How to Make the Most of Your Garage

A garage is a valuable asset to any home but it’s not often used to its full potential. While you might use your garage for storage and parking, it could also be used to store tools and toys. But wouldn’t it make sense to have a more functional garage? These tips and ideas for organizing and renovating your garage will help you get more out of it.

garage organization

Organization

Your garage could easily be transformed into a home for toys, sporting equipment, holiday decorations and other items. These are some ways to keep your garage orderly:

  • Divide items into categories and give each one its own space. You can reserve a shelf or bin for gardening equipment and another one for recreational gear.
  • Hanging wall storage can be used to free up space on the floor. Hanging wall storage is an excellent way to clear space in a garage with high ceilings. Make sure that the shelving you choose can hold the weight of the items.
  • Ceiling Hooks are great for keeping bikes and other items out of sight. You can purchase heavy-duty rubber-coated hooks at a hardware store and attach them using a power drill. Then hang your bikes vertically.
  • Install a pegboard for small items such as tools to be kept off the ground and easily accessible. Magnetic storage panels can be mounted on the garage wall to keep small tools out of sight and organize them neatly.
  • If you intend to use your garage for projects, consider installing a wall-mounted, folding workbench.

Although your garage is a great place to store most things, there are a few items that you shouldn’t leave behind in your garage:

  • Paint – Some paint can be damaged by extreme heat.
  • Seasonal clothes: Moths can cause damage to clothing and small mammals may be tempted by it as bedding.
  • Flammables: Propane tanks and gas cans can become fire hazards.
  • Electronics: Extreme temperatures can damage electronic devices.
  • Pet food – Kibble can be attractive to wild animals
  • Refrigerator: A fridge has to work harder to keep food cool in high temperatures, wasting energy.
  • Food: Fresh food can attract animals, canned food can become inedible if kept in extreme temperatures, and wine can become undrinkable when left in the heat.

renovation

Renovations

By making a few small renovations to your garage, you can make it more livable and add another room for your family.

Insulation

Insulating your garage is a great way to make it more usable. Insulation will keep your garage warm and cool during winter as well as summer. Insulation can also be used to protect sensitive items and prevent pipes freezing in cold temperatures.

First, seal your garage with expanding spray foam to fill in any cracks or gaps. Two of the most common options for insulation are

  • Fiberglass: This is the most common type of insulation used in homes. This insulation is available in long rolls that can be fitted between ceiling joists and wall studs. It’s a great option for garages with unfinished walls.
  • Cellulose: This insulation is mostly made of newspaper treated with a fire retardant. A machine can blow cellulose into walls.

Insulate your garage door. Poor insulation can cause extreme temperature fluctuations. You can purchase a rigid foam insulation kit at your local home improvement shop. Consider replacing your garage door if it is in poor condition or outdated. According to HomeAdvisor, a new garage door has a return on investment (ROI) of 97.5 percent. Weatherstripping can be added to the garage door’s bottom, along with windows and doorframes, as an additional layer of protection.

garage living room

Living space

If you are looking to increase the living space in your home, you might consider turning your garage into a bedroom and living room. This is an option if you don’t want to lose any of your yard. Plus, the frame is already in place. You may even be able to get up to an 80 percent ROI on a converted garage when selling your home, according to HomeAdvisor.

The only limitations to converting your garage into living space are your budget and the size of your garage. There are several common renovations that you can make to your garage, whether you’re looking to create a family space, home office or secondary bedroom.

  • Upgrade the floors. The garage floor might be cracked or sloped. Before installing carpet, laminate or any other flooring, you will need to place a concrete or wood-framed floor. Garages are usually lower than other rooms in the house. You can align the floor with the rest or make it lower.
  • Connect the garage to your existing HVAC system or install a minisplit air conditioner or electric baseboard or fan-driven heater.
  • Replace the garage door with windows or a wall, or seal it properly.
  • Install windows and doors. You will need to follow the rules of your municipality regarding how many windows you can install in your garage.
  • Install drywall on unfinished walls.
  • Upgrade the electrical system to accommodate increased usage and add outlets.
  • Run water to the garage and sewer lines for a bathroom or kitchen sink.

Although your garage may seem like a neglected part of your home it can be used to store valuable items.

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