Make the most of your attached or detached garage by converting unused space into functional areas. Depending on your interests or needs, the extra roominess in your garage can be used for various purposes, but you will have to make some adjustments first. Here are suggestions for expanding garage usage to increase available space on your property.
Add a Fan
You might already have a window fan running to cool the air when you are working outdoors on a hot day.
But you may want to invest in an overhead fan or a building fan that circulates the air to make the workspace more comfortable. A stand-alone fan will help, but a larger-scale fan can work to remove fumes, smoke, and excessive heat if needed.
Install a Garage Heater
If you plan to spend a fair amount of time in the garage, consider getting a garage heater for the cold months. An efficient heater won’t cost much and could make a difference in the amount of time you spend in the garage.
It can also serve as a safety device to prevent hypothermia or frostnip when working in below-zero temperatures.
Mount Safety Alarms
Hang a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide alarm to warn you of early or unseen dangers.
Getting preoccupied with a project or crawling under a vehicle may keep you from noticing smoke in the air. Follow manufacturers’ guidelines to mount these units as indicated. Make sure they cover the amount of space that is included in your garage area.
Build a Workbench
People who like woodworking as a hobby typically need a garage workbench with tools and a place to manage the wood pieces.
Pottery, sculpting, or painting accent décor for your home can all be done in the garage on a handy workbench. Add a place for tools that are frequently used as well as hobby or work products and your cleanup supplies.
You may want a pegboard for hanging hand tools, also.
Connect a Toilet and Shower
If you plan on spending hours at a time in your garage, you could hook up a toilet in a small, partitioned corner.
It would not take much to connect the toilet and possibly a shower for times when you get grubby doing construction projects or heavy-duty lawn work. Keep a towel and some tissue handy for those amenities.
Include Pet Cages
Families with pets sometimes need to confine them away from the house when parties are planned or guests come to stay.
A cozy pen or dog house in the garage can be a perfect guesthouse for your pet. Cages for rabbits or chickens, if raises for pets or food, can be arranged in any convenient spot or attached to the garage’s rear exterior.
Pet training areas or birthing nests are useful for special, if limited, occasions in your pet’s life.
Store Outdoor Supplies
Gas cans, toolboxes, furnace filters, and pet food can be kept in the garage where they will not get in anyone’s way and yet remain readily accessible.
Garden tools and lawn products along with seasonal outdoor decorations can be stacked along the sides of the garage or in the back. Landscape repair products can be kept on hand when needed.
Organize the Loft
If the loft area at the top inside of your garage is open, use it for storage.
You might want to enclose a closet or perhaps a room in that space. Many people have converted over-the-garage space to a home office, a kids’ play area, or a creative studio for art or yoga. Loft space that is finished or unfinished will increase your storage space or work area.
Use Storage Shelves
Buy or make shelving for your garage where you can keep boxes of old files, the kids’ toys they have outgrown, and miscellaneous household items that you seldom use.
You can also place boxes of items in this area that you plan to donate to charity. With limited storage space in the house, you can protectively box and label all kinds of household goods that are not often used, including seasonal sports gear.
Lock Up Toxic Chemicals
Weedkiller, drain cleaners, paint remover, and other chemical products that can be harmful if misused or ingested by pets or children can be safely locked up in the garage.
Box or crate these items with secure lids to keep them away from the rest of the family and any pets that want to snoop into them.
Keep Extra Appliances
Sometimes a friend or relative will give you an appliance they no longer need or want, like an extra microwave oven or a mini-fridge.
Set them in the garage until you are ready to use them. Moving heavy things to the basement or attic can be difficult, but getting large or heavy appliances in and out of the garage is usually manageable.
Collect Recyclable Materials
Use your workbench or shelves to collect containers of aluminum cans, glass, rubber, newspaper, or other products that can be recycled.
When you have enough for a load, you can easily load them into your vehicle for a quick run to the recycle company.
Create a Loading Area
Arrange a section of the garage for loading or unloading groceries and items you bring home or plan to take elsewhere.
Thrift store donations, yard sale items, and back-to-college wares can wait in a certain area of the garage for loading and transport.
Freeze Surplus Food
Plug in a deep freezer for your hunter’s or fisherman’s catch. Buy meats or produce on sale and keep them in the freezer in your garage. Extra meals cooked indoors can be preserved in the deep freeze for future needs.
Label Extra Car Parts
People who maintain their vehicles instead of taking them to the shop for minor repairs often buy car parts on sale. They keep the extras on hand until their car needs a new headlight or a battery.
These items will vary, but those who like to tinker under the hood often have a surprising number of extra car parts in the garage.
Refurbishing your garage to expand your usable home space is a good investment of your time and money. You likely have many good uses for that area, so start planning now the best way to make every square foot of space count.