What To Do With Driveway After Garage Conversion? (Find Out Now!)
Now that you’ve converted your garage into livable space, you have that odd predicament where your driveway ends at a wall. From the inside, everything looks great, but outside, it all seems out of place. What exactly do you do with a driveway after a garage conversion?
Continue using the driveway for your vehicles, and use a faux garage door. Use containers of plants to hide the end of the driveway. Create a patio, or install landscaping. Redesign the driveway, and build a detached garage. Add landscaping where you remove the original concrete pad for the driveway.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. More accurately, let’s discuss the elephant in your front yard – the driveway that abruptly ends at your garage conversion.
What is a Garage Conversion?
A garage conversion is a type of home remodeling that converts a garage into livable space. The projects are popular for people who cannot afford new houses, but need more square footage. Garage conversions are used to add a home office, guest bedroom, larger kitchen, or playroom.
What to Do with Your Driveway After a Garage Conversion
One of the reasons that garage conversions are so obvious is that concrete does not normally go to the edges of the home. Sidewalks are the only exception. Use some creativity and camouflage the garage conversion. The goal is to make the exterior look more “normal.”
Faux Garage Door
A faux garage door is one of the most budget-friendly options for camouflaging a garage conversion. Leave the garage door in place, and build a wall behind it. From the street, it looks like a normal garage.
Digging up part of a concrete driveway is expensive, so container gardens are excellent to hide your garage conversion. Line up containers about 5’ to 10’ from the wall of the garage conversions. Use plants that grow in height and do well in containers. Amaranth, arborvitae, and bamboo are good choices.
Make a Patio
If you can afford to change a bit of the concrete pad, make a patio just outside your garage conversion. You can get a pergola kit for about $1,300 to define the space. You only need to remove enough concrete for the posts. Add some trailing plants, a table, and chairs, and you have a nice space between your driveway and garage conversion.
Installing landscaping between the end of your driveway and garage conversion creates a buffer in the otherwise odd space. Remove 3’ to 5’ of concrete, and add bushes, mulch, and grass.
Redesign the Driveway
The ultimate solution for an obvious garage conversion is to redesign the driveway. Remove the concrete pad, and curve the driveway to your side yard. Fill in the space where you removed concrete with landscaping. You can even build a detached garage.
Does a Garage Conversion Increase Property Value?
Converting a garage into livable can increase the value of your home, but the work needs to be done well. Not only does the interior space need to look good, but the end result should add to curb appeal. Garage conversions are often seen as affordable ways to add space.
Many people choose budget over thoughtful design, and this is where a garage conversion may go awry. People may not want to invest in extending the heating and cooling system, adding windows, and finishing the exterior where the driveway ends.
Done correctly, a garage conversion can give you an 80% return on your investment when you sell your home.
Tips for Increasing Property Value with a Garage Conversion
When you are considering a garage conversion to increase the value of your property, look at the project from the perspective of a potential buyer.
Leave Space for Parking
Leave enough space in your driveway to park at least two vehicles. Buyers are less likely to make an offer if they have to park on the street.
Buyers not only like garages for their vehicles, but also open storage spaces. When you are designing your garage conversion, make accommodations for storage. Buyers may have decorations, tools, and sports equipment that they need to store.
Rely on Professionals
Anyone with some DIY experience can enclose a garage, but you want to offer more to your buyers. A true garage conversion includes additional electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling. These jobs are best left to professionals because the work is fairly involved.
Comparable Properties in the Neighborhood
Do other houses in your neighborhood have garage conversions? If not, a garage conversion may depreciate the value of your home in the eyes of potential buyers. If some of the homes have converted garages, make sure that yours looks just as good, if not better.
Do sheds add value to a property?
For the most part, a shed will not increase the value of a property. Large, custom sheds are the exceptions.
What is a detached garage?
A detached garage is a free-standing structure that is used for parking and storage. The garage may be several feet or more from the house.
Summing It Up
A garage conversion gives you about 10% more livable space. When the work is done well, the conversion will increase the value of your property. One of the biggest challenges with a garage conversion is that it changes how your house looks from the outside. The conversion is obvious.
You can camouflage a garage conversion in several ways. The easiest is to put container plants along the wall of the converted garage. You can also make a patio with a pergola. Removing some of the concrete from the original driveway is an option. You can install landscaping, or redesign the driveway and build a detached garage.
Follow some best practices to see a good return on your investment. Leave plenty of space in your driveway for two vehicles. Make some accommodations for the storage space that is lost in a garage conversion. Do a full conversion, and rely on professionals for electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. Check around your neighborhood to see if other homes have garage conversions.
Jennifer L. Eggerton loves being hands-on, whether it's with a home DIY project, making repairs, re-decorating a room, or keeping life organized. She enjoys helping people by sharing her knowledge, insights, and experiences, as well as her lessons learned. In addition to her work as a writer, Jennifer is a Jeep® overlander, self-published author, and nature photographer who loves being outdoors.
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