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Family room, shop, laundry, and still room to park two cars.

Family room, shop, laundry, and still room to park two cars

A garage disguise has given Ben Blankenship a family room, laundry, shop, and bar without having to add on to his tight-quartered house in South San Francisco. Transformed with wood paneling, painted walls, and vinyl tiles, the 18- by 22-foot space is rich in ideas and storage. And there's still space to park two cars.

Most of the time, the area functions as a garage. The washer and dryer, tools, and workbench are all there, but they're out of sight until needed. The cars drive in and park on sets of 2-foot-wide, 16-foot-long plywood runners that protect the floor; oil pans catch errant drips.

To convert the garage to a party room, Mr. Blankenship simply backs out the cars, removes the pans, and folds up the piano-hinged runners. As you can see below, even the runners have dual roles: each converts to a 2- by 8-foot table.

Disguising the garage door and its workings

Inside the garage door, lightweight mahogany "door skin' panels were added to blend with other interior walls. When the door is down, slender wing walls at each end mask the hardware and springs that counterbalance the door; narrow strips of canvas (with weights at ground level) further block the hardware between the wings and interior walls.

The door's automatic opener is cleverly concealed in a 24-inch-wide, 29-inch-high frame. (The arm mounted to the top of the garage door extends through a narrow slot.) Fluorescent fixtures behind removable plastic panels are built into the frame's hardboard-covered sides.

To create a homier appearance, Mr. Blankenship hung a landscape on the wide garage door. Two wires running through eye screws at the top and bottom edges of the frame keep the picture from swinging down when the door is up.

Tool and supply storage

For shop supply storage, Mr. Blankenship created two 8-inch-deep, 7-foot-wide cabinets (see pictures above). In one, peg-board covers the studs so hand tools can hang in plain view. In the other, supplies go on lipped shelves notched to fit around the studs. Across the front, 3 1/2- by 8-foot hardboard panels slide in tracks added to the built-out wall.

Roll-away bar hides laundry

The greatest artifice happens at the rear of the garage, where a bar rolls away to reveal a laundry center. An L-shaped counter rests on a base mounted on casters. To gain access to the washer and to the dryer set in the stationary cabinetry, Mr. Blankenship rolls the base out into the room. The short end of the L is hinged at the counter and base for access to the bar when the section is in place.

The paneling over the dryer and an out-of-sight water heater is removable.

Photo: A drive-in room? Well-organized garage hides the usual clutter, has bar at rear and 12-foot-long built-in bench on left wall

Photo: Plywood runners protect floor from tire marks, are held in place by metal brackets that slip into groove in driveway. For removal, hinged runners fold in half

Photo: Doubling as tables, folded runners are reinforced with U-shaped channels held together with threaded rods. Legs screw into metal brackets on bottom

Photo: Tools and supplies flank window; sliding doors mask shallow storage compartments. Top of workbench unbolts from base; both store in closet (above)

Photo: Movable bar hides efficient laundry center. Mounted on refrigerator casters, L-shaped counter and base section detach from rest of bar area to provide access to the washing machine and dryer (below)
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 1, 1986
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