Do I need planning permission for a garage?

If you are looking to convert your garage or build a wooden garage and you are concerned about the building regulations and whether you need to acquire planning permission or not, in this guide you will find all the information you need.


What are the benefits of converting my garage?

There are many reasons that getting planning permission for garage conversion could be beneficial to your home. But before you make your decision, think about what you currently use your garage for. Do you use it for storage? Car security? If not, and it is essentially wasted living space, then converting your garage could be a good move.

Increase the value of your property

Converting your garage is probably one of the most cost effective ways of adding extra space to your house and it can even increase the value of your property. In addition, if you are in need of extra daylight then a garage conversion could be the answers. You could install glazed doors for easy access from your home as well as allowing extra light.

One garage unlimited conversion ideas!

Always wanted a home-gym but thought you couldn’t afford it? A garage conversion could be the perfect solution. The same goes for an extra bedroom, playroom, a bigger kitchen, a home cinema or even a study. One of the most popular options it to create a separate lounge. Especially useful if you live in a large household with lots of messy children! However, don’t stop there; your imagination is the limit when it comes to conversion possibilities.

Do I need planning permission for a garage conversion?

Whilst in most cases you do not need planning permission for a garage conversion, there are a few exceptions to the rule where garage conversion planning permission might be required. In certain cases permitted development rights are void; this could likely be the case if you live in a new housing development, or in a conservation area. Similarly, if you live in a listed building then you may be required to get approved listed building consent. If in doubt it is always best to contact your local authority for further guidance.

If you do decide to convert your garage to a habitable space (e.g. lounge, bedroom, bathroom) then you will need to ensure you comply with government building regulations. In order to comply, a building control officer will most likely need to check out your garage before and during the conversions. For more information on building regulations visit the governments website.

If, however, you are converting an existing garage for use as a new bedroom or living area, then you will be subject to a number of different rules, including the following:

  • A window of at least 450x450mm will need to be installed in one of the exterior walls of the room, at least 110mm above floor level. This is to ensure the new room has proper ventilation to prevent damp and also to provide an alternative fire escape route. If you are unsure about where to position your new window, you can always hire a structural engineer to provide additional information and advice.
  • The conversion should also be designed so the exterior of your property remains unchanged and unaffected in appearance. This rule is usually more relevant for older homes in rural neighbourhoods. If you live in a listed building  or conservation area you may find even more particular rules imposed about what can and cannot be changed. You can apply to the Planning and Building Control board of your local council to see if such restrictions can be withdrawn.
  • Construction work shouldn’t affect drainage in any way; if you find your home, your neighbour’s home, or any parts of the street or surrounding garage conversion regulationsarea suffering from increased pressure or unexplained blockages, then you should contact a private plumber to fix the problem as soon as possible.
  • Depending on what you are converting your garage into, you may also need to install wall, floor or roof insulation. This is to ensure that the conversion conforms to current heating and energy-saving building standards and to make certain the room is effectively soundproofed; keeping you and your neighbours on the best terms possible!
  • If you live in a busy inner-city area or if your street simply suffers from a parking shortage you may also find permission to convert your garage is refused so that streets don’t become clogged with parked cars.
  • Because you are simply converting an existing section of your property, garage conversions do not usually require planning permission. If you find that your conversion or building work will result in the extension of your home, however, you may need to check this with your local council.
  • Rules differ from home to home and area to area, but your council can send round a Building Control Officer to either confirm or refute your plans if you should request it.

A sheet of product specifications is also needed sometimes. The authority will very likely inform you the involved costs beforehand. In order to make everything smooth, you may want to contact a contractor for sketches and planning ideas for extending your garage. When you submit your application with all the required details, the authority will decide whether to approve your proposal or not. Normally, the approval process takes about six to eight weeks.

What types of garages need planning permission?

If you are wondering “do I need planning permission for a garage conversion?” then it is also worth considering what type of garage you have.

Single garage: A single garage shouldn’t require planning permission and will add around 150 square feet of floor space to your home.

Double garage: Similarly, a double garage wouldn’t usually require planning permission. If you convert the entire garage you will add around 300 square feet of floor space to your home.

Standalone garage: In most cases you will need to apply for planning permission, as its use will change.

How much does a garage conversion cost?

garage-conversion-costWhilst there is no way to give you an accurate quote without knowing your specific situation, you can expect to pay somewhere between £5,000 – £10,000 for a full garage conversion. If you are looking to keep costs down then several factors will impact the overall cost.

The size: One of the most obvious price factors is the size of the garage. This is because the bigger the garage the most time and material needed, resulting in a costlier project.

The use: It depends on what you want to convert your garage into as to how high the overall cost will be. For example, a bedroom will be a much cheaper option then converting the garage into a brand new kitchen.

The method: Will you be doing some of the work yourself, or will you be hiring a builder to do the entire conversion? Obviously the latter will be much more expensive. In addition, should you enlist the help of an architect you can expect an even higher bill. However these specialists will ensure a smooth running project as well as an overall professional execution of the job.