Add stylish storage: Top garage trends
Houston garage experts
Mike Crigler, owner
Home Remedy Services
Brent Murray, owner
Brent Murray Builders
Shawn Gallagher, owner
GHR General Contracting LLC
What are the trends in garage design in your area?
Crigler: People want garages to be finished out, with white walls, adequate lighting and a pull-down attic stairway.
Murray: I'm not seeing people do too much with their garages.
Gallagher: We're seeing more people add storage to the garage, especially in the attic, particularly if it's a detached garage.
What do homeowners need to know prior to having a garage built?
Crigler: You need to have a plot plan made up by a professional. Make sure you don't have any encumbrances on where you want to put it, like a building line or utility easement.
Murray: Ask if the person you're talking to is the one who's actually going to be on-site. Sometimes, the guy who makes the sale just shows up to pick up the check and drop off materials, and sends a different crew to do the work.
Gallagher: Check with your city, insurance company and homeowner's association to find out what kind of rules you'll be working under.
How are people customizing their garages to make them more uniquely their own?
Crigler: We often see brick facades to match the house. Otherwise, Hardie siding is very popular. It has a lifetime warranty if you keep it painted.
Murray: Because of neighborhood association rules, people want the garage to look like it's always been a part of the house.
Gallagher: New bathrooms are common, so people can wash their hands when they're working on something. People are wanting more electrical outlets, including 220-volt outlets to run bigger pieces of equipment.
What siding options are most popular?
Crigler: With the finished interiors, people want to be able to drive home, park in the garage and have the first thing they see be something looking really nice.
Murray: Hardie siding is popular around here because it looks like cedar and lasts forever, even if you soak it in water.
Gallagher: It depends on how visible it is. They usually want it to look like part of the house, so they tend to use the same veneer, such as stucco, tile or stone.
How should homeowners maintain my garage to ensure the longest life?
Crigler: Treat it like the house and keep it painted. Otherwise, the wood may rot.
Murray: Power wash it every six months or so, and periodically check the caulking to make sure it's still in good shape.
Gallagher: Check all the miter joints where things are connected to be sure they're taut and sealed off.