For many people, the garage is the most neglected part of the house. Used by a huge number of households as simply a storage place for the junk that isn’t needed anywhere else, the garage’s intended purpose is forgotten. But this makes it a completely wasted space that could be used far more effectively.
Here, Mike James - working with- has laid out a step by step guide to renovating yours, and getting maximum enjoyment from your man cave!
With parking spaces harder to come by than ever before and the weather remaining bizarrely inconsistent, a garage is the perfect place to store your car. Of course it can also be a brilliant place to indulge in DIY projects.
But if you’re going to use it properly then it can worth completely renovating it. This will allow you to cast off your old habits and start making the most of this part of your home. Here’s our step-by-step guide to renovating your garage.
Step 1: Set a budget
As with any home improvement project, your first step needs to be setting a budget for everything that you want to get accomplished. It should be noted that a garage renovation things can be achieved cheaply but if you’re willing to put in a little budget it will go a long way.
It’s essential that you should stick to your budget; once you start making improvements it can be tempting to add expensive units such as a heater or a dehumidifier. If your budget can stretch to these then that’s great, but there are other aspects of the garage that it can be best to focus on first. If you have extra money left other it can be spent on extravagances.
Step 2: Declutter
Your next move needs to be to get rid of the clutter. If your garage has become simply a storage space this step can take a while, but if you set aside an afternoon you can get it out of the way with minimal fuss. Of course if you’re removing things that usually live in your garage, you’re going to have to get rid of some of them completely. It’s worth taking the time to create an inventory of the things that you are going to throw away, sell, donate and keep.
It is essential here that you’re completely honest with yourself about what you’re going to use and what you need. How often do you really get on that old exercise bike? If these things are just sitting in the garage it’s unlikely that they play an important role in your life.
Step 3: Clean thoroughly
Once you have decluttered and gotten rid of the stuff that you never use, it’s time to give the space a good spring clean. You may find that this area hasn’t been cleaned for a long time, so it could be worth investing in some modern cleaning equipment to get the job done. Hire or buy a pressure washer and clean out the whole of the garage. This is going to be especially important if you are also going to do up the interior, as if the garage is dusty and dirty it won’t be possible to paint or otherwise improve it.
Step 4: Remove any oil stains
You might encounter a problem while carrying out your cleaning – oil stains. Whether these come from your car or from an old lawnmower, oil stains can be very stubborn and won’t necessarily be washed away by conventional cleaning methods. So here’s a fool-proof way to get rid of them:
First you need to get some cat litter. Sprinkle enough to cover the oil stain, then using something heavy like a brick, grind the cat litter into the stain, or alternatively you can tread it in with old shoes. Sweep away the powder and then repeat a couple of times (for large stains you may need to repeat this process several times over a few days).
Now apply some a heavy duty cleaner – oven cleaner will do fine – and scrub this into the stain with a brush. Finally rinse this with a hose. Again, you can repeat this process a couple of times if the stain doesn’t shift properly.
Step 5: Choose new flooring
Now that you’ve cleaned everything thoroughly you can look into making upgrades to the interior. First we can look at different types of flooring you can put down. Assuming you have removed any currently flooring and are left with concrete, your first option is concrete sealer. This is probably the cheapest of the flooring and the easiest to apply if you’re short on time or experience. You can also use concrete stain which is effectively the same thing with added pigment.
Another popular choice for garage floors is epoxy paint. It is resistant to chemicals, oil and petrol and is available in a wide range of colours. It will take a while to get it done correctly, however, as you’ll need to seal the coat with a primer made for concrete. Rubber tiles can also make an excellent addition to your garage. They are easy to install and are very tough, making them ideal for your car and any other DIY activities.
Step 6: Add a coat of paint
Sometimes the garage can be forgotten because it’s not given the same kind of care and attention as the rest of the house – if your garage looks drab and uninviting it’s no surprise that you tend not to use it. So smarten things up with a good coat of paint and make the space somewhere that you actually want to be.
Step 7: Install extra shelving
While you have the space available, use some time putting up extra shelving. You don’t want your garage to devolve back into a storage space for junk but it’s natural that you are going to keep some items here. Any DIY or garden tools, for example, can have a place here. Adding shelves allows you to store things neatly. Not only does this provide you with more space, it also prevents your garage from becoming a dumping ground again.
Step 8: Use space wisely
While we are on the subject: you’ve got that extra space so use in intelligently. You could choose to add a workbench for DIY projects or make space for other storage essentials such as a bike rake. The key is ensure that you garage falls back into regular use.
Step 9: Invest in a new garage door
Now that you have sorted out the interior of the garage, you need to think about the exterior. A great place to start is the garage door itself. If yours is a few years old it could be time to think about investing in a replacement.
If you intend to use your garage as a place to store your car then ask yourself: what were the barriers that were stopping you from using it before? If one of those barriers was the fact that you had to get out of the car every time to open the door, you can do something about that by having electronic garage doors installed.
Alternatively it could just be the case that buying a new door could completely freshen up the look. Not only does it make it more likely for you to use your garage but a new door also adds value to your home. There are a huge range of options available including wooden or metal doors, so you’ll easily be able to find one that suits the aesthetic of your property.
Step 10: Prepare for winter
If you’re planning to use your garage for DIY projects as well as a car storage space, it definitely makes sense to prepare for winter. Consider insulating the walls in order to keep heat it. You could even add a heater to ensure you are in complete comfort when you need to work there. The new garage door in step nine should also do wonders for you here.