How Do I Design a Garage Layout?

Written by judi light hopson
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How Do I Design a Garage Layout?
A garage interior with kerbside door openings should look neat and organised. (luxury house image by yong hong from

A garage space can provide room for storage, as well as cars. A good layout should include shelving, cabinets and a workbench area. Many options are available for building storage systems and installing vinyl and other materials on the floor. Any garage can become a work of art in terms of its design, since many garage storage systems have a designer look for their component parts. Methods for creating a layout for placing cars, boats, hiking equipment and other items can involve creative input from the whole family.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Sketch pad
  • Graph paper

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  1. 1

    Measure the interior of the space. Use a tape measure or ruler to define the exact square footage. Allow at least 3 feet of margin for opening a car door, whether spacing one or more cars. Leave room on the garage's back wall and side walls for shelving or cabinets. Allow at least 18 inches of space between a closed garage door and the back bumper of a parked car.

  2. 2

    Utilise part of the wall shelving area for a workbench. Designate 5 or 6 feet of linear space to hold a workbench for repairing small items or doing woodworking. Consider fitting a workbench into an L-shaped corner space of the garage as well. Add cabinets over the counter area to store tools, paint or building materials.

  3. 3

    Plan to use the ceiling area in unique ways. Take advantage of ceiling height that is 9 feet or taller. Use special accessories to create racks for storing lumber or a canoe, for example. Don't overlook running plumbing pipes through an attic area, if a bathroom will be part of the layout.

  4. 4

    Buy cabinet systems for floor-to-ceiling storage. Plan to give the garage a polished look by buying cabinets in a special colour scheme or material. Buy these designer cabinet systems as kits that are assembled on site. Incorporate pre-made cabinets from a home improvement store or recycled cabinets, if the budget is limited. Give recycled cabinets a uniform look by painting them all one colour, such as white or grey.

  5. 5

    Add special accessories to the garage layout, if the garage leads directly into a house. Secure a metal hanging rack for coats, for example, near a kitchen entrance door. Install pegs for holding school backpacks or a rack for shoes and boots to create a mudroom as part of the garage.

Tips and warnings

  • Install a walkout door for any garage, however small, in case of fire. Include a garage-door opener for any door, since this is a nice convenience during bad weather.
  • Use overhead garage attic space for storage versus crowding the garage itself too much. Install a pull-down staircase to allow for placing boxes in the rafters area. Nail down 1/2-inch plywood flooring in the attic area. Store items that are used often on the first floor of the garage.
  • Avoid storing fuels in a garage in case of fire. Instead, place gasoline cans or other fuels in an outdoor storage building located a good distance from the house.

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