The garage is usually the most under-decorated part of a home. Why not make it look the best it can? Unique and fun garage ideas ahead!
Today, we have a guest post from Christian Colon. He’s here to show us that our garage can be more than just a place where we park our cars and throw all of our junk. So, here’s Christian with some innovative and practical garage ideas!
Indoor parking is arguably one of the most sought-after perks when looking for a new house. Garages eliminate the need to walk to your car in the morning and the stress of finding a spot to leave it at in the evening. Your vehicle and personal belongings are safe behind sturdy doors at all times, giving you less to worry about during summer storms or the winter season.
Yet these structures could be so much more than just a safe haven for your vehicles. Regardless of your gender, age, profession or hobbies, your garage offers untold possibilities. Using only a touch of imagination, you can easily turn a rundown car shed into a room that you'll never want to leave.
In this article, I'll go through the process of converting a standard two car garage into a more livable, multi-purpose workspace. Daunting at first glance, the task of adding garage storage is actually a lot simpler than it seems. All you'll need to succeed is a bit of spare time, a handful of cash, and the willingness to be patient if things don't work out on the first try!
Work with the Space You Have
How many times, upon walking through the garage door, have you felt a choking sensation in your throat? The average two car lock-up covers an area of about 45 square meters, with heights ranging from 2 to 2.5 meters. Aside from the ceiling being slightly lower than that of an interior room, these numbers are similar to those of a small apartment.
If switching the lights on causes your head to start spinning, something may be wrong with the way you are managing your space. Chaotically stuffing unused items into any available gap sounds like the perfect short-term solution to your problems, but rarely works in the long run. The issue is bound to get worse when you finally need to get a hold of whatever you stowed away throughout the years. That’s where garage organization comes in handy.
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The most important concept you'll want to get familiar with is that of limited availability. No matter how hard you try, a garage will never be as bright, cozy, or spacious as the rest of your home. Nevertheless, such obstacles shouldn't discourage you. The room may be ill-suited to host a wedding, but most projects can be adapted to work with what's already there. With a little innovation, you can find garage storage ideas that work for you and your space.
Before you start ripping off shelves and tearing down walls, take a few steps back and allow yourself to think. Having a full picture of your surroundings lets you plan ahead. Consider the contents of your garage and ask yourself a few questions. Is there anything in there that you should have already thrown away a long time ago? Don't get too attached to stuff you bought a decade in the past. If you haven't used it in the last 2 to 3 years, you're unlikely to ever do so again.
Via This Old House
When space is a luxury, working vertically turns out to be the most viable approach. Hooks, shelves, and racks will keep everything you need at an arm's length and out of the way at the same time. Stock up on them, but don't forget to plonk them down in a smart and methodical way. Even the best garage plans can go awry if you don’t use them like you intended!
Put too much stuff on the walls and the place will feel even more crowded and oppressive than you remembered! As a rule of thumb, clearing an area just large enough to work comfortably is what you should be aiming for. You still want to be able to fit at least one car in and close the door when you get your garage shelving put up.
Keep in mind that - just like the racks and hooks I mentioned before - most workbenches and tables can also be bolted to a wall. As far as lighting is concerned, LED strips remain the perfect solution. They are thin, relatively easy to deploy, bright, and power-friendly.
Claim Your Workspace
Comfort doesn't only mean enough room to stretch your legs and enough light to see what you're doing, though. As they were originally designed to house vehicles and to be used as storage areas, most garages only feature small windows. This is certainly handy in the winter, but you'll discover the downside of it as soon as the spring season comes along.
In such cases, installing an air-conditioning system may be a tad overboard. Investing in a ceiling fan, instead, will likely prove worthwhile. You should pay special attention to the type and size of the fan you're about to purchase, as well as its power consumption. As the days get longer and you spend more time in your garage, your electricity bill could take a huge hit if you're not careful.
Similarly, in the colder months of the year, you'll want to be able to hang your coat and remove your sweater while working. Insulation is a great way to keep the heat in. When done right, it can save you money. Cover the floors with thick carpets so as to create a layer that will preserve the room's temperature. Padded garage doors - specifically designed to achieve the same goal - are also available both online and at most physical retailers
Ensuring proper ventilation is another key step that many first-timers outright forget about. In an enclosed room with little or no openings, air tends to stagnate. As a result, both smells and particles become much harder to clear, especially if your doors are kept shut. Breathing recycled oxygen shouldn't harm you, but remains far from being a pleasant experience.
Unless your garage comes equipped with an air filtering system, you should strongly consider either purchasing or designing one. If you're on a budget, cutting a hatch out of one of your external walls is a cost-effective solution. It may not look nice, but it will allow air to circulate more freely.
Whatever you decide to go with, never lock your garage doors and windows while your car's engine is running. Exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide, a chemical compound that can be fatal if inhaled.
What Can You Actually Do in Your Garage?
Via DIY House Help
A lock-up isn't an office nor should it ever be seen as one. Unless the structure is embedded in that of your whole house, expensive electronics and important documents are best kept elsewhere. If you live in a zone that is subjected to heavy raining, remember that flooding is a real and tangible danger. Make sure to have a contingency plan for that; you wouldn't want to lose years of business records to water damage.
For similar reasons, you should refrain from placing your sports equipment, valuables, and furniture in the garage. GPS trackers and complex surveillance systems reduce the overall number of car thefts and burglaries, but detached sheds or barns are still a juicy target in the eyes of many. Additionally, humidity leads to rust, which will do a number on most bicycles and climbing gear. If you need a storage unit, you're better off simply renting one.
Conversely, garages are perfect for more creative hobbies. Your favorite tools and the supplies you need could be safely stored on high garage shelves, away from overly-curious children and various contaminants. If your activities require that you handle hazardous materials, remember to dispose of them correctly. Some jurisdictions may also want to inspect the premises before renovation work is validated and approved, so keep that in mind when planning and setting up your garage storage systems.
Do you happen to be a particularly art-inclined individual, for instance? A small atelier where you can work on your paintings or a tiny rehearsal room for your acoustic sessions are both relatively easy to build. The former could be expanded into a personal gallery where you can showcase your masterpieces; for the latter, all you need is a stool and your instrument of choice. Lock the doors behind you, get some lights to set the mood, and let your creativity flow!
If you're a musician and share the house with other people, you may want to consider covering your walls with noise-dampening panels. Your music will sound a lot better and those around you are going to thoroughly appreciate the gesture.
Ultimately, what you use your garage for is solely up to you. With the right amount of dedication, these garage organization ideas could be transformed into just about anything. Besides being a great way to repurpose some space that would otherwise remain empty, these projects also allow you to show your personal style to friends and relatives.
Rome wasn't built in a day; you should never forget that. Especially if you are planning extensive modifications, you might want to get ready to deal with high doses of frustration. These are a normal part of the process; embrace them! Whenever you feel overwhelmed, slow down and reassess the situation.
Building the home garage design of your dreams can take months or even years. The best way to tackle this endeavor is to consider it for what it is: a long-term hobby. Set your own pace, try to do a little whenever you can, but never consider it a chore or something that you can't live without. You'll be done before you know it!
Creating the garage you want is only as complicated as you make it. Be sure to comment below and share this post with all of your garage owning friends and decor loving buddies. Thanks for reading!
**This is a guest post from Christian Colon. Featured image via Gryphon Garage Doors
Author Bio: Christian Colon is the head of content marketing for Gryphon Garage Doors. Gryphon is proud to be an Australian family owned business that designs, sells and installs quality products and can even service and maintain your door.