7 Essentials for Your Garage Workshop
Garages typically house vehicles, sheds are home to lawnmowers and gardening tools and basements are often remodeled into family rooms. But many people use their home’s utility spaces for more reasons than they were originally intended.
These spaces are logical storage places, as well as areas where homeowners can set up workshops to work on home repairs, pursue their hobbies or putter. Ask those who’ve built a model train layout in a basement or garage and they’ll tell you about the hours of enjoyment they reap from creating whole villages and making minute repairs to their tiny transport systems.
Whether you are a professional when it comes to tools or a novice looking to start some experimental projects, there are a few things you will need to get the most out of your new workshop. Check out this list of seven essential items and start building your dream garage today.
According to Popular Mechanics, a workbench should be the first item you purchase, since it is really the foundation of your work area. If you are looking to cut costs, you can make one yourself by putting an old door or medium-density fiberboard plank on two sawhorses. There are also many kits you can purchase that provide you with materials and instructions to assemble a bench. If you are looking for a long-lasting product with ample tool storage space, you are better off purchasing a professional workbench, notes the source. Typically, these cost between $100 and $600.
You will want to make sure you have proper illumination, especially if you plan to hammer away at projects well into the night or with the garage door shut. House Logic suggests using either an LED or halogen light right above the bench, where you need the most light. If you have a finished garage, you should add recessed fixtures to the ceiling, while those with unfinished areas should consider ceiling-mounted fluorescent fixtures. The source recommends looking at lights in terms of lumens rather than watts when it comes to buying bulbs for your garage since this is a better indicator of brightness.
Keeping your tools and materials organized will make your projects go smoother. One of the easiest and most common ways to store equipment is by installing pegboard along the walls. This will allow you to hang everything from hammers to hoses, noted Popular Mechanics. Additional shelves, cabinets and tool chests that can close and lock are great for keeping valuable equipment safe.
4. Temperature control
To work during any season, you need to make sure your space is comfortable and temperature controlled. Portable space heaters can keep you warm while you build during the winter, and room fans can help circulate air as the temperature rises.
5. Better air circulation
One of the problems with these activity spaces is that while many have electricity, they don’t usually have heat connected to the home’s main heating source in winter or air conditioning in hot weather. If homeowners install a small air conditioner during summer, it can send the electric bill sky high.
If you’re an avid hobbyist or DIY enthusiast, it’s time to clear away the clutter that may have accumulated over the winter in your work area, wherever it is, and think about how you’ll make the space comfortable enough to work in. With warmer days just around the corner, planning ways to dispel stuffy, overheated air in your garage or basement is part of that process.
A good alternative to costly air conditioning on a sultry day is to plug in a high-velocity air circulator to clear away stagnant, humid or hot air in your favorite work area. They’re effective in many areas of the house, particularly in kitchens that become overheated during cooking times. These high-performance fans clear away hot air quickly by creating a powerful breeze using pivoting heads to direct the coolness wherever you need it most.
Air circulators have many helpful features. Many models include multifunctional remote controls, and full-tilt air control plus fused safety plugs and automatic shut-off for safe operation. They can be placed on level surfaces like a floor or work table, or they can be used as a wall-mounted fan. Carry handles allow homeowners to easily move the units from place to place.
When you’re looking forward to spending time on projects in your basement, garage or home workshop during spring and summer, invest in an air circulator that will make the space as comfortable as you like.
6. Safety equipment
Popular Mechanics notes that, no matter how experienced you are, safety gear is a must when it comes to working with tools. Create an area just for items like goggles, gloves, earplugs, face shields and disposable respirators. If it is all kept neatly in one place, you will never be tempted to begin a project without safely preparing yourself first.
7. Extension cords and power strips
Chances are your garage is not equipped with enough outlets to plug in all your lights, tools and machines at one time. Invest in a 10-outlet power strip, suggests Popular Mechanics. The source also recommends getting extension cords between 50 and 100 feet that are suitable for outdoor use so you can use any product from any spot in your workspace.
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