Garage conversion suitable for costume storage

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Claudia Aliffe
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Garage conversion suitable for costume storage

Post by Claudia Aliffe »

We've been hiring a storage unit to put all our costumes in. We've had it probably a year now and the costs are rising and rising. It's costing us over £100 a month. We have a detached garage that is too small to put a car in. At the moment it is full of props, staging, lighting etc but I think with a little work it would be idea for costume storage as well. It is watertight, and solid with a corregated roof, brick walls and a concrete floor and would be perfect and of course free. Has anyone done this? If so what sort of work did you do to convert the garage.

There is no electricity as it is away from the house. I wonder about just insulating / foam filling the inside of the roof and putting wooden crates down to lift the floor. What do you think and is this enough? All the costumes are on rails.

Any help gratefully received!

Claudia
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Nicole
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Post by Nicole »

I haven't done it, but I have had to store fabrics in such areas as a garage. The problem is the damp, thus insulating and ensuring that the air remains dry seems most important. Extreme temperature changes are a problem as well. If you ahve anything delicate then I'd think about somehow getting a heating system in there? Or/and one of those dampness removers (sorry, there are better terms for them, can't think of any)

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Colin Middleton
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Post by Colin Middleton »

Nicole wrote:Or/and one of those dampness removers (sorry, there are better terms for them, can't think of any)
Dehumidifier?

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Calendula
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Post by Calendula »

As well as damp, you'd also have to be wary of insects, which can cause a lot of problems. There is some useful advice on storing actual historical costume & textiles here which could also apply to yours.
http://www.conservationregister.com/chr ... g.asp?id=4

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Dave B
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Post by Dave B »

I don't know anything aobut costumes, but I do know a bit about buildings etc. There are some great insulation products If you are going to store anything you are going to need at least some minimal heatinf for frost protection and to keep the damp down. really that's going to have to be electric.

It really isn't too complecated to run power to an outbuilding. if you can run the cable yourself, either a buried armoured cable or 'catenary' arraingemnt ovehead from upstairs of the house to the roof of the garage, a good electricain shouldn't charge too much to connect some sockets and lights to one end and connect he other end to your fuseboard.

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John Waller
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Post by John Waller »

And beware of rodents. B*st*rd mice have eaten a paddling pool and a garden umbrella in my shed. Friends had a tent stored in a garage ruined as well. Stock up on mothballs and traps.
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Biro
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Post by Biro »

Yeah, we get mice in our garage - It also gets really damp there in the winter...

But we have partitioned part, seperated by a stud wall/plasterboard. We insulated the partitioned off roof and put plasterboard on the brick walls in there. A well fitting door with draught excluder and some heating have made it nice, dry and rat-free.

I think the main thing is probably a well-fitting door to stop damp air/draughts/rodents/insects getting in.

Then some heating and/or de-humidifier

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Nicole
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Post by Nicole »

Colin Middleton wrote:
Nicole wrote:Or/and one of those dampness removers (sorry, there are better terms for them, can't think of any)
Dehumidifier?
Cheers! You're spot on. :D

Further to my list, can you ensure that the window (if you have one) and most of all the door shuts absolutely tight? Many a thing has been ruined by rainwater somehow finding a way to seep through.

I believe it'll be tricky to convert a garage for costume storage, but might be possible.

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Post by m300572 »

You probably do want to get power into the garage then you can run a small heater when the weather is cold and damp and a dehumidifier if it does get damp. If you do run a dehumidifier then make sure doors and windows are tight or you will end up trying to dry out the world!

If everything is hung up then mice shouldn't be a problem but keep an eye out for evidence - like others I had assorted things eaten in my old garage (most of a deckchair cover and one mouse built a nest in one of my wellies- good job I spotted it or both I and the mouse would have been surprised when I put the boot on!).
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Libby
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Post by Libby »

Without wanting to teach my grandmother to suck eggs or whatever, just to point out that if you're warming the space and insulating it you do need to ventilate a bit or you'll get condensation which'll not be great for the costumes, or for the garage. I suspect a dehumidifier will help but I'd monitor it for signs of condensation, just to be safe.

Libby

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Neibelungen
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Post by Neibelungen »

You might also want to check out the flooring on your garage. Many concrete floors are laid without a damproof membrane under them, so will allow damp to penetrate up through the floor.

A simple resistant concrete garage type floor paint is usually enough to prevent that happening as badly.

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Annie the Pedlar
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Post by Annie the Pedlar »

Done it and got the T shirt.
Damp - I resorted resorted to a dehumidifier. Ace.
Rain coming in under the door. Don't store the costumes near the door.
Moths - yes - lavendar, cedar and the modern equivalent of moth balls - not sure that worked.
Mice - they can climb - hanging up the costumes do nothing at all to deter them. They are worse than the moths - they've got bigger teeth!
Heat and cold doesn't seem to make any difference.

My costumes are now in the house (sigh of relief) but in anticipation of my impending move I've invested in really useful boxes. I expect sealing them in plastic will be very bad but its solved the damp, moth and mice problems.

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Post by frances »

Oh dear, you are all frightening me. I keep haberdashery in a garage, about 3 miles from where I live. The floor is concrete, the door leaks water and the air is damp. But it belongs to a friend who is not interested in doing anything to it. So far I have not had any problems, except very damp air this autumn.

My suggestion is to not leave it all and forget about it. But go down there and open the door, move things around and, if they feel damp, take stuff indoors to warm up a little for a few days.

Oh, and my costumes are in the house - I would not dream of parting from them, they take so long to get right. But then I have a large house and almost every room has 'stuff' in it.

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Annie the Pedlar
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Post by Annie the Pedlar »

Don't you have all your stuff in boxes, though, Frances? 'Cos I pinched the very useful boxes idea off you. I saw your stuff stacked very neatly in your van and thought - that is so sensible - unlike miserly, scroungy me sticking stuff in odd sized baskets, over filling them, trying in vain to built tottery tower of Babels. Also, I was wasting so much space trying to fit them on higgledy piggeldy shelving. I've (nearly) got everything I had in a big garage now neatly packed into a second bedroom.

I'm going for broke in the house we are about to buy tomorrow :D *. I'm going to try and get everything in the 'box' room - but I'm going to twist my husband's arm to build me a workshop and utility room alongside the kitchen. :twisted:

* For anyone else stuck waiting for the paperwork to be done before you can exchange contract try this: Pleading voice, choking back a sob: " Oh can't you get them to move a little faster. The old lady at the top of the chain is going to loose her warden assisted flat if we don't get this sorted for Monday. This must have been passed down the chain like a chinese whisper. I did my part. My solicitor's assistant did hers and the person at the council searching for water found it by email. Et voila! One aged granny kept off the streets. Contracts going to be exchanged on Monday. It worked a treat. :D

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Post by frances »

Well, indeed, Annie!! Shame I did not patent the idea. :o)

Sorry to have to tell that the boxes Annie refers to are ..... plastic. Some with lids of the same material too. Very practical if not awfenti-like.

All the best with the move. Flossie has all her feet crossed for you, and her eyes.

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Annie the Pedlar
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Post by Annie the Pedlar »

Warning. warning warning!
Don't store soap balls in plastic boxes. They went mouldy. :cry:
Don't store them out of boxes - the mice eat them. :cry:
Life is just one long string of problem solving :?

The solution - rent a shop in a fancy shopping mall with security guards like what Lush do? Maybe not........

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