Your garage is already a place you store your tools, why not make it more functional by creating a workshop.
Turn your garage into a working shop where you can create your masterpieces and have everything within easy reach. In this DIY article I am going to take you step-by-step on how to create a garage workshop on a budget.
You Need To Clean Your Garage
The first step in creating a functional workshop is to thoroughly clean out your garage. You are looking to get rid off unused items or rehome anything that doesn’t have to do with creating your future projects. You want to create as much space as you possibly can for your future workshop without upsetting the rest of your family.
If you are pinched for extra storage space, try dividing the garage into two sections. The smaller section will be for your household things. You can install several long wall shelves for storing out of season decorations. A metal storage rack with a lock works great for storing valuables. The larger area in the garage will be used for your workshop.
This is a safety thing, as you don’t want to trip over anything while you’re working on your projects. Once your garage is cleaned out, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Design or Buy your Workbench
This must be a sturdy bench to survive all the stress you’ll put it through. The bench base and the legs should be very sturdy and hard to tip over or move. The top of your workbench should be sturdy as well and prepared to handle dings, dents, and cuts.
Use 2×4’s to build your base. An old counter top, an upcycled butcher block or a sheet of plywood all work great for the top of your workbench and DIY work table.
Tool Storage Solutions
You will need different types of tool storage in your garage workshop. You should invest in a good, sturdy toolbox to protect your tools. A toolbox will protect your expensive tools from dirt and debris and helps you to keep smaller items organized. To save money, you could build your own toolbox from scrap wood pieces and use upcycled glass jars or coffee cans for nails, screws, etc.
You can also install pegboards behind your workbench and put the tools you use the most on the pegboard to keep them organized and within easy reach. I have hung most of my go-to tools on a metal pegboard.
A big issue in most workshops is electrical outlets being out of reach. Make sure your workshop has enough outlets so you don’t have to run extension cords all over the floor. A simple, inexpensive wall outlet extender can be a great time saver.
A good rule of thumb is to have enough outlets to charge your tools and batteries that need it. You also need to have one or two outlets to plug in your tools that require being plugged in to run. It is always better to have too many outlets than to not have enough when you need them.
Lighting Up Your Garage Workshop
Lighting is going to be a huge factor in your workshop. You need to be able to see very well to work on your various projects comfortably. Track lighting is a great option for your workshop. These are easy to install and provide excellent overhead lighting.
You will need one or two adjustable work lamps for those times when you need extra, focused lighting.
Heating & Cooling
As a general rule, garage doors and walls are not very well insulated. This means you will be extremely hot in the summer and freeze during the winter months. You should have your garage walls and door insulated and also think about getting one or two portable space heaters and either a portable fan or window air conditioning unit.
If you plan on spending a lot of time in your garage/workshop you might as well be as comfortable as possible.
You should choose easy-to-clean, durable flooring for your workspace. An epoxy finish is one alternative along with rubber floor mats like what is used in restaurant kitchens for areas you will be standing for long periods of time.
Epoxy the whole floor to seal it first, then you can add interlocking garage tiles to your workspace if you desire.
You will need a variety of tools for your dream workshop. Here are a few tools that are used in just about every project you can think of. They are as follows:
- Drill and various drill bits
- Table Saw
- Band Saw
- Compound Miter Saw
- Belt Sander
Once you get these must-have tools, you can continue to build up your tool collection over time. When it comes to power tools, try to stick to one brand, so that the battery packs & accessories are exchangeable.
I can highly recommend Ryobi power tools as I have almost every one of their tools. The batteries are long lasting and Ryobi has made great improvements on their tools over the years.
You can rent many of the more expensive tools from your local hardware stores if you’re in a pinch.
Proper Workshop Ventilation
A huge piece to remember when you create a garage workshop is ventilation. Most garages don’t have much in the way of ventilation and for some projects, opening a window or leaving the garage door open for ventilation just will not cut it.
You can start out with an exhaust fan, but you should seriously consider installing a dust collection system, air ventilation system, and central vacuum as your DIY projects will probably have sawdust and particles everywhere. These three things will keep your air quality decent, which will make for a much safer work environment.
Creating Your Own Garage Workshop
If you follow the above steps you should have a safe and functional workspace for all of your DIY projects and you will be the envy of your neighbors for years to come.
Do you have a garage workshop at your home? Leave us a comment below, we would love to hear what worked for you.