The garage used to be the most neglected part of the home, typically serving as storage for vehicles, holiday decorations, and buyer’s remorse purchases. But more and more, people are recognizing that a well-appointed garage can help you stay organized and increase your property’s resale value.
So what does a fully equipped garage look like? It depends on what you keep in there; but for most people, that means smart storage solutions and ample space for your car. But you can go even further if you want to take the efficiency of your garage to the next level. That means bringing in additional gadgets and amenities that will help modernize your garage beyond recognition.
If you’re thinking about revamping your garage in the new year, here are the expert-approved items you should consider—and most are less than $120!
1. Guided laser parking system
If you have a tight garage, it might be wise to rely on technology to help you park it right. A guided laser parking guide ($39.95, Maxsa Innovations) can prevent those scrapes, dents, and dings caused by misjudging how much space you have. And the best part is, you don’t even need wiring. You can use either double-sided tape or screws to mount the unit to your ceiling.
“They’re fairly easy to install and are typically battery-operated,” says Elizabeth Leanza, a real estate agent at Exit Realty King & Associates in Spring Hill, TN. “And in the year 2020, something like tennis balls hanging from ropes just doesn’t produce the same cool factor that these lasers do.”
2. New garage floor
You can breathe new life into your garage with a floor kit like the Rust-Oleum EpoxyShield ($117, Home Depot). It is easy to mix and apply (with foam rollers), adheres to concrete, and is waterproof. Plus, you can complete this DIY project in a weekend—you can walk on it in 10 hours, and drive your car on it in 24 hours.
Jonathan Faccone, founder of Halo Homebuyers in Bridgewater, NJ, buys and resells homes and says a garage floor revamp is a must in his house renovation projects.
“I typically paint all garages with a fresh coat of paint and then paint the concrete slab with epoxy coating,” he says, noting that he has also done this with his own garage. This is an easy way to tidy up and modernize your garage.
3. Metal pegboard
“One of the coolest items any garage should have is a pegboard or slat board for your tools,” says Nathaniel Hovsepian at the Expert Home Buyers in North Augusta, SC. “These help save space and make finding your tools supereasy. They look really slick as well.”
But not all pegboards are built the same. Look for a metal pegboard like this one from Wall Control ($95, Amazon) to effectively hold all your tools. It can be mounted directly onto Sheetrock or studs and comes in a variety of colors, including black, blue, orange, green, yellow, white, and metallic. You can also choose different colors for the shelves and trays.
4. Steel workbench
A rolling cabinet workbench ($899, Seville Classics) can upgrade your garage and safely store your items out of view.
“Having a place where you can easily fix, revamp, and ‘do it yourself’ will make home improvement projects easier and safer,” says Matt Williams, CEO of Pro.com, a general contracting company in Seattle. “This is where you can also store your safety gear like gloves and protective goggles for all tasks.”
5. Retractable electrical cord reel
If your extension cords are a hot mess, a retractable cord system ($69, The Home Depot) can help you get them sorted. This cord system has three outlets and a built-in, resettable 13-amp circuit breaker. The no-tangle mechanism allows you to pull the cord from any direction.
“I have had more tools in the garage that any homeowner should be allowed to have, but the best and most helpful item has been the retractable electrical cord reel,” says Eric Jeanette, owner of Dream Home Financing. “No more having to pull extension cords all over the garage. It’s installed on the ceiling, and after you’re done using your cord, with just a slight tug, it rolls the cord back up.”
6. Hydraulic lifts
Are you short on horizontal space in your garage? Sure you can park vehicles in the driveway or on the street, but that offers no protection from the elements.
“The trend I’m seeing right now among a lot of my clients is that they need more parking space,” says Yawar Charlie, a director of the estates division at Aaron Kirman Group, Compass in Los Angeles. “They’re getting creative by installing hydraulic lifts, so a two-car garage becomes a four-car garage.”
Deborah Bacarella, a real estate agent at Re/Max Advantage Plus in Boca Raton, FL, says hydraulic lifts are really popular among her luxury buyers who want extra space for their car collections. The APlusLift ($2,235 Amazon) is a heavy-duty storage car lift with an 8,000-pound capacity, and it lifts vehicles in only 40 seconds.
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