11 Most Common Mistakes People Make When Doing a Garage Remodel

A garage remodel can be a big undertaking, especially if you’re doing a top-to-bottom makeover.

Remodeling a garage isn’t exactly a casual home improvement project for the weekend carpenter, however.

There’s some serious expertise required in order to have your finished garage function safely and efficiently, while also providing an upgrade to its looks.

Don’t make these 11 garage remodel mistakes

Renovating a garage involves many important decisions and actions in order to attain the most successful and satisfying outcome possible.

When it’s time to start your garage remodel, don’t make these 11 common mistakes.

1. Doing a garage remodel yourself

Many homeowners will tackle a garage remodel themselves for any number of reasons, including:

  • budget limitations
  • the challenge of completing the project
  • confidence they have the skills for the job
  • the satisfaction of doing your own renovation

Working with a limited garage remodel budget is a common issue for many homeowners. Unless you really know your way around a toolbox, however, it’s best to wait until you can afford for the project to be done properly by a professional.

Zillow, a U.S. real estate and rental marketplace website, conducted a survey that found nearly 40% of homeowners who had done a DIY project regretted taking it on.

Overestimating your skill level with a DIY garage remodel could result in a botched project. By the time you add up the initial cost of the project and what it costs for a professional to fix any mistakes, it might just cost more than if you’d hired a pro in the first place.

2. Failing to have a strategic garage remodel plan

Starting a garage makeover without having a solid, strategic plan can lead to all sorts of headaches. It’s imperative to have a clear, achievable design plan in place, the know-how to execute the plan, and the resources and tools to get the job done properly.

For a home improvement novice, facing obstacles they hadn’t expected to encounter are a given. One also needs to consider the amount of time a complete garage remodel will require.

As with any DIY reno, you can count on the project taking more time (and probably money) than you anticipated. That’s worth considering when it comes to a makeover involving the garage.

Where do you store the garage’s contents while the renovation is being done? Are you willing to put up with the inconvenience of not having use of your garage for a couple of weeks or more?

The pitfalls of taking on such a major home improvement project yourself only highlights the wisdom in hiring a pro for your garage remodel.

A professional garage makeover company like Garage Living has lots of experience when it comes to the complications and logistics involved with any garage remodel. Trusting a pro with your project will be worth the investment.

3. Choosing an inferior garage floor coating

A damaged, drab garage floor has a serious negative impact on a garage’s interior appearance.

When it comes to options for repairing and restoring garage floors, a lot of homeowners opt for a cheap fix like garage floor paint.

While it’s inexpensive and easy to apply yourself, floor paint doesn’t look very good, provides virtually no floor protection, and won’t last long. You can count on the paint chipping and flaking off much sooner than you’d like.

DIY epoxy garage flooring kits cost a little more and might seem like a practical option, but not necessarily. Store-bought epoxy garage floor coatings offer a limited amount of floor protection and don’t always leave you with a perfectly smooth and even floor surface when applied yourself.

Neither of these two garage flooring options remotely compares to what you get with a professionally applied polyaspartic floor coating like Floortex™. It’s superior in every way when it comes to durability, looks, color choices, and protection for your garage floor.

Garage Living knows that successful garage transformations start from the ground up. That’s why we’ve invested in state-of-the-art equipment for our flooring applications and only use Floortex™ – the best garage floor coatings on the market.

garage remodel floor application

A high quality product, the proper equipment, and an expert application process produce the best results for a garage floor coating application.

4. Using a garage remodel to create extra living space

It might seem like a good idea to use a garage remodel to create extra living space in your home. After all, it’s cheaper than building an addition onto your house.

But check any survey listing the features that homebuyers look for most and “garage parking space” is sure to be included in the top 10.

Using your garage for its intended purpose – parking vehicles – has all sorts of benefits. And let’s not overlook the importance of the garage as one of your home’s most valuable storage spaces.

Sacrificing these two critical functions of your garage (or cutting back on your space for these uses) to add an extra room can have long-term consequences. For many homebuyers who want a garage to park their vehicles in, it will be an automatic dealbreaker.

Garages that are converted into living spaces can also be challenging to keep efficiently heated in the winter and cooled in the summer. So think twice before trading in that garage parking space for an extra bedroom or man cave.

5. Buying cheap garage cabinets

Just as with your garage floor coating, you get what you pay for.

Cutting corners with the quality of your garage storage cabinets just to save a few bucks will inevitably catch up to you. Cheap cabinetry will start showing its deficiencies quickly. Functional issues like drawers and doors not closing smoothly and properly will crop up. Doors and cabinetry enclosures will begin to sag and lose their proper form.

Then there’s the rusting problem, of course. Cheaper cabinet systems are commonly constructed from steel and aluminum manufactured overseas that’s inferior to North American-manufactured metals.

Cheap metal will rust a lot faster, which is obviously a major concern with cabinets that are located in an environment like the garage that gets its fair share of moisture.

Unless you’re willing to replace your flimsy and inexpensive cabinets in just a few years, opt for a higher quality garage storage cabinet system.

You’ll find that higher quality cabinets look and function better, give you the ability to customize, and last a lot longer.

6. Not using a reputable garage remodel company

So you’ve decided that a garage remodel is just a little too much to handle yourself and that this is a job best left to an expert.

A reference or glowing review from a family member, neighbor, friend, or co-worker can be invaluable when it comes to finding a reliable contractor.

If that’s not available, researching garage makeover companies online will likely be your primary method of determining who to choose for the job.

Take your time and do plenty of research in order to make the best choice. Check a contractor’s references, Better Business Bureau rating, and crowd-sourced review sites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook.

Visit the showrooms of prospective companies to get a sense of their products and quality of service. Naturally, you’ll want to view the portfolios of a garage makeover professional’s past work and be suitably impressed.

Get several bids and don’t be swayed by the lowest bid unless you’re confident that company will actually do the best work.

Choosing a company with an established history and reliable track record is also advisable.

7. Failing to effectively utilize garage storage space

A poorly planned garage remodel can result in all of your storage systems being installed, but not leave you with a comfortable amount of room to function within the space.

Make the most of your garage’s two most underutilized areas (its walls and overhead space) to minimize this risk.

There’s an ample amount of storage space in these two areas just waiting to be effectively used. Slatwall panels and specialty storage racks such as overhead storage racks will work best.

If you take advantage of your garage’s wall and overhead space, you’ll find floor clutter is less of an issue (or a non-issue). You’ll also have a lot more freedom to add other garage upgrades, such as a car lift, cabinets, or a garage workshop.

garage remodel overhead rack

Safely anchored overhead storage racks take advantage of a garage’s underutilized ceiling space.

8. Ignoring the importance of a solid warranty

Among the many reasons you’ll want to trust your garage remodel to a company that’s well-established is they’ll be more likely to stand behind their work with a solid warranty.

You’d hate to have a problem with one aspect of your garage makeover a few months or a year after it’s been completed and not have the company that did it be able to fix the issue without it costing you any more money.

That’s the peace of mind that a reliable warranty provides and it should be a key factor in your decision when searching for a contractor.

Garage Living proudly stands behind every service we offer and every product we install with written warranties for our clients. Our longevity and size (which is growing every year with new franchises) guarantees that we’ll be around years from now.

9. Not choosing flexible storage systems

One mistake that’s all-too-common with a garage makeover is failing to adequately accommodate for your future storage needs.

Anticipating what you’ll need to store in the garage five years from now can be a tricky thing to gauge. That’s why it’s smart to choose garage storage systems that provide you with some flexibility.

A slatwall storage system, for example, conveniently provides plenty of versatility for storing items on your garage wall. Rearranging items hung on the panels is easy, with an endless number of storage configurations possible. A wide range of hanging accessories also means you’ll be able to find the right accessories for your needs.

Overhead storage racks used in your garage remodel should also give you some storage flexibility. Try to get storage racks that are adjustable. It’s also a good idea to create more storage space than you require right now. Chances are, you’ll need it eventually.

10. Creating safety risks in the garage

Some aspects of a garage remodel can lead to safety risks that a home improvement novice may be oblivious to.

Electrical work will likely be required and perhaps even some plumbing work. Storage systems hung from the ceiling and walls need to be properly anchored when installed.

Installing new garage doors safely requires expertise, not least of which is because they’re the single largest moving object in your home.

Garage doors also open and close about 3-5 times per day, so they need to be correctly installed so they’re up to the task of handling heavy, everyday use.

The garage door’s springs will need to be adjusted in order to allow them to open and close properly, which can be dangerous work.

Buying the right garage door opener and knowing how to install it in the proper location also requires a little know-how. You’ll need to:

  • get a model that’s suited to the weight and size of your doors
  • make adjustments to the opener’s adjustment screws
  • install the safety sensors in the right place
garage remodel door installation

Minimize safety risks by leaving a garage door installation to a pro.

11. Not paying enough attention to garage aesthetics

As mentioned, some homeowners make the mistake of converting the garage into a living space. But if your garage remodel is done right, it can be turned into a beautiful room in your home that becomes a proper extension of your living space.

Having a garage that’s highly functional should go hand in hand with a garage that also looks nice. In addition to the aesthetic upgrade higher quality products provide, choosing the right colors for your remodel’s cabinets, flooring, and slatwall can tranform any garage into a dynamic home showpiece.

Your garage lighting matters, too. You’d be amazed at what a difference it makes to a garage’s atmosphere and appearance simply by replacing that outdated incandescent bulb fixture with one or more new LED light fixtures.

With so many homeowners nowadays using the garage as the main entryway to their house, the garage access door has essentially become the new front door. It stands to reason, then, that this busy space should have as much attention and care paid to its appearance as the rest of your home.

Trust an expert with your garage remodel

Avoid making these common garage remodel mistakes. Let Garage Living worry about the logistics and requirements to get your garage functioning and looking better than you ever imagined.

Put your upcoming remodel in the hands of the trusted garage professionals by setting your makeover process in motion with a free in-home design consultation.

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Garage Living Featured in the Miami Herald

Garage Living of Miami was featured in a recent article in the Miami Herald’s weekly South Florida Home section.

Linda Fiore Ceolin, Garage Living’s creative director, was interviewed for the article, along with several South Florida garage makeover professionals. The article focuses on the challenges of keeping garages organized and includes some strategies to help homeowners maintain a garage space that’s clutter-free.

Miami Herald article on garage organization featuring Garage Living of Miami.

Click on the photo to read full article.

Some of the garage organization solutions recommended by the professionals include adding storage cabinetry, overhead storage racks, and slatwall panels, which makes better use of a garage’s typically underutilized wall space.

Fiore Ceolin and the other garage makeover experts also emphasize the importance of ensuring a garage looks as great as it functions, in order to create a real home showpiece. Their suggestions include getting a fresh new garage floor coating and choosing cabinetry colors to effectively complement a home’s décor, or even the color of a favorite vehicle.

Download a PDF version of the Miami Herald article.

15 Garage Security Tips That Will Make Your Home Safer

garage security tips home exterior

Law enforcement statistics show that 1.5 million home burglaries occur in the U.S. each year.

Not surprisingly, the most common entry point for thieves breaking into a house are the front and back doors. In approximately a third of those cases, the doors were actually left unlocked.

A home’s windows and the garage are the next most vulnerable entry point for burglars.

15 garage security tips you need to know

It only takes a few minutes for a thief to break into your home and make off with your personal property. If you have an attached garage, there’s even more reason to re-evaluate how secure it is.

With a little common sense, some vigilance, and a few proactive security measures, you can protect your garage and the rest of your home from break-ins.

Use these 15 garage security tips to help make your home safer and a less attractive target for thieves.

1. Think like a burglar

The first of our garage security tips might sound odd, but give it a try. Take a few minutes to walk around the exterior of your garage and the rest of your home and ask yourself, “How might a burglar get into my house?”

Which areas seem the most vulnerable? How secure is your garage? Looking at your house from the perspective of a burglar could be beneficial and enlightening.

Do this exercise at night, when you can get a better idea of how effective your home’s exterior lighting is.

2. Lock your garage doors

If you have to manually open and close your garage doors, it goes without saying that you should always keep them locked.

Most houses nowadays have automatic garage door openers, which make garage doors far more difficult (but not impossible) for a thief to get past.

If you’re going on vacation, it’s a good idea to use a padlock clamped on one of the door tracks to ensure they stay closed.

And if your door opener is a little older and doesn’t have smart tech that detects when your garage doors are open or closed, unplugging the automatic opener when you’re away for awhile is another option.

It’s also a good practice to keep your exterior garage service door and interior garage access door always locked.

3. Zip tie your emergency door release

This is one of the cheapest garage security tips we can recommend: zip tie your automatic garage door opener’s emergency release.

All automatic door openers have an emergency release lever that typically has a red cord attached to it. Its main purpose is to allow you to open or close your garage doors when there’s a power outage.

A resourceful burglar, however, could exploit that feature. By pushing in on the top of the garage door and creating just enough of a gap, they could access the cord or lever by fishing for them with a wire hook and then pulling, which would open the door.

Secure the release lever or cord with a zip tie to keep them safe from tampering. If there is a power outage and you need to use the emergency lever, simply cut off the zip tie and replace it when the power comes back on.

4. Don’t leave your garage doors open unnecessarily

How many times have you been working in your yard for a few hours and noticed a neighbor’s garage doors wide open, with no sign of them for long periods of time?

Leaving your garage doors open unnecessarily is an open invitation for anyone to enter your home. And at the very least, you’re allowing anyone passing by on the street to easily view the contents of your garage.

Even if you’re working in your yard, it takes little effort to keep the garage doors closed. And even if you live in a safe neighborhood, take nothing for granted.

Some newer models of garage door openers have smart tech that lets you check on whether your doors are open or closed with a smartphone app. You could also purchase a standalone garage door monitor to keep closer tabs on your doors.

5. Upgrade your outdated garage door opener

garage security tips, door openerIf you’re using an outdated garage door opener, your garage is more vulnerable to a break-in than it would be if you had a more modern automatic door opener model.

You’ve probably heard stories about burglars gaining access to garages using scanners that can easily figure out an older opener’s access code.

Even a neighbor who happened to have the same access code as you could accidentally open your garage doors with the press of their opener remote.

Newer garage door openers use a much more secure “rolling code” technology that generates a new code every time the remote button is pressed.

Modern garage door openers are also far quieter and energy efficient than models of the past.

6. Use a smart garage door opener

Another great feature of some modern garage door openers is that aforementioned smart technology, which lets you monitor and operate your garage doors remotely.

Using a smartphone app, Liftmaster’s innovative MyQ technology can tell you if your garage doors are open or closed. If anyone is trying to break into your garage, you’ll get an alert message on your phone.

This technology is also convenient in cases where you forget to close your garage door after leaving the house. A simple tap on your phone’s screen allows you to open or close the doors, even when you’re miles from home.

7. Cover your garage windows

These garage security tips are all about taking precautionary measures to make any burglar’s job as difficult as possible.

Between the garage door windows, side windows, and the exterior garage service door window, thieves could have any number of ways to get a good look inside your garage.

And they won’t just be looking for tools or other valuables to take –  they’ll also be looking for vehicles to see if anyone is home.

Take that into consideration when choosing new windows for any of these parts of your garage. Covering the windows completely is one option, or you could install window blinds or curtains specifically meant for use in the garage.

If you like getting some sunlight in the garage, you could put translucent film over the garage windows. Windows with a frosted glass design also allow sunlight in, while obscuring the contents inside the garage.

8. Improve your exterior lighting

A house with poor exterior lighting becomes a more appealing target for burglars. Ensuring all entry points into your home are well-lit will go a long way towards keeping your house a lot safer.

Nowadays, motion-activated exterior lighting is the popular choice for homeowners.

Yes, the lighting may occasionally come on when the neighbor’s cat wanders past, but it’s both an effective and cost-effective way to protect your home, not to mention energy efficient.

Make sure the lighting is strategically placed around your garage and home perimeter so a burglar can’t deactivate it. Installing any lighting approximately 10-12 feet above the ground is ideal.

Include an exterior lighting inspection as part of your yearly house maintenance checklist.

9. Ensure your garage doors are in good condition

Old garage doors that are warped, have faded paint, and don’t provide a tight door seal aren’t just detracting from your curb appeal and hurting your home’s energy efficiency.

They’re also a home security liability. Any gaps or openings a run-down garage door might cause make it that much easier for a burglar to break into your garage.

Replace your outdated garage doors with any of the wide selection of modern styles available to update your home’s exterior look and keep your garage more secure.

Steel garage doors, in particular, are a popular choice because of their durability and the numerous custom design options homeowners can choose from.

garage security tips, wood garage doors

Making sure your garage doors are in good condition keeps your home more secure.

10. Upgrade your garage service door and access door

With the quality of your traditional garage doors in mind, don’t forget to pay the same attention to your garage’s other doors.

Your home’s front door and back door are probably sturdy solid core doors that have secure deadbolts. Your garage service door (which opens into the garage from outside) should be just as secure.

The garage’s interior access door that enters into your home should be equally sturdy, with a deadbolt lock. For extra security, you could also install door jamb reinforcement kits to the doors.

Keeps these doors locked, even when you’re home. According to U.S. Department of Justice statistics, 28% of house burglaries occur when an occupant is home.

11. Don’t leave valuables in your garage or vehicles

Here’s one of the more common sense garage security tips: simply avoid leaving valuables in the garage or inside your vehicles.

The garage can become a catch-all space for items you can’t find storage room for elsewhere in your home. Just be mindful not to keep high value items stored among those items or in your parked vehicles.

Even if you’re diligent and keep all of your garage’s doors locked, why take an unnecessary risk?

12. Use a remote opener on a keychain

garage security tips remote openerOne item that also shouldn’t be left in your vehicles is your garage door remote opener. While it may not necessarily be a high value item, it is essentially a key into your home.

Many homeowners still leave their remote openers attached to their car’s sun visor or in their glove compartment.

Eliminate this potential home security risk by using a remote opener that’s attached to a keychain. They’re widely available, cheap, very convenient, and can come with you when you exit your vehicle.

13. Be a good, vigilant neighbor

Being a good neighbor means many things, including keeping an eye open for suspicious activity around your neighbors’ homes.

Maintaining good communication with your neighbors about any security issues in the neighborhood also helps keep the area safer. Chances are, if you have a good relationship with your neighbors and are vigilant when it comes to their homes, they’ll happily return the favor.

Help one another out by having a neighbor pick up your newspapers while you’re on vacation. They could also park one of their vehicles in your driveway while you’re away to make it less obvious no one is home. Do the same for them when they’re away.

14. Lock up your tools

If you’re regularly out in the garage working with tools, it may not be practical or convenient to be lugging them back and forth every time you need them.

One smart option for keeping all of your tools secure in the garage is to use custom garage cabinetry with locks.

Our GL NEOS Elite, GL Hayley, and GL Custom Steel cabinet systems give you the option to add locks to your cabinet drawers and doors.

garage security tips cabinet drawer

Keep your tools safe in the garage by using a cabinet system with locks.

15. Install a garage security system

Studies show that homes with clearly visible security systems in place are far less likely to be targeted by thieves.

An alarm system for your garage makes just as much sense as it does to have an alarm system that monitors the rest of your home.

Security cameras above your garage’s entry points are another effective deterrent for thieves. Affordable, high quality motion-activated video cameras with feeds that can be watched on your smartphone make it easier than ever to monitor suspicious activity around your home’s exterior.

Protect your home with these garage security tips

There’s no worse feeling than coming home and discovering your garage or another part of your home has been broken into.

The number of home break-ins also spikes during the summer months, so there’s no better time to make use of these garage security tips to keep your house better protected.

Schedule a free in-home design consultation with us for expert help in making your garage more secure, functional, and visually appealing.

See also:

Garage Storage For Kids: 9 Smart Ways to Cut the Clutter

garage storage for kids slatwall

Let’s face it, most kids don’t make keeping their belongings in the garage well-organized a high priority.

Between bikes, sports equipment, playing accessories, and outdoor apparel, mom and dad are as likely to be picking up after their kids in the garage as they are in the rest of the house.

Keeping the garage organized during the summer season when the kids are out of school and more active outdoors is particularly challenging.

Part of that is just kids being kids, but it may also be because your kids’ garage storage needs simply aren’t being addressed.

9 ideas to make garage storage for kids easier

Taming the kids clutter in your garage is as simple as having a strategic plan in place that makes it easier for them to keep your garage tidier.

Using better garage storage systems and smarter storage strategies will result in having a garage where everybody’s belongings can co-exist in an organized manner.

Restore order and functionality to your garage space by trying these nine ideas to make garage storage for kids easier.

1. You have more useable storage space than you think

A lot of homeowners don’t take advantage of all of the useable storage space their garage has to offer. We’re talking about the garage walls and overhead space.

These underutilized areas are loaded with potential storage space for all of that kiddy clutter (and probably some of mom and dad’s) currently taking up residence on your garage floor.

Slatwall storage is one of the most effective ways to keep a garage floor clear and tidy. Using wall-hung PVC slatwall panels, toys, sports equipment, tools, and many other items can be hung on your garage walls, instead of being piled up on your garage floor.

You only have to look up in your garage to find even more additional storage space. Making better use of your garage’s vertical space with overhead storage racks can relieve some of the storage burden on areas closer to your floor.

2. Get rid of items your kids have outgrown

Kids will outgrow just about everything they play with or wear, both literally and figuratively.

It’s natural for their interests and hobbies to shift from one year to the next, meaning things they no longer use will unnecessarily be taking up garage real estate.

Once a year, take the time to go through your kids’ things with them to find what they’ve outgrown and which of their belongings they can part with. A local charity will be grateful for your donation.

garage storage for kids, child putting on rollerblades

Do those old rollerblades still fit? Minimize garage clutter by periodically getting rid of items your kids have outgrown.

3. Designate garage storage zones

Yes, setting up designated storage zones in the garage might seem like an obvious way to keep the space more organized…but have you seen most garages?

Too many of them lack a smart layout and setup that makes it easier to maintain an organized garage space. Take the time to establish dedicated, structured zones in the garage for the entire family’s storage needs.

Set up storage areas just for your kids, perhaps giving them a slatwall panel or two and some shelves that are all theirs. If you have garage cabinetry, let the kids use one of the cabinets for storing some of their things.

Letting your kids have dedicated storage areas can instill a deeper sense of ownership in them about their section of the garage. That should ideally give them more incentive to keep their part of the garage tidy.

4. Group like items together

Like decluttering, the next of our garage storage for kids tips also borrows from the book of organization and storage fundamentals – grouping like items together.

Combined with having designated storage zones, keeping like items stored together will allow you and your kids to easily find any item when needed. There’ll be less time wasted rummaging through your garage looking for a certain item.

Young children will still be developing their memory retention skills, so storing items together can be especially helpful to them.

Here’s a suggestion: keep all of your kids’ “wheeled” belongings stored on one slatwall panel. Items you can hang up include:

  • bikes (vertical or horizontal bike hooks free up floor space)
  • scooters
  • skateboards
  • tricycles and Big Wheel-type toys

5. Create a home for everything

When it comes to making garage storage for kids simpler, creating a home for all of their things is a very effective way to increase the likelihood that items will get put back in the proper place.

If each item has a home, there will be no reason for it to be left anywhere else in the garage. This strategy also makes it easier to keep your kids accountable for how well they’re contributing to the garage’s level of organization.

Toys, sports equipment, pool accessories, bike accessories, sunscreen, and anything else your kids use in the garage can be hung up on the slatwall or stored on an open shelving unit.

Bins, buckets, and baskets can be used for keeping smaller loose items organized on shelves. To corral those loose balls, use deep hanging mesh baskets or adjustable wall-mounted ball racks hung on the slatwall.

Those tripping hazards will be safer stored there than they’ll be if the balls were left scattered across your garage floor.

garage storage for kids, apparel hung on wall

Create a home for everything in the garage, from your kids’ outdoor apparel to their sports equipment.

6. Use labels to help your kids

Another helping hand you can give your kids in order to help them keep the garage clean is to label their things. Labels will help especially young children identify items a bit easier and can be an early literacy development aid.

Using bright colors, pictures, or the child’s name on the labels can also help younger children to identify items easier.

Be mindful of keeping a tidy, consistent look to your labels in order to minimize visual clutter.

Invest in a handheld label maker. It’ll be one of those inexpensive, yet extremely handy devices you’ll use for years to come throughout the entire house.

7. Store items at kid-friendly heights

These garage storage for kids tips and ideas are all about making it as easy as possible for your youngsters to function in the garage. Part of that includes making sure you’re being mindful of using kid-friendly heights for their stored items.

After all, if your kids have to struggle to put something away in a storage home that’s too high, chances are its new home will be on your garage floor.

Using kid-friendly storage heights in the garage is also about keeping them safe so your kids don’t have to struggle to put away or take down something from an unsafe height.

Keep heavier items like bikes as accessible and low to the ground as possible. And remember to adjust storage heights in the garage for your kids’ things as they grow.

8. Prioritize storage based on the season

Efficient garage storage involves making it as effortless as possible to put things away and locate items when you need them.

Prioritizing where things are stored based on the time of year helps to make garage storage for kids and everybody else easier. After all, having your kids’ sleds or snowboards occupying prime, easy-to-access garage storage space during the summer makes no sense.

That’s when garage storage systems like overhead storage racks can be particularly useful.

9. Use versatile storage systems

Choosing garage storage systems that provide flexibility and versatility to accommodate your kids’ changing storage needs can minimize storage headaches.

When you do need to swap out one season’s stored items for things that will be frequently used during the coming season, having storage flexibility ends up being a real time-saver.

One of slatwall’s notable benefits is its versatility and ability to let you easily reconfigure items hung on the slatwall panels. That flexibility also makes it easier to group like items together and make the most of your wall hanging space.

We have the best garage storage for kids solutions

Could your garage use a makeover that includes more kid-friendly storage systems that can keep the space tidier? Garage Living has the best garage storage for kids solutions to fit your needs.

Contact us today by booking a free in-home design consulation.

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Get to Know the Owners of Garage Living of Denver

One of our newest franchises is Garage Living of Denver, which is owned by Binh Truong and his wife, Tu Kim Le.

Garage Living of Denver is our first franchise owned and operated by Veterans. It opened earlier this year and won the Best In Show award at the Denver Home Show in March.

We thought Binh and Tu’s story was worth sharing and they sat down with us recently for an interview.

Tell me a little about your family, Binh.

There’s four kids – two girls and two boys. My youngest boy is 15 months old, my oldest boy is 10, and my girls are 6 and 8.

I’ve been married to Tu now for 19 years. We’re pretty much high school sweethearts. We have a really busy lifestyle and everything is focussed on the kids. Having a close-knit family is really important to us.

Were you born and raised in Denver?

I’m originally from Virginia Beach. I was there until I was about 15 and that’s when I moved to Colorado.

Garage Living of Denver owner Binh Truong

Binh Truong — Owner, Garage Living of Denver

Tu, can you give me some background on yourself?

I came to Colorado from Vietnam when I was 12. I’m a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) for a sporting goods company and pretty much handle everything for the company, from financials to HR to inventories.

So both of you are going to be running Garage Living of Denver together and Tu, you’ll continue with the sporting goods company??

(both answer) Yes.

Binh, looking at your wife’s business experience, did that inspire you to take on the challenge of having a franchise as well?

Yes, absolutely. In October or November of 2016, we went to the Denver franchise show and just wanted to see what was out there and we bought the sporting goods franchise.

The reason we bought that was because we couldn’t do this (Garage Living of Denver) because I was deploying in a week. I saw the Garage Living franchise at the show and thought it was right up my alley and perfect.

Tell me about the deployment. It’s a fascinating story, with you having four kids and having to go overseas.

Tu: Well we didn’t have four when he left. (both laugh)

Binh: It was tough and unexpected because my unit knew that I was having a child. I found out a little before the birth of my son and I said “You’re kidding me, right? Can you get the other guys to go?” They said “No, you have to go. We need the best guy in Colorado and you’re the best guy in the state.”

What was your job in the military?

I’m in satellite communications and there’s only four other people in the state that can do it. I’m part of a field artillery team and in order for you to shoot big artillery and rockets, you have to be able to talk. My part is to make sure everybody can talk so that we can carry out the missions.

Obviously, I couldn’t say no and hey, I have to go eventually. This is what I signed up for and it’s never a good time to deploy. I sat down with the wife and told her and that was really tough.

How long was your deployment?

The total process took a year. I spent a little over nine months in-country, including being in Texas for about two months. Then I was shipped out overseas on December 31st, 2016, before the birth of my son.

As much as you’re able to, can you share anything about what you experienced overseas?

Working in silent communications as part of the field artillery, we launched surface-to-surface missiles and it was in support of Operation Air Resolve.

I was also in Dubai for awhile for Operation Spartan Shield. I did a lot of travelling…Iraq, Kuwait, Quatar, also a lot of work in the U.A.E. (United Arab Emirates) and just making sure systems are set up so people can talk.

Garage Living of Denver owner Tu Kim Le

Tu Kim Le — Owner, Garage Living of Denver

Why was it important for you to serve your country by initially enlisting in the Colorado National Guard?

I grew up in a bit of a torn family. I didn’t live with my dad or my mom, I lived with one of my grandparents. Then I moved to Colorado and met Tu.

I never did very well in school, but I’ve always been good with sales. When I was 18, I worked at a rental car agency and then migrated into car sales. I just kept moving on from there and also got into finance a little bit.

Then we had kids. The car business was kind of turning me into a shell of a person because of the difficult hours. You have split days off, long days, and on some of your days off you’d still have to come in because one of your customers was there. That’s just how it works.

Tu was starting to build her path and really see what she wants to do for a living. We sat down and talked and I said “I want to do something that really means something for my kids.”

That’s the big reason why I joined the military, for the opportunities and so my kids could be proud of their daddy. You really do have a lot of opportunity in the United States.

How would you say your military experience changed you?

It absolutely did. Joining the military, it really gives you another idea of what family can feel like. Yes, I have my immediate family, but I never had anything before like a real brother or sister…someone I can call if I need something and they’re there.

Sometimes family can’t do a few things, but I can always pick up that phone and call a guy and without hesitation it’s “okay”. It’s about the camaraderie and it definitely helps you with structure. I don’t think you can get that any better than from joining the military.

Having been back for a little while, you must miss that camaraderie?

Absolutely. Nothing’s going to trump family, but I miss being around them. You live with guys for nine months in a tent and you need a lot of support from those guys.

You’re outside digging trenches to lay cables, or doing other jobs that might seem like the most ridiculous things that make no sense. You’re chosen to do it and the guy next to you says “Man, I’ll go do it with you”, just so you can “embrace the suck” together, as we would say.

So yes, I do miss that. The missions that we did over there made a huge difference. It was nice, but being back home is a little nicer.

Tell me about making arrangements to start Garage Living of Denver while you were still deployed.

When I was overseas, Tu called me when I had about four or five months left in the deployment and she said “We have to start working on this other franchise.” I said “Are you nuts? We just got the other franchise!”

And then we started having satellite phone calls with Steve Wilkins (Garage Living Vice President of Franchise Development) and Aaron Cash (managing partner of Garage Living) to talk more about the opportunity.

We’ve always wanted to own some type of a business and thought bigger than just working for somebody. The other franchise caught our eye because that’s something Tu can do easily. It’s very part-time and it’s really a lot of fun for her.

And I wanted to do something that I enjoyed. I’ve always been into cars and I love to build, so Garage Living was perfect.

What else about Garage Living specifically were you drawn to?

It was appealing seeing some of Garage Living’s pictures and how the garages they’ve done looked so cool. I was also thinking about all the construction that’s going on in Colorado right now, but it’s focussed more on kitchens, bathrooms, and flooring.

I thought those areas were too saturated, but another specialized trade like garage improvement would be a good fit. It has a little bit of everything I want to do.

The Garage Living of Denver team won the Best In Show award at the Denver Home Show earlier this year.

You also have a background in contracting. Tell me about that and how it will help you with Garage Living of Denver.

While I was working in car sales, I would also work on and off for a friend who owned a small contracting company. He would flip homes and there were always projects to work on. That’s how I learned how to do everything, just from doing quite a bit of construction.

In 2011, after I had joined the military and been gone for a year, we bought a small home. I completely gutted it and then built it all the way up.

I love building and that experience will be helpful with the garage projects we’ll be handling.

You mentioned that there’s a lot of home building going on in Colorado right now? 

There’s a lot of things going on. The growth of the market and population in the last six years in Colorado is ridiculous. Traffic never used to be an issue and now it’s stop and go.

Home prices have risen dramatically and people can’t move out of these homes because they cost too much. So what do they do? They remodel and renovate, so I thought “Garage Living”. The company specializes in working on high-end homes and that’s what I want to do.

Other than your love of cars, what are some of your other hobbies?

I love the outdoors…camping and fishing. We’ve got a camper and we’ll head up to the mountains. My kids do enjoy that one hobby with me. Well, my girls do. (laughs) My girls love to fish.

My son is kind of a geek and he gets that from me. He’s into hands-on things, like tearing stuff apart and putting them back together. He loves things like electronics and science. I’m hoping that grows into an interest in vehicles and tinkering and building with them.

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