Turning your carport into a full garage can take a little work and is going to certainly require a permit or two. Does it add value?
In short, certainly. A garage is more secure than carport and offers better protection from the elements. So, what about adding to the overall value of the house?
That part can actually depend on a number of factors. In order to give you a clear mental image of what is involved, as well as what you stand to gain or could potentially lose.
Let’s talk about converting a carport to a garage from a practical standpoint so that you can gather all the facts and make the right decision for YOU.
How much value does the conversion add?
First off, let’s look at the advantages of a garage over a carport. Here are some of the added-value incentives of converting your carport into a garage:
- Your living space is technically expanded – A garage is going to be better constructed than a carport, as a garage is a permanent structure. This means it can be used for a number of things, such as storage, making a smoking room… basically a conversion like this effectively expands the houses overall living space.
- Better protection from the elements –Carports protect your vehicles, but not as well as a fully enclosed garage. Yes, that carport will keep away rain and keep the snow off of your vehicle, but it is still much more vulnerable than a well-built garage conversion would be to hail and other calamities which could strike.
- Overall vehicle security is improved – Let’s face it, a carport is going to be much easier to break into than a garage is going to be. Vandals, thieves, and even angry kids on Halloween who intend your vehicles no-good are going to think twice about breaking into a garage.
- A garage is a handyman’s playhouse – With insulation and sometimes even air conditioning, a garage is the perfect place to setup a workshop if you are the DIY type. With a carport, this can certainly still be done, but then we get back to the security argument. With a garage your tools are safer and you’ve essentially got a DIY haven for all of your projects.
- Your overall house value might be increased – Your overall value for the house could and most likely will increase – but there are a few factors that we will go into later than can help you to determine if this would be likely to occur for you and what you’ll need to consider to eliminate or minimize the chances of eating the cost in the long run.
That all sounds good. From a financial standpoint, however, things can get a little more complex, so let’s approach the problem from a few different angles with some popular questions that we often get asked.
Is this something that property buyers look for?
The answer to this really boils down to ‘a little bit of yes and a little bit of no’. The first thing that some buyer’s consider is whether or not all of the proper permits were obtained for this kind of work, as well as whether or not it was built up to their standards.
Typically, as long as you hang on to those permits that you procured for the build and if the resultant garage has proved over the years to be hardy, then it’s not going to be much of a problem.
By making sure that it’s a quality job in the first place and completely approved by your local authorities then the new garage should indeed be an asset.
For some buyers, having a customer carport to garage conversion might well be a viable selling point as well, especially if they have plans for a DIY workshop of their own, but with this type of buyer as well it is all going to go back to the quality of the build.
Does the carport itself add value, even without converting to a garage?
A carport definitely adds value to a home, especially if you already have a dedicated garage. Even without it, having an extra space for vehicles can boost your home value anywhere from $500 to as high as $10,000.
A lot is going to depend on where it is located, whether or not it is convenient to use, what materials are involved, and how well it is constructed. So, yes, even by itself a carport certainly adds value to a home.
Do specific types of carport to garage conversions add more value than others?
Different conversions can certainly make a difference. Air conditioning and well-wired electric, of course, are going to be expected.
Beyond this, very specific conversions will appeal to different types of buyers.
For instance, if you have a double-carport and if you converted it to a mechanic-friendly garage, complete with recesses in the concrete to work on cars without employing a jack, then this would be desirable to many car aficionados.
At this point, it’s honestly more about marketing. A double-wide carport converted into a ‘DIY dream-room’ might well increase the value, or one with a design implemented to make the most of storage while still storing expensive cars comfortably might be highly marketable as well.
The biggest problem that you get with a large conversion, however, it recouping the costs involved when things start to get fancy.
The initial investment is going to be hefty in such cases and your chances to recover the investment can drop considerably when the modifications get too expensive.
How much of your investment can you realistically expect to make back from such a conversion?
Bloomberg news published a report on this issue, stating essentially that while a conversion like this may entice buyers and make the property stick out from the other ‘cookie-cutter’ or otherwise lackluster offerings, you are most likely to only make back about 57% percent of your investment in the garage if you sell your home.
Essentially, your garage ends up costing you between $35 and $45 dollars per square foot.
Taking control of the materials can help to keep costs down and you can save a LOT of money if you have many of the necessary skills for the task, but if you need to outsource the labor then anything more than a basic conversion will likely lose you a little money if you decide to sell.
One of the biggest determining factors will be simply what the houses which are comparable to your own are selling for in your neighborhood.
If your conversion is done and you already have a garage, then now your house has TWO and that might well prove quite attractive for many buyers.
If your house did not have a garage previously and most of your neighbors already have one, then that also tends to move the value on your house a bit by ‘equalizing’ the playing field.
Real estate can get a little complicated, but there is always a way to plan accordingly to cover all of your bases.
If this conversion is not a labor of love that you are performing because you simply want to turn the carport into a garage for yourself, why not hire a real estate consultant and go over your plans with them and ask how it will affect your market value?
This can save you potential disappointment and you might even hear some very good news regarding your renovation plans.
Consulting with a professional just makes good, solid sense if the overall home value question is costing you or your spouse some sleep.
Does the cost of the conversion outweigh the increase in home value?
Consultant recommendations aside, if we had to break it down into a ‘hard and fast’ answer about whether a garage conversion is an overall value in the long run we would have to say that it is – if you keep a few things in mind:
- Find out what other comparable houses in the neighborhood with an extra garage are selling for. This is easy to do with a few phone calls or some creative Googling to find local real estate. If you are planning on selling your home immediately, then this type of conversion may cost you more than it makes you.
- That said, if you are planning on spending many, many years or even retiring in the home then this kind of conversion might just be a great idea. You can recoup your costs over the years and enjoy a larger home value when you finally DO sell or simply enjoy the conversion for yourself.
- If you have a lot of the required skills to cut many of the costs out and your expertise level can help you easily get the required permits, then this is definitely a great investment in the overall value of the home.
Some final words on converting your carport to a garage
Converting a carport to a garage is a great idea and the final thing we would counsel would be simply to try to be modest with the budget without cutting corners in the quality.
A conversion of this type, done with a modest budget and some firm project management can definitely add to the value of the house both financially and in the enhanced use that you can enjoy from such a useful conversion.
So make up your plans and project your costs in advance, consult with a local real estate dealer, and get this project started.
As everyone who makes good use of their garage knows, it’s what you can do with it that will really determine its value in the long run.
Alright guys, that’s it for this article, if you are interesting in reading more about carports, we have lots of cool articles related such as: