Home & Garden
Great Garage Makeovers

Great Garage Makeovers


"Garage Life" describes the efforts the homeowners featured in this publication have poured into their garages. Each issue provides an in-depth look at dozens of garages as well as numerous how-to articles to take you through the steps of planning and equipping the interior of your garage with flooring, wall upgrades, cabinets, and tool organization. Discover secrets for carving out space for gardening equipment, youth sporting goods, and more. Turn your garage into your own "Garage Mahal."

United States
Meredith Corporation
Back issue only
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in this issue

1 min.
make it yours

When my wife and I take our nightly stroll around the neighborhood, my head is constantly on a swivel, looking for an open garage door. Not because I’m some kind of creeper, but because I love seeing what other guys have done with their garage space. Some look like college dorm rooms; others are stuffed to the gills with boxes and debris; still others are completely barren with not so much as a rake hanging on the wall. Regardless of the condition of your garage right now, you can easily transform it into a fun and fully functional space following the real-life steps shown in this issue. From floor (page 28) to ceiling (page 50) and everything in between, we’ve got you covered. And, by doing the work yourself, you’ll save…

2 min.
floor-to-rafter makeover

Talk to any professional organizer and most will agree that dumping ground accurately describes a lot of garages across the U.S. Barry Izsak, past president of the National Association of Professional Organizers, has advised more than 100 homeowners on garage makeovers. He says that just about anything that doesn’t earn its place in the house finds its way to the garage. “The prime reason garage organization eludes families,” Barry says, “is that this room serves the needs of the entire household. Everyone’s junk, leftovers, and stuff they can’t part with end up in the garage.” To find out what it takes to successfully complete a garage transformation, we asked Barry to assist a young couple with converting their 21∕2-car detached garage. Barry worked from photos, drawings, a video clip, and phone calls. (On…

2 min.
improved floor space

A skinny footprint (19×25’ outdoors; a cramped 18’ wide inside) and double-wide service doors didn’t leave a lot of storage space in this detached garage. Indeed, the before configuration required the homeowner to perform Houdini-like maneuvers to slither out from behind the steering wheel and thread a path around a jumble of shelves, bikes, and canvas chairs. A decade of oil stains marred the floor. We again rang up professional organizer Barry Izsak in Austin, Texas, to get this project started down the right path. In a matter of weeks, the garage transformed from an embarrassment (“Don’t let anyone see inside our garage”) to a point of pride (“Honey, I think my bridge club will meet in our new garage”). Ah, the sweet sound of success. Fresh eyes make huge improvements For…

4 min.
saving garages one at a time

If there weren’t “before” photos to prove it, you wouldn’t believe that just a short time ago, there was barely a walking path carved through Bob and Dorian Woods’s garage. Fortunately for the Woodses, winning a Dallas-area garage makeover contest changed all that. Their 20×24’ garage was selected from more than 100 homeowners who submitted entries. “We have moved twice, cleaned out two sets of grandparent houses and acquired at least two sets of decorations for all of the holidays and themed parties I love to celebrate,” Dorian pleaded in her winning application. “If I got that garage clean, my husband would think I was even better than I was 17 years ago when we first started dating. I would love to give him something that I am not able to on…

2 min.
dream garage on the prairie

Even on the coldest Minnesota morning, Scott Gulbranson enjoys walking into his garage, firing up his Hot Dawg heater, and puttering around on his ’69 Camaro. And who wouldn’t enjoy a day working in a garage shop that looks this great? Scott wrapped his garage in bright red accents. His lighting system is just one step away from operating-room bright. But it takes more than bright colors and good lighting to make great garage space. Consider, for example, his custom cabinets (thermofoil doors) built by Steve Lenning, a cabinetmaker and fellow Camaro fanatic from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Steve suggested that Scott could hold down cabinet costs by ordering wall and base units with identical dimensions. Then Scott lucked into a find at Menards: stock countertop material at closeout prices. Soffit storage on…

2 min.
real-life redo

The mission: Build a detached garage to match the character and style of its 1913 Arts & Crafts home. Husband and wife Alfie Ferreyra and Kim Cornelison live and work side by side, running a Midwest photography business. Through their work, they travel the country, capturing innovative home design projects. But at the end of the day, they would return home to park their cars in a most uninspired garage. Their structure, built in the 1980s, was a basic, boring box. The two set out on a research project that had them studying garages everywhere they went, snapping pictures and making notes of details they admired. “I found that it’s the fine points that create the look,” says Alfie. “That’s why the details were so important to us.” Interviewing architects After compiling a…