Garage conversions are an affordable way of adding extra living space or a home office to your property. It may cost you as little as £ 7,000 to remodel your garage space according to your requirements. 

Another positive in this regard is the fact that you will not require Planning Permission for a garage conversion as this nature of restructuring falls under Permitted Development. However, applying for a Lawful Development Certificate might be a good idea in case you intend to sell or remortgage your property.

Will Garage Conversion Increase Council Tax?

No, having a garage conversion will not increase your council tax bill; at least not until you sell your property.

Being a property value-based taxation system, council tax is influenced by changes in the value of your property. There are eight valuation bands based upon property values that run from A to H in ascending order. Properties valued up to and equal to £ 40,000 are categorised as Band A; with the maximum value of higher than £ 320,000 categorising them in Band H. Check your Council Tax band here.

In some cases, the property value band does not change despite an increase in the value of your house. Since a garage conversion can increase the value of your property up to 20 per cent, there may be cases where the valuation bands elevate, costing the new owners/tenants a higher council tax bill.

Garage conversions do increase the market value of one’s property but this revaluation only comes into effect once the property is put up for sale and the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) assesses the market value of the premises and assigns a council tax band to it. 

To learn more about property conversions, we will explore the following areas:

  • What Is Included In Permitted Development?
  • Do I Need Building Regulations For Garage Conversion?
  • What Are Building Regulations?
  • What Kind Of Changes To Property Affect My Council Tax Bill?
  • Do You Have To Pay Council Tax When Renovating A Property?
  • How Much Do Home Renovations Cost In The UK?

What Is Included In Permitted Development?

The scope of Permitted Development runs across varied projects that may be related to the internal or external structure of a property. Home improvement projects under  Permitted Development include the following:

  • building of a small rear extension 
  • construction of a porch 
  • changes of use including loft, garage or basement conversions
  • knocking down of internal walls
  • installation of solar panels 
  • installation of satellite dishes 
  • addtition of rooflights or dormer windows

Do I Need Building Regulations For Garage Conversion?

Yes, you will need Building Regulations for garage conversion to make sure that your property is not only safe and hazard-free but also improves the overall living standard for you and your surroundings. 

You or your builder should contact the Building Regulations department prior to the commencement of any work on your property. A building control inspector may visit your property at various intervals of the construction/remodelling process to assure that all standards and procedures are being met.

Key areas that you will be required to comply with include the following: 

  • fire safety
  • ventilation
  • thermal performance
  • acoustics

For a detailed overview of the role of Building Regulation, click here Building Regulations: What You Need to Know, From Application to Sign Off

What Are Building Regulations?

These are some basic standards for the design and structural changes that are to occur and are essential to be met during construction, conversion or refurbishment of properties. Building Regulations have been set to assure that the health and safety of the residents will not be compromised in any way as a result of the said modifications to the property. 

These include the following:

  • Structural changes such as house extensions or conversions should not affect a load-bearing wall, beam or chimney breast or which will make access to property difficult. 
  • There should be no electrical safety concerns due to the addition of fuse boxes or plugs, or a change of electrics that causes new electrical wiring.
  • Installation of heating appliances such as a boiler, radiator or fuel-burning appliance should be managed with extreme caution.
  • There should be no concern for fire hazards due to construction work and the escape route (of the added/converted section to the premises) must comply with fire safety standards.
  • Installation of a new bathroom or kitchen should not affect the overall plumbing of the house.
  • New windows, doors or fixed air-conditioning systems should meet the safety and design standards set by Building Regulations.

What Kind Of Changes To Property Affect My Council Tax Bill?

There are certain circumstances due to which properties may be revalued and their bands reassigned by the local council. Below is a list of factors that may cause a change in band:

  • a part of your property is demolished and is not rebuilt
  • the property is altered to subdivide it into self-contained units, (this could be a single unit with an annexe – each unit will be considered under a separate band) 
  • a single property is reconstructed into self-contained flats
  • flats are converted to a single property
  • residents start or stop working from home
  • changes were made to property the property by the previous owner
  • significant changes such as a new road are being made to the local area
  • the council tax band was changed for a property with similar features in the same area

While some of the changes listed above are directly related to renovations and repairs being made to premises and they also might be in control of the resident, some might be involuntary and external changes that do have an impact on council tax bills. 

Do You Have To Pay Council Tax When Renovating A Property?

If the property is uninhabitable due to the renovations that are being made to it and the nature of work includes structural changes or major home repairs, residents will be exempt from paying council tax for the tenure of the process. 

However, if you are unable to qualify for an exemption from council tax, certain home repairs may count you as eligible for a council tax reduction; while renovations that do not affect everyday living and the property remains occupied while work proceeds will not qualify for either an exemption or a discount.

You may be able to avail of a discount on your council tax bill if any of the following repair works are being done at your home:

  • repair of roof structures or foundations 
  • rebuilding of external walls or chimney stacks, 
  • replacement of floors 
  • removal of internal walls (not partitions)

Can I Apply For A Council Tax Discount For Home Renovations?

To be able to qualify for a council tax discount while your home is being renovated, you must inform your local council office prior to the commencement of the repair work at your premises (or as soon as possible once the work starts. If the claimant informs their local council after the renovations are complete, they will be required to provide substantial evidence to be considered for a council tax discount.

The next steps will be as follows:

Step 1: The council contacts the residents and sends a representative to survey the premises.

Step 2: If the property qualifies for a discount, the reduced amount of council tax will remain applicable for an entire year (this may be up to a 100 per cent discount).

Step 3: Once the property becomes inhabited, residents liable for council tax payments must inform their local council within 21 days.

Step 4 (a): If the property remains unfurnished and uninhabited for less than 2 years, a full council tax bill becomes applicable.

Step 4 (b): If the property remains unfurnished and uninhabited for more than 2 years, residents will be liable to pay a premium called “empty house premium”. This is an additional charge over and above the full amount of their council tax bill.

How Much Do Home Renovations Cost In The UK?

According to House Renovation Cost in 2021 it may cost you around £80,000 to renovate (with major changes)  a three-bedroom house in the UK. However, depending on the nature of individual repairs and modifications required, the cost of minor changes may vary. Below is a quick guide:

  • New heating system: £5,500
  • New gas supply: £1,500
  • Rewiring: £5,750
  • Replastering of walls: £2,500 to £15,000
  • New kitchen: £10,000 to £25,000
  • New bathroom: £4,750

The best way to proceed is to prepare a list of changes that you would like to make and then arrange a survey of your premises to learn about the expected expenses. Here is a link to guide you How Much Are House Survey Costs in 2021?

Conclusion: 

While a garage conversion may not immediately increase your council tax bill, it does increase the value of your house up to 20 per cent due to the addition of extra living space. This revaluation of property takes place when you sell your house and a revaluation is done to assess its market value.

If the modifications to your property are minimal, they may increase its value without changing the valuation band assigned to it for council tax purposes. However, being one of the most affordable means of increasing living space in your house and being much cheaper than an extension, garage conversions may help in using your space efficiently.

Since this type of restructuring falls under Permitted Development, you will not need Planning Permission for a garage conversion. However, you must be able to comply with the terms set by  Building Regulations. 

FAQs: Will Garage Conversion Increase Council Tax?

Does converting garage devalue house in the UK?

No, converting your garage does not devalue the house. In fact, it is the other way around. Garage conversions increase the value of your property between 10 to 20 per cent. This will benefit you if you intend to sell your house.

How much value does a garage conversion add to your house UK?

Depending on the nature and scope of remodelling done to your converted garage, you can expect the value of your house to increase anywhere between 10 to 20 per cent.

Is it a good idea to convert your garage?

Yes, it is a good idea to convert your garage especially if you need the additional space. Garage conversions are much cheaper than extensions and prove to be highly cost-effective for those looking for an additional room or a home office. Also, they tend to increase the market value of your house due to the increased space.

Do we need planning permission to convert a garage?

Garage conversions are categorised under Permitted Development; therefore you will not need Planning Permission for them.

Should I convert my garage to a room?

It depends on your residential needs whether or not you should convert your garage to a room. While it does add square footage to your property, garage conversions will surely take away the storage space that you previously held.

References:

Convert garage to room | Garage conversion costs & permissions.

8 amazing benefits of a garage conversion

Adding a garage to increase value

Do I need planning permission to convert my garage?

Planning Permission | Garage conversion

Council Tax band changes

Properties uninhabitable due to building repair work | warrington.gov.uk

House Renovation Cost in 2021

Garage Conversions: The Ultimate Guide to Adding Space | Homebuilding

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