Creating the Perfect Garage

I have a friend who has been in his house now for nearly 10 years, and it is an immense source of pride to him that he can still fit two whole cars in his two-car garage. I can’t really blame him. Just driving down the street on a Saturday afternoon will reveal how many houses have transformed their garage into a glorified storage shed – keeping their vehicles outside while boxes of clutter take up the majority of the space.

Of course, even though it’s great that his garage still does what it was technically designed to do, it would only take a little bit of effort to make it that much better. With some careful planning, your garage doesn’t have to be one thing or another. It can be a lot of things at once, and a lot more than a dark room to hide vehicles or clutter.

The Storage Space

The longer you are in your home, the more things seem to naturally accumulate. Where are you going to put it all? The garage seems like the obvious place to put those things that you don’t need on a daily basis, but you don’t want to crowd out the cars and become one of “those” people (that park in the driveway instead of the garage). There are some great options, though, that will let you get some storage space without invading your vehicle’s space.

An overhead storage system is a great way to make room for those things you only use once in a while. This is a series of shelves that are out of the way of the vehicles and hang from the joists in the ceilings. On the other hand, you can install a wall storage system for the items you use on a regular basis. You could, for example, put up a pegboard to hold your tools, or install shelves and cabinetry to manage the larger items.

The Floor

You could be quite content with a plain, concrete, oil-stained floor. You could manage to ignore the dirt building up on the floor as you drive your cars in and out of the garage. Instead, you could go an extra step and cover it with a bright, clean epoxy coating. . I used the same epoxy floor coating used in commercial or industrial buildings, and it looks fantastic in my garage.

Epoxy coatings make the floor easy to clean and naturally resistant to oil, salt and tire marks. The high gloss shine also increases the light reflectivity, which means that if you want to use the garage as a part-time workshop, it will be a nicer, brighter place to work.

The Walls

The most common garage wall is no garage wall. Well, no interior wall, anyway. We seem pleased to leave the walls completely unfinished and bare. If you are going to turn your garage into something more than a storage space, you should consider going all the way and insulating and covering your walls. It will make it a more comfortable and inviting place, and that means you’re likely to use it for more than just plain storage.

The Decoration

You don’t have to stop with basic white or unpainted walls in your garage. It is – believe it or not – okay to at a few personal touches that don’t have any other purpose but to make the place look good. You could, for example, coordinate the colors of your walls and cabinetry to give the entire garage a unique look. There are also a lot of ways to decorate the space and make it your own. Things like clocks and metal signs are traditional, but you can also get a couple bar stools for the work bench or a cooler to keep your beverages at the best temperature.

Bringing It All Together

The right garage has a lot of practical benefits (even beyond providing shelter for your vehicles), and it can significantly increase the value of your property, but you have to make sure you pull all these elements together in the most effective way. You may love the color red, for example, but if you aren’t cautious in how you apply it throughout your garage, it will simply be over the top. And while extra storage space is a great idea, too many shelves, cabinets, and overhead storage systems will make everything feel just as cluttered.

Take a reserved approach to building or remodeling your garage. You can create the perfect garage if you take the time to analyze your needs (both now and in the future) and start looking at the space as more than a glorified storage shed.

 

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