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February 5, 2016

Make the Most of Your Garage

Everyone knows “scary garage people”…families who have so much stuff stored in their garages that there isn’t even room for the cars! Then there’s the other side of the coin – people who miss great opportunities for additional storage, work space and yes - even stylish decorating touches – by ignoring their garages! How can you set your garage apart from the average car covering? What’s the secret to making your garage an eye-catching, multi-purpose hot spot? Take advantage of some of our best tips and hints! Color Your World Add a pop or two of vibrant color by painting the walls of your garage bright yellow, hot pink, acid green or sunshine orange. You can even use press and stick floor tiles to cover dull walls. Not only do these tricks make the garage more cheerful, it makes a great counterpoint for… A Fun Floor Use paint, laminate, rubber gym-style tiles or other inventive choices to accent the floor of your garage around the edges, at the entrances or if you’re feeling creative, over the entire surface. You can even park the cars outside for a weekend and set your kids free. Let them customize your floor with their artwork! Who says gray concrete is your only choice? Take it a “step” forward and paint your entryway steps as well, then add welcoming messages such as these. Design Your Own Junior Mudroom If you and your family enter the house through the garage more often than the front door, create a space devoted to storage for shoes, coats and necessary items. Hang an organizer for keys and mail or find a funky umbrella stand for rainy days. Don’t forget a big wall clock that makes it easy for your family to stay on schedule. Multi-tasking at Its Best… If your garage is significantly larger than the space required to store your car, consider partitioning. It’s a simple way to turn part of your garage into a workroom, craft area, a rehearsal hall for your son’s fledgling rock band or a “man-cave” complete with a television, dart board or foosball table, mini-bar and easy chair. Game day becomes great day when you’ve got your own personal space. If you’d like to get the kids and their video games out of the living room, a mini game room is a great use for a little extra garage space. You can even use a signal booster to install Wi-Fi in your garage for Internet access if you need a home office! Utilize Overhead Space Storage doesn’t stop with shelves and wall units. Hang overhead storage bins like these, ladders, bicycles or sports equipment from ceiling racks to gain extra space, or for a change of pace, install funky designer lighting fixtures that accent your new brightly colored walls. You can also put up high cabinets to house seldom-used items that don’t need ready access. Build a Fold-Down Workbench If your car and a work bench won’t fit in your garage, think about building one that collapses after use, taking up a mere few inches of wall space. The only things you'll need are a 2x4, a pair of sturdy hinges, a couple of threaded pipes and flanges and a handful of screws. Your total cost? About $30! “Bump-Out” Your Garage for More Room If your garage is just too tiny, think about enlarging it by knocking out a section of the garage wall and adding a header to support the weight of the roof. This “bump-out” can give you the work space or storage space you need. You can even add a roll-away cot, futon or pull-out sofa to your new extended space to create an extra guest room! Make sure to add a few homey touches – like permanent décor, sufficient lighting and comfortable bedding – that welcome overflow guests. “Work Out” in a New Way If you’re not sure where to put your new elliptical or treadmill, think seriously about creating your own home gym in a section of your garage. Finally... Consider Climate Control For cooler months, a space heater or hanging gas-powered forced hot air unit will keep you comfortable. For the summer months, consider an individual air conditioning unit or a freestanding evaporative cooling unit. You may also want to weatherproof your garage with a layer of insulation covered with Sheetrock. If the temperature is right, you’ll want to use your new “extra room” more often!  
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