Specialty Spotlight: Garage Makeovers

by James Florence


Is your garage in need of a makeover? A garage storage and organizing specialist can help you achieve your goals. Photo: PremierGarage ©2021

Is your garage a mess? Has it become a ragtag catch-all for anything that doesn’t have a place? Don’t feel bad—this is a common scenario among homeowners. The problem with garages is they’re too often regarded as separate from rather than part of the house. When you shift to the latter perspective, you can start to appreciate your garage’s potential as a functional and even enjoyable area of your home.

If this sounds too labor-intensive or time-consuming, don’t worry—there are professionals whose sole focus is improving the functionality and aesthetics of residential garages. Whether you just want to improve organization or you’re looking to get a more specific use out of your garage, a garage storage and organizing specialist can help you achieve your goals.

Garage cabinets

A lot of residential garages have storage that’s outdated, impractical or simply inadequate. A garage storage and organizing specialist can amend this by installing custom-designed cabinets that increase storage capacity while improving functionality and organization. In addition, your new cabinets will bring a uniform, streamlined look to your garage interior. You can choose from a variety of options for your garage cabinets, including material, finish, style, layout and door/drawer hardware.

Nick Granato, owner of PremierGarage in Foster City, offers the following advice for garage cabinet design and installation:

Anticipate usage. Before installing your new cabinets, think ahead about how you’re going to use them. This will help you determine the ideal height, width and depth for accommodating items like sports equipment, garden tools, and holiday decorations.

Install above floor level. Raised garage storage cabinets offer a couple of practical benefits. First, since they’re above the floor, it’s harder for insects and rodents to get into them. Second, if your water heater and/or washing machine is located in the garage, raised cabinets will avoid water damage if a major leak occurs.

Get extra support. Since it’s common to store heavy items in the garage, consider opting for sturdy, 1-inch thick shelving in your cabinets. This will ensure there’s enough support for your heavy items and maintain your cabinets’ long-term durability.

Invest in performance-enhancing features. Even minor features can make a major difference in the functional performance of your cabinets. For example, soft-close hinges are a nice feature, especially if you have kids, because they prevent your cabinet doors from being slammed shut.

Garage storage accessories

While cabinets are the cornerstone of garage storage, they aren’t the only aspect. Here are some additional accessories that enhance garage storage:

  • Slatwall makes it easy to hang baskets, racks and hooks on your garage walls.
  • Overhead storage racks affixed to the ceiling add another dimension of storage capacity.
  • Adjustable wall racks provide greater flexibility for storing various items.
  • A built-in workbench provides both a designated project area and storage for tools and supplies.

Garage floor coating

Many residential garages have rough concrete floors that are unsightly, uncomfortable to walk on, and susceptible to stains from motor oil and other substances. A hybrid polymer floor coating can turn your garage floor into an attractive, comfortable surface area that’s easy to clean and maintain. Consider installing a chip floor instead of a solid coating—it’ll provide added protection and better slip resistant properties, and it’ll also help camouflage dirt and imperfections in the floor. Typically, a floor coating project takes three days to complete (two days of work and one day of curing), at which point your garage will be ready for full use.

Garage lighting

Since visibility is crucial to a garage’s functionality, lighting should be a focal point of your garage makeover. In addition to general overhead lighting, consider installing secondary lighting for specific tasks like crafting or car maintenance. Choose LEDs instead of traditional lightbulbs—they’ll provide ample illumination while minimizing power usage, which will save you money over the long term. To further enhance functionality, automate your lights to turn on when the garage door opens.

Garage door

While a garage makeover doesn’t always involve making changes to the door, it’s often a worthwhile addition to the project. For example, upgrading to a well-insulated door can make your garage interior more comfortable during warmer and cooler seasons. Additionally, garage door modifications can help accomplish key aspects of the makeover, like altering the door’s track to maximize storage. Talk to your contractor about whether you should consider replacing your garage door during your garage makeover.

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