How much does a garage conversion cost in Australia?

Garage conversions vary from project to project, so determining the cost of a garage conversion in Australia is difficult. However, we’ll help give you a clear idea of what’s achievable at different price points by highlighting some real-life Refresh garage conversions and the actual cost of creating them.

The results of a garage conversion depend on a variety of factors, so it stands to reason that the final cost will vary depending on those same factors too. Having completed thousands of successful renovations though, we’ve noticed a few patterns. When it comes to garage conversions, the conversion purpose, the property’s existing condition, and the materials used have the biggest impact on the final cost.
In this article, we look at the effect these main budget drivers have on the cost of a garage conversion and provide examples so you can compare and contrast each project with your own set of priorities. Some areas will require compromise and others will allow for a splurge; it all depends on the results you’re after.

How much does a garage conversion cost in Australia?

A garage conversion in Australia will cost between $35,000 - $180,000+*
You may come across a beautiful granny flat conversion with luxury finishings that cost well over your budget to complete, but if your goal is to create a minimalist home gym of the same size with simple lighting and basic flooring, your final cost is likely to come in far below that of a lavish fit-out.  
Working with a Refresh Renovation Consultant is the best way to get an accurate idea of what you may spend on your specific garage conversion, but here are examples to showcase what’s achievable on different budgets.

Main budget drivers

  • Conversion purpose
  • Existing condition
  • Product used

Read on to find out how much your garage conversion may cost depending on the changes you are looking to make.

Conversion purpose

There are several reasons why a homeowner may opt for a garage conversion: extra space for extended-stay guests, a quiet office to get work done, or a dedicated rumpus room for the kids. Why does motivation make a difference? Because the intended use of each project comes with its own set of requirements - insulation, plumbing, electricity, ventilation, council applications, heating - a few on a long list of many.
A simple garage conversion, such as a gym or home office, will be more affordable as costly add-ons are easily avoidable and council consent will probably not be needed. But converting to a guest suite or other habitable dwelling is deemed a “change of purpose” renovation and calls for both building and resource consents which, of course, cost money.
This $27,000* garage conversion to guest room required a good understanding of building codes and legal requirements, In Australia, a garage is not built to the same specifications as a room within a house. Not converting it legally can cause plenty of issues down the road, especially when selling.

Refresh Renovations worked with these Melbourne homeowners to convert their garage into a home office for $39,998.

Existing condition

The starting point of your garage conversion will be a determinant of the end cost. A dilapidated garage that needs extensive repairs may require architects, structural engineers, and other expensive speciality contractors to execute a safe conversion. However, a structurally sound garage with a solid foundation would be an ideal starting point.
In addition to those scenarios, attached and detached garages call for unique considerations as well. In order to turn this garage into a home office, the entire area and external walls required the application of a negative waterproofing membrane to keep water out, with the final cost being $100,000.

Products used

When drawing inspiration for your garage conversion, it’s easy to get carried away when dreaming of the final result. Selecting luxe products will drive up your total cost and while it may seem necessary to select premium finishings and fixtures to achieve a high-end look, there are plenty of cost-effective materials that still pack a design punch without exceeding your budget.
These homeowners worked with Refresh to convert their double garage into a self-contained apartment for $222,000. As the homeowners were very clear about their goals and expectations, both in terms of personal needs and budget, they were happy to invest in high-end products where they would deliver a significant impact.

Want to take advantage of your under-utilised garage?

We offer free no-obligation consultations for you to discuss your goals, budget, and timeline surrounding your garage conversion. Our proven 5-step approach to renovations includes a costing phase during which you’ll receive a fixed quote for your project. But before taking the plunge, get in touch with a local Refresh Renovation Consultant to arrange a consultation.

*Costs are shown as an indicative guide of what previous projects have cost. The costs of renovating a home are rising each year as material and labour costs increase. For an estimate/quote on your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist to find out more about our planning, design and build process.

**All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

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All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

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