How to Convert a Garage to a Room

Maybe you wanted to have just two children and then got the surprise in a form of another child. Or perhaps you have as many kids you wanted to, but now they are growing up and don’t really get along. We all know what teenagers could be like. On a different note, maybe there are no disagreements. But after years and years in the office, you decided to finally work from home. So now you need a new study. If you lack the living space in your house, you should think outside of the box and maybe convert a garage to a room. It is an even better solution if you already park your car in the yard. Consider using that garage for more than just clutter and it may pay off. This shouldn’t be a big investment, and it can give you the additional space that you need.

What to know if you want to convert a garage to a room

Convert a Garage to a Room - room
You can make a great children’s room out of your garage

The great thing about this idea is that it’s shouldn’t be very expensive and it doesn’t require too much time to do it. If you are a DIY kind of person, maybe this could be your new project. Because it doesn’t require you to be a professional constructor to do it. Of course, if you are not sure you can do it by yourself, however easy it may sounds, consider hiring professionals. The point is – if you convert a garage to a room you will add some much-needed space to your house for the least amount of money. So before you start looking at new houses and calling professional movers in Pittsburgh, think about this. Not only that you will save money on moving and a bigger house. Here you will have full control over construction works, so you can make whatever you like.

Here is what to know if you want to convert a garage to a room:

  • whether you need planning permission or not,
  • do you need an architect or a designer and will you do it by yourself or hire professionals,
  • do you need to update the foundation,
  • floors,
  • how to insulate the room.

Aside from the fact that nobody is going to have to change schools or take a new commute to work, if you convert a garage to a room, you will also add value to your house. And that can come in handy one day, should you decide to sell.

Whether you need planning permission or not

Before you even start thinking of crashing walls and building a new room, you should find out if you need planning permission. All those plans of you wanting to convert a garage to a room and maybe even call pool table movers in Pittsburgh to help you set up a playroom, can fall through if you don’t get a permit. Well, usuallyyou are not required to obtain planning permission. That is because it falls under permitted development. So, if you are not planning to change the structure of the building, you don’t need a permit.

House with two garages
If you have two garages, consider turning one into a room

However, you might need to apply for a change of use, if you are converting a separate garage. Also, you will need a permit to convert a garage to a room if your place is in a Conservation Area. Or if your property is listed. In the case that there is a planning condition attached to the garage, which states you can’t change its purpose of parking, you will need to submit an application to change that.

Do you need an architect or a designer and will you do it by yourself or hire professionals?

The answer to this question mainly depends on your interests and experience. If you have done some construction work around the house before then this is not your first rodeo. Perhaps you should consider taking advice from professionals. Or maybe even watch a few DIY videos on YouTube to see what is the proper way to convert a garage to a room. Of course, if you have no interests whatsoever, make sure to hire an architect or a designer who will make plans. Also, they should overwatch the work of builders and give directions if necessary. Ask them and around the neighborhood, if they know some reliable builders, so the project doesn’t last forever. And to make sure your plumbing and wiring are OK.

Do you need to update the foundation?

Clutter on the shelf
Put the stuff from the garage to storage to free the space

Your garage is probably full of things you don’t even know you have or you use them seldom. Nevertheless, that stuff is everywhere, so you can’t even see the real condition of your garage. That is why it’s a good idea to empty your garage first. Of course, you probably don’t have a place for stuff in the house (that’s what garage is for, right?) so you should consider renting Pittsburgh storage. That way you’ll belongings will be safe and garage empty. Then you can see which foundation needs to be updated. Your foundations will need assessing in cases where you are filling in the space left by a garage door or you are adding new windows and doors.


After you have rented some of the cheap storage units in Pittsburgh to put your stuff in and saw the condition of the floor, there are a few options to choose from. You can either leave concrete floor if it’s in a good condition and you are building a playroom for adults. However, do you want the room to be a children’s room or a study? Then it’s better to do insolation and cover it with laminate. Think about whether you want to include underfloor heating when you convert a garage to a room. There won’t be a better time for that.

Boards and nails
You can do things yourself or hire professionals

How to insulate the room

External insolation minimizes the impact that extra insulation will have on internal spaces. But it can also cause issues externally with wall thicknesses. That is why it’s better to use insulated plasterboard, fixed to timber battens that are protected by a strip of damp proof course (DPC) placed between batten and wall. You can use a similar method for the ceiling, and while you’re there, think of the interesting ways to transform the ceiling. Since you are probably not going to do construction work there any time soon.

If you have definitely decided to convert a garage to a room make sure to obtain building regulations approval. It requires it because garage conversions fall into ‘change of use’. When you finish the job, a building inspector will come to visually inspect everything. They will check windows, doors, fireproofing measures and foundations and if everything’s OK, they will offer a certificate of completion.

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