By Pat Setter, San Diego Union Tribune
March 5, 2016
The garage is one of the most important – and often one of the most overlooked – rooms of your home. Much more than just a place to park the car, the garage offers not only valuable storage room, but it is increasingly becoming a flexible space, housing everything from games to guests.
And garages are taking up more space than ever. In 1971, less than 40 percent of new homes in the United States had garages big enough for two or more cars. By 2007, that number increased to 63 percent and 19 percent of new homes had garages for three or more cars.
Since the garage is part of a home, it needs the same TLC as the rest of the house. So why not add a little color? You can finish the walls and paint them or you can add some pizazz to that dull cement floor. Flooring options range from staining or painting the cement to coating it with epoxy or garage-grade tiles. Epoxy coating, which is used in car dealer showrooms, is easy to clean and stain-resistant. Tiles come in a variety of materials, including hard plastic and vinyl. It’s an easy way to get a retro-chic checkered floor.
A new generation of garage doors is also adding more curb appeal as well as better security and insulation. Fiberglass doors are popular because of their easy care and versatility, and they can be painted. But an increasing number of wood options are available to add architectural detail from rustic charm to classic elegance.
Homebuilders are also realizing the value of garages
McCullough Design Development designs garages with picture windows and up to 40 feet of backup space to allow for a comfortable two-point turn. On the inside, McCullough garages have a generous size, leaving room for storage, even with two cars parked. The floors are level with the house so there are no stairs to navigate as you enter the home. Other options include insulation, utility sinks, workshop areas and, increasingly electric-car charging stations as well as half baths and mudrooms.
At CalAtlanticHomes estates at Del Sur, homes come with two garages. The community's Dali and Miro designs include two two-car garages with the option to convert one to a guest suite. The da Vinci floor plan includes a one-car garage, plus a three-car tandem garage that can be converted to a two-car garage with a laundry room. The Donatello floor plan offers a one-car garage that can be converted to a guest suite and a three-car tandem garage that can be converted to a two-car garage with craft room.
At California West’s Southern Preserve in La Costa and Upper Cielo, in Rancho Santa Fe, homeowners have a number of options when it comes to garage spaces. Garage conversions include craft rooms, appliance centers, media rooms and multigenerational spaces. The most popular rooms seen at these high-end homes, which start at $1.2 million, are wine storage rooms. Some of the floor plans available have garages that can be converted into custom wine cellars.
With all these options to add valuable space to your home, it’s time to take a second look at the often overlooked garage.
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