The Best Hacks For Your Garage

When creating a home project to-do list, you might be leaving off an important area. Your garage is more than just a purely functional space. Giving it a little attention can give it more aesthetic appeal and versatility, and further add to its functionality.

According to The Examiner News, garages were first invented in the early 1900s to give cars, which were then stored alongside livestock, their own dedicated space. In the 1920s, garages soared in popularity among homebuyers, and the electric garage door opener was born. By the 1970s, design innovations and the use of new construction materials occurred to create expanded garage door options.

Fast forward to today, over 82 million homes have garages (via AP News). And these spaces have evolved over time. Now, technology, design trends, and storage techniques can bring new life to your neglected garage. Check out these garage hacks that can make your garage a stunning, functional, and organized space that you can be proud of.

Replace your garage door

Updating your garage door can make a significant impact on the look of your home. As Lansing State Journal points out, your garage door can account for 20 percent of the front of your home. Upgrading it has the potential for a huge curb appeal boost. With the wide range of options on the market, you're sure to find one in a style and color to complement your home's style.

A new garage door can also save you some cash and give you peace of mind. With a thicker or insulated option, you'll be able to better control the temperature of your garage and reduce heating and cooling costs. Plus, your older door might not be as secure as a newer option with advanced locking systems.

Another perk of replacing your garage door is the promising return on your investment (via NAR). A staggering 100 percent recovery of your investment cost can be expected when selling a home with a new garage door. Even if you don't plan to sell your home, a new garage door can help you love it even more. Eighty percent of consumers report more of a desire to be home after replacing their garage doors.

Refresh your garage door

If your budget doesn't allow for a full garage door replacement, consider painting it instead. You can opt to apply a fresh coat of white to bring new brightness to your garage door. As Sarah Fisher, the Vice President of Marketing and Design at H.A. Fisher Homes tells Fagan Door, "As color theorists attest, white is the blending of all colors on the spectrum and thus balances out almost all home designs. Regardless of the elevation style, exterior finishes, or details, white complements best and creates an overall crisp and uniform appearance that is pleasing to the eye."

You can also use a contrasting color to make a bold exterior statement. Consider the overall color scheme of your home and choose a darker shade for a pop that still looks cohesive. For example, if your home is pale grey stucco, a charcoal garage door can create a dramatic look. Or, if your exterior is cream-colored siding, select a chocolatey brown or espresso garage door paint to tie together the warm tones.

When you paint the door, first strip it of old paint and tape off the areas around it (via True Value). Then, apply a high-quality exterior primer and allow it to dry overnight. Use a brush and roller or a paint sprayer to apply two coats of exterior paint. Allow the door to dry completely as you admire your handiwork.

If you'd like to accentuate your newly painted door, you can add accessories. The right hardware can add a decorative touch to your garage door while enhancing the look of your home (via Artisan Custom Doorworks). Decorative strap hinges and pull handles come in many styles to align with your design aesthetic. You can also outline the door with clavos to emulate a nailhead border. Think about the look you'd like to achieve with your door when adding these small touches.

Upgrade your garage floor

If your garage floor is the original concrete, you can add a new floor to give your garage new life. There are some awesome garage floor options that are stylish and durable enough to withstand parking. Plus, they can give your garage a more finished look.

According to Craftsman Concrete Floors, epoxy is a popular choice for garage flooring. This is a protective coating that goes over your concrete to create a durable and attractive surface. Epoxy can also be customized to your specific needs. It can be formulated to be slip-resistant and sealed with a satin or glossy finish. The coating can also be created in endless attractive color combinations. You can go with a sleek black and grey look or choose custom colors to pay homage to your favorite sports team.

Installing flooring designed specifically for garage spaces can be another good option (via Garage Flooring Inc.) This comes in either tiles or rolls and can be textured with a variety of patterns. The durability of this flooring allows it to withstand vehicle traffic and chemical spills. Plus, it's super easy to clean. If you use flooring tiles, you can create a custom eye-catching pattern in a variety of colors. Solid color flooring rolls allow for quick and easy DIY installation and cost savings for a budget-friendly garage floor.

Swap your opener out for a high-tech option

Bring your garage door opener into the digital age with upgraded technology. There are lots of great smart garage door openers on the market. Each has features that make accessing your garage more convenient and some can even improve the space.

One super handy feature of a smart garage door opener is wireless connectivity (via Tom's Guide). These connect to your home's WiFi so you can open, close, or check on your garage while you're away. A mobile app allows you to access your garage from your phone and lets you give permission for others to enter via their phones. These apps can alert you when your garage opens or remains open too long. They can also remind you to close it if it's still open at a preset time of night. Many smart openers are also compatible with common home assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home to make your life even more convenient.

You can further enhance your smart opener with attachments and accessories. Ryobi makes a smart garage door opener that also powers some pretty cool accessories (via Home Contruction Improvement). Plug a Bluetooth speaker into your opener to listen to tunes in the garage or use the fan to keep cool. You can also a laser parking assist tool, retractable power cord, and garage condition sensor to your opener to make your garage safer and more convenient. Other brands of openers offer smart lighting components and battery backup extensions so you can still open the garage door when there's a power outage.

Add a garage fridge for additional storage

Adding a garage fridge is a great way to expand your food and drink storage capabilities. A deep freezer allows you to stock up on frozen foods. And a beverage fridge gives you a dedicated spot for drinks and makes grabbing a beverage during an outdoor party more convenient. However, it's important to do your research and purchase the best cooling appliance for your needs.

Typical refrigerators and freezers are designed for environments where the temperature is stable and similar to a normal indoor range (via Garage Spot). If you live in a hot climate, your garage fridge will have to work harder causing damage to the components. If you live in a very cold climate, freezing temperatures can throw off the freezer's systems and you could end up with unstable temperatures. To prevent these issues, look for units with extra insulation that makes them suitable for garage use. The specifications should include a room temperature range for ideal performance. Use this and the typical temperature of your garage to guide your search.

When shopping for your garage fridge, keep in mind what it will be used for and how much space you have. A unit on wheels can be helpful if you'll frequently need to shift it around to navigate around your garage. You can also opt for a compact or mini fridge to save valuable space. Just make sure whatever type of cooling appliance you choose is Energy Star certified so you can save on cooling costs (via Danley's).

Create vertical storage

One of the best ways to make the most use of your garage and find more storage space is to use your vertical areas. This keeps items off the floor and maximizes your garage space. There are some awesome DIY tricks and products that you can buy to keep items like seasonal decor, sports equipment, and bikes up and out of the way.

An overhead garage storage rack can be installed in the ceiling to slide bins and boxes up and out of the way. Storables points out that this can also keep it safe from water damage and garage substance spills. Look for adjustable options to ensure the best fit and one that has enough loading capacity for the weight of your items. Systems with pulley functions eliminate the need to climb on a ladder to access the space.

You can also use your ceiling to store bikes that can take up a ton of floor space. Heavy-duty hooks can be installed securely in the ceiling for a convenient spot to hang your bikes when not in use (via Outdoor Gear Lab). These bike hooks are a super affordable option and can work with nearly any bike size. Fishing gear is another item that can find a home near the ceiling. You can even fashion a storage system out of plastic J hooks and studs (via On The Water). Attach the hooks to a stud in a row and mount the system to the ceiling. The rows of hooks can then cradle your fishing rods and keep them up and out of the way.

Make your garage more temperature controlled

If you love spending time in your garage, investing in a little temperature control can make it more comfortable. This is an especially great idea if you live in an area with a climate that fluctuates. One option is adding insulation to regulate the temperature. Dumpsters.com recommends using fiberglass insulation. Clean out your garage and fill any large gaps or holes in the walls with expanding foam. Then, cut to fit the insulation and staple it in between the studs. Use drywall sheets to cover the insulation and enjoy a more stable garage temperature.

Sometimes the summer heat and winter cold can make your garage unbearable. To beat the heat, consider investing in an air conditioner so you can enjoy your garage throughout the warmer months. There are portable, window, and split air units available to cool your space (via Garage Transformed). It's recommended to opt for more cooling capacity than your garage square footage needs to account for the lack of insulation. Look for a unit that's also Energy Star Certified to keep your cooling costs lower and be mindful of the noise level that it generates.

Heating your garage can allow you to use it more in the cold winter months. Things to keep in mind when selecting a heater include the installation needs and operating costs (via Forbes). You'll also want to think about the ventilation required for gas heaters and if you'll need a dedicated circuit for an electric unit. Make sure you shop for a heater with enough BTUs to heat your garage space and check for automatic shut-off and safety features.

Store tools and equipment safely

Storing your tools and lawn equipment safely and securely is an important aspect of your garage planning. For small tools like hammers and screwdrivers, a locking storage cabinet is a great option. It keeps everything organized and protects your tools from thieves or curious little hands. Lowes recommends looking for one on casters with brakes so you can easily move it when needed. Padded drawers protect tools, and deep ones allow for larger tool storage. Steel construction provides durability while features like drawer dividers and USB ports promote convenience and organization.

Your lawn mower is likely taking up some valuable garage real estate. Rethink your garage storage options to free up some space. One option is to install a wall hanger to suspend the lawn mower out of the way (via Simply Storing). Ensure that the mower can sit level to avoid gas leaking, however, this isn't an issue with electric models. If you really want to invest in storing your lawn mower in the most efficient way, a storage lift can easily move it to its home near the ceiling after you're done cutting the grass.

Power tools can also take up a ton of space in the garage. First and foremost, it's important to find an area of the garage that's away from sunlight and high humidity to protect your tools (via Centron Storage). Then, you can opt to invest in a power tool storage cabinet to keep everything organized. Or, use uniform clear plastic bins. This protects your tools while allowing you to stack them and visually find any that you're looking for.

Create a kid zone

If you have kids, you know that their stuff can be a large factor in garage clutter. Give them a zone of their own along with some great tools to keep them organized. Their stuff will be more likely to be put away and they'll have better access to their things.

First, go through your garage items and get rid of the things that your kiddos no longer use. Donate anything they've outgrown and discard any damaged items. Then, as Garage Living recommends, set up an area of the garage just for the items your kids need to get to. This could be a dedicated shelf system or cabinet just for their belongings.

Organize their items and make sure everything has a place. Group things together by category to make them easier to find and put away. Things like bikes and scooters should all be in one place while sports balls should all be stored together. Make sure all of the items that your kids need to access are at a height where they can reach them. Bins with labels for things like jump ropes and sidewalk chalk can make clean-up and organization a breeze.

Dress up the entry from the garage

According to AP News, an estimated 71 percent of families usually enter their homes through their garages. So wouldn't it make sense to make this entry point one that you love coming home to? Dressing up the entryway from the garage can make it more appealing, more secure, and add functional storage.

If your garage entryway door needs an upgrade, consider replacing it. Not only could it be a safety issue but it could be a security risk as well (via Garage Made Simple). You'll want to replace your outdated door with one that is sturdy and fire-rated. Criminals can also gain access to your garage either by breaking in or happening upon an open garage door. A high-quality and secure lock on your entry door prevents them from making entry into your home. Having a new door installed gives you the chance to add a fresh look as well as peace of mind.

A simple bench is the best way to make your garage entryway more functional. This allows family members a place to sit and put on and take off shoes and you can slide bins underneath. You can either purchase a bench or build one to fit your needs. Then, add a cute doormat or rug and hang a fun door decoration. You'll be created with your new refreshed, entryway each time you arrive home.

Deep clean your garage

One of the biggest things you can do to make your garage amazing is to adopt a cleaning routine. First, start by deep cleaning the entire space to start off on the right note. Living Well Spending Less suggests starting by emptying your garage and purging unwanted items. Then, organize any items that remain and gather supplies to clean the space.

First, seal any visible cracks and check electrical work for frayed or loose wires. Grab a broom and sweep out the space completely. Wipe down the walls with a damp cloth to remove any dust. This is a good time to apply a fresh coat of paint for a clean look and to reduce mildew.

As you admire your fresh and clean garage, commit yourself to a regular cleaning routine. Remove any built-up dust or cobwebs every few weeks to keep them from getting out of hand. Then, every six months, asses your garage storage, purge unwanted items, and wipe everything down (via Clean My Space). You'll enjoy having a neat and clean garage and your regular cleaning will save you from an overwhelming task in the future.