Super-Charging Your Garage for Cars, DIY, or Even Entertainment
If you have a passion for pimping your ride—whether that’s a car, truck, motorcycle, ATV or boat—then you already know how having a super-charged garage to work on, store or display your amazing vehicles would be ideal. Or, maybe it’s your dream to have a professional-level DIY workshop or garage for like-minded friends to enjoy.
Maybe the place where you park just needs a basic remodel or maybe you need to do more significant upgrading. Or, maybe your already-cool garage needs a brand-new look. Whatever your situation, possibilities are endless, doable by a creative person like you.
From shelving to flooring to lifts and more, creating a garage space that’s exactly right for your unique vision takes planning, and this post will take you from garage room ideas to finished product. Ideas to consider include how you’ll heat your garage, whether air conditioning makes sense, your water needs, preferences for garage lighting and more.
Discover what aspect of your garage remodel can provide close to a 100% return on investment, tips for working with professional remodelers, and ways to finance your project.
Envisioning Your Garage Makeover
Dream big! Later, you can decide what’s doable now and what needs to be phase two. For now, dream big! Imagine the flooring. Is it big and bold, black-and-red patterned? Swirling blues like the ocean floor, ideal for your boat? One including the image of a race’s finish line? Pinterest offers countless suggestions for garage floors , walls and overall garage renovations . Dreaming is always the first step towards doing.
First Step First
Before you start adding anything to your garage, if you’re like most people, you need to start your makeover by deciding what to remove. So, determine all the ways you’re currently using your garage.
Is it where you store your lawn mower, snow blower, leaf blower, edger/trimmer, shovels, spades, potting soil, hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, bicycles, holiday decorations, boxes you haven’t opened up in years (but must be important, right?) and more?
If so, you’ll need to figure out where else that can go. This may mean your basement. This may mean your shed. Or, it may mean that you should consider building a shed to store these implements and tools.
As another strategy, you can incorporate amazing space-saving strategies into your garage makeover. For example, an article at LifeStorage.com recommends:
• fold-down workbenches mounted to the wall that can easily collapse when not in use; these can be purchased or, if you enjoy working with your hands, this can be a great DIY project
• step stools that come with a surprising amount of storage space
• magnetic steel panels that allow you to openly display tools without using up floor space
• ceiling hooks for storing bicycles
Also consider how you can use overhead shelving to store items you don’t use often. And, if you’d like to store items up there that you will need often, add an overhead hoist pulley system. Voila!
Garage Renovation Heating and Cooling—and Lighting and Water, Too
When planning your garage renovation, factor in the costs of insulation, and then weigh the pros, cons, costs, and benefits of the various ways to heat your garage: forced air, ductless, propane and more.
You may consider this idea from FamilyHandyman.com and go with a heated floor. If you plan to work on vehicles or DIY projects in your garage, then a radiant in-floor heating system may be the best choice. Because the floor is warm, you can use less of whatever other kind of heating system you’ve chosen to use.
In-floor heating costs about $2-$3 per square foot if you plan to DIY, and about twice that for a professional install. The article also suggests looking into air conditioning for your garage, through-the-wall style. This helps to lower humidity, keeping tools and other metal items rust-free.
It’s common to have water heaters in garages, according to HGTV.com , and having hot running water readily available just makes good sense when you’ll be working on your vehicles or otherwise using your garage as an extension of your home.
Also think about what else makes sense, perhaps a utility sink—and maybe even a half bath and a refrigerator with an icemaker for entertaining. If you’re going to have a washing machine in your garage, choose the best location for the drain line as well as the floor drain.
At a minimum, you’ll need to make sure your garage lighting is bright enough to accomplish your goals. And, as a plus, choosing the right garage lighting can truly transform the look of your remodeled space. You can find plenty of creative ideas on Pinterest .
More Garage Makeover Ideas
One of the coolest finished garage ideas we’ve seen, one that’s highly practical, is the drive-through version . By having doors at the front and back of your garage, you have wide-open availability to everything that’s stored in it. With a traditional garage, it can be a real hassle to remove something from the back of it, but not with a drive through!
These garages are exceptionally well ventilated, which can be important when you’re working on projects. And, if your garage doesn’t have air conditioning, this cross-ventilation will help cool it down in hot weather. Plus, picture a patio located right where the back end of the garage opens up. This transforms your garage into a place where you can lounge with a cool drink after working hard on your vehicle, and you can treat your mechanic friends, as well.
Don’t forget your garage door (or, in the case of a drive-through, your garage doors). This improvement is one that could return virtually every dollar of your investment, according to a cost versus home value report.
The average cost of a garage door replacement is $3,470, with costs recouped typically being 98.3%. This is an outstanding return on investment; better yet, it can take just a few days to make this improvement, even if you decide to do it yourself with the help of a friend.
Turning Garage Makeover Ideas into Reality
Once you have your plan in place, our friends at Houzz suggest factoring in another 20% in case unexpected circumstances arise or you decide to improve your garage even further.
Throughout your remodel, keep in mind why you’re doing this garage makeover, whether that’s to create a place to work on classic cars, to have a place where you and friends can tinker with your motorcycles or something else entirely.
Prioritize what’s most important in case you feel like you have to choose between two or more possibilities—and don’t just create this list in your head. It can really help to write down these priorities. That way, if a new possibility presents itself, you can analyze it in the light of what you’ve already prioritized.
When Hiring a Professional
If you’re hiring someone to do your entire garage makeover or just portions of the remodel, it’s crucial that you can clearly communicate what you want to accomplish and that you carefully review construction plans created.
You’ll also need to decide whether you want to hire a general contractor or if you want to subcontract the heating and cooling, for example, to one company, the flooring to another and so forth. Be upfront about your budget with these professionals.
Home Improvement Loans at SoFi
A home improvement loan at SoFi can help you spend less time focusing on your budget and more on building your dream garage. And, you can finance this garage makeover without having to put your home on the line. That’s because, at SoFi, you can apply for a low interest unsecured loan to fund your remodel: In other words, a personal loan.
You can check your rates in just minutes, and there are no origination fees or prepayment penalties if you qualify.
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