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A Guide to Making a Good Garage Addition

Clean garage

A garage addition is more than just a convenient way to protect your cars from inclement weather and theft. It’s also a great way to add value to your home. Garages are a useful storage area, and they keep your car out of the street and off the driveway, preventing snow, rain and extreme heat from damaging your vehicle. 

But what makes a good garage addition? A trusted roofing contractor says that it starts with good planning. Here, Villwell Builders, LLC shares a comprehensive guide on making a good garage addition.

Step 1: Decide If a Garage Addition Is Right for You

Adding a garage is a huge investment of time and money, so you need to understand your reasons for taking on the project so you can stay on track once it starts. Do you need to park a car? Add some workspace? Expand your family living space? All of these factors will influence your design, costs and more. 

Step 2: Decide the Type of Garage You Want To Build

The type of garage you choose will depend on your home’s architecture and the size of your lot. A freestanding garage will likely cost more because you’ll be constructing a new garage building. It’s also considered safer for car storage because there’s a lower chance that carbon monoxide can get into your home. For an attached garage, you’ll need to find a space that has a clear driveway and a good entry to the house. 

Step 3: Pick Your Garage Size

The recommended size for a two-car garage is 24 by 24 square feet. This should give you space to park two cars side by side with room to walk around them. If you want to install storage shelves or work surfaces you’ll need an additional three to four feet on all sides of your garage space.

Step 4: Plan Other Uses for a Garage

You can use your garage for so much more than off-street parking or extra storage space. Depending on your layout, your garage addition can double as a workshop, living space, office, studio space or guest room. In most of these cases, you’ll want to be sure to insulate the walls or ceiling, wire for electricity, add lighting and install windows.

Step 5: Consider Adding a Bathroom

Including a bathroom in your garage addition could increase the total cost by 30 to 40 percent on average, but you’ll need one if you’ll be using the addition as a master bedroom or guest suite. Though it costs extra, adding a bathroom could boost your home value, offsetting the cost of the bathroom remodel.

Step 6: Choose the Garage Design and Materials

Your home’s existing architecture will influence your garage design and materials. Depending on your budget, other factors may influence your decisions here.  The framing will most likely be wood, but you could choose another material for the siding. You may want the garage roof to match your home, too.

Step 7: Grow Up Instead of Out

Adding a second story will typically work better for a freestanding garage, but your home’s architecture and lot size matter, too. The second level could be an unfinished attic space for storage or even a loft area for sleeping or additional living space. If you go this route, you’ll spend more on additional labor and materials, and you’ll want to be sure to install windows and electricity.

Step 8: Think About the Comforts

You might not need heating or cooling if you’re just using your garage for parking and storage. But climate control matters if you’re going to spend any time working, relaxing or sleeping in a garage addition. You don’t have to go all out — a ceiling fan may be all you need to keep a garage cool in the summer. Ask your roofing contractor about the most cost-effective heating and cooling solutions. 

Upgrades to Make a Good Garage Addition

A well-organized, updated garage can absolutely help sell your home. So before you makeover this often-neglected space, it’s a good idea to get input from a professional. Here’s what they recommend.

1. Functional Garage Door

When it comes to resale, the door is priceless. Install a garage door that opens automatically, or swap out the old door for a lightweight aluminum one. Roof repair experts suggest getting the new door in a color that complements the house.

2. Insulated and Well Ventilated Space

If you have an attached garage and live where there’s extreme heat or cold, it makes sense to insulate the walls and ceiling. Insulate the door by adding weather stripping on the bottom and sides to reduce drafts. Also, ensure the attached garage is properly vented, so carbon monoxide isn’t seeping into the house. 

3. Smart Storage Strategy

The most economic solution is to install heavy-duty wire shelves or buy uniform freestanding shelves designed to work with large bins. Just ensure that freestanding shelves are secured to the walls so they don’t tip over to anyone. Experts suggest investing in heavy-duty plastic bins of the same size, labeling them and placing them neatly on shelves.

4. Adequate Lighting

Have an electrician install motion-sensitive lights. And if they’re not bright enough, add more. A dark garage may not only be unappealing to prospective buyers but also unsafe. Roof repair experts recommend installing two 48-inch shop lights with LED bulbs (at 4,000 lumens apiece, roughly 40 watts) for each car space.

5. Easy-to-Clean Floor Finish

It makes a huge difference in painting the floor with an epoxy finish so it’s easy to clean. Concrete is porous, but if you paint or seal concrete, oil from the car won’t stain the floor. This DIY step can make a boring concrete floor literally shine in a buyer’s eyes.

6. Sufficient Electrical Outlets

If you don’t already have outlets, have an electrician install two GFCI (waterproof) electrical outlets per garage wall—a total of six in a one-car garage—just like you would in your home. Also, installing a fire extinguisher is always a good idea.

7. Walk-Through Door

If you have a detached garage, hiring an emergency roof repair contractor to install a door for people means you don’t have to open and close the main garage door every time. A separate entrance is a huge improvement.

8. Keep the Outside Tidy

If the outside of the garage looks dilapidated, it can discourage prospective buyers, just like a crumbly or cracked driveway might. Buyers form an impression of the house before they walk in the door, and sometimes the garage is the first thing they see.

Constructing a large addition is a major remodeling project that should be carefully thought out and well-planned. The most important things to consider are your local zoning laws, the type of garage addition you want (namely, whether it’s attached or detached) and the size. 

All of these items will not only help you get started planning the project with your contractor, but they will also determine the cost and scope of the garage addition.

Need more room? Before you start looking for a larger home, consider an addition to your current home. Adding on a room or enlarging an existing room can give you more space without the hassles of moving. Villwell Builders, LLC proudly provides custom home additions and outdoor deck installations for homes of all sizes and styles throughout Connecticut.

At Villwell Builders, LLC, our goal is to maintain complete customer satisfaction through every stage of the construction process for a deck or additions. When you’re ready to extend the space of your home, our emergency roof repair team is ready to lend a hand. Give us a call at (475) 271-1242 or fill out our contact form for more information.

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