Most people use garages to store extra stuff that just doesn't fit (or doesn't make sense) inside the house. But even with standard garage layouts, running out of storage space can be a constant problem for today's family. If adding square footage to your house or garage isn't in the budget, try one or two of these 4 cheaper alternatives.
Raise Ceilings. Working within the basic structure of your garage, you can add storage space by going vertical. Removing drop ceilings or unneeded beams can help free up space above. Make use of this added vertical room by installing wall shelving higher up or hanging large items like bikes, tools, hoses or kids' toys from the ceiling.
Add a Loft. An alternative to removing the ceiling to add space is to put in a ceiling instead. Adding a loft specifically for storage requires less overhead space than one for living space, so the project may be easier and cheaper than expected. While this might cost more than many other garage storage solutions, it also offers a more permanent answer and can add value to the home for future buyers.
Try Recessed Cabinets. If you want to put two cars in the garage and still add storage, the answer might be within the walls. Recessed cabinets are placed between the studs in the wall by locating the studs and cutting out the drywall between them (carefully avoiding wiring or plumbing in the wall, of course). Depending on your walls and garage layout, this storage system may call for building custom-made cabinets, so consult with an experienced remodeling contractor before cutting into the walls.
Add Variety. A garage storage system should be fitted specifically for the items you need to stash, hang or hide. A one-size-fits-all plan may just end up wasting space if it includes shelves that go unused, hooks for tools you don't own or racks that are the wrong size. Lay out tools and other items you want to store -- focusing on sizes and specific needs -- then design shelves, hooks and wire or metal racks around those needs. Look for storage tools that are adaptable for the future.
By thinking outside the box of your garage's existing design, you may find you can add more storage than you ever thought possible. This can free up valuable space, make your life easier and help appeal to buyers when you sell.