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Original published date 4/24/2015 — Updated 5/16/2023
A garage is so much more than a parking space and storage area. It can be an environment for car enhancements and repairs, a place for many learning experiences as you hone your automotive skills. All it takes is a garage remodel project with strategic upgrades.
A utopian vision of a garage includes effective lighting, decked-out gadgets, sleek lifts and premium flooring. Every car enthusiast dreams of having a space with these features. This garage remodel guide will help you turn your dream into a reality.
Illuminate the Garage With Great Lighting
It often goes overlooked by many garages, but lighting is everything when making car repairs. You need strong overhead lights to see your work from every angle. Flickering and wobbly lighting can make car repairs inefficient and dangerous, while ceiling and front-wall fluorescent illumination offers a sharp view even during the darkest nights.
If you don’t have the budget for new light installations, you can also use several high-beam portable work lights or a photographer’s floodlight on a tripod for late-night sessions. These mobile light sources aren’t as powerful as ceiling fixtures but allow you to adjust the lighting angles.
A lift is the go-to way for working on a car’s underside, so it’s an absolute must-have for an auto enthusiast’s garage remodel. A hydraulic floor jack with a several-ton capacity will do the job, allowing you to access previously inaccessible parts of your vehicle’s undercarriage, including the chassis, muffler, brake lines and front and rear axle.
Car lift jacks can be stored easily and don’t take up too much space. A portable two-post lift is also worth considering if you have the budget and high ceilings.
Prioritize Flooring With Car Enthusiasts in Mind
Working on a car is usually a dirty job, with dripping oil and greasy hands often making the floor messy and slippery. Suffice it to say, a normal garage floor would be filthy after a few sessions. Specialized flooring systems can help to avoid cracks and epoxy issues. If you’d rather do it on your own, apply a two-part epoxy coating to give the floors a good grip resistant to dirt, grease and grime. One downside of using epoxy is it has difficulty sticking to the floor when exposed to moisture and humidity. You have to keep your garage dry and well-ventilated. Controlling the climate is a crucial part of vehicle storage anyway, so your garage should already have an epoxy-friendly environment
Get a Quality Air Compressor
Most garages don’t have the space for bulky battery-powered tools, so investing in an air compressor instead is a logical alternative. In addition to keeping your tires full, it can power all handheld tools like drills, wrenches and spray guns. You can even mount an air compressor hose on the ceiling for free-flowing functionality.
Just be sure to be courteous about which time of day you use it, as air compressors can be quite noisy. Portable air compressors are also an option for your garage remodel.
Soundproof the Garage
Air compressors aren’t the only sources of loud noise in a car enthusiast’s garage. If you’re always working on upgrades and repairs, you’re going to make a lot of commotion. Power tools, paint sprayers, welding, flame-cutting, running engines and many other sources contribute to dangerously high noise levels in automotive garages.
Nobody wants to be an annoying neighbor, so you need to soundproof your garage as best you can to contain the loud noises. The simplest thing to do is install acoustic foam wall panels to absorb the sounds from your projects. These panels can also attach to the inside of your garage door. Check out this video tutorial for an easy DIY installation.
Save Space With Wall Mounts
For a place to put all your car-related tools, use a wall mount instead of drawers and shelves to maximize space. In addition to saving space, the wall mount will make finding tools a lot quicker since they’ll all be laid out in front of you. For a budget alternative, mount a pegboard for the same effect by adding one-by-two strips.
Wall mounts are more than practical — they’re also stylish. Your garage remodel should fully display your most essential resources and showcase your automotive knowledge. Almost every commercial garage you enter has a massive wall mount for tools. This design feature demonstrates professionalism and makes jobs easier.
Keep Clean With a Shop Vacuum
Car work will undoubtedly result in some messes. Since a standard household vacuum isn’t equipped for handling certain parts and materials, use a wet-or-dry shop vacuum instead. It provides an easy way to clean up whatever trash ends up on the floor without having to lug your household vacuum around the garage and risk breaking it. Keeping your garage clean will help you maintain optimal walking and storage space. These factors are extremely important for your garage remodel. An organized garage improves productivity, keeps you on schedule for essential repairs and prevents injuries. Automotive technicians are exposed to many hazards daily, so you need to keep a tidy shop.
Investing in These Garage Upgrade Ideas
With these garage upgrade ideas, anyone can transform a decently sized garage into one that resembles a top-notch auto shop. Your car will certainly thank you for constructing a perfect garage in its honor.