If you’re a DIY dad and you’re looking to set up a workshop/man cave – converting a garage could be your best option. Not all of us are lucky enough to own a garage, but those of us that do usually squander the opportunity by using it as extra storage space. Most garages perfectly suit the conditions of a workshop. You will have to do a bit of renovation – as this post will explain – but its easy access and environment make it far better suited than any other room in the house.
Clean out your garage
The first step is gutting out your garage. Given most of us use this room as a storage container; this will involve a lot of relocating, selling, donating and disposing of items. There may be some objects such as bikes, washing machines, paint supplies and other household items that you’ll want to keep but cannot relocate. If this is the case, dedicate an area of your garage strictly for these household items. There should be enough room for you to at least set up a workbench (you can buy one, or make one yourself to your own measurements).
Research before buying tools
Kitting out your workshop with tools can be expensive. Shopping around online, you should be able to find deals (look out for combo kits and promotions). Try not to simply buy cheap, as these cheaper tools are likely to be less reliable as will need to be more regularly repaired/replaced. Read reviews so that you can weigh up the pros and cons – there are many useful sites that offer reviews on DIY tools such as thediyhubby.com.
Fix up your floor
Most garages have a concrete floor that is suitable for a workshop. However, it may pay to add extra finishing to make it more practical for walking around. An epoxy resin finish could help to make the surface less slippery, as well making it easier to clean dirt and dust (an unfinished concrete floor will get filthy quickly, and you may find yourself dragging this dirt though the rest of the house). Rubber floor mats and garage floor tiles are another options that’s less taxing on your joints.
Make sure electrical outlets are in reach
Extension cords can get messy and can pose a trip hazard. Get an electrician to install power outlets in your garage so that you don’t have to trail cables everywhere. Take into account all the appliances that you will need power outlets for. On top of machinery, this could include lighting, heaters, AC units, computers and possibly some entertainment devices such as a TV or radio.
Keep on top of air quality
While working you may create a lot of dust/fumes that could be dangerous to breathe in. For those cold and rainy days, when keeping the garage door open isn’t an option, having some form of ventilation is important. A ceiling exhaust fan is a good start, but if you can shell out on a dust collection system you’ll protect your lungs better and find it much easier to keep your garage clean.