If you have woodworking as your hobby, you’re a hardcore car enthusiast... or you have another favorite activity that requires you to get your hands a little dirty, you might have at some point thought of owning a workshop. Well, did you know that you can easily transform your garage into a fully functional workshop? However, before you convert it into the ideal room for your workshop activities, there are quite a number of things that you will need to be taken care of. So to speak, you will have to perform a number of upgrades to make your garage environment suitable for the kind of activity or purpose you’ll be using the workshop for. 

In a nutshell, it’s all about organization, facilitation, safety, and functionality. In essence, the activity you have in mind will dictate the specific things you need to take care of during the garage conversion process. You’ll want to think about space, storage, power, lighting, heating, and cooling, among other things. To help you turn your seemingly cluttered garage into a perfected space for your favorite activity, here are some pointers that summarize a complete guide for turning your garage into the ideal workshop.

First things first… clean up and declutter

It is not uncommon to find that when embarking on the project, your garage is cluttered with household items, old furniture, broken down bikes for your kids, and other things lying around. The first and most important task is to get rid of items that won’t serve the purpose you will be using the garage for. As a matter of fact, you will find yourself having to donate some of this stuff or sell them at second-hand shops. Alternatively, you can even opt to rent off-site storage for those items you’d rather not let go of. The essence here is to get organized and create as much room as possible for your activities, and a safe one for that matter. Things lying haphazardly on the floor are a safety hazard as they could easily lead to tripping and falling accidents for the workshop user. Additionally, cleaning up and decluttering will help create a comfortable and conducive working environment.

Set up a workbench

For your various handicraft works, you will obviously need a bench or workstation to operate from. Needless to mention, it is important to design a workbench that will be able to withstand the constant beating and pounding that it will be subjected to. When buying or building one, consider getting something that is sturdy, durable, and tough enough to stand the test of time. The material it is made from should be appropriate for the kind of projects you’ll be undertaking in your workshop without being easily dented or dinged. You may also want to invest in a fold-down workbench in case you’re a bit short on space.

Design your storage and use space creatively

Space can be a challenging factor for anyone trying to convert their garage into a workshop. By creatively utilizing the available space, however, you may realize that you have more than enough room to safely maneuver and move things around in your new workshop. For instance, instead of investing in tool storage boxes, you could opt to install wall shelving. Pegboards could also come in handy to achieve a well-organized wall storage space. Adding some storage cabinets or ball-bearing drawers beneath your workbench will also go a long way in creating extra storage space for those tools that you use more frequently. Now that we spoke of tools, this leads us to the next important point.

Think about the tools you need

Now, the kinds of tools you need will largely depend on the purpose or activities you have in mind for your new workshop. If you’ll be lifting and moving heavy objects or material, for instance, HoistNow.com suggests you to invest in a quality automatic lift, winch or hoist. For car enthusiasts, you will want to add a quality jack in your arsenal of tools for the lifting job. Other tools that you might need, especially for the woodworker, may include a band saw, a table saw, a drill press, a belt sander, and a grinder, just to name a few. The kind of tools you need will also help you to get more creative when designing your storage space. You might not get them all in one go, but hey, necessity is the mother of invention so you’ll add more tools in your kit as time goes by.

Power and lighting

Another challenge that you’re likely to encounter is that in most garages, the number of electrical outlets may not be adequate for your workshop tasks. You might want to add quite a number of electric outlets to power your corded tools as well as charge your battery-powered tools, your lighting, and even electronics. As you do so, it is imperative to ensure that no cords will be left laying on the floor haphazardly.

Additionally, there’s a big likelihood that the amount of light in your garage will not be adequate for your handicrafts. To create a more productive workspace, you will also want to invest in task-lighting and track lighting. Fluorescent lights will do for overall room lighting, but you may also want to add some led lights and work lamps, combined with extra sources of directional overhead lighting to avoid shadow-casting. It’s even better if you could get some natural light in, maybe by creating a window of sorts where possible.

Heating, cooling, and ventilation


In most cases, garage spaces lack proper insulation. What this means is that during the extra cold winter days and the extra hot summers, the situation can be unbearable. Remember, you want to create a comfortable working environment, which makes it crucial to invest in reliable heating, cooling and ventilation equipment/systems. There is a huge variety of electric, natural gas, propane, and gasoline-powered space heaters on the market, which you can choose depending on the size of your garage-cum-workshop. To keep hot days cool and improve air quality, make sure you invest in a quality air conditioning unit. AC units are available in a wide variety of options, including portable window ACs for those whose garages do not have ductwork in place. Also, your workshop is probably going to be producing a substantial amount of dust and dirt from your projects so including a dust collection system and an exhaust fan should be part and parcel of your garage transformation project. This will help improve ventilation and air quality in your workshop space.

In addition to the above, it is also worth investing in quality flooring, which should be durable, comfortable, non-slip, and easy to clean. You may also want to incorporate some entertainment, to make your hobby more fun. For this, you may only need some quality portable Bluetooth speakers for your music and probably install a Flat panel TV on one of the walls so you can watch your favorite TV programs as you work on your crafts. All the same, when properly utilized, the above guide will see you successfully transform your old garage into a perfect workshop for your dearest handy activities.


Published by Matthew Piggot