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Engel & Völkers Licence Partner South Africa > Blog > Making the most out of your garage

Making the most out of your garage

Your garage must keep up with your needs and lifestyle. Aside from housing your car, it is one of the most useful parts of the home; it is used for a variety of things, such as storage, a DIY workshop or maybe even a man cave.

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“When choosing a home, the garage is often overlooked as we get so caught up in the beauty of the home, but it is something which is worth spending a bit more time on, and to consider what you would want to use it for ” notes Craig Hutchison, CEO Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

Craig continued with some suggested questions one should ask yourself: With today’s fixation on security– Does the garage lock? Does it have automated doors for the added security of not having to get out of your car giving possible prowlers time to stop you before you are safely in your home? If you drive a big car, will it fit into the length and height? Do you need direct access into the house or prefer a separate space away from the main building?

If you have however already settled on your dream home and overlooked the space you require, it is not too late. The reality of having a functional work space in your garage, while still being able to store the necessities and park a car, need not feel like an impossible dream – there are a few things you could do to fix your current situation.

Spring is here and you’ve no doubt got to sprucing up your home for the season, now it is the garages’ turn.

The Doors

Start off with up grading your garage doors. It is after all what we see first and can be seen as the eyes of the house. Replacing old doors or alternatively just adding a new coat of varnish or paint could make a huge difference “Well maintained garage doors are the key to enhancing curb appeal and can have a major impact on your home’s appearance and value” Craig advised.

Common Garage Door Materials:

Wood doors range from inexpensive, to very expensive.

  • The costs are mostly related to the material the door is made of. A lightweight wooden frame, filled with foam insulation and wrapped in plywood is more affordable, whilst true frame-and-panel doors made of durable mahogany, redwood or cedar will cost a bit more.
  • Wooden doors are the visually attractive option.
  • However take note that they could carry a short warranty and require frequent repainting or refinishing, especially if you live in a damp climate.

Steel leads the pack because it is relatively inexpensive yet tough with low maintenance.

  • Bare steel rusts, so you need to touch up scratches promptly.
  • High-quality steel doors may have life time warranties on the hardware, laminations between the steel and any insulation, and factory-applied paint.
  • Budget doors tend to have shorter warranties on some components, such as paint and springs.

Aluminium doors are inexpensive, sturdy, and rust-proof with heavy-duty extruded frames and dent-resistant laminated panels.

  • These doors have aluminium frames and panels made of other materials, such as high-density polyethylene.
  • Because of its light weight, aluminium is a good choice if you have an extra-wide double door; it won’t put as much strain on the operating mechanism.

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The Floor

Next we look at the floor. You want the most durable, good looking, and longest lasting floors. Standard concrete floors are functional, but, with a little extra effort, they can also be attractive. Give the floors a makeover with splash of paint, new tiles or rubber mats.

Garage flooring is to divide into two primary categories:

Floor coatings - If your garage floor is stained with oil, grease or even paint, you can easily give it new life with some epoxy floor paint. This will also increase the perceived worth of your home. Floors made from cements or concrete can actually deteriorate pretty quickly.

  • Pro: Epoxy floor paint resists solvents and chemicals, as well as being water resistant and easy to clean. You also have a non-skid option.
  • Con: Though durable and resistant, you will have to replace it eventually. Once the epoxy is applied, changing colours or designs can be a labour-intensive and costly endeavour. In those situations where the floor has to be repaired, removing the coating is quite extensive and difficult.


Floor coverings - These are products that are set on top of the garage floor and can be removed at any time. There are three basic types of garage floor coverings– porcelain garage tiles, 100% PVC interlocking floor tiles and rubber mats. These are hard wearing, remarkably durable, and resistant to most corrosive chemicals whilst also aesthetically pleasing.

  • 100% PVC interlocking floor tiles - The ease and simplicity of installing these inexpensive interlocking tiles has made this flooring option increasingly popular. However inexpensive tiles can look cheap if they are not professionally installed. Tiles may come apart at the seams, creating tripping hazards.
  • Porcelain garage tiles - These tiles are hardy and tough, they can be slippery when wet so maybe not a good idea in a damp garage, depending on which tile you choose this option could get quite costly.
  • Alternatively you can roll out a mat - Garage floor mats come in a variety of styles and colours. It’s the least expensive option and may be a temporary quick fix; however its lifetime is a lot shorter and will have to be replaced often.

The Walls & Space

Once your garage doors & floors are form you can now de-clutter the area, throw out anything that you have not needed to use in a year and sort out all your tools and equipment. Most people use their garage as general storage point and it can quickly turn in to a cluttered mess. No matter how large your garage is, you could always use a little more room.

Here are 9 tips to help you create the right storage options, maximize your space and make your garage feel bigger than it ever has before.

10 tips to maximize space:

1.      Build garage cabinets

Having a formal storage cabinet will help keep your garage organized. This clears up space and prevents items from lying around and getting lost, it also aids in keeping harmful materials/substances safe.

2. Install wall organizers

Garages have plenty of wall space and you should definitely use it to your advantage! Install wall organizer units for tools and auto care products, while hanging larger items namely garden tools, even bicycles on hooks. Wall bins are perfect for sporting goods, kid’s toys or small garden equipment.

3. Add overhead or ceiling storage

Use ceiling-mounted racks for additional overhead storage or lay down boards across the ceiling beams, this will double your storage potential. Ceiling storage is great for boxes, luggage, and less frequently used items.

4. Get magnetic wall boards

Ideal for any steel or metal items lying around. Having small steel and metal parts magnetized to the board will keep them organized and prevent them from getting lost. Baby food jars are just as great for storing small parts in because they are clear, stackable and you can attach their metal lids to the underside of a shelf with hanging jars for easy access - just twist on and twist off.

5. Go mobile with work areas

If your family uses the garage for crafting or as a workshop, then replacing the bulky old workshop table will definitely save space. Opt for those that are wall-mounted and can be folded after every use, or alternatively build a work area with wheels. Put wheels on as many stationary items as you can such as floor cabinets, tool chests and work benches. Items on wheels can be moved away from the walls to create temporary work areas, or even rolled outside for an afternoon and then easily rolled back into place when you're done.

6. Upgrade to adjustable shelving

Adjustable shelving lets you move your seasonal items namely clothes or decorations around in your storage boxes as needed. You can add on in the future and customize the configuration as your needs change. It is the simplest, least expensive garage storage solution. Install open wall shelves, place items inside large plastic containers that you can move around and put small shelving units in unused corners of your garage to make the most of your space.

7. Install pegboards and hooks

Having a pegboard installed not only lets you hang and organize smaller tools that normally get consigned to a drawer or cupboard, but also allows you to keep larger items namely rakes, spades and other tools in place. You can go large or keep it small depending on your needs.

8. Tie and keep wires in one place

If you have a ton of wires lying around this can add to a cluttered look. Tie up extension cords and wires lying around with cable ties; keep everything together in one drawer so you only have to search for a specific wire at a certain place. 

9. Lock down power tools

Power tools that are rarely used can be kept in your most inaccessible storage. Since these also tend to take the largest space in your garage, pack them away.

Don’t be afraid to use your creativity when thinking about your storage solutions and maximizing your garage space. Think of other ways or things that you can do to save up space and that fits with your style and preferences. Find what works for you and you will be happy with your newly decorated and clean garage.

Contact us now
Engel & Völkers
Licence Partner South Africa
  • 1st Floor, Needwood House, Broadacres Shopping Centre, Cedar Avenue, Fourways, Johannesburg
    2055 South Africa
    South Africa

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