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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How a Garage Transformation Boosts Your Curb Appeal and Home Value

Have you ever thought “I’m embarrassed to open my garage because it’s so messy”?

Is the garage your “shame place”, “the dumping ground”, or “the home eyesore”? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

An Impulse Research survey found that 24% of homeowners are embarrassed to leave their garage doors open.

Considering the average garage door opens and closes approximately 1,500 times annually, that’s a lot of potential embarrassment to endure if your garage is a disaster zone.

That’s why the garage’s interior, in addition to its exterior, should be a big part of anyone’s plans to boost their curb appeal and home value.

curb appeal and home value suv in garage

Look beyond the obvious with your curb appeal and home value

When we think of curb appeal, it’s your property and exterior home features that immediately come to mind.

There are many things vying for your attention and time to keep looking their best. Your front door and porch, roof, rain gutters, house siding and masonry, windows, exterior lighting, driveway, lawn and landscaping, fences, and garage doors all require varying degrees of maintenance.

But if you look beyond the obvious when considering what has a positive impact on your curb appeal and home value, you’d realize that your garage’s interior shouldn’t be overlooked, either.

Like it or not, we’re all constantly being judged by others every day. Our homes are, too.

A clean, beautiful garage makes a strong statement to neighbors, passersby, and visitors about the high standards you have for your home’s appearance.

Braun Research surveyed 500 realtors and 88% of them believed that maintaining an organized garage reflected an owner’s pride in their home.

Let’s learn more about why it’s so important to improve how your garage looks and functions. We’ll also provide a few suggestions about what steps anyone can take to boost both their curb appeal and home value.

52% of homeowners want a garage their neighbors envy

A Thompson’s Company study found that 52% of homeowners their garage to be envied by their neighbors. 

Despite that stat, most homeowners still overlook the garage when it comes to making home improvement upgrades.

It seems that garage upgrades fall into that “I’ll get it done someday” category. A Peachtree Consulting survey backs that up. It found that more than 50% of homeowners planned on reorganizing their garage within the next two years.

But according to a Wall Street Journal survey, only 11% of homeowners say they’re satisfied with their garage and wouldn’t want to improve it.

Why wait until “someday” to make positive changes to your garage? As American author and entrepreneur Janet Daily once said, “Someday is not a day of the week”.

It all starts by clearing out the clutter

A home organization study done by Moen (North America’s top faucet brand) found that the garage was the most cluttered space in homes. 50% of homeowners surveyed by the National Association of Professional Organizers also named the garage as the most disorganized area of their house.

To make any garage truly envy-worthy, the first plan of action is to start eliminating most of that pesky clutter. “Removing junk” ranked as the top answer from those asked how they could enjoy their garage more in that Wall Street Journal survey.

That doesn’t mean making a “lateral” storage move with most of that stuff that’s gradually swallowed your garage floor space over the years. Renting a storage unit isn’t the answer.

They only end up wasting your money and giving you an offsite clutter-harboring space whose contents will need to be dealt with someday (there’s that word again).

3 steps to transform a dysfunctional garage 

In that survey of 500 realtors, 79% of them agreed that garages deserved as much organization attention as any other room in homes.

Transforming a garage from dysfunctional to functional and keeping it well-organized requires three things:

  1. A first step of clearing out the unnecessary items in your garage that haven’t been used in years, are broken, or will likely never get used much. 
  2. Choosing the right garage makeover professional who can show you which storage systems work most effectively and can successfully execute a redesign plan. 
  3. A dedication to keeping the garage clean and tidy with regular maintenance.

It’s disorganization and not a lack of space that causes 80% of household clutter, according to a Soap and Detergent Association study. 

So which storage systems have the biggest positive impact on a garage’s functionality?

curb appeal and home value white car in garage

The garage is your home’s most useful storage space

Forget the attic or basement – realtors say it’s the garage that’s the most desirable storage space for homebuyers.

The garage is so highly valued by homebuyers for storage because if it’s designed properly, it can be your home’s most useful storage space.

Using slatwall, specialty storage racks, and a cabinet system in the garage will enable you to maximize storage space and stay organized with less effort.

This allows you to get more functionality out of the space, whether it’s for more storage, parking, or setting up a garage workspace.

If you’re one of the 20-30% of homeowners who are unable to use their garage for parking due to clutter, you’re just not utilizing it to its full capabilities. There are numerous other reasons you should be parking in the garage as well.

Yard tools, sports equipment, holiday decorations, bulky storage bins, seasonal items, and many more things can all co-exist in an organized manner when stored in the garage, while taking up literally 0% of your floor space.

The value of a high-end garage interior look 

When your garage is open, it’s the only interior part of your home that anyone who’s in the vicinity outside can see.

While people (hopefully) won’t be lurking around outside your home waiting to get a peek inside your living space, you never know who may be looking your way when your garage doors happen to be open.

You could be driving in or out of your garage or just putting out the garbage and recycling.

Your garage’s appearance doesn’t rely solely on how tidy it is. It’s also about what the room’s décor and design elements convey to anyone who sees your garage.

Instead of doing “the quick open and close” with your garage doors because you’re embarrassed about the state of your garage, wouldn’t it be refreshing to actually want neighbors or passersby to peek inside?

Take the garage floor for example. Upgrading it can definitely have an effect on your curb appeal and home value, in two significant ways. 

Neighbors and passersby may not fully notice the showroom-quality appearance of a polyaspartic-coated floor from a distance. They will, however, be able to tell that your floor is something more than the standard dull grey, unattractive surface found in most garages.

A durable Floortex™ floor coating will also protect your cement floor for years to come, making it a sound investment.

A garage interior is capable of turning heads by utilizing colors and décor features that can be customized for a bold or more minimalist aesthetic. A garage can even be designed with colors that will accentuate the colors of the vehicles parked inside it.

Anyone who does get a closer look when your garage is opened up will be very impressed with what you’ve done with the space.

curb appeal and home value open garage door

Garage doors are your home exterior’s most visible feature

While we’ve been focussing on the garage interior, any blog post about boosting your curb appeal and home value would be incomplete without calling attention to the garage doors.

Your garage doors are one of the most prominent exterior features your home has. They can take up as much as one third of a house’s front façade and are often the first things visitors notice about a home.

Modern garage doors have more color, material, and design options than ever before, which is a major asset when creating a dynamic exterior look for your home that will turn heads.

Here’s one more benefit new garage doors provide – they pay long-term dividends when it comes to raising your curb appeal and home value.

New garage doors have one of the best returns on investment of any home improvement upgrade. Typically, 80-90% of your costs for new doors will be recouped.

Other ways garage upgrades increase a home’s value

New garage doors aren’t the only garage upgrade that pay off when it’s time to sell your home. All of those interior garage upgrades will make your house more enticing to prospective buyers.

After all, who wouldn’t be impressed walking into a room that’s typically disorganized and drab and instead finding an ultra-tidy space with an appealing, modern look? 

A nice garage interior may even be the home feature that wins over a buyer who otherwise wasn’t even aware that a garage could be kept so tidy and have such a high-end appearance. 

When purchasing a home, 80% of buyers factor in the garage when making their decision, according to the previously referenced Impulse Research survey.

And consider that in that survey of realtors, 82% of them said that disorganized garages have a negative impact on the first impression of buyers looking at homes.

Take pride in your garage to boost your curb appeal and home value

Instead of being embarrassed about how your garage looks to others, why not have the home on your street whose curb appeal and garage are the envy of the neighborhood? 

The great impression others will get from seeing your fabulous garage is only the bonus this home improvement project provides, however.

You’ll get even more enjoyment from the pride and satisfaction that comes with owning a garage that’s truly a beautiful extension of your living space. 

You can make it happen by relying on an experienced and trusted garage makeover expert like Garage Living to handle your project.

Schedule your free design consultation with us today.

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Sports Equipment Storage for Your Garage: A Complete Guide

The parents of kids who keep active with sports know the struggle of trying to keep their garage floors free from the untidiness that sports gear can cause.

Leaning bikes, loose balls, discarded elbow and knee pads, athletic cleats scattered across the floor…it never ends.

It’s unfortunate because garages are the perfect room in your home for all of your sports equipment storage needs.

The garage is commonly the last part of the house you’re in before driving your kids off to their game or practice.

And it provides a spacious, centralized storage area for all of your family’s athletic gear, which is better than having it scattered throughout the house.

sports equipment storage on slatwall

Why you may be struggling with your sports equipment storage managment

The main reason many garages can’t manage both their sports gear storage needs and general storage needs is simple – they’re using the wrong storage systems.

Or, even worse, there are no practical storage systems being used.

A family of five who all stay active with recreational and organized sports can accumulate dozens of pieces of athletic gear of all sizes.

Take the above photo, for example. Between balls, rackets, bikes, baseball and tennis gear, and winter sports gear, a garage can quickly get overwhelmed by all of the things a family uses for their sports.

Smart, efficient storage systems are essential to help you keep everything organized, easy to find, and clean.

If your garage floor is not exactly a “sports gear-free” zone, here’s a complete guide explaining the do’s and don’ts of sports equipment storage for your garage.

Ditch or donate outgrown and worn-out sports gear

It’s common sense and a simple, fundamental organizing principle that having less to store makes organization easier.

Garages are filled with thousands of pieces of worn-out athletic gear. Kids will sometimes outgrow their sports gear in less than a year.

These things aren’t just needlessly occupying valuable garage space, they could be of great use to someone else, including the less fortunate.

Start your cleanup effort by donating old items that still have some life left in them to any charity that recycles old sports gear.

Another option is to sell your old gear to a used sporting goods retailer like Play It Again Sports.

Add a slatwall storage system

Once you’ve pared down your collection of sports equipment, it’s time to choose the best way to store everything.

The choice is actually quite simple – nothing else matches what a slatwall storage system offers.

The key to keeping a garage floor clutter-free is to make use of the available storage space on your walls.

Slatwall panels accomplish this by giving you wall-to-wall storage possibilities using a variety of hanging accessories. Set up zones that keep your sports gear, yard tools, and other items separated and tidy.

This maximizes storage space, keeps things securely in place, and optimizes your garage’s organization capabilities so everything is easy to find.

sports equipment storage messy garage

BEFORE: This garage was using repurposed kitchen cabinets with mismatched colors. Underutilizing the walls for storage led to floor clutter.

sports equipment storage tidy garage

AFTER: The garage makeover included a new floor coating and slatwall and cabinetry were installed for easy-to-manage storage. Floor clutter be gone!

The storage versatility of slatwall

The beauty of slatwall storage is that its versatility enables your wall panels to essentially be blank canvasses with a limitless number of storage configurations.

Having an ample amount of storage versatility means that you’ll enjoy lots of freedom when hanging your items. Adjusting and moving things around as your storage needs change is no issue.

For example, when one sport is done for the season, its gear can be moved to a less accessible area and replaced with easier to reach equipment for whatever sport is in season.

Making your storage systems as convenient to use as possible can save you hours of time that would otherwise be wasted searching for misplaced items over the course of a year.

Add cabinetry and overhead racks

Supplementing your garage wall storage with a couple of other storage systems will set your garage up as a highly functional space for storing sports gear and a lot more.

A cabinet system can be incorporated into your garage design in order to give you more storage options.

Cabinets can be used to store sports equipment, tools, and valuables or hazardous materials that you need locked up. Visual clutter is eliminated because everything is hidden in drawers and behind cabinetry doors.

Using overhead racking also expands your ability to store things in the garage and, like slatwall, takes advantage of an underutilized part of the garage.

In this case, it’s the garage’s ceiling area that can have heavy-duty racks added for storing bulky and out-of-season items.

The drawbacks of DIY sports equipment storage

Plenty of garages rely on DIY storage systems to store their athletic gear. That may be cost-effective but also has some drawbacks.

First and foremost is the aesthetic downgrade most DIY storage systems add to a garage space.

Very few of the DIY storage ideas you’ll find in garages actually look very good. In fact, many of them look downright terrible.

While looking online, I came across one garage that had a beat-up wooden pallet standing upright and fastened to the wall, with a couple of the pallet’s bottom slats pulled off to allow yard tools to be stored.

Then there was the hammock I saw that was hanging in a garage corner to hold balls and baseball gloves. Needless to say, neither were aesthetically impressive. DIY storage projects also tend to have an inconsistent level of functionality and durability issues.

Aim for something higher than just hammering nails into exposed wall studs for hanging things, or storing yard tools between the studs and nailing a 1 x 3 furring strip to hold everything in.

Slatwall storage doesn’t just allow you to store more efficiently, it makes your garage look better while doing so. Durable PVC slatwall panels add a professional-looking finish to your garage interior.

Color-matched screws and finishing trim, along with powder-coated metal hanging accessories that are all the same color create a clean, consistent appearance.

Now that we’ve established which sports equipment storage systems are most ideal for the garage, let’s address storing specific types of athletic and outdoor activity gear.

Essential bike storage solutions

sports equipment storage 2 bikes hanging on wall

Leaving bikes leaning against the garage wall or with their kickstands engaged in a corner aren’t ideal storage methods.

They’re taking up floor space, can fall over, and are more vulnerable to damage from vehicles entering and exiting the garage.

Instead, use horizontal or vertical wall storage to keep your floor clear and your bikes safer.

Two horizontal bike hooks on your slatwall will store one bike flat against the wall. This means they’ll protrude less into the garage space, but take up more of the slatwall space.

Vertical hanging (pictured left) involves a single point of contact with the bike’s front wheel hanging from a vertical bike hook. This creates a larger profile, as the bike hangs perpendicular to the wall. You’ll have more slatwall hanging space at your disposal, however.

All of your biking accessories like water bottles, helmets and gloves, tire pumps and pressure gauges, spare tires, and repair tools can be kept organized and right beside your hanging bikes on the slatwall.

For large families with a lot of bikes and a bigger garage where available floor space is a non-issue, a sturdy bike rack is another bike storage option.

Football, hockey gear, and other sports apparel

For storing equipment from sports that use a lot of padding (like football and hockey), designate a zone on a slatwall panel to keep everything together.

Use a combination of hooks, baskets, shelving, and a dedicated hanger (like our hockey hanger, which can also be used for football gear and jerseys) for the job.

Other miscellaneous sporting accessories like helmets, elbow and knee pads, skipping ropes, and frisbees can be contained neatly inside a mesh basket or individually hung on hooks.

For storing sports apparel or general outdoor apparel like boots, raincoats, and your gardening shoes, angled wire shoe shelves, and garment hooks can be easily hung wherever you need on the slatwall.

Corral those bats and balls

sports equipment storage soccer ball in ball rackAlong with bikes, those pesky loose balls your kids use for their sports are one of the most common garage floor clutter culprits.

Hanging mesh baskets can hold a bunch of your balls together in one place. Garage Living’s mesh baskets are deep so they can hold more and the see-through design makes finding balls easier.

Sports equipment storage isn’t the only thing hanging baskets can be used for. Gardening accessories and tools, cleaning products, and automotive supplies can also be stored in them.

Another option for storing balls is to use a hanging ball rack that’s conveniently adjustable for balls of various sizes.

Baseball bats are another tripping hazard that don’t belong on the floor. Keep your Louisville Sluggers stored safely with wall hooks.

Racket (and racquet) storage

It’s one of the many oddities of the English language that the main piece of equipment used in tennis is typically spelled “racket”, while “racquet” is used for most of the other, well, racquet sports. But I digress…

Instead of hanging your rackets/racquets on a nail (which isn’t recommended because it stretches the strings), opt for a dedicated tennis racket holder for the wall.

Double hooks can also be utilized for securely hanging your badminton, tennis, racquetball, and squash rackets/racquets in the garage.

The perfect golf gear storage solution

Sure, after finishing playing 18 holes you could just leave your golf bag in your car trunk – but that comes at the expense of leaving trunk space for groceries or other storage needs.

And since most golf bags nowadays stand upright on a floor just fine, you might also wonder why not simply storing it standing up in a garage corner won’t work.

That’s an option, but it comes down to (once again) looking for ways to not take up garage floor space and protecting your investment.

A new golf bag and set of clubs can get pricey. We don’t like their chances when matched against a vehicle that’s backing into a garage if they’re in the blind spot of the driver.

The golf rack pictured below is the perfect golf gear storage solution. There’s room for a couple of golf bags and two pairs of golf shoes.

Cabinetry could also be used by storing your golf bag and equipment behind one of the system’s taller locker-style doors.

Skateboards, roller blades, and scooters

Another rolling floor hazard are skateboards, roller blades, and scooters.

Any number of slatwall hooks can be used to keep them safely out of the way such as J hooks, double hooks, or utility hooks. Hanging shelves could also be used.

For a larger and heavier scooter, a couple of horizontal bike hooks will capably support the extra weight.

Fishing equipment

Any serious angler can accumulate a fair amount of rods and fishing accessories that become difficult to keep organized.

Fishing outerwear like jackets, vests, hats, and waders can be stored on hooks, shelving, or tucked away inside a section of cabinets.

Cabinets could also be used for fishing rod storage and are the best spot in your garage for all of those lures, baits, hooks, floats, fishing line, and other easy-to-misplace small fishing accessories.

Camping gear

Overhead storage racks were made for things like camping gear.

Your camping equipment can even be kept in overhead racking year-round since it tends to be bulkier and some items can be a little trickier to store.

Tents can be stored there separately while cookware, utensils, plates, cups, and camping tools can be kept in labeled storage bins. Because garage cabinets have such storage versatility, your camping gear could also be stored inside of them.

It’s advisable to keep first-aid kits or survival kits stored inside your home, as some of the medical supplies inside them are sensitive to heat and cold.

Sleeping bags should also be stored inside, where they’ll be safe from potential mold caused by excess moisture and pests that may be in the garage.

Cleaning your camping gear and storing it properly will ensure your equipment lasts much longer.

Fitness equipment

Setting up a section of your garage as a workout space makes a lot of sense if you have the room. You’ll save on gym fees and it’s a lot more convenient using the garage to work out than it is to drive to the gym,

As you can see in the picture below, this garage corner is set up as an easy-to-use workout space and can accommodate all of these homeowners’ sports equipment storage needs.

Learn more about using your garage as an exercise space by viewing our Fitness Room Garage gallery.

sports equipment storage workout gear on garage wall

Water sports and winter sports equipment storage

Winter sports equipment and water sports gear may be used at completely opposite times of the year weather-wise, but they’re actually quite interchangeable when it comes to storing them in the garage.

Using a variety of hooks and shelves to store your gear works, as will cabinets. Double hooks, J hooks, and utility hooks have so many uses, whether you’re storing a long item like a rake or a canoe paddle.

Skis, sleds, and snowboards are just as easy to store in your garage as a kayak, water skis, and your pool and boating gear.

Don’t forget to dry out your athletic gear

sports equipment storage hanging hockey equipmentAllowing your family’s sweaty athletic gear to dry out after being worn is essential for hygiene reasons and to prolong the life of the equipment.

No one wants their kid to be the one on the team other players avoid because their equipment smells so funky!

A standalone equipment drying rack in the garage will work, but using specialized wall hanging accessories (like the hockey hanger pictured) will keep your garage floor free for car parking and other uses.

A mudroom is another ideal space for some of your sports equipment storage and drying-out needs.

Don’t hesitate to use a fan to speed up the drying process if items are particularly damp and need to be worn again the next day.

Take care of your sports equipment storage needs

Being the parents of kids who are active in sports is a significant time commitment.

Why not save yourself from the wasted time that comes from looking for lost items by outfitting your garage with better storage systems?

You’ll appreciate the increased functionality that an organized garage provides and it just may make it a little easier to get your kids to their practices and games on time.

Garage Living will get your garage set up to handle any of your sports equipment storage needs.

All you need to do to get started is to schedule your free design consultation with us.

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