Do You Need to Expand Your Garage? Here are Four Things to Consider
Are you thinking about expanding your garage? Here are a few things to consider before hiring a contractor to add on square footage to your garage: property value increase versus cost, recreation, storage space and grazing room for your good old vehicles.
If the stars align regarding any of these factors and the price is right, it may be the right time to expand your garage.
Can You Afford to Add Property Value to Your Home?
Anytime you remodel a part of your home, you’ll want to file for the necessary permits and go through the requisite home inspections. You may think that’s a hassle you want to avoid, but ignoring these paperwork components of the construction process is a shortcut that could really cost you in the long run.
If you try to resell your home and the buyer insists on a home inspection, not having permits on file for changes you’ve made to the garage can cost you money. You may even have to tear down your improvements.
It’s hard to say what’s worse, that, or something actually going wrong with the addition because of poor, unscrupulous workmanship, such as a sinking foundation, leaky roof, or faulty wiring. That said, make sure you factor in the cost of permits.
Also make sure you’re working with a licensed contractor with good reviews, who will do their best to honor the estimates they gave you.
Also consider that if you’re adding new elements like lights, another garage door, and a washer and dryer unit, you’ll need to pay for plumbing and electrical work. Are you replacing the flooring of the garage? Remember to factor in all the changes, materials, labor, and permits as you assess the feasibility of this garage project.
Remember, however, that despite all the costs associated with expanding your garage, the increase in property value may make these changes worth it. If you have a one car garage in an older home, and similarly sized homes with three car garages in your area are on the market at asking prices $50,000 above your home’s value, part of that is certainly the awesome three car garage that you don’t yet have.
Do You Need to Upgrade the Bat Cave?
For those of us who live in warmer climates, the garage is classic chill spot on a hot summer day. It’s still outside, but covered and shaded, providing a nice respite from activities on the lawn or on the street.
If you have a fridge or a wet bar in the garage, it can be a great place to grab a cold drink, plop down in a lawn chair, and shoot the breeze.
If your current garage space is small and cramped, filled with random stuff, and/or occupied by a parked car, you may want to expand your garage to create a pleasing transitional space.
You’ll want to consider how much space will be taken away from your front (or back yard) and if increasing the size of your garage is worth the tradeoff.
The garage can also be a great place to hang out in the winter, especially if it’s finished and furnished with something cool like a pool table, foosball table, or antique pinball machine.
Expanding your garage may afford you the opportunity of having a place where you can store your vehicle and a space where you can send those rambunctious teenage kids to when you want them out of the house.
Alternatively, you may feel like putting a couch and a television into the garage and enjoying the space yourself or in the company of friends.
If you enjoy working on home improvement projects, art, or woodworking (just to name a few things) you may decide that you want an increased garage space to work on your hobbies. With the increase in space, you can add a nice workstation or tool cabinet, which will provide you with close-to-home zone for tinkering and creating.
Do You Just Need a Bigger Garage?
Maybe when you first moved into your home, it was just you and your spouse, and possibly a kid or a dog. Perhaps the size of your family has since increased, and you have a lot more stuff now.
You know, like a canoe, a Christmas tree, a barbecue, an inflatable pool…the list goes on and on. Even though there may be some variety between families and locations, chances are that over the years—unless you sincerely embrace the philosophy of minimalism—you’ve acquired a lot of stuff in your garage, probably for most of the year, with the exception of seasonal releases into the home or yard.
Are you tired of walking into your garage and barely having room to walk to your car? Maybe the odds and ends have magically multiplied in your garage.
The solution may be to expand your garage, building a separate space for an arrangement of shelves, cabinets, and storage units for storing all your things.
Do You Have More Vehicles?
Going back to the subject of your expanding family, chances are that you have at least two cars. And if your kids have reached the driving age, they might even have their own vehicle.
Now that you’ve yuppified and plugged into adult life, you might have a mini-van, a sedan, and a beat-up starter car for your teenager. Are you tired of having to leave one or more of you vehicles on the street or in your driveway?
This can especially be a pain point in cold climates, where winter snows pile onto your car and make the start of the morning commute especially frustrating. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to park all of your vehicles in the garage, without having to draw straws or argue about whether or not the person who gets home first gets to park their car in the garage?
Alternatively, you may have additional vehicles aside from cars that you don’t want to store outside, whether it’s because you don’t want to upset the neighbors, or you don’t want people with wandering eyes and sticky fingers to attempt to cart them off.
If you have a motorcycle, scooter, jet ski, or small boat, you may want to have a place to store those recreational vehicles. An expanded garage can provide just the place for that, until you’re ready to take a trip to the shore, or report to your moonlighting job of delivering pizzas.
Garage Expansion Can be a Great Idea
In summary, the increase of property value, cost to build, increased storage space, and additional vehicle accommodations are components to consider when assessing whether or not you want to expand your garage.
If you decide that you do want to enlarge your garage space, consult with qualified architects and licensed contractors, obtain the necessary permits, and above all, enjoy the new look of your home.