home improvement projects

Garage Improvement Projects That Increase Your Home’s Value

As homeowners, we focus a lot of attention on things like monthly maintenance tasks and lowering energy costs. In the past, I’ve talked about interior DIY projects that boost your home’s value. I also discussed how making some changes to your driveway helps improve your curb appeal. That’s helpful, especially when it comes time to sell your Naples home. However, you should not neglect your garage. There are a few garage improvement projects you may want to consider tackling, whether you plan on selling your property soon or a couple of years down the road.

Add some of these garage improvement projects to your list if you want to increase your Southwest Florida home's value.

Garage Improvement Projects That Increase Your Home’s Value

Garage Door

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Replacing/upgrading the garage door offers one of the best returns on investment (ROI) when it comes to garage improvement projects. In fact, Home Advisor named it the best ROI of any home improvement projects you could make this year. They reported a 97.5% ROI. Automatic garage door openers always please buyers. So, if you still own a manual garage door, change that immediately. However, even if you installed an automatic garage door opener years ago, the exterior may need a bit of updating. Considering how much your garage door takes up space at the front of your home, a nicer garage door actually increases your curb appeal.

Insulation

Good insulation offers two benefits: it keeps the garage cooler in the summer and tamps down noise levels. Buyers appreciate both. Therefore, adding some insulation to your garage walls and ceiling makes the list of garage improvement projects that increase your home’s value. Also, make sure you have a good ventilation system to allow carbon monoxide fumes to dissipate and escape. Install a carbon monoxide detector inside your garage to warm you of any rising CO levels.

Storage

Everyone wants more storage. Installing shelves adds extra storage in the garage. But don’t just stuff your stuff onto these shelves. Otherwise, buyers may think there isn’t enough storage inside. They consider this to be a mark against your home. Identical, labeled bins make your garage look organized, not cluttered. Make sure all shelving is attached to the walls so that they don’t become a safety hazard.

Lighting

The ability to see what you’re doing is very important when working in a garage. Therefore, good lighting should be on your list of “must-haves” in the garage. For most two-car garages, simple fluorescent lights prove adequate. Ditch that single incandescent light bulb for something brighter that brings in enough light to finish up those projects that run into the night.

Outlets

Experts suggest providing two outlets per wall in the garage. That means no less than six outlets for a one-car garage. If your garage lacks enough outlets, hire an electrician to install more. Buyers pay attention to outlet placement everywhere in a house, even in the garage.

Flooring

Hate stained floors? Epoxy them. Not only is it easier to clean than standard concrete, but it also wicks away oil and other liquids. Plus, it adds a shiny surface that buyers like. This helps add to the value of your Southwest Florida home. Other types of flooring like tiles, matting, and other coverings also add an aesthetic appeal. In turn, that adds value to your house.

Automobile Lift

Ask anyone who works on anything with an engine what they want most in their garage and they’ll most likely say “a lift”. Jacking up a car so you can crawl around and work on the undercarriage can be a pain. You don’t have to have a double-height garage in order to make this work either. Allowing enough room for three feet of lift makes changing the oil or even changing tires that much easier and definitely much safer than a dodgy jack.

Extra Bedroom

Finally, if it’s possible, add an extra bedroom and bathroom above the garage. This increases your square footage and your home’s value. Ask a professional to come out to inspect the garage to make sure it is structurally sound enough for the bedroom above and to provide an estimate. This quickly turns your three bed/two bath home into a more valuable four bed/three bath home.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos?

Reseal Your Driveway and Boost Your Curb Appeal

Want to boost your curb appeal? In the past, I’ve told you how to make your outdoor spaces more mobile-friendly. I even talked about specific colors trending for spring. This time, let’s turn to the front of your house…more specifically, your driveway. Do cracks and potholes make your driveway look shabby? With a little elbow grease, you can reseal your driveway without professional help and boost your curb appeal.

It's easier to reseal your driveway than you think. And it easily boosts the curb appeal of your Marco Island/Naples home.

How to Reseal Your Driveway

Check the Weather

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When you reseal your driveway, you’re going to need one full week of no rain and temperatures of 60F or above. While the latter isn’t a problem at the moment, we tend to experience the most rainfall between May and October in Marco Island and June through September in Naples. Check the weather forecast before you start your resealing project or you may end up having to do it again.

Clear the Way

You need a clean surface to reseal your driveway. Therefore, you’ll need to take the weed wacker to any growth around the sides and in between the cracks on your driveway. Sweep or blow away any grass clippings or dirt on the surface as well. Then, power wash the entire driveway using a back and forth motion. You’ll then need to allow it to dry completely or the sealant will not adhere to it. It typically takes about 48 hours to dry all the way through.

Take Care of the Cracks/Potholes

Put on a pair of rubber gloves and boots or old shoes you don’t mind messing up. Then, seal up the smaller cracks and potholes in your driveway’s surface with asphalt crack filler (available at most home improvement stores). This helps provide a smooth surface for the asphalt sealant to go over.

Create an Asphalt Perimeter

With a long-handled brush, use wet asphalt to mark the perimeter of where you’ll be laying down the asphalt when you reseal your driveway. This provides a guideline of where to quit spreading it. If the asphalt goes outside of that line, it could create an unsightly stain that is difficult to remove. Keep it off the grass and garage door.

Start Filling it In

After you created a perimeter, fill in the space with asphalt. Using a push-pull method, make sure your asphalt is evenly coated. Don’t work with any more than two to three gallons at a time. You’ll want it to be evenly distributed throughout.

Finishing Touches

At the end of the driveway, use a bristle brush to mark an asphalt border line when you reseal your driveway. This helps create a borderline between the driveway and the street. Finally, stay off the driveway for several days to allow it to set properly and thoroughly dry.

While it may sound like a lot of work to reseal your driveway, it really isn’t. Almost anybody can do it themselves and save a few dollars in the process. Talk to your local home improvement store associates if you have any questions. Good luck!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos