Aside from housing cars, a garage acts as a storage space and DIY workshop. But let’s be honest, it’s hard to do anything in a messy garage.

“When choosing a home, the garage is often overlooked as we get so caught up in the beauty of the home. However, a garage is something which is worth spending a bit more time on, and to consider what you would want to use it for,” notes Craig Hutchison, CEO Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

When looking at a new home, Hutchison suggests asking yourself the following questions about the state of the garage:

  • Does the garage lock?
  • Does it have automated doors for the added security in order not to have to exit your car before you are safely in your home?
  • If you drive a big car, will it fit into the length and height?
  • Do you need direct access to the house or prefer a separate space away from the main building?

Easy upgrades

If you’re not in the market for a new home, here are a few ways to spruce up the garage you have:

Garage doors

Replacing old doors or alternatively just adding a new coat of varnish or paint could make a huge difference.

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“Well maintained garage doors are the key to enhancing curb appeal and can have a major impact on your home’s appearance and value,” Craig advised.

Here are three options:

  • Wooden doors range in price. A lightweight wooden frame, filled with foam insulation and wrapped in plywood is more affordable, whilst true frame-and-panel doors made of durable mahogany, redwood or cedar will cost a bit more.
  • Steel doors are relatively inexpensive yet tough and have low maintenance.
  • Aluminium doors are inexpensive, sturdy, and rust-proof with heavy-duty extruded frames and dent-resistant laminated panels. 

The floor

If the garage floor is stained with oil, grease and paint, you can give it new life with some epoxy floor paint. Alternatively, you could opt for porcelain garage tiles, 100% PVC interlocking floor tiles or rubber mats.

5 Tips for a clutter-free garage

Most people use their garage as a general storage area, but this means it can easily turn into a cluttered mess.

Here are some tips to help you free up space and create more storage options:

1. Declutter

The first step is to clear the clutter. A rule of thumb is that, if you haven’t used something in over a year, you probably never will. Put those items aside to either donate, toss or sell.

2. Install wall organisers

Install wall organiser units for tools and car-care products. Hang larger items, like garden tools and bicycles, on hooks. Use wall bins to store sporting goods and kids’ toys.

3. Add overhead or ceiling storage

Ceiling storage is great for boxes, luggage, and less frequently used items. You could use ceiling-mounted racks or lay down boards across the ceiling beams.

4. Make work areas mobile

If your family uses the garage for crafting or a home gym, consider replacing a bulky old workshop table with a wall-mounted one that can be folded up after use.

Alternatively, build a work area on wheels. Items on wheels can be moved away from the walls to create temporary work areas or rolled aside to make more space when needed.

5. Upgrade to adjustable shelving

Adjustable shelving allows you to add on and customise the shelving configuration as your needs change. Install open wall shelves and place items inside large plastic containers that you can move around. 

With a little creativity, a garage can be transformed from a dumping ground to a fabulously functional space.  Who knows, once you’ve sorted out the garage, you may even get around to completing more DIY projects.