Pro Tips for Planning Your Dream Garage
For most of us, a garage is a lot more than a place to park. We use it to build big projects, we load it up with everything from Hot Wheels to Harleys, and sometimes we party or just hang out with the guys there. And for all these purposes, you want more than the basic four walls and a roof. You want to make your garage a better place to work and play. So we teamed up with our field editors to show you our favorite garage features. Whether you're planning your dream garage or just looking to improve your old one, check them out!
Tall doors prevent Great Goofs
Weekend mechanics love warm floors
Shed dormers add second-floor headroom
Don't forget the AC
Don't forget the heat
How difficult will it be to warm your garage in the heart of winter? How easy is it to get cheap heat in your garage? Consider how cold it gets in your part of the world, the square footage of your space and if you have sufficient insulation. Heat output is measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. To get to that number you're going to need to measure your space and think about how warm you need it to be. After you get that number you're ready to shop for a unit! We'll walk you through the best options for heating your garage here.
Make your garage a drive-through
When Kristin and her family decided to build a new garage, they had a list of cool ideas to incorporate. These included lots of outlets, slat wall rather than pegboard on the walls, and a 220-outlet just in case. But the neatest idea was the second garage door in back so they could park the boat trailer out of sight in the backyard. Plus, there are other benefits to a big back door. For dusty woodworking operations, you can't beat the flow-through ventilation provided by two big garage doors. And if you're planning a backyard get-together, you can open the back garage door and turn your garage into party central.
Put in a sub-panel now— or regret it later!
Lots of field editors told us that their biggest garage mistake was not installing a sub-panel. Lots of others said including a sub-panel was the best move they made. The reasons are pretty simple: more power and more convenience.
If you want to use your garage for a shop or plan to install air conditioning or other power-hungry appliances or tools, you'll have all the power you need. And it's more convenient to have the circuit breakers in the garage. If you pop a breaker, you don't have to run to the main panel to reset it. Plus, you can easily add more circuits without having to run wires all the way to the main panel.
It'll cost you a few hundred dollars more for the load center, circuit breakers and heavy-gauge wire that runs to the main panel. But for convenience and future flexibility, it's hard to beat a separate panel in the garage.
Storage trusses are cheap
Attic trusses are pricey, but they add tons of space
The simplest way to the attic
Remember the little things
Details like adding padding to walls to prevent door dings makes a difference in a dream garage. Trust us, you'll be glad you icorporated this pool noodle hack into your dream garage design. There's more where this came from! Check out 24 more pool noodle hacks you need to know.