Improving the value of your home is simple with steps like insulating your garage door or installing a floor covering. Unlike the rest of your house, the garage gives you an incredible amount of leeway when it comes to applying the full extent of your creativity. Most households in the US, however, continue to treat their garages simply as a means to an end – that of parking their cars. Or for filling to the brim with junk they eventually throw away.
Almost everyone is guilty of the latter crime; just mindlessly filling their garage with endless swathes of unusable items which they might think qualifies as collectibles, but this really only serves to add to the clutter in your place. The end result is that you can’t even use your garage for the very purpose it was designed for – that of accommodating your car!
Make room for your car. Why store it out in the sun, rain, snow and thunderstorms when it can be stored right in the comfort and protection of your own home?
The first step towards any realistic attempt at renovating your garage is to arrange your all items in their places. This can involve throwing away the useless stuff.
The hoarder mentality – don’t be a hoarder
Some people just can’t let go of their stuff. They’re what you call ‘hoarders’, they have this compulsive desire to store their items – which can categorized as useless junk – forever. They go on storing useless junk such as broken and rust-stained buckets, torn scraps of papers and old newspapers. The reason for this provided by medical experts is that storing useless items fills some sort of void in a hoarder’s life, providing them with psychological security.
Learn to let go!
According to a survey conducted by Gladiator GarageWorks in April 2015, nearly 1 in 4 Americans reported that their garage – designed to house two cars – was such a claustrophobic mess that it couldn’t even fit one car.
So the best way to get rid of items you no longer have any use for, is to give them away at a garage sale. Items such as children’s toys, brooches, old pieces of jewelry, kitchenware, silverware and clothes will definitely fetch a nice price. That way, you get some value for your memorable but useless items and get to clean up the garage.
Getting the proper means of accommodation for all your items
The items in the garage which you have identified as important can be attached on to walls and if you have too many items lying on the floor, consider investing in overhead storage cabinets. They can accommodate a decent variety of items and add a semblance of décor to the garage.
There are many types of storage cabinets to choose from – but they all serve the same purpose, to get all your junk pile into an organized, manageable space. You could buy brand new, aesthetically pleasing cabinets or used ones – either way you’ll never go wrong with investing in some premier cabinet storage systems for your garage.
Word of caution though, garage cabinets should not be treated in the same breath as regular old kitchen cabinets. This is because they’re constantly exposed to elements such as rain and snow. The humidity brought indoors by your wet car can also play a role in compromising the structural integrity of your cabinets, which after the passage of time can buckle under the weight of your items and spill all over the contents. You’ll be left cleaning the mess and tending to any damage caused by gravity.
The different kinds of materials to choose from
If you’re getting new cabinets, it’s worth your while to decide between the different types of materials you could use for their construction. Each material has its own strengths and weaknesses, costs and aesthetic appeal. What’s more, they can be custom suited to meet your particular storage needs while keeping your budget in mind.
They’re incredibly cheap and extremely durable. There have no known environmental weaknesses. But they usually don’t have enough space for most of your items and probably won’t contribute much to the garage when it comes to decoration. They will however get the basic job done of storing your items.
They are a tad bit pricier but not only bring aesthetic might to your garage but also have the structural integrity to withstand the rigors of an enclosed place. Choose from the lightweight aluminum to the hulking 18 gauge steel with highly durable hinges. Door closure is achieved by magnetic latches so you don’t have to push or pull too hard.
The biggest disadvantage with metals is that they are prone to corrosion and rust especially if the humidity is particularly high in the garage. Rain and storm can quickly wither their strength and durability over time, leaving them in a sorry state of affairs.
Wood brings in the classical old school vintage look to your garage, transforming a dull garage into a sleek workspace. The high end ones are built using polyurethane for maximum durability and strength.
Now that you have saved up enough space to store your car in the garage, it’s finally time for some serious makeover!
Bring back some life to your garage with a fresh new painting
Garages are usually the worst affected area of the house when it comes to dull walls, which don’t fare any better than your basement. What you should be doing instead is to find the perfect combination of colors and themes for both your wall and floor. It’s even better if they’re compatible with the color scheme your car.
Whatever color you choose for the wall, it’s best to use exterior paints which are thicker in texture and better protected against moisture and chemical spills. They are designed to accommodate a larger range of temperatures, while most of the paints inside our homes are designed to resist only a small range of temperatures.
While there are thousands of painting variations to choose from, it can become quickly overwhelming when pressed for choice. Simply refer to your car’s overall color scheme to get the best idea of what paint overhauls will sit your garage the best. Think of it this way, if the Ferrari is red in color, the floor should preferably have a more checkered outlook, combining both red and black colors.
Insulating your garage door
It might sound a little hard to believe but your garage door is the single biggest source of incoming heat and cold air – it simply does not provide the same level of protection against outside elements the way a solid wall does. Because the garage is connected to the rest of your house, you will experience increased fluctuation with the temperatures which will definitely increase heating and cooling costs. It is preferable to insulate the garage door before insulating your garage.
Batt insulation is one of the preferred means of insulating your garage door, primarily because of the ease of installing it and its cost effectiveness. The pre-cut panels are typically composed of fiberglass or cotton. They can be incredibly long-lasting if they’re kept stationary.
Unfortunately, this isn’t really the case with garage doors. They’re constantly opening and closing on a regular basis, or folding at different points. When this happens, the Batt insulation can get worn off because of all that movement. You’ll need to perform multiple insulation’s, not exactly convenient is it?
Bubble wrap insulation is another popular variant which is best used on metal garage doors. The modus operandi of this insulation is making use of bubble spaces. You essentially have bubbles which are trapped between two layers of polyethylene (or some other similar material). The more bubbles you have between the layers, the greater would be the insulation provided. Some dealers on the market even provide two layers of bubbles sandwiched between the polyethylene materials for maximum efficiency.
The best part about Bubble wrap insulation is the ease of installation, which can be done by most home owners without the use of professionals.
An alternative would be to get an insulated garage door instead so you don’t have to bother with aftermarket insulating solutions. If you want to drive down cooling and heating costs, it is better to get a garage door made out of a material which has a much slower rate of heat transfer, such as wood.
Garage floor coating and covering
The regular old concrete finishing of your garage is prone to increased deterioration because of all the punishment it receives from chemical spills, road salt and condensation. Water is concrete’s biggest enemy which can completely destroy the entire flooring, not to mention the fact that it fosters the ideal conditions for mold and mildew which can cripple most homeowner’s foundations, damaging the reinforced steel which can lead to cracking.
Most garage owners choose to apply a garage floor coating or covering – through which they’re not only able to improve the look of the garage but also protect the floor from wear and tear. If your floor has cracks and other blemishes on them, it is better to roll out tiles than to cover them with paint.
Types of coatings
Completely turn around the bland layout of the garage floor by transforming it with a concrete paint of your choice. The paint itself does not require you to have the know-how of complex painting methods, just sand off the old paint, vacuum the floor and make sure there isn’t any water seepage. Using a paint roller, apply two coats of primer and finalize the whole process by coating it with epoxy paint.
Or just leave it to a professional. Either way, concrete paints are extremely cost effective and can totally turn around a bland garage into an elegant workspace.
They’re the most cost effective means of waterproofing the concrete floor. Most sealers on the market are elastomeric or acrylic based, which can harden the concrete and create a hydrophobic barrier that can protect from the damaging effects of water. They are extremely easy to install by using brushes and rollers to give off a glossy finish.
Types of coverings
Vinyl Composition Tiles
Vinyl composition tiles are the most commonly used tiles in most homes and aren’t normally recommended to be used in garages where they’re subjected to the heavy weight of the car. Although if used properly, they can prove to be cost effective, plus they have the highest variety of any type of floor covering. There simply is no dearth of colors and patterns to choose from. The only problem with them is how easily they crumble under heavier weights.
Rigid plastic tiles
Rigid tiles are about a quarter of an inch thick and can withstand any types of oils, greases and other substances which are commonplace in garages. The best thing about them is their sturdiness, as they can withstand the extremely high pressures exerted by cars and car jacks.
Interlocking flexible tiles
Interlocking tiles are easy to install and remove but don’t really offer much durability in the long run. They are designed for people to walk and stand on them for long periods of time. If you perform heavy duty work in your garage, such as performing car repairs or DIY projects such as assembling a helicopter (as some folks in town are known to do so), then its best to do without these tiles. For regular usage however, these tiles combine the perfect balance between comfort and durability.
Roll out garage floorings
These coverings can be installed in as little as a few minutes and the only prerequisite to be performed before rolling them out is to sweep the floor clean of any dust and stains. The most preferable material to be used is 100% solid polyvinyl for maximum durability.
They can be easily removed whenever you feel like it. They’re tough and can withstand regular wear and tear, not like your regular old rug mats which most folks place in front of their doors as a welcoming gesture for visitors. Available in a variety of colors and patterns, so you’re never out of fresh new ideas of decorating your old garage. They can also be easily cut to size by using a regular utility knife. It is preferable to leave some space between the floor mat and the walls when installing them, because they will contract and expand depending on temperature changes.