Nov 01 , 2018

Garage Makeover: How to Create the Garage of Your Dreams

Garage Upgrades

We ordered hollow-core birch veneer doors for our cabinets, but you can use any 1-3/8-in.-thick doors. For a more traditional look, inexpensive six-panel composite doors would work well. To complement the birch doors, we found 3/4-in. maple plywood at a local home center to use for the cabinet construction. The four-door cabinet entertainment center cost us about $600, or about $60 per linear foot. But you could reduce the cost by choosing less expensive doors and paint-grade plywood.

With help from a friend or two, you should be able to finish constructing one six-door section of cabinets in a weekend, not including the painting and varnishing. The most time-consuming and difficult part of the project is cutting the plywood parts. For this, a good quality table saw is helpful. But if you don’t have access to a table saw, you can use a straightedge guide and a circular saw to make accurate cuts. In addition to a table or circular saw, you’ll need a drill, a level and standard carpentry tools like a tape measure and square. We used a miter saw to cut the trim and brad nailer to attach it, but these aren’t required.

Undecided on garage floor paint? Click the link to learn what you need to know about the options available.

Getting started

Every garage is a little different. Before you order materials, take a close look at your garage walls to find the ideal location for your storage cabinet and to identify possible obstructions like pipes, outlets, windows or doors. Use a level to see if the floor is sloping, and note any protruding brick or concrete at the bottom of the wall. We had to modify our plan to avoid an outlet, and we shimmed the base to compensate for the sloping floor.

If you’ve found a suitable location to build the six-door version shown here, you can use the Materials List in Project PDF’s below to order materials and the Cutting List (also in Project PDF’s below) for reference to cut the parts. To customize the cabinets for your garage, see the tip below.

Customize the Plan for Your Garage:

customize garage makeover plan

Your cabinet can be any length you want. Using scrap lumber, cut layout sticks to represent the common door widths (24, 30, 32 and 36 in.). Mark the desired end of your cabinet with tape and layout different combinations of sticks. The sticks should overlap by about 1-1/2 in., but you can adjust the overlap to get the exact cabinet length you want. Mark the overlap locations on the floor to later position the partition panels (F).

To customize the depth of your cabinet, start with the desired shelf depth. Add 4-5/8 in. to get the depth of the end, top and floor panels (C, D, E).

Level the base

level base garage built in cabinets

As with many other construction projects, a level foundation is the key to success. In our case, this is the 2×4 frame. Build the ladder-type frame and set it in place against the wall. Then use a level and shims to level the 2×4 frame from end to end and front to back. Screw the frame to the wall. We used masonry screws to attach the frame to the concrete curb.

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