A garage is one of those features of a home that one might consider a premium. Along with the obvious selling point of utilizing it as a place to shelter your precious vehicle from would-be vandals and inclement weather, the garage can double as a much-needed storage area, especially if your home doesn’t have a basement.
It can also triple as a mancave of sorts, acting as a makeshift gym or even an extra recreation room, equipped with a TV and a beer fridge.
We don’t want to incite any marital arguments however, so let’s just call the garage an extra room for your already cluttered home, and we’ll leave it to you to decide what you’d like to get up to in there.
But how much do you require the addition, and is it worth the cost? Below, a short but informative wade into the waters of yes, no, or maybe so.
Why a Garage?
To build or not to build? That certainly is the question. If you have the time and the resources on hand, adding a garage to your property not only maximizes and enhances your space but, perhaps more advantageously, increases your home’s value making it a sound investment.
A garage can add as much as five per cent to the value of your home when it comes time to consider putting it on the market.
But the extra space can also be a deal breaker for prospective buyers; if your abode doesn’t offer the comfort and security that a sheltered space for your car provides, many would automatically rule out making a bid for your house and move on to the next listing.
The Case for the Added Space
Extra Room for Storage
This, more often than not, is the key appeal for most when considering tacking on a garage to the driveway.
As said earlier, if your home is without a lower level or even is not equipped with sufficient closet space, the additional room can be a godsend.
Also, if there are little ones in the house, a garage can act as a crucial spot to store toys, or even act as a playroom as long as dad’s tools are safely stowed away.
As the tots grow into teens and beyond, keepsake boxes of schoolwork, photo albums and other cherished memories no longer need to be stuffed into already limited closet space or, worse, underneath beds and other furniture.
The more room is all the merrier for a huge number of people looking for an adequate-sized family home.
Extra Recreation and Work Area
The mere mention of a traditional garage can lend images of a dark, dank and dreary offshoot, a hidden or secondary frontier of the rest of the house.
Reality check: not only are properly-built garages excellent storage allotments, they also perform impeccably well as home offices and play areas.
When the time comes to look at other properties down the road, the more imaginative you are with how the space can be used, the more money you can see in your wallet.
Similarly, how about a workshop? Depending on your new garage’s size, it can act as an ideal place to craft and create, to store your handy supplies and to have a relaxing escape away from the hustle and frenzied activity of the rest of the house.
Do you have a woodworking hobby? A gardening green-thumb? A love for collecting miniature cars or antiques? Retreat to the garage to spend time on the activities you love in solitude.
A more pricey but oh-so-worth-it option is installing air conditioning, proper flooring and insulation, and even plumbing to the garage, making it a fully-fledged high-functioning and multi-purpose room of the house.
If you have the means to spend, the sky’s the limit when it comes to how you want to use the garage (you do want to spend the money for a proper roof so that you can’t actually see the sky, however. But a skylight is always an option – cut down on extra lighting expenses!).
Adding value to your home doesn’t just come down to the extra space that’s inside the garage, so it begs to be mentioned that the exterior of the structure should be a top priority as well.
Aluminum siding, a modern garage door and an inviting driveway all announce to potential buyers that your home is a must-see and, hopefully, a must-buy.
Just as the exterior of the rest of the home should indicate that the inside is just as nice, the outside of the garage needs to be considered just as important when considering selling. No one wants to see the inside if they don’t fall in love with the outside.
That said, as much as having an attractive home and garage are vastly important, always consult with a realtor.
You need to accumulate some advice from a professional who is experienced with the homes in your area regarding how much money is necessary to ensure maximum appeal.
Spending good money on a garage is a given, but there’s no need to spend more than you should if the housing market doesn’t require it.
Ok… so how much?
Depending on how large you envision your new garage to be, as well as features such as electrical and plumbing, a modest carport could set you back a pretty penny.
However, experts say that you can have about an 80 per cent return on your investment. Of course, these numbers are merely estimates and it makes sense that if your garage is quite sizable or, even better, is a feature that not many other homes in your neighbourhood have, you’re setting up your property to be quite the attractive (and expensive) buy indeed.
That said, the average expense of establishing a garage can range from $17,000 – $38,000. This can vary considerably depending on the structure’s size and whether it is attached or detached, which is a pivotal thing to consider.
For a single-car attached addition, between $7,500 and $10,000 is in the general ballpark area for what you can expect to pay, and up to $27,000 for a two-car attached garage.
Again, it all depends on your needs and what you intend to use the space for. A detached garage can cost anywhere from $9,000 to $12,000, but you’ll pay upwards of $14,000 or more if plumbing and electricity are what you’re after.
Keep in mind also another option: A portable garage can serve you well if you only need a simple shelter to protect your car, your boat or your motorcycle.
Attached or detached garage: which one is better?
Attached garages are cheaper than separated structures, and appear frequently in family properties. They are also more useful as storage and recreation areas because if the weather is a bit nasty outside, there’s no need to actually exit the house proper to fetch what you need or challenge someone to a game of table tennis.
Detached garages are the costliest choice of the two, mostly due to the increased cost and effort required to install plumbing and lighting.
However, for some homeowners this choice makes the most sense and is unavoidable if a walkway is required for entrance into the backyard, for example.
Also, carbon monoxide poisoning, while rare, is something that no one wants to sign up for when adding extra space to their home. Ensuring that the garage is an enclosed, separate space abolishes any fear of the dangerous gas entering your living area.
Already have a garage? How about a small upgrade?
If your existing garage looks tired and outdated, no longer matching the aesthetic of the rest of your home, sometimes just a fresh coat of paint is all it takes.
A fresh new look and added curb appeal are guaranteed by simply painting the garage door to your desired hue and style.
Conversely, installing a brand new door can easily set you back over $4,000. However, if it’s true modernity, functionality and attractiveness that you’re after, you certainly get what you pay for. This is especially true if you do decide to sell your property. The old adage is true – you have to spend money to make money.
If you’re not sure if building a new garage or even simply improving your current unit would make your home more appealing to the market, contact an area real estate agent to advise you on the best upgrades, renovations – and prices! – to maximize your selling potential.
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