Outbuildings: Garages, Workshops and More

Posted on July 22, 2022 Categories: Moving Home Tags: , , , , ,

A lot of properties come with garages these days, either attached to the property or as a separate outbuilding. How you use this space is up to you, but we are here today to give you some ideas:

Garages

People tend to think of garages as existing with one set purpose: to be a place to keep one or two vehicles. This can be a great asset to your home, particularly if you take great pride in your vehicles. It also helps if you have more than one type. Perhaps you like to keep a motorbike or bicycles in your garage alongside your car?

While they were invented for this purpose, in recent years, people have started to use their garages for a variety of other things, particularly as many cars have gotten bigger over the years and may not be suitable for a standard garage anymore.

Workshops

If you’re the family fixer or DIY hobbyist, then a garage could be a great space for you to have a workshop. It is generally a blank canvas with smooth surfaces designed for the practicality of cleanly moving a vehicle in and out of it, so this makes it a great space to keep clean or tidy up easily.

Once you have a designated place to keep your tools, you can set up a worktable. Maybe this could have storage too, or perhaps you could attach something a bit more complex. You could install cupboards, shelving and more for your tools, materials, etc.

Hobby Space

Alternatively, you may want to set up a different kind of workshop in this space, such as an art studio or crafts room, if you and the people you live with are particularly creative. Some budding musicians like to use garages as practice space.

This can be especially useful for bands or large instruments like drums that both take up space and can be quite antisocial in your home with noise that not everyone may appreciate.

You may even consider using it as a fitness area for a gym or yoga practice. This can provide additional space or an escape from your primary living space and a home gym can be a great motivator when you only have 5 minutes to spare!

Storage

Garages can be excellent places for storage. In fact, according to RAC, this seems to be what they are most commonly used for. There are many different modular systems you can buy with storage, perfect for keeping tools and anything you need for your fix-up projects. You could also consider putting up pegboards and shelving to further enhance your storage space, by having tools on your walls instead of filling drawers with them. You can use your garage to store:

  • Bikes and scooters
  • Boxes that you can’t fit in your attic or other storage areas
  • If you do not have a shed, you could keep your lawnmower or other large gardening tools here
  • Paint and other decorating equipment
  • Ladders
  • Large white goods like chest freezers
  • Tents and other camping equipment
  • Exercise or sports equipment such as weights, yoga mats and golf clubs

Utility Areas

If you have a small kitchen in your house or a lack of spare rooms, you may find that a garage is a great space to have a mini utility room. You could set up your tumble dryer, washing machine (with plumbing for water of course), fridge, freezer or iron in here – either all together or just one or two of those items, leaving you with space to give the room another function alongside housing these white goods.

However, it may be nice to set up the room exclusively as a utility area. This could be a place for you specifically to carry out some household chores, in a space no one else can make a mess in. You do all your ironing, clothes washing and drying in here, for example.

This idea works especially well for those garages that are integrated into the main home or possibly have access from the garage to the hallway or other area.

Security

It is common for homeowners to neglect investing in security for their garages or other outbuildings like shed, etc, or not include them in any alarm system. Garages can be target points for burglars, as they have one of the easier doors to break through. Plus not being part of the main home they can be out of site or less likely to attract attention when people are looking around them.

You want to ensure that this can’t happen to your home. Consider getting all access points and doors made of a strong, secure materials. For example, steel is a stronger choice rather than wood, which can rot. You should also have more than one lock on your garage door, as with your front door, in case one fails.

If you get a door with an electric shutter remote, find one that comes with an alarm. If it does not, you can hire a professional to come and install an alarm in for you. Shed alarms that work on doors or windows are also a very cost effective tool and of far less cost than a full alarm if budgets are tight. On a less scale especially for outbuildings you can purchase padlocks with alarms and tamper proof systems built into them as a deterrent.

Motion sensitive lights are also a great addition to the outside of your home and your garage door may be a great place to set one up. They add another layer of security, as these lights activate when someone comes in close range of them – this is helpful for deterring unwanted visitors and allows you to spot them, but these lights are also practical for those in the property who arrive home late at night, as they would help them see in the darkness.

Other Ideas

There is a lot you can do with your garage. Some may find that it unnecessary in its current state. Additionally, you may feel unsure of how to use this space and neglect to use this room because of that. Here are some ideas of what you can turn it into, to make the most out of it:

  • Property conversion – if you don’t need the extra storage space, why not convert your garage into another room, such as an office, guest bedroom or downstairs bathroom? However do ensure that you obtain the correct permissions if it is to become an actually proper room rather than a temporary space.
  • Home gym
  • Arts and crafts room or studio
  • Games room
  • Home office

Conclusion

A garage is often described as being a man cave or DIYer’s paradise which can be great but even if you don’t have a car or your car wont fit in the garage or outbuildings it can still be an extremely useful additional space to your home.

When you get a property survey, your garage will also be included as part of the space inspected by your surveyor, whether it is an outbuilding or part of your house. With this blog, we hope you can see how you can take this space and make the most of it for your family and find the best function for it amongst you all.

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