Building the Ideal Garage
by Jane Brown on Aug 16, 2016
It's amazing how far garages have come. In the early days of the American automobile, the vehicles were stored outdoors or in some other building that had been converted to accommodate the car. Now we include the garage as an integral part of the home's design.
In time, house plans were unable to accommodate the wide array of functions that many homeowners wanted. The space, mess, and noise required for garage functions were so significant that many people started checking how much a metal building cost per square foot, and what they found was good news.
With the reasonable cost associated with a quality metal building to use as a shop, these owners found that they could afford some upgrades that greatly enhanced the usefulness of their new project. Some of these considerations are aesthetic only, but others have very important implications for safety and the durability of the structure.
Every good building will have a nice concrete floor, but anyone who's used a garage or shop for very long knows that it won't look that way forever. Oil changes, painting projects, engine repairs, and much more can take their toll on an unprotected concrete floor.
Upgrading to a floor coating will not only amp up the beauty factor of the garage, but it will also reduce the porosity of the floor and keep materials from soaking in. That makes for an easier cleanup of spills as well as reduced soaking of corrosive materials that can trigger a breakdown of the concrete.
It isn't practical for most people to air condition their garages, so good ventilation is a must. And on sweltering days, it isn't enough just to roll up the doors and set out the trusty box fan. Serious temperature control requires serious ventilation. Strong fans built into the structure will transport many cubic feet of air through the space, reducing temperatures and increasing comfort.
Of course, ventilation isn't just about comfort. Lower temperatures make for a safer environment, and any garage purposes that create unhealthy breathing conditions--like spray painting or simply running a vehicle motor--can be safer with better ventilation.
A couple of bare 100-watt bulbs just won't cut it for a garage these days. Anyone who does work with any level of detail knows that bright, gentle light with full-room coverage is the only way to go. Precise paintwork requires good illumination. A fight with a difficult engine part is easier to win with good light. And in concert with a nice garage floor, good lights can make it much easier to find those tiny items that we all seem to drop when working.
The list goes on and on of how many things you can do more easily and more safely when your garage is upgraded from the base features. If a project like this is in your future, resist the temptation to pocket the savings and instead invest them in making the building better with some practical, valuable upgrades.
- Garden / Landscaping / Patio — 258
- Kitchen / Bathrooms — 233
- Real Estate / Finance — 190
- Appliance / Repair — 185
- Interior Design / Decor — 181
- HVAC / Air Conditioning — 145
- Cleaning / Maintenance — 138
- Improvements / Remodeling — 131
- Floors / Tile / Hardwood — 114
- Plumbing / Basements — 114
- Doors / Garages — 112
- Safety / Security — 112