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For most of us, our garage serves as a catch-all for everything that won’t fit well in the rest of the house. This room, which we should be using for car storage and maintenance, is full to the brim with everything from old clothes to rusty tools and busted appliances. Well, no longer. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to help you restore your garage to its former glory and turn it into the perfect place to store or work on your car.
1. Clean and Organize
The first thing you need to do is make room for your vehicle. This step starts by sorting everything you keep in your garage. Set up four piles — keep, store, sell and junk. Keep is for things you frequently use that happen to live in the garage. Store is for stuff like holiday decorations you only use occasionally, but you don’t want to get rid of. Sell is for things that are still in good shape that you don’t need anymore. Junk is for everything else — and that includes those busted appliances you swore you were going to fix.
Once you’ve gotten rid of the last two piles and stored your seasonal stuff, it’s time to start organizing. Shelves, storage containers, a pegboard with hooks for the tools you use a lot and even overhead storage can all help you keep everything easily accessible while also keeping your floor clear.
Once you can finally see the floor, you need to inspect it before you park your cars on it. If your house is old, it’s natural to see the occasional crack in the concrete slab, but if it’s in bad shape, your next step will be to resurface the slab, or in extreme cases, pull it up and pour a new one.
Resurfacing your concrete floor is a task you can often do yourself. If you need to replace the slab, make sure you call a professional.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How old is my garage door?
- Does it open and close smoothly?
- Does the door protect my car from the elements?
An old garage door is prone to problems, and won’t protect your car from heat during summer months or cold in the winter. If you’re still using the door that came with your home, it’s time for an upgrade. Choose your material — wood, steel, fiberglass, aluminum or vinyl — and your design. Do you want a classic roll-up door like you see on most houses, or do you want something a little more unique, like double barn doors that open outward? If you live somewhere that trends toward extreme temperatures, you may also want to consider opting for an insulated garage door.
4. Keep It Secure
Your garage is often your last line of defense, protecting your belongings and the rest of your home from burglars. Make sure your garage door is secure before you park your car in there. One way to do this is with a smart garage door opener. That way, if you drive off to work and forget to shut the garage door, you can use an app on your smartphone and close the door remotely. These devices will also send you an alert when the door opens, making them a perfect addition for any home security system.
If you’ve been using your garage as a storage shed all these years, 2019 is your year to finally restore this room to its former glory and purpose. Clean out all your junk and give yourself somewhere to maintain your car other than the driveway.