Whether you’re building a brand new house for your family or just looking for some modern upgrades to add to your existing home, the garage is an area that’s often overlooked. There are a number of useful upgrades you can speak to your builder about or that you can consider when giving your existing home a facelift. Either way, garage upgrades add value, curb appeal and convenience to your home.
But how do you upgrade a garage? What can a garage update offer you? There are several convenient add-ons that can make your life easier whether you’re a busy parent, a hobbyist or if you just hate ugly spaces and clutter.
While there are many more available upgrades you can add to your garage, these 10 options can tack on value, convenience and safety to your garage.
- Electrical upgrades
While most homes built in the last decade come equipped with an outlet or two, not all are wired to handle power tools, kegerators or high-amp gadgets.
If you’re a hobbyist or simply trying to make the most of your space, you may want to consider an electrical upgrade in your garage. Make sure you have a professional look at your electrical panel, and do not do this yourself unless you have the know-how. If you’re running a lot of power tools and equipment, you’ll need to be set up for 240 volts, so you don’t trip a breaker. Oftentimes, moisture can seep into your garage, so be sure you have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) safety outlets, as well.
Long-time hobbyists also recommend installing an outlet on the ceiling or the upper part of the wall if you are using corded power tools. This is a safety measure to keep from tripping over cords, and it also keeps the kids away from your high-power outlets.
- Add a charger for your electric car
More than three million electrical cars were sold in the US so far this year. If you’re jumping into the world of electric vehicle ownership, or if you already own an electric car, it may be nice to have your very own charger at home. Imagine the convenience of not having to stop at a public charging station just to sit and wait.
With your own charging station, you can charge your car overnight, powering it up completely for the next day. Charging stations vary in price depending on your vehicle. It’s important to speak to your contractor about any electrical upgrades that may need to be added to your garage first.
Electric charging stations can add a ton of resale value to your home, especially since the number of electric car owners continues to rise. And the convenience factor is simply unbeatable.
- Add heat & A/C
Having a separate heating and cooling system in the garage is a great option for woodworkers, mechanics and hobbyists. If you spend a lot of time in the garage, you might as well be comfortable.
Many options are available for dual heating and cooling, but the best option is a mini-split heating and cooling unit. The simple, sleek design and low-cost care outweigh the initial investment by miles. Plus, a mini-split is small enough to mount out of the way, and it comes with a convenient remote to control your heat and A/C settings.
If you don’t mind a slight winter chill, all you need is A/C to combat the hot summer months. Many A/C options are available, but the most cost-effective may be to add a simple window unit. While it’s not the prettiest appliance, it’s cost-effective and works well in a small space like a garage.
- Create a mini “Fancave”
If you have ample space in your garage, it might be a great area to add a mini “Fancave.” With proper flooring, a fridge full of your favorite beverages and snacks, a mounted flatscreen, some sleek speakers, and a few comfortable leather chairs, you can carve out your own space to watch the big game without disturbing the rest of the house.
Imagine decorating the walls with framed pictures of your favorite players, your team colors and a favorite old jersey. You can add a blackboard to track your fantasy stats, or some fun collector memorabilia. As long as you have the space and some functional electrical outlets, the sky’s the limit for your favorite fan space.
- Upgrade your garage door
Long gone are the days of the plain white, no-frills garage door. Today’s options are sleek and stylish, and they offer your space energy-saving insulation as well as a facelift for curb appeal.
If you have dents and dings in your garage door, or if your unit is squeaking, stalling, or stopping, it may be better to replace your garage door rather than repair it. A new door will come fully insulated, adding energy savings as well as incredible value to your home.
Garage doors can be painted to match your exterior for a smooth, hidden look. Or they can be painted to stand out. You can even order a new garage door in a beautiful wooden finish to blend with the beauty of nature. Garage doors upgrades can even include wide, insulated windows so you can let some sunlight into what used to be a dank and dark space. Whatever your wants and needs, you can find a garage door to fit your style.
- Install a wireless garage door system
While most garage door systems come with some sort of wireless functionality, not all do. Installing a wireless system is easy. And not only is it convenient to have the option to open and close the garage door with your phone, it can also be a nice peace of mind and security measure, as well.
Most wireless systems come with an opener and a convenient app that can be shared on all your family’s devices. It’s also a perfect way to let a repair professional, cleaning service or dog walker into your home while you’re away.
- Install a slat wall
The beauty of a slat wall is that wood—whether it’s reclaimed, stained or bare—really elevates a space. But what’s even more amazing is that a slat wall can be used as a baseline and background for some nice shelving, hooks or other creative storage options.
A slat wall will also break up the white-on-white or grey-on-grey monotony of a garage. Who says your garage can’t be stylish as well as functional? And like every other upgrade, the added style of a slat wall can add resale value to your home.
- Explore shelving options to make the most of your space
Especially for hobbyists, a shelving system is a must-have. It’s a great way to make use of your vertical space or an empty back wall, keeping things organized and neat.
Because a garage tends to have more moisture than your home’s interior, make sure the shelves are finished or painted to keep from warping. Cabinets, drawers and hanging shelves are options to make the most of your vertical space.
While many space-saving gurus will say that the garage is perfect for using the ceiling for storage, it is not recommended by everyone. If one of these ceiling shelves break, you can be looking at thousands of dollars of damage to your car. Instead, it’s best to go the old-fashioned route and use your vertical space up the walls. Plus, it looks more finished and stylish to have a polished, balanced and useful shelving system.
- Install garage flooring
Believe it or not, garage flooring comes in a wide variety of options. In fact, you can even special order peel and stick tiles to match your interior flooring. Your garage floor can take a beating over the years, so any flooring option can add value and pizazz to your space.
Garage flooring options vary depending upon your needs. A hobbyist who spends a lot of time on their feet in the garage might be happier with a comfortable rubber flooring option. Rubber floors come in long strips that roll out and stick, tongue-in-groove tiles or click-together tiles. Most are made to be nonslip for added safety. There are even rollout mats that serve as area rugs for your garage but they have rubber “tufts” instead of fabric.
For a more sleek and polished look, polished concrete or epoxy coating may be a better flooring option. Stone flooring is another option for your garage. Stone floors are beautiful, long-lasting and will add a lot of value to your home.
- Add a mini mudroom near the door
If you have ample space in your garage, consider adding a mini mudroom area beside the entryway. Most people use the garage for coming and going purposes. The added convenience of an organized space to store your jackets, shoes, purses, shopping bags, and all the kids’ stuff might make you feel more at ease.
Mudroom storage spaces are not just convenient, they are also attractive and can add value to your space. Plus, it would be a really nice place to keep all the kids’ smelly sports stuff out of the house in a dedicated space.
Make sure to talk to your Balmoral builder about the many options available not only for your home, but also for your garage.