Many homeowners value the extra storage space their garages provide for their vehicles, tools, and other belongings. Not to mention weatherized features that keep these items safe from the elements, come snow, rain, or shine.

But some homeowners don't realize that having an attached or detached garage may also increase the value of their properties significantly.

The Value of a Home Garage

Consider this: A survey by Remodeling Magazine found that 74% of homeowners thought a well-organized garage was a major selling feature for the home, with 97% of participants preferring a garage over an attic or a basement to store their belongings.

What's more, the survey found that homeowners who invested in mid-range to high-end garage door replacements recouped 83% of the money spent on these improvements.

Similarly, mid-range garage additions saw a 69% return on investment, making them a lucrative home improvement project for their desirability among prospective homebuyers.

But beefing up an existing garage, or adding a new one, isn't only for gaining a higher selling price. Owning a garage also comes with a host of benefits for the long-term homeowner, who can turn it into a relaxation room, a studio apartment for guests, a rehearsal space for a band, or a home gym complete with treadmills and a bench press.

How to Increase the Value of Your Home Garage

Adding value to your home garage is pretty straightforward, but rather than just "make it bigger," the value increase comes with making the space more functional.

To that end, here are some creative ways to maximize your home garage's value or function and convert it into a multipurpose space.

1) Weather-proofing

Weather-proofing or insulating your garage ensures that the items inside are protected from extreme temperatures on hot or cold days while also making it more attractive to buyers. A prefabricated building kit with insulated metal panels is one of the most popular and affordable ways to climatize your garage and comes in handy if you live in a climate with significant temperature fluctuations throughout the year.

2) Soundproofing

Soundproofing can turn your garage into a hobby room or a space to live out your musical dreams. Although it may seem like a daunting project, soundproofing your home garage is fairly simple. Start by insulating the ceiling and walls with cellulose, fiberglass, or mineral wool (your choice of material depends on the desired effect). Other materials, such as foam panels, rubber mats, and acoustic blankets can help you jam out like a rockstar without driving your neighbors crazy.

3) Installing or Upgrading Garage Doors

Earlier we mentioned that installing or upgrading to mid-range or high-end garage doors can offer a healthy return on your investment. So consider upgrading your garage doors with insulated frames and windows. Not only will this add value to your home. It'll make your garage more energy-efficient and attract homebuyers if you decide to sell down the road. When upgrading your garage doors, try this DIY project or hire a professional who can take the legwork out of it.

4) Converting to a Living Space

Converting the garage into a studio apartment is something that your friends and family members will appreciate when they visit you from out of town. But like many home improvements, there are cons to consider when choosing this route. An obvious one is losing storage space for your vehicles and other belongings. You'll also need to consider zoning and building codes in your neighborhood that may restrict the blueprint you have in mind. That said, some homebuyers might find an additional living space appealing, especially if the property can fit a carport or a covered driveway for vehicles.

How to Increase the Functionality of Your Home Garage

To increase functionality without breaking the bank, consider organizing your garage space into zones based on the value you want to get out of it.

These zones can be:

1) Organizing personal belongings by value and type, such as tools, equipment, bikes, and other outdoor gear. This is typically the first zone for homeowners because it's how they use their garage the most.

2) Keeping frequently used items in close reach with shallow shelves.

3) Storing rarely used items like seasonal decorations and old kitchen appliances in containers on the garage walls or other vertical spaces that can be reached with a step stool.

4) Organizing supplies that need to be kept for home repairs and projects in one area (including paint and other liquids) with extension cords in case an item needs to be plugged in when it's time to use it.

5) Keeping everything clean and tidy by investing in garage storage cabinets or shelves that can accommodate larger pieces like bicycles, ladders, and tools.

6) Creating a personalized space by attaching pegboard walls for hanging tools, coats, and other accessories.

7) Keeping groceries and sports equipment in designated areas to avoid clutter.

8) Staying organized by creating a system for writing down items that need repair or replacement so they can be bought at the right time.

These steps can help you organize your garage space into zones that improve the value and function while saving you time and energy in the long run.

Buying and Selling in Oahu with HRI

Knowing the value of your home garage as a space for anything — from personal storage to hosting guests — can help you make the most of it.

At Hawaii Realty International, we value our client's homes as much as they do. If you're thinking about selling or buying in Oahu, or if you're on the hunt for a top Oahu realtor, connect with us and find out what our family-owned real estate business is all about.