Garage History: How Much Do You Know About This Vital Home Space?

How much do you know about the history of the home garage? Garage history doesn’t stretch back that all far – barely 100 years, in fact. Let’s look at where this vital home space began and how garages have evolved over the past century.

“Garage” – derived from the French word “garer” (meaning to protect, shelter, or store)

garage history

Garage history: the early years

Before the garage existed, the main mode of transportation for North Americans was the horse and buggy, which were kept in detached buildings known as carriage houses, gatehouses, and outbuildings. As the 1908 Ford Model T made automobiles more accessible to the masses, a need for a more practical parking solution became apparent.

Early car owners would park their vehicles alongside their horses in the carriage houses. Carports and portable garages were also used. Large parking lots that charged a monthly fee were another method used for car parking until around 1910. At this point, the availability of parking spots was being outstripped by the number of car sales.

Early on in the 20th century’s second decade, architects began creating the rudimentary designs that brought us a little closer to what would become the traditional home garage as we now know it.

There was a still much room for improvement, however, as many of these garages still weren’t attached to homes and had to rely on inconvenient and cumbersome barn-style doors.

The overhead garage door and garage door opener are invented

By 1920, cars had become a must-own item in America, prompting even more demand for a more practical storage space for vehicles. It was at this time that C.G. Johnson came up with the overhead garage door, which replaced swinging garage doors with a more convenient and space-saving solution.

In 1926, Johnson also invented the first electric door opener, which made it easier to open the heavy wood doors of the era.

The home garage evolves

Garage doors would continue to evolve into the 30s with improvements made to their mechanical operations, reliability, design choices, and overall quality. The sectional overhead garage door was also introduced. The inclusion of a garage would increasingly become a make-or-break factor in whether homes up for sale were purchased.

It was around the early 40s that homes were more commonly designed with an attached garage in mind, with an entryway from inside the garage directly to the home also becoming more popular. The size of garages increasingly grew as car sizes got bigger.

Garage history: garage door openers get more high-tech

Although they first appeared in the 20s, electric garage door openers actually took decades to really catch on with North Americans. Improving on its initial radio-controlled design, openers began to use a fixed code pulse system that ensured a more unique signal that was far less likely to accidentally open a neighbor’s garage door (and were more secure).

Better safety features, such as early versions of the eye sensors commonly used on models today, were also implemented into door opener designs in the 70s.

Now we’ve evolved to the point where modern garage door openers use a rolling code technology that constantly changes the door’s access code, giving homeowners a higher degree of security.

Today’s openers are also much quieter, energy-efficient, and tech-friendly, with innovative features like the convenient MyQ Technology, which lets you control your garage door through your smartphone.

Garage history: garage doors improve in quality

It took until the 70s for a garage door material besides wood to become more common. Although wood garage doors deliver a warm, earthy look to a home’s exterior, they do require more maintenance. This brought about the advent of a low-maintenance alternative with steel garage doors. Eventually, fibreglass and full view aluminum doors were made available to consumers.

Just in the past couple of decades, garage door technology has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of quality and customization ability, allowing homeowners more choices and styles than ever before. And wouldn’t you know it, that original carriage house look is now a very popular style favored by homeowners purchasing new garage doors!

Garage flooring evolves

For decades, a garage floor was nothing more than a gray, boring concrete surface. In recent decades, painting your garage floor was one way to add some character to its look. The end result generally didn’t look great and the paint would need to be reapplied too frequently.

Epoxy floor coatings came along and raised the bar in terms of what floor coatings could do for your garage’s look and as a way to protect the concrete floor. Garage flooring technology has now evolved to the point where newer polyaspartic floor coatings like Floortex™ have raised the bar even further.

The home garage gives birth to some culture-shaking ideas

When contemplating the history of the home garage, one can’t overlook the truly culture-shaking ideas and hugely successful companies and bands that originated inside some of them. The Beatles, The Ramones, Nirvana, The Who, and The Kinks all began in the garage and a whole music genre would come to be known as “garage rock”.

Some of today’s most successful companies also started in garages, including Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Google, Amazon, Dyson, Disney Studios, and Harley-Davidson.

 

garage history underground

Home garages have come a long way over the past century.

Home garages have come a long way

A look back at garage history shows just how much this vital home space has evolved over the past 100 years. We’ve gone from its humble beginnings as a glorified shed to the modern wonders that garage makeover professionals like Garage Living can now design.

A century ago, no one would have believed the kinds of beautiful garage spaces that can be created nowadays. Take, for example, the stunning underground garage pictured above.

If your outdated garage is in need of a modern touch, schedule your free in-home design consultation with us today.

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11 Perfect Car Lover Gift Ideas To Give This Holiday Season

car lover gift ideas

The car lover in your life may not be the easiest person to shop for. Auto enthusiasts do tend to have very specific taste when it comes to anything related to their vehicles.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of great car lover gift ideas to choose from this holiday season. That gives you some much-needed flexibility to cater more specifically to the particular tastes and preferences of the auto enthusiast you’re buying for.

These 11 car lover gift ideas include items that are practical, fun, informative, stylish, and safety-conscious. True, none of them may be quite as well-received as a new Tesla Model S sitting in the driveway with a bow on top of it on Christmas morning.

Even still, the car guy or car girl in your life will appreciate the thoughtfulness you put into your holiday gift-giving this year.

1. Key finder

One of the most frequently misplaced items in homes are car keys. And the cost to replace a lost key fob can get quite expensive. Those prices range from a minimum of about $75 right through to well into the hundreds of dollars for fobs used by higher-end cars.

For the disorganized car lover who’s always misplacing their keys and being late for work or appointments, buy them a key finder. A small Bluetooth tracker is attached to a key ring and linked to a smartphone app. When your keys are lost, simply open the app to pinpoint their location.

They can also be used with backpacks, wallets, purses, and anything else you want to keep track of. Tile is a reputable brand for this type of product, with prices starting in the $25 range for a single tracker. It’s a lot more cost-effective to buy a 4 pack of trackers for around $60, though.

car lover gift ideas key ring

Never lose your keys again with a Tile Bluetooth tracker attached to your key ring.

2. Auto care kit

For the most part, auto enthusiasts are obsessed with keeping their vehicles clean and well-detailed. When you’re looking for car lover gift ideas that help your gearhead pamper their ride, consider an auto care kit.

Man Crates’ Auto Care Crate and the variety of auto care kits available from Meguiar’s include just about everything needed to detail a prized vehicle. A complete auto care kit will be put to to frequent use by any car-loving recipient.

3. Tire pressure gauge

Regardless of whether you drive a luxury vehicle or a rundown beater, every car should have a reliable tire pressure gauge stored in its glove box. Driving on underinflated tires can:

  • damage the tires and cause them to eventually blow out due to overheating
  • limit your car’s handling ability
  • lower your fuel economy

Tires that are overinflated can also cause problems, so it’s suggested you check your tire pressure once a month to ensure they’re filled to the manufacturer’s recommended psi.

Even if your car has a tire pressure monitoring system, it’s smart to use a tire pressure gauge occasionally just to double check for accuracy. And they make great and inexpensive stocking stuffers!

4. Portable tire inflator

When it comes to practical car lover gift ideas, a portable tire inflator/mini air compressor can’t be beat. These handy devices just may be the most invaluable thing stored in your trunk besides your spare tire.

Many tire inflators do more than just fill up your tires and save you the ridiculous costs that gas stations charge nowadays for usage of their air compressors. They also have extra features like high output LED lights to see better at night or flashing hazard lights.

Cordless models can use either the same type of battery used with cordless drills or be plugged into a regular electrical outlet for recharging. A lot of models also plug into your car’s cigarette lighter. Prices for a quality tire inflator start at around $40. The device can also be used for inflating:

  • bike tires
  • soccer balls, footballs, and basketballs
  • air mattresses

5. New garage flooring

The gift of new garage flooring makes perfect sense for anyone who cares about the space they’re parking their beloved cars in. Having a fresh Floortex™ floor coating applied on your floor gives any garage a more modern look.

Floortex™ floor coatings are extremely strong, durable, and easy to maintain. They’re highly resistant to most automotive fluids and household chemicals and spills wipe up easily. The decorative flake surface also nicely obscures dirt and dust.

The decorative flakes used in our flooring application process come in a variety of colors that effectively complement both a car’s colors and a garage interior’s décor.

car lover gift ideas floor

Even a Ferrari looks nicer when it’s parked on an attractive Floortex™ garage floor surface.

6. USB-C car charger

If your gift recipient’s ride is older than a 2015 model, it may have an older-style USB charging port that takes longer to charge new smartphones. Or it may not have a USB charger at all.

Surprise them with an upgraded USB-C charger that plugs into a car cigarette lighter to provide a faster charge. Prices range from about $10 to $25.

7. Car books

When looking for car lover gift ideas that are more on the informative side, there are a plethora of automotive books to choose from. We recommend:

  • Formula 1: All the Races – this meticulously researched book covers the Formula 1 story from its beginnings in 1950 up until the present day
  • The Car Book 2017 – the 37th edition of this comprehensive car buying guide gives you up-to-date information on every new car to help you make an informed buying decision
  • Porsche 911: 50 years – any Porsche lover will appreciate receiving this coffee table book featuring a detailed written and visual look at the evolution of one of the most iconic cars ever
  • Consumer Reports New Car Buying Guide – whether you’re looking for a new car or just want to keep up on the latest models, this 200 page buying guide from the trusted magazine is a must-have
  • The Impossible Collection of Cars – this showcase of the past century’s most exceptional cars features lavish packaging that makes this gift extra-special for any car lover

8. Driving gloves

Driving gloves look undeniably cool, but their benefits go beyond just stylish looks. They protect your steering wheel from the dirt and natural oils your bare hands leave behind.

And if your car doesn’t have a heated steering wheel, driving gloves are nice to have in colder weather. Their thin leather design allows for a better grip than most other gloves, while keeping your hands warm.

car lover gift ideas

Improve your driving grip with stylish driving gloves.

9. Realistic driving simulators

If you’re looking for fun car lover gift ideas and the person you’re buying for has a PS4 or Xbox One gaming console, give them an ultra-realistic driving experience.

Gran Turismo Sport (for PS4) and Forza Motorsport 7 (for Xbox One) both just released in October. Each series has an impressive pedigree when it comes to creating games that are specifically geared towards those who appreciate high-end cars (and driving fast in them).

Painstaking attention is paid to the details of the cars in these games and their 4K visuals really enhance the immersive experience. You can even add a driving wheel accessory to make that Porsche handle even better. And contrary to popular belief, video games aren’t exactly a kids’ hobby anymore – the average age of a gamer is actually 35 nowadays.

10. Garage cabinetry

How can you make a car lover’s garage space even more organized and visually appealing? Just add garage storage cabinets to it. Whether someone needs extra storage space for gardening supplies, car tools, or the tools they use for their garage workshop, garage cabinetry is the perfect solution.

Garage Living carries assorted types of cabinet systems in modular and custom-fitted designs to suit any car lover’s needs. Is your auto enthusiast the type that likes to get their hands dirty working on their prized ride? If so, the GL NEOS Elite or GL Hayley cabinet systems will be perfect for them.

Our cabinets offer ample design flexibility so that any car lover can get more functionality and stylish looks from their garage space. Car lover gift ideas that can improve a garage space make even more sense for anyone with a passion for cars. That’s because they’ll spend more time than the average person in this part of the home.

car lover gift ideas cabinets

Any car lover would appreciate a garage cabinet system.

11. Car battery booster

The last of our car lover gift ideas is a car battery booster. Just like finding out you have a flat tire, realizing your car battery is dead can ruin a perfectly good day.

Instead of asking a neighbor or co-worker for a boost, or waiting for the AAA or CAA truck to arrive, fix the problem yourself. You’ll find a wide range of portable car battery boosters available to choose from. Some models are small enough to fit into your glove box, while more heavy-duty chargers can be kept in your car trunk.

You can’t go wrong with any of these car lover gift ideas

These car lover gift ideas will put a smile on the face of any auto enthusiast and brighten their holidays. If you’d like to learn more about giving any of our garage makeover products and services as gifts this holiday season, visit your local Garage Living showroom.

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7 Smart Strategies to Eliminate Your Garage Visual Clutter

Do you ever wonder why even relatively clean and organized areas of your home can still seem like they’re too cluttered?

The reason is probably “visual clutter”. Naturally, regular clutter will make any space look disorganized. Visual clutter, on the other hand, can stem from having poorly thought-out arrangements and locations for your storage and organization systems (or a lack of them).

Bad decisions with your décor can also contribute to visual clutter and garage visual clutter is no different. It can leave a generally off-putting vibe that your garage is just not looking its best.

Why should you eliminate garage visual clutter?

Here are some examples of visual clutter in the home:

  • a fridge front that’s overloaded with photos, memos, notes, and lists
  • having too many photos or pictures hung on your wall (mismatching frames also add to the visual clutter)
  • piles of magazines kept on a coffee table
  • an excess of cleaning supplies or auto fluid containers left on your garage floor

Just as it does in the rest of your home, garage visual clutter adds to your stress level. It also detracts from your enjoyment of the space, in addition to the fact it limits your functionality within it.

Most homeowners use the garage as the main entry and exit point for their home. Therefore, if you have garage visual clutter, it’s almost impossible to avoid. And if you use your garage as a workspace, workout area, or hobby area, garage visual clutter can also limit your productivity during time spent in the space.

Work on eliminating your garage visual clutter to create a more streamlined, aesthetically pleasing garage environment. Use these seven strategies to guide you.

garage visual clutter

A clean, empty garage floor that doesn’t show any sign of visual clutter.

1. Get your garage floor cleared

Your garage floor can be a clutter magnet, so getting it cleared and keeping it that way will have a huge impact on minimizing or eliminating garage visual clutter.

Remember, your garage’s most important purpose is for parking vehicles. Floor clutter only makes that more difficult, in addition to detracting from your garage’s appearance.

A clear garage floor also allows you to enter and exit vehicles easier and foot traffic can travel without any obstructions or tripping hazards. To get things off your floor, look to your garage’s underused wall and vertical space to create more storage room.

Slatwall panels allow everything from bikes to power cords to garden tools to sports equipment to be hung on your walls, as opposed to being left on your floor.

Our various specialty storage racks include tire racks and heavy-duty overhead storage racks. These are great for storing the bulkier and heavier items in your garage that can take up a lot of valuable floor space.

Many of these bulkier items are for seasonal use or are infrequently used, so it makes even more sense to store them elsewhere so they’re not always in your way.

2. Eliminate conflicting design elements

Conflicting patterns and colors in your garage can contribute to garage visual clutter. With the addition of slatwall panels, your garage interior will have a more finished, organized appearance that’s easier on the eyes.

That sleek and clean look can be achieved even if you have light switches, conduit pipe, receptacles, and other wall obstructions. These can all be accounted for by our installers when they’re cutting the panels. Color-matched screws and trim for ends, corners, and any gaps between panels make up the finishing touches that help create the consistent look.

You’ll also minimize garage visual clutter by choosing colors for your garage upgrades that effectively complement each other. Your garage’s interior visuals can really pop when the right colors of both garage cabinets and slatwall are matched with the perfect flooring color.

3. Create a singular focal point

One way to reduce garage visual clutter is to create a singular focal point within the space. This means that when you enter your garage, your eyes should be drawn to one main wall.

Garage cabinetry can be a great anchor to help you achieve this goal. Garage Living carries a variety of cabinet styles and colors to match your design tastes and establish a showpiece focal point in your garage.

For example, the GL NEOS Elite cabinet system has a thoroughly modern look that features a seamless wall-to-wall presentation. The sleek, stylish look of the cabinets will instantly become the focus of your attention and functions as an effective countermeasure against the ugliness of visual clutter.

visual clutter hidden supplies

Hiding your supplies behind storage cabinet doors maintains an organized appearance within your garage space.

4. Keep supplies and other belongings hidden

Along with improving your garage’s look, there are obvious functional benefits to adding garage cabinetry. First, they’ll help you keep many of your belongings better organized.

They also enable you to keep supplies and other belongings hidden and out of sight, which reduces your garage visual clutter. Tall cabinets, upper cabinetry, lower cabinetry, and drawers work wonders to obscure many of the items kept in your garage.

By having the ability to store items behind doors and in cabinet drawers, you’ll no longer have a constant reminder of everything your garage contains. That makes for a neater, more inviting-looking space.

5. Keep similar items together to reduce garage visual clutter

It’s always a good organizing practice to keep similar items stored together, whether you’re cleaning up a bedroom, a home office, or a garage. One reason to do this is to make it easy to find specific items without wasting much time.

The other reason to group like items together is because it simply looks neater and creates a more cohesive look. Think of how displays in stores are designed. The consistent, uniform look of many similar or identical products on display can be a real eye-catcher.

Some larger items in your garage can’t be hidden behind cabinetry doors, but you can still store them in a neatly organized manner on your slatwall.

There are many types of slatwall accessory hooks, shelves, racks, baskets, and bins available for hanging your belongings. That means you can configure your slatwall’s storage layout just about any way you’d like. Keep items like rakes, tools, or a multitude of other things grouped together, easy to find, and looking satisfyingly orderly.

garage visual clutter slatwall

Group similar items together on slatwall panels to avoid garage visual clutter.

6. Use legible, consistent-looking labels

Using labels in your garage is a good idea, as it helps to locate infrequently used items quicker. One of the best examples of this would be bins of holiday decorations, which are ideal for storing in an overhead rack.

Perhaps your garage cabinetry, like the GL Custom Steel cabinet system, has an option to include utility drawers with organizing bins. They’re very useful for keeping small screws, nails, and other small bits of hardware organized, with the help of labels.

When making labels to identify your things, take the time to create labels that are legible and consistent-looking. If you’re using a marker, print neatly, make the writing easy to read from a distance, and stick with the same color.

If you’re able to, use a handheld label maker or print your labels on the computer. They’ll look nicer and create the desired consistent, uniform appearance that doesn’t produce garage visual clutter.

7. Don’t forget the visual clutter of parking in your driveway

You might not have considered it, but parking your vehicles all the time in your driveway is another type of visual clutter for your home’s exterior. That negatively impacts your home’s curb appeal.

And when you consider that our vehicles sit parked 95% of the time, that’s even more reason to take the time to make space in your garage for parking vehicles.

Create a more inviting space by eliminating garage visual clutter

Eliminating your garage visual clutter will transform your space into a more inviting area of your home that you won’t dread entering any longer. Every time you return home, you’ll appreciate having a clean, clutter-free garage that’s more manageable.

Garage Living can bring your dream garage to life and also show you some ideas and solutions that will even improve upon your original vision. Book your free in-home consultation with us today and take that first exciting step towards creating your dream garage space.

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Winter Car Storage: 11 Tips to Help Preserve Your Prized Ride

As the warm weather gives way to the next several months of cold and snowy conditions, auto enthusiasts lament the changing of seasons as much as anybody.

That’s because months-long stretches of lousy weather mean sports car and classic car owners will need to store their vehicles until spring. After all, snow and rain, road salt, sub-zero temperatures, and slippery roads aren’t exactly ideal conditions to expose your prized ride to.

The importance of proper winter car storage

Proper winter car storage for your seasonal vehicle is essential for a few reasons:

  • it extends the life of the vehicle
  • you’ll avoid costly repairs
  • the vehicle will be better-prepared to be driven again in the spring

You’ll find plenty of classic car restoration experts who believe that improper winter car storage can actually be worse for the vehicle than if it had been driven all winter on salt-covered roads.

If you haven’t gotten around to taking care of your winter car storage needs yet, don’t procrastinate much longer. These 11 winter car storage tips will keep your prized vehicle in pristine condition in your garage until spring time.

winter car storage jaguar

1. Wash your car’s exterior

It’s imperative that your vehicle is thoroughly washed before storing it for the winter. Don’t use a drive-through car wash – be sure to hand wash it. Give the car’s underside a good spray wash as well.

Once the car has air-dried, give it a good waxing to protect the vehicle’s finish. It doesn’t hurt to give the car’s chrome a polish, either. Once this step and some of the other winter car storage recommendations below are done, you’ll be covering the car with a cover or tarp.

When the time for winter car storage ends in the spring, your cherished vehicle’s exterior will be fresh and well-preserved during its resting period.

2. Clean your car’s interior

If you’re going to the trouble of following the proper procedures for winter car storage, it’s clear you love your classic car or sports car. Therefore, it’s unlikely you’ve left your beloved car’s interior filled with garbage.

Even still, it bears mentioning that you should ensure your car’s interior is clean before storing it. Anything food-related (including food wrappers) definitely needs to be removed. This lowers the chance of any pests trying to get inside your car and you also won’t have any unpleasant odors to face after months of winter car storage.

Seat covers are a smart idea for providing extra protection for your upholstery. And it’s also a good idea to add some packs of desiccant (like the silica gel that comes in boxes of new shoes) inside the vehicle. They can be bought at your local dollar store and will absorb extra cabin moisture.

3. Keep the critters away

Critters like mice will be drawn to your stored vehicle, which can provide a comfortable winter home for them if you’re not careful.

If you’re aware of issues with mice in your garage, try and resolve the problem before winter arrives. And if they continue to be a persistent problem, take a few steps to protect your vehicle.

Use mouse traps outside the vehicle (never inside) or wherever you notice critter activity in your garage. Mouse traps are reusable and provide visual proof that you’ve caught one of the pests. The effects of mouse and rat poisons, on the other hand, don’t leave evidence as readily. You also won’t want to use them if you have pets.

Be sure that all air inlets are closed in the car and put steel wool in the air filter box’s intake duct. Check under your hood periodically during the winter to make sure it’s critter-free. Also, plug up your exhaust pipe with steel wool to prevent critter access.

4. Fill ’er up before winter car storage

When it comes to winter car storage advice, you’ll find plenty of conflicting opinions online on a few different issues. One of those is whether or not to empty your gas tank or fill it up before winter car storage.

Those in favor of emptying the fuel believe this prevents varnish and gum buildup. Unfortunately, it’s tricky to drain a gas tank without leaving behind moisture that can cause rust.

There’s a stronger consensus for filling up your tank (which prevents moisture buildup) and adding a fuel stabilizer. Gasoline stabilizers prevent the fuel from deteriorating, which causes oxidation and deposits to form that could damage your fuel system.

Just add the recommended amount of fuel stabilizer and let it mix thoroughly with the gas by driving the car for approximately 10-15 minutes. Another reason to keep gas in your vehicle while it’s stored is so you can run it every few weeks (more on that below).

5. Change your oil and filter

It’s wise to change the oil and filter on your sports car or classic car before storing it for the winter. Even if the vehicle isn’t due for either of these maintenance tasks, it’s a good proactive step to take.

An oil change provides helpful corrosion protection, especially since an idle car is more susceptible to engine corrosion. Just as with the fuel stabilizer or any other added car fluids, run the vehicle for a few minutes to circulate the fresh fluids.

6. Top off your coolant

Check your coolant level and top it off if needed (coolant, by the way, is the same as antifreeze). Avoid mixing regular coolant (which is typically a green color) with longer-lasting yellow and red-colored coolants, as they’re formulated to have different lifespans.

To be extra safe, you should check the coolant’s strength to ensure the water concentration level isn’t too high. If it is, this can cause the car’s cylinder heads or engine block to crack.

7. Use proper tire care

When it comes to tire care for a vehicle you’re storing, there’s a few universally accepted facts:

  • tires should always be cleaned to remove dirt and brake dust before winter car storage
  • tires on a stored vehicle should be inflated to the recommended psi
  • long-term winter car storage can cause tires to flat-spot

Flat-spotting happens when the circumference of tires on a car that’s been left in the same spot for a long time changes due to the weight of the vehicle pressing down on them.

Underinflated tires and storage in a cold garage on a car that doesn’t get moved for several months will increase the chance of flat-spotting. Driving the car for awhile can sometimes cause the flat-spots to round out, but not always.

You can prevent flat-spotting by putting your vehicle on jack stands to reduce the weight put on your tires during winter car storage. Place a small piece of wood under the stands. That ensures they won’t leave indentations on your floor, especially if you’ve recently had a spiffy new Floortex™ garage floor coating applied.

winter car storage tires

8. Disconnect your car battery or use a trickle charger

Unless you’re planning on occasionally starting your stored car during the winter, it’s a good idea to remove the vehicle’s battery. If a car battery loses its charge it may freeze, at which point it becomes useless.

Store it in your heated living space and the battery should be good to go when it’s hooked back up in the spring. Be aware that battery removal isn’t recommended if the car being stored is newer and has engine computers.

Your other option is to hook your car battery up to a trickle charger or battery maintainer. Ensure the model you purchase has an auto shut-off feature to prevent overcharging. As an added dose of preventative maintenance, you can also coat the battery terminals with petroleum jelly.

9. Occasionally start your car…or not

One long-running debate concerning winter car storage is whether or not you should start it every few weeks. Those who don’t think this is necessary believe that if you’ve taken the proper steps to store your car properly, there’s no need to run it during the winter.

There seems to be a more widely-held belief, however, that it is a good idea to start your stored car every 3-4 weeks. Those in favor believe this keeps the cylinders lubricated and removes moisture from operating components. If you’re able to move your car (even just back and forth a few feet), this also prevents brakes and clutches from sticking.

If you do decide to start your vehicle during winter car storage, just remember to do these four things:

  • always remove your car cover when it’s running
  • remember to remove (and put back) anything you were using to keep critters out of your car
  • run your car for about 10-15 minutes until it reaches its optimal operating temperature
  • leave your garage door open while your car is running

10. Cover your car

One of your last steps when it comes to winter car storage will be to cover your vehicle. This will protect the exterior you just waxed and keep dirt and dust off of it. If possible, spend the extra money for a custom-fit cover for your car as opposed to getting a universal-fit cover.

Make sure the car cover you use has breathable fabric. Moisture trapped underneath your cover will be harmful to your car’s body. And never use a plastic car cover – they trap rust-causing moisture and can also scratch your car’s finish.

winter car storage car lift

A car lift is ideal for storing your prized sports car or classic car during the winter.

11. Use a car lift for winter car storage

Using your garage during the winter to protect your everyday use vehicles from snow and ice is just one of many benefits of using your garage for parking. Storing your classic car or sports car during the winter in your garage can be an issue if you lack parking space.

One way to increase your garage’s parking space is to add a 4 post car lift to it. They’re a great solution that will protect your prized vehicle and also make room for your other vehicles.

Once all your winter car storage preparation is finished, simply raise your vehicle on the car lift and you’ll then be able to use the space beneath it for parking.

It’s easy and safe to operate the car lift if you need to run your stored car every few weeks. And a car lift is also handy if you prefer taking care of your classic car’s maintenance yourself, as it allows for easy access to a vehicle’s underside.

Make space in your garage for winter car storage

Yes, it can be a lot of work getting your vehicle ready for winter car storage, but your cherished ride deserves it. And when you take it out for that first invigorating drive in the spring time, you’ll be reminded all over again why putting so much tender loving care into your hobby was worth it.

Do you need better garage organization and storage solutions to make space for the winter storage of your prized vehicle? If so, schedule your free in-home consultation with one of our design experts.

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5 Important Factors to Consider When Buying Garage Cabinets

If floor clutter is limiting your garage’s functionality, one of the most effective solutions to get your space organized is by adding garage cabinets.

But there are so many brands and types of garage cabinets available. For starters, you’ll need to know that they come in these two types:

  • Custom-fit – the cabinets can be built to custom depths, widths, and heights and more specialty options are available
  • Modular – a cabinet system built from pre-made standalone units that are mixed and matched

How do you make the right choice to fit your needs? There are a few important factors to consider when deciding what type of garage cabinets you should buy.

Before taking the next step and speaking with a trusted garage professional about your storage cabinet choices, get familiar with the basic facts about garage cabinets and what you should look for. Consider these five important factors to help you make the best decision.

garage cabinets custom steel

1. What’s your budget for buying garage cabinets?

Obviously, you’ll need to work within your available budget to determine what type and quality of garage cabinets you’ll buy. Just remember that age-old saying – “you get what you pay for”.

Buying an inexpensive garage cabinet system from a big box store may be quite tempting if your budget is limited. Just be aware that many of these cabinet systems compromise significantly on the quality of the cabinets’ construction materials. Typically, they’ll be made from plastic or inferior quality steel to achieve that cheap price.

Cheaper garage cabinets can leave a lot to be desired when it comes to functionality and durability. Do you really want to be replacing your garage cabinet system in just a few years when it starts falling apart? At that point, you’ll know that it pays to spend a little more to get a higher quality product that lasts longer.

Expanding your budget for new garage cabinetry will open up a wider range of higher quality options. The construction materials and craftsmanship will be at a higher grade and they’ll likely look better (don’t underestimate the value of garage cabinet aesthetics).

Cheaper garage cabinet systems also don’t offer the chance for customization. You’ll have limited choices for colors, styles, and extra custom features, like adding a countertop to the top of your base cabinets to create a workbench.

2. Garage cabinet usage

Knowing how your garage cabinets will be used within your space will be a major factor in what type of cabinet system you end up buying.

For example, take a homeowner who’s looking for a general purpose cabinet system that’s primarily needed for extra storage space. Higher-end garage cabinets, such as our custom-fit GL Custom Steel cabinets, probably aren’t the right fit for their needs.

Perhaps either the modular GL Signature or GL Premium cabinet systems will work better for them. They still deliver exceptional quality, but do come with fewer custom options.

The amount of space you have to work with will also be a factor when making your cabinet choice. If your garage layout has unconventional angles or wall obstructions, a custom-fit system will be easier to fit within the space.

And if your garage space is limited, something like the shallow depth option available with the GL Signature line might be ideal. This can allow you to comfortably get in and out of your vehicles with enough space.

Are you looking to create a garage space that lets you park vehicles and use it as a heavy-duty workshop? In that case, something like the more rugged GL Hayley or GL NEOS Elite cabinet systems are a more practical choice.

garage cabinets Hayley

Rugged GL Hayley cabinets are ideal for a task-oriented garage space.

3. What’s being stored in your garage cabinets?

What you’ll be storing in your garage cabinets will also play a role in your buying decision. Certain items are more suited to being stored in a specific type of cabinet, so you’ll need to choose accordingly.

For example, choosing a cabinet system that gives you an option for locks on the doors and drawers might be wise if:

  • you want to keep expensive hand and power tools secure
  • your garage has a lot of sharp tools you want to keep your kids safe from
  • there are a lot of chemicals and hazardous materials kept in your garage

The weight of items you’re storing also needs to be taken into consideration. If you’re storing heavy power tools or car parts, a flimsy cabinet system made from plastic just won’t cut it. You’ll need something sturdier, like a garage cabinet system made from 18-gauge or even stronger 16-gauge steel.

Maybe you plan to use your garage cabinets for storing longer items, such as a coveralls, or you want to keep your large collection of cleaning supplies all in one cabinet. If so, your cabinet system design will include one or more tall locker cabinets.

For those who have a lot of tools to store, an ample number of tool drawers to keep everything organized will be a priority for their cabinet system. Bins for storing all those easy-to-lose screws, nuts, and bolts would also be a smart addition.

4. How important are construction materials, durability, and looks to you?

The types of materials used in your cabinet system’s construction will be the biggest factor that determines how long it lasts. Construction materials and craftsmanship will also affect how your cabinet system functions. For instance, how smoothly do the cabinet doors and drawers open and close?

Don’t skimp on the quality of materials that were used to build your cabinets. Steel is your best option, but be wary of where that steel is from. Foreign-made steel is commonly heavily recycled, rusts quicker, and isn’t as resilient as the higher quality North American-manufactured steel Garage Living uses in all of our garage cabinets.

The harsh demands of a garage environment should also be taken into consideration with your garage cabinets. This includes changes in temperature, moisture, and everyday wear and tear.

To prolong the life of your cabinetry, look for models with a powder coated finish. Powder coating involves the application of multiple coatings of a dry powder to the surface of the cabinets. This helps protect against scuffs, scratches, and rust.

If you’re seeking a high-end look for your garage to complement your luxury vehicles and that sleek new Floortex™ floor coating, the look of your cabinets will no doubt be important to you.

The showroom-quality looks of a GL Custom Steel or GL NEOS Elite cabinet system fit this specific need. They elevate the aesthetics of your garage and transform it into stylish, comfortable extension of your home.

garage cabinets

The GL NEOS Elite cabinet system provides showroom quality looks.

5. Customization with your garage cabinets

If creating a personalized garage space ranks high on your list of priorities when it comes to a garage makeover, custom cabinets are a must. The ability to customize your garage cabinets gives you significant flexibility to truly create a dream cabinet system.

Custom-fit cabinetry also makes the most of your available space. Underutilized corners can become more useful with the addition of custom cabinetry. If you have a free wall in your garage that’s unfinished, have a seamless wall-to-wall cabinet system designed. That can take care of your storage needs and provide a more finished look for your garage interior.

Custom cabinetry can also be designed to best accommodate the manner in which you’ll be using your garage cabinets. If you’re a hobbyist, the upper and lower cabinets around your heavily used countertop area can be designed to store your most frequently used tools and items. That way, they’re always conveniently close at hand.

Here are just a few of the specialty options that can be included with custom garage cabinets:

  • numerous color options
  • sink units
  • power bars with USB charging ports
  • backsplash
  • pot lighting and valance lighting
  • TV cabinet enclosure
  • utility drawers with organizing bins
  • a dedicated space for hiding garbage and recycling bins

Learn more about how garage cabinets will improve your space

When used with our other effective garage storage and organizations solutions like slatwall panels and specialty storage racks, you’ll be thrilled with how much easier it is to keep your garage organized with a high quality cabinet system.

Schedule a free in-home consultation with us so one of our design experts can evaluate your garage space and guide you through the process of choosing the right garage cabinets.

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