If you've got an uninsulated garage door on your attached garage, consider adding insulation to the door to help buffer the space from your living spaces. I recommended to a fellow 'vortexer that he start with the manufacturer of his garage door to see if an insulation kit were available for his door. I was also careful to mention that the added weight of insulation on the door will definitely require an adjustment in the opening and support systems of the door.
Mine was very inexpensive and, though installed by the subcontractor of my new home, very easy to flex and pop into place. $150 for the kit and installation and the heavier spring... 'makes working in the garage in the winter very comfortable.
Speaking of comfort, I found adding a 60" industrial ceiling fan to be a breeze (pun intended!). Working in the summer was a little uncomfortable so I dragged a box fan into the garage. Just moving a little air through the otherwise stale space really made a difference.
I tapped power off of my existing garage door opener circuit and used a retrofit ceiling fan box brace to provide support for the new fan. The fan was $45 at Home Depot. The retro box/brace was $15. I used a wireless fan controller ($35) and mounted the stylish transmitter in a mud ring box with a Decora cover. On the lowest setting, sweat wicks away and my jobs go much more comfortably.
Comfort is one thing, but visibility is another. I knew I wanted more light in my garage workspace when picking options for my new home. I paid the premium for two additional light fixtures but found the incandescent lamps to be dim and downright yellow. Replacing them with 4x T8 flourescent fixtures upped the lighting to wonderfully white light at a mere 60W additional consumption (360W now vs 300W before). The fixtures were 'better' quality from ye olde Home Depot at were $30 each.
Back to the garage door, the sub shared with me a trick he used on a lot of customer 'doors. Along the bottom of many doors the rubber gasket could be filled with plumbing insulation to better fit the gap between the door and the ground when closed. The threshold of the garage may not be perfectly straight or even close to the bottom edge of the door. Using the foam insulation to fill the gap made perfect sense.
I purchased four pieces of insulation at about $0.60 a piece. I found they were a little too large in circumference to fit the door gasket so I trimmed probably a third of the tubing away. Then, with the gasket slipped off one side of the door, I laid the cut insulation into the gasket and fed the combined pieces back into the channel along the bottom of the door. It took some shimmying once the majority of the gasket was filled but the entire length was eventually filled.
Now, when the door closes, the foam-filled gasket on the bottom of my door scribes perfectly to the less-than-perfect threshold on the ground. It's resisting the wind, weather, and bugs and only cost me $3 and an hour of my time.
I'd like to recommend my Wayne-Dalton iDrive garage door opener, but only with a brief warning. The system is amazingly compact, fast-opening, and safe but it does not come ready to replace a competing screw, belt, chain or other hanging door opener. The included cord is simply too short to be served by a typical overhead garagedoor opener circuit which W-D should amend and potential buyers should be aware of.
The iDrive attaches to the wall above a torsion-spring supported door. Ring-toothed gear sections attach to the torsion beam and are the means by which the iDrive opener twists the beam assisting the torsion spring in opening and closing the door. The motor itself acts as the locking mechanism when the door is closed preventing the door from being opened manually from the outside. Only the emergency release inside allows manual operation. Otherwise it's one of the included transmitters or exterior code entry pad that trigger automatic opening.
I am extremely happy with the system though disappointed in the short power cable I had to contend with. The iDrive is a special order item from Lowe's for about $300.
Last but not least, I want to highly recommend Hyloft overhead storage units. I found Amazon.com had an unbeatable price on the 4'x4' units rated for 250lb each. Installation was a little awkward, but absolutely worth the effort. The units are wire trays that attach to adjustable-depth hangars that mount to the ceiling joists using lag bolts.
I put mine up in the front of the garage above the garage door where they would not interfere with the opening and closing of the door. What was once a wasted space has been transformed into seasonal storage. All I've got to do is pull one of the cars out, close the door, and my storage is available for the less-often used things that would otherwise be taking up space in potentially more heavily-used areas.
I have some other mods yet to be completed including epoxy coating the floor, pegboard for hanging tools, a recycling center near the entrance to the living space, a usable narrow workbench with lighting, and a worksink for cleaning up outside of the house. Remember to maintain your garage door opener and support systems regularly. I hit my torsion spring and moving parts of my opener with a shot of WD-40 about every other month.