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The Importance of the Garage Upon Curb Appeal

The Importance of the Garage Upon Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is the first impression people have of a home and the garage is often the largest and visible feature.  It dominates the front façade of most homes, accounting for as much as 30% of a home’s visual impact.  And it’s not up on the roof or somewhere out of sight; it's at eye level, where everyone immediately sees it.  Ironically, the room that has its door open to the world every day also happens to be the most unsightly.

Cramped with garden maintenance tools, sporting equipment, and overflow from the rest of the house, there is little room left for even the cars.  The garage functions asAmerica's junk room, holding all the items the house won't -- or can't.  For most owners, the garage is the most cluttered and embarrassing part of their homes.  Some homeowners are afraid to even open their garage doors out of fear that neighbors will see all the ugliness inside.

According to a national survey by Impulse Research, almost one-quarter (24%) of all homeowners are embarrassed to leave their garage doors open.   California Closets commissioned a survey which determined that the garage seems to be “the most disorganized room in the home” thus prompted their company to expand their products to serve this market.

What Kind of Impressions Does a Messy Garage Say About Its Owners?

In a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 50% of those surveyed said the garage is the messiest room in the house, and homeowners are not satisfied with how they've used their garages in the past: 28% of consumers would like their garage to be better organized.  In a survey of 1,500 recent home buyers by John Schleimer, a housing-market analyst based in Roseville, California, many people cited a cramped garage as one of their previous home's “biggest flaws”.

People are increasingly realizing that the garage is the one room in the house that their neighbors see on a regular basis and the impression a messy disorganized garage says about the homeowner.  While the rest of the home may be neat and clean, the garage can become a public embarrassment, since it is the only room regularly visible to neighbors.

The garage has become more prominently featured in home construction.  In older homes, the garage was typically detached from the home and built in the back.  But with the rise of the suburbs, the garage became attached to most homes where it became the prominent feature in the front façade of new home construction, dominating the front landscape of most homes today.  Day in and day out, the garage is the main entrance for most home owners.

For builders, designers and architects, the garage has enormous potential as a new category in home design.  With new innovations for every room in the home, building and design professionals should accommodate design concepts for the garage in their plans.

Unlike a dream kitchen or elaborate closet organization system, the garage is the only room regularly visible to neighbors.  Design professional can help clients visualize the potential of the garage by showing them the visual improvements that can be seen from the curb and the functional improvements that can made through organization on this inside, just as the home theater industry has done convincing homeowners of the benefits of this luxury.

Instead of oil-stained floors, cluttered workbenches and mishmash of shelves, cabinets and hooks that don’t fit or look nice together, professional tradespeople can fill an unmet need in the marketplace by offering designs solutions to transform ordinary, mundane garages into attractive and useful spaces.

Making the garage to be both a livable, aesthetic and functional space is not a radical idea. In most homes, the garage is often the starting point for many activities.  Day-in and day-out, it is the main entrance for most home owners.  "As homeowners look for more usable space and value in their home, they tend to overlook the garage," said Alene Workman, principle of Hollywood, Fla. based Alene Workman Interior Design Inc. and Fellow of American Society of Interior Designers in a press release from Whirlpool. "In most homes, the garage is often the starting point for many activities and it makes sense for homeowners to begin rethinking this untapped space”, said Workman.

GARAGES ARE VERSATILE

The garage is more than just a place to park a car or stash a lawn mower, it’s become kind of a second patio with a place to kick back in a lawn chair and chat with neighbors passing by the driveway … almost like an outdoor living room for entertaining.  For some of these owners their garage is perfunctorily functional, a place to tool around on their ‘pride-and-joy’ on weekends.  Still to others the garage is a showroom to display their treasures.  The garage is not restricted to only gearheads, however; its appeal stretches broadly to include gardeners, woodworkers and others who simply want a place for everything and everything in its place.  But to all homeowners, it is the most versatile spaces within their homes.

GARAGES ARE GETTING RECOGNIZED

It’s about time that garages are getting recognized.  For too long the garage has functioned asAmerica's junk room, holding all the items the house won't -- or can't.  But the times are changing – people are finally realizing just how versatile this space can be and the impact it has upon the architecture of most homes.

The garage is the last remaining bastion within a home that has not been remodeled. People are putting so much money into their dream homes today, that they are not ignoring the garage, particularly because it is so visible to neighbors.  So it follows that an increasing number of homeowners are now looking for ways to ‘spruce up’ their garages to make this space more usable and appealing.

Look how far the garage has already come: most were constructed with the studs and insulation exposed, but today finishing a garage wall with drywall and paint is commonplace because homeowners want them to look more appealing visually.

 

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