Florida Garage Makeover Plan by TheNavagePatch.com

Garage and Workshop Makeover Plan

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At long last, it’s time to take on the beast attached to our house. In this garage makeover plan I’ll show you what we have in mind.

We’re almost a year into our Emerald Coast, Florida life, and as far as I’m concerned, I see only one drawback compared to life up North, but it’s a doozy.

How on earth are we supposed to live without a basement?

Well, obviously we’re still alive, so it’s technically possible, but man what a pain!

I guess if you grow up down here, it’s just the way life is and always has been – kinda like eating mopane worms is totally normal in Zimbabwe. But for those not from Florida (or Zimbabwe) – damn! It’s a tough nut to swallow!

Our previous two homes in Connecticut and then Georgia had open, unfinished basements that were perfect not only for my workshop but for storing any and all craft and DIY supplies and seasonal decor.

And then, Florida – a big house with a big garage…but no basement.

empty garage

We were screwed. Don’t let the photo above fool you. Immediately, we had to rent storage units for the overflow. Even a 3-car garage was no match for our dragon’s horde.

But that still left the question of where to put my workshop. A craft room is one thing, but I had some big machines that needed a place to live, and I needed the space to be able to build furniture and cabinets and all those things on the DIY/Home Improvement end of the DIY/Craft blog spectrum. A crafting table might get me through Halloween and Christmas, but I need More Power and More Space to build the other stuff.

Quickly, our garage became clogged with not only all my machines and a few dozen unopened boxes of tools, but the rest of it became littered with an assortment of seasonal craft supplies, still-packed house decor and various other ends and oddities that hadn’t yet filtered inside.

Oh, and as for cars? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Please. We couldn’t fit a bicycle in there, let alone a car!

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Then, along came Hurricane Ian – or at least the threat of Hurricane Ian. A week before landfall, we were the projected target, and that send my babes and I into a tailspin. We were by no means ready to handle a hurricane. But it spurred us into action – we at least needed to clear 2 of the 3 garage bays to fit my pickup and Handan’s Mazda should the worst come to pass.

So we took a weekend and got down to some serious work. This is how the garage looked when we heard about the approaching storm.

There are some unfinished cabinets in there that we bought for the lanai. There’s also a whole lotta grout for the dining room brick wall that I swear I’m going to get back to before the month bleeds out. There’s some seed straw from my Bermudagrass Extravaganza earlier in the summer. And all the other random things you might (or might not) expect to find in a garage that moonlights as a storage unit.

messy garage

Here’s a look at the far bay – the one earmarked for my workshop. By the way I took this photo while my workshop table was in the driveway, so it wouldn’t look more crowded than it already is.

messy garage

And the worst part – the Wall of Wood that only knows how to grow.

messy garage

Well, in two days, we whipped that garage into shape – at least, enough to fit the truck and car.

semi-tidied garage

And my “workshop?” Well, let’s just say that I wouldn’t be getting much work done there.

messy garage

But as I mentioned, the point of the September cleaning was to make room for our cars in case we got a direct hit from Ian.

Well, we didn’t, and lest you think we kept the garage as clean as you just saw (you silly goose), along came the Halloween and Christmas crafting season, and those 2 bays filled right back up!

And filled was how it may have stayed were it not for a swift (and much-needed) kick in the pants from no other than HART Tools. They were looking for creators to showcase some of their organization tools specifically for a garage makeover. It’s the perfect new year campaign – everyone jumps on the organization bandwagon in January!

We didn’t need any more signs from the heavens – it was time. So under the flag of a “garage workshop organization” sponsored by HART Tools, my babes and I embarked on one of the biggest and most grueling makeovers to date. The workshop is only one bay – this garage makeover will ultimately comprise all three bays with a few side projects along the way.

The end result will be a clean and organized garage and workshop with tons of storage that will comfortably house my truck and Handan’s car. Oh, and we’re also going to move the laundry room into the garage as well! Let’s have a look at how all this breaks down.

Garage and Workshop Makeover

Phase 1 – The Workshop

The workshop (aka Bay 3) can be further broken down into the following projects:

  • Empty, repair and paint the walls
  • Install wood storage racks
  • Build and install storage cabinets
  • Install HART Garage Organization Systems on free wall space
  • Build a housing for my belt sander so we can put a cabinet on top of it
  • Build rolling mobile workstations for:
    • HART 10-inch miter saw
    • Bosch 12-inch miter saw and Kreg jigs
    • DeWalt table saw and Bosch router table
    • Join two rolling tool chests into one larger rolling worktable/tool storage

All of the above (except the back wall cabinetry which will span across Bay 2) must fit in an area 8 feet from the double garage door opening. In other words, the workshop, including all mobile workstations, must fit into the space normally occupied by one car.

Phase 2 – Bays 1 & 2

With the workshop settled, we will turn our attention to Bays 1 and 2.

  • Back wall cabinetry (spillover from Phase 1)
  • Move refrigerator and freezer from Bay 1 side wall to the back wall of Bay 2
  • Build a rolling pull-out cabinet for spray paint storage
  • Build a housing for the generator – this will allow us to put a cabinet on top of it for more storage space

Phase 3 – Move the laundry room to the garage

This house has laundry hookups in the garage and right inside the house when entering the garage. The original hookups – the ones built when they built the house – are in the garage. We know this because from the garage, the dryer vents outside the house.

Inside the house, the dryer vents under the stairs leading up to the craft room. We currently have our machines inside the house, but that space will be much better for storage, so we’re planning to move the machines back into the garage where they were originally intended to be. There’s more than enough space, and after two houses in which we created jaw-dropping laundry rooms destinations (here in CT and here in GA), I’m ready for a simpler (but just as functional) space to wash my Calvins.

Oh, don’t get me wrong – we’ll make the garage laundry nook look amazing, but the laundry room will no longer have its own zip code and time zone.

Phase 3 probably won’t finish until April, as we’ll be busy with spring-related projects, but Phases 1 & 2 will be finished lickety-split. My babes and I are so excited to have a clean and clear garage that will not only have a beautiful workshop but that will also hold real actual cars! What a concept!

Follow along as this adventure unfolds.




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26 Comments

  1. Here in Virginia Beach I live with no basement and a 3/4 car garage…the only car we ever owned that came close to fitting (as in, could drive it in but not open the doors) was a Chevy Aveo.
    Space challenges to do anything have been a way of life….3 car garage….I dream….lol

  2. Wow!! Thatโ€™s going to be an Epic transformationโ€ฆ can hardly wait for ideas and inspirationโ€ฆ of course the garage is the hardest to stay organized in so this will be amazing to see how you do this.., you two are next level DIYers!! Best of luckโ€ฆ โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  3. I can’t wait to see. I’m currently working on my garage too … there are things there that have been there since we moved in 10 years ago. It should have been painted then, but too much else to do. Sooooo, I’m currently painting although it’s 35 degrees here in Kentucky (had to rent a heater so the paint would dry). Almost done with that, then the hubs will build a great big closet for excess stuff. It will be so nice to park in a clean, white, bright garage!

  4. How do you know about mopane worms in Zimbabwe? I spent 5 years of my childhood in Zimbabwe as my parents were missionaries. My dad happily tried mopane worms and crispy fried flying ants which was quite a delicacy out there but I would never stomach eating them.
    Anyway I’m always on the lookout for garage ideas. We live in South Dakota and have a detached one car garage. The only way we can ever wedge one vehicle in there is if we have a massive hailstorm looming up in the west!

    1. Oh wow, I never would have guessed anyone reading would know about mopane worms! LOL, it’s just one of a million random bits of knowledge floating aimlessly around my brain. I’ve never been to Africa and never tried the worms, but I understand they are beloved and served by everyone from street vendors to the fanciest restaurants in Zimbabwe. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Thank you Greg for the laughs and DIY’s. When you said the “the laundry room will no longer have its own zip code and time zone.” we all cracked up laughing. We love all that you do and always wish you the best on your projects and they always ended up passing even the best.
    The best to you and Handan,
    Joey and family

    1. Thank you so much, Joey! Knowing Handan, I’m sure the new laundry nook will still be pretty fantastic – just more like Rhode Island than Texas! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. YES. I love a good garage organizing project. Everything in a garage is so awkwardly shaped or sized–it’s not easy to stack power tools, mowers, and extension cords without some kind of shelving or hook system–so a good plan will get you far. This will be fun to watch develop.

  7. One of my proudest moments was when an electrician remarked โ€œ I wish my garage looked like thisโ€! We were able to park both vehicles in our two car garage, now it is just one car and three (!) giant trash containers. Living here in Palm Springs most people donโ€™t need seasonal clothing or special equipment for the different seasons. You donโ€™t have to shovel the heat!

  8. Fabulous post! So excited for you two! I am on the west coast and we don’t have basements or mudrooms. And many (especially older homes) lack a proper pantry.

    My current has an attached two vehicle garage. The newer car gets the garage and the old car lives on the driveway. Second bay has all my stuff in a jumbled mess. My goal is the same as yours and have to wait till summer till I can move the garage stuff to the back yard. My garage had the second refrigerator,workspace, washer, dryer and a built in wall of storage. Then life happens and people passed away and all the stuff I brought home has made the garage space unusable. This is the year . . . โค๏ธ

    Can’t wait to see what you do!

  9. Love that you are actually reconfiguring the garage to accommodate vehicles. It is a novel concept but one that I personally have adhered to for as long as I have owned a car and I am old. We live in a snow belt and never have to scrape the car off to go anywhere unless we are out when it snows. Vehicle thefts are on the rise so an added bonus to putting them in the garage is that your vehicle stands a much better chance of being there for you and not on its way to some foreign country. Can’t wait to see the final result, which will be a thing of beauty.

  10. Where we live we have what they call a 2 car garage. The only way you’re going to get 2 cars in there and be able to get out is thru the sunroof. LOL ! ! ! We’re also in a HOA so we MUST be able to put put one car in there. Can’t all be used for storage. We just need a warehouse for all the project stuff.