Whatever you keep in your garage, security should be a top priority, so check out our top tips for making your garage safe from intruders. See how to prevent thieves from fishing for the handle with wire, how to cover the windows to conceal what's inside and how to add security lighting. Also, learn about door sensors that alert you if the garage doors are forced open (or you've forgotten to close them!), or even how to install a whole-house security system for ultimate protection.
Give the Garage Door a New Lease of Life
A smart and well-maintained door is essential for a fully-functional garage. One of your New Year's resolutions should be to give your garage door the once over, following our comprehensive guide, that includes full safety information for inspecting automatic doors. If your door isn't working properly, use our troubleshooting tips to fix it once and for all, or if you're looking at a complete replacement, see how to choose the best door for you.
Clean the Garage Floor
A floor that's splattered with oil stains and gray with grime will spoil the whole look of your garage. So why not give your floor a spruce-up? It can be done in a few hours and for less than $20—a big-impact, little-expensive New Year's resolution.
Implement the tips in our guide to removing stains and dirt using a proprietary cleaner or eco-friendly alternative. Just be sure to assemble your tools (e.g. a stiff brush, dustpan and trowel) beforehand, and dispose of any waste responsibly. And don't forget to use protective gear like safety glasses, long pants and long sleeves.
Renovate the Garage Floor
If your floor is too far gone to clean effectively, a good alternative is to repaint it with epoxy floor paint. This paint gives your floor a showroom shine in a range of vibrant colors. This finish is stain-resistant, making it ideal for working on your car or other DIY projects, and the project can be done in a weekend for less than $500.
Careful preparation is the key, removing surface stains and filling cracks is essential before applying two coats of paint. Allow plenty of drying time between coats. Work in a well-ventilated space, wear protective gear and remove anything that could spark a fire.
Organize Automotive Tools
Whether you're a beginner that likes to tinker, or a full-fledged expert mechanic, a disorganized garage is frustrating and wastes time. So if you're tired of searching for your tools, take a look at our garage storage tips for the mechanic. Our suggestions for a rolling cart, hanging storage for tools, drawer organizers and metal drawer liners will make your garage the envy of every home mechanic and make working on your car a joy.
Install Double-Decker Storage to Utilize Space
Space is always at a premium in the garage, so why not make it one of your New Year's resolutions to look up? You can build this double-decker unit to hold loads of miscellany. The upper shelf is great for smaller items like cans and small storage crates, keeping them safely out of the reach of children and pets. The sturdy hooks below provide space for hanging hoses and cords, so they're sorted, easy to see and instantly accessible. This unit can easily be built in a day!
Upgrade to LED Lights
LED light bulbs have several advantages over traditional bulbs, so one of your New Year's resolutions might be to replace your old light fixtures and light bulbs with LED bulbs. You'll save on your energy bills, as LEDs use between 30- and 50-percent less electricity than fluorescents. And you won't have the tiresome task of recycling your fluorescent tubes either. Our project guide has all the information you need to complete this job successfully.
Save Space Wth Wall Storage
Don't waste the wall space next to your vehicle. Follow our instructions for constructing a space-saving storage system that fits neatly into that limited space.
Heavy-duty shelves, designed to hold significant weight safely, are fixed firmly to the wall. Lower shelves are narrow, with wider shelves fitted above the car roof level for maximum storage capacity. There's even a fold-down table/workbench with a concealed tool rack inside. Fully customizable to fit your space perfectly, this storage system is easy to build in a day and costs between $100 and $500.
Replace the Garage Door Opener
If your current garage door opener is broken, make it one of your New Year's resolutions to replace it. Our step-by-step guide begins with checking the components, so you don't shell out on a complete replacement if it's just a part that's needed. The guide takes you through every stage, including important safety advice to avoid accidents, and also shares a few tips you won't find in the owner's manual. Don't put up with a sub-standard performance from your door opener—fix it now!
Make Use of Ceiling Space
Ceiling storage can be as simple as a few well-placed hooks where you hang bicycles, garden hoses or a ladder. For smaller items, this clever sliding storage system has ample room for camping gear, sports equipment or summer barbecue tools. Using just a few lengths of 2x4, some plywood and some inexpensive plastic totes, this hanging storage solution keeps everything you need safely out of the way, releasing the floor for larger items and easy cleaning. It's quick and simple to install—just don't forget to label your totes!
Fed up with stretching extension cords around your garage when you want to use your power tools? Trailing wires are annoying and dangerous, so make one of your New Year's resolutions to solve this problem. Install additional outlets in your garage for safety and ease of working.
First, check whether your existing circuit has sufficient capacity. If not, you'll need to run in another circuit.
Then follow our project guide to wiring a finished garage. Using PVC conduit is convenient, looks neat and saves time, and full instructions are given for every step. This weekend project requires moderate skills, although if in any doubt, consult a professional, and always get your electrical work inspected for safety.
Choose the Best Garage Heater
It's impossible to concentrate fully and work safely if you're chilled to the bone, so if you're out in your garage in winter, one of your New Year's resolutions should be to install a proper heating system. There are various options, and the best choice depends on your circumstances.
The most affordable option is a portable kerosene or propane heater, but although they're inexpensive, they require ventilation and create humidity—not good for tools! Infrared heaters work by heating objects instead of the air, but they're double the price of a forced-air heater.
Many experts recommend a gas-fired, forced air heater that's mounted to the ceiling for safety. If you work with flammable materials, choose a heater with a separate external combustion chamber. Natural gas heaters are another option. They can be mounted within 1in. of ceiling. For further details, take a look at our guide to choosing the best garage heater for you.
Choose the Best Garage Heater
Install blocking and framing for stud walls and add an inexpensive and effective drywall ceiling. Don't forget to include extra insulation to keep everything cozy and energy-efficient in winter, and ventilation for fresh air in the summer. Add the big three, power, light and heat, and you'll have the perfect additional space to use however you like.