Renovation & Design

Ground rules for your garage makeover

From a cluttered dumping area to usable, airy space

In many homes, the garage is a no man's land -- a place where tools, sports equipment and holiday decorations take over and cars no longer fit.

Do you need to transform your garage into a usable space your car will be able to call home again? Here are some tips from Andy Millette of Ottawa Garage Makeovers.

Use the walls: A garage has more wall space than floor space. To maximize it, Millette recommends a slat wall -- a plastic panel that bolts to the wall and contains slats you can attach baskets or hooks to -- to get shovels, rakes, hoses and even bicycles up off the ground. Baskets attached to the wall can store basketballs or bike helmets, while hooks can store gardening tools.

Use your ceiling: The ceiling can be transformed into an effective storage space for light goods such as seasonal decor that are put away for most of the year.

Millette advises against using the garage ceiling for everyday items. "You don't want to be climbing up there all the time," he says.

Create custom storage: Custom cabinetry may be the solution to store large items, as well as for tucking hazardous chemicals out of the reach of young children.

Focus on the floor: Re-doing the floor "suddenly takes the garage from a dingy, dirty storage space to a space that you're interested in spending time in and keeping organized," says Millette, who argues updating the floor is the best thing homeowners can do to transform their garage. Garage Makeovers offers a high-quality, commercial-grade floor coating called Polyaspartic Polyurea.

"It automatically changes the owner's perspective of the garage."

Plan your space: Organize items close to where you are most likely to use them, placing garden tools near your yard access, cleaning or painting supplies near the door entering the house and sports or camping equipment near the car to allow for easy loading and unloading.


--Postmedia Network Inc. 2014



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