Once a luxury addition to house the family vehicle, the garage has now become a necessity - and not just for cars. For active families, the need for storage space is crucial, and often leads to the garage becoming a catchall of clutter. But, by taking into consideration how you and your family will need to use the garage before you build, you can create a garage that will match the ranch house floor plans of your dreams as well as be equipped to house your vehicles AND your life.
The garage door is one of the most prominent features of the entire space, giving presence, style and function. The material used will play a big factor into the overall design of your garage and home. Although wood is the most traditional material used, and may compliment a craftsman bungalow house plan well, new materials such as metals, synthetics, and fiberglass are becoming more popular and work well with more modern plans. Most of these materials can be insulated, are fire and pest resistance, and therefore require less maintenance, are cheaper and safer. In addition to the various material options, garage doors come in a variety of styles, each having a different impact on the amount of space used. Roller doors are the most popular style and ideal for homes with short driveways or other space issues. When opened the door is simply stored along a roller system. Up & Over doors swing outward and up before sliding parallel to the garage ceiling. Since these doors need room for the door to swing freely, they are not ideal for short driveways because extra vehicles will not be able to park close to the door. Sectional garage doors are very similar to roller doors in that they open upwards and are stored in the ceiling space. They are also good space-savers. Side-hinged garage doors are mechanically the simplest of all styles in that they open like a normal door. These are often double doors that close and lock in the middle. Similar to Up & Over doors, Side-Hinges require space in front of the garage to open the doors. Therefore they are not ideal for narrow or short driveways. But if you are working with historic Spanish revival house plans or some similar style these might be the perfect choice for you.
Once you've made the decision on your doors, it's on to determining the best solutions for the inside of the garage. The average garage has basic concrete floors. The downfall to this is that concrete will become damaged when exposed to certain household chemicals or even natural elements. To be able to fully use the space for storage, it might be best to look into flooring alternatives. Polyvinyl mats are ideal floor covers for active garages. These mats roll out, are easy to install, easy to clean and come in an abundance of colors and thickness. Tile holds up well against chemicals, dings, dents and various means of traffic, and can also be color customized. High-grade epoxy is an additional alternative floor coating that repels water and oil. With its extensive lifespan and ease of cleaning, it is becoming a popular addition. This coating can also be combined with additives such as stone bits to create better traction.
Beyond parking your family vehicles, the garage's most prominent role is for storage. To make the space as functional as possible, there are a few steps to take. Break into zones - Depending on your family's needs, your garage should include separate zones for storing items that belong to certain categories, such as garden tools, sporting goods, holiday decorations, automotive supplies, and garbage. You may also desire a workshop complete with a bench and table. With zones dedicated to housing like items, everything you need will be easy to find and put back in its proper place. You should also sort stuff. You've got your zones in place, now it's time to divide everything up into the proper categories. This is the perfect time to weed through the belongings you've had for years and decide whether or not to keep, donate/sell, or toss each item. When the sorting is complete, the real storage solution can begin. Many storage systems from companies such as ClosetMaid® and Schulte Storage allow for a streamlined approach and make it easy to find everything right when you need it. Items that are accessed regularly should be kept on open shelves within arms reach. Tall storage cabinets are perfect for storing seasonal items together and out of the way. Racks and pegboards are ideal for bulky lawn items such as rakes and trimmers, keeping them handy but off the floor of the garage. Overhead storage is also a great use of space to house large items that aren't needed too often.
With the zones in place and a storage system for each area, keeping the garage easy to access will be a breeze. This space can become a dream area of the home like any other room. Be sure to visit House Plans and More for more home planning ideas. If you are looking for ideas to compliment your historic Spanish revival house plans or your craftsman bungalow house plan this is the source for you. They even have something for your basic ranch house floor plans .