7 Things To Look For in a Garage Remodel Company

Once you’ve made the decision that your garage needs a makeover, it’s time to do some homework and find the best garage remodel company for the job.

There is no shortage of contractors available to do the work, but what factors matter most when you’re choosing who to hire?

Reasonable pricing, a good reputation, and an impressive level of overall professionalism from a prospective garage remodel company is a high priority, naturally. 

Don’t stop there. There are a few more essential things the company you choose to upgrade your garage should bring to the table to maximize your satisfaction when the project is completed.

Is the contractor you hire capable of making the left-hand side of this pre-makeover garage look as impressive as the finished right-hand side?

Why hire a garage remodel company instead of DIYing?

Before we look at what a garage remodel company should be able to do for you, let’s quickly explain why you should entrust a garage renovation to an expert instead of doing the work yourself.

A recent Porch.com survey found that 55% of homeowners have DIYed a home improvement project, yet only 31% of them considered them to be successful. In many cases, these homeowners ended up hiring a pro to fix the work they had done.

Someone once said, “there is no substitute for experience”. Unless you’re experienced with the complicated nature of the design and installation process a garage remodel entails, it’s best to leave things in the hands of a seasoned professional.

Sure, it may be cheaper to attempt a garage remodel yourself. A garage remodel expert will get the job done properly the first time and eliminate the stress, time investment, and messy work involved when you tackle the project yourself, however.

A highly specialized garage improvement company like Garage Living also has the know-how to ensure your garage isn’t just more organized and visually appealing. They can give the space the kind of major overhaul that really adds an impressive “wow factor” to one of your home’s hardest working rooms. 

When you decide to hire a garage remodel company instead of going the DIY route, there are several essential things to look for from them to make sure your home improvement project is successful. 

1. A great reputation and positive online reviews

We all know there are many shady contractors out there who will cut corners, rip you off, and come up short in the reliability department.

You’re entrusting someone to work in your home and improve a room you will use every day. Therefore, any garage renovation company you hire shouldn’t just have a good reputation – they should have a great reputation.

Word of mouth

Good ’ol word of mouth continues to be one of the best ways to weed out the good contractors from the bad ones. A personal referral from someone you trust who has worked with a particular garage remodel company can be invaluable. Although their great experience working with a contractor doesn’t 100% guarantee yours will be the same, it’s an excellent indicator of what to expect.

Online reviews

Nowadays, reviews from crowd-sourced review sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp are how most people seek out the trustworthiness and quality of home improvement professionals.

According to research, 91% of people read online reviews on a regular or occasional basis and 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Home services websites like Angie’s List, Houzz, and HomeAdvisor are other great resources for finding reliable contractors.

2. Customization options

Having high-quality products to choose from is nice – can they be customized, though? And if so, what is the range of those customization options?

If you want your finished garage space to look exceptional, having plenty of options to customize the room’s interior décor will be essential. Only having two or three colors to choose from for your garage floor coating, slatwall, or cabinets means you’re limiting your creative options.

Look for a company with a selection of products that gives you an ample amount of customization flexibility and freedom to create a distinct, appealing aesthetic in your garage.

Our Designer Series of garage design themes is a popular option with our clients. It includes seven themes of curated custom colors and materials from our roster of products that produce finished garages with a high-end look. The series simplifies the design process for our clients and is an effective way to help them visualize what their garage can look like.

3. Impressive examples of past work

A personal referral or reading a number of online reviews about contractors will help you narrow down your list of candidates, but “the eye test” is going to be a huge factor in making a hiring decision. 

If you’re lucky enough to know someone who has had a garage renovation done recently, an in-person viewing of the work will give you a helpful up-close example of what a garage remodeler can do.

Unfortunately, that kind of opportunity will rarely present itself. The next best thing is to naturally take a look at photos of a garage makeover specialist’s past work. A garage remodel can end up looking anywhere from shoddy to serviceable to exceptional – don’t settle for anything less than the latter for your garage!

Before and after photos

Their website should have image galleries of completed garage remodel projects to give you a good idea of what kind of work they’re capable of doing. It’s worth noting that even the presentation of a garage remodel company’s website can give you some useful insight into how professionally the business operates.

messy unfinished garage

BEFORE: The unfinished garage in desperate need of efficient storage space.

Finished garage remodel.

AFTER: A double car lift allows this car collector to store four vehicles in this section of the garage.

Viewing a completed garage remodel is one thing. If you can get examples of what a space looked like prior to the work being done with before and after garage makeover photos, it gives you even more information about the competence and creativity of the contractor.

4. High-quality products

One simple way to eliminate certain garage renovation companies from your list of candidates is to look at the quality of the products they carry.

Visiting one of their showrooms or checking out a remodel they’ve worked on and seeing and using the products the company works with will tell you whether or not they have high standards.

If a garage remodel company’s products look and feel cheap, what does that say about their work quality and value of the hard-earned money you’re spending with them?

There’s a reason that polyaspartic floor coatings cost more than epoxy coatings – its quality is vastly superior, it lasts much longer, and you need professional equipment to apply it.

The same consideration regarding quality should be given to garage cabinets. Inexpensive cabinets bought online or at a big-box store may seem like they’ll get the job done, but you’ll quickly find they’re cheaply made and won’t last as long as you expected. 

Try to shop local by supporting local small businesses and buying American and Canadian-made products that tend to be of a higher quality than products from overseas and keep your spending dollars closer to home. 

5. Amazing customer service

Excellent customer service should be another huge selling point for you. A company with top-notch customer service can be the difference between a home renovation project being a pleasant experience or a headache-causing experience that’s unsatisfying for you.

garage design consultation in Garage Living showroom with man and woman

Use the previously mentioned resources to find out how effectively a contractor communicates with their clients and how reliable they are. This includes asking questions like:

  • does the company get back to their clients about quotes or other inquiries in a timely manner?
  • was scheduling convenient consultation and installation times an issue and was the company flexible and easy to work with?
  • does the company have a showroom?
  • were the installers punctual and properly clean up when they finished working?
  • does the contractor stand behind their work and products with strong warranties?
  • did the garage remodel company follow-up with the client when the project was completed and address any concerns?

Good customer service should also be convenient for you. If you’re seeking to transform your garage, the floor will likely need some work.

Unless a contractor uses a high-quality product like Garage Living’s Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coating that can be applied year-round, you’ll have less flexibility for what time of year your floors can be upgraded if you live in a colder climate.

6. Expertise and professional training

During your contractor vetting process, set a high bar for the level of expertise the company you’re considering has specifically with garage renovations.

This is where hiring a garage remodel specialist instead of a general contractor or handyman can make a big difference. The phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” exists for a reason, after all.

Having completed thousands of makeovers across the U.S. and Canada since starting in 2005, a company like Garage Living has experienced just about everything when it comes to garage remodels.

Most high-quality and reputable garage renovation professionals will:

  • give their employees the proper training to work efficiently and safely
  • know how to bring the best out of a garage space
  • use high-quality products that last longer
  • be properly licensed and insured
  • stand behind their work
  • be better equipped to deal with renovation challenges

Don’t undervalue that first point about proper training. Garage remodel pros are skilled tradespeople and although they learn much of their craft from hands-on experience, the foundation of their knowledge should start with professional training.

Be sure to ask any garage remodel company you’re considering hiring what kind of training their installers get. Garage Living has all of our installers take training courses to ensure they’re qualified to perform the work that goes into every garage remodel we do.

7. Fair pricing

One of the most important questions anyone seeking out a garage remodel company will have for their project will be the cost and whether a contractor can work within their budget.

A top-to-bottom remodel can involve many different upgrades including adding a floor coating, wall base coating, slatwall storage system, garage doors, door openers, a storage cabinet system, overhead storage racks, and a car lift.

Other potential upgrades include installing modern lighting, a heating system, insulation, drywall, redoing the ceiling, and painting the walls and ceiling.  

The size of the garage, scope of the project, quality of the products, and processes used to install everything will largely determine what the project costs. As with any home improvement project you’re hiring someone for, be leery of anyone who is quoting you a price that seems too good to be true. In most cases, it is.

If you’re more confident that one garage remodel company will do a better job than another based on examples of work you’ve seen and the fact they have a superior reputation, that’s worth paying more for if their quote is a bit higher, yet still reasonable. 

The end goal is to have a beautiful garage that you’re 100% happy with and to have the process of making that happen be as stress-free a possible. 

Hire the garage remodel company that checks all these boxes

Investing some time to find the best company to upgrade your garage will go a long way towards providing you with a high level of satisfaction once the project is completed.

Garage Living prides itself on checking all of the boxes above, to ensure that every remodel project we complete exceeds our clients’ expectations.

There’s a reason we’re known across North America as a leader in home garage storage, organization, and décor solutions.

Schedule a free design consultation with us to see what the Garage Living experience is all about!

Please share this post if you found it useful.

See also:

From Garage To Classroom: Create An Effective Home Learning Space

2020 has thrown a lot at us. One of the biggest challenges for parents and their kids has been adjusting to at-home learning.

Parents have needed to find a workable balance between being full-time teachers (or part-time educators supplementing their kids’ remote learning studies) and their own parental, work, and household responsibilities.

It’s been a lot to deal with.

With a new school year underway, lots of schools remain closed. Even if schools are open in their area, many parents and students are uneasy about returning to traditional classroom settings. As a result, homeschooling will continue on a widescale level across the U.S. and Canada for the foreseeable future.

So what’s the best homeschooling environment for your kids? If you don’t have a dedicated home study room, using the dining room table, living room, or the kitchen as a classroom may not be the most learning-friendly environment for your little ones.

Here’s a suggestion: create a learning space for your kids in your garage. A garage to classroom setup is smart for a number of reasons and you don’t need a large garage to make it happen.

Your kids’ home learning environment matters

Classroom environments have a big impact on how well kids learn. As an early childhood education expert explains here, an ideal classroom environment will “help children feel safe, secure, and valued. As a result, self-esteem increases, and students are motivated to engage in the learning process.”

Learning in high-traffic areas like the kitchen, living room, and dining room can be too distracting for kids. With families spending so much time indoors right now, the abundance of background noise from things like meals being prepared, ringing phones, and conversations makes it particularly challenging for youngsters to focus on their studies.

Letting your kids do their homeschooling from a desk in their bedroom isn’t ideal, either. Supervising them becomes more difficult, for starters.

And the same reasons medical professionals recommend adults not work in the same room where they sleep applies to students – a lack of separation between one’s work and home life leads to poor sleeping habits and lower work productivity.

Why a garage to classroom setup makes so much sense

A garage to classroom setup can provide the perfect space for at-home schooling. It’s a safe environment that’s a part of the home, while still being removed enough from the distractions in the rest of the house.

As an extension of your living space, a classroom area in the garage can improve how your children focus and learn.

A garage classroom also helps establish more structure for their daily studies. They’ll have a consistent, dedicated learning space and not be studying at the dining table one day and then moving to the kitchen for their school work the following day.

Lots of parents have made the “garage to classroom pivot” to accommodate their kids’ schooling needs.

For some parents, they’re just homeschooling their own children. If local social gathering rules allow for it, other parents are getting together with a few neighbors and friends they trust and feel safe with to create garage classroom “learning pods” for their kids, as this mother in Maine did.

How to create your own garage classroom

“How can my garage handle its normal duties as a space for parking, household storage, and function as an at-home classroom?”, you may be wondering.

It all comes down to how well your garage is set up. Since comfort is so important for a learning space, a clean, finished garage interior with modern design features is essential.

Having some flexibility within the garage so you can add something like a learning space is important as well. Anyone who has a multi-purpose garage space knows that good organization is the key to making the garage function at a high level.

A garage to classroom setup can work quite effectively in a garage of any size. This recently remodeled single car garage was well-positioned to accommodate adding a learning space with minimal effort.

garage before makeover

The unfinished garage prior to its remodel.

black car in garage with student desk and chairs

The garage was transformed into a clean, organized, and modern-looking room. Little effort was required to turn it into a comfortable home learning space.

Here’s how to make your garage to classroom setup successful.

Create enough space in the garage

A lot of garages are too cluttered to park vehicles in, which makes them little more than one-dimensional junk storage spaces.

To free up floor space that will allow a part of the garage to be used as a classroom, storage systems like slatwall panels and overhead racks are invaluable.

These storage systems utilize your garage’s walls and ceiling areas to maximize the storage space in the room, which opens up a range of possibilities for other ways the garage can be used. In the photo above, just look at how much floor square footage is freed up by storing all those bulky storage bins in the overhead racking!

The slatwall panels and accompanying hanging accessories make it a breeze to keep the garage more organized. Items like yard tools, power cords, and sports equipment and toys the kids can use when taking breaks from their learning are easily accessible.

Use cabinetry in your garage classroom

A storage cabinet system is perfect for a garage learning space, but not just for the reason you might be thinking.

Sure, cabinets provide you with room to store and organize things like school and art supplies, lesson books, and other learning materials. Our high-quality cabinet drawers are at a kid-friendly height and have full extension drawer glides to make access easy for your little ones, too.

A cabinet system is also useful for a garage classroom in the following ways:

  • incorporate a mounted TV into the cabinet system for watching digital classroom lessons and educational videos, as well as making Zoom calls with teachers and other students
  • the cabinet doors can be used to display your kids’ artwork, which builds their confidence
  • displaying artwork makes children feel more connected to their learning environment
  • they provide a backdrop for hanging up motivational sayings or educational posters
  • use a cabinet sink for a handwashing station
  • cabinet countertops function as a clean work surface and area for displaying and storing school books
  • under cabinet task lighting brightens up the countertop space
  • tablets and laptops can stay charged with the cabinet system’s built-in electrical and device charging outlets
cabinet countertop with school books

A garage cabinet system provides a clean surface to work on, drawers for storing school supplies, and can incorporate a TV and sink.

Make the garage feel more like a classroom

When you’re used to learning in a school classroom, adjusting to a different full-time learning environment isn’t easy for every child.

To make your kids feel more comfortable with their at-home schooling experience, include a few of the core familiar features of a traditional classroom.

Naturally, that includes desks and chairs. If you’re planning on doing longer classroom sessions, one option is to invest in some ergonomic-friendly desks and chairs that are more comfortable to use for extended periods.

Use some small easel-style or wall-hung chalkboards or dry erase boards, which are great for developing a child’s writing, drawing, and reading skills.

Another garage to classroom setup idea you may want to consider is keeping a clock or other type of timekeeping device visible to the students in the room. Some teachers find that using a timer for work tasks gives students a greater sense of urgency while learning and helps them understand things a little better.

Increase the garage’s comfort level

A garage with modern design upgrades is simply a nicer space to spend time in, which makes it a more learning-friendly environment.

Aesthetic upgrades like finishing the garage’s walls and ceiling will make a big difference. Upgrading the floor with a Floortex™ floor coating is a game-changer when it comes to transforming the appearance of a garage, too.

In addition to its high-end look, the floor coating is well-suited for use in a garage classroom setting for these reasons:

  • it has a safe, ultra-low level of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are chemicals found in many products that slowly off-gas
  • the floor surface is easy to maintain and keep clean with just a squeegee, some water, and a mild floor cleaner
  • Floortex™ coatings deliver heavy-duty floor protection from wear and tear, abrasions, and spills, but are also comfortable and clean enough to walk on in your socks or even bare feet

Feel comfortable in the garage year-round

You can also do a few more things to increase the comfort level of your garage.

If your garage lacks a few features, cold and hot weather make using the room year-round problematic.

To fix this issue, insulate the walls, ceiling, and doors to boost the garage’s energy efficiency. Vapor barrier might be helpful as well, depending on where you live and a few other factors.

A garage heating system or portable air conditioner will help you maintain a comfortable working temperature in the garage year-round.

And if the weather is pleasant, bring in some fresh air by partially or fully opening the garage doors.

Stay safe

With the new normal, hand sanitization has become a part of everyday life. As part of your efforts to create a safe learning environment, you can set up a hand sanitizing station. This will be even more essential if you have a small group of kids attending classes in your garage.

In the garage featured in this blog post, a bottle of hand sanitizer and tissues are kept on a slatwall metal shelf that’s conveniently located right beside the home’s access door. A mini trash bin sits below it. A paper towel rack accessory could also be hung on the slatwall.

An optional cabinet sink that can be used as a handwashing station gives you an additional way to maintain safe health standards in the garage.

garage classroom hand sanitizing station

Hand sanitizer and tissues are conveniently located beside the garage’s access door into the house.

3 final ideas for a garage to classroom setup

We’ve covered a lot in showing you how to make a garage to classroom setup work effectively and here are three final ideas worth considering:

  1. Put down a colorful outdoor rug as a base for the desks and chairs that helps make your classroom area feel like a more defined space.
  2. Don’t underestimate the importance of good lighting for the learning space. Lots of natural light is great and high-quality overhead lighting will reduce eye strain.
  3. A garage classroom will require reliable online connectivity and in many cases is going to be completely dependent on the internet to function. There are numerous ways to boost your garage’s WiFi signal so that your tablets, laptops, and smart TV have a reliable online connection.

Talk to us about making your garage a learning space

If you’re considering your options for homeschooling your kids, we can turn any garage into a learning-friendly space without limiting its functionality.

Schedule a free design consultation with Garage Living.

We’ll work with you to design a garage to classroom setup that gives you the peace of mind that your kids are getting their education in a safe space right in your own home.

Please share this post if you found it useful.

See also:

How a Garage Remodel Helps You Find Your Home Comfort Zone

Audi R8 inside a remodelled garage in a home

Home comfort is everything.

That’s one thing we’ve all been reminded of this year as “the new normal” has led to us all having an abundance of at-home time.

Anything that improves our comfort level at home during this stressful and challenging time is especially important and valuable.

Spending most of the day inside your living space the past few months has likely made you appreciate the things about it that help make it truly feel like “home sweet home”.

All of this extra time at home has probably also highlighted some of the ways that your house can be improved to serve your family’s needs better.

If you’re undecided on which area(s) of your home to upgrade, why not focus on the garage? It’s often an area of the home that gets overlooked when makeover projects are being considered when it actually should be a remodeling priority.

Now is the best time to invest in your home comfort

There is never a bad time to invest in your home’s functionality.

If you really think about it, however, there has never been a better time to invest in a home improvement project than right now for two reasons.

First, low-interest rates make financing a home improvement project more cost-effective at the moment.

And second, home comfort should be a priority right now because, for the foreseeable future, many of us may not be able to return to our workplaces and schools. Unfortunately, social activities like traveling, going to sports events, attending parties, and eating out at restaurants are also restricted or completely off-limits as well.

That means the majority of our day will continue to be spent at home, so why not look for ways to make your living space the ultra-comfortable sanctuary it should be?

The home improvement market is booming

More homeowners have recognized the financial and philosophical practicality of upgrading their homes this year to improve their quality of life.

A new Bank of America survey found that despite the economic downturn, more than 70% of the 1,054 homeowners who responded had started a renovation project this year and planned to do more home upgrades next year.

The story is the same in Canada, which has seen high demand for building materials and contractors with no shortage of work as homeowners make upgrades to their living spaces.

Before the pandemic, just under half of homeowners (48%) had a renovation planned in the next two years, according to TD Bank’s recent Home Equity Trend Watch survey. A third of those homeowners were planning to spend more than $50,000 on their upgrades.

Here’s how a garage remodel can help you get closer to finding your comfort zone at home.

Does your garage help or hinder your home comfort level?

Ask yourself: how does my garage make me and my family feel?

Is the garage contributing to your level of home comfort or is it detracting from your overall enjoyment of where you live?

Can you function in your garage or is it overrun with clutter? Is the décor in your garage visually appealing or is it woefully outdated? Perhaps the garage has never had its interior finished and things like exposed insulation, framing studs, rickety DIY storage systems, and dull grey flooring make you cringe every time you enter the room.

If you’re like most homeowners, there’s room for improvement in this space. Consider these statistics:

  • Only 11% of homeowners are satisfied with their garage and don’t want to improve it. (Wall Street Journal survey)
  • 24% of homeowners are embarrassed to leave their garage doors open. (Impulse Research survey)
  • A 2-car garage in an average-sized house accounts for approximately 13-15% of the home’s overall square footage.

Instead of having a sizable part of your house not being fully utilized, an eyesore, and upgrades to the room something that never gets checked off your home improvement to-do list, make right now the time when your garage finally gets transformed.

Turn your garage into an extension of your living space. Make it a meaningful room in your home that is tailored to fit your lifestyle and reflect your aesthetic taste, while providing an optimal level of functionality.

“Garage living” is all about improving home comfort

Some of our clients wonder why we’re called Garage Living. Our name actually has everything to do with home comfort.

“Garage living” is a philosophy. Garage living is about bringing your dream garage concept to life and creating a luxurious, welcoming space that is customized to enhance your home’s comfort.

The modern garage has evolved well beyond the role of the dark and drab utilitarian space that it has inhabited for the last century.

Any garage can – and should – multi-task in order to maximize the room’s functionality. And it can look stylish while doing so!

Better organization in your home spaces means more comfort

It’s impossible to enjoy your garage when the room’s functionality has been restricted due to clutter. An overstuffed garage is harder to clean, too, so you’re even less inclined to spend some of your free time in such a dusty, dirty space.

messy garage with clutter

Before: cluttered and unfinished garage

Messy garages are an all-too-common problem, as these statistics show:

  • 25% of homeowners with 2-car garages don’t park in them at all, largely due to clutter. (U.S. Dept. of Energy study)
  • The garage was named the most cluttered space in the houses of those who participated in a home organization study conducted by faucet maker Moen.
  • 50% of homeowners named the garage as the most disorganized area of their house. (National Association of Professional Organizers survey)
  • “Removing junk” ranked as the top answer from homeowners who were asked how they could get more enjoyment out of their garage. (Wall Street Journal survey)

Clearly, enjoying your garage more starts by getting rid of the clutter that not only makes any room less functional but is also a well-known source of stress in our lives.

After: organized and tidy garage with plenty of storage.

To get your garage where it needs to be in terms of better organization, set two goals for yourself that are simple, yet highly effective ways to keep a space tidier. First, make sure anything being stored in the garage has some degree of practical functionality. Second, give anything that meets that standard a proper home.

If your garage feels like it’s too small to handle your storage needs, using better storage systems and working with a garage design professional will certainly help.

The best garage organization solutions

3-car garage with cabinetry and two car lifts

The best way to maximize your garage’s storage space is to make more efficient use of the garage’s wall and vertical space, which are two areas that commonly don’t get utilized to their full storage potential. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Slatwall storage involves hanging PVC panels on the walls to create space to hang tools, bikes, ladders, power cords, and more to keep your floor clutter-free and make items easy to locate and keep organized.
  2. Overhead racks add useful out-of-the-way storage space for bulky, infrequently used items that can eat up a lot your flooring square footage (which can make parking more difficult).
  3. Speaking of garage parking, you can create more home parking space by installing one or more car lifts to accommodate all of your family’s vehicles.

Another popular storage solution for the garage are cabinet systems that give you even more storage versatility.

Decor upgrades make garages feel more comfortable

3 people discussing garage decor

Getting your garage to the point where it’s organized is great, but having a less cluttered space really draws your focus to the room’s decor.

In most garages, that’s not a good thing.

Considering the garage is the home’s main entry and exit point for about half of the people who own a house, it’s odd that more thought isn’t given to the room’s interior décor.

By making some changes to surround yourself in the garage with appealing colors and other stylish design elements, you’ll appreciate the enhanced level of comfort you feel as a result.

How to make your garage look amazing with a garage remodel

Garages often have a mishmash of storage systems that don’t create an aesthetically cohesive appearance. Garage Living’s storage systems are designed to not just help you stay organized, but to create a professional, high-end look in the garage that stands out.

Wall storage

Our slatwall panels, for example, add a more finished look to the garage’s interior and come in seven colors, which gives you some flexibility to compliment the garage’s other features aesthetically.

We also offer over 40 types of hanging accessories to handle a wide range of storage needs. This eliminates the need to use additional wall hanging systems and products from various manufacturers that can detract from the clean, unified look of the room.

Garage cabinetry

Garage cabinetry also provides this dual benefit of functionality and a garage décor upgrade. For example, high-quality cabinets like our GL Custom Steel system add a touch of class and style to any garage.

Garage flooring

An important component of your garage’s visual upgrades has to include the floor. A stained, scuffed, cracked, and dull-looking grey floor surface simply won’t cut it in any garage where feeling comfort is your goal. Have a durable polyaspartic Floortex™ floor coating applied that adds visual interest to the floor surface and complements the rest of your garage’s décor.

Interior design

New drywall, fresh paint, and lighting upgrades are additional garage makeover ideas to consider. You could also transform the look and feel of the garage by making changes to allow more sunlight in, which is an effective way to boost your mood organically. This could be done by having garage doors with glass panels added, installing a skylight, adding a side window or two, or enlarging the garage’s existing side windows.

Designer Series garage themes

To simplify the process of putting together the décor for your garage, we recommend taking a look at our Designer Series. It includes seven themes of pre-chosen color palettes and materials that create an attractive, unique look for garages.

Patriot Designer Series garage

The blue/grey/white combo of the Harbor or Patriot themes features a soothing color scheme that might be perfect for a garage you anticipate spending a lot of quiet time in. Maybe the bolder Performance theme aligns more with your aesthetic taste or perhaps you’d prefer the more understated, minimalist black and grey blend the Carbon theme offers.

Why not make the garage your go-to home comfort spot?

Once you’ve got your garage’s organization and decor issues resolved, the room becomes a much more viable area in your home to turn to as a space to relax and enjoy.

There’s no reason the garage can’t become one of the go-to comfort spots in the home for anybody in your family.

Have your garage designed to create space for lounging with a good book or podcast, exercising, or working away on a hobby project. Our cabinet systems are tailor-made for garage workshops!

3 men watching F1 race in garage socializing

With the right makeover touches, a garage can even be used as a social space when visitors come over. Incorporate a TV into the cabinet system to enjoy sporting events with your friends on the weekend, add a ping pong table, or use the garage as a hosting space for a poker night.

There are a wide range of possibilities for using your garage as an extension of your living space, which boosts your well-being and happiness.

And don’t just stop with the recommendations we’ve listed so far. Here are a few more ideas to make your garage more comfortable:

  • Install climate control systems to extend the amount of time you’re able to use the garage when the weather cools down or heats up.
  • Add insulation or upgrade the garage’s existing insulation to improve both your home’s energy efficiency and the efficiency of the garage’s climate control systems.
  • Boost your home’s WiFi reception so any smart devices being used in the garage have a reliable network connection.

Your comfort zone is at home

Make your living space the best it can be by redefining your garage and making it part of your home remodel plans. A flooring project can be installed in just 1-2 days and a full garage transformation can be completed in as little as 3-5 days.

You’ll reap the benefits of having a garage that ups your home comfort level by looking nicer and accommodating your family’s needs better.

Bring us your dream garage ideas and Garage Living will work with you to create a one-of-a-kind, beautiful space.

Schedule a free design consultation with us today.

Please share this post if you found it useful.

See also:

4 Effective Garage Gym Workouts to Lose Weight

garage gym workouts

If you place a high priority on living a healthy lifestyle, you likely work out every day or several times a week.

For any fitness enthusiast, what could be more convenient than having a fully functional exercise space right inside your home?

The garage is an ideal area of the home to use for your regular workouts. Modern garage makeovers are capable of creating a multipurpose home space that looks stylish and is much more comfortable to spend time in.

Garage gym workouts and using the room as a workshop or for crafting projects are just a few ways garages can be utilized beyond their traditional usage as a storage and parking space.

We talked to Lisa Pineda, who owns and operates fitness studio Body Zone Fitness in Coquitlam, British Columbia. She recently had her garage remodeled into a space that could accommodate her fitness routine and family’s storage needs.

Lisa shares her thoughts on how the garage makeover has benefited her family, as well as four detailed garage gym workouts you can use to get your heart pumping.

This personal trainer loves using her garage gym

Lisa in garage gymGarage Living Vancouver helped Lisa, a personal trainer and Health Coach who specializes in women’s and prenatal fitness, with her garage transformation.

“Having limited storage options in our home, three active children in competitive sports year-round, and myself wanting a space to work out in, I needed something created to solve all of those problems that were a pain point in our old home”, says Lisa.

Garage Living applied a Floortex™ floor coating to the basic concrete flooring. Lisa loves the aesthetic upgrade and clean surface the floor coating provides, as well as the fact the textured surface makes the floor less slippery during her garage gym workouts.

Slatwall was also installed, adding plenty of hanging storage space for tools, ladders, her kids’ backpacks and sports gear, and Lisa’s exercise equipment.

“I love being able to see what I have access to when working out. It allows my creative side to come alive when training clients and making programs for them. I have utilized my slatwall to display as much of my equipment as possible, including using hooks for my resistance bands and loops. I place my programs, water, and music on the shelf and my weights, yoga mat, and foam roller in the hanging baskets. The easier it is to find these items, the faster my workout flows”, says Lisa.

“Having my garage organized and designed to fit the needs of my family has reduced our stress and daily anxiety, simply knowing that our things have a proper storage place”, she continues. “We created a proper storage system for our recycling and garbage. And, of course, a little space for me to get my sweat on without stepping on toys, crayons, or dolls.”

Try these 4 garage gym workout routines

Lisa lent us her fitness expertise and created four garage gym workout videos that you can use when exercising at home.

These videos show that expensive exercise machines are not required to get a productive workout. Lisa (with some help from her daughter in the kickboxing video) is using nothing more than loop bands, light dumbbells, and a yoga mat.

Take things at a pace that is comfortable for you and let’s start burning some calories!

Stretch workout

Overview: Lisa shares a variety of effective stretching exercises that can be used when warming up and cooling down for your garage gym workouts.

Kickboxing workout

Overview: this kickboxing exercise combines cardiovascular drills and the use of martial arts techniques for a vigorous full-body workout. Light dumbbells can be used for more effective results but are not essential.

Loop band workout

Overview: this fitness routine involves three groups of exercises that utilize loop bands (also known as resistance bands) and light dumbbells.

AMRAP workout

Overview: Lisa’s AMRAP (as many reps/rounds as possible) routine involves a series of exercises that includes pike jumps, burpees, and lower ab lifts.

5 benefits of having a home garage gym

According to a Statistic Brain survey of 5,313 American gym members, 63% of gym memberships are never used. A third of gym members would not have gotten a membership if they had known how infrequently they would go to their gym. And 82% of gym members visit the gym less than once a week.

The time required to commute to the local gym is undoubtedly a big factor in why people rarely see a good return on investment with their gym membership.

Having an at-home fitness space eliminates the hassle of having to travel to a public gym for your workouts. Here are five other benefits of a garage gym:

  1. You can work out anytime without being confined to a public gym’s operating hours.
  2. A garage gym can be set up just the way you like, including how you want to store and organize things and how you want the décor to look.
  3. You can save the cost of a gym membership (which averages about $700 for a year).
  4. There’s no waiting around to use any exercise equipment!
  5. Because only you and your family are using the workout space, there are no health or hygiene concerns (such as other people’s sweat being left on equipment, having to use a public shower, and being exposed to any contagious and infectious viruses).

Create your own garage gym workout space

wall storage in garage gym

This garage gym is set up to keep the homeowner’s exercise equipment organized and easy to find.

Setting up a home gym in the garage is possible regardless of your garage’s size. One of Garage Living’s clients placed a higher priority on using his single-car garage as a fitness space than for parking a vehicle. We transformed the garage into an organized, well-equipped gym that he and his wife use for working out year-round (shown in the above photo).

Like this client, Lisa, and many others, Garage Living can remodel your garage so you can use it as a workout space, for parking, organized home storage, and so much more.

Schedule a free consultation with us to start planning your own home garage gym design.

Please share this post if you found it useful.

See also:

Garage Junk Cleaning: 15 Items to Toss That You Won’t Miss at All

garage junk cleaning paint cans

Starting a long-delayed garage junk cleaning project is the most meaningful step you can make towards reclaiming your garage’s functionality.

Cluttered garages severely limit the usefulness of this vital room in your home. Instead of using the garage for parking vehicles, efficient storage, and for things like working out or as a home workshop, stacked piles of unused junk rule the roost.

Essentially, a space that is capable of serving your family in many different ways becomes completely one-dimensional.

Why do we let junk take over our garages?

It’s a wonder that so many homeowners allow a collection of things that have little or no worth or significance (the literal definition of junk) dictate how they can use their garages.

There are millions of garages across the U.S. and Canada that are each clogged with junk that is maybe worth a few hundred dollars. Meanwhile, vehicles worth tens of thousands of dollars are left parked in driveways where they’re much less secure and exposed to the elements.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Messy garages make a quarter of homeowners embarrassed to leave their garage doors open, according to an Impulse Research survey. A Garage Living poll with 1,500 North American respondents found that 20% of homeowners were unable to park in their garage.

Maybe you’re considering a modestly budgeted makeover project that updates your garage’s décor and improves its storage efficiency. Perhaps a more elaborate remodel that results in a swanky luxury garage is what you’re planning.

In either case, the first step in transforming your space is to get that garage junk cleaning project in motion.

Follow this one rule with your garage junk cleaning project

When you start your garage junk cleaning project, figuring out what you need to get rid of should be obvious in many cases. That broken VCR, filthy old couch, and rusty garden tools, for example, are no-brainers.

But if you’re on the fence about whether or not to toss or donate anything, follow this one decluttering rule: have I used this item in the past one or two years?

Most organization professionals adhere to the “one year rule” with decluttering, as in get rid of anything that hasn’t been touched in the past year.

That may not work best for everything that gets stored in the garage, however. If you give yourself some leeway and stretch that out a bit to two years, the answer should be even clearer about what items actually get used and are truly worth keeping.

Finally dealing with your clutter and junk can pave the way towards creating a beautiful room in your home that goes well beyond what you ever thought was possible with a garage. Just look at the before and after garage makeover photos below for proof!

garage before makeover with clutter

Prior to its makeover, this unfinished garage had floor clutter and lacked effective storage and organization systems.

beautiful garage with parked red Ferrari

After the makeover, this clean, stylish, and tidy garage looks like a completely different room.

Get “all hands on deck” with your garage cleaning project

Get the whole family involved with your junk cleaning project. After all, they surely helped contribute to the accumulation of clutter in the room. They’ll benefit when the garage is in better organizational shape, too.

If you have the space in your garage or if the weather allows for organizing things in your driveway, establish a junk and clutter staging area where you can group the things you’ll be throwing out or donating.

As you proceed, you should find that these 15 common types of garage junk and clutter will make up the bulk of what you’ll be getting rid of.

1. Old paint

Most garages that would be considered cluttered probably have some unused, partially used, or empty paint cans stored in them.

Unless your garage is climate-controlled, paint won’t keep very well when stored there over long periods. Temperature fluctuations will alter the consistency of stored paint, separate the colors, and cause the paint to dry out. Here’s how to tell if your stored paint is still usable.

Saving a can of leftover paint for touchups after a painting project is a good idea, but only if the paint is stored in optimal temperature conditions. Use your basement for storing any leftover paint you expect to use in the future.

Otherwise, take your old paint cans to your local hazardous waste disposal facility. Some municipalities will allow empty paint cans that only have residual dried paint to be included in curbside recycling collections.

If you have paint that is still usable, some schools, community organizations, and larger nonprofit organizations like Habitat for Humanity may accept it as a donation.

2. Worn out and outgrown sports equipment

Garages are filled with lots of worn-out sports equipment that may not have been touched in years. If you have kids who participate in organized sports (or used to), you also know quickly they can outgrow their athletic gear.

Like so many of the things you’ll come across during your garage junk cleaning project, that old sports equipment just never got dealt with and thrown out or donated. Now is the time to change that.

Donating used sports gear that is still in good shape is a win-win-win because:

  • a charity will benefit
  • it helps parents who can’t afford to buy expensive brand new athletic gear for their kids
  • a recycled piece of sports gear means one less item in your local landfill

For the sports equipment and other items your family uses for outdoor activities that you are keeping such as bikes, skateboards, and pool toys, consider a practical storage solution like slatwall.

Slatwall panels maximize your garage’s storage space by making better use of your garage walls for hanging storage. Instead of just having a few permanently anchored hooks, nails, or hangers, a slatwall system allows for a variety of hanging accessories to be moved around as your storage needs change.

3. Old cardboard

garage junk cleaning cardboard TV box

Another staple found in messy garages is old cardboard. Maybe it’s old boxes from Amazon orders or electronics purchases. Some people hold onto moving boxes for years.

The photo above shows a box from a recent TV purchase that was being kept in a garage. The homeowner was holding onto the box in case there were any issues with the TV and it needed to be repaired while still under warranty. While that is a good idea, the box would be better off stored in better conditions indoors for a year.

And if you’re not planning to move within the next few years, there is no reason to keep moving boxes. Even if the cardboard boxes being kept in your garage are all broken down and flattened, there are a few reasons to break this bad habit of keeping cardboard around:

  • the space taken up by cardboard that is being held onto “just in case” could be put to better use
  • pests are attracted to cardboard, particularly the glue used on the boxes
  • moisture and cold temperatures cause cardboard to deteriorate over time
  • all of that cardboard collects dust and contributes to a dirtier garage with poor air quality
  • a stack of discarded cardboard is just one more thing you have to navigate around or move when cleaning the garage

4. Old books, magazines, and paper items

Like cardboard, any paper-based items being stored in the garage such as books, newspapers, magazines, photos, board games, and documents like old invoices and tax returns become a magnet for rodents and insects.

Keeping these things stored in airtight plastic storage bins to keep out pests and moisture will help, but it’s generally not a good idea to store any paper-related products in the garage for a long time. In addition to the aforementioned reasons, all of that paper becomes a potential fire hazard as well.

And how many of these things are you ever realistically going to read again? Old documents and tax returns have little use to you after a few years. Old newspapers and magazines will be filled with outdated news and information that you can find online anyway.

Let’s face it, those old books you never got around to reading will probably stay unread, especially if they have been sitting in a dusty, moisture-prone environment for years. Photos that are important to you should not be stored in the garage under any circumstances.

Do yourself a favor and lighten your garage’s storage load by donating the books and filling up your recycling bin every week until all of that paper clutter has vanished.

5. Old tires

stack of old tires in garageOld car, truck, and bike tires usually end up in the corner of a garage on the floor. You can’t just toss them in the garbage anymore, as tires can be recycled into many different things. Here are some examples:

  • rubberized asphalt
  • steel goods
  • rubber mulch
  • carpeting
  • tire-derived fuel

Your local waste recycling center should be able to take your old tires. Another option is to bring them to a tire retailer, who will charge you a small recycling fee.

If you’re keeping old tires stored in the garage for use later, be mindful that they do have a “best before” date. The rubber in tires degrades over time, which is known as tire dry rot or sidewall cracking.

In most cases, if the tires are more than 10 years old (which is about the maximum service life for most vehicle tires), get rid of them.

6. Broken and rusty tools

Broken power tools, rusty garden tools, rakes with missing tines, a rusty hammer or screwdriver…the list of old tools that exist only to take up space in your garage can go on and on.

By now, you’ve probably replaced most of your broken or well-worn tools with something newer. Keeping those old tools around only makes your garage more disorganized because they’re one more thing you have occupying space.

For example, take a rusty old shovel that has been hanging on your garage wall that is rarely or no longer used. Simply getting rid of it doesn’t just create more space for storing something in the future.

It makes it easier to rearrange your storage wall if necessary and also gives you one less thing to scan the wall for when looking for a specific item. The latter may sound like a minor thing, but instantly being able to find a tool in the garage when you need it can add up to hours saved over the course of a couple of years.

7. Exercise equipment that is never used

The garage is an ideal home fitness space if you’re working out regularly. However, if your garage is storing exercise equipment that hasn’t been used in years, that valuable floor space that could be put to better use.

Over a number of years, moisture in the garage can take a toll on different types of fitness machines and equipment. Weight benches, metal weights, and metal parts on exercise machines may rust.

Temperature fluctuations will put extra stress on the plastic and metal in exercise equipment, causing it to expand and contract. A simple lack of use often leads to performance issues with anything that has a lot of moving parts like a treadmill.

At the very least, all of these factors will contribute to any unused exercise equipment being stored in the garage having a shorter life.

If regular workouts just aren’t in your foreseeable future, clear out that equipment to create more useful garage storage space.

8. Leftover building materials

scrap wood garage junk stored on wall

Keeping a few extra pieces of scrap wood around for a home repair or some extra paver stones to replaced damaged stones can come in handy and save you a trip to the home improvement store.

The problem with a lot of garages is that they end up becoming a storage space for far more leftover building material products than will ever get used. They are often stored haphazardly, such as the scrap wood pictured above.

Boxes of ceramic tiles that get moved or have items stored on top of them will end up with damaged tile pieces. The dampness and temperature changes in garages won’t treat any leftover hardwood flooring you have stored there kindly. And remember, cardboard packaging for building materials stored in the garage for lengthy periods is susceptible to the issues already mentioned.

Whether it’s leftovers from a remodel or a hobby project whose progress hit the proverbial brick wall, this garage junk cleaning time is a great opportunity to toss a lot of those old building material products you’ll never use.

9. Hazardous waste

It’s estimated that the average garage contains approximately 100 pounds of hazardous waste.

In addition to old paint, the average garage houses all sorts of hazardous products that accumulate over time like stains, varnishes, caulking tubes, car cleaning and maintenance products, lawn and garden fertilizers, and general household cleaners.

Some of these items have expiry dates and those that don’t typically have a shelf life of only a few years. Keeping chemicals and hazardous products stored for long periods in environments where temperature conditions aren’t optimal shortens their shelf life and makes them less effective when used.

All of these things that have limited or no use aren’t just taking up space, they are also an ingestion and flammable hazard.

10. Old appliances, electronics, and outdated media

Outdated media and the devices to play them on may be stored in your garage. Now is the time to finally ditch all of those obsolete electronics and media that just can’t compete with today’s smart devices and streaming technology.

We hate to sound like a broken record (pun intended), but because vinyl records, CDs, cassettes, and VHS tapes all have paper packaging and liner notes, you know by now how they’ll fare with long-term garage storage.

Being kept in a storage space with moisture and changing temperatures will often cause playback issues with these different types of media, too.

Old VCRs, DVD players, CD players, cassette decks, computers and peripheral devices, turntables, receivers, TVs, and maybe even an ancient 8-track tape player should be brought to your local electronics recycling facility or donated if they still work.

Some charities may take donations of your old media, depending on the format. Well-preserved vinyl records, which have seen a revival in the past decade or so, will certainly generate the most interest.

Get rid of any old appliances like a fridge or window air conditioning unit that don’t work. Small appliances that never got used and ended up in the garage should also be joining your junk exodus.

Maybe you bought something like a juicer or slow cooker and simply never got around to using them (you wouldn’t be the first), or you received them as a gift. If they are still clean, in their original packaging, and actually work, a charity will certainly take them off your hands.

11. Old furniture

Deal with any discarded furniture you come across while garage junk cleaning. Things like an old sofa, bookcase, tables, and chairs are taking up more space than they should.

It could be that you planned to reupholster or restain one of your old furniture pieces and were unable to find the time to do so.

Unfortunately, soft furnishings that weren’t properly covered will have years of dust, dirt, grime, and absorbed car fumes for you to contend with if you wanted to salvage them.

Wood furniture (meaning most furniture) also attracts those darn pests and will warp in damp environments where there are significant temperature changes.

This is one reason repurposing old kitchen cabinets and bookcases for garage storage isn’t a good idea. Aside from the fact that were meant for a heated living space, these storage systems also look out of place in a garage and detract from the room’s appearance. A much better solution is to invest in a proper garage storage cabinet system.

Don’t forget to toss out any pieces of old patio furniture that have seen better days, especially if you have replaced the pieces with newer models.

12. Clothes that have been in long-term storage

Another way to create more space in the garage is to remove any boxes or plastic storage bins that contain clothes or any textile products.

Moisture and pests are the two main enemies of textiles that are stored in a garage space for long periods. Exhaust fumes and dust will cause additional problems if clothing hasn’t been stored in airtight containers.

In general, try to avoid storing any textiles in the garage. Keep your extra clothes and seasonal clothes stored somewhere in your home that is climate-controlled and safe from pests.

Some organizing professionals even recommend storing your more fragile fabric holiday decorations in a space other than the garage.

And if you have a bunch of boxes or storage bins filled with clothes in the garage, ask yourself – how much of this stuff does my family really need? Take this cleaning time to figure out which clothing items can be donated.

13. Old and broken lawn and garden supplies

unwound green hose

Lawn and garden supplies that break, get worn out, or just don’t work very well anymore can likely be found scattered throughout any cluttered garage.

Round up that split or leaky garden hose, cracked hose reel, old sprinkler, ripped or orphaned gardening gloves, and those unreliable watering accessories and just toss them out.

Do the same with any ceramic, clay, and plastic pots that are damaged and no longer useful. Look for plastic planter trays and paper fiber pots you’ve accumulated over the years as well.

Depending on where you live, some of your old plastic gardening products can simply be added to your recycling bins.

14. Old kids toys

Sports equipment and clothes for kids have a fairly short life because they outgrow these things so quickly. They’ll outgrow their toys, too, or eventually lose interest in them as they age.

If you never got around to donating your kids’ old toys or passing them down to a family member, neighbor, or co-worker, it’s probably the basement or garage where they ended up.

Do what you can to give kids toys that are in still good shape and safe to play with another home.

Unfortunately, broken toys will have to end up in a landfill since most of the plastics used in them is too difficult to recycle.

15. Any remaining items

We have now covered most of what you will dealing with when undertaking a garage junk cleaning project. But because garages are so large and typically a home’s go-to spot for dumping things, there may be even more items you encounter while cleaning up.

Here are some additional things to look for when decluttering the garage:

  • items you never got around to fixing and likely never will
  • boxes or plastic storage bins with broken holiday decorations
  • old luggage
  • old strollers, toddler car seats, and baby accessories
  • camping equipment that is damaged or never used
  • firewood (which should not be stored in the garage)

Take the next step after your garage junk cleaning project

Congratulations! By getting rid of this junk, you’ve taken that all-important first step towards reclaiming your garage’s functionality.

Now take the next step.

Garage Living can transform your unfinished, outdated garage into an attractive and modern extension of your living space.

We’ll also outfit your garage with durable, high-quality storage systems that make it easier to keep the garage organized and running efficiently on a daily basis.

Schedule a free design consultation with us to start taking full advantage of what your garage can do for your home and family.

Please share this post if you found it useful.

See also: