By Jessica Thiefels
Renovating your garage can attract more tenants and boost the market value of your rental property, all while putting more money into your pocket thanks to a 65 percent ROI.
When updating the garage, consider adding enhanced fixtures, storage, internal hardware and visual interest. These upgrades will transform the space into both a functional and aesthetic extension of the home.
Increase the Amount of Storage
Take advantage of the garage’s vertical space by converting a bare wall into a floor-to-ceiling storage unit, with cabinets, drawers and shelving. The National Association of Home Builders indicates that 54 percent of home renters or buyers rate this as a desirable feature on their wish lists.
This efficient add-on allows your tenants to reduce their excess clutter and organize seasonal decor, power tools, outdoor gear and other items with more accessibility.
Keep the Insulation Up to Code
Ensure the structural framework of your garage is secured against weather and temperature shifts with proper insulation. Home Advisor estimates that you could save nearly $2,000 completing this project yourself. All you need is a utility knife, sharp blades, tape measure, 4-inch straight edge, step ladder and the insulated material. Follow these step-by-step instructions for this DIY undertaking.
Update to Epoxy Flooring
Epoxy is a valuable addition to your garage for many reasons. Not only is the slick coating aesthetically pleasing, but the top coat—which is made of an epoxy resin—is durable and guaranteed to last for life; no maintenance or updates needed, other than normal cleaning—which renters will love:
“When it comes to adding value to your rental, you can't go wrong with epoxy flooring. The appeal of an easy to clean, seamless floor creates an inviting environment that renters will enjoy. Often, the space is used for additional square footage for a work out room or a man cave,” says Calvin Kewkel, owner of Kwekel Painting.
Install a More Decorative Door
Amplify the entire home’s curb appeal with a new garage door that offers would-be renters a positive first impression of the overall property. Bankrate suggests that enhancing a garage from the outside can yield an 87 percent ROI, not to mention garage door replacements came in second to attic insulation as the best home upgrade investment, according to How Much Will I Actually Make After Selling My House, a guide from Homelight.
Opt for trends such as natural or reclaimed wood, carriage-style, window panels and even vibrant contrast colors to make a bold exterior statement.
DIY Your Security Upgrade
The garage is an easy access point for intruders if you don’t have it properly secured. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to customize the system for your needs or those of your renters. Experts at The Home Security Super Store recommend starting with a wireless alarm system and then DIY-ing the rest:
“Installing a wireless alarm system is the first step in DIY home security. In just a couple of hours you can put together a totally customized security system inside your very own home. Mix and match components allow you to secure the doors, windows, gates, and entryways you’re most concerned about and to change your system when you need.”
Program garage-specific needs into your system after installing. For example, set a timer for the garage door, so if you forget to close it, the timer will cause it to shut automatically. Small upgrades like this make a world of difference for your renters.
Don’t underestimate the value of a garage that’s attractive from the outside and both functional and spacious on the inside. Your tenants will appreciate the extra touches of “homey-ness,” and you’ll reap the benefits of money well spent.