The garage takes up a large proportion of the footprint of any house. Most people view this as a place to store and protect the car. But if you surprise potential buyers with a well kitted-out space, it could result in a welcome increase in the value of your home.
Most garages have a cement floor, probably exposed brick walls and a roller door. Drab, dark and totally uninspiring. Here are some ideas which can transform that dull space and potentially lift your sale price.
1. Paint the floor
Garage floors are usually a dull, stained, grey cement colour. Visually, this large surface just looks dirty, but transforming it will make a huge impact.
Ensure you source paint that is specifically made for garage floors. These paints are durable and contain a built-in protectant against tyre pick-up.
Paving paint for garage floors will give you a flat, clean consistent colour and will dry with a matt finish. This creates a surprisingly big uplift to the look of the garage.
Or you can take it to the next level with specialised paints applied in a thick coat, then sprinkled with colour chips. The resulting floor finish is super high gloss and looks like terrazzo. Who knew the garage floor could look chic?
2. Paint the walls
A coat of paint is the easiest and least expensive way to update and refresh those surfaces.
For brick walls, make the job speedy by purchasing a roller head specifically made for painting brick. Its thick nap is made to get into nooks and crannies, and the result will bring that drab brick wall into the 21st century.
Brightening the walls not only makes the room look welcoming, but it also makes it appear larger and potential buyers will be inspired to think how they could use the space.
Most garages have shovels leaning against one wall, bicycles leaning on the other wall, and bags of dog food on the floor. The space looks cluttered and disorganised, and instantly signals to buyers that there is insufficient storage.
Install bike and tool racks and get that stuff off the floor. Build a fold-down workbench as a space-saver. Add some free-standing shelving to get the garage organised. And remember, you can take the shelves with you when you move.
4. Shed some light
Most garages are dimly lit. Why not add skylights? They are easy and relatively affordable to install, and their addition makes a huge impact by opening up the space, while also saving on electricity usage.
Choose between traditional skylights so you can look up to the sky or consider the less-expensive kits which reflect the light from the dome installed on the roof through a shaft to a ceiling-installed diffuser.
The easiest solution of all is to put in a solar-powered skylight alternative, which connects the roof-attached solar panel with a cord to the interior ceiling-mounted light and adjusts light levels to match outside.
5. Build a ‘Fonzie flat’
Many people will remember the iconic character Fonzie from the 1970s TV show Happy Days. He lived in an apartment above the Cunninghams’ garage.
“Fonzie flats” are becoming more common, especially in high density areas, and can increase the value of your home. In fact, each of the terraces on The Block utilised the space above the garage in creative ways.
It can be used to house kids as they save for a deposit for their first home, or you could create income by renting it out as an Airbnb. Regulations for this vary from state to state, so check with your local council.
6. Repurpose the garage
The garage is a large space and can be utilised in alternative ways, as long as you are happy to park your car in your driveway or on the street. Extra bedrooms add a sizeable increase to the value of a property.
Can your floor plan work if the garage is turned into a bedroom or two? Swap out the roller door for french doors, add a few more windows, clad the walls with plasterboard, and carpet the floor, or install laminate timber-look flooring and add rugs to cosy up the space.
You can also turn it into a sizeable, covered outdoor entertaining space. Just remove the roller door, and knock out large sections of the other walls, ensuring you keep the structural integrity of the building. Paint or tile the floor, and add your barbecue, furniture, rugs, potted plants.
Pour yourself a sauv blanc, sit back and enjoy!