A garage is a big space to use, and doesn’t filling it with bikes you’ll pull out twice a year and tools you’ll never use seem like a waste? There are lots of things you could be doing with that space, with a few enhancements and a severe clear-out you could have an extra room to what you wish with.
So, pull out those empty tins of paint, add some home amenities and take a look at our picks for the best ideas to use your garage for.
The cinema is so expensive. And uncomfortable. And if you have to tell that stranger one more time to stop talking…!
More of us are opting to stream our movie going experience into our homes, where there is no judgement for wearing your jammies and you won’t miss anything if you need to go to the toilet.
With televisions getting as big as cinema screens nowadays, it’s an easy first step to creating your picture house experience, but some are even upgrading to projectors, which can hook up to your laptop and show whatever you can find online. The best part is garages are usually windowless, making a truly dark room to keep you engrossed.
Add a comfy sofa, some surround sound speakers and a popcorn machine and you’ve got the ultimate movie-loving experience.
Those of you missing the neon lights of Las Vegas or the nightlife of Blackpool can create your own Caesars Palace in your garage.
A couple of tables can have you playing NetBet blackjack, poker, or if you fork out for a wheel, roulette. You can either buy tables online or convert an old dining table with a roll of green felt, and a white marker.
Have a device nearby if you fancy playing slots online and invite the guys round for some poker. But if you really want the Vegas experience you should invest in some Renaissance art and neon signs.
You can incorporate a console into your cinema experience to create a great gaming experience. Play Mario Karts on a screen so big that it feels like you’re in the car. See the beauty of games like The Witness and The Witcher III on a screen that really deserves it.
Hook up your consoles to your television or projector and enjoy the space to rage quit if you need to, without waking anyone in the house. Or invite some friends to your abode for a few rounds of Street Fighter or That’s You.
4. Dancefloor or music studio
If someone in the house loves a Zumba class, you can take that one step further and turn your garage into a dance floor. Soften the floor with inexpensive vinyl floor tiles and invest in some soundproofing foam, and you’ll have the basics of a mini club.
Is your Mrs into salsa? Take a few lessons and spin the night away. Or has someone in the house embraced the cardio benefits of pole? It’s easy to install one in a room with a lot of space. Or does someone in the family play a musical instrument? Now Timmy’s drumkit can have its own room where he can practise without keeping you up all night.
There is a tremendous emphasis on scaling up in modern business, as if the whole definition of success in commerce is to scale up to infinity. In truth, it is a fool’s errand in most cases, because scaling is only a by-product of success, not the target.
In the same way that every individual’s idea of success is different, every business’s goals should be, by their very definition, different. Not every entrepreneur is the next Steve Jobs, and nor is every start-up the next Apple. While every entrepreneur will have their own idea of what it means to ‘make it’ - whether it is buying a Lamborghini or changing the commercial landscape forever - businesses need to make a profit, pure and simple.
Sometimes, this involves scaling up, and sometimes it means the opposite. It is therefore crucial that you understand the difference, and whether scaling up is the right path for your company:
Assess whether you could actually meet additional demand
Although using ‘scale up’ as a catch-all business strategy sounds smart, it is actually incredibly vague. When working out whether your company should scale up or not, it is best to assess the details first.
One such detail is whether your customer base is actually large enough to accommodate your expansion, or whether your supply will outstretch demand instead. Few markets are bottomless, so eventually you will run out of potential customers. It is wise to accurately estimate how many customers you are hoping to land over a certain time period, and scale to match.
This will involve doing detailed market research, competitor analysis and an assessment of the efficiency of your supply line.
Of course, you could face the opposite issue. If you undertake a huge marketing campaign, attracting lots of customers in the process, you may find yourself overwhelmed with orders and end up unable to meet demand. In this case, it is best to keep improving the efficiency of your production line, through investing in a conveyor system, such as those from fluentconveyors.com, for example.
There are many additional ways you can make more money
Another reason it is wise to assess all your options before scaling up is that there are plenty of other ways you can generate additional profit other than growing your team and infrastructure.
For example, you could increase your profits by offering new products at little additional cost. If you make a certain product and there is demand for similar variants then it won’t cost you much to meet that demand. In fact, given that you would have invested in the existing molds, machinery and work processes, it would make a lot of financial sense to make as many similar products as possible, in order to maximize the investment.
Scaling up means more risk without the guarantee of more reward
Another consideration to make is that scaling up involves a great deal of risk and leverage, without any guarantee of a greater reward.
While investing in additional capital like real estate, production machinery and staff members sounds smart on paper, you may not actually need them. By investing in these avenues, you risk tying up money you could have better spent elsewhere - such as making sure your existing business model is working well enough, and saving enough for a rainy day.
Although the festive season might feel like a long way off, if you want to get away with your family over Christmas, you need to plan. These types of holidays are always popular, especially for those who might not enjoy the idyllic festive backdrop of snow-covered mountains or rolling hills. It’s easy to see why, as being in the heart of somewhere that encapsulates a wintery, festive wonderland will certainly help to get you into the Christmas spirit and will be a fun experience all the family can enjoy. If this sounds like something you’d love to do with your nearest and dearest this year, here are a few tips to help you start planning for it:
Work Out Your Budget and Start Saving
The first thing you need to do is decide how much you can afford to spend on a winter holiday like this. Getting away over the Christmas season can be expensive because it is such a popular time for people to go on holiday, so be prepared for this. When you have figured out how much you can and are willing to spend on your winter wonderland escape, you should start putting money away for it as soon as possible. If you have a separate savings account that you use for things like family holidays, that’s great. If you don’t, you might want to consider opening one for this purpose, as it will help you to keep track of your money much easier.
Pick Your Destination
There are so many great destinations to choose from for this kind of holiday, but some of the best ones are in Europe. The Alps go through France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Liechtenstein, Germany, Monaco and Slovenia – any of these destinations would make excellent festive escapes, most of which provide the quintessential settings for this time of year. For a more cost-effective European destination, however, you might want to consider Bulgaria. This is a fantastic destination for skiing holidays but sometimes gets overlooked, which it certainly shouldn’t. Take a look at these ski chalets in Bansko to get an example of why this is such a brilliant winter holiday destination, and perhaps make this the number one destination on your list.
Find Deals on Flights
While flights are likely to be most costly during this time of year, that doesn’t mean you can’t still find great deals. It’s always worth looking at different deals for holiday flights, and there are various websites dedicated to this to make it easy for you. You might need to be flexible when it comes to times, as the cheapest flights tend to be late at night or in the early hours of the morning. This might not be ideal for families with young children, but take the time to scope out a few different options to get the best-priced flights that are suitable to your family’s needs.
Consider Weight Limitations on Baggage
When booking your flights, you should also factor in the weight limitations on the baggage with that particular airline. Even if your family is going away for just a few days, if you’re going to be away over Christmas, you’ll need to think about how much the gifts are going to add to your luggage. It might be worth paying the extra for your hold luggage rather than just taking carry-on baggage to accommodate these extra items, as well as any souvenirs that you might want to bring home with you as well. Always weigh your suitcases and other luggage before you leave to make sure you haven’t gone over the limit; otherwise, you might face additional charges.
While staying in a gorgeous chalet is all part of the charm, you’ll still need to find ways to keep everyone entertained during your stay. If you are going to a ski resort, then having some fun on the slopes is a must – but consider what other activities are available in the local area, too. Whether it’s visiting a traditional Christmas market, hiking along a trail, or something festive that is happening at the resort or the local town, it might be worth booking ahead so you don’t miss out.
Plan Ahead for Meals
Finally, if you are going away over Christmas, shops and restaurants are likely to be closed on the day itself. Some resorts offer catered chalets so your meals will be prepared for you, but if you are choosing a self-catering option, remember to get enough food in from the local shops before Christmas Eve. If you want to book a meal out at a restaurant, book well in advance to make sure you get a table, as locals and tourists alike will probably plan to go out with their families and friends in the run-up to the festivities too.
If you think your family would enjoy a fun winter wonderland escape this year, use the tips above to help you plan the perfect trip.
Remote work is becoming the norm and more employees are working from home than ever before. There has also been a huge increase in the number of freelancers in the UK. Remote working offers several advantages including flexible schedules, lower overhead costs, and higher productivity.
That said, remote workers face unique challenges such as loneliness and issues with time management. Many of these obstacles can be overcome with simple changes to your work habits and routines. Here are five tips for remote working success:
Most remote workers choose to complete their work tasks from home as it offers the greatest flexibility. Working from home has its perks, but you must create a productive home workspace and set clear boundaries between your work and family life.
If you’re lucky enough to have a spare bedroom or an unused shed, then this could make the ideal home space. Finding a designated work area can be more difficult if your house is small, but you should be able to find somewhere suitable with a bit of organisation and creativity.
According to edithomeanddesign.co.uk, you should start by de-cluttering and giving your house a good clear out. This will allow you to see what space could be utilised for your new home office. The office equipment you need will depend on your job role and requirements. Most remote workers need a quality desk, a chair, stationary, and tech like a laptop or PC monitor as a minimum.
If you are planning on working from home long-term, then you will need to invest in reliable tech like high-speed Wi-Fi. The last thing you want is to have your connection dropping in and out during important video calls or a slow internet speed when you’re doing research online. Investing in fast, reliable Wi-Fi is one of the most important ways to ensure remote working success.
You might also decide to invest in tech like noise-cancelling headphones so you can work efficiently from anywhere. This is particularly important if you are planning on working in a co-working space or a local cafe, for example.
The 2020 State of Remote Work Report revealed that 20% of remote workers are struggling with feelings of loneliness. Working from home can lead to feelings of isolation and many people miss the social interaction and relationships with colleagues that you get when working in an office.
Joining a co-working space is a great way to overcome feelings of loneliness. You will be surrounded by other remote workers and join a supportive community. Going to a co-working space will also help you get into a productive work routine and keep your work and family life separate.
There are lots of reasons to choose a co-working space in a popular city location. For instance, an office space in Cardiff will give you access to a huge variety of restaurants, shops, bars, and other fun activities that will improve your remote working lifestyle.
One of the perks of remote working is that you will have more flexibility and control over your work schedule. However, you should avoid getting into the habit of following an erratic schedule and working at random times of the day. The best approach to remote working is to follow a regular schedule.
You may decide to start working early in the morning so that you can finish before you pick the kids up from school, or you might find that you work more productivity in the evenings. Think carefully about your preferred working style and make your work schedule work for your family and lifestyle.
Learning to “log off” from work at the end of the day is one of the biggest challenges that remote workers face, especially for those that choose to work from home. It is easy for your work and family life to become blurred and you need to establish strict boundaries. Avoid reading work emails or responding to messages once you have logged off for the day and remember to schedule downtime for self-care.
Remote working gives you the freedom to enjoy a flexible work schedule and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Despite the perks, many remote workers struggle with issues like loneliness or finding the motivation to complete tasks productively from home. These tips will help you stay focused and work successfully from anywhere.
One of the hardiest floors that you will want to provide around your home or work premises is a garage floor. This is because it must withstand many activities, temperatures, and chemicals spilling on it. A solution might be to choose a floor that withstands most things in the first place or to consider a floor finisher such as epoxy floor coatings for garage surfaces.
Epoxy as a Floor Coating
Epoxy can be used to protect many surfaces of flooring including concrete, brick, wood, ceramics, and metal. There are some plastics that epoxy will bond with as well. They are generally ones affected by acetone. Epoxy will also bond well with cured polyester fibreglass.
By applying heat, the cure time for epoxy can be speeded up. It is quick and easy to apply and so will not see your activities disrupted for too long. This is particularly important for a business situation when the lost time will mean lost money. It is, though, well worth the time and money spent to apply this kind of surface.
Epoxy has two main advantages. It creates a hard-wearing surface that is durable enough to withstand continuous and heavy traffic, and it has a shiny-gloss look to it that will brighten up any interior. For a garage situation, the first option will be just what you are looking to achieve.
From a protection point of view, epoxy can withstand a lot of contacts and is both chemical-proof and fire-resistant. It is worth checking with suppliers just what epoxy will protect the surface of your floor from. It is an investment in the fact that it will mean that your existing or new floor will last longer.
Heavy-Duty Interlocking Tiles
Some people with garages will opt for heavy-duty interlocking tiles. They are easy to install and maintain and built to last. They come in a choice of colours and have some chemical resistance. They provide a solution where you wish to go to the trouble of installing a completely new floor. Epoxy, however, has the advantage of being able to tackle the solution of protecting your existing floor without the need to install a new one. So, everything has its purpose. It depends whether you want to go to the expense of a completely new floor or not when you are perfectly happy with your old one or the one you planned to install, just wanted some means of looking after and protecting it more.
If your garage does not see all that much action, you could go for vinyl flooring. In a commercial situation, though, you would need something more hard-wearing such as an epoxy coating over your surface, which is more likely to be something like concrete in the first instance.
There is nothing to say that you cannot use carpet tiles. As in an office, if you spill a drink on one tile, you can replace just that tile. In a garage, if you spilled oil on one or two of the tiles, you could replace just those tiles and not have the expense of replacing the whole carpet. Carpet would, however, seem more appropriate in a showroom where they finalise selling a car, than inside the garage itself. At home, maybe it is best reserved for the living room, too.
Considering all the options, there are many materials that we could have our garage floor made from, whether it is for our home garage or a work premises that will see a lot more use. Whatever material we decide on as a basis for our floor, there is always the option of protecting it further. A popular coating that is applied these days is epoxy because it is extremely protective when it comes to commercial flooring and any flooring that must withstand working on.