11 Cheap Garage Updates (Plus an Expensive One)
If you’ve been neglecting your garage, it’s time to pay attention and give that hard-working space the makeover it deserves. With these DIY projects and ideas to inspire you, you can increase storage capacity, improve the lighting, paint the floor and much, much more.
Garage Door Makeover
Many garage doors are unattractive and new doors can be crazy-expensive. What’s a DIYer to do? With an inexpensive hardboard door, cedar boards and tongue-and-groove paneling you can create a custom door that’s safe, sound and beautiful. Skeptical? Check out the step-by-step how-to right here.
Longer-Lasting Light for Garage Door Openers
Standard lightbulbs can’t take much vibration, so they may not survive long in a garage door opener. The good news is, this LED was developed specifically for use in garage door openers. The bulb’s electronics are shielded to prevent receiver interference with the opener’s remote and the bulb is built to withstand vibration and low temperatures down to -22 degrees F. Plus, this bulb is rated for damp locations, unlike most LED’s. Genie claims the bulb has a 25,000-hour life span, which is equivalent to about 17 years of use!
If you’d like to do more than just replace your garage door opener lightbulb, this collection of DIY troubleshooting and repair tips will help you get started.
Epoxy Over Paint
Seal the Holes
If you’re drilling holes through top and bottom plates or running wires through a fire wall in the garage, you must seal those holes with a fire-resistant caulk or foam sealant to comply with fire and energy codes. Most building officials won’t make you bust out large holes in ceilings and walls in order to access hard-to-reach holes, but check with your local official before you begin your project. Fire-blocking insulated foam sealant is sold at home centers and hardware stores. For more on working with foam sealant, check out this collection of helpful tips.
Ceiling Storage Bonanza
If all the stuff in your garage is within easy reach, you’re probably wasting lots of storage space. The high spaces may not be prime real estate for often-used tools, but they’re perfect for long-term storage. Deep shelving or cabinets near the ceiling can hold a ton of seasonal stuff like holiday decorations or camping gear.
Repurpose Containers and Label Everything
You can drop a few bills buying storage totes for supplies like nails, screws and plumbing parts. Or you can make your own with laundry detergent jugs and a utility knife. They’re big, tough and mobile—and they’ll make your workshop stink nice. Plus: Check out these 100 other uncommon uses for common household items.
Most electrical codes require just one outlet in the garage. And that’s just what most builders give you—one measly outlet for all your tools and toys. If you have open studs, you can easily run wire and add outlets as long as you follow a few basic rules (find articles about garage wiring here).
If your walls are covered, you don’t have to cut into them to run wires. Instead, you can mount metal or plastic wiring channels and outlet boxes right on the wall.
Neat and Tidy Pet Food Dispenser
Build this bin and you can fill the dog dish with the flick of a finger and do away with that crumpled bag of dog food lying on the garage floor. This bin easily holds two 20-lb. bags of food and allows you to dispense it right into the dish. And you can store two types of food so the cat won’t get jealous.
Slide open the ‘blast gate’ and food falls into the dish. A hinged top allows easy refilling. Get the instructions to make your own pet food dispenser.
Keep Ladders Out of the Way
Hang ladders from the ceiling so they don’t hog prime storage space. The rollers on this simple carriage let you easily slide in one end of the ladder, then the other. The materials you’ll need are all inexpensive. Fasten the corner braces to ceiling joists with 2-in. lag screws. Secure the ladder with an elastic cord so it can’t roll out and fall.
Insulate the Garage Door
Studies done by garage door manufacturers prove that an energy-efficient R-18 insulated garage door can keep your garage about 12 degrees warmer in winter months and about 25 degrees cooler in summer. That reduces energy loss along the insulated walls and ceiling. Here’s how to do it yourself.