The typical home garage is designed with one key purpose in mind: To protect vehicles. While most garages provide adequate protection for vehicles, they offer little in the way of comfort, utility, or an inviting appearance. Many have a dull concrete floor, poor lighting, and bare walls. They rarely feature any type of built-in storage and are often unbearably hot or freezing cold depending on the weather.
The good news is that you can easily transform your cold, drab garage into a neat, attractive space to store your possessions. Best of all, you can turn your garage into one of the brightest and most organized areas of your home while spending little in the way of time or money. Below are nine ways to transform your garage in your new home.
1) Apply Epoxy Flooring
Epoxy can be a difference-maker for your garage floor. In addition to enhancing the appearance of a drab concrete floor, the protective properties of epoxy can add years to the life of your garage floors. Here are just a few of the many benefits of installing epoxy flooring in your garage:
- Cost-effective: You can make it an inexpensive DIY project with a kit from amazon or find a contractor to do it for you.
- A strong, protective finish: Epoxy’s strength and durability enable it to protect your floors while being highly resistant to staining.
- Choose from a variety of colors: From earth tones to bold, vivid colors, you can choose from a host of different colors for your garage.
- Minimize flaws and defects: Epoxy coatings have a smooth finish that hides flaws and imperfections that often exist in older garage floors.
- An eco-friendly choice: Epoxy coatings require little in the way of raw materials and last for years, thereby preserving resources.
2) Install Garage Shelving
The path to a neat, organized garage begins with organized storage space. Installing shelving in your garage is one of the best ways to maximize space and minimize clutter in your garage. Garage shelving also enables you to make use of space on higher sections of your garage walls. Advantages of garage shelving include the following:
- Protection: Storing your belongings on shelves keeps them off the floor where they are more vulnerable to moisture and pests.
- A wide selection of materials: You can choose from prefabricated shelving, metal racks, wooden shelves, plastic shelving, and other options.
- Many shapes, sizes, and colors: Depending on your storage needs and garage space, you can select shelves that are small, large, narrow, or wide.
- Aesthetically pleasing: Shelves help keep your garage free of clutter and presentable to visitors.
3) Stock Up on Storage Boxes
Once you have your shelves in place, you can begin filling them with your possessions. Storage boxes can be easily stored on garage shelves and can help you maximize space by enabling you to stack them. Here are a few tips to help you keep your boxes organized:
- Stack according to need and accessibility: Place boxes containing rarely used items on the highest shelves or on the bottom of a large stack.
- Label each box: You can avoid a lot of searching and frustration by labeling the contents of each box. Remember to leave the label facing out.
- Consider plastic storage bins: If your new home is in a humid area or prone to pest infestations, you may wish to switch over to plastic bins.
4) Mount Garage Hooks
Garage hooks provide a convenient way to organize a variety of items. They are available at most department stores and hardware stores, and are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to accommodate your tools and garage space. Prices start at just a few dollars for smaller hooks and the majority of models can be installed in a matter of minutes.
5) Store All Your Tools in a Tool Chest
Few things are more frustrating than needing a hammer or screwdriver and being unable to find it. Homeowners are not always the best about keeping their tools organized and properly stored. They may use kitchen drawers, mudroom cubbies, or laundry room shelves as storage spaces, which can make tools difficult to track down when they are needed in the future. A tool chest eliminates these pitfalls while offering the following benefits:
- A central solution: A tool chest provides a single location for all your tools so you know exactly where to go to find them.
- Protection: Many of today’s tool chests have a locking mechanism to help keep high ticket tools safe and secure.
- Organization: Tool chests often feature small bins and drawers for key accessories and components such as drill bits and nails.
6) Invest in an Air Compressor
Driving a vehicle with tires that aren’t properly inflated is dangerous and can affect your vehicle’s performance. But it’s not uncommon for drivers to head out the door anyway and pay to put air in their tires at the nearest gas station. Once you invest in an air compressor, you don’t have to worry about taking this risk. Investing in an air compressor for your garage offers the following advantages:
- Utility: You can easily fill the tires on your vehicles, trailers, ATVs, motorcycles, and bikes to keep them ready for use on the road.
- Cost savings: You can avoid paying the fees that many gas and service stations charge to use their public air compressors.
- A small footprint: Advances in technology enable compressors to accomplish more with a smaller footprint, using little garage space.
7) Update Your Garage Lighting
Your gorgeous updated garage will look even better once you improve your outdated lighting. Many garages still have their original lighting sources, which often use incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. This type of lighting is inefficient and costly, as bulbs need to be replaced frequently. Incandescent bulbs also emit a lot of heat, which can make them difficult to work under. Switching to LED lighting offers long-term cost savings, as well as the following advantages:
- Improved energy efficiency
- Enhanced visibility
- Cooler lighting
8) Boost Your Comfort with a Heater or Fan
Now that your garage is starting to look great from top to bottom, it’s time to make it feel great. This is especially important if you live in an area marked by extreme temperatures or seasonal fluctuations. Today’s best garage heaters are portable, low-maintenance, and affordable, with prices starting just over $100. You can expect to pay a bit more for systems that offer both heating and cooling properties, but you can conserve space in your garage by investing in an all-in-one unit.
9) Mount a Retractable Extension Cord
Retractable extension cords are an especially welcome addition for homeowners who would like to use their garage to complete woodworking projects or restore vehicles. You can find models that sell in the $100 range, though some models with optional features may cost more. Here are some benefits of retractable extension cords:
- Easy to mount: Most people can mount a retractable extension cord quickly and easily on their own. You can even find videos online.
- A hassle-free design: A retractable cord eliminates the hassle of gathering, coiling, and storing long cords each time you use them.
- Fast access to power: With a retractable extension cord, you can have access to power from any location in your garage.
By introducing the changes above, you can make the most of your new home’s garage without breaking the bank. But don’t forget the importance of maintaining your garage. Set aside one or two days per year to walk through your garage and do the following:
- Declutter: Remove old boxes, broken tools, and unused items from your shelves to create space.
- Clean your floors: You can keep your epoxy floors looking like new by cleaning them with a solution of ammonia and warm water.
- Take inventory of your tools: Go through your tool chest at least once each year to make sure all of your tools are present and intact.
Keeping your garage neat, clean, and organized doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. By starting off on the right foot when you move into your new home, you can turn your garage into the best-kept space on your property.