Your home garage provides room for parking vehicles and organized storage. Some people use it as a hobby space or a home gym.
A home garage should be able to do all of these things. Does yours?
Unfortunately, excess clutter in many unfinished garages makes this impossible. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to improve your home in some way, start with transforming your garage.
According to a Wall Street Journal survey, only 11% of homeowners don’t want to improve their garage in some way. Owning a home with an organized garage is something most homeowners want. They just never get around to making it happen.
Begin the new year by getting organized, starting with your garage. Here are several ways to transform your garage into a usable space that you can be proud of.
Get rid of the junk
If your garage is filled with junk, you might be among the 24% of homeowners who are embarrassed to leave their garage doors open, according to an Impulse Research survey.
A cluttered and unfinished garage is a common sight in many homes.
Why do we let the valuable space in our garage fill up with worthless junk? Most of us would prefer to park our vehicles in the garage instead of the driveway.
Clutter multiplies quickly. Before long, it is out of control. Try following the “one year rule” when you tidy up your garage. If something hasn’t been used in the last year, do you really need it?
Get rid of the junk in your garage. It will free up floor space and make it easier to keep things tidy.
Upgrade your garage floor
If you still have a dusty, unfinished garage floor, it’s time for an upgrade. An attractive, finished garage floor has a huge impact on transforming your garage.
A garage floor coating will protect your floor and make it much easier to clean. It will also increase the value of your garage. Without getting too technical, your main choices are epoxy or polyaspartic.
A polyaspartic floor coating, like Garage Living’s Floortex™ floor coating system, provides the best protection. It can be applied in less than a day, even during the cold winter months.
Garage Living’s Floortex™ floor coating system can be applied during cold winter months.
Without adequate protection, your garage floor will begin to crack, crumble, and wear away over time. Pitting is one example of how the surface degrades, as many small indentations start to show on the floor. Spalling (where the surface crumbles or flakes away) is another example.
Floortex™ floor coatings are engineered to keep your floor looking like new, for years to come.
Garage cabinetry helps prevents clutter
Not everything has to hang from the walls in your garage. Adding cabinets is a great way to store:
trash and recycling bins
a shop vac or compressor
valuables or dangerous chemicals you want locked up
Custom cabinet systems are worth the extra cost. Compared to off-the-shelf cabinets from big-box stores, they provide a more precise fit in your garage and look nicer. The higher-quality materials and craftsmanship they’re made with also provide smoother functionality and longer life.
Another overlooked reason to use cabinetry in the garage is your stored items are kept hidden. Eliminating visual clutter preserves the orderly appearance of a garage.
Use the garage walls for storage
Garage walls are commonly used for hanging storage, but not to their full potential.
Maximize the storage space in your garage by using slatwall panels. They are precisely cut to fit your garage’s dimensions (including cutouts for wall switches, outlets, central vac tubing, etc).
The horizontal groove design and the slatwall accessories make it a breeze to organize your things. As your storage needs change, you can move your hooks and shelves around with ease.
Customize your wall storage with over 40 slatwall accessories.
Slatwall panels aren’t just for better functionality, either. They give an unfinished garage a clean and polished look. Choose from eight colors to match your cabinetry or flooring.
And with the more than 40 types of hanging accessories Garage Living carries, you won’t have any issues finding the perfect specialized accessory to satisfy most of your wall hanging requirements.
Overhead storage for seasonal items
Not only are most garage walls underutilized, so are their ceiling spaces. You only have to look up in most garages to discover more storage space.
Storage bins in heavy-duty overhead storage racks are a great way to hide clutter.
Overhead storage racks help to keep your garage floor clutter-free. Their durable construction lets you store heavy items. They are also adjustable and come in different lengths.
Here are a few items that are perfect for garage overhead storage:
storage bins (great for hiding clutter)
Double your parking space with a car lift
If space is at a premium in your garage, it may be difficult to park more than one vehicle. Off-site vehicle storage might seem like your only option, but that can be expensive in the long run.
Consider investing in a 4 post car lift that enables you to double your parking space.
Car collectors will love the convenience of having vehicles nearby and ready to drive.
Car lifts are also useful for storing cars that are only driven during certain times of the year. With an attachment, your lift can also store:
boats and jet skis
other bulky seasonal items
And if you like to work on your vehicle, a car lift is the best way to get underneath it easily.
Hire an experienced garage remodel company
Creating a nicer garage interior with more usable space is worth the time and expense. To achieve this goal, who you choose to do your garage makeover will be the single biggest decision you’ll make with the project.
A Garage Living installer applying slatwall panels to a garage wall.
Over the past decade-and-a-half, Garage Living has completed thousands of makeover projects across the U.S. and Canada. The professional, high-end look of the transformed garages pictured here and on our website are the result of all of that experience and because of the high-quality products we use.
Bring us your design ideas. We’ll work together and within your budget to make your garage a destination that gives you enjoyment every time you drive into it.
Love your garage space!
Don’t be embarrassed about your garage. Be proud of having an organized garage with more usable space that also looks great.
Don’t forget that an open garage impacts your curb appeal. Neighbors and passersby notice a garage interior that’s messy, unfinished, and has décor that’s outdated. This is a big reason 52% of homeowners want to own a garage their neighbors envy, according to a Thompson’s Company study.
If you own luxury cars, chances are that you live in an upscale home.
The garage tends to be the last area in luxury homes to get remodeled, which makes the room stick out like a sore thumb in two ways.
First, there’s the fact that a boring, shabby-looking luxury car garage storage space is the wrong type of setting for parking high-end vehicles.
A Porsche or Lamborghini are works of art and beautiful artwork isn’t displayed in a setting that looks cut-rate. Even magnificent cars like those will lose some of their visual “wow factor” when parked in an unfinished garage that lacks any appealing décor.
Second, having an unattractive garage that doesn’t match the same high design standards that have been established throughout the rest of your house only detracts from your home’s overall visual appeal.
Garage remodel or car storage facility?
Some luxury car owners who keep adding to their collection of vehicles end up turning to luxury car storage facilities when their garage can no longer handle their storage needs.
Creating the perfect luxury car garage storage space right in your own home is easier than you might think.
One of our clients recently discovered this when we remodeled their garage so it would better complement the high-end appearance of their luxury vehicles more and give them more car storage space.
Solutions like installing car lifts, adding some cutting-edge décor, and upgrading the storage systems transformed the garage into a showroom-quality space. We’ll get into more details about the remodel below.
Drawbacks to luxury car storage facilities
There are two main drawbacks to using a luxury car storage facility – cost and convenience.
Using luxury car storage facilities is expensive and any type of rental arrangement is never a tangible investment that provides any long-term benefits for the renter.
We expect that if you can afford luxury vehicles and have enough of them that offsite storage is being considered in the first place, however, that the extra expense of storing your vehicles isn’t an issue. Even still, regardless of how much money is in your bank account, no one likes to waste money.
Those security guards, climate control costs, and a more upscale aesthetic compared to a standard car storage facility don’t come cheaply. Neither do the extra services many luxury car storage facilities offer, such as valet delivery, monthly vehicle status reports sent to the car owner, car-washing and detailing, and regular vehicle maintenance.
Here are the approximate starting prices for keeping a single car at some luxury vehicle storage facilities in a few select cities:
Dallas: $275 USD
Miami: $380 USD
Detroit: $320 USD
Toronto: $325 CAD
Vancouver: $300 CAD
Another big negative of not having enough luxury car garage storage space at home and having to use a remote storage facility is the inconvenience.
Even if a car storage facility has vehicle pickup and drop-off services, you need to schedule an appointment. Also, most vehicle owners are uneasy with anyone outside of their family driving their car – especially if it’s very expensive!
It’s impractical to keep luxury cars parked in a different location where you can’t appreciate and admire their beauty.
We’re not saying all luxury vehicle storage facilities are bad. They’re useful if your garage is small and expanding the size isn’t an option or if the maximum number of car lifts are installed in it. And they make sense if you’re just a really serious auto enthusiast whose collection has outgrown even a large home garage.
Unless any of the above issues apply to your situation, however, there is no reason you can’t have your car collection stored right under your own roof.
Here are five ways to create a stunning garage for your luxury vehicles.
1. Add car lifts to store more luxury vehicles in your garage
Car lifts are a more practical and cost-effective storage solution than undergoing a garage expansion project or keeping some of your cars at a storage facility.
Any construction project that involves expanding the size of a garage is going to be expensive, messy, lengthy, inconvenient to your family, and require dealing with local zoning laws.
Adding one or more car lifts to a garage is the best way to increase your home’s available parking space.
The ceiling space in most garages goes unused, which car lifts take advantage of (provided the ceiling is a minimum height of about 10 feet).
By allowing a vehicle to be parked on a raised platform above another vehicle, you double each available parking space in the garage with each lift that is added. A 2-car garage effectively becomes a 4-car garage, for example.
The spacious garage featured here is approximately 1,120 square feet and can store six vehicles, so there is a wealth of luxury car garage storage space if the homeowner adds to their auto collection.
A double car lift setup helps keep most of the ample garage floor space open, which makes driving in and out of the garage and parking easier. It also creates more space for other non-traditional garage uses, which we’ll get into later.
Car lifts are also ideal for parking vehicles that aren’t driven on a regular basis, such as a luxury sports car or classic car owned by someone living in a northern climate who wants to store it for the winter. With a car lift, your lesser-driven vehicles won’t take up the garage’s prime parking spots.
When you can conveniently keep all of your vehicles right in your own garage, why waste money on luxury car storage fees?
2. Showcase your luxury cars
Car lifts create more parking space and let you to display and showcase your luxury vehicles. Pictured are a Corvette ZR1, Lamborghini Aventador, and Porsche GT2 RS.
Car lifts have more functionality than just creating more garage parking space – they’re a great tool that allows you to showcase your vehicles, too.
Elevating some of your cars creates a more impressive sight than if you had a collection of, say, four or five cars parked at floor level in a garage. The vehicles parked behind other vehicles are less visible and their true beauty can’t be fully admired.
In a way, you could look at car lifts as display platforms that enable high-end car collectors to display the vehicles they cherish to their best effect, especially when surrounded by tasteful upgrades to the garage’s interior décor.
A luxury car garage storage space that uses car lifts also stands out because although lifts made for residential use aren’t exactly new, they’re still fairly uncommon in garages. These impressive devices are a talking point in and of themselves, even without an exotic sports car parked on them!
If your garage is as large as this one, you could even have an extra car lift or two installed during a remodel to accommodate vehicles you’re looking to add to your collection.
3. Make your garage interior luxurious
Most homeowners don’t associate the word “luxurious” with a garage interior, but that’s only because the concept of high-end garage décor is relatively new.
Garages should look as nice as any other part of the home, especially since so many of us primarily enter and exit our main living space through the garage.
Upgrading your garage interior creates a nicer-looking transitional space. It also creates a true extension of your home’s living space that makes you feel more comfortable. And when you factor in owning luxury cars, there is even more reason to make your garage look gorgeous!
As seen in the “Before” photo below, this garage had a dull, monochromatic look and needed some decorative flair to upgrade the room’s aesthetic.
Before the garage remodel
Garage Living added a Nightfall Floortex™ floor coating with decorative flakes and a glossy finish that adds visual appeal to the room and nicely complements the cars’ high-end look. This durable polyaspartic floor coating provides superior protection to an epoxy floor and is easier to maintain.
In addition to providing wall hanging space, the surrounding grey slatwall gives the room a tidy, consistent look. The lower black slatwall strips provide a nice visual contrast and incorporate LED ribbon lighting for extra visual interest.
Here are some more décor-related upgrades that were part of this luxury car garage remodel:
Numerous pot lights replaced the outdated incandescent bulb lighting to brighten the room and showcase the luxury cars in the best light – literally!
A fresh coat of white ceiling paint gives the garage a clean look, makes the room feel more relaxing (one of several benefits of using white paint), and reflects light better.
A Floortex™ baseboard coating around the garage’s perimeter creates a more seamless aesthetic between the floor and walls of the room.
A GL Custom Steel cabinet system adds a further infusion of high-end style to the garage’s appearance. A pressure washer and its two hoses are kept hidden behind some cabinet doors to preserve the room’s tidy look.
New garage doors were installed to upgrade one of the home’s most noticeable exterior features and boost curb appeal. The doors have obscure glass panels that provide privacy while allowing natural light in.
To get more examples of what a garage interior is capable of looking like, browse through our Designer Series. It has seven exclusive themes of pre-chosen color palettes and design materials that help simplify the garage design process for you.
After the garage remodel
4. Keep the garage organized and maximize its storage
A luxury garage won’t look so luxurious if it’s untidy, so investing in high-quality storage systems is a must.
We offer numerous solutions that allow homeowners to maximize their garage’s storage space. Working with garage remodel pros like Garage Living allows you to make the best use of the room’s storage space and have it designed accordingly to fit your family’s needs.
We’ve already mentioned how our storage systems contribute to the modern, stylish look of luxury garages. Here’s how they maximize your storage space and give garages more functionality.
High-quality garage cabinets contribute to a luxury garage’s upscale look and expand your storage options.
Garage wall storage
Your garage walls are your biggest asset when it comes to finding more garage storage space. As you can see in these photos, slatwall creates lots of hanging space for bikes and other types of sports equipment, ladders, tools, apparel, and anything else capable of being hung up.
Just as car lifts get more use out of a garage’s underutilized ceiling space, so do overhead storage racks. They’re ideal for storing bulky items like storage bins and out-of-season items that you don’t want sitting on the garage floor.
Garage storage cabinets expand your storage options and provide space for keeping valuables and hazardous materials that you’d prefer to be locked up. This garage’s cabinet system is wall-mounted and was customized to include drawers beneath the locker doors.
A stainless steel countertop, sink with a pullout faucet, and a mounted 4K TV gives the garage extra functionality as a workspace.
With an organized garage, you can use it for things besides parking vehicles and home storage. Making your garage work harder (and more efficiently) as a storage space opens up opportunities for using the room as a workshop, exercise space, or even as a home relaxation area.
5. Make your garage more secure
It’s a wonder that so many luxury cars get parked in driveways instead of the garage. This is usually because there is too much clutter in the garage, an all-too-common issue that causes about 25% of homeowners to park outdoors most of the time.
Protect your luxury car investments by making your garage as secure as possible.
Not only are cars and trucks left exposed to the elements, but they’re also much more vulnerable to theft and vandalism.
Once a garage is organized so you can park indoors, there are numerous other ways to keep your luxury cars safer when they’re parked inside:
Install smart wireless security cameras with motion sensors outside your garage doors and inside the room that can be accessed through your smartphone.
Invest in a good garage alarm system.
Keep the garage doors locked (which sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many homeowners fail to do so). A keyless garage entry system is also worth considering.
Upgrade your home’s exterior lighting around the garage to provide better lighting coverage that will deter burglars.
Limit the garage interior’s visibility from the outside by using opaque treatments on windows or window coverings.
Upgrade your garage door openers to take advantage of convenient features like smart MyQ technology that lets you monitor and control your doors remotely via a smartphone app.
Invest in a sturdier, more secure exterior garage access door.
Create your one-of-a-kind luxury car garage storage space
Garage Living specializes in designing one-of-a-kind luxury car garage storage spaces just like this one.
We can help you get a lot more out of your garage, both in terms of how it looks and functions. And we can accomplish this in less time than you might think.
In as little as 3-5 days, we can complete a full garage remodel. A flooring project can be done in only 1-2 days.
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.
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.
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)
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
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:
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.
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).
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
There are more options for your spending dollar than ever before.
Online spending accounted for 16% of total retail sales in America last year, which was an increase of 15% from the previous year.
Big-box stores are everywhere across North America, offering tempting prices and the convenience of one-stop shopping.
The rapidly evolving retail landscape makes it even more important to think about what it means to shop local and support small businesses.
And “shop local” doesn’t just mean supporting small businesses in your community – it also includes buying domestically-made products.
It’s a simple fact that where you shop and what products you buy end up having a big impact on the community you live in.
Small businesses account for two-thirds of the new jobs created annually in America. In Canada, 70% of the workforce is employed by a small business (defined as a company with less than 100 paid employees).
If you’re planning a DIY garage upgrade project using products purchased online or from a big-box store, here are five reasons to consider letting a local small business handle the job.
1. When you shop local, it benefits your community more
A report from the U.S. Small Business Association and the U.S. Department of Labor found that 68% of the money spent at locally owned businesses stayed in the community.
Research firm Civic Economics did another study that showed only 13.6% of purchases made at large retail chains got recirculated back into the community. Very little of any online purchases consumers make is from a local business, so that money being spent could literally end up anywhere in the world.
When you shop local, most of the revenue generated by businesses you patronize goes right back into your community. This occurs not just via spending at other local businesses, but by more tax dollars being invested in your area’s public services and community organizations.
A healthy local economy has a positive ripple effect by spurring further economic development that creates more new jobs.
Here are a few additional ways having more small businesses helps communities:
Small businesses donate 250% more than large businesses to local charities and community organizations (from an OnDeck survey).
Consumers get a wider variety of products to shop for and see more pricing competition between local businesses.
A town or city with lots of small businesses has more of a unique, individualistic look compared to a community that is populated with large retailers whose stores all look the same.
The vast majority of small business owners and employees live in the town or city where they work and are more invested in the well-being of the community.
2. You get a more personal and satisfying customer service experience
One of the biggest benefits of supporting a locally owned and operated small business is you typically get a more personal customer service experience.
Garage Living prides itself on the fact that we really get to know our customers. This helps us get a better understanding of their needs so we can customize our designs to fit their lifestyle.
Our consultative approach involves visiting our clients’ homes, evaluating their garage’s layout and storage potential and taking measurements, and establishing a proper needs analysis. It’s all part of what we call the “Garage Living Experience”.
Throughout the full-service consultation, design, and installation process Garage Living offers, we remain attentive to our customers’ needs. In addition to the years of garage design expertise we bring to the table, this personalized, face-to-face working relationship is why so many of our clients give us great feedback after their makeover is completed.
Hiring a professional company like Garage Living instead of DIY’ing your garage makeover means the job will get done right, without having to go back later to fix mistakes.
There are many ways a garage makeover can go wrong, starting with the products that are used. Too many homeowners make the mistake of buying cheap garage storage cabinets online or from their local big-box store.
Garage floor resurfacers are another product it’s easy to make a bad buying decision with. Inexpensive floor paints or epoxy coating kits are far from premium quality and simply don’t look as impressive or stand the test of time like a Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coating.
Our roster of products are of the highest quality and built to last. Garage Living also uses our own certified installation staff, not subcontractors. You can rest assured that any installation and floor coating application work we do in your garage will fit perfectly, look immaculate, and be safe for your family.
One more good reason to shop local and hire a garage makeover specialist is you’ll have more freedom to customize your garage’s appearance. Take a look at a few of the many awesome garage makeovers Garage Living has added its custom touch to.
3. North American manufacturing is more eco-friendly
Locally and domestically-made products are more eco-friendly than products made overseas for two main reasons.
First, North America adheres to stricter environmental guidelines when it comes to air pollution and waste disposal in the manufacturing process.
The U.S. and Canada were ahead of the curve in banning manufacturers from continuing to use lead, formaldehyde, and other toxic chemicals in their products.
Next, consider the carbon footprint that comes with shipping any product from outside of North America via the air and sea.
Foreign-made products available on Amazon are either shipped directly from a third-party vendor anywhere in the world to online shoppers or shipped to one of the company’s many huge distribution centers around the U.S. and Canada.
Non-domestic products sold by big-box retailers similarly get shipped overseas to a large warehouse before then being shipped off to each store.
All of that international freight movement creates a much larger carbon footprint compared to locally or domestically-manufactured products.
An additional reason to shop local is the ridiculous amount of packaging that often comes with shipments from online purchases. We’ve all ordered products from Amazon and had many of them shipped in a box that is far bigger than seems necessary. And what’s with all the bubble wrap in that shipping package?
The cardboard can be recycled, but even that process has a carbon footprint (as does the manufacturing of these two things in the first place, obviously). Discarded plastic bubble wrap will just end up in a landfill where it can take hundreds of years to biodegrade.
4. Local businesses use more high-quality, locally sourced products
The term “locally sourced” is most commonly associated with food products like locally grown produce and vegetables. It can also be applied to any product that is manufactured locally, however.
Generally, large retailers are so profit-driven that they place a higher priority on how low a price a product can be sold to a consumer for over whether or not it’s actually a well-made, quality product.
Small local businesses tend to care more about offering their customers a better quality product. That means using a larger percentage of locally sourced products compared to big retail chains.
“We have been successful in securing local manufacturers and continue to solidify relationships”, says Garage Living Vice President of Product Development Corbee Dutchburn.
For decades, products made in the U.S. and Canada have had a better track record when it comes to quality than many similar types of products that are made overseas. A higher level of quality control during the design and manufacturing process is a big reason.
“Manufacturing in North America is very competitive and the quality is meeting and surpassing our high-quality standards. This adds value to Garage Living products and stimulates our economies”, says Dutchburn.
Take garage cabinets, for example. The inexpensive cabinets available in home improvement big-box stores and on a lot of websites are usually made overseas. They typically use low-quality, heavily recycled steel that rusts quickly and feels flimsy. Cheap hardware is commonly used and they have poor craftsmanship (such as the welding used on the cabinet joints).
All of these manufacturing shortcuts result in a more affordable product, but come at the expense of a product’s functionality and durability.
There is simply no comparison in quality between the storage cabinets you’ll find in a big-box store and Garage Living’s line of storage cabinets. Our cabinets are made in the U.S. and Canada using high-quality North American steel.
The rigorous testing, superior craftsmanship, and higher overall level of quality makes a huge difference in how long our cabinets last, how much nicer they look, and how they function. We also stand behind all of our work and products with a written warranty.
For Garage Living, using high-quality North American-made products has been paramount in helping us become an industry leader in the field of garage makeovers.
5. U.S. and Canadian labor standards are higher
Here’s a final reason to shop local by supporting small businesses and buying domestically-made products – the U.S. and Canada have high labor standards.
With products made in many foreign countries, we have little to no idea what kind of labor standards are in place and whether or not local labor laws and regulations are enforced.
That lack of transparency can often find workers overseas making very little money and not enjoying things like raises, paid overtime and vacation time, and the health benefits the majority of North American workers receive.
Stricter U.S. and Canadian labor standards mean workers are treated more fairly and have access to human resources departments to address any workplace concerns.
Child labor laws in our countries eliminate any worries of kids being exploited for cheap labor, which is something we’ve all heard and read about in other countries all too often.
Workers in the U.S. and Canada also work in safer conditions. This includes things like getting proper safety training for material handling and operating power equipment, having more workplace health and safety inspections, and proper protective equipment being readily available.
Shop local for your upcoming garage remodel
Supporting a local small business with the products you buy and the services you use is an investment in the economic health of your community, state or province, and country.
In addition to supporting a local small business and ensuring the job gets done right, you’ll get the Garage Living Experience of incredible customer service, competitive pricing, years of garage design expertise, and top-quality North American-made products.
When most of us are brainstorming gift ideas for dad around Father’s Day, his birthday, or the holiday season, it’s the “dad gift greatest hits” that first come to mind.
Gifts like a new tie, socks, a car care kit, cologne, a day of golf and a package of golf balls, a “best dad ever” coffee mug, or a (yikes) multi-function tool aren’t original and won’t leave a lasting impression, however.
Get creative and think outside the box when it comes to your gift ideas for dad. The type of gift that is always most appreciated by the recipient is completely unexpected, useful, extra thoughtful, and leaves a lasting impression.
What type of gift checks all of these boxes for dad? It’s the gift of helping dad transform the garage into a special space that is personalized for his needs.
10 garage gift ideas for dad that he’ll love
Mental health professionals believe that occasionally spending time in a personalized space is good for our mental and emotional well-being.
It provides a place to de-stress and focus on and enjoy the things you love, all while surrounding yourself in a comfortable environment that reflects your personality.
For dad, that space can be the garage. If the garage is clean, organized, and designed with dad in mind, he can enjoy using the room more in his leisure time and even for everyday things like parking and finding his things easily.
A garage makeover will be enjoyed not just by dad, but by the whole family who will benefit from having a more visually appealing and functional garage to use.
Here are 10 garage gift ideas for dad that will transform how he uses the space.
1. Help dad declutter the garage
No one who has an excessively cluttered garage would likely say they enjoy setting foot in the room. Who wants to be reminded every time they enter a room that all of that clutter and junk that has built up over the years needs to be dealt with eventually?
This is exactly why organization and medical experts tell us that a cluttered living space clutters the mind and contributes to added stress and anxiety. And the longer the clutter problem isn’t dealt with, the worse it gets and the more daunting a cleanup project seems.
In order to restore a messy garage’s functionality, all of that clutter needs to go. If dad has been putting off that big garage cleanup project for awhile, now is the time to give him a hand.
Help dad declutter the room to get the garage to a solid starting point for beginning the room’s redesign process. Emptying the garage of all that junk and clutter and leaving just the essentials will allow him to better visualize what he needs to store and how he can best use the space in other ways, too.
2. Expand dad’s garage storage capabilities with slatwall
One great solution for helping dad get where he needs to be with the garage’s level of organization is to have PVC slatwall panels installed.
Slatwall storage makes effective use of a garage’s wall storage space by allowing things that might otherwise be leaned against the wall or stashed in a corner to be hung up. That eliminates tripping hazards and the floor clutter that restricts you from getting the most use out of a garage.
Bikes, ladders, power cords, shovels, rakes, and almost any other type of lawn and gardening tool can be hung on hooks of different sizes. Baskets, bins, and shelves are available for keeping things like sports equipment, gardening supplies, and car care products more organized. Specialty slatwall racks can be used to keep dad’s fishing gear and golf equipment safely stored and easy to locate.
The versatility of slatwall allows your wall storage setup to be rearranged with ease when your storage needs change, which is something that is guaranteed to happen with the things you keep in the garage.
In addition to helping dad stay more organized, slatwall gives the garage a more finished look as well. Don’t underestimate the aesthetic benefits of replacing old pegboard panels, a bunch of hooks and nails, or some other type of DIY garage wall storage system with a product that looks more professional and modern.
3. Design the garage so dad can use it as a hobby space
When planning your garage makeover gift for dad, consider his hobbies and passions and how the garage can accommodate some of them.
Is dad a fitness buff? A garage gym would save him from having to trek to a local gym to work out. Exercising in the comfort of your own home is ultra-convenient and very practical. Designate a section of the garage that dad can use for his workouts, with enough room for an exercise machine or two, a weight bench, some wall space for hanging workout equipment, and some open space for stretching and doing his exercise routines.
If dad likes to work with his hands and enjoys tinkering or has a hobby like woodworking, create a garage workshop. Our storage cabinet systems are designed with garage workshops in mind. You can have the cabinet system customized to give dad the type of sturdy work surface he needs and the right amount of drawer, locker, and cabinet storage space.
However dad plans to enjoy his leisure time in the garage, you can make his personalized space the entire garage, half of the garage, or even just a small corner of it. Garage Living will work with you to get dad’s garage sanctuary just right!
4. Maximize storage space with garage cabinets and overhead racks
By using slatwall, you’re already well on your way towards optimizing your garage’s storage capabilities. These garage gift ideas for dad are all about making his life easier, so why not take things a step further and truly maximize his garage’s storage space?
Garage storage cabinets are a great way to supplement dad’s wall storage and are more suited to storing certain things like his hand tool collection and power tools. The cabinet system can also incorporate convenient amenities like a fridge, sink, TV, plenty of charging and electrical outlets, and task lighting.
Many dads use repurposed kitchen cabinets or bookcases, DIY cabinets, wobbly plastic utility storage lockers, or flimsy metal cabinet systems that start to rust within a year of being purchased. Premium storage cabinets that are constructed with superior North American-made steel and high-quality craftsmanship are a huge upgrade over those storage systems and are a garage gift idea dad will truly appreciate!
As another way to keep the garage organized, have overhead storage racks installed to hold bulky items and things that don’t get used often, such as storage bins with holiday decorations.
5. Create a relaxation space in the garage for dad
The garage isn’t thought of or used as a part of the home where someone can go to sit down, relax, and enjoy a movie or spend time with their friends.
That’s because we’ve been so conditioned over the years to look at the garage as nothing more than a room to park cars in and store stuff. “Garage décor” may sound like a foreign concept to many people, but there is plenty you can do nowadays to make a garage look stylish and upscale.
Look past the fact that garages are commonly dark, dirty, dusty, too hot or too cold, and a décor-free zone. What if you could fix all of those issues and remodel the room into a space that was as cozy as your living room?
With the right touch from a garage designer, dad could enjoy such a space. All of these garage gift ideas we’re sharing will help you upgrade your garage into a clean, tidy room with modern décor.
Dad can have his own private space with some comfy furniture to enjoy some movies and watch his favorite sporting events on TV. Having his own TV in the garage won’t just make dad happy, it also frees up the TV in your entertainment room for the rest of the family.
The garage can also become dad’s social space when he has visitors over to watch the big race or game or is hosting a poker night. He certainly won’t shy away from showing off his beautiful garage space to his friends!
6. Upgrade the garage floor
If you’re designing the garage so dad can enjoy it more, that boring gray, dirty, and cracked garage floor simply won’t do. A proper garage makeover starts from the floor up, so one of your must-have garage gift ideas for dad is a new floor coating.
Don’t settle for just any old garage floor resurfacing product, however. Floor paint and DIY epoxy coatings may be cheap to buy, but they also look cheap when you’re done using them.
This high-quality coating makes the garage floor look not just “better than new” (because let’s face it, the home builder didn’t exactly leave an aesthetic masterpiece with their floor work), but as impressive and stylish as the flooring in a high-end car showroom.
Floortex™ is also extremely durable and designed to withstand the demands of a busy garage environment for many years.
7. Optimize the garage’s comfort level with these 5 extras
In addition to the already-mentioned extra amenities you can incorporate into the garage design (like a TV, fridge, and sink), here are some other ways to enhance the comfort level in the room for dad:
Upgrade the garage lighting. Bad garage lighting is a huge factor in why so many garages feel like dark, dreary dungeons. A couple of fluorescent bulbs that provide harsh, uneven illumination doesn’t cut it anymore when it comes to garage lighting. Some energy-efficient LED light fixtures or nice pot lights will do a much better job of showing dad’s dream garage in the best light. He’ll be able to find his things easier, too!
Add garage insulation. To extend the amount of time that dad has for using his garage when the weather gets too cold or too hot, consider adding insulation to the garage walls and ceiling (or upgrading the existing insulation). Good insulation that is properly installed is something that is recommended for any garage to significantly improve a home’s energy efficiency.
Install climate control systems. Enhance dad’s comfort level in the garage when the temperatures soar or plummet by installing cooling and heating systems.
Boost your garage’s WiFi reception. Having a weak WiFi signal when you’re spending time in the garage can be frustrating. Most of your smart devices won’t even work without a reliable online connection. To solve any WiFi reception issues in the garage, use solutions like a WiFi extender, a powerline adapter, or add a mesh network.
Add a great audio system. Modern tech has made it easier than ever to set up incredible-sounding audio systems anywhere in the home, without having to hide a bunch of wires or have huge speakers taking up a lot of space. Smart speakers can be used virtually anywhere. Sound bar speakers can be discreetly fitted into a custom garage cabinet system. Now dad can play his music and watch his movies or the football game a little louder than he might be able to elsewhere in your home!
8. Simplify the garage design process for dad
A personal home space isn’t just about designating part of a living space to function as a getaway for an individual. Part of the “personal” aspect of it is the way it’s personalized to reflect their style and unique tastes.
If dad doesn’t have the first clue about home décor and what colors and design choices work best with one another, simplify the entire garage design process for him.
This is why Garage Living created the Designer Series, which our clients love. It includes seven exclusive garage design themes with appealing color palettes and a selection of high-quality materials.
The themes leverage the expertise of Garage Living’s design professionals and provide a great visual helper for anyone who wants to imagine what their garage could eventually look like.
9. Let dad’s garage décor reflect his passions
Is dad a huge auto racing fan or does he never miss a game on TV with his favorite NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL team? Maybe he loves a particular car brand or owns a luxury sports car and wouldn’t mind parking it in a garage that showed it off a little better.
Whatever dad’s biggest passions are, let his garage décor reflect his love for these special things.
The garage pictured above shows the Performance theme from the Designer Series and instantly conveys the homeowner’s passion for Ferraris. The colors of the floor coating, cabinets, slatwall, and the wall and ceiling paint beautifully complement one another and the color of the cars. The artwork adds a tasteful personal touch.
The colors of dad’s favorite team could also set the foundation for the décor of his garage. Ask a Garage Living design professional about what we can do to make dad’s garage design reflect his personality.
10. Add more parking space with a car lift
If dad owns a classic car or any type of vehicle that isn’t driven year-round, he undoubtedly wants it to be stored indoors. Unfortunately, that can mean one of your everyday use vehicles loses a garage parking spot.
The solution isn’t to store the rarely driven vehicle in a costly storage facility across town, nor is it to undergo a messy, expensive garage expansion renovation that disrupts your family’s lives for weeks.
Adding a 4 post car lift to the garage (or a couple of them) can solve your home parking problems.
By taking advantage of your garage’s unused vertical space so one vehicle can be parked on a raised lift above another vehicle, you can increase your garage’s parking capacity.
Car lifts are also useful for storing bulky things like a motorcycle, riding mower, snowblower, and patio furniture, which leaves your garage floor with less clutter. And if dad likes doing his own vehicle maintenance, a car lift even comes in handy for those hard-to-reach underside repair jobs.
Talk to us about these garage gift ideas for dad
For the ultimate gift for dad, turn the garage he’s been dreaming about for years into something that exceeds even his wildest dreams.
We’ll walk you through your options for giving dad the gift of a beautiful garage makeover. You can give him a Garage Living gift certificate for the makeover project and get him involved with the planning to ensure it looks just the way he wants.