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Confessions of a Garage Maniac

Outdoor home improvement guru –Carson Arthur provides some inside advice on garage makeovers.

I have a confession to make. Even though I’m an outdoor gardener and lifestyle guy, I have a thing for garages. I really like to organize and make a garage into a functional space that meets a family’s needs. And while I’ve done several garage makeovers for television and magazines, when it comes to my own space, I’m a bit n’ pieces kind of guy. I have leftover shelves from a kitchen reno on one wall. Various hooks that I’ve bought at different stores on another. I have one solution for the bikes and another one for the golf clubs. Even though it was organized, I was slowly starting to build up a pile of things that didn’t fit in my garage space anymore. So I went for it, ripped it all out, and started over.

Here is the valuable information that you need to know before starting your own garage renovation.

Set aside more time than you expect in your calendar. I’ve painted and furnished whole homes in the same amount of time it took me to do the garage. Moving everything out and boxing it all up to withstand the elements while it sat in the backyard was a full day. Who knew I had so much stuff in one space.

Go with one system. Garage organization systems are very different than the default recycled kitchen cupboards. Everything is stronger, tougher and interconnected. You need to plan out the space before you start throwing things up on the wall. In my case, I went with Gladiator GarageWorks. I had a couple of pieces from a previous renovation and liked that the cabinets lock and have big wheels making them easy to move. On my wish list was a charging station for batteries because I have a lot of them! This system even has a cabinet that does just that.

Don’t forget the floor. While it took the longest, several days of prepping, curing and drying, the floor of my garage is a showstopper. I did a moisture barrier first which prevents water from coming up through the floor from the ground below. I followed that with a product call RockSolid by Rust-Oleum. This floor protector prevents oil leaks, paint spills and even road salt from soaking into the floor. I added floor tiles overtop of the sealed floor because I liked the way they looked, not because I really needed them, (Call it my garage ego)

And finally the most important thing to remember before you start this reno; this that is a garage. It is not the kitchen, a bedroom, or a family room. You have to change your mindset on how it is going to look at the end of the day. I know that designers have been showing tv’s and comfortable chairs in this space and calling it a ‘man-cave’ but this is the spot where most of us store things that shouldn’t be in the house; paint, yard tools, ladders, bicycles. Keep reminding yourself as you put your space together because this room is unique. Trust me…I know!

Author: Carson Arthur

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