Ask Away Blog: Should You Overhaul Your Garage Interior? Yes, Of Course You Should!

Should You Overhaul Your Garage Interior? Yes, Of Course You Should!

Friday, July 31, 2020

 

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When architects designed homes in the past, they almost always included a garage. People wanted a place where they could store their vehicles out of sight and out of mind. For many, it was a necessity. You simply couldn’t store older cars outside long-term like you can their modern equivalents. They were total rust buckets and would start falling apart after a couple of months.

Today, keeping a vehicle indoors is no longer necessary. However, it is something that many people still like to do, especially if they want to keep it in excellent condition for years on end.

The garage, though, is a somewhat neglected space. It is the only room in the house that remains purely functional to this day. For goodness sake: people are overhauling their utility rooms. Garages, though, remain cathedrals of blank breezeblocks and metal tool cabinets. It’s a little strange when you think about it.

For instance, there’s no fundamental reason why your garage can’t just be another room in your home, with the car as the centerpiece. Heck, you don’t even need to keep your vehicles in the garage at all if you don’t want to. You can use it for entirely different purposes.

So the answer to the question posed in the title is “yes,” you should absolutely overhaul your garage. It provides extra space in your property and allows you to ogle your vehicle in pleasant surroundings.

Overhauling a garage, though, isn’t easy. You’d like to have something that looks neat and attractive, but interior designers don’t usually provide templates for the room. It’s hard, therefore, to know where to start.

Ideally, you want something that looks great but is also functional. After all, the garage is a working room, just like the kitchen. Unless you’re a very eccentric person, you won’t be adding chandeliers or drapes.

Your best bet is to think of the garage in the same way as you might a basement. The room is always going to be a little rough and ready. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t combine function with form. Making the room attractive and practical is an achievable goal.

So what do you need to consider? Take a look at the following ideas.

Create An Area, Besides Your Vehicle

If you have a double garage and you want to turn it into somewhere besides a place to store your vehicles, you may have to limit yourself to a single car. Then, you’ll need to focus on the other half of the space and turn it into a functional, attractive room. Once you have a clear space, you can work with it however you like, creating something akin to a viewing gallery. This area will allow you to view your vehicle, work on it, and get in and out of it with relative ease.

Cover The Breezeblock Walls

Garages tend to look terrible because of their bare walls, not the stuff inside them. Therefore, you may want to think carefully about covering them up in a render of one kind or another. Painted plaster will do the job, but it might crumble if your family uses the garage for work.

Cladding might be a better solution in this case. You simply screw it to the wall in sheets, and it’ll cover up insight walls for years. Most cladding is made of plastic derivatives, so it’ll last a long time. You often see it in modern bathrooms. It is also attractive, meaning that you can use it to radically improve the way that your garage looks.

You also don’t have to worry about it scuffing or getting splattered. Most damage and stains are reversible. Vendors will often provide you with cleaning instructions you can use to make it look good as new.

Prepare To Contend With The Elements

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If you want to transform your garage from a cold, dank room into somewhere you actually want to spend a Sunday afternoon, you need to think carefully about the basic structural features.

For instance, a lot of garages are prone to water infiltration from under the door. During heavy rainstorms, it seeps in underneath the front of the garage, creating a puddle on the floor - not what you want.

You can, however, install a garage strip drain to stop this in its tracks. Instead of pouring it, water collects in a small gulley. It then travels off into your regular drainage system.

Garages can also be a little cold if you have a single wall (instead of the cavity variety). Heat quickly passes out of the room, making it practically unusable in winter. Fortunately, you can get around this problem by installing a layer of insulation behind some plasterboard. Doing this will encourage heat to stay in the room - ideal if you’re working on a project.

Turn Your Garage Into A Mud Room

Garage doors are great if you want to store a vehicle inside. But they’re unsightly and a waste of time if you’d like the room to serve as a place where people wipe their shoes after a long, muddy walk.

Fortunately, you can turn your garage into a mudroom pretty quickly. You just whip out the conventional garage door and replace it with a window and a new, regular side door. Suddenly, you have an extra room in your house to use as a mudroom, utility space, or just for storing furniture.

Add Skylights

Lack of lighting is one of the main reasons people don’t use their garages to the fullest extent possible. Garages should be airy spaces that feel open and welcoming. For most people, though, the only source of light is a single bulb hanging precariously from a wire in the middle of the room.

Skylights, however, provide you with a much-needed, novel solution to this little problem. Light floods in through the ceiling during the day, illuminating the space for better than any lighting setup ever could.

Skylights, however, are only possible if you have a single-story garage. Installing them can make a massive difference in how the room feels, encouraging you to get in there and actually use it!

Put Down Robust, But Attractive Flooring

You’re not going to be able to put down carpet or wood in your garage. It’s just not practical or robust enough. However, that doesn’t mean you have to leave it as bare concrete.

It might sound strange, but the best place to look is commercial flooring vendors. These guys provide all kinds of materials that professional workshops use to cover their floors. The top option is flooring that fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. It comes as a set and then slots into place, depending on your room's size and shape. You then stick it to a base layer of concrete to create something that looks surprisingly attractive.

Please note, this won’t look as beautiful as a kitchen floor, but it is undoubtedly an improvement for most garages. If you drop something on it and damage it, you simply take up the old piece of flooring and replace it with a new one. It’s much easier than you think.

Add Colors

Garages needn’t be dull, dingy places. Instead, they can be colorful and vibrant - more so than other rooms in your house. For some reason, functional spaces have artistic license to be bright, bold, and loud. If you want something that looks on point, you could go for bright orange - a color reminiscent of industry. You can also use deep blacks and reds - color combinations you’re not usually able to use in other parts of the home.

Colors are fun, and the choice you make for your garage should reflect how you plan to use it.

Add Stainless Steel Cabinets

The biggest challenge in any garage is making all the stuff you have in it look attractive. In a way, it’s like the problem you have in the kitchen. You need all your crockery and appliances - but you don’t want to look at them all day long.

Stainless steel cabinets, though, are a way to get around this problem. Not only do they look smart and functional, but they’re also excellent for keeping tools. When considering cabinets, pay special attention to the design. Many vendors now combine artistic elements with functionality, so there’s no need to go with something that looks bland.

You can also add stainless steel embellishments to other parts of the room for complementarity. Place sheets around the frames of your doors to make them last longer and look like they’re a cohesive part of the room.

Remember, a garage is always going to be a garage. It’ll never look as elegant as your dining room. But that’s not what you want anyway. Instead, you’re looking for a place that provides all the benefits of a utility space but offers a sense of style. It might look industrial - but that’s a good thing. It gives you the confidence to use the room for the purposes that the architect intended.



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