If you’re a keen DIY enthusiast or need a place to work on your vehicles, then you might be considering converting your garage into a workshop space. Even if the space you have isn’t huge, there are ways of designing and organising the area to maximise on what you have available. Here are some tips to changing a garage into an organised, clean workshop:
- The first step is going to be clearing out the existing contents to start with a clean slate. This might be more than a weekend chore, so be prepared to invest some time into this part of the conversion. Once the space is clear, give it a good clean and plan where equipment will fit best. Be ruthless and purge anything you haven’t used for ages. Less junk equals more space.
- To make a workshop feel more like a room and not a cold, dark space, you might want to put in a ceiling of plyboard between the joists using a nail gun. Battens can be nailed between the boards to prevent any drafts and give the room a much nicer, more finished feel.
- Paint the walls and ceiling in a lighter colour to make the room look bigger and benefit from as much natural light as possible. Installing a fluorescent light strip is a good idea for a workshop as they are more energy efficient and don’t emit heat. Incandescent lightbulbs can give off sparks if they shatter, so for safety, stick with fluorescent or sealed halogen ones instead.
- A workbench is one of the most important aspects of a workshop, so make sure yours is sturdy and big enough to handle the kind of projects you’ll be carrying out. To make life easier with power cables, install a power strip along the length of bench. Whether you build your own or buy one ready to go, you’ll want to be sure the top is a material that won’t get too dented or damaged. If you lack space, consider a fold-down workbench instead.
- Organisation is key if you want to work efficiently. If you think you know where everything lives, and messy minds are more creative, then think again. Think of how much time you could save if you were instantly able to put your hand on the right tool. There are a number of options from rolling cabinets that fit under the workbench, wall-mounted tool hooks or for larger spaces, industrial shelving is an option.
- When you’re organising your workspace, always put safety at the forefront of any decisions you make. Keep chemicals in their original containers in a lockable container and away from sources of heat. Keep the correct fire extinguishers within easy reach and always wear appropriate safety clothing such as gloves, boots and face masks.