6 Excellent Tips for Car-lovers to Create a Car-friendly Garage
Revamping the garage may be the last item on the to-do list of a household, but not for car-lovers. Those motorists who are passionate for their cars always dream of building a garage that is an ideal for their car to live. If you are one of such motorists, you don’t need to adjust with unbearable heat, dim bulbs and open 2-by-4 studs. Consider giving your car a better place to spend its time and yourself an automotive playground worth hanging out in.
If planned thoughtfully, garage revamp can be an exciting project where you can first bring functional improvements and also make it a place that will be a mirror of your personality. For example, research about stylish compartments for storing your tools, flooring materials with bold colors and lighting that can make the place truly a part of your home. In that context, Ash Classic can be a great place to start with where you can get inspiration and ideas for cars and garages.
Plus, here are a few useful tips on having a dream garage, either from scratch or revamping your existing one.
1. What do You Really Want?
Before starting to plan your garage revamp, think about what exactly you want from your garage. Are you an owner of a vintage car such as 1966 Lamborghini Miura or a topnotch modern car like Chevrolet Impala and want to showcase it? In that case, you need to give more attention to lighting and décor.
If you would like to undertake more repair and maintenance projects, think if the projects will be big or small. In case of minor projects you don’t need to store a lot of expensive and bulky tools, whereas for major projects, such a ground-up restoration of an Alfa Romeo Spider, you’ll need some serious space and power, and you’ll also have to consider climatic changes.
2. Restoring Garage Walls
You may need to discard most of the current sheetrock, if any, in order to be able to install proper electrical wiring that can fulfill your power requirements.
A standard garage is electrically poor. If your garage is so, you may need to upgrade the electrical setup to install a proper circuit-breaker panel for many circuits so as to deal with heavy electrical usage.
You may even install a 220-volt circuit to power up an arc welder or air compressor. In any case, you will need several 110-volt receptacles close to the floor as well as at bench height. And if you haven’t heard a warning or don’t believe in it, electrical projects are typically not a do-it-yourself stuff. So, it’s better to hire a professional.
Open walls are also good for making new plumbing easier. If you haven’t thought it before, adding a nice washbasin is a good idea to deal with anything that may enter through the garage door.
Another consideration is insulation which is vital for any spot that typically receives frost.
Having these fundamentals in place, a course of sheetrock will put it all together.
Since garage lighting is often a modest affair, you can consider upgrading to low-priced overhead fluorescent fittings which are simply a must. If you will be spending time at a workbench, consider mounting task lights on the ceiling or wall that will enlighten your work area.
3. Upgrading the Floor
Garage floors are perhaps the second dirtiest surfaces in the world (first are gas-station bathrooms). While considering upgrading your garage floor, sweep up dust, scrap and loose nuts and evaluate the situation.
First investigate the drainage. Is the floor almost always damp or wet? Solutions range from easy (mending the cracks) to complex (breaking the concrete and installing a drain).
The good news is that you can get a multitude of options if you want to make your floor look good. A concrete floor with oil stains on it should be scrubbed, probably with a mildly acidic cleansing solution, which you can get at any hardware store. After creating a clean pallet, consider buying a paint designed for garage floors. You can even get expensive and hardy options like an industrial epoxy finish; however, you will need to prepare your floor extensively for its application.
Several car owners are choosing composite products or rubber overlays to cover their garage floors. For example, you can get big mats and rolled sheets of a range of widths that can be cut to fit your space. These products can be easily cleaned and are often resistant to antifreeze, petrochemicals and household cleansers. You can get them in a range of colors.
Another great alternative is to install brightly-colored, interlocking tiles wall to wall. You can create a checkerboard design with tiles or go for simpler designs if you want. Tiles come in various sizes, the minimum being 12-by-12 inches.
4. Playing with Doors and Windows
Modern-day garage doors are good at protecting from elements. A range of them is available from customized wooden doors created to harmonize with the exterior of the main house to conventional steel doors that should be double-walled and insulated. And when it comes to harmonizing, today there are even options available with which you can make your garage door look just like another exterior wall of your house.
Considering it with a more functional viewpoint, the gap between a regular garage door and its frame is often pretty wide and needs weather stripping. In areas with extreme marine conditions or high humidity which are both bad for metal surfaces, this is especially important.
Once choosing and installing the right garage door, it’s also important to maintain it. If you pay careful attention to garage door maintenance, you will get the best returns on your investment.
Windows are typically eliminated while designing garages or they are considered as a last option. But the truth is that they are vital when you are going to work in your garage, as they will offer light as well as fresh air. A good space-saving option is narrow awning windows set five or six feet above the floor. They offer several advantages like preserving precious wall space for work areas and cabinets. Most garage doors today are available with windows which are a nice way to allow additional light and air in.
More than aesthetics of your garage, safety should be your top priority during the revamping project or construction of a new garage. After all, it will be a space full of inflammable stuff and electric tools.
While considering about safety of the garage, a sprinkler, fire extinguishers and an alarm should be your first priorities. Safety from carbon monoxide should also be given prime importance. If your garage is connected to main house, make sure the door opening into the home is fire-rated and solid-core. Making arrangements for garage’s safety is an important point of consideration in homeowner’s insurance too. So, you should pay keen attention to this matter.
Even if you be careful about buying minimum tools, you will at least need socket sets, hacksaws and torque wrenches. So, where will you store them? Building a garage to your specifications is a great solution. If you are looking for an industrial look, you can go for cabinets and storage chests in bright colors. Also some companies have introduced new lines of wall-storage solutions like compartments, floor-standing units and workbenches. They have an industrial metal look for your home garage. There are also heavy-duty storage solutions available. You can even store an electrical generator, electric arc welder, rolling floor jack, tire changer, floor-mounted drill press, and many other tools such as multiple tool boxes and grinders. All in all, there are only a few limitations on how many tools you can store.
You can even choose to have four-post lifts which are meant to favor automotive service and also vertical storage for two cars. You just have to drive a car on the lift, jack it high enough and then drive the second car beneath the upper one. Some lifts can even accommodate standard SUVs and pickups.
You will need cold storage as well. A controlled temperature ensures long life of batteries. You can even store liquid refreshments in your garage. One option is to shift your old fridge in the garage. But there are specially designed refrigerators available too for spaces that are not temperature-controlled. Their exterior features graphite-gray metal plate and they are equipped with mechanical guts designed to survive extreme weather conditions.
But if you plan to go the more economical way of moving your old refrigerator to the garage, you can transform its look into a whole new one. You can buy a fridge conversion kit that can convert your old ice box to give it a look of a large tool chest or a very big gas pump, finished with face plate, hose, nozzle and logos.
Thus, with this extensive range of options available, you don’t need to mark your automotive love with two-ton car jacks, waxes and home entertainment systems in the car. Upgrade your garage to enjoy your hobby without getting sweaty and dirty! Happy car and garage to you!