Increase Home Value With a Garage and a Carport
If you are renting out or selling homes, you would want to get the best value out of them. Chances are, you own a property with a garage.
Converting garages into living spaces and adding carports are popular property improvement projects these days. These upgrades are a surefire way of making your property more attractive to tenants or buyers, enabling you to raise the rent or selling price.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, many people are working from home and looking for an extra room where they can set up a home office. Others want to have elderly family members or loved ones with disabilities live with them for better care. They need an additional bedroom on the ground floor for that. Simply put, a converted garage will be helpful for many tenants or homebuyers.
Carports do not only take the place of garages in protecting vehicles. A carport with an insulated roof can also comfortably double as a patio. Build a two-car carport so a family with only one vehicle can put some outdoor furniture in the extra space. That gives them two uses for one feature.
If there is a driveway, the family can move the car to the driveway whenever they want to use the entire carport as a patio, perhaps to entertain guests. Make sure to point out all these benefits to prospective tenants or buyers.
Comply with Regulations
Before you even start planning, check the regulations in your locality first. There are rules that cover the conversion of garages and the addition of carports. Below are some general guidelines, but there may be variations or additional requirements per state or council. Be sure to do comprehensive research.
Conversion of Garages
Ask a professional to draw up a building and development plan for the garage conversion based on the Building Code of Australia (BCA) standards for a habitable room.
Among the requirements for a habitable room are a level floor, room height of at least 2.4 metres and complete waterproofing. It must have natural ventilation and natural light through BCA-compliant doors and windows. It must have an Energy Efficiency Certification of compliance or verification.
A licensed plumber and electrician must do the plumbing and electrical work, and you must submit compliance certificates for these. If the room is intended as a bedroom, it must have a hard-wired smoke alarm.
Include all of these when submitting a Development Application for your council’s approval. You must also apply for a Construction Certificate (CC), Compliance Development Certificate (CDC) and Section 149 certificate. You must pay Section 94 contributions and long-service levies.
Addition of Carports
Regulations on the addition of carports vary per state and even per council, so you must check. Some states have particular space, lot shape and road access requirements. Some further regulate where you can build a carport on a property. The need for a permit and the allowable floor area and height also varies. If the home is in an area prone to bushfires, a separate set of rules applies.
If you are a landlord, you can raise the rent on the property after converting the garage and adding a carport. In addition, you can claim tax deductions for any improvements you make. These include garage conversions and the addition of carports.
If you are selling your home, ensure that whatever you spend on the garage conversion and the carport translates into a high ROI. That means you can add to the selling price not only the equivalent of what you spent but also a good profit.
To make sure, you must first check on the prices of properties in your area with similar improvements. That will give you an indication of how high you can set your selling price.
In general, the fact that many homeowners all over Australia are converting garages and adding carports shows that people need and want these.