Tips for a tidy garage

Keeping the garage clean and free of clutter can be a challenge, but with a few simple measures you can turn it into a usable, yes, even a warm, welcoming and safe space.

Renovate magazine glorious garages
ARTICLE Kevin Kevany, PHOTOGRAPHY Dominator, Cubic Capacity

Keeping the garage clean and free of clutter can be a challenge, but with a few simple measures you can turn it into a usable, yes, even a warm, welcoming and safe space.
We all know the scenario. Having to back the cars out of the garage to get anything done. The laundry area is a mess. The tilt-up garage door has passed its sell-by date. Well – it’s time to hit the garage for some  ‘spring cleaning’. The good news is that you don’t have to do it all in a weekend, and it needn’t cost you an arm and a leg. A lot of it is common sense. The rest of it is opportunism. So, get going.
First up: measure the available space you have with your existing cars inside. It is cupboard and shelving time, and the good news is that the big retailers tend to have the readymade units on discount at this time of year. You ought to be able to get two double cupboards for under $250. It’s a good idea to adapt your shelving spacing to match other items you keep in your garage, such as containers of dog-food or the bulk buy of washing powder. Stackable storage boxes can be a boon, especially as you get familiar with the changed dynamics of your revitalised garage. They’re relatively inexpensive, too, at $10 to $20.
For the kids’ bicycles – and the one Dad pretends to ride – get a Bruns rack. These are proven products; well made, creative in their space saving and secure when correctly fitted. They take care of garden tools, too, with their clamping system that clasps appliances with metal, wood or plastic handles. Anything weighing up to 10 kilograms can go on.
What about the washing machine and tumble drier on the side? In many old bathrooms, which often have the washing machine and tumbler added, you can solve the problem by putting them in a ‘cupboard’. That helps to contain the messy washing powders and additives, and you can tuck away the washing pile, too.
“The garage is no different. It has the same challenges and the car fumes and dirt mean all units you want to keep clean, such as your washing machine, should be cupboarded. Two sides and 180 degree fold-back doors are fine; an open back allows for the plumbing,”  says Scholten. He suggests the new washing machine/tumbler combination unit as a space-saver. If you have shelving above, you can keep the unit’s top for sorting your washing.
“Whoever said garages are just for cars?”  asks Brenda Caseley, marketing manager at Irvine Flooring. “Carpeting your garage is the ultimate way to add value to your home, while adding a fantastic extra living space for a very small investment – a great open playroom for the kids on those rainy days.”

Irvine Flooring specialises in a large range of carpeting, manufactured to withstand car tyres. Because of the resin backing, it allows moisture to flow through to the concrete sub-floor where it is quickly absorbed and evaporated. Aside from looking smarter and feeling more comfortable, these carpets also protect from oil and grease, resist condensation and are non-conductive.
So, now we have additional, useful space. But how warm and draught-free is it – especially if you are going to encourage youngsters to play in it? Solution: install and insulated  ‘fourth wall’, or garage door. Dominator Garage Doors claims to be the biggest supplier of garage doors. Phil Ingham recommends the new Therma Tech II door:  “It’s imported from the US where they truly understand and experience a much great range of temperatures than we do. The door sections are made using two steel ‘skins’ for the front and back of the door, sandwiched around a rigid Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) insulated core. This ‘thermal break’ doesn’t let cold or heat from the exterior to the interior skin.”
To be able to create special looks and deal with non-standard apertures, Windsor Doors offers a one-stop shop capability with a design unit attached to the factory.  “Garage doors must look cool – they are the face of the house,”  says Mikey Natan, their retail manager.  “To avoid  ‘blistering’  and movement, our insulated doors have one external steel surface. We secure our dynamic insulation material with a light-weight and flexible plastic – the same as estate agents use for their signs.”
Most companies offer steel, cedar and roller doors. Dominator’s new Flex-a-Door is the ideal replacement for a tilt door, since it requires a similar minimum ceiling space. A critical aspect of any door is surface flatness. Appearance, security and long-life are important. The new openers and controllers – with literally millions-to-billions of code permutations and a bent-elbow security arm – ensure a baddie with a crowbar isn’t going to wedge them up.
With a usable space that’s warm and secure, now you’re ready for tools and a decent workspace. Tube Fab’s workbenches, for example, are strong, durable and built to last. They’re constructed from quality steel with sealed 25 millimetre thick MDF tops. Different sizes are available and you can even get a double-sided mobile unit. If you’re not ready to commit to a permanent set up, try a fold-up station – saving space and giving you the flexibility to work outside on a good day.

You might be interested in reading: Garage storage solutions.

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This article by Kevin Kevany featured on page 100 in issue 004 of Renovate Magazine. Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page.


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