One fine morning, you enter the garage to look for something you cleverly stored at a safe place ages ago. As you step inside, the damp, musty smell almost makes you faint. How it reeks! You struggle to make your way through the cupboard – you jump through sharp tools strewn around, broken pipes block your way, your leg gets stuck in a rusty bicycle lying around since you were 10 and you are horrified to see mildew (or is it mold?) growing on one of the walls. Wait, was that a rat?
You finally remember that the ‘thing’ you were looking for is at the top of the cupboard inside one of the boxes. You balance yourself on a questionable chair and as you begin to rummage around one of the boxes, the chair gives away and you are on the floor with a huge, dusty, spiderweb-covered box right on your face.
It hurts, doesn’t it? The ‘thing’ surely wasn’t worth the dangerous trip to the garage. You now have two options; either take a deep breath and clean up your garage or you can go about your business ignoring the mold-infested horror chamber next to your safe haven. We hope you have chosen the first option. So, here are a few steps that will give your garage a stunning makeover!
1. Get Rid of the Clutter
Oh, boy… This is going to be the most difficult step. Prepare yourself mentally to be covered in filth, dirt and grime. To prevent never-ending sneeze session, tie a cloth around your mouth and nose. Gather unlimited amount of courage and begin cleaning up! You will find a plethora of rusty tools, old toys and dishes, broken furniture, and similar useless items. Keep them in boxes and name them ‘throw away’, ‘donate’ and ‘sell’. The process will take time, so give yourself at least one whole weekend. You will notice a huge difference after removing all the clutter. Don’t stop there. Take EVERYTHING out. You have to empty out the garage.
2. Remediation – Clean, Clean and Clean!
Now that you have conquered the clutter, the next step is to clean the garage. From ceilings to walls to floor, scrub every inch. You will be surprised to see all sorts of creatures lodged in corners. If you suspect fungal infestations, have it checked by a professional. Whether it is mold or mildew, they can cause the air around you to become toxic. On their recommendation, you can have your garage fumigated.
3. Paint the Walls
When your garage is sparkling clean and devoid of any fungal spores lurking in the air, brighten up the space by a fresh splatter of paint. Choose color codes and paint the walls in double-layers. I prefer the bigger wall to be white and rest of them a vibrant shade of buttercup yellow, vermilion or even purple. If you want a calming effect, go for pastel shades. A new coating of paint will instantly remove the deadly reminders your garage used to you have. Instead, now it will appear to be a friendly and welcoming spot where you can hang out.
4. Coat the Floor
The bare concrete floor looks unappealing and unfriendly. Coat your floor with an anti-skid epoxy with grit and prevent grease marks, oil stains, chipped surfaces, and drab appearance. Sweep and mop the floor clean, buffer the floor, patch any potholes, and scuff the surface. Before applying epoxy, you must achieve a smooth, clean, and dry texture. If there is grease, oil or moisture, epoxy won’t stick to the floor. Depending upon the climate and humidity, give it a day or two to completely dry. The end result is a glossy and smooth floor that makes your garage look like a room.
Your other option would be to use a garage floor mat. You can find commercial rubber floor mat with diamond tread, coin grip or ribbed, all designed for maximum grip and durability. These mats come with a choice of colours too so pick one that works for your space.
6. Insulation and Slat Walls
As we hardly ever spent time in our garages, we end up overlooking insulation. You can skip this step, but an uninsulated garage can be quite uncomfortable- It can be unbearably hot in summers and freezing cold in winters. Moreover, it can even cause damage to your equipment that you have stored inside. You can add insulation panels on walls and then cover it up with a PVC or wooden slatwall system. Later, you can nail hooks, hang shelves, gardening tools and baskets on the slatwall and store things without consuming space much floor space. It is not as glamorous as giving your TV lounge a makeover, but it is practical. Here are some examples for what is possible with slatwall.
7. Install a Window
If your garage covers a large area and does not have a window, then install one during its renovation. It lets in the sunshine that keeps the place ventilated, moisture-free, and sunny. Without windows, the garage tends to darken up and dampen. Make sure you securely lock the windows. You don’t want to give intruders an easy entrance for breaking into your house.
8. Fix the Door
If the door of your garage doesn’t function properly, then it is a high time to have the door services and repaired. Check if the motion sensors and locks are working. Give some attention to its appearance. After all, it has an impact on the overall impression of your house!
9. Upgrade Lighting
A single bulb won’t do – Unless you want your garage to give a dingy, cell vibe. Illuminated and bright, your garage must have proper fixtures that work at all weathers without a flicker. At nighttime, or if you don’t have any windows, proper lighting will make your garage a welcoming, well-lit space.
10. Organize Everything!
Your garage is all tidied up now. It is time to sort out everything and place the things in an organized fashion. Leave enough room for your car and keep everything out of its way.
Do you have a large collection of holiday decorations that you use only once a year? Don’t throw that wreath away but store it safely in your garage. Buy large plastic containers with a sliding lid and screw them onto the ceiling through their handles. Place all your light-weight decorations and other items and gear in those containers. Make sure they are not heavy because you don’t want the container to drop on your head! Furthermore, you can install some hooks on the ceiling as well to hang camping gear, sports gear, and gardening tools.
Another clever way to store items and free up the floor space is to use a hoist. A hoist can be used for bicycles, kayak, canoe, ladder, surf boards or anything long. These are relatively cheap to purchase and easy to install. While most hoists come with hooks, you can get load bearing straps that can be fasten around odd shaped objects. You can also find hoist that raises an entire storage rack. These can be lowered for easy access and raised again to get it out of the way. Finally, look for is the automatic locking mechanism to prevent accidental release for safe operation.
If you would rather something more permanent, get overhead garage storage racks. But, these will probably need to be professional installed. These fixed overhead storage shelves are heavy duty metal racks that are mounted on the ceiling in your garage adding even more storage space.
Install some shelves on one of the walls and place some buckets and baskets for storage of smaller tools. Label everything neatly in case you have a bad memory. To maximise the use of wall space, get floor to ceiling shelves or the highest self assembled shelves that will fit in the garage. Furthermore, you also want to consider heavy duty and high load bearing shelves for durability and practicality.
Bonus Point! – Keep it Clean
Don’t let your hard work go down the drain. Keep your garage in order and don’t let it turn back into its old horrible self! It can be your private spot for a peaceful hour or two.
A lovely garage makeover will prevent you from forgetting about it. When everything is neatly set up and organized, you will want to spend some time there. Thanks to the renovation, there is finally room for your car and everything you need is easily accessible. No more spiders and rats, and no more fungus. Instead, there are freshly painted walls, rays of sunshine and a welcoming ambiance. Great job!
Who knows, you might actually even park your car one day!