Paint manufacturers have recognized these problems and have come to the rescue with new solutions. But a word of advice: If your garage floor sees heavy water leakage, if it's badly cracked or if it's damp and slimy all summer, don't apply any coating. In those cases, you're better off simply keeping it as clean as you can and then calling it quits.

For a garage-to-utility-room conversion, budget at least $6,000 for appliances, a utility sink, and space for sorting, folding and hanging laundry. A new utility room in place of an old garage brings convenience into your life, especially if you've spent years dragging loads of laundry up and down the stairs. This conversion will cost a bit more due to the addition of plumbing, but it'll be worth it.

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