Garage Designs

Announcer: Go behind the wheel, under the hood, and beyond with Car Stuff from

Scott Benjamin: Welcome back to Car Stuff. I'm Scott Benjamin, the auto editor here at

Ben Bowlin: And my name is Ben Bowlin. I'm a writer here at the self same website.

Scott Benjamin: Hey, Ben.

Ben Bowlin: Hey, Scott.

Scott Benjamin: I have a question for you.

Ben Bowlin: All right.

Scott Benjamin: I know that you recently moved into a new home?

Ben Bowlin: Yes, sir.

Scott Benjamin: And one of the things you were very excited about was that this house has something all new to you. What was that?

Ben Bowlin: I am excited about it, and it is a garage.

Scott Benjamin: Yes, that's it.

Ben Bowlin: It's not the biggest garage. It's a one-car garage, but as someone who has lived in quite a few apartments and places without garages, I am quite excited for this one.

Scott Benjamin: I bet you are. That's one of the first things you told me about the place, was that you were very excited that there was a garage and you unceremoniously kicked your girlfriend right out and said, "No. You can't have the garage. I'm taking the garage."

Ben Bowlin: Right. That's fine. I don't regret it. I stand by the statement.

Scott Benjamin: That's all right. I'm just giving you a little guff. Let's just be honest, you're the one who cares about your car, right?

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, but -

Scott Benjamin: Shall we just leave it at that?

Ben Bowlin: Let's leave it at that. I don't want to have to plead the fifth, Scott.

Scott Benjamin: I understand. No harm meant. But let me ask you about this -

Ben Bowlin: You are going to get me in so much trouble.

Scott Benjamin: I know, I know. Maybe she won't be listening. One thing I need to ask you, and I think we agree on this. We briefly talked about this already.

Ben Bowlin: What's that?

Scott Benjamin: There's the clean garage debate versus the cluttered garage debate.

Ben Bowlin: Ah, yes.

Scott Benjamin: A lot of people use the garage as just somewhere to put everything - all the stuff. Some people use it as a place to put just a car and nothing else or to have a very neat and organized place where you can find everything. But then other people have the same argument about a cluttered garage, that they can find everything and know right where they put that.

Ben Bowlin: Sure, and they will maintain it.

Scott Benjamin: What side of the fence are you on for this debate? I'm definitely on the clean side.

Ben Bowlin: I wish that we could disagree because it would probably make for a more entertaining show, but I'm so on the same page, man. Because the thing is, with a garage, growing up I had one at my parents' house. And this was a two-car garage, so very quickly - we started off, idealistically as you do, thinking that we would keep the place Spartan, except for these two cars that would be in there every night by this time. Eventually what happened is we had the entire garage taken over by clutter.

Scott Benjamin: That happens. It's happening at my house right now.

Ben Bowlin: It happens so easily.

Scott Benjamin: Gradually.

Ben Bowlin: Right. And my parents have now reached an equilibrium and one bay of the garage is this workshop for my dad and the other bay is where one of the cars goes.

Scott Benjamin: So you have a two-car garage, one car fits in. That's very common.

Ben Bowlin: I think that might be the norm, actually.

Scott Benjamin: It seems to be. To be able to get two cars in a two-car garage is - often you won't see it. You just won't see it unless it's someone who's very meticulous about keeping everything put away. Once you unpack a brand new mower and you've got that giant box that the mower comes in, if you don't keep that sitting around like I have for the last couple of months, it starts to encroach on your space. And then you might buy a new vacuum and you put the vacuum box on top of that. And you know I'm not pointing any fingers here towards myself or anything, but it happens.

Ben Bowlin: I thought that was a nervous tic.

Scott Benjamin: No, no, no. And then you decide, "I don't want the ladder down in the shed. I think I want it closer so I can get to it when I need it."

Ben Bowlin: It's so much easier.

Scott Benjamin: I'm going to lean that on the wall. And then, "I would hate to see the anonymous person's go-cart outside." So they wouldn't want to put that in the garage, but they have to.

Ben Bowlin: The hypothetical garage.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, that's right. But it happens. It slowly happens over time that people let their garage go. Somebody's still getting two cars in their garage, but - we've lost that one.

Ben Bowlin: You're killing yourself.

Scott Benjamin: It's not even working anymore. But we still get our two cars in, but it's starting to fill up a little bit. I'm getting that tingling on the back of my neck, saying we'd better clean it out already.

Ben Bowlin: Your spider sense is going off.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly. My Spidey sense.

Ben Bowlin : So we're friends outside of the show. People could probably guess that. I'm going to help you out with this. This episode won't be as altruistic as our usual topics. We're also going to help each other figure out some of the better ways to design a garage. Now we've already answered one of the biggest questions when it comes to garage design, what do you want your garage to look like when you open the door from your house or from outside? For me, I am someone who firmly believes that clutter and - well, let me say it in a more positive way - cleanliness and productivity are positively related. If I walk into a place and it's already clean, then I can just go about the business. One thing that I would add to your description of hypothetical cluttered garages is that another easy way for a garage to get cluttered is going to be found right after some do-it-yourself work on your car. Sometimes in Tennessee we call these "come to Jesus" moments. It comes from the church where you face a truth that's undeniable, that you've been trying to deny for a time. So I've occasionally had these. After a four-hour bout with drum brakes one time - the first time I'd ever worked with drum brakes I had a "come to Jesus" moment with myself where I thought, "I'm going to have to ask my dad for help."

Scott Benjamin: You would've gotten the work done a lot faster if you hadn't stopped to drum, or whatever you're doing - play keyboard or something.

Ben Bowlin: Right, yeah.

Scott Benjamin: That's terrible. I do what I can over here.

Ben Bowlin: You're doing a great job. But my point is that when we finally got these rear brakes on we were done with each other, we were done with the car, we were done with the garage, and we just never cleaned it up. So we're on the same page when we start here. But maybe on this episode we can talk about some of the other considerations that can help drivers and homeowners get what they want from their garage.

Scott Benjamin: True. We mentioned that a lot of people look at a garage as just a place to store stuff.

Ben Bowlin: An attic on the ground floor.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly. It's easy to get to and it's just the room that you can put things in. And eventually - you don't really realize when it's happening. "Maybe I'll just park outside today and then I'll get that stuff cleaned up and pull that tarp out of the way tomorrow. I'll pull in when the weather gets cold. Maybe I'll wait until the first day it snows, and then I'll clean it up and I'll get in."

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, but then Christmas break is over and you've got to take care of the kid.

Scott Benjamin: Very good. Sometimes my car will fit in there, and that type of thing. This is where the big mistake happens, you don't think about the garage as just a place to park your car. Think about it as another room in the house. That's what I do. I think about it as another room of the house. And I haven't gotten to that room yet as far as renovation. And I'm not talking anything real extensive, but there's a few simple things. The idea is that if you look at it as another room in your house - it sounds crazy - how would you decorate that room? How would you make the best use of space in that room? What's the room for? You want to make it practical.

Ben Bowlin: Right. Is it a workshop? Is it for a car?

Scott Benjamin: Is it a half workshop and half for your car? Is it for two cars? Maybe it's for no cars. Maybe you just want another work area.

Ben Bowlin: Or a studio or something.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly. Yeah. Look at it as another room of your house and use that as a guide to determine where you go with this room. And you'd be surprised by a couple of simple things you could do to make that space a lot more livable.

Ben Bowlin: Right. One of the key parts to any sort of work space is planning, as nerdy as it sounds. And there's some basics. If you are in your garage, you will probably have more wall space that you can mess around with than floor space. And of course, I'm a huge fan of building shelves. That came out wrong. It's not like I stay awake at night waiting to build shelves. But I think they serve such a great purpose. The place I'm in now obviously used to be a workshop. There's some board with the holes up and the stencils of the tools.

Scott Benjamin: Pegboard.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, yeah. And then they've got a bank of outlets there that are obviously made to handle power tools. I would like to keep my car in it. I'm going to go ahead and say it. A lot of people won't feel this way, but I'm happy to be able to take my car into a garage because it's just so much better over time for the exterior of the vehicle.

Scott Benjamin: I totally agree. Exterior, interior - everything! Just your own personal comfort as well - simple things like taking groceries into the house! Just getting into the car on a night when it's rainy and then driving where you're going so you don't arrive soaking wet. But it just makes sense, if you can use your garage, do it.

Ben Bowlin: But I'm going to lay something down on you, man. Tell me if you disagree. I think that with the right planning and the right smart storage it's possible to have your cake and eat it too when it comes to a garage.

Scott Benjamin: I think you're right.

Ben Bowlin: Well, okay. That's the end of the show.

Scott Benjamin: But how would you go about it? You said you like shelves.

Ben Bowlin: Oh, yeah. Do you want to hear my grand plan?

Scott Benjamin: Sure.

Ben Bowlin: My girlfriend thinks it's crazy. It's ambitious. I have the stuff to make a pretty decent workshop. And I have your basic circular saw, router, and some other power tools and carpentry stuff I'm trying to teach myself how to do. So I would like to make some hinged shelves that fold up sort of like a Murphy bed. And that way I can take them down only when I need them. And then I have a separate area to store all of the other workshop stuff that I can take out as I need it. And that's also where I'm putting all of my car tools. So ideally, I would be able to have maybe six shelves or so - three on a side - that fold up so I can easily fit the car in there. Again, this is a small garage and I drive kind of a boat. So hopefully, if I manage that way, I can still have the counter space I need to do projects around the house, but still have room to put a car in there if I need to change the oil. Because I'm way too cheap to get my oil changed somewhere else. And I'd also like to put some stuff in the ceiling to hang bicycles or to hang -

Scott Benjamin: They even have bins you can hang up there, too.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah. I haven't gone for that, but I'm thinking about it.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, you can find prebuilt organization structures that you can hang in your garage - closets, workbench space, shelves, bins, hooks, wall systems that you can add attachments to hang bikes vertically. A lot of different things are available right now for anybody to pick up at any home improvement place or retail stores. You can also go to specialty stores like storage places that sell things like this specifically to get the most out of whatever space you have. And you mentioned something that made me think of one of the great videos I've watched recently on YouTube.

Ben Bowlin: What's that?

Scott Benjamin: Have you ever seen the world's smallest garage?

Ben Bowlin: Wait, is this the guy who has to - I think I have. He's in Europe, yeah. Yeah, we talked about this.

Scott Benjamin: Have we? Oh, off air.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah.

Scott Benjamin: Maybe I'll mention it here, then. It's just called The World's Smallest Garage. And it's easy enough to find online.

Ben Bowlin: That poor man.

Scott Benjamin: Really?

Ben Bowlin: He's ingenious.

Scott Benjamin: Oh, yeah. Incredibly skilled!

Ben Bowlin: So basically in this video, this guy has what technically counts as a one-car garage. The problem is he has bare centimeters -

Scott Benjamin: Three centimeters on each side.

Ben Bowlin: So he has to drive straight into this garage. And the entrance to the house is through this garage, too. So he has developed this system whereby he opens the car door in the kitchen door and through some deft back and forth coasting he manages to get out.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, he can't open the door unless he rolls backwards.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, he has to roll backwards into it. And he has to move some stuff, I think, in his kitchen.

Scott Benjamin: And then he gets out, leaves the car in neutral, rolls the car forward by hand as he slowly closes the door, puts the car in park, and finally shuts the door.

Ben Bowlin: See, that guy has a clean garage. There is nothing there.

Scott Benjamin: And that's with the mirrors folded in. And this car looks like a Yugo.

Ben Bowlin: It's a very small car.

Scott Benjamin: It's something like that. It's that shape and design. But it's a small car. In fact, just from the video I've got the numbers in meters. His car is one meter and 49 centimeters wide. The garage is one meter and 55 centimeters wide. So he has three centimeters on either side to play with.

Ben Bowlin: How did that happen? I wonder which he got first? He had to get the house first.

Scott Benjamin: How did he get so ambitious to be able to think he can do this in the first place?

Ben Bowlin: He's probably just better at math than I am.

Scott Benjamin: It's incredible. He's speaking Dutch in the video, I believe. It's a skill. It's really a skill.

Ben Bowlin: I think that's fair. It's a skill set.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, it definitely is. But it's a funny video to watch, really. And it's only a couple of minutes long. But it's worthwhile. It's the World's Smallest Garage.

Ben Bowlin: It made me think that I have it a lot better than I had assumed.

Scott Benjamin: That's right. It shows you how good planning - and he did have some good things in his garage. He had a bike that he had to move out of the way when he brought it in.

Ben Bowlin: Oh, that's right. He did have a bike.

Scott Benjamin: And he did have a full extension ladder and some other things stored in the front of the garage. But he had things up off the ground and out of the way. They were above the roof of his car and he knew exactly where the car fit and how things work in there. So he had it well planned out and a good plan. He knew what his space was like. And I think that's what you're doing, too. You've investigated how much space you have, what you need, what you need to do with the area.

Ben Bowlin: Oh, I'm trying, buddy. I am trying.

Scott Benjamin: See that's important. You take your time, even if it takes you a week to figure this out - or longer - just figure out what you have to do with the space and do it.

Ben Bowlin: Well, this is the perfect opportunity for us to talk about some really cool stuff. Because we're talking about what you and I want to do with our garages and we're assuming a couple of different things. I rent. You're a homeowner so you would so some renovations that I probably wouldn't do. But also, you and I are going to keep it below a certain level of pimp-my-garagedness.

Scott Benjamin: That's right. I wouldn't go over the top with the renovation of a garage area.

Ben Bowlin: But I ask you, Mr. Benjamin, what is over the top? I think we've got some contenders.

Scott Benjamin: What have you got? You have a few, right?

Ben Bowlin: I have just a couple.

Scott Benjamin: I have some more practical things here that we'll read at the end - some real world stuff.

Ben Bowlin: Do you want to trade back and forth?

Scott Benjamin: No, that would be a little bit silly.

Ben Bowlin: I've got one I want to save until the end.

Scott Benjamin: Okay, after you read your extreme examples, I want to read just a few simple things that people can do to their garage to make it just that much better and that much more enjoyable.

Ben Bowlin: That's a lot more helpful than this crazy stuff.

Scott Benjamin: No, I love to hear the crazy stuff and I love to look at it. There's a ton of examples online.

Ben Bowlin: Right. So I'm not going to give specific names, dates, and places because these actually happen a lot more than you think. In real life, there are people who have their driveways tricked out so that in front of their garage the concrete from the driveway lifts up to reveal a secret parking space for their car - which of course, if you can picture it, is probably something awesome like an exotic sports car. And then it just recedes down so smoothly and you never know it's there.

Scott Benjamin: So it matches the concrete on top?

Ben Bowlin: Yes. And when we're talking about garages, we're talking about average guys like us having garages that come with their house. We're not talking about the uber-collectors who have made their garages nicer than some libraries with polished marble floors, works of art hanging up - we talked about this in private art collections. And elevators going up to your house - people do these things. And there are custom garage builders around the world who will do things like - if you live in Japan and you say, "I have 2,000 square feet on this property. I want you to build me a house with room for nine cars in the garage and one of those parking spots needs to be in front of glass area in the living room so I can sit and look at it." True story!

Scott Benjamin: Oh, man. No kidding?

Ben Bowlin: Yes.

Scott Benjamin: Wow.

Ben Bowlin: Scott, you and I had looked around at this a little bit in the interim so I wanted to say this might not be the craziest, but this is my favorite. Can I give you just a rea l brief story about this guy?

Scott Benjamin: Please do.

Ben Bowlin: Okay, so looking for the craziest things you can do when you design a garage. There's a fellow named Anthony Toth who lives in California. And in his garage he decided to take it all the way. And that's one thing I love is when somebody doesn't stop at 8.5 yards. I wish I hadn't told you what he did off air because it would be so fun for you to guess.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, I was shocked.

Ben Bowlin: Okay. He didn't make it for a car and he didn't make it a workshop. But he did make it an unreasonably accurate replica of a first class Pan Am airplane cabin. And it looks real.

Scott Benjamin: This is unbelievable. I've seen the photo of the guy sitting in one of the airline seats.

Ben Bowlin: Oh, yeah. He's just hanging.

Scott Benjamin: I was recently on a plane and I'll tell you I was happy to be off once I was done. I don't know why you'd want to build something like this and then just hang out in the garage.

Ben Bowlin: It's funny because he says that he always loved them. It's a labor of love because he was a huge fan of Pan Am. And oddly enough, he works for United Airlines. But he said he spent maybe 50 grand on this project. He's been hunting down Pan Am seats and Pan Am bags of peanuts and stuff.

Scott Benjamin: This is incredible. I'm looking at the photo of him sitting there with his headphones on, or whatever he has.

Ben Bowlin: Oh, yeah, he's got the headphones.

Scott Benjamin: And I thought I read there that he could watch videos on the drop-down monitors or something like that?

Ben Bowlin: Yes.

Scott Benjamin: That's how detailed this thing is. It looks like he's inside a plane in this photo. It looks like a studio set, like a film set.

Ben Bowlin: And also, when you listen to music through those headphones, which are also Pan Am, it plays music of the time period.

Scott Benjamin: Oh, no.

Ben Bowlin: So just like any collector or enthusiast, he's really concentrated.

Scott Benjamin: He's gone all the way. I guess he gets a ten here for effort on this. That's incredible.

Ben Bowlin: I'm going to give him a ten for keeping his garage clean, too.

Scott Benjamin: Ten for execution.

Ben Bowlin: There's no clutter.

Scott Benjamin: It's well done.

Ben Bowlin: Let's just give this guy ten tens.

Scott Benjamin: Perfect tens. It's well done. Nice job. But that's a garage. That's crazy.

Ben Bowlin: For people who don't want to build a replica of an airline in their garage, do you have some tips for them we could end on?

Scott Benjamin: Oh, some of the more common things?

Ben Bowlin: Yeah.

Scott Benjamin: Just before we go into this, when we were doing research for this I saw all kinds of things. There are people who had made their garage into a pub.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, or a pool.

Scott Benjamin: That's a popular one. Oh, pool? I didn't see that.

Ben Bowlin: There's a couple of people who have built indoor pools inside their garage.

Scott Benjamin: I've seen a performance stage where there's a band playing. And you may think, "Well, there's garage bands all over the place." No, this is the real deal.

Ben Bowlin: It's like a venue.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly. It's unbelievable. A full light show and everything -

Ben Bowlin: A ballet studio I saw.

Scott Benjamin: A ballet studio - really?

Ben Bowlin: It makes sense. Yeah.

Scott Benjamin: And when you get to a certain level and you've got a large area, one part of your garage might be an office area that's carpeted with a big mahogany desk and lamps on the edge and everything. And you have a phone line just for the garage with client chairs in front of it. It's unreal what they can do with it. Some of them are really beautiful. Others are maybe a bit too much.

Ben Bowlin: Oh, three words - nuclear fallout shelter. That was my second favorite that people have done.

Scott Benjamin: Really? No kidding.

Ben Bowlin: Well, it's like the garage itself is empty and covered with concrete outside, but they've dug into the ground under the garage.

Scott Benjamin: No kidding?

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, you open up your trap door and -

Scott Benjamin: That's an interesting one.

Ben Bowlin: Well, not a trap door. But you know what I'm talking about with a wheel to turn -

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, the safe lock.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah.

Scott Benjamin: Cool.

Ben Bowlin: But I can't do that yet, so help me out, man.

Scott Benjamin: All right. So here's some of the more simple things I gu ess you could do to your garage to make it unique. Again, another room in your house, so just think of it that way. Looking around, mine falls into just about every one of these categories. It needs floor, paint, lights, all of that stuff. So let's just kind of go through the list here. But the simplest thing to do, depending on the size of the walls and everything, is paint the walls. Any color combination you choose - oftentimes garages don't have windows, so that's something to take into consideration, too. You don't want to make it a dark cave in there. Anything you would do for you house, you could do in your garage. You've got to remember that. I had a hard time getting over that understanding that if you're going to paint a spare bedroom, it's kind of the same way.

Ben Bowlin: I guess it is.

Scott Benjamin: Most people leave the walls drywall with some tape in between and sanded.

Ben Bowlin: Cinder blocks.

Scott Benjamin: And it doesn't have to be that way. With some simple work you can make it just as nice as the walls in your house.

Ben Bowlin: The space of an afternoon.

Scott Benjamin: Exactly. It really doesn't take all that long to make a big difference in this area. I saw a garage in my neighborhood the other day - this is what sparked this whole thing. I was walking the dog in the neighborhood the other day and it was nighttime, the garage was open, and the light was on. It was easy to see in and I'm a garage peeper. I like to see what people have in their garage. I know it sounds kind of dirty, but I like to see what people have in their garage as project cars. We've talked about that. So this person has their garage door open and I had to almost do a double take because it was - and it's a simple thing. They had tan walls, a gray floor that was painted with epoxy or something like that, and they had chair rail - the trim that you can put around the wall about three feet up or so - all the way around the whole room. It was white trim. It looked beautiful. And they had some kind of different unique lighting in there, too. It wasn't just a standard garage light.

Ben Bowlin: It was recessed track lighting or something.

Scott Benjamin: It wasn't a bare light bulb or something. It was nice.

Ben Bowlin: And you thought, "Wow that looks like a real room."

Scott Benjamin: And that is a weekend's worth of work. We're talking epoxy and it has to dry and that kind of stuff. That's the other thing. You can easily change the floor.

Ben Bowlin: Sometimes you should, especially if you're working with vehicles inside your garage. If you think about the various fluids that can leak out on there and the various residue you'll get on the floor naturally, it's an investment to make sure you don't mess it up.

Scott Benjamin: It goes into the porous concrete and it just seeps in. Good luck getting the stains out.

Ben Bowlin: You will not get those stains out.

Scott Benjamin: There's a lot of products that will tell you that those stains will come out, but then you'll end up with a light area where that was and it just doesn't work out. It ends up looking bad. So there's a ton of floor options. You could do plastic tiles that are interlocking and meant for something like this. You can paint the floor, which I don't recommend. I've dealt with paint on floors before and it tears right up with the wheels as soon as you spin the wheels. It doesn't quite work so well. But if you do the epoxy coating systems, those work really well. They're very tough and resistant to stains.

Ben Bowlin: And they last forever.

Scott Benjamin: Seem to, yeah. They may chip eventually, but nothing like paint. You could also carpet. A lot of people don't think about carpet, but you could carpet a garage. I've seen it before. I worked for an eccentric lady before whose garage was carpeted.

Ben Bowlin: I'm not the biggest fan of that unless you really want to turn the garage into another room that doesn't house a car.

Scott Benjamin: No, this was for a car to park on.

Ben Bowlin: Weird.

Scott Benjamin: A giant old Cadillac. It was a big yellow Cadillac, the color of the yellow paper that I hold in my hand.

Ben Bowlin: That's awesome.

Scott Benjamin: Yeah, it was pretty awesome. It was a cool car, too. It was at least 25 feet long - no it was 37 feet long, this huge Cadillac. If you have a British car you might not want to do that, either. Old British cars leak like sieves - even a good one. If you think you've got it all sealed up, they just leak. So you're going to end up with oil spots all over the place. Otherwise, maybe not a bad option!

Ben Bowlin: Are you bitter much, buddy, about that British car?

Scott Benjamin: No, I'm not. No, in fact I love it. I'd love to have one leaking all over my garage right now. I really do love them. Oh, and there's this other cool thing. You can do polyvinyl flooring, which comes in a roll like carpet or laminate would. It's like a slick material but you won't fall if you step on it. It's something good to park on. It makes liquids pool up and you can easily wipe them away. It just protects the floor. That's the overall goal here, anyways.

Ben Bowlin: To beat that porous concrete.

Scott Benjamin: The other thing I mentioned was lights. Right now I've got two bare light bulbs in my garage which look horrible.

Ben Bowlin: Me, too. I've got the one that's a 40-watt or something. It's depressing in there.

Scott Benjamin: You might want to kick it up to 60 just to -

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, I think I'll have to just go ahead and -

Scott Benjamin: You can't be trusted with 60 watts. They backed it down to 40. So you could do fluorescent lamps. It all depends on your taste. You could bathe the whole thing in light. What I would like to do is either can lights - which are really nice. You could even dim them. Or you could have track lighting. And you think that's maybe extravagant, but when you really look at the price and how easy those things are to install, it's really not that much different. If you have the wiring there in place for the bare bulbs, you could easily put in two track lights and you'd be able to direct the light where you wanted to. And for me, it's a much better quality light than a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling.

Ben Bowlin: I'm serious, man. I don't know if you know this, but one room lit by a 40-watt bulb is really sad.

Scott Benjamin: It seems like you're a little bit depressed about this.

Ben Bowlin: I think I am going to go home and change that bulb today actually.

Scott Benjamin: You know, it'll cost you about 80 cents, I think. I could loan you a light bulb. I could even loan you a 100-watt light bulb.

Ben Bowlin: No, your interest rates are crazy.

Scott Benjamin: Another thing, increased storage space. You can buy all of these different systems that are available. And there's a huge variety available right now. So I guess if you have a few bucks to spend on something like that, or you could build it on your own if you choose to do that.

Ben Bowlin: Yeah, you can find some great how-to articles about it.

Scott Benjamin: Repurpose some stuff. A lot of people buy kitchen cabinets at places that tear that stuff down. Renovation companies tear down kitchens for people and they keep the cabinets around sometimes. You can buy the cases and put whatever doors you want on them to make them lock or whatever you want. It's a smart thing to do and gets everything up off the ground and out of the way. Just organization is big. And the last thing - I'm going to mention this because, why not? You can hang artwork on the wall.

Ben Bowlin: Why not?

Scott Benjamin: And I've seen a lot of shops recently that do that. I'm going to mention it just because someone will say, "Why didn't you mention this?" - Jay Leno's garage.

Ben Bowlin: Oh, yeah.

Scott Benjamin: We'll just mention that he has an incredible garage. We know that. He has very unique original artwork on the wall. It doesn't have to be that. It can be just posters. It can be framed artwork. It can be neon signs. I can be anything - clock collections. Anything you'd put on the wall - auto themed stuff or other. It just depends on what you want. But it all adds to the room just like a painting would in your living room.

Ben Bowlin: You have changed my mind in the space of three sentences, my friend. I was skeptical when you said, "Hang art. Why not?" But if any of our listeners decide to send in some artwork, I will hang it in my garage.

Scott Benjamin: Really? You'll hang listener artwork in your garage.

Ben Bowlin: I will. I'll do it and I'll take a picture of it.

Scott Benjamin: Very good. That's a very good idea, actually.

Ben Bowlin: We'll see. I think it is. Breaks up the monotony!

Scott Benjamin: No tasteful nudes.

Ben Bowlin: No nudes. I don't think my girlfriend, my landlord -

Scott Benjamin: You just turned red.

Ben Bowlin: - or I would be okay with that.

Scott Benjamin: Maybe I shouldn't even have said that. Maybe we'll keep it that it should be auto themed stuff.

Ben Bowlin: Auto themed and really cool - PG-13 though because my mom comes over.

Scott Benjamin: Understood. Garage appropriate!

Ben Bowlin: So I feel like we've covered some pretty cool things and some good guiding principles for people who are starting to redesign their garage or just starting to say, "Hey, maybe this shouldn't be my ground floor attic anymore."

Scott Benjamin: Let's get the clutter out of the way and get the car in there.

Ben Bowlin: I want to see some just customized super pimped out garages or some train wreck garages. I think we can probably get some of those from our listeners. And by the way, to you guys, we hope you enjoyed this episode. We hope maybe a couple of these tips and tricks might work for your storage space or garage. And let us know what's going on. You can hit us up at Facebook or Twitter - @CarStuff. You can also drop us a line on our world and Internet famous blog at And, if you want to cut out the middle man entirely you can send us an email at -

Scott Benjamin:

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