With sectional titles growing in popularity, an increasing amount of homeowners simply do not have the garden space to install a tool shed in their backyard. Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, advises homeowners who have an enclosed garage on their property to rethink how they use the area in order to maximise what is predominately unoccupied space.
“Garages in sectional units are a great value-add – especially if the owner has renovated it into a space that holds additional value apart from keeping a car cosy at night,” says Goslett.
According to Goslett, a neatly renovated garage with clever storage solutions can do a great deal towards making a property more sellable. “The trick is to create a space that still functions for its intended purpose (that is, to store a car) while offering additional storage space for items that one wouldn’t necessarily be stored inside the home, such as power tools and other outdoor equipment. Many homeowners make the mistake of completely negating the room’s original purpose by filling it with bulky workbenches and storage units for these items. While still valuable in a property, the appeal of secure covered parking is arguably larger than the additional storage space. Homeowners ought to keep this in mind before renovating the space,” Goslett advises.
According to Goslett, roof space is the key to successfully achieving these sorts of renovations: “In order for the area to remain functional, homeowners need to keep the floor space as uncluttered as possible. The last thing you’d want is for your vehicle to get battered while you’re trying to navigate between bicycles and power tools with an arm full of groceries.”
“If your garage doesn’t have the floor space to include a workbench while the car is parked inside, consider a wall-mounted collapsible surface that can be tucked against the wall when not in use. As far as possible, all other storage units and wall-mounted tool organisers should be positioned outside of the normal walking path from the car to the doorway.”
This does normally mean that most large items will have to be stored on ceiling-mounted shelving or storage solutions. “The trick with using roof storing is accessibility. If the items stored on these shelves need to be accessed regularly, then you should consider installing adjustable shelving units that are easily lowered when the car is outside, and can be raised again in order to park the car inside,” says Goslett.
As a final piece of advice, Goslett suggests that homeowners also consider things such as plug points and adequate lighting. “Many garage accidents could be avoided if there weren’t long extension leads tangled over the floor space in a room that is lit only by a flickering fluorescent tube tucked away under roof beam – as is often the case with many garages. Part of increasing the value offered by a garage is to make the space look appealing as well as functional. Installing good lighting and easily accessible plug sockets are a great way to polish off a garage workshop conversion,” Goslett concludes.
Issued by RE/MAX of Southern Africa