Your garage is a big deal. Even if you totally ignore that your garage doors themselves can take up a significant portion of your home’s street-facing surface, there’s all that (often unfinished) space inside that you’re just leaving to its own devices (and possibly growing lots of brown recluse spiders).
Your garage doesn’t have to be an afterthought, though! You, too, can have a super fancy garage that feels almost like another living area. We’re talking taking garages to the next level today.
The Garage Reimagined
There was a time, not so long ago, when simply having an attached garage was kind of a big deal. Then it was a two-car attached garage, then an extra-deep third garage bay, and onward and upward. A garage, even at the four-car level, was still just a garage: a poured concrete slab, some drywall (finished if you were lucky), a couple of four-foot long fluorescent shop lights and maybe a workbench in one corner.
Then suddenly something happened. People started demanding more out of their garages. Like so many other spaces in a modern household, the garage needed to be more than a mere storage unit, it needed to become a flexible living area.
Dolly Holmes, a garage designer, and owner of San Antonio’s Premier Garage, put it best in an article in The San Antonio Express-News, “I recently had a customer come to me and say they wanted to drive into a garage that looks as good as the rest of [their] home.”
Turning an old grimy, potentially frightening, garage into a gorgeous and welcoming living space where your car just happens to hang out is no small feat. It takes the concept to a whole new level, really.
From car-safe flooring that can resist oil stains to gorgeous cabinets that can hold chemicals that are traditionally banished to the garage, plus all those accessories for home theaters, pool cues, and ping pong tables, today’s high-end garage can become far more than anyone ever believed.
Beefing Up Your Garage’s Storage Potential
It can be easy to let your garage turn into a storage unit, that’s why so many of the fanciest garages start with a really amazing plan for dealing with the clutter. If you walk through your favorite home improvement store, you’ll notice an entire section of cabinetry just for the garage. These durable options offer more than just a place to put all your stuff, they give you a huge start on a high-end garage that you’ll love.
Cabinets might not be the sexiest part of your high-end garage, but they will help calm the overwhelm that a garage lacking storage for all those random things that end up being stacked to the ceiling can create. And hey, if you want to get really neat, use those cabinets to create a wet bar or a media center fit for the inside of your home.
Unappreciated Garage Tech
Even though garages have been getting smarter for years, most people haven’t noticed and these technological leaps have gone largely unadopted. Garage tech ranges in complexity from simple swaps of equipment already in your garage to quite complex undertakings that definitely will require a construction crew.
Smarter Garage Doors
Smart garage door openers have been around for a while, but they fail to get the kind of attention that other smart gadgets have seen. For example, this unit from Ryobi was named “The Most High-Tech Garage Door Opener in the World” back in 2016, but apparently, no one read this particular article.
These door openers range from being simply controlled by your phone to being part of a complete safety system for your home. For example, some will notify you if they’re opened when you’re not home and most will tell you if you’ve left them open on those mornings you need a lot more coffee to get the job done. You can then tap into a security camera and even shut the door from anywhere.
How About an Elevator for Your Car?
Of course, simply replacing your garage door opener with one that inhabits the Internet of Things is one thing, but literally being able to park your car underground is quite another. This is major stuff here. Instead of wasting valuable above-ground garage space with dedicated areas for your car, motorcycle, boat or other garaged vehicles, a garage lift can kill two birds with one stone.
Basically, your garage can now be your own personal Bat Cave.
Garage lifts are pretty cool, but they will require professional installation and work best when incorporated into the building plans of your garage. Still, if you’re building and you’re hoping to use your garage as a rec room, you can recapture lots of square footage with one of these amazing things.