My Old Garage

How can I fix my old garage?

If your garage has become a cluttered storage area with no room for a car, a restoration project might be in order. Simple projects like organizing tools, installing better storage options, upgrading light fixtures and adding a fresh coat of paint can improve the look and functionality of your garage.

Garages can be everything from a simple spot to keep your tools and storage containers to a recreational room that can be enjoyed by the whole family. There are many different garage trends out there today that get even more creative with these spaces – outfitting them with everything from a 1920s sheik to an ultra-modern man cave outfitted with all the newest technology.

As a homeowner, you might want to spin this room into a unique area that represents part of your personality or merely brings a much-needed facelift to a neglected area. If you are one of these homeowners a constant, pressing question might be on your mind: Do I need to do a complete garage rebuild?

This can be an imposing prospect as knocking down your old garage and putting up a new one is no simple task, nor is it cheap. Knowing why you need to rebuild and many of the factors to consider before you commit should be known beforehand. Before going into the ins and outs of this though, let’s just see if a simple remodel is more in tune with you.

Tear it down or fix it up? If your garage is a cluttered storage area and falling apart, this question has crossed your mind. When was the last time you actually parked your vehicle inside your garage?

Check out our range of garage renovations here. 

How to Restore Your Garage

My Old Garage

Clean Up

Clear items from the garage to make cleaning easier. Sweeping down cobwebs, dusting, pressure cleaning walls and floors and washing windows can give the garage a fresh look. Don’t forget to clean garage door tracks and storage cabinets. Citrus-based cleaners can help remove grease or other stains from the garage floor.

Organization

Garages often become the catch-all space for home storage needs. Evaluate the items currently stored in the garage and decide what can be moved or thrown out and what should stay for items that will remain, organize existing shelving or install new shelves or storage bins. Storage options that close tightly or provide a water-resistant seal can protect items from bugs or water damage.

Lighting

Light from a single bulb in the garage door opener may not provide sufficient illumination for some tasks. Garage lighting restoration can include upgrading existing fixtures or installing new sources of light. Track lighting can provide bright, flexible light over a workbench area, while florescent light fixtures can illuminate a large storage area. Directional floodlight fixtures can provide direct light for car repair.

Floor

Concrete garage floors can be painted as a simple DIY restoration project. Epoxy paint will provide a durable paint solution. Upgraded options can include installing flexible floor tile, a hybrid polymer floor covering, clay tile or pavers. A high-gloss surface can simulate the type of floors found in race car garages and automobile showrooms.

Garage Doors

Existing garage doors can be repainted or replaced to restore the new look of a garage. Upgraded options such as simulated barn or wood doors can give the garage a custom feel.

Remodel vs Rebuild

Reinvigorating your garage space doesn’t need a rebuild necessarily. Garages are held to the same standard as the rest of your home – so they are built to last for many decades. Before you start plans for changing up your garage, you need to ask yourself a few questions. How long are you going to stay in your home?

Do you want more space for cars or a bigger living space? Answering these questions will give you an overall idea of how much you will be willing to invest in your garage. A simple remodel might be better if you don’t think you’ll be there for much longer.

A general rule of thumb is that if you intend to stay five years or more than a full-blown garage rebuild should be on the table. After you settle down on what you are willing to do, you need to take a look at the overall structure of your garage.

Look everywhere from floor to ceiling inside and out. While cracks in the floor and walls that are a ¼” or less have simple repairs, anything larger than this might be a serious problem that can worsen as time goes on. If the roof has major leaking, you might need to consider replacing the roof as well.

Overall you need to figure out whether your garage’s problems are purely cosmetic or have deep foundational problems. Something like a stained floor and beat-up garage door might look bad, but can easily be cleaned and replaced. Typically any problems with the foundation or structure of the garage are usually past the point of a simple repair.

Why Do a Rebuild?

There are many reasons to consider doing a rebuild of your garage. A garage with a bad structure or foundation can be a major safety concern. While more over-the-top events like it suddenly collapsing can occur, smaller but much more nefarious problems are more of an issue.

A leaky roof can cause mould and mildew to grow into your garage and home, creating a wide range of respiratory problems and illnesses for you and your family. A garage that has shoddy framing can cause insulation problems letting humidity and wildlife into your home. Large cracks in the floor might be indicative of a sinkhole forming underneath your home.

A rebuild doesn’t necessarily need to be a reaction to an overall problem in your home though. In building a new garage, you can feel great in knowing that you’re getting a part of your home that is more closely aligned with your specifications.

These areas can be specifically designed with the size and materials that you want. A newer garage can also save you money in the long run – while they can be a costly investment, a new garage will have to go through all the newest building techniques and use materials that are more energy-saving than the older version. Finally, a new rebuild can lead to a return of investment anywhere from 55 to 65 per cent.

Hitch Property Constructions has the biggest range of the garage renovations Melbourne. Check it out here.

What do I need to Consider for a Garage Rebuild?

There are many practical considerations you need to consider outside the simple need or want of doing a full-scale garage rebuild. For one, you need to consider all the costs associated with building a garage. While the amount can vary tremendously depending on what you need and your area, you can expect to pay $25,000 on average, with the range being as low as $6,000 and as high as $50,000.

Generally, you can apply a cost of $30 per square foot for the simplest of garages. Mind you, and this cost doesn’t necessarily include any tear-out and debris removal – which can be potentially time-consuming and expensive.

These costs can be reduced if you choose to carry out the labour yourself – it’s important to note that if you are uncontracted, you will still need some sort of licensed professional to come around and check all of your work. You also need to consider what type of garage you are going to want.

While garages fundamentally all do the same thing, they can have a few different forms. More often than not, they are typically divided into attached and detached. Attached garages are more common because they are more affordable. The guiding principle here is that it is easier and cheaper to build three walls rather than four.

They are also more convenient as it is easier to use the old system to integrate into a new one if it is still attached. A separate garage does have the advantages of being a bit safer as a potential burglar would only have access to whatever is in the garage as opposed to the rest of the house. Overall you need to keep in mind other additional things like what materials you are going to use, windows, and the amount of insulation you want.

Common Garage Door Problems

Garage doors lead pretty simple lives. Up, down, up, down, over and over, year after year—until suddenly they don’t work the way they should. Fortunately, that simple function usually makes for relatively simple repairs. Sometimes, though, even reliable old garage doors bite the dust or need major repairs.

Basic Maintenance and Quick Fixes

If your garage door is behaving well at this moment, you can probably keep it working that way almost indefinitely if you follow a simple inspection and maintenance routine. These same tips may also correct problems that are just beginning to appear:

  • Examine the rollers and tracks on the garage door. If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned them, now is the time to clean the rollers and tracks with a good brushing and to lubricate the rollers and axles. The bearings on rollers can also wear out; replace any rollers that don’t operate smoothly.
  • Tighten the hardware. The tracks that guide the rollers on an overhead garage door are assembled in sections and attached to the garage with brackets. Makes sure the sections are well secured and that the screws and bolts that hold the brackets are tight.
  • Check the cables and pulleys. Spiring-operated garage doors have cables and pulleys that may wear out over time. Frayed cables and damaged pulleys need to be replaced—a job best done by professionals.
  • Test the door balance. A garage door should require only a few pounds of pressure to move it up and down. If springs wear out and lose their resiliency, a power garage door opener may need to work extra hard to lift the door. This can quickly wear out the motor on the opener. Replacing worn-out springs is usually a job for a professional technician.
  • Test the autoreverse feature on the door opener. Garage door openers are designed to automatically reverse and lift the door if it encounters an obstacle on the way down to the floor. If this feature no longer works correctly, the heavy door poses a safety hazard and the door opener should be repaired or replaced.

If none of these solutions fixes your problems, or if you would rather just let someone else fuss with the door, look into calling a good garage door installer and repair technician. 

Here are some other common garage door problems you may be able to fix yourself.

Noisy Garage Door

Noisy garage doors cause all kinds of problems, especially for anyone who has to sleep above or next to the garage. Fortunately, most noisy garage doors can be fixed with a combination of routine maintenance and the replacement of a few parts. If the basic maintenance tips described above don’t quiet a noisy garage door, it’s possible that the door’s hinges need to be replaced. And the rollers that run in the metal tracks can also gradually wear out and become noisy when their bearing stop is rolling smoothly.

Frozen Garage Door

It is precisely on those coldest days of the year when you most need and appreciate the convenience of opening and closing your garage door quickly. Sadly, that’s exactly the kind of day when moisture and cold can conspire to make this difficult. Garage doors can and do freeze to the garage floor. Sometimes it is just a minor icy connection between the two that can be broken when you hit the opener button.

But if the door refuses to budge on the first attempt, resist the urge to keep banging on the automatic opener button. This is likely to cause a more serious problem with the garage door opener—including, but not limited to, stripped gears, broken springs, and a burned-out motor on the opener.

Instead, try other methods that might break the frozen connection between the door and the floor. For example, you can use a heat gun or hair dryer to melt the ice and free the door. Standard de-icing products can also work. And if you are careful not to damage the door or the seal on the bottom of the door, you can use a flat shovel or similar tool to chip away at the ice.

Once you get the door open, clear away any water, ice, or snow from the floor beneath the garage door. Keeping this area dry will prevent future freezing.

Broken Glass

Since most yards entertain play activity, including baseballs and other sporting equipment, it’s no surprise that garage doors experience broken glass from time to time. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to repair glass quickly, since the broken glass in a garage is a safety issue, a security problem, and an invitation to every bird and insect in the neighbourhood to take up residence in your garage. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to replace a pane of glass. The techniques are the same as for replacing glazing in a house window.

Safety Concerns

Overhead garage doors weigh hundreds of pounds, and doors that are not properly maintained or which are equipped with older automatic garage door openers can be safety time bombs. All too common are the tragic stories of garage doors injuring or even killing children or pets who found themselves underneath a closing door. Modern automatic door openers with auto-stop and auto-reverse mechanisms have greatly reduced such accidents, but mishaps can still occur if the door and door opener are not properly maintained.

When a garage door opener is very old, or when it fails to work properly, installing a new opener is not just a convenience, it is a matter of family safety.

Security Issues

The garage you take for granted very likely stores thousands of dollars worth of tools and household belongings, not to mention your car. Yet this space is typically rather easy for intruders to penetrate. Garage security can be greatly improved by installing a modern garage door opener that features rotating digital codes, which can foil even the most tech-savvy prowlers.

Faulty Garage Door Opener

Although it’s the front entry door that gets more attention, for many of us, the actual coming and going usually takes place through the garage. And that means we depend on the garage door opening and closing whenever we press a button. So, when the garage door opener decides to take a day off, it can leave you stuck outside, perhaps during a rain or snowstorm. Though they may seem complicated, there are several easy actions homeowners can take to diagnose and repair common garage door opener problems.

Worn-Out Springs

A garage door is counterbalanced by extension springs or torsion springs connected to cables and pulleys. These springs provide a counterforce to the weight of the door and allow it to be raised and lowered with just a few pounds of force applied by hand or through the assistance of a motorized garage door opener. But these springs are under constant pressure and eventually they wear out. When your garage door opener begins to struggle opening the door, or when you begin to notice that it feels quite heavy to lift by hand, it’s likely that the springs are wearing out and need to be replaced.

Replacing garage door springs is a job that many homeowners leave to a professional since the springs are under considerable pressure and may cause injury if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Looking for Melbourne garage renovations? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered. 

Worn-Out Garage Door

Properly maintained, a garage door can last for 50 years or more, but when neglected, they may fail within 10 or 15 years, at which time there is no real choice other than to replace it. More likely, you may choose to replace the door for aesthetic reasons—because you are simply tired of how it looks and want to change the style.

Suppose you are thinking about a garage rebuild. In that case, there are many factors to consider – the total space, what kind of garage that you want, and any additional energy-saving products you want to integrate into it. The average cost nationwide comes to about $25,000, but it ultimately depends on the vision you want to carry out.

There are many benefits to doing a rebuild despite it being an intensive construction project for one it increases the value of your home, but can also improve its overall safety. If your current garage only has minor things like mouldy drywall, rusted garage door, and a stained floor, then a simple remodel of the current garage might be a better and cheaper option for you rather than a full rebuild.

Whatever you choose a new garage can be just about anything you want it to be, all it takes is a little bit of planning and hard work to get done!

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