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  • 作家相片George Zhao

Tips to succeed garage conversion planning application to an office or bedroom

In terms of design, a garage conversion is one of the approaches that would significantly increase the property's value.

It's really not an exaggeration to describe a house in London as “寸土寸金” (Cùn tǔ cùn jīn). It is a Chinese saying which means an inch of land and an inch of gold. To have each space be utilised efficiently, it is needed to have a proper design.

For families who already have an outdoor parking space and are eager to increase the number of bedrooms, converting the garage into a bedroom or a work/study room would be a wise decision. So, our client chose to transform the garage into a habitable bedroom for one of our ongoing residential renovation projects. And we have successfully passed the planning permission application from the local council.

Project Overview:

When designing the garage conversion, the purpose was for the elderly to sleep in. Considering the inconvenience for the elder to have to go upstairs to use the bathroom at night, we designed to create an independent bathroom in the elderly room.

However, the garage space is not very big, but our designers cleverly designed the layout, where the bathroom has everything, the toilet, shower room, and a separate wet and dry area. (Friendly reminder: If you want to know more about bathroom renovation, you can read our "UK little secrets under the staircase renovation" blog.)

At the same time, we decided to create a new door opening in the entrance corridor to easily access the bedroom. Instead of having to walk a long way around the house. Also, we decided to construct a new insulated and moisture-proof wall with a beautiful double-glazed window to replace the garage door. For the window, we found a window manufacturer with a good reputation and produces windows that are good at transmitting light and thermal insulation. A great way to start the day is to see the gorgeous outside view and feel the warm sunshine shining into your bedroom.

Credit: JustaQuote

Here is some quick advice about installing or replacing the windows. We suggest that you look into the regulations of your local council, and would be best to follow them. So, if your home is located in a protected area, it would be recommended to consider using a window design approved by the council, where the design and the colours are similar to the neighbouring properties.

Design Ideas & Advice

If you are thinking about transforming your garage but feeling worried about the planning permission application. We hope that the professional guidance we are sharing with you regarding the planning permission application for garage renovation would help you answer your queries.

Examples of the plans used for the planning application

Tip 1: Hire a Professional Designer

The experienced design team not only can provide professional drawings. They can also represent you to have a professional discussion with the local council regarding the proposed changes. This will significantly improve the success rate of your garage conversion approval. And this would be extremely helpful for individuals who are currently inexperienced with doing conversions.

Tip 2: Submit relevant documents for planning application

What documents do I need to submit? This is a question that our clients often ask us. In fact, the planning permission application is not as complicated and scary as it seems. The purpose of the application is to clearly show the details of the renovation you want to the council.​​​ But make sure it complies with local building design codes.

Basic documents that you would need are:

  • The block plan and site location plan showing where the project is located

  • A cover letter that summarises the renovation project

  • Existing and proposed floor plans, elevation and section drawings, all up to scale to show what changes you are making.

The garage conversion project that we got approved by the council involves changing the wall structure and adding new doors and windows. We included structural drawings and structural calculations so that the local council can clearly understand the details of the renovation work. However, the additional documents for planning applications would vary based on the kind of renovation work to be done, and the local council as they have different regional policies regarding planning.

Tip 3: Contact a Building Control Inspector

You must contact the building control inspector after obtaining approval from your local council. Inspectors can be private or assigned from a local authority. In our current project, we went for a private inspector. The downside is that the price is higher than the inspector from the council, but the upside is that they are more flexible when visiting the site.

Tip 4: Construction team

When choosing a construction team, there are two things that you would need to look out for. One, they have experience in doing a garage conversion, so they can deal with any problems from this renovation work. And two is they are familiar with the building regulations as well! Since it is necessary to carry out professional works of moisture-proof and thermal insulation the floors and walls.

Tip 5: Timing

After submitting all relevant drawings to the council, you need to wait patiently for 1-2 months for approval. The approval time will vary in different regions, as each council processes the application differently. Because of this problem, the designer would need to reserve time and cooperate with the construction team to plan the construction work schedule in advance.

These are some tips about converting the garage into a habitable space. We hope sharing these tips will make your garage conversion easier! So let us know what you think about it in the comments below! Also, if you find this helpful, why not share this blog with your friends and family! Remember to follow and like us on Facebook to get updates on new interior design tips.


Are you thinking of doing a garage conversion to your home? Here at T Interiors | 天润一始 have a professional design team that has the expertise and experience to help you with the garage conversion. Want to discuss your project with us, you can get in touch with us!


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