10 Garage Gift Ideas for Dad

man in garage using ladder, opening drawer, and leaning on wall

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

motorcycle and items hung on garage wall

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

three men relaxing in garage

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.

Get the best product available for dad and have a Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coating professionally applied by Garage Living.

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. Install climate control systems. Enhance dad’s comfort level in the garage when the temperatures soar or plummet by installing cooling and heating systems.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

custom garage gift ideas

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.

Get the process started by scheduling a free design consultation with us.

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.

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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.

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The Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in Canada Will Probably Surprise You

Most Stolen Vehicles in Canada

Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash

When you think of the most stolen vehicles in Canada, you would expect new luxury cars, SUVs, and trucks to be among the most targeted types by auto thieves.

That’s not even close, actually.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) recently released their annual list of the top 10 most stolen vehicles in Canada for 2019 and we must admit – it’s not what we expected.

Top 10 most stolen vehicles in Canada

  1. 2007 Ford 350
  2. 2006 Ford 350
  3. 2005 Ford 350
  4. 2004 Ford 350
  5. 2006 Ford 250
  6. 2003 Ford 350
  7. 2018 Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 
  8. 2005 Ford F250
  9. 2002 Ford F350
  10. 1998 Honda Civic Si

Why are older Ford pickups such magnets for thieves?

Other than several models of the 2018 Lexus RX, there are no new vehicles to be seen on the list. Goodness, there’s no other vehicles on there that even qualify as “relatively new”!

So what gives? Why are not one, not two, but eight of the most stolen vehicles in Canada heavy-duty Ford pickups whose ages are well into the double digits?

It comes down to availability, design, and demand.

Ford F-Series trucks are the best-selling vehicles in North America. In Canada, they’ve held that crown for a decade. As a matter of fact, F-Series trucks account for half of Ford Canada’s sales

In addition to so many of these pickups being spread around the country, pre-2008 F-Series models lack an ignition immobilizer. It does exactly what you’d think, which makes the trucks easy to hot-wire. 

Stolen pickups and SUVs are also highly coveted for their overseas resale value. Combine all of these factors and you have the answer as to why the F-Series dominates this list of the most stolen vehicles in Canada.

Why is a 22-year-old car one of the most stolen vehicles in Canada?

You may also be wondering, “What’s the deal with a 21-year-old Honda Civic being such a car thief magnet?”

Like the Ford pickups, it once again comes down to the popularity and design of that specific car model.

1998 was the year the Civic started its impressive run (that has yet to be broken) of being the best-selling car in Canada. With that level of popularity comes a high-demand market for “hot” Civic parts.

Newer Civic models are less attractive to car thieves because they’re simply harder to steal than the older models. 

Ontario, Alberta, and B.C.’s most stolen vehicles

The IBC’s list of the most stolen vehicles in Canada also provides a breakdown showing which models thieves prefer in each province.

Here’s what their data shows for three of Canada’s most populous provinces:

Ontario:

  1. 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  2. Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL
  3. 2011 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  4. 2005 Chevrolet/GMC Tahoe/Yukon
  5. 2016 Land Rover Range Rover
  6. 2002 Chevrolet/GMC Tahoe/Yukon
  7. 2004 Chevrolet/GMC Suburban/Yukon XL 1500
  8. 2006 Chevrolet/GMC Silverado/Sierra 2500
  9. 2005 Chevrolet/GMC Suburban/Yukon XL 1500
  10. 2018 Toyota 4Runner

Alberta:

  1. 2007 Ford F350
  2. 2006 Ford F350
  3. 2006 Ford F250
  4. 2004 Ford F250
  5. 2005 Ford F350
  6. 2005 Ford F250
  7. 2000 Honda Civic Si coupe
  8. 1999 Honda Civic hatchback
  9. 2004 Ford F350
  10. 2007 Ford F250

British Columbia (model years unavailable):

  1. Ford F-Series trucks
  2. Honda Civic and CRX
  3. Dodge trucks
  4. GMC/Chevy trucks
  5. Ford E-Series vans
  6. Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee
  7. Acura Integra
  8. Toyota Corolla
  9. Honda CRV
  10. Dodge Caravan

8 more facts about vehicle theft in Canada

Smart car tech means more convenience and versatility for drivers, but that also makes them more vulnerable to smart thieves.  

While thieves favour older vehicle models because of their relatively inferior security features, tech-savvy criminals are still managing to figure out how to outsmart the sophisticated tech built into modern vehicles.

The IBC calls vehicle theft “much more than an insurance problem, it’s an expensive social menace”. That can’t be disputed when you look at some facts about vehicle theft in Canada:

  • every seven minutes, a vehicle is stolen in Canada
  • Statistics Canada says that 86,132 vehicles were reported stolen in Canada in 2018
  • vehicle theft costs drivers almost $1 billion annually
  • insurance companies cover about half of that $1 billion amount to replace and repair stolen vehicles 
  • law enforcement, courts, and the health care system need to devote large resources to theft-related matters
  • selling stolen vehicles for their parts is more lucrative than selling entire vehicles 
  • air bags, catalytic converters, and car seats are the most coveted parts resold from stolen vehicles
  • when a vehicle is stolen just to commit another crime, it is typically abandoned and found within two days with significant damage

One of the best ways to prevent car theft? Park in your garage.

Even if you’re not an owner of one of the most stolen vehicles in Canada, you shouldn’t have a false sense of security about how safe your parked vehicles are. 

An experienced thief can steal a vehicle without a key in as little as 30 seconds. Completely eliminating the accessibility thieves have to your vehicles by simply parking in the garage instead of the driveway is one of your best defenses against theft.

Parking in your garage may be easier said than done if the room lacks adequate systems to keep it organized, causing it to become overrun by clutter. 

Garages are usually the most cluttered rooms in a house, to the point where 25% of people with 2-car garages don’t park in them at all. A third can only park one car, according to a U.S. Department of Energy study.

black and blue cars parked in luxury garage

Parking in the garage makes your vehicles less visible and accessible to potential thieves.

Additional best practices to protect your vehicles

There are many other common-sense ways to ensure the protection of your vehicles that will cost you nothing.

Lock your vehicle doors and keep the windows shut at all times, even if the vehicle is only going to be left unattended in the driveway for a few minutes. A good thief only needs a window that’s cracked open an inch to get inside a vehicle.

It doesn’t get much easier for a car thief than finding an unattended, unlocked idling vehicle just waiting to be separated from its careless owner. Avoid extended idling periods in the driveway and especially an attached garage (which raises the risk of high levels of carbon monoxide entering the main living space). Think twice about using a remote starter to warm your vehicle up on cold mornings, too.

Park in safe, well-lit areas when you’re away from home, even if it means the walk to your destination is a little bit longer. Owners of older vehicles should consider investing in anti-theft devices like steering wheel locks, brake pedal locks, and GPS tracking systems.

Be mindful of keeping important documents like insurance paperwork well-hidden or avoid keeping them in the car altogether. In the wrong hands, they can be used for insurance fraud or identity theft. Remember, a locked glove compartment in most vehicles is child’s play for a thief to break into.

Don’t give a burglar any extra incentive to break into your vehicle by leaving anything of value (even loose change) visible. 

By “anything of value” we’re including your key fob and traditional car key. Between 2013 and 2018, the number of vehicles stolen because their keys or fobs were simply left inside them has increased 88% according to a National Insurance Crime Bureau report.

Even when you’re at home, be careful about where you keep your fob. These devices may be super-convenient, but they’re vulnerable to what is known as relay theft. Fobs kept within close proximity of a home’s walls, windows, or an exterior door can potentially have their signal hijacked by a pair of thieves outside the house using wireless transmitters. 

As a safeguard, store your fob in a closed metal box (which blocks the signal) in a centralized part of the home.

7 more good reasons to park in your garage

most stolen vehicles in canada car buried in snowBesides safeguarding what are likely the most expensive assets you have besides your home, here’s why the garage and not the driveway should be where you’re parking:

  1. Vehicle windows will be less prone to fogging up in damp weather and from early morning dew.
  2. Indoor parking lets you avoid dealing directly with bad weather when entering and exiting vehicles.
  3. Vehicles are protected from body damage caused by long-term exposure to the sun, tree sap, and projectiles when there are high winds.
  4. Parking in a safe space means some insurance companies may lower your insurance rates.
  5. Vehicles won’t need snow and ice cleared off in the winter, which saves you time.
  6. Having your vehicles closer to the garage access door into your main living space is more convenient for getting groceries and other transported items inside.
  7. Vehicles will warm up faster in cold weather.

Make space in the garage to keep your vehicles safe

Whether or not you own any of the cars or trucks on this list of the most stolen vehicles in Canada, it never hurts to be reminded about what you can do to keep your vehicles more secure. 

If you’re one of the many homeowners who can’t park in the garage because of clutter (or you can, but find it difficult to do so because there’s so little space), it’s a problem that has an easy solution.

Talk to Garage Living to find out how we can make your garage an organized, clutter-free space that can give your vehicles back their rightful home.

Our storage systems include slatwall, cabinetry, and overhead racks to help maximize any garage’s storage space and update its look. To create more garage parking space, we can also install a car lift.

Schedule a free design consultation with us to get your garage in order so you can reclaim it for parking your vehicles indoors once again.

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Hot Wheels: Do You Own One of the Most Stolen Vehicles in America?

Most Stolen Vehicles in America

Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay

Every 42 seconds, a vehicle is stolen in the U.S.

The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) tracks which cars and trucks are targeted most by thieves. Their list of the most stolen vehicles in America will probably surprise you for a few reasons.

Top 10 most stolen vehicles in America

  1. 2000 Honda Civic
  2. 1997 Honda Accord
  3. 2006 Ford F-Series pickup
  4. 2004 Chevrolet Silverado pickup
  5. 2017 Toyota Camry
  6. 2017 Nissan Altima
  7. 2017 Toyota Corolla
  8. 2018 GMC Sierra pickup
  9. 2001 Dodge Ram pickup
  10. 2000 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee

Why thieves love older cars, Hondas, and pickups

Looking at that list, you may be wondering why there’s no luxury vehicles or new vehicles on it. It basically comes down to three things: availability, design, and demand.

Every one of the vehicles on the list is a best-seller, year after year. For example, the Camry has been the best-selling car in America every year since 2000, with the exception of 2001.

And the crown holder for the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. is the Ford F-Series pickup, which has held that title for a staggering 36 years in a row. 2017 saw the F-Series have its best sales year ever, with 896,764 trucks sold.

With so many of these vehicles out there, that logically gives thieves a lot more opportunities to steal them. Popular cars and trucks also create a higher demand for parts to maintain them, whether those parts are acquired legally or illegally.

For thieves, selling stolen vehicles for their parts is actually more lucrative than selling vehicles which won’t have their parts stripped.

The “design” aspect of why older vehicles are so often stolen comes down to their security features. They simply lack the anti-theft technologies of newer vehicles, so they’re easier to steal.

This explains why according to data provided by the FBI and the National Insurance Crime Bureau in 2016, the top five model years of vehicles stolen in 2015 was 1998, 1996, 2006, 1997, and 2004, respectively. 

Here’s another common denominator with nearly all of the most stolen vehicles in America – they retain their value very well, especially the Toyotas and Hondas.

Top 10 least stolen vehicles in America

The HLDI also released data on which newer vehicles have the fewest number of insurance theft claims. Among 2016-2018 models, these are the vehicles that thieves targeted the least:

  1. BMW 3-Series
  2. Tesla Model S
  3. Tesla Model X
  4. Chevrolet Equinox
  5. Buick Encore
  6. Subaru Legacy
  7. GMC Acadia
  8. Subaru Forester
  9. Volkswagen Beetle
  10. Subaru Outback

Teslas are 90% less likely to be stolen than the average car according to the HLDI. Here’s why:

  • they’re more likely to be parked in a garage or closer to a house for recharging
  • Teslas have highly advanced key fob security tech
  • the GPS tracking technology Tesla includes in its vehicles is far more sophisticated than the average car 
  • an option on some Tesla models requires a PIN to be entered every time the car is started

In the rare case that a Tesla is stolen, their recovery rate is miles above the 58% that was reported in 2016 for stolen cars and trucks. Between 2011-2018, only three of the 115 Teslas stolen in the U.S. weren’t recovered.

That’s a smart car, indeed.

Your best vehicle theft defense? Park in the garage.

Even if you own one of the least stolen vehicles in America, you shouldn’t have a false sense of security about how safe your parked vehicles are. 

To virtually eliminate the accessibility thieves have to your vehicles, all you have to do is park them in a secure garage. After all, an experienced thief can steal a vehicle without a key parked in your driveway in as little as 30 seconds. 

Garages are the most cluttered rooms in homes, which makes parking indoors easier said than done. A U.S. Department of Energy study found that a quarter of people with 2-car garages don’t park in them at all because clutter prevents them from doing so. A third can only park one car.

Solving your garage’s clutter problem is easier than you might think. Take a page out of a Tesla owner’s handbook when it comes to protecting your four-wheeled investment. 

All you need to do is have smart storage systems added that maximize the garage’s storage space on the walls and in the ceiling area. That eliminates or significantly reduces how much obstructive clutter gets left on the floor.

most stolen vehicles in America, SUV parked in garage

Any vehicle is a lot more safer when it’s parked in a secure garage.

7 more smart reasons to park in the garage

A messy garage that prevents you from parking inside to keep your vehicles safer isn’t the only reason to finally get your garage in order.

Other than safeguarding one of your most expensive assets besides your home, here’s why you should be parking in the garage instead of the driveway:

  • time will be saved because vehicles won’t need snow and ice cleared off in the winter
  • vehicles will warm up faster in cold weather
  • vehicle windows will be less prone to fogging up in damp weather and from early morning dew
  • having your vehicles closer to the garage access door into your main living space is more convenient for getting groceries and other transported items inside
  • indoor parking lets you avoid dealing directly with bad weather when entering and exiting vehicles
  • some insurance companies may lower your car insurance rates
  • vehicles are protected from body damage caused by long-term exposure to the sun, tree sap, and projectiles when there are high winds

Talk to Garage Living to find out how we can give you more usable square footage for storage in your garage. We have a variety of highly effective storage systems like slatwall, cabinetry, and overhead racking to maximize any garage’s storage space.

Your floor will stay clear, parking will be a breeze, and your garage can even become a more useful space.

We also have car lifts available, which are a great solution when a lack of garage parking space is an issue.

7 additional tips to safeguard your vehicles

In addition to garage parking, there are many other practical and simple ways to ensure the protection of your vehicles – and most of them won’t cost you a cent.

  1. Naturally, always lock your vehicle doors and keep the windows shut, even if the vehicle is only going to be left unattended in your driveway for a few minutes. A window cracked open even an inch on a hot day is all a skillful thief needs to get inside.
  2. Hide anything of value that’s visible inside your vehicle. Why give a burglar who only wants to take what’s inside your vehicle and not steal the vehicle itself any extra incentive to gain entry?
  3. audi key fobWhen we say “anything of value”, that includes your key fob and traditional car key. Incredibly, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that the number of vehicles stolen because their keys or fobs were carelessly left inside them has increased 88% between 2013 and 2018.
  4. Don’t just be careful with your entry fob when you’re out and about. The newest security concern with key fobs is that they can be used to steal your vehicle, even when you’re inside your home. If your fob is within close proximity of your home’s walls, windows, or an exterior door, a pair of thieves with wireless transmitters can potentially hijack its signal to steal your vehicle. It’s called relay theft.
  5. Don’t let your vehicles idle unattended while parked in the driveway or garage, especially an attached garage. Vehicles shouldn’t be idling in the garage for long periods anyway, as this can create high levels of carbon monoxide that can be dangerous to the rest of the home. It also wastes gas. Think twice about using a remote starter to warm up your vehicle on frigid mornings, too.
  6. Documents left in vehicles like insurance paperwork can be used for insurance fraud or identity theft. Remember, that locked glove compartment isn’t exactly Fort Knox.
  7. When away from home, park in safe, well-lit areas, even if it means a longer walk to your destination. Anti-theft devices like brake pedal locks, steering wheel locks, and GPS tracking systems for older vehicles are also good investments.

Make space for garage parking today

If you do own one of the most stolen vehicles in America, you clearly have every reason to step up the security measures for your car or truck.

And while newer vehicles and luxury cars and trucks are stolen less often, consider this fact: our vehicles sit parked 95% of the time.

Why increase the risk of having your vehicle stolen by leaving it highly visible to the entire world because it’s parked in the driveway all the time?

Schedule a free design consultation with us to make space in your garage for parking to keep your vehicles safer.

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15 Garage Disaster Warning Signs: How Many Do You Have?

clutter on garage floor

A garage disaster doesn’t just happen overnight. It is the result of months and sometimes years of neglect when it comes to garage organization and maintenance.

Your garage gets used several times each day. It’s a useful and valuable part of your home. So why is it routinely overlooked when it comes to home improvement?

An Impulse Research survey found that 24% of homeowners are embarrassed to leave their garage doors open because the space had too much clutter and a shabby overall appearance.

Is your garage a disaster?

We recently came across a messy garage that was a complete disaster. If your garage is disorganized and cluttered, the examples below will look familiar.

The garage pictured below is shown almost entirely as is. Nothing was staged, although we did have to move a couple of items in order to get decent pictures.

1. Finding items in your garage is a headache

Messy single car garage with clutter and junk.

As you can see, navigating through this garage presents a big challenge.

Some of the bigger items, like the ladder, trash can, and wheelbarrow aren’t difficult to find quickly. Finding smaller items like hand tools, empty leaf and trash bags, or hose attachments? That’s gonna take a minute or two.

Finding things when the garage gets this disorganized doesn’t just mean navigating around the clutter. You’ll often have to move things just to get to the items you’ve located, which wastes more time.

From the garage’s entrance, you’ll see the classic example of a cleared path through the floor clutter. Just behind the wheelbarrow and hose on the ground, the makeshift path leads to the home’s exterior water connection on the garage’s back wall.

2. Things are stored in the garage that shouldn’t be

2 black suitcases on shelf

Storing the wrong things in the garage is one of many ways you run out of storage space quickly and items get damaged.

These two suitcases stored on open shelving on the garage’s back wall are good examples. Textile-based products aren’t suited for long-term storage in a garage environment that experiences major shifts in temperature and is moisture-prone.

Another reason you don’t keep textile or paper-based products in the garage for a long time is because mice find them a great place to make a home.

See those small dark spots to the right of the suitcases? Those are mouse droppings. We definitely wouldn’t want to see what’s going on inside of those suitcases.

Other examples of items you shouldn’t be storing in the garage include:

  • food
  • wine
  • wood furniture
  • electronics
  • paint

3. Your garage lighting needs an update

light fixture on ceiling

The garage has two light sources that provide a decent amount of light for the room. While they’re functionally fine, their “presentation” leaves a lot to be desired.

The light fixture above is missing its plastic casing and is attached to two thin pieces of wood that are screwed into the upper styrofoam panels. It doesn’t exactly look well-anchored.

light bulb on white wallThe light’s power cable is exposed and similarly attached to a couple more pieces of thin wood attached to the ceiling. If you look closely, you’ll see that they’re not mounted flush against the styrofoam boards.

The garage’s original light is the single incandescent bulb to the right, which oddly has its electrical cable exposed instead of hidden behind the drywall.

Along with the fluorescent bulbs being used in the ceiling light, the garage isn’t being very energy efficient…and we haven’t even mentioned the insulation issues yet!

4. Garage clutter prevents vehicle parking

Parking in the garage is clearly not an option here. All of that clutter has relegated the owner’s vehicle to 24/7 driveway parking.

It’s never done intentionally, but allowing clutter to take priority over indoor parking is very common. 20% of the 1,500 respondents to a recent Garage Living poll said they were unable to park in their garage.

A U.S. Department of Energy study found that 25% of people with 2-car garages don’t park in them at all because of clutter. A third can only park one car.

Parking in the driveway under a tree (as this homeowner must do) can lead to damage from:

  • tree sap, leaves, and berries that fall on the vehicle over time
  • bird waste can eat through your vehicle’s clear coat and paint if it’s left on the vehicle too long
  • dead branches falling in windy weather

5. The garage floor needs a complete overhaul

cluttered cement floor

Another garage disaster sign is a damaged garage floor. Pictured above is your standard cement floor that’s marred by scuffs, stains, pitting, cracks, and spalling (when a concrete surface crumbles or flakes away).

Because it’s so hard to clean the garage, you can tell that it hasn’t been swept in some time.

In addition to a good decluttering and some new storage systems, a fresh Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coating would do wonders to improve this garage’s appearance and floor durability.

6. Lack of proper storage

wall-mounted red pegboard

Analyze any garage disaster and you’re sure to find that poor storage and organization systems are being used.

Pegboard panels like the one shown above are found in a lot of garages and can be useful in keeping tools off the garage floor.

This pegboard looked to be the standard 1/8″ thickness, which doesn’t allow heavier items to be hung up, however.

Compare that to Garage Living’s 5/8″ thick slatwall panels that have a rigid cellular foam PVC construction and are capable of holding items weighing up to 50 lbs.

Slatwall hanging accessories also make it easier to reorganize your hung items and provide more hanging stability, since they’re anchored over a larger surface of the panel than a pegboard panel’s metal hooks.

To the right of the pegboard is a wall-mounted storage tower that’s not terribly practical. The items stored there were covered in dust and the open shelving isn’t tall enough to even stand up the yellow oil container that’s lying on its side (and leaking oil on the manual that’s underneath it).

For smaller items like hose attachments, power tools, oil cans, cleaning supplies, automotive supplies, and other easy to lose items, cabinet storage would make more sense if the garage has the room.

7. Existing storage isn’t used effectively

bike and push mower leaning against wall

The homeowner has the right idea by making use of a part of the garage that’s traditionally underutilized for storage – the walls.

Unfortunately, that pegboard is mostly empty, probably because it’s difficult to access with all the clutter in front of it.

A stepladder and about a dozen shovels, rakes, and other yard tools that are currently leaning against a wall or sitting on the floor could be hanging up and reducing the amount of floor clutter.

2 empty wall hooksWith a sturdy slatwall system, even heavier things like the bike and push mower pictured above could easily be hung to free up some floor space.

There’s DIY shelving along the back wall that’s only being used to approximately 30-40% of its full storage capacity.

And those two empty hooks pictured to the right look awfully lonely.

8. Wall storage space is being wasted

white scuffed drywall

A significant portion of both side walls aren’t being used at all for storage in the garage.

That’s a huge wasted opportunity in any garage space and especially in small garages where space is at a premium.

Wall-to-wall slatwall on both garage walls would give the homeowner a wealth of storage space and get quite a bit of the floor clutter off the ground.

The narrow width of the garage makes for a tight fit for the owner’s car, but parking indoors is definitely doable.

While garage cabinets wouldn’t work on the side walls of this garage, a cabinet system with a smaller footprint like GL Signature Shallow cabinets might be ideal for the back wall.

9. Interior garage aesthetics aren’t a consideration

light and stored wood on wall

It’s not just a garage’s functionality that suffers when it’s neglected, its appearance does, too. A cluttered garage is an eyesore that probably makes you wince every time you open the garage door.

Things like an old, beat-up floor, haphazardly stored wood, and drywall that’s dirty and scuffed detract significantly from a garage’s interior appearance. Storage systems that don’t stylistically complement each other also stand out in the wrong way.

At least this garage has drywall, though. A lot of garages look even more unfinished with their wall 2x4s exposed.

Also exposed in the garage is quite a lot of wiring. Those two large holes in the wall on both sides of the electrical panel pictured in the next example aren’t exactly helping in the looks department, either.

And you can bet that if you’re wincing whenever you view your garage disaster, your neighbors are as well when the garage door is open.

Don’t forget, curb appeal is all about the attractiveness of your property. A messy open garage has as much negative impact on how others view your home as a poorly kept yard or a roof in need of repair.

10. Safety hazards

electrical panel and wires

The dangling wood pieces shown in our previous example are a clear safety hazard. There are a few more safety issues in the garage that should also be addressed.

A couple of years after moving in four years ago, the homeowner decided to have the home’s outdated fuse box replaced with a circuit breaker panel.

For some reason, the electrician left the panel uncovered. Things could get really dicey if a roof leak occurred above the panel.

The styrofoam boards on the ceiling look to mostly be held in place with little more than strips of sheathing tape that’s keeping everything held together. Did we mention there’s a light fixture attached to one of those boards?

Then, of course, there’s the fact there are tripping hazards all over the place.

11. Lack of insulation

ceiling light and insulation boards

Proper insulation for an attached garage can make a big difference to a home’s energy efficiency, both during the summer and winter.

This garage could definitely benefit from a lot more than just the ceiling-mounted styrofoam insulation boards that have numerous gaps where they meet the walls. No wall insulation is being used and the homeowner was unsure whether or not the old garage door was insulated.

The room above the garage is most directly impacted by the lack of insulation. The homeowner says the floor there is noticeably colder during the fall and winter.

Sound from the garage door opener is more noticeable to anyone inside without the sound dampening benefits of more insulation.

An HVAC duct runs through the garage in the top right of the photo. Depending on the thickness and insulation effectiveness of the ducts, a hotter and colder garage might impact the efficiency of the home’s heating and cooling system.

12. Not enough task space

workbench with wood and toolsWe’ve already established that a garage disaster severely impairs the room’s functionality. That includes simple tasks like merely finding things quickly or being able to store things with ease.

It also means finding room to do any tasks is a pain.

In this garage’s case, a small foldup workbench is set up to cut some wood.

There’s very little space around the bench to work and nowhere to even put the leftover pieces of wood and tools other than on the workbench itself.

With an organized garage, a dedicated workbench could be installed with ample storage room that keeps all your tools within close reach.

A tidy garage can also be used as a multi-purpose room that allows you to do things like work on craft projects and use the space for your workouts.

13. Bulky seasonal items are stored on the floor

patio furniture in corner of garahe

The homeowner has a small yard that doesn’t provide much room for a shed, which would be helpful for supplementary storage for his bulky patio furniture.

The three patio chairs are stacked, which saves space and the patio umbrella could have the heavy base detached to make the umbrella less awkward to store.

The large patio table is still in the backyard since there’s no room for it in the garage. One storage option would be to leave everything but the umbrella stored outside during the winter with covers in place to protect them.

Smaller overhead storage racks could work at the rear of the garage to create storage space for some of the bulky items, although the garage’s low ceiling might prove to be problematic.

That orange bag on the floor to the right of the patio chairs is a camping set that, like the suitcases, should probably be stored indoors. We’re not sure if the mice have set up shop there yet.

14. The garage door is outdated and needs maintenance

closed green garage door

This garage door has a few surface flaws, including a noticeable scrape on the left-hand side.

It’s a bit stiff when being opened and closed and left a very slight gap between the ground and the door when it was pushed all the way down.

An adjustment or replacement of the door sweep might close the gap and getting the door serviced is something that’s probably long overdue.

A full garage door replacement is also worth considering. Garage doors also have a big impact on curb appeal and a more stylish, modern-looking garage door would provide a visual upgrade to the rather plain door currently installed.

Did you know that garage door replacements consistently have one of the best returns on investment of any home improvement project?

15. Junk occupies valuable floor space

empty TV box

With any garage disaster, there’s bound to be a lot of unnecessary junk and clutter occupying a sizable amount of space.

This garage is no exception. As pictured above, the box from a recently purchased TV sits on the garage floor.

Although it’s smart to hold onto the original packaging of electronic products for a year or so in case something goes wrong with them, this box should be stored somewhere indoors, where pests and moisture can’t damage it.

Below, this old stereo hasn’t been connected to electricity in ages. Its speakers are M.I.A. and the AC cord is heavens who knows where. The homeowner has meant to get rid of it for a while and just hasn’t gotten around to it yet.

To the right is a long-forgotten box of tiles. We’re pretty sure all messy garages have at least one box of dusty tiles sitting around somewhere inside of them.

old stereo  old box of tiles

Rely on a pro to fix your garage disaster

When your garage ends up looking like the garage featured here, it’s overwhelming. Where do you start?

The easiest solution is to consult with a garage makeover professional like Garage Living. We’ll work with you and provide a solution to your garage disaster woes.

With thousands of garage makeovers under our belt, you can bet that we’ve seen our fair share of garages in need of serious help. Time after time, Garage Living has succeeded in turning disorganized, visually unappealing garage spaces into genuine home showpieces.

Garage Living is a totally professional, reasonably priced, customer-dedicated garage and work/storage space company. My garage upgrade by Garage Living included flooring, a workbench, storage cabinets, and overhead hanging storage.

Every detail was meticulously addressed by the professional, respectful, and totally competent team. I now have the showplace garage of the neighborhood, and I have recommended Garage Living to many friends, neighbors and associates. If you are thinking of upgrading your garage, call Garage Living for a comprehensive estimate.

— Robert O’Donnell

Stop living with the limitations that come with having a disorganized garage and schedule your free design consultation with us today.

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