George Clarke, architect and presenter of Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces and The Restoration Man, explains why a garage conversion can be a good investment.

George Clarke Is a garage conversion a good investment

The humble domestic garage is at a turning point. Why? Because usable floor areas in the home have increased so much in value that thousands of families are looking to turn the space into a more habitable room. This isn’t a bad choice to make, especially as it has become common for a garage to be used for nearly anything but storing a car. Often, when I open the garage door in someone’s home, I find storage boxes, an extra fridge or freezer, tools and piles of stuff that hasn’t seen the light of day in years. What a waste of space. All of this (especially the gardening equipment) can be relocated to a small shed. Obviously, if it is difficult to park in your area or your insurance stipulates that your car must be garaged overnight then you’d be mad to convert it but, from what I’ve seen, most homes with adjoining garages are in areas where the family motor often sits on the drive.

When planning a garage conversion, you need to spend some time thinking about the best use of the space, and what you and your home really need. The most cost-effective garage conversions are those where you don’t have to make big structural changes, so a more self-contained room works best – such as a guest bedroom, new office, separate playroom, snug or TV room for the children.

Garage conversions of this nature are affordable. On average, they cost between £10,000 and £20,000, depending on the specification. In one of the homes featured in an episode of Channel 4’s The Home Show we were more radical, breaking out a wall that divided the existing living room from the garage to create a large open-plan kitchen/living room in the space. It was incredible, and completely changed the way the family used its home. However, as we were relocating the kitchen and refurbishing more than just the garage, this project cost closer to £50,000. Yes, this is a lot of money, but the property value increased substantially, so that it was worth every penny.

Always check with your local planning department before you start work. You may need full planning permission for a garage conversion in your area, but it will be much quicker and cheaper if you can proceed using your property’s permitted development rights.

Credit: Jefferson Smith

Kevins Column

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2019 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof.
visit-award-winning-grand-designs-live-hosted-by-kevin-mccloud
 
 
take-a-look-inside-this-colourful-chapel-conversion
Conversions

Take a look inside this colourful chapel conversion

Architect Tom Surman transformed this chapel conversion in Islington with colourful stained-glass screens.
loft-conversion-design-ideas
Conversions

Loft conversion design ideas to maximise space and light

Maximise space and light in your home with these cleverly designed loft conversion layout ideas.
10-inspiring-conversions-of-non-residential-properties
Conversions

10 inspiring conversions of non residential properties

Older properties have character, space and charm however, since they weren’t built to be lived in many may need significant alteration to make them habitable....
clever-conversions
Conversions

Converting a unique building into a stylish home

From getting permitted development rights to what buildings make good conversions, read our guide to converting a unusual building like a barn, church or factory.
loft-conversion-ideas
Conversions

Loft conversion ideas from real homes

Whether you want to an extra bedroom, new kitchen area or just more living space, a loft conversion is a great way to renovate. Get...
grand-designs-australia-tv-house-derelict-vinegar-factory-turned-into-a-dream-home
Conversions

Grand Designs Australia TV House Derelict Vinegar factory turned into a dream home

Australian TV grand designers Adrian Light and Liz Murdoch turned a derelict vinegar factory into their dream home.