If getting organized is one of your New Year's resolutions, you may want to focus your efforts on what's probably your home's biggest source of clutter: that dumping ground for sports equipment, beach chairs, pantry items purchased in bulk, and, oh yeah, your car.
The New York Times is calling the garage "the next frontier in remodeling"-a problem area to tackle after the kitchen, bathrooms, basement, and landscaping have all been redone.
Experts say the utilitarian rooms are getting more attention as homeowners spend more time in them. "Kids don't carry keys anymore," contractor Peter Glass told the Times. "They have the code for the keypad, and if your garage door opens, you know it because you get an alert on your phone. The front door has really become just for guests."
A garage makeover can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $50,000 and up. Glass recently installed a $40,000 hydraulic lift in the garage of a financial advisor, who wanted it to store his Porsche.
What else are homeowners looking for in their dream garages? Other contractors report requests ranging from the straightforward-drywall installation, flooring finishes, and custom storage solutions-to the extravagant: heated floor tiles, expansions to hold more vehicles, and central vacuuming systems and floor sinks to make professional-level car detailing possible at home.
"The people who spend serious money on their garages are the ones who have already done everything else to the house, and they've got nice cars," Paul Greskovich, the owner of Garage Craft Interiors in New Jersey, told the Times. "They suddenly realize that possibly the biggest room in the house is a debris field."
The investment can add value to your home, said real-estate agent Libbe Pavony, adding that you don't have to go to extremes to reap the benefits. A little organization goes a long way toward making a positive impression on buyers. "The garage is a reflection on how you maintain your home in general. Some people take their old kitchen cabinets and attach them to the walls," said Pavony.
Looking for ideas to help you get started? Here are some of our favorite garage makeovers from around the web.
Chair railing, prefab cabinets, and new light fixtures rounded out this refresh from Dixie Delights:
This mudroom seating area and custom work bench is the result of at six-week project by Sypsie Designs:
Just a Girl's remodel included a pantry section for dry good and dog food:
Cyndy's pegboard organizer for the Creativity Exchange is a DIYer's dream:
For more inspiration, check out our favorite garage organization ideas.
(h/t New York Times)
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