April 5, 2016 by Home My Heaven Too many garages become a place where you put everything you don’t have space for in the house. The general rule is that if it’s too heavy to put in the loft it can sit in the garage – and inevitably that is where it will stay until the end of time. But this is a misuse of what can be a fantastic area for you and your family. Here are eight ways you could be using your garage differently.  It might seems crazy but believe it or not, the majority of garages in the UK are not used to store cars. However, with increasing competition for parking spaces on the road now could be the time to convert your garage back into its original use. One of the reasons people don’t utilise their garage properly is due to convenience. If this is the case for you it could be worth installing automatic doors to make it easier to drive straight in and out.  Want to keep fit but don’t have to time to get out to the gym? The solution is simple: create a home gym in your garage. You’ll easily have space to fit in all the equipment you need and it’s nice to have a separate room to workout in rather than just throwing an exercise bike into the bedroom. You’ll save money on a gym membership and have all the workout space you need in your own home.  An unused garage is a perfect space to turn into a ‘man cave’ or ‘woman cave’. Having your own games room can really improve your quality of life as you’ll have a great area to entertain friends and family as well as a nice place to chill out when you need a little down time. Add a pool table, a gaming computer or console, a comfy sofa or whatever you need to relax, and you’ll be set with a great space to spend time in. A mini cinema is a great feature piece for any home. You can either go with a large flat screen TV mounted on the wall or opt for a projector for something closer to a real cinema experience. Hook them up to a DVD or Blu-Ray player and install surround sound and you’ll have the perfect home cinema. Now you’ll have a great space to binge watch TV shows or check out the latest films. Grab some popcorn and enjoy an evening with your friends and family.  If you’re looking for something practical, why not repurpose the garage into a living space? If it is large enough, your garage can function well as an additional bedroom or a second lounge. You’ll obviously need to redecorate entirely and you need to add in additional lights, windows, ventilation and insulation to ensure it’s a comfortable environment to live in. It’s also true that converting your garage into an additional bedroom will add value to your property.  Whether you are self-employed, work regularly from home or are thinking of setting up your own business, having a home office can be very useful. You might need to install a few power points and make sure your home Wi-Fi stretches to the garage, but on the whole this can be a very easy conversion to make.  Another great use for your garage could be as a playroom for the kids. Garages can make an ideal conversion to a playroom because you can kit them out so they are completely safe to play in. Fill it up with toys, games and a few bean bags and your kids will have hours of fun in here.  You can easily convert this space into a music room. Whether you want to practise with your band or learn an instrument it can be very useful to have a ready-made room for it. Soundproof it to stay on good terms with your neighbours and you’ll be ready to go.  Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with leading garage door supplier Wessex Garage Doors, who were consulted over the information in this post. Categories GarageLeave a comment March 25, 2016 by Home My Heaven There can be a number of reasons to cover a garage floor – improved looks, eliminate dips, create a non-slip texture, etc. Out of all the various coatings available such as paint, tile, and rubber mats perhaps no option provides the advantages of an epoxy covering. Epoxy floors are strong, durable, and stylish. Epoxy is created with a compound of resins and hardeners. The mixture chemically reacts to form a rigid, plastic material that bonds extremely well with its substrate. The compound can be used as a repair for a damaged substrate or as a way to upgrade the looks or functionality of the area. Epoxy is used in industrial settings as well as commercial/shopping centers, schools, restaurants, healthcare facilities, and more. The reasons why epoxy makes such a perfect garage floor are aplenty. For starters, the various styles available create a very attractive alternative to a bland, concrete floor. Epoxy also creates a chemically resistant surface – especially handy in a garage where oil and fluid spills are the norm. Epoxy is much more durable than an alternative such as rubber mats. Epoxy also creates a smooth, seamless covering that makes the garage much easier to sweep, clean, and maintain. 

Image from Redrhinoflooring

Epoxy is applied much like a paint. Similarly to painting, the success of the project relies heavily on proper preparation of the substrate. Even the highest grade, feature-filled formula of epoxy will fail if the existing garage floor isn’t properly prepped before application. Similarly though, even a proper substrate prep job cannot mask the errors of a poor application. The first part of inspecting the garage floor is spraying water onto the surface. Coating your garage isn’t done to clean the area, it is an identifying method to see whether the floor contains a sealer. Painted or sealed garage floors do not accept epoxy well. Ideally the water will sort of soak into the concrete, indicating that no sealer is present. If the water beads up, the surface needs to be polished or ground free of the topical coating. Once it’s determined that the garage floor is capable of being coated with epoxy, the next step is a thorough cleansing. The floor should be degreased and buffed free of any stains, tire dressings, or adhesives such as stickers or glue. These items create a barrier that prevents the epoxy from bonding to the substrate. Garage Floor Moisture Check 90% of epoxy installation is the prep work. The entire surface to be coated should be inspected with a fine-tooth comb to make sure no adhesives, loose paint, or stains still exist on the surface. It’s also important to make sure the concrete is not still in the curing process or leaking moisture. A new garage needs to cure for 28 days before the epoxy can be installed. Sometimes even older garages leak moisture from the soil beneath the slab due to poor irrigation, drainage, or improper installation. Taping a 16”X16” sheet of plastic to the garage floor and letting it sit for 24 hours can determine if the concrete has moisture issues. If there is condensation or if the concrete is darker moisture needs addressing. If the garage is emitting moisture, it may benefit to have a calcium chloride test performed. These kits are applied to the garage floor and then mailed away for testing of the moisture vapor emission rate (MVER). Depending on the results you can either proceed as normal, apply a moisture resistant coating below the epoxy, or find an alternative flooring application. Opening Up the Pores of the Garage Floor The test and prep work may seem like an extraneous waste of time, but it is actually done to save unnecessary work and poor performance over the long haul. Once the garage has gotten the go-ahead for epoxy application, it’s time to open up the pores to accept the substance. Acid etching and grinding are two ways to profile a garage floor.

  • Acid Etching – hydrochloric acid added to water and lightly scrubbed across the entire garage floor to create an etching of the surface. The acid fizzes and is then sprayed away completely.
  • Grinding – diamond coated blades attached to a buffing wheel create an abrasive on the surface of the garage floor, opening it up for epoxy application. Dust from the grinding needs to be thoroughly cleaned from the application area.

Most professionals prefer the grinding method as it doesn’t involve working with the noxious and dangerous hydrochloric acid. Grinding requires renting tools however so acid etching is the budget-conscious choice. Making Garage Floor Repairs Epoxy applications range in thickness from .02” up to 3/8”. Depending on the type of material that is selected and the amount of coats that are applied, the profile of the garage floor is still identifiable. Epoxy is self-leveling, but it doesn’t fill in cracks. This means if you want a smooth finish, cracks and any contraction joints in the slab need to be filled in first. Garage repair compounds are made of either epoxy or polyurethane. The compounds can be applied to cracks or joints and sanded down flush with the existing floor. Water based or latex based compounds should be avoided as they cannot be sanded and thus can create an obtuse look when coated with epoxy. Professional Garage Floor Prep It can’t be reiterated enough that garage floor prep is extremely important when it comes to the quality of the finished epoxy floor. Contracting a professional is recommended due to the multiple steps involved in the preparation of the floor alone. Some homeowners will opt to save money by doing at least the prep work themselves but the installers will likely make fixes to their liking anyway. Professionals have years of experience in identifying moisture issues and working with the chemicals and tools required to prep a garage floor to perfection. When installed correctly, epoxy garage floors can last 15-20 years or more. It’s important not to skimp in the all-important prep work. Categories GarageLeave a comment Post navigation