Discover how to do a successful Garage Conversion in Edinburgh. Costs, design ideas and useful tips for arranging your garrage in Scotland’s capital.

What about a garage conversion ? You can increase your property value up to 18-20% by doing a garage conversion and adding an extra generous valuable space. If you are already the owner of a garage, this is a fantastic opportunity to turn it into a storage place or a creative space adjusted to your needs. Also, usually, a garage conversion project is free of building regulations approvals and planning permission complications.

The garage design process is simple in general, but a broader knowledge and more elaborate attention to simple details can redefine the whole process, turning it into a versatile space. In this article, you will find a series of information on:

  • Arranging the garage according to the functional areas
  • Heating system installation
  • The ideal choice of finishes for arranging a garage;
  • How important are the insulation and ventilation;
  • How to choose the right doors;
  • How to choose furniture and the lighting system;
  • What the ideal color nuances are.

A first step in the development of the garage design process is to divide it into functional areas. Here are some garage conversion ideas that will make you think about redevelopment

Garage design process

1. Garage conversion into storage

Always keep in mind that the garage can be designed into one of the most elaborate storage areas. Remember that you will need as many storage items as possible, which you can obtain by purchasing special furniture (possibly resistant to environmental conditions), or by using containers (pots, boxes, jars, etc.) in which you can place objects of various sizes. Ideal are metal cabinets with overlapping shelves, where you can place all storage containers by category.

Even if the wardrobe does not have its place in the garage, there are certainly a number of items of clothing that you wear on special occasions (for example, rubber boots, a raincoat, etc.), which can find their place here. You can also think about a garage conversion into a walk in wardrobe. Either you can add a small clothes hanger, or they can be easily stored on the shelves.

At the same time, large items, such as a bicycle or a series of electronics, can be stored properly, so that they are permanently visible and don’t take up too much space. In this sense, you can use a series of hooks, which you can attach to the ceiling or wall to store the bicycle or power tools.

2. Garage conversion into workshop

Garage conversion into a workshop can be very handy for the man of the house. In the garage, the order must be up to date, especially in terms of work area, where you can design a small workshop.

For this, you will need a work table, preferably an extensible and / or wheeled table, which will provide you with all the necessary work space when needed. You can place the table near the storage wall, where all the main tools are located, so that you always have them at hand.

3. Garage conversion into a welcoming living room

Do you need extra living space? Or maybe you need a specific room for work or recreation. Garage conversion into a living room is the simplest and most efficient solution. Park the car on the street and turn the garage into your dream room.

If you want an accessible and airy living room, where you can spend time with family and loved ones, you could consider the garage for a makeover. You can arrange it in any style you want and you gain an excellent living room space.

Garage conversion into a welcoming living room

4. Garage conversion into an extra bedroom and bathroom

The bedroom is the rest area that everyone should enjoy. In case you need an extra bedroom, either for family members or for friends who are staying up late with you, the garage conversion into a bedroom can be the solution to your problem.

It provides enough space for essential furniture, and you can ensure comfort by purchasing quality products. We would suggest to take into consideration a bathroom attached to the bedroom. Think the garage conversion project so that the welcoming bedroom has also a nearby bathroom.

5. Garage conversion into kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the house, but that does not necessarily mean that it must be inside the house. Garage conversion into a kitchen is a great idea especially when the garage is separate from the living space because it will get rid of the smell of food. In addition, another style of cooking space will be a source of inspiration, of course.

6. Garage conversion into children playground

Whoever has children knows how important it is for them to have a generous space to use their infinite imagination. Garage conversion into a children playground can be the perfect solution, especially when the toys are packed and the bedroom are getting smaller and smaller. Transforming the garage into a playground is an idea that will delight the little ones and reassure the parents, who, thus know their children happy and safe.

Garage conversion into children playground

7. Garage conversion into a guest room

Another option for a garage conversion project is to arrange it as a guest room. If you are the kind of guy who likes to have visitors, you would need such a room, which you probably did not include in the initial plans of the house. In addition to a sofa, table, chairs, an en suite bathroom is welcome.

Garage conversion into an office

8. Garage conversion into an office

Living and working nowadays might put you face to face with the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions. Working from home has become a more and more option for millions of employees. So, if you already are the lucky owner of a garage, take into consideration a garage conversion into an office.

If you work from home, you need a space for it. Arrange an office where you can focus on completing the tasks of your job or developing projects in progress, where you can easily communicate with colleagues. You will work more productively in a specially designed space.

9. Garage conversion into a gym

Another option for a garage conversion project is to arrange it as a guest room. If you are the kind of guy who likes to have visitors, you would need such a room, which you probably did not include in the initial plans of the house. In addition to a sofa, table, chairs, an en suite bathroom is welcome.

Garage conversion into a gym

How much does a garage conversion cost ?

The average cost of a garage conversion can vary in the range of GBP 5,000 and GBP 20,000, according to real estate specialists. The total cost will depend on the square meters of your garage, the destination of the garage conversion project (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, office) that you are planning and the quantity of professional contracting assistance you’ll request. While tailoring your garage conversion budgeting, take into consideration the main elements :

  • Interior design (renovation) elements
  • Heating system installation
  • Rewiring
  • Waste removal quantity
  • Piping layout
  • Insulation
  • Ventilation, windows to be installed
  • Roofing
  • Wall framing

Do I need a building warrant for a garage conversion ?

Usually, a building warrant is not required to can perform a garage conversion into an additional extra living space for your home, as long as the work does not involve altering or enlarging the building. Windows installing are also allowed without the need of a building warrant.

The Building (Scotland) Act 2003 grants the permission of a range of works of alterations that may be carried out within homes without the need to apply for a Building Warrant. Small domestic buildings such as garages of a floor area between 8 & 30 square meters may also be erected without a Building Warrant. Also see the Scottish Government guidance on the procedures underpinning the Scottish (Scotland) Regulations 2004 regarding garage conversion (““)

How to heat the garage so that, during the cold season, it can maintain a comfortable temperature?

  • Heating by installing radiators or under floor heating pipes are the most efficient, but it makes sense to use it to heat large areas. To heat water, you can use a gas boiler. When thinking about the budget for your garage conversion project set the heating as a priority.
  • Electric heating is the simplest option, in addition to the fact that this method allows you to quickly heat the room. Although, take into account that the price of electricity for electric heaters will cost much more than the cost of fuel for other heaters. So, we would suggest to use the electric heating option only for small rooms when performing a garage conversion project.

Choosing the interior design in garage conversion project


The garage will undoubtedly be a space with frequent traffic, which means that the floor must be appropriate, especially as it will have to be resistant to an active lifestyle and the weight of storage elements (for example, car, cabinets, big closets, cupboards). Depending on the destination of the garage conversion and its functionality, but also on the budget, you can choose a suitable floor.

Usually, we use resistant materials, such as concrete flooring, self-leveling flooring or epoxy resin flooring. When choosing a garage floor, it is good to keep in mind:

  • If the garage does not involve works of essential refurbishing or permanent contact with different materials and liquids, you can use an elegant floor with a fairly high durability;
  • The wooden floor has a medium durability and can be used to offer an elegant and fancy look;
  • A rather practical choice is the porcelain tiles. It offers a unique and creative look, but it can easily be damaged at high pressure or heavy traffic. At the same time, liquid leaks (paints, oils, fuels, etc.) can be easily infiltrated in the spaces between the tiles, which is why this type of floor is to be avoided in the case of a real workshop;

On the other hand, we find the self-leveling floor having similar properties to the concrete one. If you have an appropriate budget and you want an elegant floor, but also durable, at the same time, ideal for heavy traffic or weight, self-leveling floor is the ideal option.

The walls

While doing a garage conversion project, take into account that the walls need to meet a series of well-defined criteria.  So that, in the future, you won’t encounter a lot of problems, which are common in the case of garages. Thus, the garage walls must be :

  • resistant to chemicals and weight,
  • easy to be maintained and cleaned
  • not ignite in the presence of fire
  • not to be toxic (to prevent unpleasant reactions with a series of working materials or steams) .

Here are the materials frequently used in the garage conversion design process:

  • Plaster: It is a simple and accessible choice, which has a long duration of resistance, being, in fact, a fairly economical option. The plaster can be made of brick or concrete mixture;
  • Washable paint: Often found in the interior of homes, washable paint is an extremely accessible option and affordable to all. Ideal are water-based washable paints or acrylic paints, which are easy to apply and have a simple maintenance in the future;
  • Tiles: The walls can also be finished by using ceramic, wood or plastic plywood, depending on your budget. Ceramic tiles are the ideal option, due to their resistance to changes in the environment, while wood tiles are a more affordable option, but with an extremely high degree of flammability.

How to plan the ceiling in a garage conversion project

The choice of materials for the ceiling is also important. Although, the ceiling is not subject to high pressure or does not perform a number of functions as important as the walls or floor.

Like walls, the materials from which the ceiling is made must have the same characteristics, often opting for the same choice of material, both in terms of walls and ceiling.

Here are the most used materials for arranging the ceiling of a garage conversion:

  • Siding: It is a material often used due to its resistance over time and easy to be maintained in the future. Both the plastic and the metal siding materials have fireproof, antibacterial properties and are resistant to high / low temperatures;
  • Plaster board: it is a very affordable choice, with very good characteristics in terms of durability and thermal insulation.

The importance of insulation and ventilation

If you plan a workshop for a garage conversion project, think about the use of chemicals or different works might lead to the evaporation of substances and powders with potential negative impact.

Therefore, it is very important to equip your garage with a suitable ventilation system. You can also improvise such a system by drilling holes on each side of the entrance gate, as well as, two windows above the ceiling, located on the opposite wall, which will ensure air circulation in the room and good ventilation.

The location of a ventilation system or the creation of one also leads to the avoidance of accumulating and infiltrating of unpleasant odors in the walls or in various materials existing in the garage. If possible, install windows.

When converting your garage think about insulation also plays an important role, given the temperature changes between the indoor and outdoor environment. A good insulation of the garage can prevent the formation of moisture and mold, while maintaining an adequate temperature for the body. Also, an appropriate temperature won’t lead to faults in electrical tools and wiring installation.

Choice of doors

The choice of doors is another important chapter in a conversion project. Wrong doors can easily unbalance the aesthetic aspect, as well as the comfort and stability of the room. Such garage doors can be purchased from specialized stores or you can opt for a custom doors, tailored upon your own requirements. If the garage has a generous space, you can use two doors.

Often, in a conversion design project, full or semi-sliding sectional doors are used. These doors allow total or partial opening, depending on needs.

You can also opt for swing doors, a concept made of metallic and very resistant materials, which can be placed according to your needs.

A simple, accessible and affordable choice are the shutters, which can be placed over the opening surface. They can be made of metal or plastic, but they are often a rather “fragile” choice, which is why they must be placed in safe places from a functional and thermal point of view.


Choice of doors

Lighting and choice of furniture in a garage conversion project

During all the hours you will spend in the garage to complete your projects or just relaxing, you will need the best possible light. Therefore, the lighting system must be chosen properly, in relation to the size of the space and personal needs.

It is recommended to place a central light source at the ceiling level, which will spread the light over a wide area. However, if the room is very large or divided into several work areas, you can also opt for local artificial lighting, through spotlights or portable lamps.

In terms of furniture, solid and durable pieces are preferred, which withstand various temperature variations and can withstand high weights. Therefore, the most recommended are solid wood furniture pieces or those with a metal structure. At the same time, you can replace the classic cabinets with the plastic ones or with multi-storey metal shelves.

Color palette

A garage conversion design project cannot be completed without giving it a chromatic touch. The most suitable colors are obviously the natural ones, given by the pieces of furniture and the other finishes. Using plenty of white and shades of brown, you can give the garage a slightly more refined look.

 In conclusion, by implementing some basic aspects you can refurbish a garage, so as to obtain a room that is technically and functionally suitable, but which, at the same time, is elegant and visually orderly. The weight of the elements and their location in the right areas can help you to carry out your activities freely, without stress and without worries.


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