8 Ways to Upgrade Your Garage Over The Weekend
UuuuuuuuAH? Aaaaaaarooh? Ooooooogh! That’s right, feel free to let your best Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor grunt out. (If you don’t understand that reference, hop in a time machine, head back to the early nineties and enjoy the Al Borland show.) It’s time to talk about garage upgrades. You know, the place where you park your cars, pile up old boxes and store the fake Christmas tree.
Your garage can be much more than that though. It can be a respite from screaming kids, ideal for “Serenity Now” chanting. It can be where you work on that clunker you purchased as a fun fix-it-up project, soon to be road-ready in 2023. It can be a place to hang out with nosy neighbors that want to borrow a hammer, and your ladder, and your drill, and everything else you own.
Here our our favorite garage upgrades that can be knocked out in a weekend:
1. Insulate your Garage Door
Insulation can swing the temperature in your garage as much as 30 degrees cooler in the summer and roughly the same the other way in the winter. There are a ton of DIY kits that will allow you to apply insulation to the majority of the surface of your garage door interior. This is particularly ideal if you have an appliance running out in the garage, like a large freezer for storage or a second refrigerator for drinks.
If you are looking for relatively lightweight roll-on insulation, check Amazon for some solid deals. If you are looking for more rigid, moisture resistant insulation, Home Depot sells polystyrene board kits starting around $60. Keep in mind that additional weight will be added to your garage door, thus it may be worthwhile to make sure your garage door opener can handle the additional weight.
2. Make Hauling Stuff into the House Easier
One of my favorite (and least expensive) garage upgrades was something I didn’t know I wanted until I used it; a mounted, flip-down doorstop. Attached on the door leading into the house from the garage, this is ideal for bringing in groceries every week or anything else that’s in the garage. I can flip the doorstop down with my foot and prop the door open while attempting to bring in 20 bags of groceries inside at once (like a crazy person).
In addition to that, consider converting to a horizontal, handle style doorknob as well. It makes it simple to push down to open the door. You don’t have to free up any of your hands to actually twist a knob, again ideal for hauling in bags.
3. Smarten up your Garage Door
Connecting your garage door to your home’s wireless network can be very helpful, especially if you have kids that leave the door open all the time. You will receive smartphone notifications when the door is open as well as the ability to open / close it remotely. You can also share access with people that need to get into your home, ideal if you don’t have additional remotes.
There are a number of options to accomplish this. If you are purchasing a new garage door opener, Chamberlain’s MyQ system is relatively simply to use. If you are purchasing an after-marketing upgrade for an existing opener, check out GoGoGate as well as Garageio Blackbox. The former is outfitted with 1 sensor for a single door and the latter has up to three sensors for mulitple doors.
4. Upgrade Your Parking Zones
While hanging a tennis ball from the ceiling is a tried & true method for avoiding parking snafus, there are a few more subtle options to make sure your teenager doesn’t drive through the wall. One of the most popular is the Accupark strip, a simple yellow, plastic parking strip that lets the driver know to stop. This can be particularly useful for anyone that needs to fit a large vehicle in a small garage. You can also upgrade to a parking mat, if you prefer something you can move around.
Another popular option for a parking zone upgrade is adding a wall guard in the area where you open your car door. The super cheap option is to cut a foam pool noodle in half and screw it to the wall. However, if you want a more professional option that may help your home’s resell value, a simple wall guard will run you about $10 on Amazon.
5. Give the Garage Floor a New Look
There are a number of options for upgrading your garage floor. You can add a floor cover, which sticks to the garage floor (retails around $130) You can use an epoxy shield paint, like the one Rust-Oleum makes (retails around $90). You can install garage floor tiles, an expensive option that usually runs a minimum of $1,000 for a standard two-car garage. More premium tiles can be found at Racedeck, starting at $4 per square foot (roughly $2,000 for a standard 2-car garage).
If you do decide to upgrade the floors, consider adding a garage door threshold seal to seal off any potential gaps as well as keep water out of the garage during a heavy rain. Also, if you have a vehicle that consistently leaks oil, consider picking up an oil leak mat to soak up and access oil and protect that floor.
6. Make Working in the Garage More Comfortable
If you like tinkering on projects in the garage, there are a few easy ways to add some comfort while you are hammering away. One simple addition is adding an anti-fatigue mat in front of your workbench. Typically used in any industry where workers on on their feet all day, a commercial-grade, anti-fatigue mat will significantly reduce heel pain and leg fatigue. (These mats are also great in the kitchen or at a standing desk)
If you are trying to keep cool, considering installing a wall-mount fan as well as a motion sensor to flip the power to the fan on and off when you enter the garage. And, of course, there are any number of portable garage heaters for anyone working in the garage during the cold, winter months.
7. Go Nuts with Storage / Organization
I’ve never met someone that’s said “My garage has too much storage.” There are a MASSIVE number of creative, DIY storage solutions for garages. Here’s a short list of some of our favorite collections of potential projects:
- 35+ DIY Garage Storage Ideas To Help You Reinvent Your Garage On A Budget
- 38 Borderline Genius Ways To Organize Your Garage
- 50 Genius DIY Garage Storage and Organization Project Ideas
You really can’t go wrong with the basics either. Get some pegboard & hooks to hang up those tools. Get some wire, wall-mount shelving to get boxes off the floor. Buy a freestanding shelving unit for all your paint / cans / car wax. Use plastic bins for all the odds and ends that don’t fit anywhere else. Utilize ceiling space to hang bikes or other large items.
8. Move the Mudroom into the Garage
Ideal for anyone with kids, transitioning your mudroom to the garage will keep the mess in an area that’s supposed to get dirty. Ideally positioned near the entrance into the house, you will need hooks to hand coats and backpacks as well as storage bins for shoes, gloves, hats and anything else your kids are wearing.
This type of area can also double as storage for sports equipment, ideal if the kids are into various sports and need to keep track of uniforms as well as equipment. If you really want to get fancy, you could also consider building a bench area for sitting; ideal for taking off / putting on winter clothing.