simple, cost-effective way to gain more living space without having to move or change the footprint of your home. But, as with most building projects, there are a few important things to consider before committing to a garage conversion.

Kris MacGregor of MyHome Renovations in Auckland has five key tips to consider before booking a builder to convert your garage.

Building Consent

If you want to convert your garage to a bedroom, living room or media room, it will need to be re-classified from a non-habitable space to a habitable space. This requires a building consent.

Dishes Or Laundry?

“Including a kitchenette and laundry into your garage conversion is a much bigger deal, as your garage will essentially become a separate dwelling,” Kris says. A resource consent from your local council will be required, in addition to building consent.

Level Up

When constructed, your garage will have been built to different requirements to the rest of the house, Kris says. “It will need to be brought up to the applicable NZ Building Code for habitable spaces – for example, installation of building wrap and insulation, the addition of a window(s) for ventilation and damp-proofing the floor.”

Raise The Roof

Check the ceiling height of your garage – it must be a minimum of 2.1m from the finished floor to the finished ceiling to be turned into a habitable space. If your garage ceiling height isn’t enough to accommodate this, you’ll look at a much bigger project.

Where Will You Park?

Will you still have space to park vehicles? The bylaws for parking vary for each council, so it pays to look up how many car parks you should have before you sacrifice one or two for more room to live in. “For example, under the Auckland Unitary Plan, your property must still have enough space to park a minimum of two cars off-street.”

3 Things To Consider Before You Convert Your Garage

The decision to convert your garage could be motivated by any number of reasons: from installing a family recreation room or home theatre to creating an independent living space for another occupant such as an aging parent, to simply adding additional usable square footage to a home you’ve outgrown. 

A garage conversion is usually not a major building project—but it’s not a small DIY matter, either. A successful outcome depends on considering many factors before you finalise plans with qualified contractors. Here are three considerations to think about before you convert your garage:

What About Hvac?

If your house has central heating and cooling, you may opt to extend the ductwork into the conversion. Conversely, you may go with an alternative such as a ductless mini-split heat pump to heat and cool the limited area without ductwork. 

Another HVAC-related item that must be considered early is insulation. If your existing garage isn’t insulated (many aren’t), insulation will be required inside wall voids and above the ceiling.

Plumbing And Electricity

If the conversion incorporates bathroom and kitchen facilities, plumbing services, including water supply lines and drain pipes, must be considered early. Because drain pipes will usually be sent into the existing slab, this must be one of the first issues tackled when conversion work begins. Electrical wiring must also be routed through walls before they are covered. Another item must be properly sequenced in the overall conversion process to avoid conflicts.

Code Compliance

Specific steps are required in advance of construction and after the project to ensure compliance with local laws. Blueprints must be submitted for approval and a building permit issued before beginning work. 

In most locales, hiring a qualified building contractor as well as a licensed electrician, plumber and HVAC contractor are mandatory. After the work is completed, the entire project must be inspected by a building inspector, and if deficiencies are noted, they must be corrected before the structure is approved. 

FAQs About Garage Renovation

A garage conversion could add up to 20 per cent to the value of your home, while you'll gain valuable extra living space that's less prone to planning complications. So if the cost of the project is less than the extra value added to your property, this works out as a cost-effective way to add more space.

When you're eager to increase your square footage at home, converting your garage to extra living space may seem appealing. Though you'll end up losing storage, you'll gain square footage and potentially increase your property value at the same time.

We've found that most people value a garage more than an additional bedroom. The need for extra storage space, along with the reality that most conversions aren't done very well, leaves us converting about 90% back to garages.

The size of a home is measured in square feet of living space, which does not include a garage. Total square feet of living space is different from the total area under the roof, another type of home measurement. The total area under the roof includes porches, garages and balconies.

If you've got a detached garage, you will need to apply for a Change of Use to turn it into a granny annexe, whereas attached garages can often be converted under Permitted Development Rules.


Many homes are outfitted with garages that accommodate anywhere from 1-to 2 vehicles. While most homeowners will use their garage for its intended purpose, it’s also become increasingly common for homeowners to convert their garage into a beautiful living space. 

This space could be anything from a home office to a guest bedroom. There are numerous reasons homeowners choose to convert their garage into an entirely different space. They may want to change what their home looks like.

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