Garages: Not Just for Cars Anymore

Garages are increasingly being converted into versatile hubs of activities for home gyms, craft areas and play nooks.

NEW YORK – A recent survey from Stanley Black & Decker’s Craftsman brand discovers that 75% of American homeowners believe their garage holds the potential to be the most productive space within their residence.

While traditionally, a garage serves as a storage space or is left abandoned to gather dust and clutter, it could be a powerhouse of productivity waiting to be unlocked.

Seventy-eight percent of homeowners say they plan to declutter and organize their garages in 2024 to find more space, tackle day-to-day projects, or pursue their creative ambitions.

More than a parking space

Beyond housing vehicles and clutter, a garage can be a versatile hub for various activities. Garage spaces not relegated to storage can become home gyms, crafting and DIY hubs, play areas for children, or cozy nooks for reading or studying.

“Garages are no longer a place just to store cars and tools; instead, they have become a hub of productivity, creativity, and even a source of income for some homeowners,” says Eric Bernstein, president and general manager of Craftsman at Stanley Black & Decker. “We are inspired by the various ways homeowners are transforming their garages, and we are committed to providing them with innovative solutions that bring pride and functionality to this versatile space.”

Top trends

As Americans continue to repurpose their garages creatively, homeowners increasingly use their space to boost creativity or bolster income. About 40% of homeowners report using their garage as a gym, and 25% of homeowners have turned their garage into a workspace for side hustles. Americans are promoting their garages from storage units to studios.

Side hustles

Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed reported that their garage contributed to side hustle development, an increasingly common undertaking amid inflation.

When individuals rely on fixed incomes, like pensions, they may find that their cashflow doesn’t keep up with inflation. This discrepancy spells diminished purchasing power as costs spike. Having a side hustle – an additional source of income – can benefit fixed-income families.

Americans often monetize hobbies to supplement income, such as:

  • Woodworking
  • Photography
  • Crafts
  • Home bakery
  • Freelancing
  • Fitness training
  • Upholstery
  • Pet grooming
  • Tutoring services
  • Event planning
  • Get fit

While garages make great workspaces for those fostering financial health, homeowners can improve physical health by transforming unused spaces into home gyms. Two of five survey respondents report utilizing their garage as a gym or exercise area. Those not taking advantage of their garage for workouts frequently cited clutter as the chief catalyst behind its unsuitability.

Financial Freedom Countdown contributor John Dealbreuin converted his garage to a home gym during the pandemic. He says, “California had one of the strictest lockdowns in the country, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area. The gym closures impacted my daily routine, so I built a home gym in my garage. I purchased a set of adjustable dumbbells, a pull-up bar, and an adjustable bench to work out.”

He continues, “I spent around $1,200, which was more expensive than usual due to the shortage of supply chains. The gym has served my needs for around four months. I am returning to the commercial gyms since I prefer lifting with friends, but I have a setup that is readily accessible.”

North East Garage Conversions says a complete garage-to-gym conversion costs homeowners around $4,000.

Passion projects

Over three-fourths of homeowners surveyed (76%) report they use their garage for its intended purpose, but some respondents with repurposed garages state they use their space in various ways.

Approximately 47% of homeowners use their garages for home improvement projects or DIY endeavors. Similarly, an equal percentage of homeowners use their garages for gardening or outdoor projects, such as potting plants or storing gardening and landscaping equipment.

Around 38% of homeowners leverage their garages for automotive projects, making the space a workshop for vehicle maintenance or repairs. Additionally, one in nine millennial homeowners admits to repurposing their garage for musical undertakings, like band practice.

What are Americans planning to do?

Half of the polled homeowners plan to invest in garage organization solutions in the upcoming year. Storage bins and containers are among the most sought-after solutions, favored by 54% of respondents. Wall-mounted systems and portable storage follow closely (51%).

About 86% of homeowners plan to integrate innovative technologies into their garages, including Wi-Fi-compatible garage door openers and wireless keypads, reflecting a growing desire for convenience and efficiency in garage management.

Homeowners continue reimagining their garages and embracing versatility, utilizing the extra room for anything from DIY projects to entrepreneurial ventures. The garage is no longer just a place to store cars and tools; garages have become a secondary office space and source of income, creativity, and personal fulfillment.

Copyright © 2024 Citrus County Chronicle, Landmark Community Newspapers LLC (LCNI). All rights reserved.

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