Can you add a bathroom into a garage?

Nu-Trend can help renovate your existing car garage to add or convert some of the space into a new bathroom with a toilet, shower, sink & vanity unit

Summary

The top 5 reasons people add a bathroom in their garage makeover

It is possible to convert the space in a garage into a bathroom because many Sydney homes have large garages that are meant only for parking cars or storing stuff. Some garages are completely walled in with a lockable door, while others have side or rear entrances.

There is no difference whether the garage is attached to the main building or a standalone structure when it comes to renovating either type of structure for a bathroom.

Nu-Trend can provide a bathroom renovation quotation to add a one to your garage which can include new plumbing, waterproofing, fitting of new fixtures like a sink, toilet, mirror or shower. We have the expertise to also move pipes or other services even if the garage is on an existing concrete slab.

The top five reasons that people want to add a bathroom to a garage include;

  • Adding a bathroom to the home that can be used when entertaining guests or having parties outside in the backyard.
 
  • Creating an additional living space at the property which can be rented on Airbnb or for short term lease accomodation.
 
  • Building an outdoor office or study in the garage that has a desk area plus bathroom.
 
  • Provide outdoor shower facilities that can be used after using a swimming pool to reduce the need for people to go inside to shower off.
 
  • Develop more practical spaces in the property but retaining all the rooms already inside the house.
Nu Trend Sydney add a bathroom into a garage

The cost to add a bathroom to a garage?

The hardest part to adding a bathroom into a garage is having the right plumbing available for supplying water and managing the waste from a sink, toilet or shower.

In some situations the garage may have been built over some of the existing services for the property which means it is a case of getting access to them. We can assess this & advise whether cutting into the concrete may be required.

In other situations new plumbing might need to be installed to create the necessary services for the new room which can be done by digging new trenches & installing new plumbing.

In either scenario it still makes it possible to put a bathroom in the garage, it just means the steps required will vary based on the existing conditions of the site. Nu-Trend can provide a free quote to install plumbing into your garage by doing a site inspection and exploring your available options

Can you build a bathroom in your garage?

There may be a possibility of building a bathroom in your garage, but the cost and complexity of such a renovation project depends on the existing conditions. 

Some garages have been built under the house and already have plumbing that runs along the roof which might make the task relatively easy. A lot will also depend on exactly what you want in the bathroom ie just a sink and shower or do you also need a toilet.

Nu Trend renovation company convert garage area into bathroom with toilet and shower new plumbing in the wall jpg

Can you install a toilet or shower in a garage?

Nu-Trend can give you a free quotation to install a toilet, shower or even a laundry into your garage in Sydney. 

We have seen many renovation conversions in the last few years that have involved home owners installing toilets, showers, sinks and even creating outdoor laundry or entertainment rooms from their garage.

Many older Sydney houses feature an outside laundry room or even a toilet. These can be converted into a single bathroom space with lots of storage and can add value to a home.

Depending on the floor plan it may be possible to give this room internal access and the existing internal laundry could be used for something else.

Combined bathroom and laundry renovation company in Sydney new floor plan and open space

Can floors and walls be added to garage conversions in Sydney?

Your garage may need to have the floor prepared to be suitable to install a bathroom, especially if plumbing needs to be run to the building. Walls, doors or windows may also need to be added for access and ventilation. This can be constructed, prepared, waterproofed & then tiled from floor to ceiling.

In the case of a typical two car garage, the length could be shortened by adding a new wall to then create a new room to install a bathroom. All of this can be determined during the planning stages of the renovation project.

Can a detached garage have a bathroom added?

If you have a detached garage that is at the end of a driveway or at the rear of the property in the back yard it is still possible to add a bathroom. 

What some property owners consider doing in these situations is adding a car port on the driveway next to the house or in the front yard. 

Then, the existing garage can be converted to have a bathroom but also turned into an outdoor studio, office or entertainment area. This can create more living space, extra rental income or accomodate working from home situations.

Convert outdoor garage into a studio with bathroom

Can you put a toilet or shower in your shed?

Some home owners might have a shed or workshop on the property that have electricity and water services. It’s possible to add a toilet, shower or even a laundry into a shed depending on its size and where the existing services are located.

Just like a garage conversion, getting a new toilet added to your shed will depend on the site and how difficult it is to get plumbing connected.

Moving A Toilet With A Domestic Plumber

What is the cost of adding plumbing to a garage conversion in Sydney?

The cost to add plumbing to your garage conversion in Sydney will depend on your property & the site. The cost will vary based on how difficult the site is to access, the distance that has to be covered & what method needs to be used to install the plumbing.

You could be fortunate and the existing services run under the garage so the work required is focussed around creating access to them through the existing flooring.

In other situations, we may need to dig trenches to connect the garage plumbing to your existing services. Obviously, every property will be different and that is why costs can vary from $1,000 up to $30,000 as there is no set price or fee for this type of plumbing service. The time required will add to the labour cost needed to complete this type of job.

Nu-Trend can provide a quote for the cost of adding plumbing to your garage as well as adding a new bathroom to it as well.

Pre fabricated bathrooms vs custom built

One of the options available to convert a garage is to use a pre fabricated bathroom which is essentially a usually fiberglass or acrylic kit that is created in a factory then delivered to your location for installation. Normally you can choose between single piece or multi piece designs that can accomodate different situations.

The drawbacks of using a pre fabricated bathroom are;

  • Limited design options and choices.
  • Inability to adjust or resize the pre fab unit to fit your available space.
  • Potential long term reliability and durability of the plastic cracks or breaks.
  • Perceived value – ie there is that feeling of standing or using plastic in a bathroom vs solind, high quality tiled finish.
  • Difficulty in accessing the location ie a single piece may not fit through a doorway or opening to be installed.
  • Difficulty in matching interior textiles, colours and design styling.
  • More difficult to repair if a pipe or water leak occurs.

Flooring options for garage conversions

Modern garage conversions or renovations in Sydney can also include a choice of flooring finishes to help make space feel connected to the home instead of being a cold, bare, space. For some property owners it can make a great space for a vehicle collection or the ‘man cave’ so it doesn’t take up space in the house. Three of the most common flooring options in a garage can include;

  • Porcelain tiles; most of the time people associate this type of tiling for kitchens or bathrooms. Although this hard wearing tile can be used as a flooring choice for a garage. It can add colour to a room & give it a premium feel. They can be matched to the bathroom to give the whole garage a feeling of unity.
 
  • Foam or AVA flooring tiles; these are really easy to install and can be removed if you need to. Normally they come in squares and connect to each other to create a soft surface. Similar to what race teams will use in motorsport & a simple way to give your garage a facelift.
 
  • Epoxy floor coverings; this chemical is a family of basic components or cured end products of epoxy resins. Epoxy resins, also known as polyepoxides, are a class of reactive prepolymers and polymers which contain epoxide groups. The epoxide functional group is also collectively called epoxy and is commonly used to treat concrete floors to give them a softer finish that is durable and tough.
 
  • Polished concrete; nearly all garages have a concrete floor and generally they are left in their raw state. Over time the surface becomes rough and you do get a build up of concrete dust and any liquid spills can be hard to remove. Polishing the floor can help protect the concrete surface and give the space a premium look. The same treatment could be done in the bathroom.
 
Other floor applications can include things like underfloor heating. If the bathroom being installed in the garage isn’t complimented with roof or wall insulation then it could make it uncomfortable to use in winter months. Underfloor heating can address this by heating the floor & the air in the room.

 

Adding a bathroom to a garage will vary depending on the scope of work required. If the garage has existing plumbing that can be used & walls in place then it may cost between $10,000 and $25,000 depending on the tiles & products chosen for the room.

If new plumbing has to be installed, new walls, structural engineering checks or other renovation work variations then the cost could be from $10,000 to $80,000 depening on the site, building type & how extensive the required work is.

For many properties in Sydney they are valued at $800,000 or more, so to spend less than 10% of the value of the property on a renovation can be justified when it adds long term value & more living spaces to the home.

Nu-Trend provides free quotations for adding bathrooms to garages

If you are thinking about adding a bathroom to a garage you may require planning permission depending on the type of building it is, if walls or structural elements are getting changed or if you live in a heritage listed area.

Every scenario will be different so for example your house might be a heritage listed property and may need a Heritage Impact Statement from a consultant

It is always wise to check with your local council to ensure any work being done is going to be compliant with local laws and regulations.

 

National Construction Code

You need to check the latest details in the National Construction Code (NCC), a garage is generally categorised as a Class 10a structure, meaning development approval may be needed to convert it into a living space. Depending where the garage is located & the ceiling height above the finished floor level it may not meet the minimum height for a habitable area. With a freestanding or externally attached garage, it might be possible to raise the roof to achieve the minimum height requirement. This involves removing the existing roofing and framework, raising the height of the walls, then rebuilding the roof.

Getting help from an experienced architect or building designer who is familiar with the NCC will get you the right advice on requirements specific to your local area. 

 

Waterproofing

The waterproofing requirements of habitable structures are stricter than those for an ordinary garage slab. The simplest solution may be to apply a suitable epoxy finish, but in some cases, it will be necessary to add membrane and pour a new slab over the top. The slab will also need to be inspected for termite resistance, and in most cases, a termite barrier will need to be added, according to your state’s requirements.

 

Walls

If a wall is close to a property boundary, or a secondary dwelling is located near the principal dwelling then it may need to be fire-rated. This may mean, among other things, that you cannot have a window or door within that wall which could change your design ideas. The walls must be waterproofed by applying membrane as well as walls and ceiling getting insulated and lined with plasterboard. In NSW, if you are transforming the garage into a granny flat, it will need Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) certification for energy efficiency. 

 

Lighting

A habitable structure must have windows with an area at least 10 per cent of the floor area. In most cases the layout of a garage is predefined by the original door opening so the cheapest and easiest conversion may involve removing the garage door and replacing it with a window or sliding door, but this could have engineering implications for the original foundation. The existing footing may take the loadings but you will need to have the original house’s engineering drawings or have this checked by a builder to be sure.

 

Electricity

A licensed electrician may have to upgrade the power supply so that you can run air conditioning, electric cooking facilities etc. If the garage conversion will be used for rental accommodation then you may need to install metering as well.

Adding a bathroom to a garage can be worth doing if it means you improve the overall practicality of the property. You might have a four bedroom house that only has one bathroom, so adding a bathroom becomes extremely valuable.

The extra bathroom makes it a more liveable space & can add value when it comes time to sell.

Some properties have an old garage that isn’t being used for anything other than storage. Adding a bathroom and living area could turn this into a rentable space to earn an income.

Technically it is possible to add a bathroom to a garage- it just all comes down to the time, work and budget available. In many cases you might be limited due to the plumbing location for water and waste services.

The considerations have to be given to plumbing, electrical & location of existing services, especially if they are under a concrete slab.

Absolutely, Nu-Trend  specialises in helping people convert their laundry or garages into a bathroom in Sydney.

Converting a laundry into a bathroom can be very straight forward sometimes because the room is already treated as a ‘wet area’ in the property. Many people will use this space to create a more functional room and have a combined toilet and laundry.

See some of our guides

Converting a garage to have a bathroom

A lot of homes will have a stand alone garage or a garage storage room attached to the house. For many properties the plumbing might be running under this section of the home which makes it possible to convert part of the garage space into a bathroom.

This can be a great way to add a bathroom to the house that can be used by guests if you are entertaining in the back yard or after doing the gardening.

For some garage rooms if you then add insulation and a false wall you can create simple accomodation facilities as well.

If your garage conversion is done correctly it should add value to your home. By adding another living space that has everyday practical use it will be more attractive to prospective buyers. The space can be turned into something that is good for multiple uses, even an outdoor accomodation option.

The top five reasons that people want to add a bathroom to a garage include;

  • Adding a bathroom to the home that can be used when entertaining guests or having parties outside in the backyard.
 
  • Creating an additional living space at the property which can be rented on Airbnb or for short term lease accomodation.
 
  • Building an outdoor office or study in the garage that has a desk area plus bathroom.
 
  • Provide outdoor shower facilities that can be used after using a swimming pool to reduce the need for people to go inside to shower off.
 
  • Develop more practical spaces in the property but retaining all the rooms already inside the house.

If you removed your garage completely this could devalue your property value, but this depends on the context of why it is being removed. If removing a standalone garage creates more back yard living space or enables a house extension to relocate the garage – then that is a great solution to consider.

If you are removing the garage because you are re-purposing the property for inner-city living then this can work well. If there are local transport options readily available & the removals creates more living space like a home office then it could add value.

Sydney bathroom conversions before & after examples

Nu-Trend has converted or added bathrooms to lots of different property types, here are some examples of our renovation projects completed in Sydney

Rick Karagiannis - Plumber & Bathroom Renovator

Rick Karagiannis - Plumber & Bathroom Renovator

Rick Karagiannis is a licensed Plumber, Building Renovator and Director of Nu-Trend, a Sydney Plumber and Bathroom Renovations contractor. Nu-Trend has been operating since 2009 as an independent sole trader in Sydney. Rick provides all types of services for small bathroom renovations, leaking tap repairs, hot water high-pressure jet blasting and more.