The garage is often a neglected, messy space. With a little organisation and a few handy projects, though, we can get much more use out of our garages and also modernise them. Here are our top 10 garage upgrade ideas.
Illustration by Tina Mailhot-Roberge.
10. Install a Ceiling Storage System
Make better use of your garage's space and get things off the floor with this DIY project. It costs about $US75 for all of the materials and is a great way to store seldom-used things like Christmas decorations.
9. Store Garden Tools and Other Supplies Smartly on the Wall
With just two boards and a saw you can make this simple tool rack for your wall. For smaller tools, there's always the trusty pegboard (and alternatives.) If you have a lot of tools, perhaps a hinged pegboard system is for you or this rolling pegboard caddy.
8. Make a Wall-Mounted, Folding Workbench
If your garage is tight on space but you still want to use it as your workspace, this DIY wall-mounted folding workbench not only stores your tools but also provides project space on an as-needed basis.
7. Upgrade Your Garage Workshop with Simple DIY Projects
You don't have to spend a fortune to improve your garage workshop. A sheet metal workbench cover, PVC drawer organisers and custom storage pieces could go a long way towards making your garage a nicer place to DIY. You can also build your own garage storage shelves for under $US50 or turn an old file cabinet into a garden tools storage unit.
6. Create an Entire Storage Wall System
Or perhaps go whole hog and turn all of your wall space into a storage system to hold everything from your tools to your garden hose and ladder. The best part of this project is you can customise it exactly for your storage needs.
5. Make Parking in the Garage Easier with Clever Uses
It only takes one experience knocking over a bike or banging the car door into the wall to do some damage. The versatile pool noodle can protect your car door from your wall. You can also make your own $US10 garage parking bumper so you'll never drive too far into the garage. Alternatively, hang a tennis ball from your garage ceiling so you'll always pull in to just the right spot.
4. Use Your Garage for More Than Just Storing Stuff
If you've got room in your garage and somewhere else to park the car, consider converting that space into more than just a storage space. The photo above shows the office half of a two-car garage. Offices set in garages can look surprisingly like a regular home office. If you don't need office space, perhaps you'd like to turn your garage into a home gym.
3. Monitor Your Garage Door's Opened or Closed Status
Forgetting to close the garage door can be dangerous, when thieves and animals are on the prowl. Make your own garage door indicator light so you can see with a glance from indoors if your garage door is open. You can also build an open garage alert system with an old RC car and controller or monitor your door's status with your phone and a sensor system.
2. Open Your Garage Door with Your Phone
When you do want your garage door open, your phone can be the remote. Siri and a Raspberry Pi make the magic happen for iPhone users, while a Bluetooth board and a free app do the job on Android. (The latter project also remotely starts your car with your phone!)
1. Organise Your Garage into Zones
You likely have multiple uses for your garage and a variety of things to store there. Divide that space into six distinct zones and it will be easier to find things and put them away faster. And maybe even have room in your garage for your car.
This story has been updated since its original publication.