There are many ways to find more space in your garage, from improved organizational ideas to simply getting rid of more stuff. But what if you’ve gotten rid of and organized everything you can and still don’t have the space you need?
If you can’t just enlarge the garage, it may be time to start looking for space that isn’t currently being used. In many cases, that means looking up. Is there space above the area where you park your car that you could be using if there were storage surfaces in place? A garage loft is a great way to make use of empty space that could increase your garage storage capacity.
Do You Have the Space?
Of course, the first thing you’ll need to do is determine whether or not you have enough space for a loft. Preferably, you will want to be able to walk on the loft without having to stoop to avoid hitting the ceiling and also walk under the loft without having to stoop to avoid hitting the loft. And of course, if you have a tall vehicle, you will definitely want to make sure that you have plenty of clearance between the top of the vehicle and the loft.
In a garage with high ceilings, it can be easy to get all the space you want. However, if your ceiling hangs low, you may have to make some compromises. For example, if you need more space underneath the loft, you may have to resign yourself to stooping to avoid the ceiling when you’re on top of the loft.
DIY or Professional Build?
If you’re handy with tools and have successfully built small structures before, you can probably handle building a loft yourself. You can create the subfloor with plywood and use metal post bases to connect 4×4 posts to the garage floor. You’ll also need to use two 2×6 or 2×8 boards to construct a beam that will run from one end of the loft to the other and support the metal joist hangars.
If you doubt your ability to construct a loft on your own, you can hire a professional to create one for you. Because it’s a relatively simple project, hiring someone to construct a loft can be a cheaper alternative to other options for increasing your storage capacity, like expanding the garage or renting additional storage space long term.
Should Your Loft Be Suspended?
While most lofts are constructed in a way that puts the weight of the loft on the floor, some people choose to build lofts that are suspended from the ceiling. This can save a little room on the ground, but if it’s not done correctly, it can create a hazardous situation if the loft should happen to fall. What’s more, it can put a lot of pressure on the roof itself. If a suspended loft falls, it will create damage to the roof as well, and roof repairs can be very expensive.
If you’re considering a suspended loft, it’s a good idea to have your garage roof evaluated by a roofing professional first. They can let you know if your roof can support the kind of structure you’re thinking of.
A garage loft is a creative way to get the extra space you need in your garage. For more great garage renovation ideas, schedule your free design consultation.