Do you need planning permission for a Garage Conversion?

Jan 2024 | Blog

With so many options to make better use of your current garage space, be it extra living area, a home office, or a games room, you may be wondering do you need planning permission for a garage conversion? Or can you simply pick up tools and start realising your dream of extra space and functionality in your home?


Can I convert my garage into a room without planning permission?

The answer is it depends.

In the UK, there are provisions for internal renovations in your home that can be performed under permitted developments without planning permission.

For a garage conversion, this could mean that you would need to leave the external garage doors in place and cover them over internally. That might be a workable option for you, but if you prefer to invite more light and air into your converted garage, you might be planning to take out the garage doors and replace them with windows or doors.

There are homes that may have had the ‘permitted developments’ clause removed, so you really need to explore carefully do you need planning permission for a garage conversion before arranging a garage conversion. Other considerations around garage conversion planning permission include the purpose of the room you want to convert your garage into.

‘Change of Use’ of a dwelling will generally require planning permission. Similarly, if your home is a ‘listed building’, there will be separate regulations to abide by. Homes in conservation areas likewise require garage conversion planning permission.

To find out about planning permission requirements specific for your area, you can enter your postcode onto the UK Government website.


Is it legal to convert a garage into a bedroom in the UK?

It is legal to convert a garage into a bedroom in the UK if you (and your building team) are compliant with all regulations around doing so. If you consider your current garage, it does not have that fresh, airy, ventilated and temperature-controlled (insulated) feel that you and your family would be looking for in a bedroom.

While this is expected with a garage, with this change of use comes a change in what you are required to do to make the new space compliant.


What are the rules for converting a garage?

In 2022, building regulations in the UK changed to come in line with national Net Zero commitments for 2050. These changes impact the rules for converting a garage. As explained by the Federation of Master Builders, it’s imperative that any work undertaken (including garage conversions) is compliant with the building regulations.

The building regulations are a set of standards that are designed to ensure that new buildings, renovation work, alterations, extensions, and conversions are carried out in a manner that results in safe, energy-efficient and healthy homes. There are in-depth sets of regulations each relating to specific areas of construction, including structural performance, electrical and gas safety, drains, ventilation and fire safety.

Let’s look more closely at the rules as they apply to converting a garage.

  1. Electrical work should confirm to Part P of the building regulations.
  2. If you plan on moving or changing a boiler or gas appliance, you will need to adhere to Part J of the regs.
  3. Building work that will affect the current drains will need to comply with Part H.
  4. New ventilation should comply with Part F.
  5. Part G concerns new cold and hot water supplies.
  6. Conservation of fuel and power: homeowners planning a garage conversion will need to comply with energy-efficiency requirements for windows, doors, and walls.

It’s important to note that there are national and local building regulations, so ensure you’ve considered this for your garage conversion planning permission.


How much do building regulations cost for garage conversion?

As mentioned, there are different building regulations depending on where you live in the UK.As such, it’s important to understand exactly what your garage conversion will be required to comply with when considering the cost of building regulations for garage conversions.

It’s possible to apply online and there is a fee calculator available that can help you budget for building regs in your garage conversion. One of the key things to bear in mind is that building regs costs are an investment rather than simply an added cost to your garage conversion.All works undertaken needs to be compliant for your safety, to be legal, and you need appropriate certification of approved and compliant works.Any works that do not have appropriate approvals, and/or are non-compliant with regs could result in the work being undone or redone, and extensive penalties applied.

Further to that, if you’re planning to sell your home and are looking forward to that increased property value from your garage conversion, you may find yourself unable to sell your home if you do not have the required certifications. If you dream of extra light and space, and increased functionality through a garage conversion, you will benefit from this investment in your home. However, it’s understandable if thoughts of cost and compliance with planning permission and building regs have your head swimming. No one wants to invest time and money into a garage conversion only to discover they haven’t complied with all planning permissions or regulations.

Engaging reliable, professional building experts for your garage conversion can take the headache out of garage conversion planning permission.


How DK Building Can Help You With Your Garage Conversion Planning Permission?

DK Building has an experienced, friendly building team who can answer all your garage conversion questions, and offer professional guidance through every stage of your garage conversion.

Contact DK Builders today for peace of mind with your garage conversion planning permission, we offer advice on garage conversion costs, and can work in a variety of locations in the North West for our garage conversions such as Warrington, Liverpool and all around Cheshire.



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