Alastair is the new columnist for My Renovation Magazine and this blog was first published there on 17th October 2014.
Let’s face it, your garage is never going to be the prettiest room in your house – no paint swatches or sumptuous soft furnishings here – but it can, and should, be the most functional. Seen by many people as a place for car parking or storage and not much else, very few home owners realise the potential inherent in such an adaptable space. With careful planning and creativity you can turn your garage into a practical, well designed and organised space. It may not be the most luxurious room, but once you see how useful your garage can be, it may well become your favourite!
The great thing about garages is just how flexible they can be. It’s probably one of the biggest rooms in your house and, unlike a kitchen or bedroom, has no prescribed function other than the one you give it which means you can be open minded when it comes to choosing how best to use this space.
Most garages become a dumping ground by default so to really make the most of your space you need to think about what you’d like the purpose of your garage to be.
If you chose to utilise your garage for parking your family cars, then make sure you can get them in through the doors. It sounds utterly ridiculous, but some developers deliberately fit garage doors which are too small for a car too enter because it looks better aesthetically. Don’t be guided into having three single doors in a triple garage because you may find your car won’t fit through any of them. And make sure there is plenty of space to get out of the car without hitting the walls – we see this one happen all the time too!
If your garage is to house your prized classic car and you plan to work on it, bear in mind you will also need to use the space for tools, storage, inspection pits, space for manuals or trophies. If it’s an area where you will be working for prolonged period of time on a regular basis, consider how to make it more functional and easy to move around – get rid of the clutter and make it an enjoyable work space. If your classic car is prone to oil spills, you may also want to consider what kind of floor would be best to install.
If you want to make your garage your key storage area, it’s worth taking the time to think about the layout before you reach a stage where you can’t access anything because everything is piled up. Make sure you get good, useable space on the walls. With proper planning you can make walls a really effective storage space. Many of our customers are also surprised at just how much can be stored safely with ceiling storage. Making sure you have clear access to the things you’re storing will make it easier to find things when you need them and make your garage a safer place.
If you’d like to use your garage as a place to not only store, but also use your fitness equipment then consider that you may want to have heating and/or air conditioning put in. Think about the benefits of different floor coverings for your workout and if your garage also needs to be used to store other things, plan how to do this safely. Making the most of wall storage will mean you’re not tripping over boxes and other paraphernalia when you’re trying to work out. Being organised and minimising clutter will also make it a much more enjoyable space to spend time in.
Make sure there’s enough space for the snooker table / table tennis table / model railway kit to fit in if you plan to use your space as a games room. Will there be loud music? Will your teenagers be using the space as an area to hang out with their friends? If so, you may need to insulate against cold or noise. Also, make sure you get the electrics right if you plan to have stereos, additional lighting or maybe even a fridge in there. If you still need to store other household items, make the most of wall or ceiling storage to free up valuable floor space and make it safer and nicer to use.
Once you’ve thought carefully about how you want to use your garage space, plan your design taking all your requirements into consideration. If you get design and storage advice early on, you can create a garage that truly fits your needs.
Bear in mind that your garage will need to grow and change as your requirements change but by getting the foundations of good storage in place from the start, your space will be able to suits your needs perfectly for years to come – and ultimately add value to your property.
If you want to create your dream garage, contact Garageflex now to find out more.