The gift-giving season is upon us. If you’re a parent or grandparent, you may find yourself in need of a workspace where you can create or assemble toys and other gifts away from prying eyes. Or perhaps you simply want a workshop where you can work on crafts and hobbies. Your garage can provide the needed workspace and solitude.
Create Workable Space
If your garage is the family dumping ground for old toys, furniture and sports equipment, you might find it difficult to make room in your garage for your vehicle(s). Finding space for a safe, comfortable workspace in your garage probably seems like an impossible dream. However, integrating a slatwall organization system, like slatwall, into your garage reserves much-needed floor space.
Wall organization panels utilize movable shelves, hooks and baskets to store toys, tools, sporting goods and other items along vertical wall space. With most items stored neatly along the walls, you can carve out a back corner or sidewall to create workspace or a makeshift Santa’s Workshop.
Locate your new workspace near an existing electrical outlet. If your garage lacks sufficient outlets or enough power to accommodate your work, have additional outlets installed by a professional electrician. The use of extension cords should be minimized. If an extension cord is required, make sure it’s approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
Standard incandescent overhead lighting is adequate if you do little more than park your vehicle in your garage. To create a functional workshop in the garage you’ll require directed task lighting. Ceiling-mounted spotlights and track lighting can flood a particular area with much-needed lighting. Tabletop or desk-mounting lightings provide focused lighting on your work surface. If you’ll be working beneath an overhead cabinet, under cabinet fluorescent lighting is a good option for creating directed task lighting.
You’ll also want to stay warm and cozy while you’re working. A fan-forced electric garage heater is a relatively inexpensive way to safely warm the space. There is no messy fuel to deal with and no open flame, so electric heaters are maintenance-free and easy to operate. Be sure to follow all of the manufacturer’s directions and don’t place the heater too close to anything combustible.
Now that you have a warm, well-lit corner of the garage, it’s time to find the perfect workspace.
Explore Workspace Options
The most essential component in your garage workshop will be the flat workspace. There are a variety of options for your work surface:
A sleek, highly-flexible modular cabinet system like Contur Cabinets offers timeless design and highly-functional cabinets and workspace at an affordable price. Sturdy, adjustable shelves and spacious, lockable drawers provide ample space to store tools and materials.
Box store workbench.
A typical wooden or stainless steel workbench, available at any home improvement store, can provide a flat work surface, if additional storage isn’t needed. Carefully measure the space in your garage to make sure the workbench will fit. A bench with adjustable height is preferable, particularly if more than one person will be using the space. Opt for a model that has a footrest; this will help alleviate strain on the legs and back.
For a quick fix, repurpose an old desk, table or dresser into a work surface for your garage. This is a great way to make use of that damaged piece of furniture you just can’t seem to let go of. If you don’t have a table or desk that’s the appropriate size or height, try garage sales or resale shops. Repurposing furniture and other items reduces your carbon footprint and gives new life to a treasured old piece. Just be sure that any standing workbench has an appropriate height, so as not to cause back or neck strain.
Creating workspace in your garage may seem hopeless if you have very limited space or an odd configuration. However, an innovative garage renovation specialist can create a custom or made-to-measure workbench to accommodate your space. Even in a small, one-car garage a fold-away workbench can provide the workspace you need.
For more tips on how to set up an ergonomic standing workspace, refer to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.
Plan for Next Year
A reclaimed desk or box store workbench can be an ideal short-term solution for assembling toys and other items in preparation for holiday gift-giving. However, if you’re looking for a year-round workshop for gardening, auto or bicycle maintenance or crafts and hobbies, these solutions might not provide the storage and space you require. Begin planning your garage renovation now.
A garage renovation specialist can maximize storage and workspace in your garage, creating a custom or made-to-measure workbench, if needed. Check out some of amazing garage transformations Garage Tailors Garage has done in the Greater Toronto area. Then begin thinking about how you’d like to use your garage in the year ahead. Whether your goal is to store all of your bikes, tools and lawn care equipment and still have room to park your vehicles or to create a bona fide workshop in your garage, we can help.