Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Old Garage


Residential garages are incredibly useful buildings. They were designed to protect vehicles against the elements, but today, homeowners use them for everything from adding household storage to creating workshops and maker’s spaces. Even well-constructed garages can’t hold up to the Illinois weather forever, though. If the garage is outdated, damaged, or so old it is becoming structurally unsound, it will need to be replaced. Read on to find out about a few signs it’s time to get in touch with a garage builder to discuss options.

1. Structural Problems

A structurally unsound garage is a serious liability. If the roof is sagging, old boards are falling out of place, or the garage is leaning to one side and looks like it’s on the verge of collapse, the building will no longer be able to protect its contents. It won’t even be safe to enter to retrieve stored items, work on vehicles, or complete other projects.

Garages that are in visibly poor condition are a serious eyesore, too. They can lower the curb appeal and even negatively impact the home’s property value. The best solution when a garage has fallen into this kind of state of severe disrepair is usually to remove it and build a new one from scratch.

2. Storm Damage

Illinois is known for its cold winters, hot summers, and year-round potential for damaging storms. While locals know that the perks of living in The Prairie State outweigh the drawbacks created by its sometimes intense weather patterns, they also know that inclement weather can cause serious, sometimes irreversible, damage to the property. If snow accumulation has caved in the roof or a serious storm has dropped a heavy limb, or even a full tree, onto the garage, chances are, it will be more cost-effective to replace it than it will to make repairs.

Homeowners who aren’t sure how to evaluate the extent of the damage should schedule an inspection with a reputable garage contractor. Once the inspector assesses the damage, he or she will be able to provide the homeowner with a list of options and associated prices. In some cases, insurance may help to pay for the cost of a replacement or repairs, but only if homeowners act fast after the storm passes through.

3. Old, Small Garages

Older garages were designed to store the models of vehicles that were most popular at the time they were built. Unfortunately, those cars tended to be pretty small compared to the trucks and SUVs favored by many Illinois families today. Some vehicles are equipped with features like power-folding mirrors that can help to reduce their width, but they may still be a tight fit in an old garage.

If drivers are struggling to navigate through the garage door when they get home or they’ve recently purchased a truck, van, or SUV that’s too tall to fit no matter how hard they try, it’s time to consider an upgrade. There should be enough room in the garage to get the car in and out safely and ensure that all the doors and, if applicable, the tailgate have room to open and shut comfortably. Speak with a garage-building contractor about newer options that offer adequate space and clearance to park modern vehicles.

4. The Need for Extra Storage

Even families with two-car garages can struggle to navigate in and out of the parking spaces as a result of accumulating too much clutter. Around 93% of modern families use their garages for more than just parking vehicles. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it requires some extra space. If the extra clutter is making it hard for residents to use the garage for its original intended purpose, it may be time to consider building a new, larger one with custom, space-saving storage options.

5. Difficulty Securing the Building

Whether homeowners and their families use their garages just for providing a safe space to park their cars or they also store household goods and valuable lawn equipment inside, they need a way to secure the buildings. Older garages tend to be more difficult to secure, with doors and windows that may not even lock. This lack of security features places all the contents stored within the building at risk. The good news is, new garages can be equipped with all kinds of advanced security and access features, including convenient options like remote garage door openers and access control panels.

6. Critter Infestations

Animals like raccoons, squirrels, birds, and bats may be cute when they’re running around outside, but they have no place inside of modern homes and outbuildings. Older garages often become home to not just these cute critters but also mice, rats, opossums, bats, and other more dangerous forms of nuisance wildlife. If an older garage has gaps and spaces that serve as inviting entry points to wildlife, it’s time to consider having it replaced. Those unwelcome guests will wreak havoc on the garage and everything in it if they are allowed unfettered access.

7. Exterior Renovations

Homeowners who have big plans for renovating their homes’ exteriors and their landscapes often set their sights on aging garages, even if they’re still in respectable shape. There’s nothing wrong with upgrading to a custom garage just because a homeowner feels like it’s time for a change. Custom garages can offer a greater level of security, convenience, and usability, which can be very helpful for families that plan to use those spaces for more than just storing vehicles or out-of-season lawn tools and seasonal holiday decorations. Plus, they’ll look better with the rest of the newly altered home and landscape, adding to the property’s curb appeal.

Get Started Today

Any homeowner in Springfield and the surrounding area who wants a new garage can count on Midwest Garage Builders. Unlike some contractors, these experts specialize in garage construction. With decades of combined experience, they have the knowledge, skills, and tools to complete any residential garage construction project, from remodeling and additions to full garage replacements. Call (217) 381-7870 to get started today.