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Do you dream of a home body shop or a better-organized workspace? Your garage might have untapped potential. Turn your dreams into a reality—all it takes are a few simple upgrades.

1. Need Space? Look Up Buy ready-made shelving or cabinets and install them high on the walls so you can utilize the floor space underneath. Keep items in easily accessible, see-through plastic cartons, available at home goods stores for around $15 to $30.

2. Give Tools the “Hookup” Start by mounting plywood to the walls, then cover it with pegboard. Hang tools like hammers, wrenches and pliers as well as other lightweight items like garden rakes on hooks and pegs.

Did You Know?

The word “garage” comes from “garer,” which means “to shelter” in French.

3. Hang Lighting Install LED fixtures that will distribute flicker-free light and work well in various temperatures.

4. Power Up Hard-core enthusiasts may need to install electrical wiring to serve up the power needed for bigger jobs. Install a circuit breaker panel to handle heavy electrical demands. (This is not DIY work—hire a pro.)

5. Weatherproof If you’re a year-round car buff, insulation is essential. For maximum effectiveness, consult the material’s installation guide and select the proper thickness for your walls. Fix or replace weather-stripping to create a seal around the door that keeps warm air in and cool air out.

6. Floor It Garage floors should be strong and durable, but pouring concrete isn’t the only option for the cost-conscious DIY-er. Acrylic and epoxy paint are easy options, as are interlocking plastic tiles. There are also mats that can be custom cut to fit your space. All are easily cleaned and can stand up to drops of liquids such as antifreeze and cleaning fluids.

7. Play It Safe Auto supplies and gas can be highly flammable and dangerous. Get a 5- to 10-pound fire extinguisher and mount it in an accessible spot near the exit. Install a carbon monoxide detector for extra safety when you’ll be working in an enclosed environment. If the garage is attached to the house, be sure that the door leading into the residence is solid-core and fire-rated.

8. Include a Workbench A wall-mounted, fold-down model can be purchased for about $300. Flank it with shelves for tools and supplies.

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