It’s easy to spend $50,000 ren­o­vat­ing a garage

Many out­fit­ters can be found in Mon­treal

Montreal Gazette - - Driving - GreG Wil­liams

In my opin­ion the garage is one of the best rooms in the house.

That’s where the cars and mo­tor­cy­cles live, and hours can be spent out there tin­ker­ing, weld­ing and restor­ing.

Our garage is some­what or­ga­nized, and while the walls have been painted and the floor is clean, it looks noth­ing like one of the cus­tom jobs put to­gether by a pro­fes­sional out­fit­ter, many of which can be found in Mon­treal.

The garage is usu­ally not only the largest room in the house, it’s also the most un­der-uti­lized.

For auto en­thu­si­asts, how­ever, the garage is cer­tainly more than a spot to store card­board boxes full of dusty Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions.

A garage makeover of­ten starts with the re­pair and fin­ish­ing of the con­crete floor.

Garage out­fit­ters like to work with a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent floor­ing op­tions, rang­ing from two-part epox­ies to ure­thane poly­mers and tiles. Other op­tions in­clude methyl methacry­lates, and the favourite, polyas­par­tics, one of the fin­ishes that ac­tu­ally per­me­ates the pad, cre­at­ing a stronger bond be­tween the fin­ish and the sub­strate.

What­ever the coat­ing, the most im­por­tant part of the process is sur­face prepa­ra­tion to clean up cracks and spalling (where pieces of con­crete are break­ing out of the pad), and to ac­cept the fin­ish. Once ap­plied, the fin­ish should be im­per­vi­ous to usual garage flu­ids.

With the floor look­ing good, it’s time to get ev­ery­thing off of it and sen­si­bly stored. For some folks the tired look­ing two-by-four with nails ham­mered into it suf­fices as a sys­tem to hold gar­den hoses, rakes and shov­els. For oth­ers, that look just won’t work in the room where they also park their pride and joy.

That’s where slot wall – a rigid panel with hor­i­zon­tal grooves milled into its sur­face – comes to the res­cue.

With one wall cov­ered with the slot pan­els, a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ently shaped hooks are placed into the grooves thus al­low­ing for neater stor­age.

Many shops in Mon­treal of­fer a range of cab­i­nets, from all wood to all metal or a hy­brid of the two. Most im­por­tantly for a gear head is a work­bench sur­face.

Once only found in me­chanic’s bays, ve­hi­cle ser­vice lifts are now com­monly in­stalled in garages. Not only does a lift make it eas­ier to work on a ve­hi­cle, it’s also en­tirely pos­si­ble to dou­ble the stor­age ca­pac­ity of a garage.

Two and four-post au­to­mo­tive lifts al­low one car – or any va­ri­ety of other equip­ment such as ATVs, mo­tor­cy­cles, lawn equip­ment or even a boat – to be stored above an­other ve­hi­cle.

The garage fix-up mar­ket has been heat­ing up of late, with many of the big box stores mov­ing into the game with plenty of cabi­net, floor­ing and stor­age so­lu­tions.

The garage in­te­rior busi­ness is grow­ing and sim­ple makeovers can cost $10,000, while some­thing a bit more ex­ten­sive could cost as much as $50,000.

PHo­tos: tHe GaraGe store

Garage ren­o­va­tions can be fairly sim­ple and in­ex­pen­sive, or they can be­come elab­o­rate changeovers.

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