January 11, 2019
Ultimate Garages: How to Begin The Ultimate Garage Makeover
What is the desired final result of your garage makeover?
Decide what this project should do for your garage. Some homeowners are just creating a more organized space. Others are creating spaces that highlight sport or antique vehicles, showcase special item collections or create gaming/party centers.
What garage upgrades will be necessary?
An honest assessment of the garage floor, walls, ceiling and lighting needs to take place. Some questions to ask:
- Is the lighting adequate and well placed for my desired usage?
- Do the walls need insulated, dry-walled and/or painted?
- Is the ceiling in need of some touch-ups?
- Is the ceiling high enough to assist with storage?
- Is the floor properly protected from attack from road salt, spills and stains?
What upgrades do I want to do myself?
With almost 10 years of assisting homeowners with garage makeovers, I strongly suggest working with a designer from companies like California Closets or Tailored Living to create the final solution. These designers are usually able to suggest all the other trades persons necessary to complete the tasks that fall outside their company's expertise.
In addition, these designers can create solutions that are truly customized to the size and layout of the garage, something that doesn't happen with DIY solutions from the big-box stores. The range of finishes and amenities will also be far more extensive.
Certainly changing light fixtures and painting can easily be completed by the homeowner. Just ensure you coordinate these DIY tasks with the other parties involved.
What order does the garage makeover process take?
Many steps in the process may be interchangeable for timing, but to reduce effort and allow for a smooth flow, there are some best practices. Regardless of whether you are doing some parts as DIY or leaving it all to professionals, I recommend following this overall approach:
- Get the lighting right first. Add or upgrade lighting fixtures and get the desired bulbs in place.
- Complete any other electrical or plumbing work that may be required.
- Complete all drywall and ceiling work. This includes all painting (but do not add trim yet).
- Replace or upgrade any wooden steps that go from the garage into the house.
- Replace or upgrade the garage doors.
- Get the garage floor coatings installed.
- Install the wall and/or ceiling storage and organization systems.
- Install any wall decorations.
Ensure that any drying times for the drywall, painting or garage floor finish are included into the timeline for this process. While our floor coatings dry very quickly (only 12-24 hours until ready for walk on traffic), many of the garage kits and garage floor paints require many days before you can truly use the garage floor again.
Get started on your Garage Makeover
If you need more help getting started on your garage makeover process, please contact us
A couple final notes:
- While most tackle these projects in the warmer months of the year, this is often not required and most projects can be completed anytime of the year.
- This process can be spread out over a period of time, so the budget impact can be applied over a longer stretch of time.
- Be very careful before enhancing the garage floor with a DIY kit. Many of these kits have very poor bond strength and will peel up under the vehicle tires.
7 people who love garage floor coatings: Are you 1 of them?
Epoxy garage floor coatings transform the garage from a dull, ugly room into a special space. It adds character. It adds flair. It adds value. And, there are certainly some specific people who benefit from this:
1) The Parent
2) The Car Enthusiast
3) The Home Handyman
4) The Hobbyist
5) The Real Estate Agent
6) The Retiree
7) The Super Organized
Is this you? Read on to see which group or groups you belong to…
#1 – The Parent: Tell them to “Go Play in the Garage!”
It’s raining, just pouring. The kids are getting edgy and the novelty of that video game is gone. Aaaggghhhh!!!!
You don't stress. With the clean finish of your new coating, you send them out to the garage to play ping pong, throw some corn-hole or setup the ultimate Lego city. You keep the house clear and they get to have some fun.
Even if they do get a little wild and spill the Kool-aid,it’s no big deal. Your floor is sealed and a few paper towels take care of the problem. No worrying about stains and carpet cleaning.
#2 – The Retiree: Come home to the garage you deserve
You’ve built that home of your dreams. You’ve made sure you can spend your golden years here with no more modifications. The only room that was forgotten during construction was the
garage. But now you have a durable, beautiful decorative chip floor with a traction additive in the clear coat.
#3 – The Car Enthusiast: Create your own showroom
A car show is an opportunity to show off your special automobile. Strangers from anywhere and everywhere get to check out your dream machine.
The car show doesn’t end when you pull that 4 wheeled beauty into your garage. Nope, it’s just coming home to rest awhile in its permanent showroom, its art gallery, its auto spa. Your garage isn’t just a box with 2 garage doors. It’s a complete showroom: faux-terrazzo coatings, vintage wall posters, LED lighting and every car cleaning product known to mankind.
#4 – The Home Handyman: Work in a safer environment
You don’t call a plumber. You don’t need Angie’s List for a furniture medic recommendation. You can fix this yourself. A quick trip to the garage for the right tools and you have this fixed up in no time at all.
After last year’s costly mishap caused by spilled wood varnish on your garage’s concrete floor, you fixed the problem with a permanent, professional garage finish. Never again fall in that spill when trying to minimize the BIG, BROWN varnish stain on your garage floor. You would prefer to never again spend a few hours on Saturday afternoon finding out you hurt your left rotator cuff.
Now, you go out and sand, stain, sand, clear coat and admire your handwork.
#5 – The Hobbyist: Create the special space for your passion
You were tired of sharing your model construction table with the laundry. Your planes took a lot of time to build and you don’t want to find another laundry basket sitting against your most recent creation.
So, you finally found the perfect use for that 3rd garage bay. The same bay which used to be the place where “STUFF” just built up is now your personal nirvana. The solid color, epoxy coatings created a bright, uniform surface that makes finding even the smallest dropped screw easy to find.
Your construction table, air compressor, air-brush and completed models have created your man-cave.
#6 – The Real Estate Agent: Close that sale in record time
“Let me show you how this 3 bedroom, two and a half bath, ‘just went on the market’ house could welcome you home. Let me just punch in the garage door code.” you tell this excited couple.
The look on their face as they see wall-to-wall coatings and finished steps leading into the mudroom says it all. You just sold this home on day 1 and the first time you showed it. “Welcome home, Peggy & John. Enjoy your new home.”
#7 – The Super Organized: Put the finishing touch on the garage
The cabinets took 2 hours to assemble and 1 more to mount on the back wall. The slat wall was a Saturday afternoon install and 2 hours to get all the hooks in just the right spot to hold everything. That ceiling mounted kayak lift was a little trickier, but you got it after a try or two.
The picture of perfect organization, right? You bet. Nothing (other than the car) sits on your shiny, just mopped, epoxy floor coatings. “Everything in its place and a place for everything.”
Oops! We forgot a few…
OK. So the reality is there are a lot more than 7 groups of people who love epoxy floor coatings in their garage. Just off the top of my head…
The workshop owner; the home seller; the home builder; the home mechanic; the new car owner; the car restorer…
The reality is that the right garage floor coating will transcend your garage from ugly, smelly catch-all to one of the gems that makes your house a home. There really is a reason why over 1,000 homeowners in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa have trusted us to transform their boring concrete floor. Are you ready to become one of those homeowners?