About a month ago I was on the verge of building a standalone garage in our backyard to hold the boat and the RV — something simple to keep the sun and elements from beating on our toys. Now, I may be having second thoughts about it.
When I first decided to have something like this built, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted. I looked for a while to get a few ideas of what we might need. I even found someone and got a price on a bigger garage (since we’re planning to one day upgrade to a bigger RV). Then I priced out getting one side of the garage walled from top to bottom so the sun couldn’t get to the boat. But after all that, I’m rethinking what I want to do.
My biggest concern was the boat. Most boat owners know that the gelcoat can get ruined just by being in the sun. The RV was showing some color fading, mostly on the decal package on the box, which I was less than happy with. But while I was making plans, I was forgetting that we already have a two-car garage. It’s currently filled with a riding lawnmower, a workbench, cabinets and golf clubs.
With some rearranging, I came up with a plan that would allow the boat to be stored in the garage, and a lean-to could be built on the side of the house so we could keep the RV in the location it is now. I like it on the side of the house because it’s safe there from potential tree damage during heavy winds.
So my plan may have changed. At the very least, I want to get a price on what it would cost to have things converted before I erect a big new building in the backyard.
The biggest drawback to adding that new garage would be that it would take up a large portion of the backyard. Well, it would give me less grass to mow — but that’s a topic for another day. And, I am not 100 percent sure that the garage would look good in the backyard completely segregated from the house. It’s just hard for me to visualize.
We have a builder coming out to give us a ballpark number as to what it would cost to stretch out the garage about five feet, get the roof over that extension covered, and have a garage door installed. I figured it was at least worth getting a quote before we decided to rebuild the backyard and put a structure up back there that is quite large (24 by 63 feet). If the price is reasonable, then we just may go ahead and have the garage rebuilt slightly so we can keep all the structure intact.
It’s funny how you can get completely sold on one idea, and then you decide to look for a better way to do it. I couldn’t simply be happy with a nice big new garage. I had to go off and see if there is a better, more economical way to do this that may be more pleasing to the eye.
Really, one of the biggest concerns I had was resale value. If we decide to move (maybe even move into the RV after we retire), would anyone be willing to buy the house with a big building tucked in the backyard? I guess that’s a question that I may never have to answer if we decide to stay put and just keep our toys with us. But you never know. If we do eventually sell, I think a bigger attached garage increases the value of the house a lot more than an outbuilding.
So for now, we stand pat until we get a price. But it won’t be long now before the RV finds itself a permanent home on the property. Where that is remains to be seen — but we will know soon enough.
Greg Bartz is a tournament bass fisherman based in Lakeland. Greg fishes lakes throughout Florida’s Heartland and enjoys RV travel around the Southeast with his wife and tournament partner, Missy. Contact him at Greg.Bartz@SummitHoldings.com.