As a mechanic, you should pride yourself on the upkeep of your car. You have all the skills and experience necessary for top-end maintenance and can get great deals on tires, rims, exhausts, and engine upgrades.

However, unless you want to blur the line between work and play, you must complete most of your personal car servicing and upgrades from home.

Working from home can also help you start a lucrative side hustle. Investing in a home garage can allow you to renovate classic cars in your free time and help you make more money from your passion.

Garage maintenance

Before bringing any cars in for upgrades, you need to ensure that your garage is well-maintained and safe enough to work in. You can’t afford things like water damage to cars, or other such risks, when working from home.

Once you’ve effectively decluttered your garage, take steps to prevent extreme weather events from damaging cars on your property. You can prepare your garage for a flood by adding flood doors to barriers around your garage and installing anti-flood air bricks where appropriate. If a storm is rolling in, act quickly with sandbags and find alternate storage for cars in your garage.

Your workplace workshop floor might get dirty during peak season, but you cannot afford to let standards slip when working from home. Instead, utilize home garage storage ideas like:

  • Wall-mounted shelving;
  • Sliding shelves;
  • Add wall organizers;
  • Befriend overhead storage;
  • Keep some equipment in a secured shed.

These storage tips maximize your available space and ensure you have room for all the essential equipment you’ll need in your home workspace.

Essential equipment

As a mechanic, you know your requirements better than anyone else. However, before you can start working from your garage, you’ll need to pick up essential garage equipment like:

  • Floor jacks and jack stands;
  • Air compressor;
  • Car lift;
  • Suitable lighting;

Beyond these basics, you know better what spec of impact wrench and engine crane you’ll need for the cars you’re servicing. Just be sure to find gear that will fit in your workshop and will not blow your insurance premiums out of the water. Instead, grow slowly and focus on making upgrades that meaningfully improve your profitability.

Basics of the car renovation business

mechanic checking car engine

As a mechanic, you have an intimate knowledge of timing belts, fuel injectors, spark plugs, and tires. However, that doesn’t mean you’re ready to succeed in the car renovation business. Rather than rushing into the industry, take your time to research trends, laws, and costs associated with running a garage from home.

Start by researching the laws surrounding flipping cars in your state. Reselling cars can be a profitable side hustle. However, some states limit the number of cars you can resell in a year before you have to apply for a dealership license. For example, Connecticut and Kentucky, won’t let you sell any cars without a license while will let you sell 11 cars per year. So, before you get ahead of yourself, check the law in your area to ensure you remain compliant.

When you get into the renovation business, consider renting some offsite storage. You’ll need the extra space when you have client cars in your garage and won’t have room to store large equipment like engine hoists and welding machinery at home. Leveraging offsite storage can help you declutter your garage and create distinct “zones” so that everything has its place just like a professional shop. This can improve your workflow and ensures you don’t lose time searching for missing wrenches and odd screws.

If you want to last in the renovation business, you’ll need to make some savvy business moves. Read the listings carefully when looking for used cars and try to opt for low-mileage models where possible. Don’t be tempted to offer for a vehicle that is already at or near its market value and scour the web for undervalued cars. Just be sure the car you’re buying has the appropriate paperwork, and never buy a vehicle that doesn’t have a title.

Office space

When working from home, you’ll need a place to keep your paperwork and should try to avoid working from your kitchen table or countertops. Instead, create a dedicated office space to support your productivity and ensure that you’re properly handling the logistics.

A home office doesn’t need to break the bank, either. Instead, try to find a  quiet, well-lit, and warm space in your home. Convert your spare room into an office by opting for modular furniture that makes the most of the room’s space.

Do your best to keep your work environment separate from your home space. Separating your work from your home ensures that you won’t leave paperwork lying around and can help you rest and recover after a busy day in the shop. A home office can also boost your motivation to flip cars, as you’ll have a dedicated workstation to help guide your search for used vehicles.

In conclusion, focus on revving your garage and optimizing your home workspace, then make sure you do proper maintenance. This will prevent most accidents and minimize the risk of costly flood or fire damage. Once your space is properly organized, make the most of it by bringing in essential equipment that will serve you well for years. Your garage should include a dedicated home office space, which can help you find great deals on used cars ready for repairs.

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