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Upgrading the Garage

A little thought to this important space will help your homes stand out from the competition.


Even the most experienced builders sometimes treat the garage as an afterthought. That's a missed opportunity for the bottom line. Since more than 70 percent of homeowners use the garage door as their main entry, a versatile and visually pleasing garage can be a selling point for buyers—and give you an edge over the competition. Here are some ideas.

Offer storage

The space around the car can get cluttered with everything from lawnmowers to bicycles and golf clubs, so buyers will appreciate you helping them organize all that stuff. Options include wall slats, wire shelves, workbenches and even closets or custom cabinetry to keep clutter out of sight.

Look overhead

In homes with a higher ceiling in the garage, take advantage. The bigger space creates room for a piece of overhead storage equipment like a bicycle hoist. Just make sure to include the blocking needed to secure and fasten the hoist.

Light it up

Just as great lighting can elevate interior space, it can make a noticeable impact in the garage. Good lighting makes the whole space brighter, more useful and modernized. Better options include recessed cans with bright LED PAR bulbs for general light, or LED task lights for workbenches.

Make it clean

Every homeowner aspires to have a clean garage, and you can give them a head start. Light-colored paint on the walls and ceilings are common but a lot of builders don't do anything with the garage floor. At the minimum, consider coating it with an oil-resistant epoxy paint. You can even offer buyers the option of upgrading to interlocking garage floor tiles.

Add an entry

A hinged exterior door will get homebuyers' attention. "It's a hassle to open and close the garage door every time you need a shovel, and you won’t want to have to bring bigger lawn equipment into your garage by walking it around your parked vehicle," according to the people at R&S Garage Door in Concord, California. The extra door will show buyers that the designer and builder understand this problem and want to make life easier for them.


Use bigger and better doors.

With garage doors accounting for 25 percent of the average home's elevation, a nice-looking garage door can really enhance the curb appeal. Fortunately, the variety of doors available today is enough to complement any architectural style. In addition, a stylish door that's larger than most can make the home seem bigger than it is, which is why some production builders include them in all their models. "Our standard garage door used to be seven feet tall. Now it's eight feet," says Dennis Webb VP of Operations with Fulton Homes in Tempe, Ariz.

Upgrade the opener.

The garage is the main entry for most modern homes, so it is easy to upgrade the opener and provide enormous benefits to the entire household. The best openers include a quiet, DC-powered belt system, a battery backup in case the power goes out, and built-in Wi-Fi to make smartphone control easy and reassuring. Homeowners will appreciate the ability to monitor and control the door from anywhere, giving them increased security and convenience.

Even one or two of these touches will show an attention to detail that impresses buyers. In fact, a better garage is one more way a builder can set its homes above those of the competition.