If you’re a homeowner with a garage, it makes sense to treat the space as more than a dumping ground for sports equipment and seasonal items. Whether attached to your home or a few steps from the front door, make the most out of this valuable square footage,
Most residential garages have a ceiling height of about three metres, which means owners can take advantage of vertical space to free up floor area. Many retailers sell shelving units that can be hung from the ceiling or attached to a wall to accommodate boxes or stackable bins. Neatly sorted, open shelves can look just as nice as expensive cabinets, without the need for spaceconsuming doors. Make sure to securely mount any shelving to wall studs or ceiling joists.
Rack it up
Proper storage of seasonal tires can help free up floor space. Investing in vertical racks made for tires has another advantage: extending the life of these expensive and essential safety items. Proper storage of tires can prevent flats, sidewall damage and other inadvertent-butharmful wear. (It can also assist the CAA technician when they arrive at your driveway to swap your vehicle’s all-season tires or winter tires.)
Wall of wonder
Grooved wall panels with horizontal slots can help in hanging shelves or hooks to organize such awkwardly sized items as shovels and rakes. Add rubber-coated hanging pegs to store tools, ladders and bicycles, too.
Park your items
Many homeowners use their garage to house the seasonal tag team of lawn care and snow removal tools. To make sure this gear doesn’t block you from going in and out, try parking them along the edge of your garage, with their square or flat features toward the wall.
Racks on the ceiling are another way to manage space. But if you’re planning to hang items from the ceiling, consider investing in a side- or wall-mounted garage door opener. While clearance is still needed for the door and its track system, a side- or wall-mount opener will free up more overhead space for things like bikes and seasonal items in bins or boxes.
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A garage is not just a garage
If you have no plans to park your vehicle in the space, consider converting this area into a functional room. Here are four things to consider.
Open concept space
Make use of the open nature of a garage. It’s an ideal spot for a home office, gym or theatre— features that could add valuable space to your residence.
Control the temp
Hire a contractor to properly insulate the walls and ceilings, as some garages may have been built to different standards or regulations than the rest of your home. This will help keep the space at the proper temperature.
A contractor can arrange for the proper building permits and ensure that safety requirements are met. When in doubt, ask for help. New lights and floors Consider upgrading your flooring and don’t forget to update the lighting.
Make a plan
To save time and frustration, jot down your garage measurements and sketch out a plan of where items can be placed. Keep in mind the items you will access regularly as opposed to the seasonal items. Use a pen and paper, or any of the numerous free apps, such as Magicplan and Houzz, and websites like RoomSketcher, designed for this task.