7 Garage Upgrades For Efficiency and Convenience

Garage Upgrades

7 Garage Upgrades For Efficiency and Convenience

For most people, the garage is much more than just where they park their cars. It serves as a hub for home upkeep projects, hobbies, storage, car maintenance, and more. Outfitting your garage to help you accomplish these tasks will go a long way toward making it one of the most useful areas in your home. If you’re entering a new phase of life, you may want to make some changes so your garage reflects your lifestyle and hobbies. And while many times, it’s women who put the most thought into how their house can function at its best, the garage is often the man’s domain. Read on for some ideas to make your garage a man’s paradise. What would most men love to have in their garages?

McManus Kitchen and Bath is a full service remodeling company with an in-house design team and showroom right here in Tallahassee, FL. 

We work exclusively with homeowners to help them remodel using a design-build approach that saves time, avoids confusion and creates better results. 

Garage upgrades floor drain with soapy water going down drain

Garage Upgrade #1. A Floor Drain

One of the best garage upgrades is a floor drain. Point drains are good, but a liner drain that runs the lenth of the garage is even better.

Ideally you want to slope your garage floor slightly towards the drain but it’s not 100% necessary and a sloped garage floor may cause issues if there is equipement kept in the garage that needs to be kept level.

During new contruction they are very easy to add and make clean up a breeze. If you located them at the front of the garage they can even help with flooding during heavy rain.

Floor drains (for water only–don’t pour oil or chemicals down them) are incredibly helpful for keeping your garage clean. When you pull your wet cars inside, the water can run down the drain and outside, meaning you won’t have to mop or squeegee your garage floor again.

Sitting water can cause mold and mildew, and it can be a slip hazard, so a dry garage floor is vital. A floor drain also means you can wash your cars inside your garage, which is especially helpful on chilly winter days or to stay out of the hot sun.

Floor drains can be connected to your septic or sewer lines during the construction phase.

If you’re remodeling the garage and want to add a floor drain consider adding a French drain or surface drain that empties into the yard.

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Garage Upgrades: side mount garage door opener

#2. A Side Mount Garage Door Opener

Also known as a jackshaft, a side mount garage door opener attaches to the wall of the garage near the door, instead of on the tracks on the garage door ceiling. They are usually quieter because they don’t use belts or chains. And because side mount openers don’t use overhead tracks, they save on valuable headspace, which is especially helpful for people with tall vehicles like SUVs and trucks. The simpler system of side mount openers means fewer parts that could potentially fail, so you will have less maintenance in the long run.

Easiest Garage Upgrade: #3. Epoxy Floors

Who doesn’t love a pristine garage floor? Epoxy floors are recognized as some of the best types of garage floors available. They are very durable, especially in high-humidity areas like Tallahassee, Florida, and resist any kind of warping or buckling. Where cement floors absorb oil and other liquids and are hard to keep clean, epoxy floors never absorb moisture and are easy to clean with just soap and water.

Epoxy floors are made of two parts liquid resin and one part liquid hardener. Sometimes they are given a top coat for extra durability. They seal the underlying concrete completely and have a fast installation time. Epoxy floors are perfect for garages because of their durability. Your floor won’t be damaged by having vehicles drive on it, wheeling toolboxes around, or even by dropping heavy tools on its surface.

There are four main types of epoxy flooring:

  • Quartz: this is the most durable, commercial-grade epoxy floor. It is chemical, UV, and solvent resistant, and it stands up to heavy traffic. It has a slight texture that makes it slip-resistant as well, which is important in a garage.
  • Flake: epoxy flakes give color and texture to the flooring. This type of epoxy is also slip-resistant, especially if you choose midsized flakes that add an orange-peel-like texture to the surface of the floor.
  • Pigmented: the pigments give you choices of color, glitter, or solid finishes. While this type of floor is durable, it does not stand up to UV rays very well and needs a topcoat.
  • Polyaspartic: this term refers to a topcoat that offers chemical, UV, and solvent resistance to your flooring.

Epoxy flooring is perfect for making your garage a useful, productive, and great-looking space.

#4. A 240-volt Electrical Outlet

Outlets in your garage are a must-have, and upgrading one or a few of them to 240 volts is incredibly helpful. These outlets are larger than the standard 120-volt outlets that you have throughout your house. The 240-volt outlets can power things like

  • a dryer
  • an oven
  • a cooktop
  • an air conditioner unit
  • the water heater
  • an air compressor
  • a welder
  • some power tools like table saws
  • a level 2 electric car charger

The variety of uses makes installing at least one 240-volt electrical outlet in your garage a no-brainer.

Bonus Upgrade: A Transfer Switch

If your electric panel is in the garage adding a tranfer switch to allow a generator to feed the panel is inexpensive and easy to do. Then is the power goes out you can plug a generator into your homes power grid to run plugs, appliances and even your air conditioner. 

How many devices you can run depends on the size of the generator you use. 

#5. A Utility Sink

If your garage is also used as a workshop, a utility sink is a must to make clean-up quick and easy. Having the ability to clean paint brushes, wash muddy gardening tools, clean greasy hands, and rinse off rain boots is priceless. A sink is also helpful for car maintenance, and as an extra wash-off space that your family can make use of before tracking mud or dirt through the house. 

If your garage is already plumbed, installing a utility sink is easy. If it’s not plumbed (and it likely isn’t), you have two options. You can either add plumbing to the space, or you can install a portable sink that you need to fill and empty. Consider the size of the sink you will need, how often it will be used, and what you’ll use it for when making these decisions.

#6. A Retractable Hose

With its round case that mounts to the wall, this handy gadget winds up your hose when you’re done using it, storing it neatly and protecting it. For most models, you simply tug on it when it’s extended, and that activates the spring feature that winds it up. It’s a tidy, simple way to keep your garage neat and your hose easy to access. Some retractable hoses come with spray nozzles as well. Make sure you choose a box that is designed for the type and length of hose you want to use.

#7. A Retractable Extension Cord

Who among us hasn’t struggled with a tangled mess of cords when looking for one to use with a drill or a circular saw? Retractable extension cords get your cords under control and keep them ready to use. You can install them where you will use them most, such as on a workbench, or you can get portable ones that you move to where you need them. A retractable cord is a small change that will save you big when it comes to annoyance and frustration with tangled extension cords.

If your garage isn’t functioning at its peak as a place to park cars, but also a workshop, storage space for your sports gear, a place where you can keep your tools and projects, and a central location to work on your house and cars from, it may be time to make some changes. A thoughtful design, some updates, and a few luxuries, and your garage may become your favorite place in your house. Need some help getting started? Contact us today and let’s brainstorm on how to make your garage as hardworking as it can be.

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