Creating an At-Home Mechanic Shop
by Dakota Storage Buildings, on January 25, 2022
The benefits of having an at-home garage far outweigh the disadvantages.
Americans love their cars, but not the cost to maintain and repair them with a mechanic. Americans spend nearly $800 a month, per car, on standard expenses, which adds up to roughly $9,000 per year. The most significant cost when bringing a vehicle into the shop is the labor rate, which frequently exceeds $100 an hour at an independent mechanic and even higher at a dealership.
Some repairs are best handled by a professional mechanic. However, many routine maintenance and repairs are simple enough to be performed by anyone. By creating your own mechanic shop at home and learning some basic repairs that you can do yourself, you’ll also be learning valuable information about the functions of your car, which can help you spot problems before they become major repairs.
Why You Should Consider One
The average American household owns roughly two vehicles, which adds up to roughly $18,000 per year on car expenses, with the majority of that being spent on labor and part mark-ups. The average cost to construct a garage, where you can perform a significant amount of maintenance and repairs yourself, is about $24,000. This means that the expense of building a garage can pay for itself within two years and the benefits can be reaped for years to come.
Aside from the cost to build a personal shop, one of the more common reasons that people avoid attempting to work on cars themselves is due to the time commitment of learning and performing the repairs. Thankfully, since the mass adoption of remote and hybrid employment, nearly half of the workforce is able to stay at home at least part of the time while they perform their jobs.
With more and more employees opting for remote work, performing car repairs at home becomes much more viable as they are less likely to need to drive their car every day. This gives them the time needed to go through the work slowly as they learn, and saves them from having to use paid time off or lose working hours to bring their cars to the mechanic.
Learning to perform routine maintenance and repairs on cars is more accessible today than ever before. Utilizing online resources, you can not only receive step-by-step instructions on how to perform a variety of different tasks, but you can watch the steps being performed as many times as necessary and at whatever speed works for you.
How Can You Afford One
The upfront cost of building a garage is definitely something to make you think twice about the idea. The good news is nobody expects you to pay that upfront. While you absolutely can choose to make a single lump-sum payment, many people can’t afford to do so, and it’s why financing and other simple payment options exist.
You can usually negotiate for terms and rates that suit your needs and financial abilities the best, as businesses would rather have you finance a purchase than not make a purchase at all. Best of all, financing can offer better rates than what you would be required to pay back when compared to a personal loan.
Additionally, if you would like to avoid adding new monthly payments to your finances, you can use options like cash-out refinancing on your mortgage, such as what’s offered through an FHA loan. Using something like a cash-out refinancing option to lump all the payments into a single payment plan is a great option, especially if you are also looking to finance the cost of appliances and tools to stock your shop. Similarly, you also have the option of using your home’s equity, without refinancing a mortgage, to take out a loan, which can also offer lower interest rates than personal loans.
There are benefits beyond your intended use of a new garage on your property. When you add a new garage, you can use some of the extra space to store items that are seldom used but that are important to keep around and out of the way. Using a detached garage for storage can also help free up space if you have an attached garage, allowing the space to be tidier.
If you don’t have an attached garage, storing items in your detached garage will still allow you to help declutter your outdoor space, improving a home’s curb appeal. Additionally, storing equipment like lawn mowers in a garage rather than outside in your yard will keep them protected from the elements and prolong their lifespan.
With the rising prices of property, buying a garage can be more than just a place to learn a new skill and save money — it’s also an investment. A detached garage also increases your property value, should you ever wish to sell the home or use your home’s equity for future loans. Even if you decide that you no longer want to use the garage to perform maintenance and repairs on your cars, you can easily convert the garage into a new space for many different functions.
Thankfully, the tools and equipment used in car maintenance and repairs experience a rather low depreciation of value as long as they are taken care of. So, clearing out the garage to convert it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, and you’ll get a surprising amount of your money back.
While the upfront cost of a detached garage may seem expensive, the payment options that are available to you are sure to make that number more digestible for your finances. Including the benefit of saving money on car maintenance and added property value from a quality garage, it only makes sense to see an at-home mechanic shop for what it is, a solid investment.