There's nothing like having a fancy new garage! The good news is with a new home build you can get what you want. It's a clean slate. If you're ready to build your dream garage, here are just a few things to consider as you lay the cement.
Know Your Needs
First thing’s first: Identify the main purpose of your garage.
- If you're designing a workspace for home improvement projects, we recommend an open-floor plan with lots of central light. As you draw up your blueprints, designate fixed areas for workbenches and tools, as well as substantial open space for easy access to your project.
- Will you be housing all your cars in the garage? Your number one concern should be how much room you need.
- If your garage will be an entertainment centre, you can skip the rest of this article - just put a big screen TV and couch in there and you'll be fine!
One of the secrets of efficient organization is to create "zones" for your belongings. Everything will have its own place so nothing is ever lost or forgotten. Here are a few ideas for garage zones:
- Left wall - outdoor gear like bikes, skis and camping equipment
- Right wall - indoor tools like hammers, drills and saws
- Ceiling - infrequently used or seasonal items such as holiday decorations
You could also arrange things by person. For example:
- Left side - Dad’s tools and vintage comic book collection
- Right side - Mom’s craft supplies and gardening items
- Back - Kids’ fun zone with bikes, sleds and outside toys
The specifics of your zones are up to you, but having a designated storage area for everything will help you keep things sorted and keep your garage functional.
Utilize Vertical Space
Many homeowners overlook the storage potential of their walls and ceilings. We're so used to using cabinets and shelves that it doesn't even occur to us to think vertically instead of horizontally. If you’re looking for better garage organization you need to take advantage of vertical space.
- Shelves and cupboards can be mounted high to store items not used on a regular basis
- Nails and hooks are ideal for keeping hoses, extension cords, ice skates and even bikes organized
- Consider installing steel tracks on the ceiling to hold plastic storage bins
Choose Your Flooring
From epoxy blends to acrylic latex, garage floors come in a wide variety of materials. When choosing flooring, here are some things to consider:
- Price - Some materials are more expensive than others, and some may need to be touched up with time. How much are you willing to spend up front?
- Function - What’s most important to you in your flooring- being hyper-resistant to cracks and stains, having a high weight capacity, or flooring that’s ideal for moisture-heavy rooms?
- Durability - Chances are you don’t want to use flooring that needs to be replaced in a year, so look for something long lasting.
- Aesthetic - Do you want the glossy coating of a showroom floor? Or is an regular polish okay as long as it's tough and stain-resistant?
Accommodating Your Vehicles
Let's talk about cars again. Unless you're designing a garage solely for projects or storage, you're going to need room for your cars, and the space required for them can make a big difference in how you build.
There are a few different options for garages:
Traditional garages include either single car spaces, or the common side by side double garage, or even triple garage.
If space doesn’t allow for width beyond a single garage, a tandem garage can be a fantastic option. These garages have the width of a single but are extra long, allowing you to park one vehicle behind the other, and thus sparing you from having to warm your car up and brush off snow all winter long!
Another consideration is ceiling height. If you have a large truck or RV, or if you do a lot of maintenance work on your vehicles that requires lifting, you might want to increase your garage's ceiling height.
Let There Be Light
Lights are another thing that can make or break your garage. Not only can they increase your efficacy during projects and repairs, but they can also boost your property value when installed and maintained properly.
So what kind of lights should you buy? You have plenty of options.
- Light bars installed around your walls and ceiling will provide all-over illumination no matter where you move in the room.
- Fixed lights, also called task lights, can be focused on specific areas like your work bench.
- Hanging or adjustable lights can go where you go.
Buy Multi-Purpose Furniture
If you've ever seen a workstation with a foldaway bench or a toolbox that can also double as a storage unit, those are examples of multi-purpose furniture. They'll give you the biggest bang for your buck in several ways.
For one, you'll free up floor space. Instead of tables, cabinets and benches taking up room even when you're not using them, you can simply put them away when you don't need them.
They're also great for eliminating clutter. Since that tabletop isn't in use all the time, it can't become the permanent residence of your hammer or power drill.
Last but not least, multi-purpose furniture can increase your productivity by eliminating unnecessary movement and tool-hunting. Take another look at the toolbox with built-in cabinets. Everything you need to work is right there! You won't spend hours roaming about for your supplies before you can begin your project.
Create a Space You Love
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you have to like your garage. If the space is disorganized and doesn’t suit your needs, you won’t enjoy spending time there and it will become an empty space you never visit.
Be creative and be confident in your garage plans. You're the one building it, so there's no reason it shouldn't be perfect!