Are you making the most of your garage space?
A recent RAC Home Insurance survey found that only about 6 million UK garages are actually used to keep cars. That means that more than half of garages are being used for purposes other than what they were intended for, purposes like extra storage. Gardening equipment, bikes, and scooters are the next most popular items we like to keep in our garages after DIY tools and supplies. The second most common reason given by homeowners for not storing their cars in the garage, after the necessity for extra storage, is that the space is insufficient for parking the vehicle and comfortably entering and exiting it. When not used as storage, some people have turned their garages into a workshop, office, gym, or additional bedroom.
But is the trouble of converting your garage to something more useful really worth it? The average UK garage is 128 square feet, and Admiral estimates that each additional square foot of living space you add to your property increases its value by £350. This means that converting the garage might increase the value of your home by up to £45,000.
How can you make the most of your garage in order to raise the value of your house? To get you started, take into account the following ideas.
You must consider what you’ll do with the extra space before you rush to call a builder. What is the best course of action for your family and you? If you have a large family, perhaps you could benefit from a larger dining room or perhaps a kids’ playroom so you can keep the living room to yourself. Or maybe you need more space, and the garage is the ideal place to add to your current layout. Not to mention, having an office may be the best option given since so many of us now work from home.
Or maybe you’ve always wished you had your own gym? One of the most popular and straightforward conversions to choose is this one. You may get in shape without the inconvenience and financial commitment of a gym membership by installing insulation, a floating floor, and exercise equipment.
Since the lockdown, many small enterprises have grown as a result of people discovering new interests or finally having the time to convert a pastime into something more lucrative. If that describes you, you might be able to avoid paying rent by converting your garage into a new workshop or studio within your house.
How about a guest room? If they know they will be staying in their own guest room and safe haven, you may find that relatives are more willing to babysit. Getting them to leave again is the only downside.
Also, consider how you will enter the room. Since many garages are built at a lower level than the home, you might need to add extra time and money to your plan in order to elevate the floor.
Set a spending plan
You must determine your budget before moving forward with any work. Your costs could range from a few thousand pounds to upwards of £10,000 depending on what you are converting your garage into and what your strategy is, for example, whether it requires making structural improvements or purchasing a new kitchen. If you’re employing a builder or architect to design your ideal place, you’ll also need to account for labour costs.
Of course, the renovation could be much simpler and just need a fresh coat of paint and some new furniture, but even the most straightforward plan will require plastering the walls and providing sufficient insulation for the area since the majority of garages have rather basic interiors. You’ll need to consider lighting, heating, plumbing, and even security.
To help you manage your finances and prevent any surprises, always request a complete breakdown of prices from your builder. Give yourself a bit of contingency room financially in case you run over your budget, and include some backup plans.
The good news is that you probably won’t need to pay for planning approval if the garage is attached to your house because permitted development laws will allow the construction. However, if you’re putting in French doors or windows, you might require building permits to cover the adjustments. Before starting any substantial work, always check with your builder or the local authority.
Giving your neighbours a heads-up of any work that would likely cause loud noises, a large number of workers arriving and departing, or a lot of mess, even for a short time, is also a pleasant gesture.
Here are some Ideas for Your Garage to Maximise Space
When you need room for a car or two, your equipment, and all of your exercise or outdoor gear, a small garage can be difficult to keep organised. However, with a few space-saving tips, small garages can be useful enough to provide you with enough space for everything you need . To make the small garage appear larger, use the following ideas.
Make Use of Garage Wall Space
In your garage, hang wire shelves, hooks, and brackets to carry everything from camping gear to power tools. You can get rid of larger storage containers that take up valuable floor space if you use the walls to create a home for all of your stuff.
Add a ceiling storage rack
Ceiling storage racks are accessible from several big-box home retailers, but if you’re crafty, you can also create them yourself. These are excellent for hiding tubs of infrequently used objects, like seasonal decorations, so they won’t add to the clutter on the floor.
Wall-mounted hooks for bikes
Even more so if you have children, bicycles are a wonderful asset to have, but they can take up a lot of space. Storage inside is not an option because they often get covered in mud (unless you have a large mudroom). Leaving them outside isn’t a good idea either because they might be stolen or destroyed by inclement weather. It makes sense to keep them in the garage. To keep large bikes out of the way, use wall-mounted hooks to hang them.
Organise Your Sports Equipment
Sports gear, such as bats, balls, helmets, and gloves, is another category of oddly shaped objects that is frequently kept in garages for quick access at game time. To keep everything organised, use a cubby system. Purchase or construct one with square cubbies big enough to accommodate a football. So that you have extra space for your car and workbench, you can store everything neatly off the ground in this manner.
Consider using Pegboards to Hang Tools
If you’re a carpenter, your garage most likely contains a set-up with tools and a workbench. Although they can be huge and challenging, these setups are useful, convenient, and entertaining. Large work surfaces are difficult to manoeuvre in a small garage. Your workspace will take up less room if you keep everything neat and organised while making sure you can still use it. Utilise pegboards that are fixed on the wall to hang tools and safety gear to conserve space. No more messy drawers taking up room!
Add Outdoor Storage
You may store a lot of gardening and yard maintenance equipment outside of your garage. You can have a safe place for your belongings in case the weather becomes bad by purchasing outdoor storage cabinets from the majority of home improvement retailers. This outside storage area is a good place to keep gloves, pots, soil, and similar items. They will then make room for additional items in the garage where they were previously taking up space.