Summer is here, and that means road trips lie ahead. Extra time on the road, of course, means more vehicle maintenance. And if you have a project car in the works, you’ll need plenty of extra space to tinker and repair. Keep reading as we offer tips and tricks on how to make your garage a workspace your diehard gearhead friends will envy.
Clean It Up
Your first and most important task is to clean the garage. Depending on how bad of a clutterbug you are, you may need to bring in some help to evict old household items that are still collecting dust. Pull everything out onto the driveway and start with a blank slate.
Now that you have a big empty room, you can turn your attention to your dirty concrete floors. There are multiple flooring options, including concrete stain, sealer, epoxy paint, vinyl sheet, and rubber tiles. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. The DIY Network explains that epoxy and vinyl garage flooring is tough and offers some protection against slippage.
Once the floor is ready, you’ll need to set up your space. Don’t want to just throw everything back where it was. Plan it out carefully and designate a special place for holiday décor, sports, equipment, and other items you don’t need every day. Install overhead storage and don’t overlook the walls. You can easily find wall hangers at your local hardware store for rakes, shovels, and other assorted lawn care equipment. Also, use labels on all storage areas, including bins, drawers, and totes, so the entire family can locate and put away specific items. Make sure your storage is convenient for your work area, which should be large enough to fit at least one vehicle with enough room to maneuver comfortably between the car and walls.
If you discover that you simply have too many valuable possessions for your limited space, it could mean that you to invest in a steel building to provide you with some extra storage. An extra building in the yard might be the best option, as opposed to overstuffing your garage and cutting down on the space you need to move around.
Speaking of workspace, a solid workbench will be a major asset. A workbench is more than just a table or hard surface. It will have the strength to withstand the blunt-force trauma you’ll no doubt inflict by dropping tools, car parts, and other assorted garage gear. Instructables offers a tutorial on how to build your own, which may be your best bet to get the most out of your space.
Also, if your garage doesn’t already have multiple electrical outlets, make that a priority, especially near your workspace.
Your garage doesn’t have the benefit of being heated and cooled like the rest of your house, so you’ll need to take steps to ensure it stays well ventilated and comfortable. Fans are your best option, but you’ll need to place them strategically in order to circulate the air. GarageSpot explains that a window air conditioner is also effective if you have a window to place it in.
Lighting is another area that deserves attention. Install LED light bulbs and invest in a portable work light. Ideally, this will be one that hangs inside the hood of your car to offer added illumination in those tight areas under the engine. LED lights are longer lasting, cool to the touch and use 80 percent less power than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Last but not least, you’ll need a full set of mechanic’s tools. This will include a socket set, pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, a multi-meter, and a drip pan to keep those new floors clean. Popular Mechanics offers a full rundown of the tools you need to work on your own car. A rolling tool chest will help you keep your tools close at hand.
Last But Not Least, Get Insurance!
You want to protect the car you’ve spent so much time restoring, so don’t forget to get it insured so all of that hard work isn’t for nothing. Should something happen to it between the time you finish and the time you get it on the road, you can have peace of mind that your investment won’t go down the proverbial drain.
More than anything, you’ll need a vehicle, a few long afternoons and good friends to make your ultimate garage complete. What are you waiting for? It’s time to get started!
Image via Pixabay