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Garages go grand

by Gremlyn Bradley-Waddell on Jan 9, 2015

Is it a place to park the family RV — or a space to park all the pals who’ve showed up to watch the big game?

Thanks to a number of thoughtful options, today’s so-called RV garages are much more than oversized rooms made just for vehicle storage. Rather, these expansive and light-filled rooms can be tailored to suit a homeowner’s needs and used just about any way one wishes, said Andy Pedersen, group vice president of marketing and merchandising for K. Hovnanian Homes in Phoenix.

‘Tricked-out workshops’

“Our RV garages have such great height and space that people use them for cool, tricked-out workshops,” he said. “Someone with antique or collectible cars may also want to use the garage to store and tinker with their cars. The uses for these garages are pretty diverse, but of course, we also see people using the space for vehicle storage. People in Arizona love the outdoors and sports — and these garages are great places to store boats and ATVs.”

Pedersen said K. Hovnanian Homes began offering three styles of detached garages — which the homebuilder refers to as “accessory buildings” — about four years ago at select communities.

Easy to personalize

“It’s been a very popular option,” he said, noting that homeowners can personalize their garage by adding a bathroom, epoxy flooring, high-voltage capabilities or even a drive-through door on the back of the structure. All roof tiles and exterior paint are matched to the main home, he said, so the detached dwelling “ties into the house beautifully,” plus windows on either side of the garage allow in plenty of sunlight.

Lots of options

The latest K. Hovnanian development to feature these types of garages is Regency at Quail Creek, a gated enclave of spacious single-level homes in Queen Creek where prices start in the upper $300s.

Along with a 600-square-foot detached two-car garage — a building reminiscent of a ‘carriage house’ found in one of Phoenix’s historic neighborhoods — there’s also an 800-square-foot, 20-by-40-foot RV garage with a 16-foot ceiling, or a 1,000-square-foot, 20-by-50-foot extended RV garage, also with a 16-foot ceiling. Prices currently run from just over $30,000 for the two-car option to just under $49,000 for the RV garage; the extended version is just over $56,000.

Additional living space

Dennis Webb, vice president of Tempe-based Fulton Homes, said sales of the builder’s attached RV garages have been “pretty phenomenal” at the two communities where they’re offered — Mendocino at Ashcreek in Queen Creek and Legacy at Freeman Farms in Gilbert, which features all single-level homes (with basement options) with up to 11 bedrooms.

While many RV garage buyers are empty-nesters who want the extra space for a motorhome, trailer or fifth-wheel vehicle, other buyers are snatching up the garages as a way to add on valuable extra square-footage to their home. For example, Webb said a buyer could purchase a Mendocino home with a four-car garage and then convert half of the garage into an in-law suite or a media room. That would leave the home with a two-car garage and then the buyer could add on an attached RV garage to gain more space.

“We’re seeing a lot of people taking two of those garage bays to make more livable space,” Webb said, adding that Fulton Homes began offering RV garages after attentive sales staff took note of continued customer requests for the option. 

Fulton Homes’ RV garages are available in a range of sizes and about 20 different room configuration options, Webb said. A sampling of options includes an extra door to the backyard, an RV dumping station, an RV plug-in, an electric-car charger, a powder room and/or special floor coating.

“We want to give the buyer as much flexibility as we can,” Webb said. “We know the local market loves garages — and we also know people vote with their wallets.”

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