Creating a Garage Retreat

by Kathy Ziprik

Forget about man caves and she sheds. This year, with so many people quarantined at home, a popular home improvement project is creating a dream garage retreat. An extension of the home, a garage can be transformed into extra usable space for the entire family.

Once the current mess is under control, your garage can serve as a home office, work out area, child’s mini classroom or even an “after five getaway area.” And, according to GEICO insurance company, it’s also possible a garage upgrade could increase your home’s overall value.

With quarantine time on their hands, more than 55 percent of American homeowners are turning to home improvement projects in 2020. The Consumer Specialists’ study “How COVID-19 is Reshaping the Home Improvement Market” also shows how hot the home improvement market is this year.

Before the cold weather hits, rethink your garage. Consider making this home space work harder for you and your family. Invest your time and efforts now and you’ll have a garage retreat for years to come.

Fueling the Transformation

A top-to-bottom revamping of a garage begins with de-cluttering and discarding everything from old toys to broken tools. Houzz offers a seven-day plan for taking back control of your garage.

You can start by taking a hard look at key items in the garage that may need an upgrade. As an example, discard dirty, old and leaky fuel containers that are a real safety risk to your family. Replace them with state-of-the-art Scepter™ SmartControl™ gas, diesel and kerosene containers.

Made of durable and safe high-density polyethylene, the multi-layer one-, two- and five-gallon containers feature a unique push spout, designed for fast fills without spills. Whether you’re filling a lawn mower, leaf blower or portable generator, the SmartControl containers help save fuel for where it’s needed by eliminating messy spills. This not only helps hands stay clean, but also your garage. And, each container includes a child safety lock and flame mitigation device for family protection.

On the Walls

Once items are ready to be added back into the garage, don’t just pile them up. Look to your walls for help. Add in all-purpose cabinets, slatwall and shelving to organize remaining items. You may even look up to maximize ceiling space — by adding heavy-duty racks and lifts.

On the Floor

Before bringing items back into the garage, look down. If your garage floor is stained and ugly, take time to transform it with the DaiHard® 100 Industrial Strength Epoxy Floor Coating Kit. Just one coat of either the gray or tan finish provides resistance to water, chemicals, oil stains, salt and hot-tire pickup. Add to the overall look of your finished floor by sprinkling decorative vinyl flakes onto the wet surface.

However, if the appearance of your garage floor is already good, consider applying an anti-slip sealer. For days when driving a wet car into the garage during the rain, it helps to have a sealer that provides added foot traction against the dripping water.

A reliable clear coat sealer, like TracSafe® Anti-Slip Sealer, helps prevent slips and falls in a garage. The slip-resistant sealer is easy to roll on, has anti-slip ratings up to twice the OSHA standard and provides aggressive anti-slip performance with all-weather durability.

Closing it Up

Finishing a garage transformation project requires taking a hard look at your garage door — both inside and out. Is the functionality of the garage door still good? Does the garage door add to the curb appeal of your home? Does it allow enough light to flow into the garage while still retaining your privacy?

Today’s garage doors have unbelievable design options. Consider an all-glass option featuring privacy insulated glass or a carriage house style. See the variety of styles of top-quality energy efficient garage doors at That’s where you can virtually “try on” different styles of garage doors on your home. The popular site also has a “Find a Dealer” link so you can immediately locate a garage door professional installer in your area.

As an added bonus, just think about the return on investment a new garage door will bring to your home. According to the 2020 Cost Versus Value Study, a garage door replacement returns a whopping 94.5 percent of the investment cost for a homeowner. That’s the second highest recoup value of more than 20 home improvement projects in the study.

With time on your hands during quarantine, take steps now to upgrade your garage. You’ll gain more usable living space while increasing the value of your home.

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