A garage is a natural place for storing the majority of your tools and equipment – but not only. While not every single one is intended for working on a larger project, with a little effort, you can transform your garage space into a functional workshop where you can work on your future DIY projects in peace.
Below, you will find a step-by-step guide that will help you transform your garage into an ultimate workshop. You can learn how to choose the right place, design your workbench, change your electrical outputs, and much more. Keep in mind that safety is the most important factor!
The first thing you should do is choose a garage location where you can fit a workbench, tool rack, and other storage units. Make sure that this place has access and allows you to use your power tools without disturbing your family members.
When arranging your garage workshop, keep in mind these important tips:
- Make sure that your workshop is properly lit, especially if your projects require attention to detail.
- Your space should be easily accessible and well-organized. You can’t really do any work if you have to get up and move every time you need something.
- The garage workshop should be placed away from your main entrance. Also, make sure there is enough space between your workbench and the door. Moving large objects or power tools might not be possible with such a narrow passage.
- Insulate your garage properly – you don’t want to freeze in winter and melt during the summer. It is best to start with a good garage door that will also improve the safety of your workshop and the whole house. Garage door Michigan? Colorado? Nebraska? It doesn’t matter – wherever you live, you can easily find knowledgeable specialists in your area.
It is a good idea to build your own workbench because it will cost less than a commercially available model. Just make sure that you select solid materials.
Since the workbench is one of the most important elements in a workshop, it is vital to create an efficient plan before starting to build one. Here are some basic guidelines that will help you build a suitable and comfortable workbench:
- Workbench must be designed for the job. It should have a large surface so that you can fit large tools and materials on it. You should also measure its height, so you can conveniently work on various DIY projects without slouching and hurting your back. Remember that you will use this place every day, so it must be comfortable and easy to use.
- You need to invest in high-quality materials for the benchtop. Preferably, you should use MDF or plywood for the surface because they are quite sturdy and resistant to moisture and humidity. If you want to save some cash, you might also use oak or pine. However, be aware that these types of woods might crack or warp. In addition, you should cover your workbench with a reliable material such as Formica or laminate. Otherwise, the wood will quickly become worn out, and it won’t provide an optimal working environment for you anymore.
- Your workbench should have lots of storage space. You don’t want a messy workspace, do you? Make sure you can easily fit all the tools and materials you need.
Once you have built the perfect workbench, it is time to install proper electrical outlets and cables to allow you to plug in your power tools and other devices. There are two ways to do this:
- Use circuit breakers for every single stage of your electrical output. Circuit breakers are designed to protect components from power surges, so you don’t have to worry about anything dangerous while working on your project. This solution is much more expensive than regular outlets because you need to hire an electrician to install complex wiring throughout your garage. However, the result will be much safer, so we highly recommend it, especially if you plan to use heavy power tools like table saws or sanders;
- Install GFCI outlets for every electrical outlet in your garage workshop. GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, which is basically an outlet with built-in circuitry that shuts down the entire circuit if it senses current leakage or ground fault in any device plugged into it. Nothing happens until the problem is fixed by the user, so this is an excellent way to ensure electrical safety in your garage workshop without hiring an electrician;
- Use power strips instead of traditional outlets. Power strips allow you to plug in multiple devices at once without excessive electricity and overloading circuits. This is an excellent solution if you own only a few power tools, but you still need constant access to electricity.
Now, it is time to put everything in its place! Here are some ideas of how to organize your garage workshop:
- Choose plastic containers with tight-fitting lids that are intended for storage. These units will last longer than cardboard boxes, and they will keep dust away from your tools;
- Install wall-mounted storage racks. They are perfect for storing power tools since they take up less space than traditional cabinets or shelves;
- Opt for locking cabinets if you want to store dangerous chemicals or flammable liquids. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry, even if you don’t use any hazardous materials;
- Attach hooks on the walls where you can hang buckets and other containers that are used for storing paintbrushes and other equipment;
- If you have enough floor space in your garage, consider installing rolling tool cabinets. They are convenient since they allow easy movement around your workshop.
Now that you have organized your workshop, it is time to buy the necessary tools! To begin with, you should purchase a few basic power and hand tools. A good starting point is to buy a hammer, a tape measure, a pair of clamps, a jigsaw, a cordless drill, a utility knife, and a set of screwdrivers.
After you have stocked up on the necessary tools, it is time to select the most efficient power tools for your workshop. When it comes to table saws, you might want to use a contractor’s one if you plan to work on larger projects. However, you can also invest in a portable table saw if you plan to use this tool only occasionally.
You should also get yourself a good cordless drill. If you use it only for small projects, you can buy a regular version. However, if you work on bigger DIY projects, it is best to buy an impact driver. It will save you lots of time when drilling through hard materials since it delivers more torque than regular cordless drills.
Bare concrete floors are not very comfortable to work on, especially if you plan to spend hours working on your DIY project. To make your life easier, you should install a flooring system that will protect your garage workshop from corrosive substances or moisture. Here are some of the most common garage flooring systems that you can use:
- Resilient flooring systems are the easiest and cheapest way to protect your garage floor. They are made from a special rubber that is resistant to moisture and other substances. They are pretty easy to install and also very affordable. However, they might leave markings on your floor after you have removed them;
- Vinyl flooring systems are popular in garages because they are inexpensive and easy to install. They might not be the best option for your garage workshop if you plan to spend a lot of time working on your projects, though, as vinyl floors can become slippery once they get wet;
- Tile flooring systems provide an excellent solution when you deal with excess moisture in your garage. This type is commonly chosen because of its durability, waterproofness, and slip resistance. You can easily install tile flooring all by yourself, but make sure that you hire a professional to do the grouting for you. Otherwise, it will look sloppy;
- You can also lay down carpet in your garage workshop, but this is not recommended if you plan on working on heavy projects. It is not designed to hold heavy objects, so it can easily rip away under pressure. Moreover, it is not waterproof, and moisture can damage it quickly. If you still want to use it, make sure that you use thick padding underneath it – it will give your carpet enough protection.
Now that you have learned how to transform your garage into an ultimate workshop, you can start working on your DIY projects and save money on professional services. The process may seem a bit overwhelming, but if you follow the steps in this article, it will be a piece of cake! Good luck!