In the 1950s and 60s – and even into the 70s – residential housing developers often built homes without garages. And homes built in the 50s often had only a single-car garage if they had one at all.
If you happen to live in an older neighborhood where garages are rare, adding one to your home can not only add useful storage space for your current needs, it could add value to your home. More importantly, it can make your home stand apart from other listings in the neighborhood.
Fortunately, a stand-alone garage doesn’t have to cost that much. A nice two-car garage can be built in many areas for under $30,000 and provide a more than 80% return on investment at resale time.
Before building a garage, however, you have to make sure you have enough room and that local building codes allow it. A trip to city hall or the courthouse will probably provide the information you need.
Property line setbacks
Specifically, you need to know how far from side and rear property lines the structure can be. Once you have that information, determine if you have room on your property for a structure and how you would access it.
If you only have to extend an existing driveway into the back yard, the process is pretty easy. If you have to cut a new driveway, the process is not only more expensive but might require special permits. Selecting an experienced, reputable contractor can help you navigate these issues.
600 to 700 square feet
A roomy two-car garage will run between 600 and 700 square feet, providing room for the vehicles as well as lawn equipment and tools.
You should only build a garage if you plan to live in the home several years and want a place to shelter your vehicles from the elements. You shouldn’t build it just for resale.
That said, adding a garage to a home in a neighborhood where most homes don’t have them will make your home sell faster, and for more money.