Used as a storage area, workshop, and retreat, the garage can be one of the most versatile areas of your home. However, there are downsides too. Garages are usually not heated or insulated, so working out there for prolonged periods in the winter can be uncomfortable. It is easy to let the small space become cluttered and disorganized, which leaves less room to even move, let alone work.
In other words, there is always room for improvement. There are many things you can do to make your garage set-up better and more efficient.
It is important that the tools you use in your garage are appropriate for the tasks you need to perform. For example, if the garage is where you tinker on a classic car or low-profile street rod, you need tools appropriate to the task, such as a low profile billet aluminum jack. Making substitutions, e.g., a jack not tested up to 2,000 pounds, could be ineffectual or even hazardous to both you and your vehicle.
Having the right tools will not help you much if you cannot find them or do not have room to use them. It is important to organize your garage so that you can find what you need and make the most of what limited storage space you have. This often means taking advantage of vertical space by hanging equipment on the wall. Pegboard is an easy, inexpensive upgrade that allows you to hang tools with ease and locate what you need quickly. Another wall upgrade that makes hanging storage easier and improves the appearance of your garage walls at the same time are slat walls.
A garage can pose potential safety and security issues for both you and your family. For example, automatic garage doors are convenient but they can also be dangerous if they descend and crush a child or a pet underneath. Modern garage doors are equipped with a safety feature called an automatic reverse to prevent accidents such as these. You should test this to ensure it is working properly.
A garage can also provide an entry point for intruders looking to steal your car or worse. Motion-activated lights and security cameras make your garage a less attractive target.
Your garage usually isn’t connected to the central HVAC system, and it would probably be inefficient even if it were possible. Many garages aren’t even finished or insulated, which can make it a drafty and uncomfortable workspace, especially in the winter. However, even in an unfinished space, you can add insulation to the walls and the garage door. It may not make it comfortable to work in your classic car T-shirts when the temperature outside is subzero, but it can block out the worst of the wind.
If you spend a lot of time out in the garage, it should be a space where you feel comfortable. Decorative elements like old gas station signs or memorabilia from your favorite sports team make the space feel less generic by reflecting your personality. Giving your garage a personal touch can also help to inspire creative thinking and problem-solving.
For those who do not use their garages for car storage or workspace, there is a wealth of upgrades you can make to convert the garage into a living space.