Dream Garage Tour: Double-Decker Car Storage

Innovative two-tier car parking and storage, special ventilation, super organization and diamond-plate décor make this dream garage a palace for the auto-loving homeowner.

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Dream garagePhoto: FamilyHandyman.com

How do you fit five cars in a three-car garage? Build this dream garage!

This homeowner is an avid car collector and a cigar aficionado. And he has a group of friends who enjoy getting together to smoke cigars and talk pistons. But there were a couple of problems. His garage was too small for his car collection. And an indoor public smoking ban had created the need for a place to smoke and chat. This dream garage remodel solved both issues.

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Double decker garagePhoto: FamilyHandyman.com

Double parking with innovation

The solution to the lack of parking spaces was easy, even if it was expensive. Four-post car lifts provided space for two cars in the same stall. The lifts shown are top-of-the-line and cost about $3,000 each, not including the addition of the customized diamond-plate metal. The lifts use an electric motor, a hydraulic cylinder, and a series of cables and pulleys to raise the cars. But lifts with other features are available for under $2,000 each.

For the rest of us, these tips for storing a classic car for winter will do just fine.

Above, a pro-built 1932 Dearborn Deuce Roadster on top and a restored 1964 Pontiac GTO hardtop on the bottom.

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Dream garage: Wall-mount garage door openerPhoto: FamilyHandyman.com

Modifying the garage door for extra space

To gain an extra foot of headroom in this dream garage, the homeowner hired a garage door company to modify the door tracks and replace the typical ceiling-mounted garage door openers with units that mount on the wall alongside the garage door. And an electrician relocated the overhead lights to fit between the garage door tracks.

Check out these 15 vintage cars you'll wish you could drive today.

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Dream garage ventilation systemPhoto: FamilyHandyman.com

Heating, air conditioning and ventilation

Gathering in the newly remodeled garage seemed like the perfect solution to the indoor smoking ban. But even cigar smokers need fresh air. Besides, too much smoke in the air would put an unsightly haze on the collector cars and stink up the upholstery.

Winters in this town are too cold to simply open the garage doors or open the windows a bit. The solution was to install a heat recovery ventilator. This type of ventilation unit saves energy by using the heat from exhausted interior air to warm the cooler outside air as it's being drawn in.

A unique feature of the garage heating and ventilating system is the round ducting along the back of the garage. It spreads out the warm air evenly across the garage for more consistent heat.

You won't believe what this company is doing with old Ford Mustangs.

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Dream garage storagePhoto: FamilyHandyman.com

Functional tool storage

Even though this dream garage has all the comforts of a palace, a lot of thought was given to practical garage functions. For help with this the homeowner enlisted professional garage designers. Their cabinet plan included space for tools, storage and a computer station as well as unique floor-less cabinets to house (and hide) rolling trash bins.

The base cabinets feature compartments for the central vacuum system, a large air compressor and a hose reel. (Don't miss these brilliant uses for an air compressor you never thought to try.) The hose reel is connected to a wall faucet in the same cabinet. Beneath the desktop are two large tool cabinets with sturdy full-extension drawer slides.

The old garage floor was bare concrete: functional but ugly. The garage specialists recommended coating the floor with a "double-broadcast" quartz epoxy floor, a process they perfected on commercial buildings. First the installers blast the concrete with metal shot to clean and roughen the surface. Then they spread a layer of epoxy over the floor and cover it with quartz dust. After applying the epoxy and dust coating a second time, they apply a clear coating to provide a seamless smooth surface that's easy to sweep and mop. The completed coating must be professionally installed (about $5 per square foot).

Check out more expert tips on storing your car care products.

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Dream Garage decor: Diamond plate aluminumPhoto: FamilyHandyman.com

Diamond plate aluminum decor

Since the garage was a social area, it needed attractive finishes and an entertainment system. Keeping with the car theme, racing stripes were painted over the diamond-plate wainscoting. Then the walls were covered with photos of collectible cars.

This dream garage remodeling job was a success, but the homeowner does admit to a few design errors. He had to add another high-definition TV monitor because the view of the original corner-mounted unit was blocked by the car lift. And he forgot to design a cabinet large enough to fit the cigar humidor he plans to install. Also, the heat exchanger can't quite keep up with a dozen cigar-puffing car buffs. So he's planning to install a commercial-quality smoke eater too. I have a feeling this garage remodel will never be quite done. But it's amazing even in the process.

These genius storage tricks will make your garage work harder.