In Part 1, we discussed how to get your garage in shape before you outfit it with all the storage and work spaces you’ve been longing for. Here’s what to do next:
After you’ve taken care of patching and painting the walls and ceiling, this is the best time to do something about that ugly garage floor. Giving it an epoxy coating is one of the most popular ways to revive an old, cracked concrete floor. In addition, the smooth surface will be much easier to sweep and keep clean. Two-part epoxy coating kits including cleaning mixtures are available in a variety of brands and colors at most hardware stores.
Follow these steps:
- Take everything out of the garage (it should be empty already if you followed Part 1).
- Sweep or blow out all dirt and debris.
- Use mineral spirits and a scrub brush to remove any oil or grease stains.
- Wipe up the mineral spirits and residue with paper towels.
- Mix the cleaner with water and apply with a long-handled scrub brush.
- Hose off the cleaner and allow the floor to dry thoroughly. Rent or hire a power washer for really thorough results.
- Fill any cracks in the slab with concrete repair caulk and allow to dry.
- Mix the two-part epoxy sealer together and stir thoroughly.
- Trim the edges with a brush, then roll the floor within the time specified.
- Allow the floor to cure according to the instructions before putting into use.
Now that the floor looks fabulous, think about how you want to store all that stuff you moved out of the garage and separated into piles. Shelves, cabinets, tool chests, pegboards, and workbenches are among the most common storage solutions. Whether you install them yourself or have it done professionally, get your stuff organized well before it goes back inside the garage. Here are a few things to consider:
- Use as much vertical and ceiling space as possible. This is especially important if you’re still planning to park your car in the garage. Make sure you’ll have room for your vehicle without driving into or onto anything.
- If you’re opting for open shelves, put your items in clear or plastic covered bins. Place large adhesive labels on the front of each bin and use a large-tip marker to identify its contents, such as “electronics,” “car parts,” “Christmas decorations,” etc. Place the bins with the least-used contents on top and the more frequently used items on the bottom for easy access.
- Place even more frequently used items, such as car wax, shop towels, and cleaning supplies on open shelves near the door to your home. That way, you’ll be able to get to them without opening the garage door and moving your car out.
- Put up hanging racks or hooks for things like ladders, brooms, rakes, and shovels. That will keep them off the ground and give you more room for things that should be on the floor, like potting soil bags, boot racks, and trash bins.
- If you’re installing cabinetry yourself, measure carefully before you order or buy all the units. Major hardware stores carry modular units and often offer installation services for a fee. If you use a professional installer, such as a closet company, check their references and ask to see samples of their work.
Once everything is installed, make it a priority to sweep out the garage and clean all exposed surfaces several times a month so everything stays nice and tidy for a long time. After all, you want to feel right at home in your garage, even if you don’t live in it!
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