Spring Cleaning Tips For An Unfinished Garage

April showers bring May flowers.

April showers may also make things a little messy before you can enjoy the blooms of spring. You may find layers of dirt covering your driveway, walkways, and your unfinished garage floor, however, we have some solutions to help you manage spring cleaning with ease.

Respect for the garage

When buying a new house, often the builder’s idea of finishing the garage is to install drywall, tape, and mud it. They seldom paint the drywall and having them pour a concrete floor might be considered an upgrade. If you’re watching your budget and considering other enhancements to your new property, the garage might not receive the attention that it deserves.

There was a time, not that long ago, when the whole family left home to go off-site for education, exercise, shopping, and work returning home later in the day or early evening. We did not spend that much time in our homes, and for the most part we accepted the condition of our homes.

Now, we cannot avoid looking at our dwellings from many different perspectives. When space is at a premium for families who are bursting at the seams; basements, guest rooms, laundry rooms, and garages are prime candidates for expanding, waiting to be repurposed to accommodate home offices, online schooling, and work out spaces.

Clean up time

Bring out the hose, the rakes, and the shovels – that is if you can find them if the garage has become a dumping ground.

With the change of seasons, tennis racquets and other athletic equipment may not have not found their way back to their designated areas, if they ever really had one.

Storing sports equipment and holiday décor can become a revolving mess, and many homeowners dread the seasonal re-organization of this rarely-thought-of space – also known as the garage. Here are recommendations to make the task easier.

Garage spring cleaning checklist

You are only as good as your tools. For this job you are going to need the following:

  • Work gloves
  • A sturdy step stool for hard-to-reach places
  • 4-gallon bucket
  • Microfibre cloths
  • Stiff-bristled brush
  • Push broom and a regular broom
  • Squeegee
  • A clean spray bottle
  • Black, permanent marker
  • 5 empty boxes or bins

Label 5 boxes for their eventual destination:

  1. Donate
  2. Elsewhere
  3. Recycle
  4. Trash
  5. Dispose (for hazardous waste dispose at your local waste disposal center).

You will also need various products, in addition to hot water, to help get out stubborn stains.

  • Baking soda
  • Environmentally friendly soap
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cornstarch or clay cat litter
  • White vinegar
  • Crystal Simple Green

End up with a clean slate

First things first – empty the garage. This is a great time to sort and donate. The key to efficient cleaning is to work from top to bottom, left to right. Sweep the ceiling, corners, and walls, and then close the garage doors and clean it as well. Hose it down and let it thoroughly dry and air out.

Now you can see stains on the cement. In a bucket of hot water, add ½ cup of baking soda and a generous amount of ecologically friendly detergent. With a good push broom, scrub the grimy areas. Rinse and let dry.

For hard-to-remove stains, re-wet the surface and drizzle with hydrogen peroxide or Crystal Simple Green. Neither of these will not harm your lawn or bordering plants when you rinse. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse the garage floor and the broom. Let dry.

Elbow grease may be necessary

Oil drips from cars, lawnmowers, and other equipment stain concrete, because it is porous, but it can also leave slick, slippery areas on the garage floor. To soak up lubricants, apply a thick layer of clay cat litter, or food grade diatomaceous earth. Let it sit for at least 24 hours, then sweep it up and safely discard it with your household trash. Keep watch during the process to ensure that it is lifting the oil as you will see grease seeping through.

Next, add environmentally friendly soap to a bucket of hot water. Scrub the area with a brush or broom, rinse and let dry.

Mold, moss, mildew, and moisture

When it comes to mold and other unwanted organic materials, sweeping alone will not solve the problem. The plant spores must be killed.

In a spray bottle mix equal parts of hot water and white vinegar. After spraying the area, scrub with a brush or a push broom. For stubborn mold and mildew, mix a ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide in a gallon of hot water, cover the area and let it sit for about half an hour. Rinse the surface and let it dry.

In colder climates, check to ensure that downspouts were not damaged during the winter, and that rainwater is being diverted away from the home and the garage. Make sure to clean up leaves and other debris, and check rain gutters. Autumn leaves can clog eavestroughs, and trap moisture around your dwelling, which can also cause mold and mildew stains on patios, decks, and walkways.

Once you have cleaned your garage and removed stains, consider applying a professional sealant to your garage floor which last years longer than DIY brands needing to be re-applied every two to three years.

Take your garage to the next level

A professionally applied floor coating looks great and is easy to clean. Rust resistant garage cabinetry helps to hide clutter and keeps everything organized. Tire racks maximize wall storage space and keep the floor clear.

Better yet, request a free design consultation with Garage Living to learn about our durable, garage floor coating system known as Floortex™. We specialize in a 5-step process to prepare and seal concrete floors. If you want a garage floor that is durable, easy to clean, and long-lasting, then a Floortex™ floor coating is your best solution.

If you already have Floortex™ floor coating in your garage then we recommend using Crystal Simple Green to remove oil, grease, tar, mud, dirt, salt residue, and tire marks. Check out our handy garage floor cleaning and maintenance guide for Floortex™ floors.

Storage solutions to reduce garage clutter forever

Our design consultants assess your needs and create an organized plan with a proper home for everything you put everything you store in your garage. Operating since 2005, they have seen thousands of cluttered garages and can provide a custom solution to solve your storage and organization challenges.

Garage cabinets are great for hiding clutter and keeping smaller items organized. Garage wall storage and overhead storage racks are often overlooked. They can increase the amount of usable storage space in your garage. Not only that, you may realize that this valuable space could also be readapted to a workshop, a craft room, a workout area, or a home office.

Re-think inside the box and let us help you with a new garage perspective.

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7 of the Best Luxury Cars and SUVs 2021 Has To Offer

As the year comes to an end, car enthusiasts will be paying attention to what new vehicle models have arrived in auto dealerships or are coming soon.

Garage Living takes an interest in what the best luxury cars and SUVs hitting the market are because we love cars and know a few of these beauties will be parked in some of our clients’ remodeled garages.

2021 has no shortage of great luxury vehicles to offer. Let’s take a look at seven of the best of them (in no particular order), based on ratings and reviews from a number of respected automotive magazines and websites.

Prices are in U.S. dollars with Canadian dollar prices (CAD) in parentheses.

1. Mercedes-Benz S-Class

best luxury cars Mercedes-Benz S-Class

It’s no surprise that the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is considered one of the best 2021 luxury sedans available. Mercedes-Benz is the most popular luxury car brand in the world and its flagship S-Class line (featuring four different models), is a big reason why.

Motor Trend magazine praises the 2021 S-Class as “a statement of engineering excellence and technical expertise”.

The sedan gets a significant redesign for 2021 both inside and outside. Although the sedan is larger than the previous year’s model, the reworked aluminum/steel hybrid construction makes its overall weight a little lighter. Other highlights include improved safety features and upgrades to its already state-of-the-art interior tech.

Starting from$94,250 ($109,000 CAD)

2. Porsche Macan Turbo

Porsche’s popular Macan line of SUVs includes the baseline Macan, the S model, and the GTS, but it’s the top-of-the-line Turbo that we’d really love to park in our garage.

Car and Driver magazine hails it as “the single best driving crossover on the planet” and it claims to have more cargo and passenger room than any other sports vehicle. The 2021 model offers slightly more power than the previous Turbo model and pushes 434 hp with a 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds.

The Macan line is positioned as a direct competitor of Mercedes-AMG’s sporty GLE 53 and BMW’s X3 M40i SUV.

Starting from$85,950 ($96,500 CAD)

3. Jaguar F-Type

best luxury cars and SUVs Jaguar F-type

Another of our picks as one of the best luxury cars of 2021 is the Jaguar F-Type, which comes in four coupe models and four convertible models.

Introduced in 2013, Car and Driver calls Jaguar’s newest line of two-door roadsters “arguably one of the most underappreciated sports cars” available.

The F-Type gets a major facelift for 2021 with an exterior redesign, new infotainment upgrades, and an engine overhaul. Horsepower-wise, the F-Type has a top-level output of 575 hp with the R model and the entry-level coupe and convertible engines delivering 296 hp.

Starting from$61,600 ($73,000 CAD)

4. Aston Martin Vantage Roadster

2021 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster

Aston Martin’s Vantage is considered a world-class luxury sports car and the new Roadster allows auto enthusiasts to get the top-down driving experience in this specific model.

The Roadster’s roof operates faster than any convertible folding roof ever made. It can be fully lowered in 6.7 seconds and raised in just one tenth of a second more.

Both the coupe and convertible produce 503 hp, with the latter’s 0-60 mph sprint speed of 3.8 seconds clocking in at just a fraction of a second slower than its hardtop companion.

Starting from$150,000 ($192,000 CAD)

5. Audi RS5 Sportback

2021 Audi RS5 Sportback

The RS 5 Sportback is nestled comfortably in the middle of Audi’s RS line of sporty sedans. Its 444 hp engine can’t match the impressive 591 hp performance the RS 7 Sportback engine dishes out, but it still has plenty of power to offer for fans of high-performance sedans.

A front-end redesign and additional exterior styling tweaks for the four-door RS 5 Sportback and the RS 5 Coupe have gotten the thumbs-up from auto journalists.

Interior features are highlighted by luxurious Nappa leather sports seats with massage functionality and a cutting-edge infotainment system powered by a 10.1-inch touchscreen.

Starting from$75,400 ($87,400 CAD)

6. Lincoln Navigator

2021 Lincoln Navigator

If you’re looking to buy a large luxury SUV, you’re probably considering popular models like the Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX8 and the model that is perhaps most synonymous with large luxury utility vehicles – the Lincoln Navigator.

Three rows of seating provide plenty of room for comfort and the vehicle’s Perfect Position technology allows seats to be adjusted 30 ways. The rest of the vehicle’s interior is as luxurious as ever.

The Navigator’s robust V-6 engine generates 450 hp, which is capable of towing up to 8,700 pounds.

Starting from$77,480 ($92,500 CAD)

7. Porsche 911 Turbo

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S

Concluding our list of some of 2021’s best luxury cars and SUVs is the sleek Porsche 911 Turbo, which is available in four versions (including two Cabriolet convertible models).

When the baseline model of a luxury sports car has an engine packing 572 hp, you know the highest end model will be an absolute beast (in this case, the top-of-the-line Turbo S engine clocks in at a stellar 640 hp).

Starting from$170,800 ($194,400 CAD)

Get your garage ready for one of the best luxury cars and SUVs

double car lift with luxury cars

Garage Living transformed this garage into a luxury car showpiece.

Any of the above best luxury cars and SUVs need a home parking space that complements their high-end, stylish appearance.

Garage Living specializes in making the finest vehicles on the market look right at home in your home.

We can customize your garage with interior colors and materials that accentuate the beauty of your vehicles and give you the feeling of luxury every time you enter your garage space.

Get your garage remodel project started by scheduling a free design consultation with us.

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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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Hot Home Design Trends: 7 Smart Upgrades Worth Investing In

A new survey by HGTV shows that 38% of Americans are planning to do some type of home improvement project in the coming year.

While your main motivation for reinventing a part of your living space will be to enhance your comfort level now, it’s always wise to keep the future in mind, too.

Taking a forward-thinking approach to the remodeling projects you undertake and considering how they add value to your home and will make it more attractive to future buyers is financially savvy.

So which home design trends are expected to be embraced by homeowners this year? We took the pulse of various interior designers and homebuilder organizations to find out.

home design trends house exterior

7 home design trends worth paying attention to

Naturally, not all of the home design trends listed below will have staying power with homeowners and still be popular in, say, five years.

Some will evolve and some may well just fizzle out. After all, that’s why they’re called trends! We’ve mostly chosen relatively “safer” remodeling trends, including a few that never seem to fall out of fashion.

Here are seven home design trends worth paying attention to if you’re looking to update the aesthetics and functionality of your house.

1. Modern kitchen upgrades

Of the 2,000 respondents to that HGTV survey, 55% named the kitchen as the area of their home they considered the top priority for a renovation.

Because it’s one of the hardest-working rooms in the house, kitchens are always top of mind amongst homeowners when it comes to living space upgrades.

Another new survey of 1,000 U.S. homeowners by Hausera (an online kitchen and bath specialty retailer) found that 84% of the respondents had remodeled their kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom in the past two years. Two-thirds of them planned to do further upgrades to these rooms in the next two years.

In the kitchen, the top three reasons given by homeowners for doing a makeover were:

  • a change in lifestyle (41%)
  • to add value to home (38%)
  • to improve the room’s functionality (38%)

The “Marie Kondo effect” continues to resonate in the world of interior design. The minimalist aesthetic of gray colors that have been popular for a number of years now are expected to give way to more usage of another neutral color – black.

Two-thirds of the interior designers recently surveyed by Sherwin-Williams planned to use more black colors in their kitchen projects, particularly matte blacks.

The minimalist design approach includes showing less visual clutter. This should lead to more kitchen designs that keep appliances hidden, yet easily accessible via cabinetry with pullouts and lift-up panels.

For kitchen appliances, the stainless steel look continues to be very popular. Convection and induction ovens are expected to make their way into more homes. And more stoves will ditch the over-the-range microwave above them for high-quality ventilation hoods.

Granite will remain one of the most popular go-to materials for kitchen countertops. As a premium countertop option, porcelain slabs and quartz are being used increasingly in kitchen renovations.

2. Finished garages with a more upscale appearance

blue car parked in luxury garage

One of the home design trends that continues to grow is finishing the garage and turning it into an upscale extension of the living space.

The New York Times described garage makeovers as “the final frontier in home renovation”.

Porch.com’s new Homeowner’s Most Wanted survey found that a finished garage was named the fourth most important feature for homebuyers. 25.8% of those surveyed considered it a high priority, especially baby boomers and millennials.

Showroom quality floor coatings, slatwall panels that look superior to a wall’s exposed studs or scuffed drywall, and premium cabinetry can be color coordinated to create a stylish, visually stunning space.

While garage aesthetics are getting more attention from homeowners, so is giving the room more functionality. Primarily, maximizing the garage’s storage space is of significant importance.

Adding enough efficient and versatile storage systems (like slatwall and overhead racks) creates parking space for vehicles. With the proper setup, keeping the home’s single-largest storage space well-organized requires much less effort.

New lighting, insulation upgrades, a new garage door and opener, and cool extras like a TV, audio system, or decorative perimeter LED lighting add to the garage’s appearance and functionality.

A garage makeover is seen as a win-win for homeowners. They can enjoy the comfort of a stylish, modern-looking garage with more storage, which in turn becomes a great selling point for their property in the future.

3. Flooring upgrades

If a trend never seems to go away, can you really call it a trend?

The answer is apparently “yes”. Most of the homebuilding and interior design experts we looked at say that flooring upgrades will be one of the most commonly done home improvement projects this year, just as it is every other year.

The timeless visual appeal and low-maintenance nature of hardwood and ceramic tiles explains why this is one of the home design trends that never ends.

Technological advancements also give consumers an almost limitless numbers of design options to choose from with both products.

If you fancy adding ceramic tiles that look like real wood to your floors, that’s doable (and quite trendy). Engineered hardwood now has a bigger share of the flooring market than traditional hardwood does.

Another popular design trend is having a more consistent flooring appearance on a floor, or even throughout the entire house.

In addition to having a cohesive look, this design strategy also helps make a living space look bigger. 

4. Bolder bathroom designs with modern amenities

The bathroom is another perennial favorite part of the home for upgrade projects.

As in the kitchen, interior designers are looking to take a “bolder is better” approach to the colors used in bathroom remodels and will be more partial to darker tones this year. That means trendy grays are out and black is in.

Black is also expected to become a more popular color for bath tubs and other bathroom fixtures. Deep soaking tubs, freestanding tubs, and large open-concept showers are in vogue right now. Shower add-ons like ambient lighting, anti-fog mirrors, and integrated bench seating will be used in more shower designs.

Industrial-style sinks and vanities are trendy at the moment as well and add a classy (and classic!) look to the bathroom, while also providing a modern aesthetic.

North American homeowners have been slow to warm up to incorporating bidets into their bathroom designs and designers expect progress in this area to continue at a very modest pace.

The Japanese trend of using high-tech toilets that have seat warmers, built-in deodorizing systems, and lids that automatically open will also continue to grow.

Here are several more of the home design trends that are expected to appear in more bathrooms over the next few years:

  • underfloor heating systems
  • terrazzo counters, backsplashes, and wall surfaces
  • brass finishes (particularly brushed brass)
  • lighting that’s creatively integrated into the bathroom’s architecture
  • tiles with unconventional shapes

5. An outdoor kitchen and entertaining space

home design trends outdoor kitchen and furniture

Interior kitchens aren’t the only cooking space that homeowners want to upgrade.

Recently, the American Institute of Architects released their Home Design Trends Survey. Incredibly, 45% of the architects who were surveyed expected outdoor kitchens to be the most popular type of home kitchen remodel project done.

Forbes acknowledged the increasing popularity of outdoor cooking and entertaining spaces by writing “outdoor kitchens and living areas are trending strongly and richly, with more enhancements than ever before”.

Here are some of the key components for creating a home showpiece with an outdoor kitchen:

  • a premium built-in grill with state-of-the-art features like temperature control, smart tech that responds to voice commands, and integrated lighting
  • a stylish, yet resilient countertop
  • durable built-in cabinetry tailored for your grill setup and customized to complement a home’s décor
  • interior kitchen amenities like a sink, side burners, and a countertop grill
  • built-in refrigeration appliances and ice-making machines

6. Smarter home tech

There are a head-spinning number of smart home tech products on the market and choosing the right ones for your living space can require a bit of homework.

Once you have decided which upgrades to make, you should start to enjoy the convenience and savings that these products promise to provide in helping to run your home.

Smart appliances are one of the most widely adopted types of high-tech products. Better voice recognition by the products’ smart assistant systems will widen their appeal.

Wi-Fi-enabled fridges are getting smarter with features like internal cameras, remote access  via a smartphone app, and programmed voice reminders to pick up certain types of groceries.

Motion-sensing faucets for the bathroom and kitchen, as well as smart lighting products, rank near the top of consumers’ wish lists for smarter home tech.

7. Open spaces that also allow for privacy

A new wrinkle in the area of open-concept home designs has been trending upwards in the past few years. 

Sliding closet door systems have been making their way out of the bedroom and into other parts of the home.

Taking advantage of this product’s versatility, the sliding doors are being used as room dividers to partition off large open spaces to create privacy when needed.

A big reason this trend is growing is that it allows homeowners to enjoy the best of both worlds with their living space.

The spacious open-concept floor plan can still make the occupants feel like this part of their home is more interconnected. When more privacy is needed, the simple slide of a door separates an area of the room.

To keep as much natural light in the living space as possible (while maintaining privacy), the sliding door is designed with attractive frosted glass panels.

In addition to this clever concept being implemented into more house designs, condos and office spaces are using it, too.

Which home design trends appeal to you?

Will any of these hot home design trends influence which home improvement project(s) you take on over the next couple of years?

If owning a finished garage you can be proud to show off to your neighbors is at the top of your list of remodeling projects, let Garage Living help you achieve your goal.

Schedule a free design consultation with us today.

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