Believe it or not, more than 63 percent of homes in the United States have a garage on the property. Unfortunately, most of those garages aren’t used to their fullest potential.
As a homeowner, one of the best things you can do for your home’s value and your sanity is to create a functional garage layout. If you’re not sure where to start, this simple renovation project can seem overly complicated and confusing.
Luckily, it’s easier than you think. Here are a few tips to help you figure out how to design a garage you’ll love.
Figure Out How You Want to Use the Space
Before you can start creating your ideal garage design, you need to think about how you want to use the space. Remember, your garage is an extension of your home. You’re free to use it however you see fit.
If you want to have a dedicated work area to complete crafts and allow you to build things in comfort, you’ll need to create a designated work area. If you want to use the space to store outdoor toys and vehicles, your layout will need to accommodate those things.
Think about the way you want to use your garage. Then, write down a list of the features you want the space to include. These can be anything from tool storage hooks to easy-to-clean epoxy floor coatings so you can maintain your car away from the elements.
Whatever works for you is what you should include in your design.
Make a Plan to Store Things Off the Floor
Though you’re free to use your garage however you see fit, it’s almost always going to serve as an at-home storage unit. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it helps cut down on the clutter inside your home, reducing stress and making it easier for you to relax at the end of the day.
However, there’s a right and a wrong way to store things in your garage.
Most homeowners tend to chuck boxes along the perimeter of the garage and leave them there for years on end. While you can, you really shouldn’t.
Remember, most garages aren’t completely weather-tight or pest-proof. The items inside those boxes can end up getting damaged or destroyed over time.
Instead, make a plan to store your belongings off the floor. Invest in wall-hanging systems to hold tools and install open shelves to hold those boxes you’d otherwise leave on the ground. Once you have these systems in place, your garage will stay cleaner and look more organized automatically.
Invest in Better Lighting
No matter what you plan on doing in your garage, you need the right lighting in place to make it happen. If your space is like most, it’s dark, dingy, and difficult to see in without the help of a flashlight.
Instead of leaving your lighting the way it is, invest in higher quality fixtures for your space.
If you’re building a work area, add track lighting to make it easier to see the details on your work bench. If you’re planning on using the space as a storage shed, add a few recessed light fixtures in the ceiling to help you find what you’re looking for at night.
Whatever light fixtures you install, make sure to use LED bulbs instead of traditional incandescent bulbs. These will use less energy and produce less heat, making your garage more energy-efficient and eco-friendly over time.
Get Rid of Clutter A.S.A.P.
Garages have a way of becoming a catch-all for junk, tools, and equipment over the years. The best thing you can do as you design your garage is to get rid of the existing clutter in the space.
Go through the boxes you have inside and clear out any shelves and drawers inside the garage. If there are items you want to keep, set them aside and organize them as part of your new garage layout. Donate or sell anything that you no longer want or need to free up more storage space in your garage.
Keep in mind that getting rid of clutter will be an ongoing process. You’ll need to continue going through stuff throughout the year to keep your garage organized. Otherwise, you risk losing out on the benefits of a well-thought-out garage layout and design.
Prioritize Car Storage
Though you can use your garage to store items and serve as a work area, it’s still best to prioritize car storage as part of your residential garage design. Measure the footprint of your car and make sure there’s enough room for it inside.
Mount storage solutions that won’t take away from your car’s parking area. Then, look for additional ways to finish a garage so you can keep it clean more easily.
This could include carpets by the door inside your home to trap mud and moisture, floor coatings to reduce the risk of oil stains, and even painting the walls to hide smudge marks.
Don’t Forget Overhead Storage
Though hanging wall storage is a wonderful way to get rid of clutter on the floor, it’s not the only option you have at your disposal. Believe it or not, you can and should make use of overhead storage in your garage design.
Almost every garage will have at least some space to mount an overhead storage system. This system can hold things like holiday decorations, out of season clothes, and even sports equipment.
Once it’s in place, you’ll have access to even more storage space without forcing you to sacrifice workspace in the garage.
Creating the Perfect Garage Layout Is Easy
Your garage is an extension of your home and deserves to get treated as one. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to create a functional garage layout and design that you’ll love using for years to come.
Just make sure that the features you add make the space more usable for your needs. The only person you have to please is yourself.
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