If you take a drive around the City of Toronto you will noticed that many homes built over the last 100 years or so include a stand-alone garage unit located at the side or the back of the property. If you take a closer look at these stand-alone structures you will notice that most have been neglected and in a lot of cases are falling apart. This should not come as a big surprise seeing as many owners of the past didn’t see any value in investing in a structure that was merely a shelter for their cars, instead deciding to sink money into their homes. This is definitely a logical and reasonable expectation, but the reality is that times have change and with the average home price in the city soaring to around the $1 million dollar mark and space being at a premium many home owners have turned their focus to revitalizing their stand-alone garages.
Over the last few years we have been involved in various garage revitalization projects ranging from complete tear down rebuilds to strategically revamping what existed. In most cases the purpose was simple most home owners needed a functional garage to store their cars(s) that were not falling over and didn’t look like a decrepit shack in the woods. The most popular method that most clients’ chose was to go the economically friendly route and salvage what they could out of the existing structure and renovate it. In many cases the concrete pad, which the structure sat on had to be chipped out and fresh concrete poured. The structural component had to be either straighten out or reinforced with intuitive framing. Once that was complete a new roof, window(s), door(s), electrical, and cladding was installed to create a brand new looking garage structure. In some cases clients wanted to take it a step further deciding to add on to their existing structure, attaching adjoining sheds, incorporating storage space, and/or adding a workshop space. Finishing off the interior was also a priority for many clients as insulation and drywall was installed to give their garage a more finished feel and allow them to tinker away comfortably in the colder months. Another commonality in today’s modern garage included a garage organizer incorporating sleek storage ideas for tools and objects.
Taking it one step further are the full garage rebuilds. This can either be the case if a the garage is so aged and beat up that it is basically falling over or they just plain and simply want something fresh and new. This gives the homeowner carte blanche on the design and features that will be incorporated. It is important to keep in mind that this is an extensive process as a building plans and approval from the city is needed. It is also even more important to keep in mind that in some areas of the city of Toronto once you tear down your old stand-alone garage structure you are not allowed to build a new one. Consultation with the city should be carried out before demolishing any existing stand-alone garage structure. Building a new garage structure can be quite costly, so it is also important to keep that in mind when knocking down the old structure and embarking on building your dream garage.
Finally not all stand-alone garage revitalization projects ended up going in the traditional direction. Remember the tremendous value of living space mentioned earlier in this article; well a few homeowners approached us about transforming their old beat up garages into living spaces, as they have no problem parking outside on their driveway. What a genius idea! It’s like adding an addition to your home and more specifically adding additional square footage at a fraction of the cost by revamping what is exists. One of client’s had us use soundproof insulation and drywall with resilient channel, as her son needed a space to jam with his band and record music. Another client asked us to completely transform his garage into a stand alone “man cave” equipped with a full bar and three piece washroom. It’s safe to say that these clients are ecstatic about the results.
If you have questions regarding the revitalization your existing stand-alone garage structure or if you wish to rebuild a stand-alone garage structure please do not hesitate to contact us Grand Building and Contracting. We are here to help.