Britons are looking to their garages in the quest to add a bedroom

Looking to create more space? The solution could be on your driveway

blind and curtain combo in a bedroom
(Image credit: Hillarys)

Fed up with your kids sharing a room and constantly arguing about it? Want somewhere for guests to stay when they come to visit? Have a teenager that’s still living at home and wants more privacy?  

If so, it would seem that you’re not alone. According to a recent survey by home interiors specialists Hillarys, one in five Britons are converting their homes in order to create extra bedrooms. 

When asked why, the top responses were, ‘I needed an additional room for my expanding family’ (35%); ‘a friend/relative unexpectedly found themselves without a home’ (29%), and ‘an elderly relative needed a bedroom on the ground floor’ (26%).

Top of the list of spaces homeowners have already converted to create this much-needed extra bedroom? The humble garage. When you consider how few of us actually keep our cars in our garages these days, it makes complete sense to put this empty space to better use.  

The most common rooms to convert were as follows:

  • Garage – 32%
  • Dining room – 23%
  • Attic/loft – 21%
  • Living room – 11%
  • Conservatory – 10%

‘This growing trend for converting rooms into bedrooms is a reflection of the fact that space is at a real premium, so people are looking to make better use of all spaces in their home,’ says Tara Hall, spokesperson for Hillarys. ‘It’s also influenced by people’s changing lifestyles. Spaces like traditional dining rooms aren’t so important to a home now, so people are looking to use those rooms differently.’  

When asked to estimate the cost of converting a room into an extra bedroom, those surveyed said it had cost an average of £2,200.  

Typical costs for converting a single garage into a living space start from around £17,000 plus VAT, with the majority of conversions allowed under permitted development, meaning you won’t require planning permission.  

Beth Murton
Beth first started working on Real Homes as a sub-editor over 15 years ago. Since then she has worked on 4Homes, Grand Designs and as a freelancer, before returning to Real Homes for the third time. She is Acting Editor on the magazine and always has a makeover project of some kind on the go.