Remodeling your garage can be a way to add value to your home while also improving the day to day functionality of the space. Don’t neglect the idea that your garage can be an asset to you, especially if you have a small home otherwise. Here are some ways to start planning a garage remodeling project.
Decide How You’d Like Your Garage Functionality to Change
Maybe right now your garage just houses some old boxes and maybe a car or two; alternately, it could be a real cobwebby mess, a tumble of bags and toys and who knows what. This step is where you want to dream big and figure out what you want your garage to do for you. For instance:
- Do you want to have better, more accessible storage solutions?
- Do you want to be able to park one or more cars in the garage?
- Do you want the garage to serve as a bonus room, game room, or family hosting space?
- Do you want the whole space to look better?
- Do you want the garage to become usable space for regular gatherings?
The answers to these questions determine whether you’re looking for a $500 spruce-up or a $10,000 expansion and redo of your garage, or somewhere in-between.
Declutter for Inspiration
A great way to get the gears turning for what you want from your garage is to declutter. While it takes time, decluttering costs nothing and you may uncover some valuable treasures. Often, just the act of evaluating whether items should stay or go can free up space, and you can start categorizing items to figure out how to store them in a more useable way. The space you regain from decluttering can also help you make decisions about your next moves.
Decide on Budget Size
Decluttering and deciding what you want from your garage go a long way toward setting a budget, but you still need to do price research to figure out your full plan. You’ll spend more if you hire contractors versus if you DIY things like adding insulation, replacing flooring, and repainting. You’ll also have more expenses if you are making the garage into living space, such as by adding electrical or plumbing that wasn’t there before.
Figure Out Financing Before You Dive In
If you know you’ll be spending in the thousands rather than hundreds, consider how you’ll be paying for the renovation. With inflation on the rise this year, you want to know you’ll have the purchasing power to see your project through. If you have cash on hand, great! If not, consider what kind of interest rate you could get on a home equity line of credit (HELOC) – this is borrowing power in your hands that you only pay interest on if you use it. So if you suddenly see both the perfect garage door and your ideal flooring on great sale, using your HELOC allows you to make a big purchase (up to your credit limit) and pay it off over time without having to have the necessary cash right that minute.
Make Insulating Walls and Garage Doors a Priority
If you’ll be heating or cooling your space, insulation is an important factor. While it may feel like a pain to get the crawlspace and walls well-insulated, any heating and air conditioning will be less taxed with an insulated room. Insulation starts paying for itself as soon as you start heating and cooling, since you won’t be accidentally heating and cooling the environment outside the house.
Pick Garage-Friendly Flooring
Remember that your garage is used for many things, so consider how you can make your garage flooring choice wisely. Roll-out vinyl, epoxy, paint, and concrete sealer are all popular options, but you want one that will stand up to the rigors you’ll put it through.
Update Storage With New Cabinets, Pegboards, and More
Remember that storage works better if you feel ready to use it. Even a big open space can get cluttered faster than a nice set of cabinets, shelves, and effective pegboards. Allocate budget to storage system items so that you feel like everything had a place.
Enjoy the Benefits of Your Improved Home Value!
It may feel like your garage remodel is great just for its value to you, but you might be surprised. Many people see a sizeable boost in home value for a garage remodel, and while you won’t definitely recoup 100% of your costs when you sell the home, chances are good that some buyers will be wowed by the great looking garage space.