When in the market for a new home, you must be cognizant of countless features to ensure that a perspective home is a good fit and wise investment. While most homebuyers pay special attention to the aesthetic appeal and functionality of the kitchen, and of course, the home’s overall size and layout, rarely do buyers take a close look at a home’s garage.

A well-designed garage, or one with the potential to become one, can serve as a safe, comfortable and highly flexible multifunctional space beyond storage for your vehicles.

Here are four key features to look for in a garage that can serve as an invaluable asset to your home:

  1. Regulated Safety Mechanisms
  2. Sturdy Garage Door Materials
  3. Electrical Outlets and Electric Car Chargers
  4. Transformable Design Features

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Regulated Safety Mechanisms

UL Standards and Engagement developed the UL 325, which outlines safety requirements for automatic residential garage doors. These standards decreased garage door-related accidents and required doors to have at least two automatic safety mechanisms in each operator system:


Photo-Electric Eyes

Garage door installers will add safety sensors near the base of the garage door tracks. They emit an invisible beam that constantly scans the base of the doorway. If something passes through this beam while the door is moving, the sensors promptly trigger the door to halt and reverse. This preventive measure ensures no object or person is caught in the path of the closing door.


Auto-Reverse Function

The safety reversal system automatically changes the door’s direction and moves it upwards if it detects resistance or potential obstructions while closing. Vehicles, other obstacles, and the door itself won’t sustain damage with this safety mechanism.


Sturdy Garage Door Materials

Wood garage doors provide a classic and elegant appearance. You can even get them custom-made to meet your unique design preferences. Keep in mind that wooden garage doors require more maintenance, such as sealing and staining, than other garage doors to prevent weathering and decay. Despite the higher upkeep, the natural insulation properties of wood offer moderate temperature control within the garage.

Gray residential garage doors double and single bays

Metal doors are popular for their strength and longevity. Aluminum and steel are extremely durable and can withstand various impacts. However, metal doors must be treated to prevent rust and reinforced with insulation. A garage door insulation guide will give you a clear understanding of the different types of insulation materials and R-values, especially important for homes in colder climates.

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Electrical Outlets and Electric Car Chargers

Every homeowner uses their garage for a different purpose. Some people like to conduct mechanical repairs on their vehicles, while others transform the area into the ultimate home gym.

No matter how you end up using your garage, you’ll likely need a few power outlets. They are convenient for plugging in a second fridge, exercise equipment, power tools, or charging stations for electric vehicles.

Electric car charger in garage

Since electric vehicles have become increasingly more common, particularly in markets such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Portland, including electrical outlets and car chargers in your residential garage can help increase your home’s value and overall desirability.

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Transformable Design Features

Every residential garage could benefit from transformable design features that can elevate a standard garage into an invaluable multifunctional space. With the right approach, a simple garage space can change into a workout area, home office, extra storage, or workshop, and then back to a secure indoor parking lot for your vehicles.

Epoxy garage flooring - close up view

Close up view of epoxy flooring

Ensuring that your residential garage is transformable is as simple as investing in some or all of the following features: LED shop lights; epoxy flooring; transformable furniture; vertical storage systems; and a wall-mounted garage opener. All of these items can help make a garage space well-organized, clean and flexible for your cars and other uses and side projects.

Installing proper lighting in your garage is especially essential. Look for adjustable LED shop lights you can install directly above workbenches or areas where you’ll work on detailed projects. Recessed lights can offer a sleek look for garages with low ceilings.

Horizontal windows, whether on your garage door or on a side wall, are another way to brighten your garage with natural lighting, while enhancing functionality and maintaining privacy.

Another space saver to keep in mind that will create more functional space is to consider installing a wall mounted garage opener, such as a model offered by LiftMaster. Having a motor mounted to the side of the door frees up space within the central ceiling area. For further transformable inspiration, be sure to check out this innovative garage from the 2024 New American Home.

TNAH 2024: The Large Right Side Garage Waiting to Become a Multifunctional Room

TNAH 2024: The Large Right Side Garage Waiting to Become a Multifunctional Room

Homebuying is much easier when you add the garage to your priority list. Before making an offer, make sure that the garage possesses as many of these features as possible for a safe, secure and enjoyable environment.

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