Would you place a beautiful painting in a shabby frame? Hang a Van Gogh on the wall using duct tape? The garage is the "frame" around our rolling works of art. Why dishonor your coveted car by surrounding it with a mess? Let's look at clearing the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life to properly display our prized possessions.
Sure, full remodeling can be expensive. For example, the figures often quoted for a kitchen remodel range from $15,000 for minor work to $80,000 or more for major remodeling. Fortunately, a garage can be changed from mediocre to marvelous for far less money. Plus, in at least one place in your house, you can do it your way. Wives often fashion the look of most of the rooms in a house, but the garage can be a guy's sanctum sanctorum.
Previous issues of Corvette Fever have shown garages of particular interest, and they are extraordinary. However, this article is for those of us more constrained by space or funds. the low-cost themes of this article are paint, declutter, and organize. Not only are these the cheapest things to do, they are also the most effective way to make a habitat that doesn't detract from your car.
Preparing and roller-painting a dingy, stained floor costs about $50. At even less cost, apply an appliance-white enamel via aerosol to a gray or galvanized garage door, and it brightens the entire space. Then add a couple posters in frames to elevate the room above the warehouse look.
The best bang for the buck comes from getting rid of clutter. The garage seems to be the final resting place for everything in the category "I don't need this anymore, but maybe someday somebody will." Pretend you're Elliot Ness attacking moonshine and toss out everything that is not essential for a future planned project. Need another rationalization? Not only is it irritating to have to step over clutter everyday, but it can fall or be bumped, and damage your Corvette's finish.
The third theme is to organize. Not in the union sense, but in making an efficient place to put stuff away and out of sight. Prefab cabinets from Lowe's or Home Depot can store hundreds of items behind closed doors. Using large plastic tubs on shelves provides a way to organize items so you can actually find them quickly when needed. The same cabinets can hide ugly water heaters, water filters, and other "wall warts."
This project may take a weekend or two, and at times it will be tedious. But when it's completed, you'll be really glad you did it. In a hectic life, you'll gain a little bit of Zen harmony when you walk into the garage in the morning or drive into it in the evening. Plus you'll be the envy of the other guys in the neighborhood. And you might just make some more room for another toy...or two!