Given the state of so many garages, a casual observer might be persuaded that a garage is a storage room with just enough space carved out for a car. A garage doesn’t have to be a haphazard collection of storage boxes lined against the outer wall! There is a great selection of storage shelving, cabinetry and other options to help your garage become the functional space it was meant to be.
The first question you should ask about yourself about your garage is what function do you want it to actually have? It could be that turning half of your garage into a storage area is the right choice for you – in that case an investment in sturdy, well-designed shelving could free up extra space you didn’t think you had. Alternatively, it could be time to eliminate the argument of which person gets the sole remaining parking space in your garage, because the other half is filled with stuff you don’t remember buying. Or, your garage is destined to be the perfect hobby room for your spouse.
Whatever your decision is about the use of your garage, it is incredibly helpful if both decision makers in the household agree to the same idea before you begin work. You'll also need to look at if your garage is finished with drywall or not since not all houses come with a finished garage. This will definitely impact your decision!
With that in mind here are a few ideas that can get you started on making your garage work for your lifestyle. If you haven’t gone looking at design options for your garage lately, you will be simply amazed at what is available to turn your garage into a hobbyist’s paradise.
- Paint. Most garages are built with unpainted walls. Invest in a five-gallon bucket of heavy-duty paint and spruce up the walls of your garage. Instead of your garage looking like a leftover space, it will look intentional.
- Concrete or tile flooring. You can choose to paint and seal your concrete – there is a stunning amount of information online about your options. An evening or two of research should help you make a good choice for you. Or you can choose to tile your garage floor for a classic garage look. This is where your design options really open up. There is a huge range of tile designs to choose from to create the look and durability that you are looking for.
- The garage or the basement. If you have space leftover in your basement storage room move some of the extras in your garage to your downstairs storage. Sometimes some smart storage shifts are all it takes to make your garage more functional.
- Suspended shelving. Take a look at where your garage doors open. There might be space between the tracks and the front of the garage for some suspended ceiling shelving.
- Closed front shelving. Easy to install, tough and durable. In the past few years manufacturers have really improved garage cabinetry. It can make such a big difference to store the odds and ends that fill a garage behind the closed doors of cabinets.
- Hook-up. When it comes to making your garage more useable, it seems like one area where designers have paid a lot of attention is to hooks and mounts that will move tools out of your way. You can hang almost anything with a specially made mount in your garage, from wheelbarrows to electrical cords. If you need easy access to an item, but need it out of the way, there is probably a hook that is ready made for you.
Once you have made your decision on what you want your garage to become, it’s just a matter of following through. You’ll gain a room that is far more functional than you thought. Plus, there’ll be no more discussions over who gets to park in the garage – you both will.