The Garage

Is your garage everything it can be? Is it contributing to the value of your home, financially or in any way contributing to your enjoyment?

Most garages I see in a given week while evaluating homes for Sellers, touring agent opens, or taking my Buyers through prospective properties are under utilized. I am an automotive enthusiast of sorts, it’s true. But what argument can there be to use square footage of a home for nothing more than parking the cars and storage? It is a room of your home. Why do so many not purpose the garage space to their desire.

With some ideas, a little grunt effort and reasonable expenditure a garage can become a significantly more valuable part of the home. Just the other night we watched a ‘top ten’ garages program on TV. These verged on ridiculous in terms of over the top. Not what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about the every day space where most park their cars, and many others use for storage. So, how do we optimize the utility and enjoyment of this overlooked part of our home?

Step one. Think about how you would use an additional 50 to 200 square feet of space. This is usually the amount of space available in a garage with one car in it. If we choose to keep 2 cars in the garage, how can we optimize the surrounding space? Work space? Cabinets? A small lounge? Hobby workspace or display? It’s all about priorities and functionality. Work in a bit of aesthetics and it’s on. Ideas sometimes spur us to action.

Step two. Look for ideas in magazines, on line and generally keeping your eyes open to what others have done. Nothing wrong with copying a good idea now and then.

Step three. Start shopping for the kinds of materials, products and skills we might require to make our ideas come to life. For instance, a garage-specific flooring material is a great first investment to create a garage space we can enjoy. There are excellent flooring products available designed to make the garage attractive and easier to keep clean. Cabinets, tool storage systems, wet station / bathroom, lighting, air compressor, cleanup equipment closet, insulation & windows, security. The list can be as individual as each of us.

Step four. Once we have some ideas kicking around in our heads it’s time to apply real world budgeting. For me it is usually a case of turning it down a notch to affordability.

I’ve created a number of links on my web sites where you will find garage ideas and products. Enjoy your Garage more, and improve the value of your home…for your family and for future market evaluations.