Oh, the poor, neglected garage. Utilitarian, necessary … but often messy, disorganized and the last part of the home that most people think to remodel.
But with a little planning and a creative approach you can make big improvements in this part of the home that you use almost every day. Here are seven ideas for improving your garage.
1. Be careful with living space
It’s one thing to remodel to make your garage more usable as a shop, man cave or other workspace. Turning it into a bedroom or other living space, though, is a much more involved project. Beside having to meet additional code requirements, you’ll also lose valuable parking and storage space. That can be especially important when you want to sell your home – 80 percent of homebuyers say a garage is an important feature to them.
2. Upgrade your garage door
For many homes, the garage door is the new front door. It’s where most families go in and out, so why not give the door the love it deserves? Replacing an existing aluminum door with a modern wood or steel door will improve curb appeal and increase the resale value of your home. Natural wood doors do offer a great aesthetic, but will require more maintenance than metal or composite options. Insulated steel door options offer greater thermal efficiency and can make the space more comfortable.
3. Add insulation
If your garage is attached to the rest of your home, upgrading or adding insulation can help keep your utility bills down. The garage door is the biggest opening to the home and a major source of heat loss during the winter. Insulating your garage will help lower your energy costs for the rest of the home, as well as make the space more usable.
4. Creative flooring
That plain, stained concrete floor can be upgraded pretty easily. The quickest and easiest option is to paint or stain the floor, or you can get more creative with an epoxy finish. Adding color chips can give the floor a nice look. If the floor is cracked, make sure to get those filled or repaired before coating the floor or putting in a new surface. Depending on how you’ll be using the space, vinyl, tile or even carpet can work for a garage, too.
5. Finish the walls
Another simple fix, but one that can make a big difference in the aesthetics of the garage. Painting is an obvious option, while wood or steel panels can offer a more finished look.
6. Creative storage
There never seems to be enough storage space in the garage – that’s why so many people end up keeping their cars outside! Cleaning up your storage can create a lot more space for your car, boat or whatever else you’re trying to squeeze in there.
Overhead storage racks are a great solution for smaller items, such as sports equipment and pet gear. Modular storage systems, bins and cabinets can hide clutter and stack it vertically. Choosing a flexible, easily modified storage system will make it easier to reorganize as your needs change.
7. Lighting & Windows
Most garages have one or two single bulbs lighting the space. That’s not enough if you want to actually be able to use the space.
During the day, opening the door is of course one solution, but adding windows or skylights can create plentiful natural light and ventilation, while also offering more protection from the elements. Garage windows tend to get dirtier than those in the house, so they will need to be cleaned more frequently.
Replacing that old incandescent bulb or bulbs with LED lighting or fluorescent shop lights can make a big difference. A general rule of thumb is one light fixture for every vehicle space. For a bench or other work area, consider task lighting or under-cabinet lighting. If seeing “true color” is important (for painting or staining, for instance) look for bulbs with a color rendering index (CRI) of at least 85.
Does your garage need a refresh? Contact T.W. Ellis today to talk about all of your remodeling needs in the Forest Hill and Bel Air areas!