Most people view the garage as nothing more than just a parking spot. However, it’s more than that. Like every other part of the home, a garage is a vital feature since it’s one of the few multifunctional spaces. Apart from providing shade, protection, and shelter for your vehicle, it serves as an extra living space for those who want to use it as a game room where they can entertain themselves or as a hideout where they can hang out with family or friends. Plus, it can be an extra storage space for keeping your household utensils, vehicle equipment, and other things you rarely use.
If you find that your garage seems rather too small for all your stuff or needs a revamp, then it might be time to think about expanding it. But before you start swinging the hammer here and there and spending money on your home improvement project, you’ll need to consider some aspects, so you don’t end up regretting your decision or, worse, ruining your garage. Read on to learn about the things you need to take account of when expanding your garage.
1. Zoning Laws
Taking a quick dive into and understanding your zoning laws will save you a lot of paperwork and expenses.
So, do some quick research and find out what your zoning laws about garage renovation and expansion are in your area. Look into things, such as permit requirement if any and size and type limitation. See too if you can create a full clear span garage or just a simple detached one, location, and so on. For instance, some zoning laws will specify the amount of space you need to leave between your neighbor’s door and your fence and garage roofing materials.
After you have gathered all the necessary information, you’ll be able to decide if the laws actually permit you to build or expand your garage. And if they do, you’ll know how far you can go with it, as well as all the other legal proceedings and steps you’ll have to take to make sure your project complies with the requirements.
Of course, you’ll need some funds to expand your garage. As you set your budget, you have to consider two types of cost. One is the cost of expanding, and the other is the value cost a garage expansion will add to your house—that is, if you plan to sell your property in the future.
With regard to the cost of expansion, your budget should include the cost of materials for flooring, roofing, and wall plastering. It should also cover electrical fixtures, plumbing fixtures, insulation fixtures, and other extras like in-built shelves and drawers. All of that, plus workmanship costs if you’ll be hiring a professional to do the job. To be on the safe side, a total budget of about USD$12,000 to USD$19,000 is a safe range for you to work with.
Aside from studying the zoning laws and planning your budget, you need to take the size or level of expansion into consideration. How much space do you want to create for yourself?
Think about the things you intend to do or have in your garage that will require the extra space. For instance, is the extra space for the addition of another car? Or do you plan to invest in a boat and keep it together with your car in your garage? Do you want to turn your garage into a hangout spot, a working shed for your hobbies, a laundry area, or a bigger storage space?
By asking yourself these sorts of questions, you can determine the exact size you need to expand your garage and avoid issues like making the space so big that it takes up part of your yard or reaches your neighbor’s fence.
4. Electrical And Plumbing Systems
Depending on the purpose of your garage expansion, you need to factor in electrical works and plumbing needs. If, for instance, you intend to make space for a workstation, how much electrical output would you need and what electrical fixtures do you require? What about a laundry room—what plumbing fixtures must be put in place and how much electrical output do you need?
Be sure that your garage can manage and accommodate the extra electrical and plumbing works required after its expansion.
A spacious garage is, no doubt, an asset to any homeowner. You can use it to store your things, enjoy doing your hobby, play games with friends, or watch movies with family. But before you renovate and expand your garage, you need to consider all these factors, so your project will go off without a hitch. You might also want to consider other factors, like DIY or professional work, your driveway, and the type of garage you want.