Are garage cabinets worth it?

Garage storage is a common need for many homeowners. Cluttered garages with tools and supplies strewn about can make it difficult to park your vehicles inside and find what you need when you need it. Installing storage cabinets in your garage can help you organize your space and make the most of the available room. But are garage cabinets really worth the investment?

The Benefits of Garage Cabinets

There are several key benefits that make garage cabinetry a worthwhile addition for many homeowners:

  • Increased organization – Cabinets provide designated spaces to neatly store and organize all your gear. This keeps things tidy and makes it easy to find what you need.
  • Protection – Cabinets help protect your belongings from damage. Tools and supplies are kept safe from moisture, dirt, grease, and more.
  • Convenience – Well-organized cabinets mean no more searching through piles to find your tools. Everything has its place for quick access.
  • Customization – Cabinetry can be completely customized to make the most of your unique garage space and storage needs.
  • Improved safety – Eliminating clutter improves safety by removing tripping hazards and keeping garage exits clear.
  • Added value – Garage cabinets boost your home’s value by improving the garage space.

Key Factors to Consider

When deciding if garage cabinets are worth investing in, there are several important factors to take into account:

  • Your budget – Garage cabinets range widely in price. Basic options are available for a few hundred dollars, while custom cabinetry can cost thousands. Set a realistic budget for your project.
  • Installation requirements – Some systems are designed for convenient DIY installation, while others may require professional assistance.
  • Your storage needs – Take stock of everything you need to store, and select cabinetry designed to organize those specific items.
  • Material and durability – Consider how heavily cabinets will be used. Opt for sturdy materials like steel or solid wood if durability is a priority.
  • Garage size – Make sure to choose cabinetry suitable for your garage’s dimensions and layout.
  • Special features – Extra conveniences like rollout trays, interior lighting, locks, etc. may be worth the additional cost.

Types of Garage Cabinets

Garage cabinets come in a variety of configurations to suit different needs:

  • Base cabinets – Freestanding cabinets that sit on the floor. Typically about 34-36 inches high.
  • Wall cabinets – Wall-mounted cabinets that hang above countertops or workbenches. Typically 12-16 inches deep.
  • Tall cabinets – Freestanding cabinets around 70-80 inches high to make use of vertical space.
  • Overhead cabinets – Wall-mounted cabinets installed near the ceiling for out-of-the-way storage.

Many homeowners opt for a combination of cabinet types to maximize their garage’s storage potential. Mixing wall cabinets, base cabinets, and other options creates plenty of versatile storage.

Garage Cabinet Materials

Garage cabinets are constructed from various materials, each with their own characteristics:

Material Attributes
  • Classic material suitable for many styles
  • Solid wood is very durable but expensive
  • Engineered wood like particle board is affordable but less sturdy
  • Very strong and dent-resistant
  • Prone to rusting unless properly treated
  • Can have sharp edges unless finished correctly
  • Inexpensive option
  • Scratches easily
  • Not as durable for heavy use

Consider how you plan to use the cabinets when choosing materials. Steel or plywood construction is best for workshops with heavy use. Plastic and particle board options work for simple storage needs.

Cost of Garage Cabinets

There’s a wide range of prices for garage cabinetry depending on the specific products you choose:

  • Prefab or DIY kits – $150 to $2,000
  • Mid-range cabinets – $2,000 to $5,000
  • Custom cabinetry – $5,000 to $20,000+

Prefab kits offer an affordable option for straightforward storage needs. Custom cabinetry provides maximum utility by tailoring the design to your garage and storage requirements.

Beyond the cabinets themselves, also factor in costs for delivery and installation if needed. The total budget can add up quickly, so be sure to do your homework before purchasing.

Should You Install Garage Cabinets Yourself?

One way to potentially save money on your garage cabinetry is to take on installation as a DIY project. Here are some things to consider:

  • How complex is the proposed cabinet setup? DIY is feasible for simple wall-mounted cabinets or basic floor units.
  • Do you have the necessary tools and building expertise? Installing cabinets requires skills like accurate cutting, drilling, leveling, etc.
  • Is electrical wiring involved? Running new electrical for cabinet lighting requires knowledge of electrical codes.
  • How important is a professional finish? DIY projects may not look as seamless as expert installations.

Carefully weigh your skills and commitment before deciding. Complex cabinetry may be better left to the professionals. But simpler systems can certainly be managed as a DIY garage storage solution.

Improving Garage Storage on a Budget

If a full garage cabinetry system isn’t in your budget, there are affordable alternatives for enhancing garage organization:

  • Add inexpensive shelving units for immediate storage.
  • Use pegboards to neatly hang tools within easy reach.
  • Attach mesh organizers or slatwall panels to walls for customized storage.
  • Use cabinet fronts to conceal basic shelving and create a built-in look.
  • Repurpose old cabinets from other rooms as garage storage.
  • Build your own simple cabinets from spare wood or other materials.

With some creativity and effort, it’s possible to improve your garage storage without a major investment in cabinetry. Focus on keeping things clean, well-labeled, and easily accessible.

Top Garage Cabinet Brands

When selecting garage cabinets, quality brand names are a good place to start your search. Some top options include:

  • Gladiator – Known for rugged garage and workshop storage solutions.
  • Craftsman – Trusted name for durable steel cabinetry.
  • NewAge – Features customizable cabinetry with wood, metal, or plastic components.
  • Rubbermaid – Offers affordable storage kits and utility cabinetry.
  • Sterilite – Specializes in plastic cabinetry ideal for low-contact areas.
  • Monkey Bars – Garage-specific brand with heavy-duty welded cabinets.

Additionally, many traditional cabinetry companies like Schrock or KraftMaid also offer garage-ready options. Do some research to find brands that best match your budget and needs.

Maximizing Vertical Space

One key strategy for making the most of your garage’s storage capacity is taking advantage of vertical space. Some tips include:

  • Install tall cabinets that reach close to the ceiling.
  • Use wall-mounted cabinets instead of limiting yourself to floor units.
  • Opt for upper cabinets with high mounting positions.
  • Store infrequently used items or seasonal supplies on overhead shelves.
  • Use wall space efficiently with pegboards and slatwall panels.

You don’t have to limit yourself to floor space when planning garage storage. Any unused vertical room presents an opportunity for extra overhead storage.

Maintaining Garage Cabinets

To keep your garage cabinets looking like new for years to come, be sure to:

  • Use cabinets only for their intended purpose. Don’t overload weight limits.
  • Open and close doors carefully to avoid damage.
  • Follow any manufacturer cleaning guidelines.
  • Keep cabinets well-sealed to prevent moisture damage.
  • Immediately clean spills or drips on cabinet surfaces.
  • Periodically inspect for damage and perform minor repairs.
  • Replace any broken components like hinges or drawer slides.

Protect your investment with proper care. Also consider the ease of maintenance when choosing cabinet materials and hardware. Sturdy construction and moisture-resistant finishes simplify upkeep.


At the end of the day, the answer to “are garage cabinets worth it?” depends on your specific needs and budget. For those needing serious storage improvements, cabinetry provides meaningful organization and protection for your belongings. But more casual storage needs may be met with simpler shelf units or DIY solutions.

Carefully assess your garage space, storage requirements, and commitment to maintenance. This will determine if a cabinetry upgrade is a smart investment for improving your garage’s utility and appearance. With some advance planning, you can implement storage solutions that make the most of your available space.