Today's garages are so much more than places to park your car. They've become workshops, art studios, gardening sheds and storage areas for everything from camping equipment to ancient record collections. Some even remodel the garage to be an additional room to their home. When you talk to your professional, be clear about what your needs are for the space. Do you have a band that needs to rehearse here? Are you a woodworker or mechanic and you need your space to reflect that? Do you want to convert your garage or attic above the garage to a living space for guests or an additional room for your home? Garages certainly offer flexibility, but if you're building or renovating one, it pays to make decisions about possible uses. Clarity saves time, which saves money.
Garage Cabinetry and Shelving
Many people use their old kitchen cabinets in their garages after they remodel, and if you go that route, you may want to consider that kitchen cabinets might not have built-in locks. Locks are necessary for keeping dangerous workshop tools, chemicals, or other items away from kids. Of course, it's fairly easy to install a few locks on doors to solve this problem. You also want to make sure that your cabinetry cleans well and is grease and oil resistant. If you want to utilize old cabinets, your professional can help you prepare them for your garage. Continue Reading
Think about having not only cabinetry added to your remodel, but free-standing shelving for easy access for those items that aren't considered hazardous. There are limitless options for cabinetry and shelving that your professional can discuss with you - even modular items that can be hung from your ceiling to maximize space.
Because garages tend to be more about your use than about impressing the neighbors, function generally wins out over form. Consequently, even homeowners who might go high-end for their kitchen and bathroom cabinets will look at press board and cinder blocks for their garages.
Whether you want to refinish your concrete or add an easy to clean epoxy system, there are many options for your garage flooring needs. Again, knowing exactly what you want your garage used for will really help dictate the type of flooring you need. There are alternatives out there that are easy to clean with just a quick spray of the hose, which will keep your space looking clean and new. Applications can come in a tile format or can be painted over your existing flooring. Talk to your contractor and make sure you ask questions about the type that's right for you. Also, ask about warranties both in installation and in the wear of the product.
Converting a Garage
If you are thinking of converting your garage or attic above your garage to a living space, there are certain requirements it must meet. There are building code requirements, ventilation needs, safety concerns and more that need to be considered. Garages often carry different building and insulation standards than the rest of the home, so significant work may need to be done just to bring it up to code as a livable space.
Manual garage doors are those that you can just pull up with a handle. They are much lighter than automatic doors, so they are easier to install. However, the lightness of a manual door limits the type of door you can have. On the up side, they're cheap and easy to install and repair.
Automatic doors allow the installation of a heavy door but also necessitate the installation motor and cables. Automatic doors are much more common now because of their push-button convenience. They generally add value to your home. But they cost more, and the general rule applies here that the more moving parts you have, the more things can break. Don't expect your garage-door opener to last the life of your home.
The material you choose for your door wood, steel, composite or vinyl also will affect both the purchase price and the maintenance needed. Size and thickness also play a big part on the cost.