More than just a garage

More than just a garage

Home improvement

More than just a garage

Not too long ago, a garage meant a room where vehicles were parked and nothing more. A dark, dingy, smelly unit of the house that saw light only when its huge shutters were rolled up. Not anymore. For, we are hard up for space and take pride in utilising every inch of space available intelligently.

Today, garages are multifunctional and are considered to be ideal places for home offices, art studios, association meetings, summer classes and, last but not the least, day care centres!

All these, apart from its regular function of housing cars, motorbikes, bicycles, tools, tyres and old knick knacks we’ve accumulated over the years. The pressure on the garage to be efficient in its multifunctional roles is indeed high!

However, careful planning and some ‘space common sense’ can definitely work wonders in transforming the ‘hole in the wall’ garage into a workable place. First of all, to ensure that the garage is able to accommodate a whole lot of elements, right from vehicles to gardening equipment and mechanical tools, go in for shelves that are either built-in or pre-fabricated. These shelves not only save space but also keep the various things in the garage in an organised manner. 

Making optimum use of wall space, shelves can be made to run from ceiling to floor, so that the storage space is that much more.

Space savers

A hot trend in the market now is to go in for cabinets on wheels that can be wheeled to the area of work.

Such cabinets are not only practical but save on time too, as tools and equipment are readily available while at work.

Apart from shelf units, great space savers are wall mounts that not only add space to cabinetry but also provide quality addition to the storage space in the garage.
These wall mounts, which are more like pegs in the walls, are simply amazing in their efficiency to hold anything from gardening tools and sports equipment to bicycles.
Fixed vertically along the wall, they are chosen for their high adaptability and weight bearing properties.

The best part of these storage accessories is that they can handle anything that clutters the garage floor. The choice of storage accessories to optimise organising efforts is also mindboggling.

However, while deciding on space saving accessories for garages, it is advisable to keep your specific needs in mind to maximise space utility.

Another popular storage option is to have an attic constructed in the garage to hold certain things that we don’t use every now and then like spare tyres and electrical tools.

A sturdy ladder in place will also come in handy.

However, care should be taken to place the ladder in the garage in such a way that it doesn’t hamper movement. It is best to lean it against the wall horizontally at floor level.

For a garage to be liveable, it is imperative that the garage is airy and well-ventilated. 

Hence, care should be taken to upgrade the windows so that natural light and air flows in effortlessly. Skylights also serve the purpose.

Big, airy windows also keep the garage free from stench of any kind as it is one place in the house that holds a lot of stuff from chemicals and paints to old toys and vehicles.

They are also very useful when we decide to convert our garage into our home office.

When it comes to treating garages as extensions of our living space, the role of garage flooring cannot be ignored.

To lend that much-needed homey feel to our garage, it is necessary to give the garage flooring a serious thought. While hard concrete floors are passé, it is best to go in for floor solutions that are resistant to oil and petroleum products.

Of late, the market is flooded with a horde of garage flooring options that not only beautify and enhance the appearance of the garage but eliminate the puddles and accumulation of dirt brought in from the outdoors and are resistant to oil, acids and common road grime. While looks do matter, enough thought should be lent to the cleaning aspect of the garage floor too.

It is best to opt for flooring that is simple to clean.

Never, ever, think of carpeting the garage floor for the simple reason that carpets cannot be cleaned often.

With some careful planning and slight modifications, we can actually make the garages in our houses interesting places to spend our free time in.

And, of course, make wonderful addition to the storage space in our homes.

Tips for a clean garage

*First of all, get rid of unwanted items. The thumb rule in getting rid of unwanted materials is - if we haven’t used an item in the last one year, in all probability, we’ll never use it for the rest of our lives.

*Go in for storage units that suit your needs.

*Organise stuff into categories based on their uses.

*Label the shelves for easy identification.

*Store chemicals, paints and similar hazardous stuff in the uppermost shelves to keep them away from children.

*Go in for flooring that can be easily cleaned with water and a mild detergent.