By Garage Shapeups Guest Author: Harriet Hodgson
When I see a messy garage I cheer. I am not the only person who is awash in garage clutter. Now that the weather is turning warmer my husband and I are thinking about a garage makeover. Who do we need? How much can we spend? A successful garage makeover hinges on planning. These are the major points in our plan.
1. Create a budget. We set a dollar limit on how much we are willing to spend. Though we have wooden shelves, we do not have enough of them and need more. Many storage systems are available: plywood, metal panels, slatwall systems, grid, rail, rack and cleat systems. The cost of these systems adds up quickly. "Great Garage Makeovers" magazine cites some cost estimates in its article, "Great Hang Ups." A steel slatwall system costs seven to eight dollars per square foot. A plastic slatwall system costs about six dollars per square foot. Our makeover budget is only a few hundred dollars, so we will have to be shrewd shoppers.
2. Group things. Finding items is easier if you group items in categories. Tools, along with our workbench, are stored at the back right of our garage. This placement works so we will keep it. Cleaning supplies and firewood are stored at the back right. This placement also works. An extension ladder and gardening tools are hung on the right wall and we will leave them there. But the left wall is a hodge podge of stuff and we need to sort through it. Drawing a plan will save time and costly mistakes.
3. Hang stuff up. The Garage Tek website tells consumers to clear the floor to avoid damage and prevent accidents. This is wise advice. "Easy Storage Solutions," a Reader's Digest website article, recommends ceiling shelving. This gets items up off the floor, but we cannot do it because there is an attic with pull-down stairs above the garage. The attic floor cannot support any additional weight. Check the supporting structure before you invest in suspended shelving. Call a contractor or renovation expert if you are unsure about the load-bearing capacity of your garage ceiling.
4. Repair and paint the floor. We live in Minnesota and the highway department salts the roads in the winter. Over time, this salt has pitted the garage floor. According to Tim Snyder, a garage makeover is the ideal time to repair your floor. In his article, "Garage Makeover," he tells consumers to fill 1/8-inch or wider cracks with concrete crack filler or all-purpose urethane calk. Once this is done, you can paint the floor with concrete sealer, masonry sealer, patio or porch ename, or garage floor epoxy. "The product you pick depends on the look you like and the budget you're on," he writes. We will eventually paint our garage floor, but not this year.Five Step Process
A garage makeover, especially one that starts with a plan, makes life easier. You will be able to find things and store more than you thought.
Copyright 2010 by Harriet Hodgson
Harriet Hodgson has been an independent journalist for decades. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of Health Care Journalists, and Association for Death Education and Counseling. Her 24th book, "Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticpating Grief," written with Lois Krahn, MD is available from Amazon.
Centering Corporation has published her 26th book, "Writing to Recover: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life" and a companion journal with 100 writing prompts. Hodgson is a monthly columnist for "Caregiving in America" magazine. Please visit her website and learn more about this busy author and grandmother.
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Nick Dixon - Owner of Garage Shapeups and Lifetime Epoxy Floors.
Our Family of Home Improvement Companies can be seen at the following websites:
GarageShapeups.com, HuntsvilleGarageShapeups.com, SlatwallSolutions.com, LifetimeEpoxyFloors.com, RubaSafe.com and PoolDeckRescue.com.