I decided to renovate my garage and change your “run of the mill” two car garage into a workshop/man-cave that any do it yourselfer on a budget could be proud of. This is the story of how I did it!

First a quick idea of what I had to work with. The house is a raised ranch and was built in 1977, with the lower level partly finished by the homeowner at the time. The garage was covered with drywall and taped but never painted. The walls dingy and stained from decades of neglect and countless nails line the walls from the previous tool storage. The floor is stained from years of vehicles seeping oil and who knows what else. See the picture below for a better idea of my nightmare! It was taken the day I bought the house. Enough of the background let’s get to work!

Garage to workshop part 1

Living in the Northeast I decided the garage would need to be heated so I could use it year round. My home is heated with baseboard heat. When I had the boiler replaced a few years ago I planned on doing this project sooner or later so I had them install an additional zone that I could use once I began the project. I chose to add heat for two reasons, first to keep me warm while working in the winter and second to help keep the bedrooms above the garage warmer in the winter. So I chose a Modine Hydronic unit heater then had it installed. Now here’s the best part when I initially had it installed I was only thinking of the garage being heated and the bedrooms above being a bit warmer but I got a unexpected bonus! The very next morning after it was installed I walked into the bathroom and the tile floor which is always freezing in the winter was warm to the touch! The lines for the garage heater pass below the bathroom floor and heat the two bays which just so happen to be directly below my bathroom. (Huge score, my heated workshop benefits the wife!)

Modine Hydronic Heater

Next I removed as many items from the garage as possible. Then I moved everything else into the center of the garage to gain easy access to the walls. Next it was time to remove all the nails, shelves and hanging items etc from the walls including a sign fashioned on ½ plywood. The sign was painted with the message “Welcome Home Mario” I had lived with it hanging on the wall in the garage for years (because the shelf I used was attached to the sign). So I began pulling unscrewing and throwing away the junk that every DIY-ER accumulates because every scrap can one day be used for something! Afterward I got to work, painting the walls and ceiling with Kilz primer and stain blocker. Now my dilemma was storage. I used some re-purposed kitchen cabinets that were given to my in-laws when a friend of theirs remodeled her kitchen. They aren’t built for the garage nor are they what you will see on the television shows but hey you can’t beat free! I lined the outside wall with these cabinets for storage and used my Porter Cable 18v Impact Driver (which is a must have if you are constantly driving screws with a drill but want to avoid stripping them). And that’s how I got started!

Re-Purposed Cabinets

Come back next Tuesday for Part 2 of Turn Your Garage Into A Workshop


Have you or your husband thought about turning the garage into a workshop?

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January 22, 2013

Turn Your Garage Into A Workshop Part 1- Walls, Heat, and Cabinets

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  1. Davet Covillon

    January 31st, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Thanks for the pictures and tips! to build a workshop or to build a garage takes a lot of planning and skill. Thank you for the demonstration.

  2. Justin Beam

    February 4th, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Your welcome! If you have any questions feel free to contact me via twitter using @jkbeamer . Thanks!