Top 7 Reasons You Have Garage Clutter (and Solutions to Eliminate It)

When you think of clutter hotspots in homes, a few areas immediately come to mind.

Bedroom closets, guest bedrooms, entryways, basements, and home offices are notorious for commonly being found in a disorganized state in many homes.

And then there’s the garage. Garages may well be the most problematic area when it comes to keeping a home organized. You can find many statistics on how prevalent garage clutter is – here’s just a few:

  • 50% of homeowners polled named the garage as the most disorganized area of their house (NAPO study)
  • in a survey of 1,000 Americans, 47% of them admitted to encountering problems with garage parking due to clutter (Sparefoot survey)
  • a third of two-car garage homeowners are only able to park one vehicle inside (U.S. Department of Energy study)
  • approximately 9% of Americans rent storage space, despite the fact that 65% of them have a garage (Self Storage Association stat)

And garage clutter isn’t a problem that’s unique to American and Canadian homeowners. A study of 1,000 Australians by the Australia Institute found that just under half of them also had problems parking in their garages because of clutter.

garage clutter

A one-car garage in need of better storage solutions.

Identify the main causes of your garage clutter

So what factors contribute to garage clutter? Recognizing and understanding the reasons your garage has become a disorganized mess is the first important step in resolving the problem.

Here are seven common reasons for garage clutter, followed by some solutions that can help you get organized and reclaim your garage space.

1. You have garage clutter because you’re habitually disorganized

Not all of us are neatniks. Even for the most organized person, keeping home clutter at bay can be a relentless challenge.

The slow creep of clutter demands that any homeowner maintains a diligent and systematic approach to keeping home clutter at a minimum.

The hectic pace of life doesn’t always cooperate with this well-intentioned approach to home organization and limiting garage clutter.

And clutter is all too eager to take advantage of the shortcomings of anyone who’s habitually disorganized. While it’s true that we’re always capable of changing our ways and habits, the reality is that it gets harder and more unrealistic the older we get.

2. It’s too daunting to deal with your garage clutter

The longer your garage clutter problem goes on, the more difficult it becomes to fix. Years of neglect towards clutter can create a scenario where the problem seems too daunting to even begin to tackle.

Giving in to these strong feelings only feeds the vicious circle of guilt, self-doubt, and stress that becomes a harmful by-product of living in a clutter-filled environment.

Clutter prevents us from easily finding items, which frustrates us. Our brains also view clutter as work that needs to be done, which negatively affects our focus.

Another non-solution to dealing with clutter in the garage is to just adapt to the mess. Instead of mustering up the energy it’ll require to transform your cluttered garage space, you’ll convince yourself that it’ll be easier to just “work around” the stacks of junk.

The U.S. self storage industry now generates $25 billion annually. You can bet that the vast majority of those customers were plagued with garage clutter problems they simply ignored or adapted to.

3. Your garage is an easy dumping ground

Garages (especially larger ones) can seem like a fairly practical area to store items that don’t have a proper home in your house’s main interior.

That empty corner of the garage that can hold a bunch of stacked storage boxes or bins you don’t know what to do with? It seems ideal, especially if you believe you’ll come up with a better storage solution later on. It’s this “I’ll deal with it eventually” mindset that can create garage clutter in a hurry.

The “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy also comes into play in these scenarios. If you think about it, however, that’s a rather backwards way of thinking.

That’s because data shows that garage doors are now one of the most frequently used doors in homes. That means you’re accessing your garage several times during the course of a day.

This frequent usage of your garage doesn’t just negate the “out of sight” half of this well-known phrase. You’ll also find it virtually impossible not to be increasingly mindful of the mounting garage clutter that’s limiting your ability to take advantage of the space’s full functionality.

4. Your garage and overall home space is too small

While large garages can be an all-too-easy storage spot, smaller garages can present a real challenge when it comes to finding extra storage space.

The problems are compounded if the rest of your home is lacking in square footage. This increases the likelihood that your one-car garage will be filled with clutter and not with a parked vehicle.

Sure, small garages may be more of a challenge to set up as effective storage spaces. You’d be surprised at a small garage’s storage potential, however, when its walls and vertical space are utilized better (more on that shortly).

5. Seasonal changes contribute to your garage clutter

Transitions from one season to another in northern climates can be a significant contributor to garage clutter, particularly in spring and fall.

Come fall time, you’ll need space to store your yard equipment and tools, patio furniture, summer sports equipment, barbecue, and other items until they’re needed several months later. You might even need storage space in your garage for a classic car that only gets driven when the weather is warmer.

In the springtime, your snow removal equipment, snow tires, and other winter-related belongings will need to be stored. Swapping out your summer belongings with your winter belongings isn’t always a neat and tidy process, unfortunately.

And there’s also holiday decorations to consider. Your boxes and storage bins containing your Christmas, Halloween, and other seasonal decorative items will only be needed once a year. Therefore, you’ll want them stored well out of your way and not taking up valuable garage floor space for the entire year.

garage clutter tire rack

A heavy-duty tire rack keeps out-of-season tires off your garage floor.

6. You struggle to let go of your belongings

Another main cause of garage clutter is the inability we tend to have of letting go of things. Nostalgia has a strong pull on us, but it’s important not to get too wrapped up in sentimentality.

Certain important keepsakes are certainly well worth holding onto, but how much is too much? You’ll know it’s time to seriously confront your emotional attachments to your belongings when garage clutter becomes a persistent problem.

Some precious keepsakes (like photos) shouldn’t be stored in the garage anyway, due to fluctuating temperatures that generate moisture from humidity and condensation. This can lead to mold forming on items (especially papers and fabrics) stored for lengthy periods in garages.

For treasured items you simply can’t let go of, find storage space in an area of your home that’s climate controlled. In the case of a photo collection, you can also take the time to digitally archive your pictures.

For everything else that doesn’t have any sentimental value, ask yourself whether or not you’ve used it in the past couple of years. If it hasn’t been used in that time, donate it, sell it, or toss it.

Also try and resist the “but I might need it someday” mentality. This way of thinking only leads to what’s been called “aspirational clutter”.

7. Your garage lacks effective storage and organization systems

When you really get down to it, one of the main reasons you’re struggling with garage clutter is because you’re probably lacking effective storage and organization systems.

Just as a messy closet can be transformed with the addition of a closet organizer, so too can your garage benefit from the addition of helpful storage systems.

Smartly designed organization and storage systems greatly improve your odds of keeping specific areas of your home tidy and well-maintained.

4 solutions to eliminate your garage clutter

Wouldn’t it be nice to drive into your garage and feel like you’ve arrived home to a comfortable, clean, and inviting space that you take pride in?

That feeling would certainly be better than the alternative of entering a cluttered garage (on foot, of course – there’s nowhere to park!) and being reminded of your garage organization failings.

Garage Living can eliminate your garage clutter problems with the following solutions:

Creating a clutter-free garage space is easier when you turn to a trusted garage professional that has the right products and expertise.

Get your garage organization project started by scheduling a free in-home consultation with a member of Garage Living’s design team today.

See also:

Why Your Garage Makeover Contractor Should Be Baeumler Approved

There are many important decisions that go along with committing to a major home improvement project like a garage makeover.

For homeowners, one of their biggest concerns will be which contractor they can trust to handle the project. Personal references can be invaluable, as can the many online resources available.

The Baeumler Approved contractor referral program is one such important resource.

Baeumler Approved

What is the Baeumler Approved program?

The Baeumler Approved program was launched in 2012 in Canada by celebrity home improvement guru Bryan Baeumler and his business partner, Stuart Riley.

Baeumler’s high profile in the media exposed him to many people asking him for his expert advice when it came to choosing a reliable contractor or tradesperson for a home renovation.

While other online resources were available to provide feedback on contractors, none of them had the highly respected Baeumler name attached to them.

As the handyman explains on the Baeumler Approved site, “We help you take the first steps in selecting who you will trust to help you improve.”

But before getting deeper into the Baeumler Approved program and why its seal of approval is important when choosing a contractor, let’s get a quick primer on the man behind it.

Who is Bryan Baeumler?

The better question might be who isn’t Bryan Baeumler? This is a man who certainly doesn’t rest on his laurels.

It’s hard to imagine the high profile Baeumler has escaped many people’s attentions, but here’s a list of some of his accomplishments and endeavours:

  • host of numerous popular TV shows including Disaster DIY, Leave It to Bryan, House of Bryan, and Bryan Inc. on HGTV in the U.S. and HGTV Canada
  • CEO and President of Baeumler Quality Construction, a full-service construction and renovation company
  • bestselling author of 2015’s Measure Twice, a DIY handbook
  • heads the Baeumler Family Foundation for Kids charitable organization

Baeumler has always loved working with his hands. In fact, he started his own handyman business when he was just 14, completing odd jobs for his neighbours.

And despite earning a Political Science and Business dual degree that was steering him down a career path in law, the call of the trades proved too strong for Baeumler to ignore.

How are Baeumler Approved members chosen?

Let’s face it, there are more than a few contractors out there who demonstrate poor ethics, work quality, and reliability. That’s why the Baeumler Approved program was created.

When choosing which contractors will be eligible to become Baeumler Approved, the screening process looks at the following criteria:

  • are previous clients satisfied with the quality of work and communication from the contractor?
  • do companies that have collaborated with the contractor speak positively about their work practices?
  • does the contractor have a reputable online history of testimonials and referrals?
  • can the contractor provide evidence of required professional certifications?
  • does the contractor have the necessary workers compensation coverage, along with a minimum of $1,000,000 of active liability insurance coverage?

If a contractor meets the strict vetting guidelines established by Baeumler Approved, they’re added to the list of approved contractors.

How Baeumler Approved helps consumers

The Baeumler Approved designation certainly needs to be earned by any contractor. And, importantly, this high level of reliability and workmanship also needs to be maintained.

Baeumler Approved members are required to sign and follow the program’s Code of Conduct. These guidelines reflect the high standards Baeumler has towards customer satisfaction, work quality, and safety.

Baeumler Approved contractors who fail to comply with the Code of Conduct can be removed from the program’s network. This level of accountability demonstrates the program’s commitment toward Baeumler Approved being relied on as a go-to source for reputable contractor recommendations for consumers.

It should be noted that Baeumler Approved is only a recommendation resource. The program does not assume any liability for work done by one of their member contractors.

How does Baeumler Approved differ from online review sites?

There are many review sites available that let consumers leave feedback about companies, with Yelp and Google+ being two of the most popular ones.

These sites are one helpful way for consumers to get a sense of who they want to do business with. A recent BrightLocal survey found that 88% of consumers trust these reviews just as much as a personal recommendation.

The Baeumler Approved doesn’t quite follow the same model. It simply acts as a recommended list of contractors who have established a history of trustworthiness and quality work.

Garage Living’s association with the Baeumler Approved program

Since our start in 2005, Garage Living has done many thousands of makeover projects that have helped homeowners turn their garages into an extension of their living space.

Garage Living has established itself as a company known for its first-rate work, integrity, and superior products like our cabinetry, garage flooring and wall storage system.

One example of our commitment to great customer service is the written warranty we present to customers after a Floortex™ floor coating application. This gives our customers the assurance that we stand fully behind our products and services.

Our reputation allowed us to become a Baeumler Approved member in 2013 and we continue to be proud of our association with the trusted Baeumler brand.

Baeumler Approved 2

Aaron Cash, managing partner of Garage Living, and Bryan Baeumler.

Our garage makeover project on Bryan’s house

And Garage Living’s association with Bryan extends beyond the Baeumler Approved program. We also worked on a unique garage makeover at Bryan’s country home that was part of his House of Bryan show on HGTV Canada.

The project involved designing two connected “his and hers” garages. One garage space was tailored to Bryan’s wants and needs and the other garage space was tailored to the requirements of Bryan’s wife, Sarah, and their four kids.

Baeumler Approved 3

Garage Living worked on a “his and hers” garage design at Bryan’s home.

You can view many more pictures from the project here.

Enjoy peace of mind when choosing a Baeumler Approved contractor

The strict quality and integrity standards the Baeumler Approved program requires helps homeowners take some of the risk out of what can be a stressful process when it comes to choosing a reputable contractor.

And Garage Living isn’t just a Baeumler Approved member – Bryan’s also entrusted us with working on his own home.

Are you looking for a trusted garage professional for your upcoming garage makeover project? If so, schedule your free-in home consultation with a member of our design team today.

See also:

Slatwall or Pegboard? 9 Things to Consider When Choosing Garage Wall Panels

Excess garage clutter creates all sorts of problems. It restricts you from parking inside, makes it difficult to find items, and simply limits the functionality a garage is supposed to provide.

Considering a 2-car garage in the average home can comprise 13-15% of your home’s overall square footage, that’s a lot of wasted real estate you could be making better use of.

Adding garage storage solutions like overhead racking and cabinetry can be a big help in restoring your garage to an organized state once again. So can adding garage wall panels to keep your floor clutter-free.

Two of the most popular options when it comes to garage wall panels are slatwall and pegboard. So what’s the smarter choice?

What should you be considering when buying garage wall panels?

When choosing what type of garage wall panels to go with, consider how important these nine factors are to you:

  • quality
  • durability
  • storage space needed
  • aesthetics
  • load capacity required
  • ease of installation
  • variety of hanging accessories
  • convenience of use
  • price

Let’s break down each consideration individually.

1. What kind of quality are you looking for in your garage wall panels?

Pegboard is perforated hardboard that’s most commonly found in 1/4″ thick 4′ x 8′ panels. If you’ve ever handled a sheet of pegboard this size, you probably noticed how much flexibility it had.

One word that possibly came to mind after seeing this was “flimsy”. That’s not exactly a quality one wants in their new garage wall panels, is it? Pegboard, which is similar to particle board, also tends to chip  and split quite easily.

When it comes to slatwall panels, there’s a couple of different types that offer more sturdiness. MDF (medium-density fibreboard) slatwall panels are quite heavy and come with horizontal rows for hanging accessories.

A more modern, improved version of MDF slatwall panels are slatwall panels made with a cellular foam PVC construction. They offer several benefits over traditional MDF slatwall panels, including durability, moisture resistance, weight, and looks.

One additional concern related to quality is the stability of the wall panels’ hanging accessories. Pegboard hooks commonly get knocked off when an item stored on them is removed. Slatwall accessories, however, provide more stability.

2. How important is durability in your garage wall panels?

As mentioned, pegboard can’t measure up to either type of slatwall panel when it comes to durability. Some homeowners setting up garage wall panels even make the mistake of going with a 1/8″ panel thickness when buying pegboard.

That’s an invitation for all sorts of potential problems. Even buying a harder-to-find tempered pegboard won’t give the same durability as slatwall garage wall panels.

Why? Because garage wall panels need to be able to handle a couple of specific challenges:

  • the wear and tear of tools stored on the panels being frequently picked up and stored again (especially in workshop-oriented garages)
  • the changing temperatures and moisture levels that a garage environment is subjected to (PVC slatwall panels are more resilient when it comes to these two factors)

“Heavy-duty” (as opposed to “flimsy”) is most definitely a quality you should be looking for in your garage wall panels. And slatwall panels certainly fulfill that requirement.

3. How much garage wall storage space will you need?

Your garage walls offer plenty of underutilized storage space just waiting to be used. But how much space will you need to store everything currently cluttering up your garage floor?

Do you have lots of yard tools and a big family that requires the storage of numerous bikes and lots of sports equipment? All of these items can be stored on slatwall panels.

Factor in everything you currently own, along with how much extra space you might need to store future tool and equipment purchases. As with anything storage-related, it’s always wiser to add extra storage space if possible, just to give you some flexibility later on.

The number of garage wall panels you’ll need might very well be a determining factor in which type you choose, because prices will vary. More on that shortly.

4. How important are garage aesthetics to you?

Pegboard offers few choices when it comes to panel colors. Ugly white and brown pegboard panels are what you’re most likely to find, which can leave you with a garage interior that looks partially like this:

garage wall panels

Dull brown pegboard doesn’t exactly enhance your garage’s interior look.

Yes, pegboard can be painted, but then you have to worry about dried paint clogging the holes. That can make it difficult to insert hooks and other hanging attachments, which leads to further work drilling holes through the dried paint.

And after all that, you’ll still be left with something that detracts from your garage’s interior appearance instead of adding to it (particularly if you’re adding several wall panels).

PVC slatwall panels offer 6 colors to choose from and provide protection and a finished, high-end look for your garage walls.

More color choices also means more design flexibility if you’re looking to complement the rest of your garage’s décor. That can be helpful if you’re adding other upgrades like a floor coating or cabinetry.

garage wall panels

The clean, finished look and superior level of organization that PVC slatwall panels add to a garage space.

5. What load capacities do you need from your garage wall panels?

An important deciding factor when buying an organization system for your garage walls is weight capacities. If you’re going to the trouble of adding wall panels in your garage, you should want them to handle the weight of just about anything that’s hangable.

Pegboard shows its limitations in this particular area. Smaller hand tools and lighter yard tools won’t pose much of a problem, but a heavier bicycle or push lawn mower? Not likely.

Garage Living’s PVC wall panels have a load capacity of 40 lbs/sq in and can safely hold items weighing up to 50 lbs with our heavy-duty slatwall brackets. That gives you more hanging storage flexibility.

6. Are you planning on installing your own garage wall panels?

When garage wall panels are installed, you’ll need to account for various wall obstructions. This can include things like receptacles, conduit pipe, and light switches.

Our workers are skilled at making sure this tricky process is done correctly so your wall panels perfectly fit within your garage space. Garage floor sloping and ceiling unevenness are also accounted for.

Extra finishing touches that includes trim for ends, corners, and any gaps, along with color-matching screws, leaves your garage wall panels with a clean, cohesive look.

One major drawback with MDF slatwall panels is their weight (as much as 100 lbs per panel). That makes them quite difficult to work with.

7. Are you looking for a wide variety of hanging accessories?

You can find enough basic hanging accessories for pegboard panels, but probably not more than the 40+ types of hanging accessories available for PVC slatwall panels.

The wide range of hanging accessories is what really separates this storage system from the other types of garage wall panels available.

The numerous sizes of hooks can be used to hang items like bikes, small or large tools, power cords, ladders, sports equipment, and more. Magnetic tool bars and a screwdriver holder can also be used for small tool storage.

When it comes to rack storage, PVC slatwall panels can accommodate fishing rod racks, racks for golf equipment and other sports equipment, and even a paper towel rack.

Baskets, shelving, and small storage bins can also be added to your garage slatwall panels to hold everything from easy-to-lose small hardware pieces, to cleaning supplies, to your gardening supplies and tools.

garage wall panels

Just a few of the 40+ slatwall hanging accessories available for PVC slatwall panels.

8. Which garage wall panels offer the best convenience of use?

Once you’ve installed a pegboard wall panel and set up all the hanging attachments, it can be a big headache when it comes time to shift items around or make space for a newly purchased item. That’s one of the limitations that comes with the individual holes that make up the pegboard’s design.

It’s more convenient making changes to the storage setup of PVC wall panels because you can easily shift items horizontally to make more room.

9. What’s your budget when buying garage wall panels?

Pretty much the only area where pegboard panels are a more attractive garage wall panel option than slatwall is when it comes to price. But as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for”.

If aesthetics, storage flexibility, and durability rank low on your list of concerns, budget-conscious pegboard panels might be enough to satisfy your needs.

If you’re setting your sights a little higher for what you want your garage wall panels to provide, you’ll be better off with PVC slatwall panels hanging on your garage walls.

Find out more about the benefits of PVC slatwall panels for your garage

Superior looks and construction and a premium level of storage flexibility make PVC slatwall panels the clear best choice when it comes to choosing garage wall panels.

With the enhanced ability to keep your garage organized that slatwall panels provide, you’ll get much more functionality out of this important extension of your home.

Schedule a free in-home consultation to discuss your wall storage and other garage makeover plans with a member of our design team.

See also:

Top 7 Questions Answered About Electric Vehicles and Home Charging

Electric vehicles may seem like a new concept, but they’ve actually been around for over 100 years.

Back at the beginning of the 20th century, Cleveland’s Baker Motor Vehicle Company was making electric cars. In fact, they sold Thomas Edison his first car.

Various reasons have prevented electric vehicles from being embraced by the mainstream public, including prohibitive costs, unreliable technology, and a lack of will from governments and vehicle makers to fully support the concept.

That’s all changed now, of course. Electric vehicles are only gaining in popularity as their technology improves and costs come down.

With the increased consumer curiosity in this green tech comes many questions, particularly about what’s needed for charging an electric vehicle at home. Let’s answer a few of those questions.

electric vehicles

1. Why are electric vehicles becoming more popular?

Electric vehicle ownership has become an attractive proposition for drivers for a number of reasons, including:

  • electric vehicles lower your carbon footprint
  • they offer big savings on fuel costs
  • electric vehicle public charging station infrastructure is expanding
  • electric vehicles are becoming more affordable (Tesla’s recently introduced Model 3 starts at $35,000, which is far less than their previous models have sold for)
  • governments offer attractive incentives for buying

Naturally, this evolving technology (even after 100 years) isn’t without its growing pains. Electric cars do come with a higher price tag.

There’s also the concern of “range anxiety”. That refers to an electric car owner’s worry about whether or not they’ll be able to make it to a destination or charging station before running out of power.

That being said, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the vast majority of electric vehicle owners are very content about their decision to go green.

One recent survey found that 96% of electric vehicle buyers or leasers were happy with their cars. And last year Consumer Reports named Tesla #1 in their annual vehicle owner satisfaction survey.

2. What are the different types of electric vehicles?

It can initially be a little confusing understanding the difference between the various types of electric vehicles. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Battery electric vehicles (BEV) – this type of vehicle runs exclusively on a rechargeable battery and has no tailpipe emissions
  • Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) – gas and a battery combine to power the vehicle, with the battery being recharged by the car’s braking system (known as “regenerative braking”)
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) – a combination of gas and battery also runs the vehicle, with the battery recharging through both regenerative braking and plugging into an electrical charging outlet

The three top-selling BEVs in the U.S. last year were the Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, and Nissan Leaf. The Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, and Ford Fusion Energy also rank as popular electric car choices in North America.

Hydrogen fuel cell cars are another entry in the enviro-friendly vehicle market, although they lag well behind electric cars in terms of popularity. Whereas 80,000 electric cars were sold in the U.S. last year, only 1,082 fuel cell cars were purchased by consumers.

3. What kind of mileage do electric vehicles get?

Mileage with electric vehicles varies widely, depending on the model. Generally, the minimum range on an electric car is approximately 130 km (80 miles). The maximum range the past few years has been around 370 km (230 miles).

Tesla’s Model 3 is looking to shake things up, however. In addition to making this high-end brand more affordable to the general public, Tesla is also promising ranges of up to 500 km (just over 300 miles).

Those mileage figures are significantly affected by a wide range of variables, though. Running your electric car’s air conditioner or heating system will, not surprisingly, drain your battery quicker.

4. Why can’t I rely on public charging stations for electric car charging?

While the number of remote electrical vehicle charging stations is increasing, the network of stations still needs improvement.

The uneven distribution of charging stations is a particular concern in rural areas. For electric car owners, knowing the locations of charging stations becomes a critical part of planning a long road trip.

Things are definitely improving, however. Over the next several years, the Canadian and American governments, automakers, and utility companies will expand the charging station infrastructure.

Tesla has plans to aggressively expand its global Supercharger station network to 10,000 this year. Part of VW’s “emission scandal” settlement is to build hundreds of charging stations in America.

The number of charging station outlets in the U.S. is at almost 50,000 now, a 300% increase in the past five years. Helpful charging station location apps like ChargeHub, PlugShare, and CAA (in Canada) can be used to to plan longer trips.

The Canadian government is also funding the installation of several dozen charging stations on a 3,000 km stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway between Ontario and Manitoba.

5. What do I need to know about home electric vehicle charging?

Clearly, you’ll want to enjoy the convenience and control that comes with charging your electrical vehicle at home. There are basically two types of home charging methods for electric vehicles:

  • Level 1 – a charging cable is attached from the vehicle to a 120 volt outlet (a standard household outlet)
  • Level 2 – a 240 volt Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE) unit is installed, allowing for much faster charging times

Owners of hybrid electric vehicles won’t need to worry about manually charging a battery. Their car’s regenerative braking and the gas engine will take care of that.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can use a Level 1 or Level 2 charging method. A Level 1 charge will take longer to fully recharge a battery (generally twice as long). Depending on the battery pack size, it can take anywhere from several hours to overnight.

Battery electric vehicles should use a Level 2 charging method. This also can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight, depending on various factors.

electric vehicles Tesla

Tesla Powerwall charging a Model S in a home garage.

6. Can I set up my home for electric car charging by myself?

Unless you’re an electrician, it’s not recommended. Even though Level 1 charging is done through a standard electrical outlet, your home’s master circuit breaker needs to be able to handle the extra electricity demands.

A Level 2 charging electrical setup will be similar to what an electric stove or clothes dryer would require. The EVSE should be hardwired to a junction box that’s properly wired to handle the continuous load of your charging station.

In actuality, the wall-mounted EVSE isn’t the charger. The charger is actually located inside the car, with the EVSE acting as a portal into the supply of electricity. EVSEs range anywhere from about $500-1,200.

A professional electrician should be used to make sure your home can safely handle the demands of electric car charging. The process varies depending on location, but permits and inspections will likely be needed for this type of electrical work.

7. What kind of incentives are available for buying electric vehicles and EVSEs?

Right now is a great time to take advantage of the numerous incentives governments in Canada and the U.S. are offering for buying an electric vehicle.

While the Canadian federal government hasn’t yet made electric car incentives available, the country’s three most populous provinces (Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec) have. Some of the generous provincial government incentives include:

  • Ontario – up to $14,000 off battery electric vehicles, up to $8,460 off plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and up to $1,000 off the purchase and installation of an EVSE
  • Quebec – a rebate of up to $8,000 off the purchase of an electric car and 50% off the cost for buying and installing a charging station up to a maximum of $600
  • British Columbia – a rebate of up to $5,000 off battery electric vehicles and up to $2,500 off a plug-in hybrid electric car

The U.S. federal government is offering a tax credit of up to $7,500 for the purchase of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. On top of that, many states are also offering electric car and EVSE incentives.

Additional incentives may also be provided by your hydro provider. Some offer special rate plans to owners of electric cars.

Get your garage organized to make electric vehicle charging easier

The best place to set up your home charging station is in your garage, but you need to be able to get your electric vehicle in there first.

We have storage solutions like slatwall panels with hanging accessories, garage storage cabinets, and specialty storage racking that can help keep your space organized and available for parking and charging.

A more stable garage temperature can also be better for your electric vehicle’s battery, so an insulated garage door is worth considering, as well as insulating your garage walls and ceiling.

Book your free in-home consultation with the trusted garage professionals to get your space properly prepared for your new electric vehicle.

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Are You Truly Getting the Most Garage Value out of Your Home?

If you paused to really consider your garage’s value to your house, you might just be shocked at how valuable a garage space really is.

When your garage is filled with clutter, however, you’re really squandering an opportunity to maximize the garage value of your home.

For homes with a higher price tag (such as in Vancouver and Toronto, two of North America’s hottest housing markets), the negative financial impact of garage clutter becomes even more pronounced.

While many of the following figures are taken from the Canadian real estate market, the basic theory of this post can apply in any housing market.

Simply put, you’re just not maximizing your home’s value if your garage isn’t being properly utilized.

garage value clutter

BEFORE: Clutter in this garage limits the usefulness of the space.

High housing prices emphasize the importance of garage value

In June, the average price of a house in Canada was $504,458. That number gets skewed slightly because of the record-breaking prices of homes in recent times in both the Toronto and Vancouver markets.

Those markets have begun to cool off in recent months, partially due to measures (like a foreign buyers tax) brought in by the Ontario and B.C. governments to stabilize the markets.

Even still, the current average price of a home in Toronto is $746,218 (including houses and condos). When you look specifically at Toronto’s average detached house price, that number jumps all the way up to $1.39 million. 

In Vancouver, the numbers are even more inflated. The average home price (including houses and condos) currently stands at just over a million dollars. The price of a detached house in Vancouver? That’ll cost you an average of $1.61 million.

It shouldn’t matter if your house costs well over a million dollars or is more modestly priced. Getting the most garage value (and overall value, frankly) out of every square foot of your sizeable investment should be something homeowners take time to consider.

What’s included in a home’s square footage calculation?

Determining a house’s square footage can vary based on location. In Ontario, real estate listings only factor in a house’s above ground living space when determining its square footage.

Take, for example, a two-storey detached home with the following dimensions:

  • the first floor is 1,300 sq ft
  • the second floor is 1,100 sq ft
  • the basement is 900 sq ft
  • the two-car garage is 600 sq ft

The house would be listed as having 2,400 sq ft, a finished/unfinished basement, and a two-car/double garage.

Note that the minimum recommended size for a two-car garage is 20′ x 20′ (400 sq ft). Somewhere in the 24′ x 24′ range (around 600 sq ft) would be more ideal and allow for easier vehicle access and additions like garage cabinetry.

Determining your home’s garage value

Using the above figures, the actual total square footage of the house would be 3,900 sq ft when all measurements are factored in.

The 600 sq ft garage would therefore account for 15% of the overall square footage of the home. That’s clearly a pretty substantial portion of your home’s total size.

That percentage also falls in line with a recent study that estimated an “oversized garage” (which we’ll take to mean a two-car garage or larger) had a 14% effect on a home’s selling price.

Start doing the math by using current average real estate prices and the actual worth of your garage, relative to your house, becomes eye-opening:

  • 15% of $504,458 (the average Canadian house price) = $75,668
  • 15% of $1.39 million (the average Toronto detached home price) = $208,500
  • 15% of $1.61 million (Vancouver’s average detached home price) = $241,500

How much more important does your garage value seem when you see its potential worth singled out? Even for a relatively inexpensive home valued at, say, $350,000, that 15% portion works out to just over $50,000. Also remember that the space your garage occupies accounts for part of your property taxes.

garage value after makeover

AFTER: The transformed garage becomes much more functional and aesthetically pleasing, adding value to the space.

How garage clutter and disorganization impacts your garage value

UCLA researchers did an in-depth study of 32 Los Angeles-area families and found that 75% of them didn’t use their garages for parking, mostly due to clutter.

Another study from the U.S. Department of Energy found that 25% of homeowners with a two-car garage didn’t park in them at all. 32% only parked one car. The biggest reason? Clutter in the garage.

Those are just two samplings, but chances are you or more than a few people you know don’t use your garage to park your vehicles due to clutter.

Most clutter is made up of unnecessary junk. So why let it take up valuable space (quite literally) in your garage, especially in high value housing markets?

Think of the ways you could be getting more garage value out of your home by clearing out that clutter:

  • parking in the garage protects your investment in your vehicles (the average price of a new vehicle in Canada is $38,000 and $35,000 in the U.S.)
  • by using the garage as a workshop
  • making better use of your garage’s storage space and keeping it organized with storage systems like slatwall panels so it’s easier to find tools and other items

Garage value impacts curb appeal and home resale value

Your biggest motivation for clearing out garage clutter should be to make your space more functional and valuable.

Making improvements to the interior of your garage also improves your home’s aesthetics. Exterior upgrades (such as the high return on investment with a new garage door) also boosts your home’s curb appeal.

When it comes time to sell your home, a finished, clutter-free garage that has an appealing exterior look will be an asset. The first opinion of your home, as seen by a potential buyer, is heavily influenced by the look of your garage.

Maximize your garage value with the right improvements

Your house represents a substantial investment and you deserve to be getting the most out of what you’ve paid for. Start maximizing the garage value of your home by using this space for more than just storing clutter.

With garage improvement solutions like high quality flooring, slatwall storage, cabinetry, specialty storage racks, and more, Garage Living can help.

We’ve transformed thousands of garage spaces to help our clients get more value out of their garages and we can help you, too. To get the process started, all you have to do is schedule your free in-home consultation.

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