Adding a Garage:  Is it Worth it?

Certain home improvements are better from an investment standpoint than others.  When it comes to garages, adding one is typically less expensive than other large projects.   Plus, it can make a property lacking in storage and parking space more desirable.  Before you break ground, though, there are a few questions you should ask yourself.

1. How much space do you need? 


Are you thinking about a one-car garage?  What about a two-car or three-car design?  Consider how many cars you have and what storage you might need.  If you don’t have a basement, you might want to add some space in the garage to offset that fact.  Building a little extra bump for recreational vehicles, such as a golf cart or ATV, or a lawn mower can also be useful in the long run.

2. What do the comps have?


If you’re looking around your neighborhood and everyone else has three-car garages, adding one of any size will make your property more competitive.  However, if you’re in a budget-friendly home that’s better suited for first-time home buyers, you might not get a full return on a garage investment of that size.  Remember, just because you can build something, doesn’t always mean you should.

3. What will your zoning laws allow?


In Maryland, different neighborhoods have different regulations—especially when it comes to plots of varying sizes.  Generally speaking, there are rules that govern the percentage of land buildings can occupy.  This factors in the house, your potential garage, and any outbuildings, including sheds.  Additionally, there must be a certain distance between these buildings and your property line.  In some situations, it’s possible to file for a variance to get the garage of your dreams, but you should consult your local planning and zoning department before getting carried away.  They can advise you on your specific property, as well as help you budget for any additional fees.  Find a list of helpful links here:


4. Where will you put it?


Not just the garage, but also the driveway (if you don’t already have one).  Is there more space on one side of the property that would naturally allow you to extend the house?  Do you want it to be attached or detached?  Typically, an attached garage is more desirable, but having a detached design might allow you to expand more.


You should also consider which direction you want your garage door to face.  A forward-facing option is traditional in certain neighborhoods, but having a side door can camouflage your garage.  Adding windows and carrying other architectural elements from the rest of your house will make it appear like a true addition, rather than a utilitarian storage space.  Fortunately, we can help you match and extend your existing siding, as well as install the perfect garage door.

Ultimately, how much worth a garage adds to your property will depend on a number of factors. It’s important to be realistic about the space and storage you need, while also considering your budget and zoning restrictions.  Improving your home is never a bad decision, especially with the help of Schaefer Exteriors!


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