There’s money in repairing and restoring classic cars. Collectors and car enthusiasts will pay big money to get their car repaired or purchase an old classic. Start tinkering with older cars in your own garage and take the first steps toward a proper car restoration venture.
Garages need space, especially if you’re working on cars. A two-car garage with a 10-feet ceiling will do. Otherwise, you’ll need to do a bit of expansion if you want to work at home. Car repair and restoration involve a lot of work from all angles. Creepers are uncomfortable and dangerous, and you’ll miss a lot of detail when you’re lying down with limited vision. You’ll need to install a two-post or four-post car lift to create space and work from underneath your projects. Lifts are also a great way to showcase your cars once you have two or three available for purchase. Buying and installing a car lift will cost around $3,000. Nevertheless, it is a good investment, as it gives you full visibility and access. It also allows you to check your notes and supplies easily without having to slide in and out from under the car.
Mind the Ground
Car restoration can be messy. Choose large porcelain tiles to minimize grouts or go for polished concrete. Both options will make cleanup easier as well as make your garage look more elegant. Oil stains and other chemicals won’t damage your floors, and you can just mop everything up once you’re done. Use plain and light colors to increase visibility. Polished concrete floors cost $1,000 to $3,000, while ceramic tiles cost around $1,000 for the whole garage. Polished concrete might be more resilient to accidents, especially if you’re constantly dropping your tools. However, tiles should work if you’re a bit less clumsy.
Keep Things Lit
Every workspace needs adequate lighting. You don’t want to miss a bolt or nut, especially when using old parts. Bright lights will also keep your mind alert and focused. Keep temperatures cool by using LED lights, and opt for movable lighting so you can work underneath your projects. Of course, mounted lights on the floor are also a good option — but they take a bit of planning and could be more expensive.
Put Everything in Place
Staying organized is essential, especially when dealing with rare parts. You’ll need more than a few cabinets to hold your tools and equipment, as well as the various parts in your collection. A metal fabrication company can set you up with custom shelving that would make use of the available space. This addition can also blend into your garage’s aesthetic design. Wooden cabinets can be flammable, so you’ll want to keep your garage as fireproof as possible since you’ll be working with rare and expensive rides.
Document Your Work
Why take notes when you can just record every step in the restoration process? Make a record of your repairs on a phone or install a few cameras around your workshop. A visual record will ensure no tool or part ever goes missing. It also adds authenticity to your restoration efforts. You can even offer the recordings to a client so they can better understand the processes involved and learn how to do repairs themselves (if they want to). Just make sure you carry yourself in a professional manner throughout the recordings, preferably in decent work clothes.
Grow Your Hoard
Get your hands on as much vintage stuff as you can, especially ones you can envision in your future projects. Stock up on hoses, fans, ducting, and fittings, as most repairs will probably require one or two of these. You should also keep several LED lights in varying sizes on hand. Most accidents will require headlight or turn light repair. Having a few lights in your garage allows you to start working immediately instead of wasting time shopping for the right lights. You should also add welding supplies for quick patch-ups to cover bodywork.
Secure Your Space
Add a bit of security to your garage. You’ll be working on expensive cars, and you don’t want to give thieves or vandals access to your precious projects. Turn your garage into a fortress with proper locks, reinforced windows, and a proper garage door. Install alarms that connect to your phone or the police. You’ll be working on cars that cost hundreds of thousands — even millions — of dollars. Spending extra on security is absolutely necessary.
Turning clunkers into classic rides enriches both your soul and your bank account. Make improvements to your garage, and convert it to a proper workshop for car repair and restoration.