Having a small garage can limit a homeowner’s practical use of this all-important space.
A garage is mainly used for two primary functions. These are vehicle parking and storage. Having a small garage doesn’t mean that you need to choose between these two functions. It is possible to have the best of both when applying a bit of creativity and clever use of space.
We have compiled some handy tricks and tips so you can get the most out of your small garage.
What size garage qualifies as a small garage?
Generally speaking, the majority of people would define a “small garage” as one that can hold one or two vehicles. Some people have a 1.5 size garage (not common), which would also fall in this category.
However, even if a small garage is built with the purpose of accommodating one or two vehicles, this doesn’t mean that it will be a comfortable fit.
The interior dimensions of the garage, the vehicle size, and the available storage space also needs to be considered.
The typical dimensions of a one-car garage can be anything from 12 feet wide by 20 feet deep, up to 16 feet wide and 24 feet deep. Looking at the interior dimensions, this equates to 240 to 384 square feet.
Looking at a two-car garage, the size can range from 18 feet by 20 feet to 24 feet by 24 feet. This would equate to anything between 360 up to 576 square feet.
You will find that older garages may be a bit smaller compared to some of their more modern counterparts. This is mainly due to the priority of that time, which was to simply provide vehicle cover and not so much storage space.
If we look back at the era of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, most households had only one vehicle, which explains why one-car garages are more common in older homes.
Throughout the decades vehicle designs have changed and we find that these days vehicles are getting bigger all the time.
Looking now at some of the older garages, it is a mystery how a larger car of that era could even fit inside a standard one-car garage of the time.
When speaking to garage contractors about your garage remodel, make sure to discuss the fact that vehicles seem to be getting bigger all the time. It would be a good idea to keep this in mind when it comes to planning for the future.
Consumer demand for more safety and comfort features in cars, SUVs and pickups alike, is the main reason for the general increase in vehicle size. These added features require extra space, and coupled with a relatively low fuel price, larger vehicles are the result.
Larger vehicles in small garages do not leave much space for storage. Keep reading for handy garage organization tips to help you create more space in your small garage.
1. Declutter Your Garage
It seems like the logical place to start, which is why it’s first on our list. Make sure to declutter your garage by removing any items that are not essential. This will free up valuable space instantly.
According to a Wall Street Journal survey carried out, “removing junk” came out on top. This was in response to a question posed to homeowners, asking how they think they can improve the functionality of their garage.
Furthermore, according to a Braun Research study, around 30% of homeowners were not able to recall exactly what they had stored in their garage. Around 75% of those polled wished they had a more organized garage. And then around a third of the same people said that they did not make much, or any effort to clean and organize their garage on a regular basis.
When it comes to old, dusty furniture, broken appliances, bits and pieces of building material, or old tools that were replaced ages ago, these items need to go. Every square foot you can clear is valuable and will make a big difference.
Making the time to declutter the garage just makes sense. What would not make sense is to leave old and non-essential items safely tucked away in your garage, whilst expensive cars are forced to park outside, enduring all types of weather conditions, due to lack of space indoors.
2. Using wall space for extra storage
Look at this example of a garage that has a slatwall installed to allow space for a home gym setup.
Perhaps you are frustrated with the limited space of your home’s small garage. Maybe contact was already made with garage builders to discuss garage remodel options. Or maybe you have even considered moving to another property to have access to a larger garage space.
Going this route may seem a bit drastic and very possibly not required if you explore some other options. One such option is to let the experts, like Stanley Garage Builders, assist you with maximizing your small garage space.
The first thing you can look into would be the installation of a slatwall storage solution. This can best be described as PVC wall panels that can be configured according to your needs. Hanging accessories are paired with the panels, creating a wonderful system to organize a variety of items.
When comparing a slatwall solution to a pegboard, the slatwall has some distinct advantages. These include more versatility in storing items, easy to clean, more durable, and their ability to handle more weight. Another great advantage is the aesthetic appeal of a slatwall. Apart from the functionality, it also looks good!
Floor clutter can effectively be taken care of with this slatwall storage solution, as it enables the majority of storage items to be hung up in an organized manner. Yard tools, hand tools, bikes, sports equipment, ladders, and power cords can be grouped together, hung up and kept out of the way.
For spare tires that may be stored in your garage, an alternative wall storage option is available in the form of wall-mounted tire racks.
3. Make use of ceiling space
Another clever garage storage space solution is overhead storage racks. You would however need a garage with a ceiling height that can accommodate these racks. It may not apply to all small garages, but for those that do, this is a great solution. There may be plenty of unused overhead space that you can take advantage of.
If you find yourself parking your vehicle outside due to clutter taking up the garage floor, consider making use of these racks. They are especially good for storing bulky items. This can include tires, patio furniture, seasonal items, plastic storage bins, and more.
When presented with various overhead storage rack options, it’s best to go with a high-quality option. Good quality heavy duty steel racks with a powder-coated finish will prevent rust and can handle more weight compared to the lesser quality options. It is important to make sure the installation is done properly with the racks securely attached to the wall and ceiling. As always, safety first!
4. How a car lift can increase parking space in a small garage
See how a 4-post car lift doubles the available parking space in this one-car garage.
Many households today have two cars. If your property has a single garage, you will need an effective solution to keep both vehicles indoors overnight. In this case, a car lift may be just the answer.
Of course, the height of your garage will be the deciding factor whether a car lift could be accommodated in your garage or not. Depending at which height your garage doors open, a high lift conversion may be required to adjust the door opening height.
Most residential garages make use of a 2-post or a 4-post car lift. When it comes to using a car lift for a parking solution, you will want to make use of the 4-post option.
The difference is that a 2-post car lift is ideal for someone who prefers to maintain their own car or fixes cars as a hobby. The 4-post car lift will allow a car to be driven onto a ramp and lift it up high enough for another car to comfortably fit underneath it. This is a perfect parking solution that increases the functionality of any single car garage. Speak to your local garage construction or garage remodel company to discuss the possibility of installing a car lift in your small garage.
5. Ideal cabinets to use for your small garage
To create some extra storage space, you can consider having some cabinets installed in your small garage. Sometimes it can be challenging to find the right cabinets that will fit in the limited space available.
In most cases, if you have a relatively deep garage, it would be best to install cabinets on the far wall. This is often better than installing them along the side walls. With limited space, make sure to take proper measurements to buy or order the correct sizes that will fit. Even a small cabinet will make a difference when you need to organize and clear some space. Just a cabinet with a single stack of drawers, some cabinet doors, and maybe a small countertop, can create a highly functional space.
Again, you may have a variety of options available when it comes to the materials used in the manufacturing process of these cabinets. It’s worth it to pay a little more and buy quality cabinets, like those made from North American steel. These will stand the test of time, rather than save a little now and buy an inferior product that just won’t last. This is often true when looking at cabinet models found online and those available in big-box stores.
Stanley Garage Builders has a signature cabinet system on offer that has a shallow depth and is a great storage solution for small garages. Don’t settle for just anything. Let Stanley Garage Builders assist you with your garage remodel and choose from a variety of colors and designs to add some style to your garage.
6. Pay attention to the paint, flooring, and lighting in your garage
To create the illusion of space, make sure to paint the walls and ceiling in lighter shades.
Applying a fresh coat of paint in lighter shades can make the space feel more open and roomier.
Stick to lighter colors and paint the entire garage with one shade is a good way to create a feeling of space. You could also paint the ceiling a shade lighter than the walls, which will have a similar effect.
Consider using a paint with a gloss finish. This will help to better reflect the light and to make the garage appear larger. Keep these design tips in mind when looking at installing a slatwall. Stanley Garage Builders are more than just experienced garage contractors, they also offer a variety of different color slatwall options for you to choose from.
Paying extra attention and upgrading some of the lighting fixtures can also help with making the space feel bigger. Instead of having a single overhead light, you could install a few smaller lights, like spotlights. This will ensure adequate garage light coverage and draw more attention to various areas of the garage.
If you are considering a garage remodel, speak to the garage builders to give the floor new life with a fresh new floor coating. Garage construction companies often have an in-house designer you can turn to for advice on the best color option for your garage. You want a color that will complement the rest of your house & garage as well as achieve the illusion of a larger space.
7. Regular re-organization and tidying up
Once you have a storage system in place, it will be so much easier to keep your small garage tidy and organized.
Decide on a schedule that you can stick to in order to regularly spend some time tidying up. The last thing you want is the clutter to start piling up once again and you feeling that you are back to square one. You don’t want to go back to the time when your clutter took over the parking space of your car.
Just a quick cleanup once a month should suffice. You can schedule a more thorough organizing and cleaning project a few times per annum. At this time, you can wash surfaces and the floor in addition to the tidying up.
Make sure that you keep the clutter out and only store relevant and essential items in your small garage. Think twice before you store the following items in your garage:
Paint cans that are almost empty or haven’t been used in years.
- Food items or wine
- Outdated electronic equipment
- Fabrics and old clothing
- Paper, cardboard, or old photos
Get ready for your small garage upgrade
We hope to have inspired you with some of our small garage design ideas. Your limited garage space can still be enjoyed and be functional with just a bit of creativity and by trying out some of the abovementioned ideas.
Stanley Garage Builders has helped many homeowners make the most of their small garage spaces. Our friendly team will gladly be of assistance to you for professional advice for your garage remodel or just a simple upgrade. Stanley Garage Builders specialize in transforming small spaces into functional areas for hobbies, a home gym or just creating more space for comfortable parking.
Contact Stanley Garage Builders today to find out more about our services or to schedule a free design consultation.