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Whether you own one, two or more classic cars, these beauties deserve more than a spot on your driveway or in an ordinary garage. The most rewarding way to show them off to family, friends, other collectors and prospective buyers is to create a garage space worthy of these unique assets. A garage upgrade can also help you better protect these investments from damage and theft.
Here’s how to turn your garage into your very own classic car showroom.
Increase Your Garage’s Square Footage
If your existing garage isn’t big enough to house your classic car collection, it might be time to expand it by adding another stall or two, along with extra storage room. This also gives you the opportunity to add windows that let in more natural light or another entry door that provides an alternate access point for you and others to view your vintage vehicles without opening the garage door.
Depending on the existing structure of your garage and the number of stalls you want to add, you can expect to spend anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000 for an average garage expansion or more if you want to customize it.
Build a Separate Garage Structure
On the other hand, you may want to separate your classic cars from your everyday vehicles so that they stand out more and aren’t subject to as much daily foot traffic or regular exposure to the elements with the garage door opening and closing multiple times a day. In that case, a completely separate garage structure might be just what you need. The average detached garage typically runs between $25,000 and $50,000 to build. If you want higher-end materials, such as slate and brick, for your classic car’s new home, plan to double that figure.
Whether you choose to expand or build from the ground up, the equity in your home makes it easy to finance your garage project while providing a tax deduction.
Upgrade the Flooring
The floor of your garage represents the backdrop to your classic car display, so it’s a prime candidate for a facelift as part of your expansion project or as an upgrade with a new garage build. Your garage flooring options include from least to most expensive:
- Garage floor paint, a tougher version of wall paint
- Concrete sealer, even tougher than floor paint
- Concrete stain, which gives a natural stone look
- Epoxy paint, the toughest coating you can apply to your garage floor
- Rigid plastic tiles in multiple colors and styles that interlock and are laid over your existing floor
- Flexible rubber tiles, similar to the plastic version but softer underfoot
Add More Outlets and Upgrade Interior Lighting
While you’re at it, give your garage an electrical boost with more outlets and better lighting. Additional outlets will allow you to plug in a more power tools, which is especially helpful if you like restoring classic cars yourself. Plus, better light will more effectively illuminate the space while you work and show off your prized cars to better effect.
Outfit with Audio-Visual Equipment
Another reason for more outlets: You can add one or more widescreen televisions or projectors plus other computer or stereo equipment to create the ambiance you desire while working on your cars or admiring them with like-minded friends or members of your vintage car club.
Install Better Security
No matter whether you have one classic car or an entire collection of them, they represent a significant investment whose valuation could be in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, as you upgrade your garage space, it’s also worth investing in stronger security measures. In addition to security devices that keep thieves from driving away with your car, keep them from ever entering your garage by installing these features:
- Motion-activated lighting and security cameras around the exterior of your garage
- Smart garage door opener or one that uses rolling code technology rather than a static code
- Alarm system
Create Custom Storage and Work Areas
Take your garage to the next level by investing in custom-built work areas, along with cabinets and storage units for all the tools, spare parts and accessories related to your classic car collection. Not only does this exude a more pleasing aesthetic, it also creates a more organized space for your hobby. As you consider the design for your work areas and cabinetry, make sure they provide ample room for everything you want to do and store in your garage, have dividers that make it easy to separate projects and sort different items and are well lit so you can easily work and find things you need.
Accessorize to Your Taste and for Your Comfort
For the final touch, bring in some comfortable seating, a refrigerator for your favorite refreshments and wall décor that complements your classic car. For example, if you own a 1964 Mustang or a 1967 Corvette Stingray, Americana-style décor can complete the look of your newly outfitted garage.