If you need more space in your home but don’t want to lose your garden, the garage is the next best thing.
Garages are often under-utilised, you might not even have a car, and your vehicle can be parked on the street or in a driveway. And, the rest of your garage space might be full of boxes or even empty.
Converting it to a bedroom can give you much-needed space, and at a fraction of the cost of a full extension.
Of course, it’s still not cheap. The average cost for a garage conversion to a bedroom is £469 to £1,200 per square metre. The average single garage is 2.4 x 4.9 metres, meaning costs are likely to be around £10,000.
And, if you have a larger double garage (3 x 6), you’re looking at costs starting from £8,500 but more likely to be around £20,000. Of that, about half can be chalked up to labour and the rest to materials and permits.
Why Convert A Garage To A Bedroom?
Many people need more space in their home. Converting a garage into a living space means you get that space without sacrificing garden space outside. In addition, it can mean investing a minimal amount in the room, as you’ll primarily have to insulate it and connect it to the home’s heating system.
For example, the average cost to build an extension is £1,800- £2,600 per square metre, with build, shell, and interior fitting included. If you convert an existing building, that drops to £469- £1,200 – or sometimes less than half the cost.
Of course, cost isn’t everything. A garage is already part of your home and you won’t have to block off windows, refit your home, or have a room with access in the kitchen. You also won’t lose garden space. And, if you’re not really utilising your garage anyway, it can be a great way to get the best of both worlds.
How Much Does Converting A Garage To Bedroom Cost?*
Converting a garage to a bedroom will vary a lot in cost depending on the size of the room, what kind of insulation you pick, the cost of notifications, and what kind of internal fittings you want. If you go with basic fittings and insulation, you can typically expect the following price ranges for a double garage (30 M2) conversion. This does not include furniture.
|Replacing Garage Doors||32-40||£2,000-£3,500|
Please note these cost estimates are based on quotes given at the time of writing in May of 2023. Actual rates are subject to change and may be different at the time of reading.
Bedroom Garage Conversion Pricing Influences
There are a lot of factors that influence the total cost of a bedroom conversion project. For example, the materials you choose, how much glass you want, the extent of the modifications, etc.
Cost of Labour
Most general contractors cost £25-£60 per hour. On average, you’ll pay about £150 per day, per labourer on your project. That will be about £250 per day for skilled labourers like structural engineers and sometimes as little as £100 per day for construction workers. If you live in an urban area, you may want to budget a little bit more.
In addition, conversion projects can span weeks. This means that the large portion of costs are about labour. If you’re expecting to spend 2 days removing the garage door, another 2 days building a new wall to your house, another 2 putting in a floor and another 2 putting in framing and drywall – you’re looking at several weeks of work.
How Many Modifications You Want
If you want to replace the garage doors with a wall, add a floor, add insulation, and put in drywall, you’re looking at minimal costs. On the other hand, if you want to knock a hole in the far wall of your garage to install windows, put in a sliding glass door to the garden, and have a loft installed for storage, you’re looking at maximum costs.
The more modifications you want to the garage, the more you’ll pay in total costs. And, sometimes those costs will be necessary.
For example, you likely want the bedroom to have windows. However, you might not want a full glass wall to the front of the house, where everyone driving by can see into a sleeping area. Knocking out part of a back wall to add that glass would be a better call.
- How many windows do you want? Where?
- What kind of storage are you getting rid of? Do you want to replace it by filling up the upper space of the garage with a loft?
- Do you have to add a small foundation to put a wall in to replace the doors?
In some cases, it will be a good idea to go over the project with a structural engineer before you make solid plans.
In most cases, you’ll want your new garage conversion to match the rest of your home. That will mean choosing materials that fit the rest of the home. For example, if your home is made out of brick with wooden sash windows, you’ll want those materials for the front of the garage conversion.
- Brick – Normally about £60-£120 per square metre
- UPVC Cladding – Normally about £30-£60 per square metre
- Concrete – £65-£90 per square metre
However, materials don’t only affect the cost of the outer wall. For example, you can normally expect to pay about £1,200 per square metre of glazing. If you want a glass wall or large windows, those will significantly add to costs. However, because you don’t have to insulate behind them, total costs may actually be cheaper than using brick.
Insulation normally costs somewhere between £5 and £25 per square metre. However, it could go up to over £55 for loose fill fibre.
In most cases, you’ll go with blanket batting or insulation boards (£5-£10 per square metre). And, you’ll typically want to double up insulation in the roof.
However, chances are high that you already have a layer of insulation in the roof – which means you could be able to get away with a simple 145 square metres of insulation for a 30 square metre room.
If you’re going with simple batting, that could be as low as £755 in insulation costs. And, because batting simply presses into the frame, you can install it in a few hours – minimising costs.
That’s also true with insulation boards, which are quick and simple to install before you install the flooring and the drywall.
Your garage probably already has wiring. However, you’ll likely want to adjust the location of switches, ensure that sockets are conveniently placed, etc. This will mean hiring an electrician to do wiring for you. That will cost from £150 but not usually more than £250.
In addition, most garages are not connected to the central heating system. This means you’ll have to extend the system.
That always means hiring a plumber, buying a new radiator (or underfloor heating) and paying to have the system extended. And, if your current system is already maxed out, it will also mean buying a new central heating system.
Here, you’ll likely want to discuss options with a professional before making decisions.
DIY vs Professional Labour
You can often do a lot of the prep and finishing work for your garage conversion yourself. For example, you can move everything out of the garage before people arrive. You can also install the insulation, the drywall, and final flooring yourself – providing you have the time and the expertise.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the professional will always do the job faster and more professionally. They have the tools and the practice to do the job well at a speed you can’t manage – which means you’ll wrap up the mess as quickly as possible and can get back to life.
Labour costs are also often not as high as you might expect, as you’ll likely pay about £350 in labour to drywall a room – and the rest is materials costs.
However, if you are on a tight budget, there are plenty of tasks you can do yourself to reduce total costs.
Cost of Permits and Notifications
You won’t have to apply for planning permission unless the room is a separate home from your home, has more than one storey, or you’re expanding the garage. This means you can save those costs and you won’t necessarily require a structural engineer for the project.
However, you’ll always have to pay for planning permissions, which will cost £170-£690 depending on where you live.
The standard cost is £170 for notifications. However, you’ll have to check your local council to see what rates are. In addition, if you hire a contractor who is part of the Competent Person’s Register, they can handle notifications for you.
Building Regs & Planning Permission
Building regulations are always necessary when you make changes to your home. You’d have to notify building control for changing wiring, changing radiators, installing a new radiator, replacing the garage door with a wall, or installing a window. Chances are, you’re doing all of these. Fortunately, you can notify as one project, which means you’ll only pay once.
In addition, it’s unlikely you’ll need planning permission. However, if you’re adding a storey, are expanding the size of the room, or have a building limitation (or live in a listed house) you may be required to file for planning permission.
If you’re doing a garage conversion to a bedroom and a bathroom, you may be required to file for planning permission anyway, because the room can be used as standalone housing. That normally starts with a £60 application fee plus up to £250 of administrative fees.
Does It Add Value?
Adding a new bedroom to your home may add value to the home. However, whether or not it makes your home more saleable depends on what the buyers want. For example, if they want a garage and don’t need the extra bedroom, they will pass the home by.
In addition, it also depends on what you do with the garage conversion. For example, if you have a large double garage and opt for a partial conversion, creating a new 15 m2 bedroom and leaving a 15 m2 garage, you could be getting the best of both worlds.
It’s always a good idea to discuss what the housing market is doing with a realtor before planning for major changes to your home, like garage conversions. They may or may not add value and your existing home may be exactly what is wanted on the market now.
Converting a garage to a bedroom takes several weeks. In most cases, that will be 3-6 weeks.
- Find contractors and compare quotes, choose the best one – 1-2 weeks
- Add any structural bracing to the front of the home necessary and remove the garage doors – 2-3 days
- Lay a structure and level the foundation to build a wall on and wait for it to cure – 3-7 days
- Build a new brickwork wall closing the door area – 2-4 days
- Install interior framing and flooring – 2-4 days
- Add windows and doors – 1 day
- Install insulation – 1 day
- Fit subfloor – 2-3 days
- Install drywall and flooring – 1-2 days
- Plaster – 1 day
- Fit electrics – 1-2 hours
- Paint – 1 day
- Add radiators – 4-8 hours
You’ll also have to dispose of waste, although your contractor should be able to manage that for you.
How Can You Save Money?
In most cases, there are two main approaches to saving money on a garage conversion project. DIY work and shopping around.
- Consider which work you want to do yourself and do so.
- Shop around and find a contractor offering good quotes and quality.
- Choose materials that offer good price and value.
- Limit the number of modifications to the back walls.
- Skip installing a loft (although it’s cheaper to install everything at once if you need the loft later).
- Try to have one contractor do most of the work.
Builder Hiring Checklist
Hiring the right builder mostly means comparing options, getting clear quotes, and ensuring they are qualified.
- Ask for and compare multiple quotes
- Make sure builders’ area with the Competent Person’s Register
- Check that the builder subcontracts electricians and plumbers for the project so you don’t have to align their schedules
- Worker’s compensation
- Liability insurance
- Workmanship guarantee
You’ll also want to have the builder come to inspect the property to discuss potential complications and issues, and to give you a quote based on what your space actually looks like.
Converting a garage to a bedroom can be one of the cheapest ways to add more living space to your home. However, it’s still a big project.
You can expect rates to start from about £469 per square metre and to go over £1,200. In addition, those rates will depend on what material you choose and why.
For example, if you opt for a glass back wall and designer brick facing, you can expect that to basically double. On the other hand, if you’re mindful of costs, choose basic but not cheap options, and look for quality and durability, it’s perfectly feasible to stay within the realm of £500 per square metre.
If you’re ready to start your garage conversion, you’ll need quotes from local builders.
If you wish to request quotes from general contractors in your area, feel free to use the form located at the top of this page.