Build a BIGGER garage!
No one, but no one, has ever (in 11 years) said these words to us: “I should have built a smaller garage!”
Just the opposite, we hear every homeowner lament not having a larger garage. Could be wider, deeper or taller, but that extra space will always come in handy - especially if you have a lot of stuff!
The Garage is the Cheapest Room to Increase It’s Size
When building a new home, there is an average cost per square foot for the finished areas of the main home. This average will deviate significantly based upon the floor, wall and ceiling finish. But, the garage doesn’t have marble tile costing $15 per square foot. It’s lighting is inexpensive. The ceiling is just flat drywall.
So, extending that garage to make it 2 feet wider may only add a few hundred dollars to the home construction cost.
When we were constructing our home back in 1998, our builder (Barefoot Custom Homes) smartly suggested that we widen our garage by 6 feet, which allowed us to have ample space between each vehicle and more storage at the far end of the garage. While I don’t recall the exact amount, I now this was the least expensive change we made during the entire construction cycle.
Bigger Garage = More Usability & Functionality
Adding that extra width has kept us from ever banging vehicle doors into anything. It has allowed space to easily walk between the vehicles and never brush up against a dirty vehicle or scratch a vehicle paint.
We also changed the roofline of the garage for better aesthetics, the byproduct being a taller ceiling. That additional height allows us to easily store kayaks using rope lifts and have ceiling mounted storage units over 2 of the garage doors. Our wall mounted cabinets are also taller than normal, which permitted storage of many larger items that would normally have visibly sat out along the garage wall.
While we have our bicycles on wall hooks, the taller ceiling would easily accommodate bike lifts too. I’ve even considered getting a type of ceiling mounted storage that uses a motorized lift – which would allow me to heavy item such as a push mower or snow blower.
Throw in a Few Garage Extras Too
During the initial construction, there are a few other items to consider adding:
- Extra lighting – don’t settle for a few ceramic fixtures. Put in florescent lights in each by and ensure that raised garage doors don’t block the light.
- Extra recepticles – often times a garage may only have one or two electrical outlets. Add a few extra and ensure they have their own circuit. If you plan on having a refrigerator or freezer in the garage, add a dedicated 20 amp (or higher) circuit for that as well.
- Central Vac port – if you are adding a central vacuum system for the home, add a port in the garage. This allows easy cleaning of the vehicle’s interiors.
- Insulation – If you decide to add heat to the garage, insulated walls and ceiling will make that solution much more effective. In another blog, we discussed several types of heat for a garage that may be added after the initial construction.
- Garage Floor Coating - Of course, Stronghold Floors always recommends a professional grade, polymer floor coating to protect the concrete floor and add that final, finishing touch!