Ultimate Garages - How to Begin the Garage Makeover Process

Posted by Mike Mincemoyer on Sep 17, 2013 11:15:00 AM

Ultimate garage 1

In previous Ultimate Garage blogs, we have discussed why homeowners create their ultimate garage.   From those articles and many conversations over the years, I get asked how to approach a complete garage makeover.     So, let’s dive into what will make this process easy and enjoyable.  The following questions will guide the process.

What is the desired final result of your garage makeover?

Decide what this project should do for your garage.  Some homeowners are just creating a more organized space.   Others are creating spaces that highlight sport or antique vehicles, showcase special item collections or create gaming/party centers.

What garage upgrades will be necessary?

An honest assessment of the garage floor, walls, ceiling and lighting needs to take place.   Some questions to ask:

  • ultimategarage2Is the lighting adequate and well placed for my desired usage?
  • Do the walls need insulated, dry-walled and/or painted?
  • Is the ceiling in need of some touch-ups?
  • Is the ceiling high enough to assist with storage?
  • Is the floor properly protected from attack from road salt, spills and stains?


What upgrades do I want to do myself?

With almost 10 years of assisting homeowners with garage makeovers, I strongly suggest working with a designer from companies like California Closets or Tailored Living to create the final solution.   These designers are usually able to suggest all the other trades persons necessary to complete the tasks that fall outside their company’s expertise.

In addition, these designers can create solutions that are truly customized to the size and layout of the garage, something that doesn’t happen with DIY solutions from the big-box stores.   The range of finishes and amenities will also be far more extensive.

Certainly changing light fixtures and painting can easily be completed by the homeowner.   Just ensure you coordinate these DIY tasks with the other parties involved.

What order does the garage makeover process take?

Many steps in the process may be interchangeable for timing, but to reduce effort and allow for a smooth flow, there are some best practices.   Regardless of whether you are doing some parts as DIY or leaving it all to professionals, I recommend following this overall approach:

  1. Get the lighting right first. Add or upgrade lighting fixtures and get the desired bulbs in place.
  2. Complete any other electrical or plumbing work that may be required.
  3. Complete all drywall and ceiling work.   This includes all painting (but do not add trim yet).
  4. Replace or upgrade any wooden steps that go from the garage into the house.
  5. Replace or upgrade the garage doors.
  6. Get the garage floor coatings installed.
  7. Install the wall and/or ceiling storage and organization systems.
  8. Install any wall decorations.

Ensure that any drying times for the drywall, painting or garage floor finish are included into the timeline for this process.    While our epoxy floor coatings dry very quickly (only 12-24 hours until ready for walk on traffic), many of the garage epoxy kits and garage floor paints require many days before you can truly use the garage floor again.

Get started on your Garage Makeover

If you need more help getting started on your garage makeover process, please contact us or our fore-mentioned partners.     

A couple final notes:

  • While most tackle these projects in the warmer months of the year, this is often not required and most projects can be completed anytime of the year.  
  • This process can be spread out over a period of time, so the budget impact can be applied over a longer stretch of time.
  • Be very careful before enhancing the garage floor with a DIY kit.   Many of these kits have very poor bond strength and will peel up under the vehicle tires.
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