The Garage Living Care Guide

The Garage Living Care Guide was created as a handy reference for Garage Living clients who have had their garage transformed with one of our makeovers.

Proper care and maintenance will ensure anyone who has had a garage makeover done will enjoy years of benefits from their upgrades. This guide will assist you with tips for taking care of your Garage Living Floortex® floor coating, cabinetry, and slatwall organizers.

Read this guide thoroughly and refer to the Levels Of Cleaning section towards the end of this blog post to gauge which cleaning products and methods will provide you with the best results.

Immediate Floortex™ floor coating care

After your Floortex® floor coating has been applied, this 3-step timeline will guide you through how to proceed in the following days:

1. 12-24 hours after coating*: Garage doors must remain open a minimum of three inches for the next 12-24 hours, ensuring the bottom of the garage door does not touch the wet/curing floor coating. Please do not walk on the garage floor for at least 12-24 hours after the coating has been applied.

2. 24-48 hours after coating*: Light objects such as garbage bins and recycling bins can be returned to the garage after 24-48 hours.

3. 4-7 days after coating*: For optimal curing time, allow 4-7 days for cars, SUVs, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, and heavier items such as toolboxes to return into the garage.

*Cure times will vary based on climate and weather conditions at the time of application. To confirm these times, please speak to your local design consultant or install technician.

Ongoing Floortex™ floor coating maintenance

Garage Living’s environmentally friendly Floortex® floor coating is incredibly easy to keep clean, regardless of where you live or the weather conditions you drive in each day.

From slush to mud, you can keep your beautiful floor looking like new year after year following these three simple steps:

1. Sweep to remove dirt and sand. Car tires and footwear typically track in debris, but you can easily remove the dirt and sand simply by sweeping or using a leaf blower. Over time, however, the dirt may accumulate and cause floor stains. When this occurs, move on to the next step.

2. Wash + rinse your floor using water or a gentle yet effective neutral cleaner, which is safe for a Floortex® floor coating and leaves a beautiful shine. A mild neutral cleaner won’t harm plants or grass and is both biodegradable and phosphate-free. After applying this effective cleaner, rinse with a garden hose and scrub with a Garage Living squeegee brush.

3. Squeegee to remove residue and dry the flooring surface. Just like with windows, squeegees are a great tool to dry and remove residue from garage floors.

Cabinetry and slatwall care

Cabinetry care: Garage Living cabinetry can be dusted and cleaned with a clean, dry soft cloth or a light duster. Use water on powder-coated cabinetry or a neutral cleaner for grease, grime, and dirt build-up. For stainless steel doors, use a stainless steel cleaner to remove fingerprints and dirt. Wipe in the direction of the natural metal grain using a clean, soft cloth and buff with a soft, clean cloth for a streak-free shine.

Countertop care: Refer to the Levels Of Cleaning section below to select the right product for the best results. For your butcher block countertop, do not soak the countertop with water or it may crack and warp over time. For your stainless steel countertop, clean, polish, and protect it with a stainless steel cleaner.

Slatwall care: Brush the slatwall crevices with a clean white cloth or light duster brush. Window cleaner can be used on your slatwall. For a wet spill, use a dry cloth. For a dry spill, use a damp cloth. Follow with a paper towel, which allows you to dry and buff the surface of the slatwall.

Levels Of Cleaning

Dust: Remove surface dust by wiping or brushing. Use a clean white cleaning rag or a duster with fibers that can trap and remove dust in any crevices. Ideal for Garage Living cabinetry, slatwall organizers, and countertops.

Squeegee: To clean the garage floor surface, use a broom, leaf blower, or a Garage Living squeegee. There are two Garage Living squeegees available, which both have a 60-inch long wooden handle. Ask about our 30-inch wide squeegee or the 22-inch wide squeegee with a brush edge.

Water: For dried spills, use water to dampen a white cleaning cloth to re-emulsify and remove spills. Ideal for Garage Living cabinetry, slatwall organizers, and countertops.

Mild soapy water: Fill a bucket with warm water and a few drops of mild dish detergent. Wet a clean white cloth, wring out the excess water, and wipe the surface. Dry immediately with a paper towel and buff the surface. Ideal for Garage Living cabinetry, slatwall organizers, and countertops.

Neutral cleaner: Neutral cleaners combine powerful cleaning performance with naturally derived biodegradable plant-based ingredients, no harsh chemical fumes, or residue. Read the manufacturer’s labels thoroughly. Test on small inconspicuous areas first. Repeat if necessary for desired results. Perfect for light stains such as grease, oil, grime, dirt, soil, and grass. Ideal for Garage Living cabinetry, slatwall organizers, countertops, and Floortex™ floor coating.

Stainless steel cleaner: Cleaners such as Weiman® Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish cleans, polishes, and protects stainless steel surfaces like Garage Living cabinetry and stainless steel sinks. Wipe in the direction of the natural metal grain using a clean, soft cloth to remove watermarks and fingerprints. Buff with a soft, clean cloth to shine. Read the manufacturer’s labels thoroughly. Test on small inconspicuous areas first. Repeat if necessary for desired results.

Grease Magnet by CLR: A fast-acting powerful cleaner formulated to quickly clean stubborn stains such as tire marks, grease, stubborn oil, and tar. Read the manufacturer’s labels thoroughly. Test on small inconspicuous areas first. Repeat if necessary for desired results. Caution: Do not use the regular CLR product, which may damage surfaces. Ideal for Floortex™ floor coating.

Other: Call your Garage Living representative if any area you’re trying to clean is presenting a challenge.

Download Care Guide

Download a copy of the Garage Living Care Guide in PDF format (5.3 MB).

Download Garage Living Care Guide

How a New Garage Floor Transforms Your Space From Drab to Fab

white car on new garage floor

Home garages have been around for about a century now. For most of that time, it was a room that looked boring and nondescript.

Then something happened towards the end of the last century. Homeowners began to view the garage as a part of the house that wasn’t merely utilitarian.

Beyond just using the garage for parking vehicles and storage, this was a room that deserved to have more attention paid to its décor and appearance.

As the room’s main focal point, the garage floor was an obvious area to look to as an upgrade opportunity. New garage floor products began to appear on the market, including sealers and paints that added a decorative touch to a surface that had stayed dull grey for so many years.

Epoxy floor coatings that had been widely used for commercial and industrial applications eventually became available for residential use as well.

We’ve come a long way since then. Nowadays, highly advanced garage floor products offer more and more color and design options that can truly transform a garage’s look from “meh” to “magnificent!”. They also do a much better job of protecting the floor.

Not all products for upgrading a garage floor are created equal, however. Let’s take a look at what your options are when it comes to getting a new garage floor and which ones work best.

What are your new garage floor options?

There are many options for upgrading a garage floor, but not all of them are ideal for decorative improvements. For example, floor patching products like crack filler and patching compounds are purely for repairs and not meant for decorative purposes.

Roll-on sealers are another option you’re probably aware of. Their primary function is for protecting the floor, not beautifying it. Clear sealers show floor blemishes and imperfections after being applied. While some types allow tints to be added for better aesthetics, in general you shouldn’t look to sealers for any appreciable upgrade to a floor’s appearance.

When it comes to decorative floor renewal products, these are the five most common options:

  1. Epoxy coatings: this is the type of coating found in DIY floor coating kits and can also be professionally applied. 
  2. Polyaspartic floor coatings: introduced in 2006, this more advanced type of coating has numerous advantages over epoxy floor coatings.
  3. Floor paints: while they are cheap and easy to apply, floor paints do have some major limitations. 
  4. Interlocking floor tiles: most commonly available in PVC, rubber, vinyl, and porcelain styles, floor tiles install quickly and are a cost-effective flooring solution.  
  5. Floor stains: not as widely used as the above new garage floor options, stains add color or even a natural stone look to a floor surface.
tile garage floor with parked motorcycle

Interlocking PVC floor tiles are one option for upgrading a garage floor’s appearance and protecting the floor surface.

What is the best product to upgrade a garage floor’s look?

Of the five flooring options mentioned above, the best overall choice for your garage is a polyaspartic floor coating. And it’s not even close, quite frankly.

We can instantly rule out floor paints and stains. They offer little to no protection for a flooring surface and only give your floor a modest cosmetic upgrade. If you’re going to the trouble of fixing an ugly garage floor, we’d advise using a product that’s not so one-dimensional.

After being applied, floor paints in particular don’t produce a high-end look. Floor paint is also notorious for chipping, flaking, and needing to be reapplied after only a year or two. Much of this has to do with the fact that roll-on paint applications only leave a very thin coat of paint on the garage’s concrete surface. 

Epoxy coatings are a step up in terms of the look they produce on a garage floor. That’s because decorative flakes (also known as chips) are used during the application process to add color and visual appeal. Epoxy coatings also provide varying degrees of flooring protection.

The success homeowners have with epoxy floor coatings varies widely. Professional applications will naturally produce more satisfying results. DIY’ing your floors with an epoxy coating kit can end up with hit or miss results, however. There are four main reasons DIY epoxy coating applications fail:

  1. Poor preparation of the floor prior to the coating application.
  2. The application being done in the wrong range of temperatures.
  3. The floor surface having too much moisture during the application.
  4. A low-quality epoxy coating product being used.

Floor tiles are a viable and popular option for improving a garage floor’s look. Not only are they cost-effective, but tiles can also be installed quickly. Most types have an interlocking teeth design that allows the tiles to easily be snapped together. Tiles made from more durable materials also last longer and provide flooring protection. If a tile gets damaged, replacing it is very easy, too.  

Which brings us to polyaspartic floor coatings. This type of coating does cost more than the other options, but is a much higher quality product. A polyaspartic coating is also more difficult to work with, so professional expertise and equipment is required to apply it.

Why Garage Living uses Floortex™ floor coatings 

Garage Living only uses Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coatings for our flooring jobs. We believe that Floortex™ is the highest quality floor coating available on the market.

The benefits of a Floortex™ floor coating include:

  • a faster curing time that allows applications to be completed in as little as a day
  • can be applied year-round, regardless of temperatures (unlike epoxy coatings)
  • high resistance to household chemicals and leaky car fluids
  • a UV-stable topcoat that preserves the glossy finish and prevents yellowing over time
  • high resistance to abrasions, scratches, and general wear and tear

Decorative garage flooring transforms a room’s look

With the right product and a proper application, a new garage floor can dramatically transform the appearance of a garage. The before and after photos below prove that an expertly done makeover creates a garage that looks anything but boring. 

Unlike a floor paint that just covers a cement surface in a single color, the flakes add a decorative flair that creates a whole new level of visual interest to the floor and, by extension, the entire garage.

The luxurious, modern aesthetic that is achievable with a product like a Floortex™ coating is similar to that of a high-end car showroom. Who wouldn’t want their garage to look that nice?

A great floor coating with a shiny topcoat will also reflect light better and brighten up the space. Using lighter colors for the wall and ceiling, as well as upgrading your lighting, will also help a garage feel less like a dungeon and more like a comfortable and inviting part of your home.

If you’re looking to install a new garage floor, it’s important to consider the rest of your garage’s décor and be able to customize your design choices.

You’ll want to use a flooring product that blends well with the rest of the room and reflects your design taste. The wide range of floor coating colors Garage Living offers makes this more achievable. 

Because floor tiles are so easy to install and come in various patterns, styles, and colors, they also allow you to create a customized, one-of-a-kind garage floor look. 

pre-makeover garage

Before its makeover, this garage had the drab and unfinished look typically found in most garages.

post-makeover garage

The makeover transforms the garage’s look from drab to fab. The colors complement each other effectively and the Floortex™ floor coating adds a stylish showroom-quality aesthetic to the space.

Go “above and beyond” upgrading just the floor

garage floor and baseboard coating

Most floor resurfacing products and applications involve just covering the garage floor itself. Think beyond that – “above and beyond”, in fact.

One unique part of Garage Living’s proprietary floor application process is we give our clients the option of adding Floortex™ coating to the lower part of their garage’s walls. This adds an extra decorative touch to a floor makeover, not unlike adding baseboard to a room’s walls.

The baseboard coating and floor coating are identical, which creates a seamless look between the floor and the walls for a more cohesive garage aesthetic. The treatment also seals off any gaps that can allow cold air, pests, and water to enter the garage.

Any steps in the garage that lead into your main living space can have the coating applied as well. 

It’s not just about looks – durability matters, too!

We briefly touched on why any product being used to rehabilitate your garage floor’s appearance should help protect it, too. Because it’s such an important topic, let’s explore it a little further.

Garage floors take a beating and need to be able to withstand the heavy demands of everyday use. After all, if a garage floor that has recently gotten a decorative refresh quickly starts wearing down and falling apart because it comes up short in the protection department, it kind of defeats the purpose of fixing the floor in the first place, right?

This is why you want to spend a little more to ensure that you’re getting a higher quality flooring product that has been expertly installed.

Cheap epoxy coatings don’t leave as thick a coat on the flooring surface as higher quality epoxies and polyaspartic coatings. This lower count of solid content (also known as solids by volume and volume solids) can be a major factor in the long-term durability of a floor coating.

The solid content in cheaper epoxy coatings can be as low as in the 30% range. Better quality epoxies typically won’t exceed about 70-75% solid content. Floortex™ floor coatings have a solid content of 85%. The higher the solid content number, the better. A higher number means less of the product that has been applied will be lost through evaporation during the coating’s drying process.

Another common complaint with DIY epoxy coating applications is that they don’t maintain that shiny “new floor look” for as long as expected. If a flooring topcoat loses its luster quickly, that’s a good indicator it’s also not doing an adequate job of saving your floor from damage caused by spills, leaks, and other types wear and tear.

Why a beautiful garage floor is a must if you own luxury vehicles

If you own luxury vehicles, they’ll look even more impressive with stunning showroom-quality flooring underneath their wheels.

The ultra-modern look of a high-quality floor coating and the beauty of a high-end car go hand in hand. 

When you’re putting your garage design together, you can even use the color of a beloved luxury car as a decorative starting point and choose colors for the garage décor (including the flooring) that perfectly complement it. 

Many of Garage Living’s clients have done just this, resulting in some truly amazing makeovers that beautifully showcase their vehicles.

Your beautiful new garage floor awaits!

Don’t settle for the status quo of a boring-looking garage interior. As a space you use every day, the garage deserves to look as nice as any other part of your home.

Getting a new garage floor is one of the most impactful ways to achieve the type of stylish, high-end look that will make your home stand out on your street.

Schedule a free design consultation with us to start planning your new garage floor project.   

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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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