How to Prepare a Garage for Your First Car
Getting ready for your first car? With a garage full of ‘stuff’, things can be tricky. It’s not fun opening your car door into a stack of boxes.
We go over some simple tips and ideas when you prepare a garage for your first car.
Room to Breathe:
Well, room to open your doors and boot to be specific. Depending on the size of your garage, keeping things that are currently stored there to different places is a good start. Will you have passengers opening side and back doors? Do you plan to open the bonnet or boot regularly? Most garages are designed with this in mind. Simply moving that ‘stuff’ to a more usable location can really help avoid opening doors into things which may scratch the paint.
Tip: Unless you plan to work on the engine regularly, you’ll probably drive front-in into the garage. This will allow you to easily access the boot with the garage door up. Storing items toward the front of the car will be a good choice.
This one is perfect for the DIY weekender. The age old parking indicator has been used for generations. It’s basically hanging a soft toy, ball or small pillow above your car’s front grille in the correct parking position you’ve previously determined. A (clean and soft) tennis ball on a string attached to the ceiling is a classic example.
In other words, when you arrive home, you’ll tap the hanging tennis ball with your car and know you’re in the perfect position. A simple solution that won’t scratch or mark any paint.
If your garage has a single light in the middle of the ceiling, it may not be sufficient. This results in strong and dark shadows, especially at night. For example, if you open the boot, the lid can block light coming from that single source and create very dark patches.
Simply adding a few lights or lamps makes a big difference and bounces light off walls. Even lamps that plug into wall outlets are a good answer – no need for hiring electricians and adding more switches.
Floor – (Dreaded Oil Stains)
Depending on your car, oil or coolant drops might be an issue. The old sheet-of-cardboard trick may be a good temporary solution but these can quickly soak with liquid and make stains just as bad. Throw down a simple rubber mat to protect your garage floor. If wind is an issue when the door is open, it’ll be a better choice than cardboard too.
Tip: Speak to a mechanic as green stains from leaking coolant can result in overheating. Air conditioners can drip water from condensation too, a more serious problem if leaking inside a car.
Cleaning kits, tools, buckets, spare oil – they all need a home. Installing some simple shelves or adding a cupboard is a great way to keep things you may need for a car in an easy location. It can be a bit of a trade off as a cupboard is larger and not ideal if space is a premium and shelves will require drilling into walls.
Tip: Make sure to add the shelves on a wall that you won’t usually walk past. Knocking into a corner can be painful and messy. Furthermore, keep things like cleaning rags and car wash liquid close by as you’ll need them more often.
The Bottom Line
Your garage should be optimised for its intended purpose: to comfortably house a car. Additionally, you and your family should be able to access the vehicle without knocking into things, damaging paint work or getting injured. Preparing a garage for a car is just as important as preparing for a road trip.
Need a car to actually put in a garage? Check out our simple car loan calculator to see your rates and repayments.