Garage Living of Miami was featured in a recent article in the Miami Herald’s weekly South Florida Home section.
Linda Fiore Ceolin, Garage Living’s creative director, was interviewed for the article, along with several South Florida garage makeover professionals. The article focuses on the challenges of keeping garages organized and includes some strategies to help homeowners maintain a garage space that’s clutter-free.
Click on the photo to read full article.
Some of the garage organization solutions recommended by the professionals include adding storage cabinetry, overhead storage racks, and slatwall panels, which makes better use of a garage’s typically underutilized wall space.
Fiore Ceolin and the other garage makeover experts also emphasize the importance of ensuring a garage looks as great as it functions, in order to create a real home showpiece. Their suggestions include getting a fresh new garage floor coating and choosing cabinetry colors to effectively complement a home’s décor, or even the color of a favorite vehicle.
Download a PDF version of the Miami Herald article.
Customers who have chosen to upgrade their garage floors with a Floortex™ floor coating are often curious about how our garage floor coating process works.
Just how does Garage Living manage to transform their old, damaged, and unattractive garage floor into such a sleek, stunning, and durable surface? And how are we able to accomplish this in as little as one day? It’s done with what we call the Garage Living 5 Steps.
Our professional 5 step Floortex™ floor coating application process has been carefully refined and perfected over time. Our special coating process, in conjunction with the specialized floor coating application training our employees undergo and the state-of-the-art equipment we use, results in the spectacular Floortex™ floor coatings that transform our customers’ garages.
What’s involved with our garage floor coating process
Watch our new video to get a better understanding of how Garage Living’s Floortex™ polyaspartic garage floor coating process works:
A breakdown of the Garage Living 5 Steps
In case you’re unable to view the video, let’s break down the 5-step garage floor coating process, one step at a time. First, however, here’s a brief explanation of what happens just before step 1 begins:
the friendly Garage Living crew arrives on-site at approximately 8:30 a.m.
after reviewing all details, any questions from the customer are answered
the process of transforming your garage floor begins!
Our crews use fully outfitted trucks, which operate as mobile workshops that allow our employees to work very efficiently. Along with the flooring project materials, every tool and piece of equipment the job may require is onboard, which helps resolve any on-site challenges.
Step 1 – We diamond grind the surface
Step 1 of the garage floor coating process is the most important – proper preparation of the concrete surface. After unloading our equipment, the Garage Living crew first evaluates the concrete density of your garage floor. This helps them choose the proper diamond blades that will be used to grind the floor.
Garage Living has invested in state-of-the-art Werkmaster™ diamond grinders and dustless self-contained vacuum systems. This equipment ensures that the floor coating achieves an unbreakable mechanical bond to the substrate.
The entire garage floor surface is ground down, which profiles the substrate and opens the concrete’s pores. Hand grinders are used on the floor edges to make sure every square inch of the floor is prepared properly.
Vertical surfaces like foundation walls, cinder blocks, steps, and wood baseboards can have the coating applied, which adds to the appealing looks Floortex™ floor coatings provide for your garage space.
Our state-of-the-art equipment prepares the floor surface.
Step 2 – Cracks and chips are repaired
It’s perfectly natural for hairline cracks to occur in concrete pads. We repair them by opening the cracks with a diamond cutting wheel.
The cracks are filled with a polyurea filler or cementitious mortar, which is left to cure for approximately 10-25 minutes (curing time varies depending on the temperature).The excess filler is then ground off to leave a completely smooth floor.
Other imperfections and types of minor damage that will naturally be found on concrete floors also need to be repaired during the garage floor coating process. For example, concrete degradation can occur from road salt, which causes salt pitting.
These other problem areas will have filler applied and then ground off. Once the grinding process is finished and the floor is completely smooth, we thoroughly vacuum the entire floor surface. Now, with all of the remaining dust and debris removed, it’s time for the base coat application.
Step 3 – Pigmented adhesive base coat is applied
The third step of the garage floor coating process involves mixing the two components in the Floortex™ polyaspartic coating. This base coat also has pigment added that matches the pre-blended flakes the customer has chosen. Many Floortex™ coating colors are available to choose from.
All vertical surfaces have the base coat rolled on and the flakes are heavily applied. The excess flakes are vacuumed up before the rest of the floor surface gets the coating applied.
The entire garage floor surface is coated with an adhesive base coat before the Floortex™ decorative flakes are applied.
Step 4 – Decorative Floortex™ flakes are broadcast
Crew members roll the coating onto the floor surface while another crew member broadcasts the vinyl flakes. We spread three times the amount of flakes on the floor during this process to ensure 100% coverage.
Now that the entire floor is coated and flaked, 60 minutes is required to let the coating cure. At that point, we remove the excess flake material using a flat metal edge tool to knock down any standing flakes.
Then the entire floor is blown and vacuumed to remove any excess debris. Now the floor is even and smooth, which makes it ready for the final step of the garage floor coating process.
Step 5 – The clear, durable Floortex™ top coat is applied
The clear Floortex™ top coat is applied with a squeegee and then back rolled. This process ensures that the top coat has a thick and even layer, which leaves a consistent finish that’s extremely durable.
The top coat requires 8-24 hours to cure before foot traffic can resume and 24-96 hours before vehicles can use the garage once again. Climate plays a role in the top coat curing time, so your Garage Living design consultant will advise you based on climate factors.
Finally, our crew will clean up the entire site and load up the truck with their equipment and materials.
Our workers clean up the entire job site thoroughly, leaving behind one thing – your beautiful new Floortex™ coated garage floor!
5 steps to beautiful garage flooring
The Garage Living 5 Steps ensures every garage flooring project is done properly. Every Floortex™ floor coating project comes with a 10 year limited warranty.
You’ll love how much better and cleaner your garage looks after a Floortex™ floor coating application. Floortex™ floor coatings are also easy to maintain and nicely minimize the appearance of dirt and dust on your garage floor.
We hope you have a better understanding about how our garage floor coating process works. Please don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any further questions.
Garage Living Vice President of Franchise Development Steve Wilkins recently appeared on the weekly Home Talk USA program. Home Talk USA is a nationally syndicated home improvement-themed radio and TV show that’s hosted by professional contractor Michael King.
Steve’s interview was broadcast on February 25th and covered topics that included the great franchise opportunities available with Garage Living, the services and products we offer, and more.
Listen to an edited version of the interview below or read the transcript.
What Garage Living does
My next guest is Steve Wilkins. He’s with a company called Garage Living and we’re going to discuss complete garage solutions and learn a little about their company. Tell us a little about Garage Living.
Garage Living started about 12 years ago and we concentrate on the underutilized prime space in your home, which is your garage. It’s square footage that isn’t being used to the utmost, so we convert your garage space. We have custom flooring, cabinetry, organizers, and our design consultants take a look at what the client’s needs are and they do a design for that garage space.
We’re experts in designing multi-purpose garage spaces
What if I’m a sports enthusiast – what can you do for me?
If you’re into golf, as an example, we have golf caddies that hang on the slatwall that we would put into the garage. For somebody that’s into biking, we have racks that hang bikes horizontally or perpendicularly. We have solutions for tennis, canoeing, and everything depends on what the client is wanting their garage space for.
Some might want to put three cars in a double garage and in that case we would recommend them putting a residential car lift in. So we really look at the space and what the client needs.
Garage Living’s success in franchising
Tell us what’s new at Garage Living. I know two or three years ago you guys expanded a little bit, so tell us how you’re making out with that.
It’s going very well. Originally, we wanted to set up branch offices, but it was very difficult having people move from Canada down to the States and getting Green Cards, so we decided on a franchise model.
What markets do you see Garage Living entering in the future?
A: For 2017, we’re going to be opening in Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta, hopefully New York City, Oklahoma City, Houston, Indianapolis, and Sioux Falls.
How we transform any garage space
I know you have challenges in the garage industry – what is Garage Living’s secret to organizing garage stuff?
When we meet with a client and do a design for them, we start with the floor. What we do is diamond grind the surface, we fill in any cracks if it needs any repairs, and then we apply a pigmented base coat down. Next, we put a decorative flake on top of that and there’s a lot of color selections for the client.
Then what we do is put a really durable Floortex™ top coat on that gives it a shine and really protects it. We also, in most cases, do the baseboards along the garage wall up as far as it will go so when you wash the floor it doesn’t get into your drywall and create mould, etcetera.
Then we look at cabinetry with our custom cabinet lines. Our five cabinet lines are all North American-made. Then we take a look at the walls and see what you need to put on the wall. Is it garden tools, electrical cords, working tools, tire racks? Finally, we’ll take a look at the ceiling, where we can put racks that can be used for lawn furniture and other seasonal items.
Garage Living of Miami
We can design a fitness room garage the whole family can use
So you’re basically custom designing to the space and what the homeowner is using it for, making sure they can organize, and using that particular area that’s being wasted.
There’s that, Michael, and in the case of our Miami location, we had a client that wanted their double garage space converted into a home gym. On the back wall we put cabinets with a built-in TV and sink, prepared the floor, and hung slatwall so all of their gym equipment could go there.
Their kids do their homework there and they have their treadmill and elliptical trainer and they converted that garage space into a home gym. We made it a more useful area because it was really wasted space with junk that was thrown in there.
Create a multi-purpose space in your home with a garage gym.
What Garage Living is looking for in a franchise owner
What qualities are you looking for in a franchise owner?
What we’re looking for is someone who wants to run his or her own business. That’s critical. They need to be a motivated entrepreneur, but they need support and access to the best products and technology. They want to do their business, but they want someone to show them the way. That’s an important part of franchising.
Where to discuss Garage Living franchising with us and the higher success rates of franchises
Where can enthusiastic candidates meet Garage Living?
We’re at a variety of home and auto shows in the coming weeks in Washington, D.C., Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Detroit (the Novi Home & Garden Show, March 31-April 2), and in April at the Barret-Jackson auto auction in West Palm Beach (April 6-8). (note that the Washington, D.C., Jacksonville, and Daytona Beach events have passed since this interview was recorded)
One other thing I want to touch on is that when someone wants to consider starting a franchise, I think a really important fact is that according to Entrepreneur magazine, success rates for franchises are greater than 90%, making this the best success rate of any type of new business.
Also, research found that 20% of individual startups were still in business after seven years, but when they bought a franchise, the success rate was 91%, so what would you rather do? I think I’d rather go into a franchise system where the structure is set up for success for the individuals that are buying into the franchise.
Very good point. You have a better chance of succeeding because your successful module has already been laid out. All of the mistakes have already been made…you’re going to make some future mistakes, but you understand what I’m saying. All the growing pains and things like that have already been ironed out.
Exactly. We found that we’ve still got equipment that we purchased 12 years ago that we couldn’t utilize, so we’re going to ensure that the franchisee doesn’t make those errors.
Getting a Garage Living franchise started
So if someone wanted to get started, what kind of investment are we talking about?
To get started, we have to realize this is a showroom-based business and not a home-based business. You need to set up a showroom to show the clients your flooring, cabinets, slatwall, organizers, racking, etcetera. It’s approximately $215,000 as your initial investment to get started.
In the U.S., the Small Business Administration (SBA) is very good with starting a business. We’re an approved franchisor with them, so there’s a couple of programs you can tap into for working capital loans that are backed by the federal government.
We also have a leasing program we’re utilizing as well, so if you want to lease your grinder and some of your showroom cabinets, you’re able to do that. Of your $215,000, it really lowers the amount that you have to get out of your pocket. You need to leverage other banks and SBA to get this going.
All of Garage Living’s products are North American-made and high quality
Tell me a little about the quality of your products.
We’re proud to say that all of the products Garage Living uses are North American-made. We have five cabinet lines made in either Canada or the United States that come with a lifetime guarantee. Our slatwall comes in eight particular colors and is North American-made as well. Our floor coating is made in the United States, so if someone wants quality North American products then those are the only ones we do sell.
How about New Orleans as a potential future Garage Living market?
Now, you know this a national show, but I’m down in “The Big Easy” and I noticed when you were talking about your expansion in certain areas that “The Big Easy” was not among your destinations. What about New Orleans?
It’s a great market and I actually had someone that had called me about it. I ran the demographics and there’s 2.4 million people in that territory and 925,000 households, so it’s time.
Learn more about Garage Living franchise opportunities
We’ve got to run, my friend, but give us that website and how we can learn more about you guys.
We’ll definitely get you back in the future and if we can give a business opportunity to somebody who might be looking for something, I think this is a great idea. And hey, you’re not even paying me nothing to say that, so it’s really a good thing.
I appreciate your time, Michael. (end of interview)
Garage storage and organization is currently the fastest-growing category in home improvement. Learn more about joining Garage Living’s successful franchise network by filling out this form.
The brand new showroom is a must-see, completely outfitted with 6 garage displays, organizational products, garage doors, and a car lift!
The grand opening prize draw included: tickets to a Jacksonville Axemen Rugby game and 1 of 2 sets of Garage Living Metal Garage Cabinetry.
A big congratulation goes out to all the winners! All attendees received tickets to the Axemen Rugby game.
The first grand prize cabinetry winner is: Sidik Kassay. The second grand prize cabinetry winner is: Jack Banning.
Please contact Garage Living Jacksonville to claim your prize.
Garage Living is the industry leader in custom garage interiors. Our design consultants evaluate your space, professionally measure and provide CAD drawings to help visualize the completed project. The highly skilled and experience Installation team arrives on site, answers any questions and proceeds to complete your project.
The young and the young-at-heart can be spotted glossing over Autostrada Forum magazine!
Garage Living is pleased to be featured in Autostrada Forum, a Canadian-based quarterly print magazine focusing on the passion, history, and journey of people within our local automotive community. Note the Garage Living ad on the back cover.
The cover features Robert Herjavec.
One of the magazine’s article features full color images of a recently completed Garage Living project. “A One-Car Garage That’s Fit for Two” details a homeowner’s challenges of having a beautiful new home without the full functionality of their garage. Garage Living’s design solutions, installation, and final results are simply spectacular.
Look for Autostrada Forum at Chapters & Indigo stores across Canada and other select magazine retailers!