If you cannot use your garage because of the clutter, give it a makeover with a combination of cabinets, slatwall and flooring. Your garage will feel like new. You may even be able to park your cars inside!
We South Floridians rarely use our garages to park our cars. Why would we? Our wonderful weather ensures the car will not be snowed in or the engine will not freeze. Some of our homes have gates and fences so that locking the car inside seems like overkill. But the main reason we do not park inside is that we just can’t! We have been using the garage for something else, mainly storing excess junk, and we couldn’t clear enough space for a car unless motivated by an incoming hurricane. So why not optimize storage and beautify our living space at the same time? Set up an integrated makeover of your garage that includes painting, flooring, cabinets and slatwall. In South Florida, garages often play the same role as basements in Northern and Midwestern states, serving as long-term storage, handy or office workspace, or family or entertainment rooms.
Function: Decide what you would like the room to be In making over your garage, start with a vision: do you want a playroom for your toddlers, a storage for extra stuff, a home office? Will you be parking cars at night or dedicating the space entirely to a new purpose?
Improvements: Air conditioning/Other work/Permits If you are going to make your garage into a living space, make sure to install A/C. Your entire project will be moot if the room is too hot. Add to your project any other construction that might be needed like putting up or tearing down a wall. Finally, make sure you can get all appropriate permits from the city before you begin construction.
Design: Decide on a style and color scheme When looking at the components of your future garage, make sure your flooring and your cabinets don’t clash in either style and color. Paint the walls of the garage before you begin flooring or cabinets in a color scheme that matches or complements (or in bright white, that always works!).
Flooring: Convenience vs. comfort There are two basic techniques for garage flooring:
Polishing, epoxy coating, micro-topping are all techniques that work directly on the surface of the concrete offering a wide variety of looks and decorative features. See this link for a comprehensive gallery of the different looks that can be obtained: http://perfectconcretefloors.com/project-gallery/
PVC Tiles. PVC interlocking tiles are a flexible and colorful solution to your garage flooring issues, particularly if you actually park your cars in the garage: tiles by Swisstrax allow for 70,000 pounds of rollover weight and are guaranteed 15 years, a longer shelf life than polished or coated floors, and they offer a variety of styles and colors for you to choose from. See Swisstrax gallery here.
Storage and workspace: Garage cabinets Professional designers like WALKIN Closets of Florida can custom design your garage space to fit your exact needs. Most companies offer a combination of tall, lower and upper cabinets, countertops, workbenches. Tall cabinets can be as deep as 24” and as wide as 48” allowing you to easily store voluminous items such as storage bins. Whether you want to add a workbench if you like working with tools, or a countertop to conveniently drop off groceries, there is a always a solution to your needs. Best of all, the design software not only helps maximize your space, it will help you visualize your final result!
Oversized storage: Slatwall Slatwall is both a great complement to cabinets and a fully practical solution in its own right. Cabinets will take care of most of your storage needs, but what about bicycles? Sports equipment? Brooms and mops? By building strips of slatwall, you can create a neat look that keeps your garage floor clear.
And there you are! Whether you chose to use your garage as a playroom or a home office, you now have a beautiful extra space AND you can finally keep that car in the garage.