Q. My garage has a lot of potential, and I would like to remodel it to add more storage and function. What is involved with remodeling a garage, and what are some options for features and storage systems?
A. When dealing with garage storage needs, you have several options. You can build simple shelving from plywood and 2x4 lumber. Or you can buy ready-to-assemble shelving in many styles and sizes. Shelf systems are also available at home centers or from companies that specialize in storage systems. Many offer custom design options.
The determining factors for your selection often come down to the type of storage you need, the space you have, and cost.
Consider what you will be storing. Will it be tools or oddly shaped items? Will it be mostly items in boxes? Boxes can stack neatly on most standard shelf designs, but odd items (think shovels, garden hoses, sports equipment) often require hanging storage, such as a pegboard or wall hooks. Bicycles can be suspended from the ceiling or hung on the wall using specially designed hardware.
Does your garage have tall ceilings? If so, I would suggest taking advantage of that space. If your shelving is mounted on the walls, you won't have to sacrifice floor space.
You will find a lot of ideas for storage solutions at home centers, lumberyards, or online. Many books are also devoted to the topic.
Whatever system you decide to use, make sure it is strong enough to support the loads that will be placed on it. If you use freestanding shelving, I highly recommend anchoring it to the wall, so it won't tip over if someone tries to climb on it.
You can find a list of qualified contractors and suppliers in your area on the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) website.
Jay Statz, certified remodeler, National Association of the Remodeling Industry
About Jay Statz
Jay Statz, certified remodeler, owns Statz Construction Services, LLC, in Middleton, Wisconsin. His company has specialized in full-service residential remodeling since 1995. He is past president of NARI of Madison and currently serves as chairman of the board. Statz is also a member of the Wisconsin Licensing Council, helping to establish the rules that will govern this new licensing program.
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