Garage cabinets can do wonders for turning a junk pile into an organized state of affairs. At a minimum, they'll help you get a lot of the clutter that's sitting around the perimeter of the garage floor up and out of the way, making more room for the cars and fewer booby traps to trip over.
But before you get too ambitious about buying cabinets you'll want to take a bit of time to do some planning first. This isn't simply to figure out where to put the cabinets but to determine the quantity and quality of garage cabinets you actually need.
You see, there's a range of choices available to you and choosing cabinets for the garage is a bit different than choosing kitchen cabinets.
That's because you don't necessarily need to be too concerned about how they look (unless you want to that is). You can buy shiny new cabinets made specifically for the garage or buy older, used kitchen cabinets and hang them up on the garage walls.
Considerations like what you plan to store in them, the amount of money you want to spend as well as the kind of environment you live in all factor into choosing the right garage cabinets.
Whether you want high-end or low-cost, there are plenty of choices for a wide range of budgets and storage plans.
For most of us the garage is more than just a carport. Whether it doubles as a utility shed, a workshop or a man-cave there's bound to be more than just cars that occupy your garage. And until we find a way to negate the force of gravity, most of the extra stuff we collect over time ends up on the floor, usually in stacks or simply strewn about. That's why garage cabinets make sense, if for no other reason than to make use of some of that unused wall space.
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Getting an uncluttered garage and one that fits your needs and budget starts with some planning. A little forethought will help you make good decisions on the type, style and how many garage cabinets you'll need.
Also take note of how heavy these items are. Most household items aren't that heavy but if you plan on using your cabinets to store very heavy items like car parts or large power tools make sure you plan on getting cabinets robust enough for the job.
On the other hand if your garage is or will be the ultimate workshop, new cabinets might be the best choice. They not only add functionality but some style too, particularly if you go with powder-coated or painted metal cabinets.
Then there's the in-between; garage cabinets that are new but more simple, made from plastic or wood composite that don't cost a fortune.
The point here is that there's a range of cabinet choices available to you and you might not need the latest and greatest powder-coated steel cabinet boxes. Think about what will adequately do the job and you might be able to keep your costs low.
Rain and snow come in with the car making the garage environment moist and damp. The water that drops off the car can eventually gravitate to the sides of the garage where the cabinets are. It also evaporates into the air and can condense again on walls and other surfaces like cabinets.
Consider what garage cabinet materials will be most compatible in your environment. Each as their own positives and negatives but there will usually be one that best suits your area.
Photo Courtesy Of Moduline CabinetsDetermine where you're going to put the cabinets and the amount of space you have. Base cabinets will take up some floor space so be aware of how much space you have to give. Garage cabinets are made in various depths to accommodate different space limitations.
Garage wall cabinets are a great way of storing things up and out of the way but make sure they're clear of obstructions like garage door rails and car lifts.
Get rid of (give away, sell or throw out) items you haven't used in a while. Do a little purging and you can cut down on the amount of garage cabinets you'll need. Your wallet will thank you.
There are two ways to obtain garage cabinets: buy new or buy used. "Buying used" actually refers to buying any form of used cabinets, be they old kitchen or bath cabinets or any type of cabinetry for that matter. If you happen to be doing a kitchen remodel you might also be able to recycle your old cabinets.
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First let's take a look at the material choices that are available:
The downside is that plastic won't have as much load capacity as some sturdier materials.
Photo Courtesy Of Moduline CabinetsMetal garage cabinets come in both aluminum and steel, with some varieties made from stainless steel. Metal cabinets offer rigidity and strength with aluminum cabinets being somewhat lighter in weight that steel.
These types of cabinets can be painted or powder coated, a process that forms a durable protective coating on the surface, similar to paint.
Metal's downfall is that it's more expensive and it's susceptible to corrosion, particularly steel, in areas that aren't protected from moisture or corrosive chemicals.
Wood cabinets that don't have a melamine skin can be painted or stained. Some products like RedLine Garage Gear make MDF cabinets that are powder coated.Drawbacks to wood-based garage cabinetry are their weight (MDF and particle board panels can be very heavy) and their susceptibility to moisture. Areas of particular concern are wood cabinets that sit on the floor and are susceptible to water and snow runoff.
Cabinet combination kits are similar to modular cabinets but they come as a completed kit, with a pre-established setup of base and wall cabinets. You can choose from among various styles and configurations that best suits your space.
Sources for these kinds of cabinets include building salvage centers that take in used building materials from remodeled homes. If you or someone you know is planning on remodeling the kitchen, think about installing some of those cabinets in the garage.
You can use both the wall and the base cabinets although you should keep the base cabinets up off the garage floor using some pedestals or casters available at hardware stores.
If you're not hung up about how your garage cabinets should look and are simply looking for storage space, reused cabinetry is an economical alternative to new cabinets.
The following items are some additional points to consider before deciding on which kind of garage cabinets to choose. Use them to help solidify the type of garage cabinetry that will work best for your situation.
If you're reusing old cabinets, just use some common sense and don't think what previously held a stack of dishes will hold your car's transmission.
Photo Courtesy Of Moduline CabinetsDon't forget to consider the amount of room needed to open and close the car doors. When you're measuring, make sure you account for the room needed for the door swing.
Sure, that cool cabinet might fit between your garage wall and the side of the car but will it accommodate both you and the door as you get in and out?
For reused cabinets you can increase the shelf thickness by joining an additional board to the shelf (essentially doubling up on the shelf thickness). Just make sure the cabinet is securely fastened to the wall however. Overloading the cabinet box is still possible even if the shelves can withstand the weight.
There's no shortage of sources when it comes to finding garage cabinets, especially when you consider that old used kitchen and bath cabinets can do the job, depending on your tastes and needs.
For new cabinets, simply inserting the keyword "garage cabinets" will provide you with a number of online resources. They sell all types of garage cabinets in wood, plastic and metal.
If you'd like to touch and feel before you buy, you can try out any big-box home center in your area as the big chains like Home Depot and Lowes carry various brands of garage cabinets. Another source includes garage specialty retailers that sell all things related to the garage. You can do a local search by inputting the keyword "garage cabinets" followed by your zip code into a search engine to see if there are any sources in your area.
If you think the reused-cabinet route is for you, check with local builders you might know to see if they're in the process of removing any kitchen cabinets from a remodel they're working. Local sources for the salvage of building materials can be found by using the keywords "building materials" or "building material salvage" followed by your zip code in a search engine.
Finally, you can check to see if there is a Habitat For Humanity Restores location in your area. These facilities offer used building materials like cabinets and other items that are removed from remodeled or demolished homes. You can usually find good used cabinets at very good prices.
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