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:


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.

Taming the Garden Hose

garden hose - garage storage
Garden Hose Storage

The problematic hose. That snake of a thing always seems to be in the way and just doesn’t look pretty in the garden.

How many hose reels have you tried, only to find they work for a little while and then either break or the hose gets stuck inside? It’s nice to have the hose handy for using in the garden, but personally I think most hose caddies out there are more trouble than time-saving.

Universal Hook - Great for Garden Hoses
Universal Slatwall Hooks for Garage Storage

The best way I’ve found to store a garden hose is in the garage on a Universal Hook. It’s large enough to accommodate a 100-ft hose and when combined with slatwall, it can easily bear the weight. If you use a hose connector, attaching the hose to the outside faucet is a simple task.

Tip: When you’re finished with the hose, take the extra few minutes to coil it up neatly on the hook to avoid tripping on it or running over it with the car, which could puncture the hose or flatten the nozzle or end.


Need to make space to store your hose in the garage? Give us a call.


Easy bicycle storage

Bike racks and storage for skisWith the rising prices at the gas pumps these days, there’s even more reason to pump up the bicycle tires and get out for a ride.   But what’s the best way to store the family bikes in the garage?

You’ll want to make sure even the kids have easy access to their bikes without worrying about them scratching the car or the bike – two wheels don’t come cheap these days either.

Overhead storage makes use of unused space higher up in the garage without using that precious floor space.  These systems use pulleys or motors that are easy enough for even a child to operate.

Wall-mounted bike storage racks are another option that also saves some floor space.  They are easy to install and some come with shelves to store helmets and other bike-related stuff.

There are also floor stands that make it easy to just roll and lock your bike into place after your ride.

Before you make your decision on bike storage, get advice your local bicycle shop about the best way to store your particular model of bike. Some high performance bikes don’t like being hung by the wheel or at certain points on the frame.

Still competing with the car for space in the garage? Give us a call.

The joys and benefits of a slatwall system

storeWALL slatwall wall organizers










We’ve talked a lot about garage organizing using the slatwall system. What’s so special about the storeWALL™ brand that we use at Nuvo Garage?

Unlike traditional slatwall, storeWALL is made with pvc, which is rugged, waterproof and mildew-proof — Important for garage use.

We install the slatwall over existing framed drywall, using existing studs.  It comes in a variety of colours and wood-grain finishes.

And it’s cost-effective as well as attractive.  There’s no need to cover all the garage walls.  We can install it along just one side wall to give you storage options, but still have ample clearance on the driver’s side of your car.  We can also install it along the back wall of the garage with a variety of hooks and baskets to keep you organized.

The best part of having a slatwall in your garage is that you can easily rearrange hooks, shelves and baskets to accommodate tools and equipment for whatever season you’re in.

Ready to transform your garage? Give us a call


Get ready for gardening season

Spring has been a little slow arriving this year, but it’s still time to think about getting the garden ready for warmer days ahead. And that means making sure all your tools are organized and within easy reach in your garage.

storeWALL universal hook with Camlok(TM)Last month we talked about bringing spring and summer items to the front and storing away winter gear. It’s easy to organize your tools using our slatwall system. And camlocks on our hooks easily release from the wall and then lock back in place.  Regular hooks need to be screwed into the wall and can come loose with use. The camlock locks in tight and stays in place even with heavy items.

Here’s how to properly store your gardening tools:

  • Your lawn mower, weed eater and edger should be in one area with an extension cord nearby
  • storeWALL universal heavy duty hook with camlokStore gardening gloves, trowels and pruners together in a basket so you’ll always know where they are
  • Hang tools such as shovels and edgers with the sharp side towards the wall. Make sure rakes and hoes are stored with the tines toward the wall. You don’t want to risk injuring yourself or scratching your car. The hooks we install are all covered in a rubberized coating to prevent scratches.

With some careful arranging, you can even make a space in the garage to put a potting bench or small work area for rainy days. Talk to us about ways to create tiered storage to give you even more space in your garage.



Spring ahead – a place for everything and everything in its place

Spring Cleaning & Organizing GarageIn keeping with the spring clean theme, let’s move from floors and talk about wall organizers and shelves.  Spring is here, and you need your garage to be functional.

  • First, purge.  Go through the contents of your garage and if you haven’t used it in three years – get rid of it.  Have a garage sale, or donate items to a local charity.  Make sure you take items such as paints or chemicals to the hazardous waste disposal facility in your area.

  • Spring forward – Move the winter shovels, toboggans and bags of de-icer to allow everyone in the family easy access to garden tools and supplies, bicycles, golfing equipment and other summer items.  Have a look at our specialty storage solutions to make sure even the kids can easily grab their bikes and sports equipment.

  • Organize items in zones, putting like items together in one easy-to-reach area.  That’s the beauty of the slat wall system.  It’s easy to add baskets and hooks to keep gardening tools and supplies, sports equipment, etc. in their place.  One basket can hold windshield wiper fluid and other car needs, and another can hold potting soil and fertilizer, while yet another can neatly organize golf shoes.  Keep visual clutter to a minimum with one of our cabinet storage systems.

Next month, we’ll talk more in depth about these effective storage solutions.