The first step toward creating a more livable garage is to establish zones: one for your car, one for your workshop, and one for your personal enjoyment. Use smart storage to hide tools and off-season items. Once you get organized, each space will naturally stand apart, but if you want a more formal division, get serious by adding partitions.
During the winter months, a simple space heater might do the trick if the square footage isn’t too big. If you need something more, a hanging gas-powered forced hot air unit is your best bet. For summer, an individual air conditioning unit or a freestanding evaporative cooling unit should suffice.
A comfortable garage is warm in the winter and cool in the summer—a sign of proper insulation. Most uninsulated garages have exposed beams, so you can roll your insulation in easily and cover it up with Sheetrock. If the space is already finished but uninsulated, you could bring in an installation company like RetroFoam, which sprays insulation behind the walls.
Whether you need a slop sink for your workshop or you want to add a wet bar to the garage, you can DIY a solution. Chances are your garage already has a water line running through it, so it’s easy to splice a line off it to create a utility or bar sink. If you can get only cold water—which is not uncommon in the garage—you can install an on-demand “tankless” unit under the sink.
Let’s face it, these days every room in the house is better with Wi-Fi—including the garage. If you're lucky, your home’s Wi-Fi signal is already strong enough to reach out to the garage. If not, you can install a signal booster like this one from Netgear.
If your garage floor is in decent shape, you can probably get away with simply painting it. Give it a good power-washing beforehand and fill any cracks with a mortar repair compound. If your floor is beyond repair, opt for gym-style rubber floor tiles. They hide a lot of sins, are comfortable to walk on, insulate for sound, and make cleaning up spills—whether beer or motor oil—a breeze!
Make It Work for You
If you’re utilizing your garage as a workshop, make sure you have a good-size workbench, large enough for all your projects. But if you also intend to use the space for relaxation, consider adding chairs, a coffee table, and of course, a big flat-screen TV.
If you're interested in more tips on garage organization, consider:
Guy Stuff: 10 Must-Haves for the Ultimate Garage
15 "Neat" Garage Storage Solutions
Make Room for the Car: 7 Easy DIY Garage Organizers
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!