Montreal Gazette

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

Many outfitters can be found in Montreal

- 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.
PHotos: tHe GaraGe store Garage renovation­s can be fairly simple and inexpensiv­e, or they can become elaborate changeover­s.
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