Building a freestanding garage or one that is attached to your property should not be perceived as a luxury. After all, it gives you more than a safe haven to park your vehicle in. It is a project that adds functionality and value to your property and makes it a more enticing target for potential buyers. To pull it off and reap a full range of benefits, though, you need to plan well ahead of time and grasp multifarious aspects. This kind of spadework will help you steer away from budget-shattering mistakes and maximize your investment.

Fleshing out the plan

Garages are becoming an increasingly important home feature and they can even be the deal breaker for some buyers. What is more, the average return on investment (ROI) on a basic freestanding garage is around 63%, which is pretty good. To put things in perspective, the revered bathroom updates typically recoup 54% of the project cost.

Then again, there are some upgrades that have a higher ROI, such as kitchen remodels and wood deck installations. All of this is to say you should not dive in unprepared. Take your time establishing if a garage addition makes financial sense. Kick off the planning stage by figuring out your needs and financial means. You need to factor in both your present and future necessities.

For instance, do you want to use the garage exclusively as parking space or as a storage room/workshop? Are you going to need features like a service door, a workbench, multiple electrical outlets, a heating system and windows? Also, one of the major decisions is whether you should go for an attached or freestanding garage. Note that depending on your home layout, lot size and zoning requirements, both options could do the trick.


For good measure

Many people decide to include storage capacity for a lawnmower, gardening tools, bikes, sports equipment and other things. It is always a good idea to let the garage serve heavy duty, provided that you can afford it. Just do not take the plunge without calculating the exact costs of the project. There is no need to blow your budget. Besides, the more your project is on the upscale size, the less ROI you will be able to achieve.

This implies you need to think twice before including specialty storage units, luxurious flooring and trim packages. Furthermore, consult with your town’s department for urban development to get familiar with local building codes. This is a key step when designating the location and dimensions of the garage. Speaking of which, take your time when pondering the size. A garage that is too small has limited utility. On the other hand, an oversized garage reduces the overall land space.

As a rule of thumb, a single garage should be at least 14 ft wide and 20 ft long, while the dimensions of a double garage usually do not go under 20 ft wide and 24 ft long. Of course, the decision depends on the number, type, and size of the cars you want to be parked. It makes a huge difference whether you want space for a newly-bought small SUV in Australia or a large family van in the US suburbs. If you are in doubt, you are probably better off going bigger than smaller.


Bringing it to life

Finally, it is time to make detailed sketches to determine the most optimal layout. In case you encounter difficulties, work with a professional. Produce a killer construction plan and use it as a guiding light. At this point, you might also want to decide whether to hire a general contractor, subcontractors for project management, or handle most of the work yourself. The latter approach is less expensive, but it might be harder to ensure that your garage complements the house perfectly instead of clashing with it.

This brings us to the point that apart from the size, the garage should match the house in terms of design, finish and architecture as well. To align these elements, you can implement some of the traits and features that your house has, be it the slope of the roof, the exterior finish, or the large windows. Take this chance to infuse your garage with visual appeal. At the same time, always keep an eye on cost-saving opportunities without jeopardizing the quality of the work.


With flying colors

Adding a garage is a worthy investment. Namely, it is a highly-practical upgrade that boosts the resale value of your property. The only problem is that there are many moving parts to grasp and mistakes to avoid. So, think about the reasons why you want to take on this project. Take into account your specific needs and determine the size and layout. Plan your finances and try to stay within the budget. If you do it right, you will provide shelter to your vehicles, gain extra storage space and increase the price tag on your house.