Is clutter keeping you from parking your car in the garage? Or do your vehicles take up so much space that there’s no place left to store your tools and outdoor items? Then, it might be time to tackle that garage makeover you’ve been thinking about for years.
An adequately organized garage should be able to serve multiple functions. It can be a warehouse, a workshop, and even a sanctuary. By learning how to store items like rakes, toolboxes, and sporting equipment, you’ll free up some much-needed floor space and finally feel less claustrophobic as you’re pulling up and struggling to unload the car.
To help you get things in order and put more practical solutions in place (because cramming items in any available corner clearly isn’t working anymore), try these garage makeover ideas on a budget.
How to cheaply renovate a garage?
Many garage remodeling ideas may sound expensive and daunting at first. We’ve all attempted a DIY home renovation project only to find that it’s taking longer—and costing more—than originally planned. According to Fixr.com, the average cost for a garage remodel falls between $7,000 and $15,000, but it all depends on whether you’re doing some cosmetic touchups or a full-on room conversion.
With some thoughtful planning and budgeting, it’s entirely possible to pull off a cheap garage makeover on your own. The first step is decluttering and figuring out how you want the space to function. It’s far easier to make updates when you have a clear idea of what additions are needed—be it extra cabinets for storage or a new coat of paint—then you can start calculating costs.
Is renovating a garage worth it?
Yes, renovating a garage is worth it, not just as a return on your real estate investment but to make the space more functional for you (and future owners). For example, per Remodeling Magazine, a garage door replacement retains a 93% value when it comes to costs recouped, far more than other renovations like a primary suite addition (46%) or a bath remodel (59%).
How can I make my old garage look better?
There are many ways to give an old garage a facelift, from updating the doors to repainting the walls to converting it into a fully-functional living space. What you can do depends on time and money available. If you don’t want to break the bank, then a cheap garage makeover is probably your best bet, but if money isn’t a concern, then pricer, cool garage makeover ideas could be within reach.
What colors make a garage look bigger?
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to make a space look bigger is by painting the walls a light, soft color. A hue like white naturally opens up a space, while darker colors do the opposite. You can also add some mirrors, which help bounce light around and add more depth to a room.
7 Cheap Garage Makeover Ideas
1. Store tools on magnetic storage panels
Like most ideas that help you do a garage makeover on a budget, all you need is some basic supplies and a ton of creativity to keep your tools organized. While toolboxes offer secure storage, having tools within easy reach is more practical, so you can find and grab what you need conveniently.
Magnetic storage panels let you openly display your tools on the wall and are incredibly space efficient and affordable to set up. Commonly used for kitchen knife storage, these magnetic steel panels can be found at your nearest hardware store. If you’re looking for something stronger, Home Depot offers a 12-inch magnetic tool panel. Just hang the panel with a mounting bracket and store your essentials. Now, your tools are neatly presented, still out of the way, and easy to retrieve.
Read Also: How to Organize Tools with a Garage Pegboard
2. Use a fold-down workbench to save space
Although essential, an oversized, permanent work table takes up way too much valuable floor space. Instead, consider a space-saving fold-away workbench that’s simple to install.
Wall-mounted folding workbenches are great because they:
- Provide a place to work.
- Include wall storage to store tools.
- It can collapse when not in use.
Foldaway workbenches are available for purchase at hardware stores and can also be easily completed as a DIY project.
3. Add ceiling hooks for bike storage
Finding space for bikes can be a constant struggle, but you don’t have to settle for leaning them up against your garage wall. Put unused ceiling space to use! Bike racks can cost anywhere from $200 to $600, while simple ceiling hooks are extremely affordable and easy to implement. These savings are huge when you have a lot of creative garage renovation ideas running through your mind but need to stick to a budget.
Here’s what you need:
- Purchase heavy-duty, rubber-coated hooks from your local hardware store for about $2 each.
- Use a power drill to make holes in the garage ceiling for each hook to twist into.
- Hang each bike by one of its wheels so it hangs vertically.
4. Craft a DIY garden tool holder
Does your garage double as a gardening shed? If you’re stocked up on shovels, rakes, brooms, and more, chances are they’ve found a tangled home in a dusty corner of your garage during the off-season. Another simple garage makeover DIY that maximizes wall space? A hose.
If you have an extra hose lying around, divide it into small pieces—around 7 inches or so—and slit each one down the front with scissors. Nail these vertically on the wall, with the opening facing forward. These make perfect-sized lawn and gardening tool holders and will finally clear your garage floor from clutter.
5. Hang overhead storage shelves
You likely have storage boxes, totes, or crates sprawled all over the garage floor, which makes the room feel much smaller than it is. Free up that precious space by taking advantage of the ceiling.
Overhead shelves are ideal for infrequently used belongings like large crates, decorations, and clothing. Sturdy ceiling-mounted storage units can even hold up to 600 pounds. These range anywhere from $20 to $500, depending on how much storage and strength you’ll need.
Here’s a pro tip: If you need to be able to access these tools frequently, consider an overhead hoist pulley system that gives you easy access to boxes, kayaks, equipment, and tools with the pull of a rope.
6. Keep sporting equipment and like items together
If you have kids involved with sports, you know what it’s like trying to keep equipment in order. Instead of storing sporting goods in large bins (or worse, scattered throughout the floor), create a bungee storage system on the wall to save tons of floor space.
To pull off this DIY garage makeover idea, you’ll need bungee cords, nails, and spare wood.
- Install three pieces of wood, making a “U” shape, to the top and bottom areas of the wall that are the distance of your desired storage height.
- Hook four or five bungee cords from the wooden ledges, creating a barrier that keeps balls in place.
Since the cords are flexible, you’ll be able to easily access footballs, basketballs, soccer balls — the whole nine yards. You can also buy a metal version online for about $20.
7. Upgrade your garage floor to finish the space
As you check off your list of garage makeover ideas, you might as well go all in: Finish it off with a shiny epoxy floor coating. Epoxy resists chips, oil, grease stains, beads water, and wipes clean like a kitchen counter.
Epoxy paints consist of a two-part application system, followed by a sealing topcoat.
To upgrade your garage floor, follow these steps:
- Patch old potholes and cracks on your current garage floor.
- Sweep and mop the surface with an all-purpose cleaner, rinse with clean water, then let the floor dry.
- Stir the epoxy paint until all ingredients are mixed. Pour the smaller can of hardener into the epoxy paint and mix it together.
- Fill a paint tray with epoxy paint. Brush the coating around the perimeter of the floor and spread evenly until the paint is smooth.
- Let dry for 24 hours, then apply a second coat.
- Mix your topcoat with the hardener and stir until thoroughly blended. Wait 30 minutes and apply the top coat. Wait at least 72 hours to utilize your garage floor.
Depending on the brand, you can find epoxy paint at your nearest hardware store for around $30 per gallon.
With a simple yet effective garage makeover, it’s easy to turn your once chaotic garage into an open, organized, and functional area that truly works for the way you live. Upgrading the space doesn’t require a ton of work or a big budget with these DIY ideas that even the least handy of us can pull off.
Have you made any easy, affordable additions to your garage recently? Show us the before and after photos on social media at @lifestorage, and check out our blog for more organization tips and home projects.
This post originally appeared on the Life Storage Blog on 3/29/16 and was revised on 12/15/18 & 4/20/23 to provide new information.