How To Choose Garage Cabinets For Your Storage Needs

When it comes to recommending cabinets for people, we recommend three different suppliers:  Hercke, Onex and Ctech.  All three will do the job and choosing one depends on a number of factors that are personal and garage specific.  Take into consideration the space available, budget and aesthetic preferences.

Onex Steel Garage Cabinets, a great garage storage solutionWe don’t offer wood cabinets because in this climate, the materials need to be water resistant.  I’ve labelled the brands ‘good’, ‘better’ and ‘best’ because all three companies build solid products that will offer similar storage solutions. 

The difference is in the details:

 

Construction
Hercke and Onex are both made of steel, but Onex offers a lower gauge, which is stronger. Ctech uses aluminum and offers a strength between the other two, but again, all three are very durable and made for heavy residential use. Car enthusiasts would likely see the Ctech in racing trailers.

 

Cabinet Type
The space you have available is the key to which kind of cabinets will fit you best.  Hercke cabinets are modular and the lower units come in 30 inch widths.  If your garage accommodates this modular width, Hercke can be a good option.  I’d also recommend it if you have a lot of space, because you don’t need to maximize every square inch of your garage.  The upper units are also 30 inches wide, but they offer depths of 12 and 24 inches.  Unfortunately, if they don’t fit into the space available, there’s not a lot of opportunity to customize the cabinets.

Both Onex and Ctech provide completely custom cabinets with neither company carrying any inventory.  These cabinets can be ordered to fit your garage precisely which is important when you need to optimize the use of space available.

 

Colours
Hercke cabinets come with black cases (sides, top, bottom and shelves) and offer either stainless steel or brushed silver doors.

Onex offers 21 basic colours and Ctech offers 9 basic colours.  Both companies can create a custom colour for you, for an additional cost.  Depending on your priorities and budget, it can make a significant difference.  One of our clients had a Ferrari and wanted his cabinets to be Ferrari red as well.  The results were phenomenal. 

 

Flexibility
Hercke cabinets aren’t very flexible in terms of finishes, measurements or hardware.  Both Onex and Ctech offer full customization and are built to order, which means that we can customize the cabinets to fit your unique needs, whether it’s lockers for specialized equipment, a work station or anything else you may want.

 

Cost and Design
Hercke cabinets are the lowest price because they are modular and can be manufactured in bulk.  Onex cabinets cost 25% more than Hercke, and Ctech cost 25% more than Onex .  Some people prefer the Ctech cabinet style over the Onex cabinet style and vice versa.

Both Hercke and Onex are a basic square shape, but Ctech offers a little more flair with the rounded edges.  Ctech also come with  MotionLatch™ doors, which operate in a similar fashion to self-closing cabinets.  It’s not a necessity, but it’s a good feature to have in order to prevent your own and other unwanted small critters from accidentally entering the cabinets as well as for safety.

 

Options
All three companies make cabinets with adjustable legs or castors.  You can also choose different kinds of handles for the Hercke cabinets but that’s where the options end.

The Onex steel cabinets offer custom the hardware options, finish and colour to complement the other aspects of your garage.  Finally, the Ctech cabinet options are even more upscale with radius edging on the closets, along the bottom, and MotionLatch™ doors.

There are situations where I would recommend Onex over Hercke when placing  garage cabinets along a side wall.  Onex provides cabinet legs at any length because we have to ensure the cabinets are level.  Hercke may be a good option where there are other ways to level the unit because the legs adjust only a small amount.  However, these other solutions may not be as aesthetically pleasing a solution.

 

Lockable
All Hercke cabinets lock while Onex and Ctech offer locks as options.  Depending on what you are storing, you may not want or need locks on all your cabinets.  Locks can provide security against vandalism and can protect dangerous items from children.

 

Paint
All three brands of cabinets have a powder-coated finish which makes them scratch resistant and easier to clean.

Safely Storing Garden Equipment

garden tools storage - wall organization systems, lockable garage cabinets, hooks, basketsSafety is one of the key benefits to having a proper storage system for your gardening equipment and supplies.  Without a system, it’s not uncommon to find tools big and small lying around, presenting a hazard.

 

A garage outfitted with slatwall and professional hooks allows you to hang more than one tool on each hook and know that when you pull one tool off, the hook and the other tools will stay put.  For homeowners who have small children or animals, proper storage of sharp gardening equipment and poisonous chemicals is especially important.  You can bang a nail into a wall but tools are not very secure.

 

Different tools require different storage solutions. I find that garden tools fall into three categories:

 

The first is long-handled tools like rakes and shovels. You can lean them against a wall but they fall over each other and present a serious safety hazard if stepped on.

 

Putting these tools on hooks and pointing anything sharp towards the wall makes it much safer for anyone entering the garage. Plus, once you give it a spot, you tend to put it back in that home.  If it doesn’t have a spot, people are apt to put it anywhere there’s a space.  Another thing to consider is the height of the hook; tools should be hung at eye level and not overhead.

 

Second is smaller hand tools like shears, claws, trowels, etc.  Tools that are used for digging often have sharp edges and present a danger if they’re not stored properly.  To keep them out of curious hands, they can be stored on hooks or in baskets that are six feet off the ground.

 

The third category is electrical tools such as hedge trimmers and leaf blowers.  When both the equipment and their extension cords are left on the floor, they present a tripping hazard.  When they’re hung on a hook, they don’t have a chance of being wrapped around someone’s ankle.

 

Supplies, fertilizers, items for pest control and plant food can also be dangerous if they’re not stored properly.  Lockable cabinets are one solution for keeping them safe, but baskets and shelves are also an option as long as they can be installed out of reach.

 

Having a garage that’s properly organized will result in peace of mind because you know that everything is safety stored.

What to Expect When You’re Organizing Your Garage

garage organization project checklistIn the last several blog entries, we discussed clearing the clutter out of your garage.  In today’s blog, you’re going to find out about the process of a garage transformation, getting an estimate and what questions you should be prepared for.

When I’m called in, the decluttering should be nearly complete.  Only the stuff you want to keep should be in the garage.  When we can see the space we’re working with, it makes planning a whole lot easier.

You may also find that there’s stuff in the house such as seasonal decorations that you’d like to store in the garage as well as boxed items like clothes, or tools that are currently in the basement.

Some people have a good idea of what they want or need, such as shelves for storage, tools they want to hang on the wall, cabinets to keep things out of the way.  Most people show me what they want to store and ask for recommendations.

The main questions I need answered are:

  • What’s your objective?
  • What do you want the garage to do that it’s not doing today?
  • How many cars do you want to fit in the garage?

The answers to these questions and the initial visit can last up to an hour.  I get a sense of how the client lives and what they are looking for.  I try and understand their aesthetic priorities versus their functional needs.

Some people like to be able to see everything at a glance.  In this case it could be mostly hooks and shelves.  Other people are a little messy, and I understand that.  Cabinets are great for hiding messes, as well as keeping things like chemicals out of the reach of small hands, for people who have kids.

Within two days of the visit, I’ll send a detailed drawing, proposal and itemized estimate.  It’s not something I can do on the spot as each job is custom, which is one of the benefits of using NuvoGarage.

The transformation can be done in as little as two days, if all we’re doing is getting the garage organized.  If we’re drywalling, that will add another two days and flooring will add a day.

Once you’ve had a chance to look over the proposal and estimate, you have a chance to ask any questions you might have, give me additional suggestions and make the decision to move forward and have the garage that you’ve always wanted.

Add a Workshop in your Garage

Whether you’re an avid gardener, car enthusiast or weekend DIYer, it’s great to have a workbench in your garage to work on your projects.  Even if your garage space is limited, there’s likely a way to give yourself a little workspace.

A surface area of 4 ft x 2 ft, positioned about 40 inches from the floor is an ideal minimum size.

 

This workbench, with a tabletop made of plywood,  easily folds up to fit onto the side wall of a one-car garage.  

 

This simple and inexpensive yet very functional corner workbench is made out of plywood.  It provides you with a good amount of workspace as well as extra storage room for tools.

 

The ultimate in garage workspace is this sleek steel workbench with drawers, cupboards and a butcher-block top. 

 

Give us a call. We’ll help you design a workspace in your garage that suits you.

 

Tidy Tool Storage

3 hook tool rack
Often, people hang tools sharp side out. Hang sharp side towards the wall to prevent personal injury to family members.

So many tools, so little space.  Even in the biggest garages, tools and gardening equipment often start to take over.  And why does that rake always seem to threaten to fall on you every time you open the car door?

Start by sorting your tools into groups.  Put all the gardening equipment together in one area of the garage.  Hang rakes and shovels on lockable hooks with the sharp side towards the wall.  That way you’ll know they’re secure.

Don’t hang tools on nails hammered into boards – it’s an accident waiting to happen.  A slatwall system is a great solution because hooks and baskets can be safely locked into place.

Electric tools, such as lawnmowers and weed whackers can also be hung on locking hooks with their extension cords wrapped and stored neatly on hooks beside them.

Smaller tools with holes in the handle are easily stored on hooks.  That way you’ll always be able to find what you need when you need it.

Tools for woodworking or home maintenance, such as drills and saws, can also be neatly stored in the garage.  Any tool with a handle can be hung safely and securely and easy to find.

Smaller items (especially tools for a car enthusiast) should be stored in a cabinet with shallow drawers.  Place the tools in one layer so you can see them easily.  Line the bottom of the drawer with a rubber membrane mat to prevent the tools from sliding around.

Next time we’ll discuss making room for a workbench in the garage, so you can store and use your tools in one place.

In the meantime, give us a call. We’ll help you find a solution to all your garage storage needs.