Garage – Planning a Workshop

I was walking home the other day and saw this amazingly equipped workshop which made me feel quite jealous!

We can’t all have separate workshops so here are some thoughts about planning a workshop in your new house garage.

Solid Workbench

Your workbench,needs to be constructed to withstand the rigors and pounding you’ll put it through.

The legs should be sturdy and the top should be durable as I mainly work with wood I lite a timber top so it doesn’t damage my project.

If you are working with metals a steel top may be better.

Light and Power

Once you have got a location for the workbench you can plan the light and power.

I would aim to have a double power point at each end of the bench about 1.00m to 1.200m above the floor.

A point close to the floor for a Shop Vac is also useful to help keep the workshop clean and extract power tool dust. (For other garage power points see this link: Electrical Planning)

Some task lighting above the bench is also recommended.

Tool Storage

Your main investment if you are serious about DIY are the tools.

To protect that investment I would recommend a large tool box, preferably on wheels to make it easy to take your tool if you need to do work away from the garage.

For the tools that you use most often in the workshop a pegboard is useful for quick access.

Alternatively  you could hang items on the walls of your garage.


Plain concrete garage floors can work as a workshop surface, but can be dusty and over time they stain.

A floor paint such as an epoxy paint is easier to clean and looks better.

For a softer surface in front of the workbench a  rubber floor mats is great for easing strain on your legs and feet.

Comfortable Temperature

Garage spaces are not usually insulated, and garage doors on most homes have very poor insulation.

That means you may be hot and sweaty in the summer, and freezing cold in  winter.

If you are planning to spend a lot of time in the garage I would recommend you consider insulating your garage ceiling and door.

You should also consider a heater and a fan.


Have I left out any must-haves for your garage/workshop? . . . Let me know in the comments.

Garage Storage

I was out for a walk very early and saw these bikes which had been out in the garden all night.

It got me thinking about how when people are planning they tend to think of a garage as just somewhere to store the car.

Here are some additional uses of a garage that you might need to consider:

  • Bike storage, adults bikes and children’s.
  • Outside kitchen.
  • Party space.
  • Workshop.
  • Gardening tool storage, including mower and barrow.
  • Passage from front yard to backyard.
  • Suitcase storage.
  • Camping gear storage.
  • Fishing tackle storage
  • Somewhere to leave the garbage and recycling bins.

Are you going to allow enough space? or just leave the car(s) on the drive?

Wardrobe Doors. . . . The Big Question

I know a lot of houses come with Walk in Robes but if you are are building a small house you may need built in robes.

So the question is are you going to have hinged doors like these. . . .  or sliding doors?

Hinged Doors


They allow great access to your wardrobe.contents.
The back of the door can be used to store a full length mirror.
Easy to maintain and clean.
No need to fix tracks to floor


Need more space to open, the door swings outward into the available space of your room.
May need lots of smaller as doors which can be a fussy look.
Tend to be more expensive than sliding doors for the same opening size.

Sliding Doors


Sliding wardrobe door require less space to open.
Mirrored  doors can make your room look bigger and give a room a light feel.
Sliding doors provide a sleeker look to your room.


Doors move along the tracks easily and can close with a bang.
Only one person can access the wardrobe at a time.
Due to door overlap some of the clothes on the hanging rail can get hidden.
Dirt and dust in the tracks can cause jamming.


For me the fact the clothes I want always seem to be hidden behind the overlap in out current house mean I would much prefer hinged doors. . . . How about you?

Boom of Self Storage Units (Compactus Type Systems)

Sponsored post by Martin William

Self-storage facilities are experiencing unprecedented demand all over the country but putting possessions in these units long term can be expensive.

Research suggests that as more people than ever before are moving into functional yet compact apartments, intelligent storage solutions like the Compactus system are becoming an interesting alternative.

Growth of Self Storage

In terms of self-storage, current figures suggest that the number of units available across Australia is expected to increase by more than 10% within the next two years alone.

At least 30 new self-storage facilities are set to open their doors across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane over the next two years, of which many will be operated by completely new companies.

Just to put this into some kind of perspective, the typical annual opening rate for such facilities is no more than three per year.

As far as the experts are concerned however, this enormous growth in both demand and available inventory comes as no real surprise.

Apartment living and smaller homes have become something of a new standard across many of Australia’s most populous towns and cities, driving demand for intelligent and accessible storage solutions.

For example, between the years 2011 and 2016, the number of people living in apartments in Brisbane has increased by almost 26%.

During the same period apartment dwelling in Melbourne grew by more than 9%, while the number of
people living in apartments in Sydney increased by almost 19%.

“Urbis has observed a strong correlation between higher-density living and the demand for self-storage in areas such as Waterloo in NSW, Hawthorn in Victoria and Fortitude Valley in Queensland,” said director David
Blackwell. “Demand for self-storage will continue to grow in areas such as Macquarie Park in NSW which is undergoing higher density residential development and significant population growth.”

A Home Solution

Along with self-storage facilities, apartment dwellers are increasingly exploring the available options in terms of a dynamic and intelligent storage solutions to be used within their homes.

Flexible and scalable Storage Systems like the Compactus system have become extremely popular, as has furniture and
fixtures that double-up as convenient storage units.

Compactus mobile shelving living up to its name by effectively and efficiently compacting a much larger shelving system into the smallest possible installation with minimum requirement for floor space.

As far as most experts are concerned however, we’ve really only just begun to see the shape of things to come.

As available floor space in desirable locations diminishes by the day, developers and property buyers alike are finding themselves with little choice but to focus on increasingly compact apartments.

Intelligent storage solutions at home are making it easier and more comfortable for residents to make use of the limited space they have available to them.

Still A Place For Self Storage Companies

Self-storage facilities  will provide lifelines for those looking to store larger and/or abundant items away from their property.

One of the key benefits of the wider availability of self-storage facilities across Australia being the gradual yet inevitable decline in associated costs.

Whether looking to store a few items of furniture or the contents of an entire household, doing so should become significantly more affordable over the coming years

Half Shelves

It’s not easy to effectively use the standard builders shelf layout.

Standard Shelves

Typically a standard builders shelf spacing is a 400mm vertical spacing between shelves in a pantry, linen press, or for clothes storage.

The top shelf will be around 1600mm from the floor.

The trouble is that you can’t find things at the back and things are piled too high for easy access.

The Half Shelf Solution

To improve the situation I normally install half shelves.

These are typically 200mm from the supporting shelf and half the depth of the cupboard.

Doesn’t seem much but its surprising the difference it makes.

Don’t believe me just install one, and you will soon want more.

More Storage Space . . . . or Too Much Stuff?

Read the House Magazines or watch TV Programs and you will often notice quotes like:

“You can never have too much storage space.”

Well I think that’s BULLDUST! 

If you think you need more storage space; then think about getting rid of some STUFF.

Get too much storage space and your are just going to be storing JUNK you no longer need!

10 Decluttering Ideas

Here are some things to think about before you decide how much storage you need in your new home:

  1. Magazines – Once you have read the magazine put it in the recyling its unlikely to be read again. If you think there is an interesting article you ‘must’ keep then rip it out and put it in a folder.
  2. Fiction Paperbacks – Are you really going to read that thriller again when you know ‘Who did it’
  3. Old Computers/Tablets/Phones – These days people seem to update their technology every couple of years but why aren’t they throwing the old away? If you have got something stored on the old device either transfer it to the new device, or store it on a hard drive.
  4. Media Storage – Still got some Video Tapes, LPs in boxes?  Why? even CDs /DVDs  are gettinng to be old technology. Unless you are a serious collector or regularly play them copy to a hard and send them to the OP shop.
  5. Pictures and Ornaments – No longer like the picture or ornament?   Then why are you keeping it in a box in the garage?
  6. Clothes and Shoes – No longer fits, needs repair, or haven’t worn in a year? Then it could be time to go.
  7. Bedding – You can get by with two sets of sheets for adults, four if you prefer warmer sheets in winter. Children possibly an extra set or two in case of accidents. So get rid of the rest.
  8. Children’s Toys – We have been guilty of saving toys for future grandchildren, but unless they are classics like Lego will the future children want them?
  9. Kitchen Gadgets – Got a pineapple corer, egg slicer, potato chipper . . . . or any other of those kitchen devices that take more time to clean than doing the job with a knife? Unless you are using at least 4-5 times a year its just wasting space!
  10. Glasses and Crockery – The set may have been a wedding present. . . . but if you have dropped, and smashed 3 out of the 6 it might be time to ditch the rest.


What do you think you can get rid of ?