Steps of the TRANSFORMATION
- Active family with young children
- Several bicycles and lots of sports equipment
- Loads of yard tools and equipment
Current Garage Situation:
- Disorganized space
- No clear path to park vehicles in garage
- Finished, aesthetically-pleasing space
- Organized storage for all of the family’s items
- Space to park both cars, year round
- Removed platform that impeded use of rear wall
- Finished and painted walls and ceiling
- Installed five rows of slatwall on rear wall and one row on right side wall
- Relocated gardening tools to rear wall to prevent damage to car doors
- Installed tire rack on rear wall for off-season tire storage
- Installed steel shelf on rear wall to store extra minivan seats when not in use
- Installed five-bike, ceiling-mounted lift
- Finished floor and partial concrete side walls with polyaspartic
- Cleared space along left wall to facilitate driver exit and entry
Time to Complete:
- One week
Wow, what a change! Everything is neatly stored and organized and easy to access when we need it. It is now a pleasure to open the garage door and park our cars without any fear of damaging them.
It all started when the homeowners finally had enough. They knew they had to do something, they knew their garage wasn’t serving them the way it could. They knew there just had to be a better solution than merely installing shelving from one of the big-box stores.
It turns out that these homeowners were pretty clear about what was important to them. The husband owned an exotic car that he liked to tinker with, but could not currently fit in the garage, at least with the other two cars. Also, both of them were unhappy with the lack of available storage space. Another issue was the rather bland look of their builder grade garage. It became clear that whatever solution was arrived at also needed to accommodate their inquisitive two years old, yet also be flexible enough to take care of their needs for years to come.
The Good: The home is only two years old, so modern building materials and up to date building codes were used. Also, the garage ceiling is 11’ in height which provides ample room for multiple car storage. Furthermore the initial and subsequent inspections didn’t reveal any evidence of moisture.
The Bad (or not so good): There is extremely limited storage capacity. Also, the central vacuum cleaner mechanism is oddly positioned such that it doesn’t allow the best use of the surrounding space. The builder left the garage with a bare minimum finish. An additional concern is the owner installed PVC tile floor. While this tile floor is functional, there are better options available. Along the same lines, both of them wanted a better look than the big box store generic cabinets the cabinets the husband had installed earlier. Finally, the husband made it clear he wanted to store 3 cars in this garage, something that at first glance looked impossible.
The Ugly: The homeowners pointed out that they were not at all happy with the lack of a proper finish in the garage. In other words, it was not aesthetically pleasing at all.
The homeowner was emphatic about really wanting to store his exotic car inside the garage. Not only that, he wanted to store all three of his cars in the garage at the same time and not leave them outside exposed to the harsh winter conditions. Additionally, the homeowner wanted storage space for his tools since he likes to tinker on these exotic cars. In addition, the homeowner needed storage space for outdoor sporting equipment such as golf clubs and the like.
This garage presented an interesting challenge. On one hand, the 11’ garage ceiling height was certainly more than enough space to install a vertical lift for a third car. On the other hand, the actual width of this garage was a bit narrow. After reviewing the available options along with the homeowners, the three of them decided to go with a 1-post lift.
For this garage, the 1-post lift turned out to be the best option available. For a narrow garage, the 1-post lift is an ideal choice for the simple reason that there are fewer vertical posts needed. Obviously, each vertical post takes up valuable storage space. Thus a solution minimizing the number of required posts is a popular choice of homeowners with narrow width garages. In this case, a 1-post lift can safely support up to 6,500 pounds, which is more than adequate for the husband’s exotic car.
Another challenge with this garage was designing the proper storage solution. The storage solution had to accommodate the existing garage space, the husband’s desire to tinker, a two year old child plus the needs of the family in the future. After examining all of the available options, the homeowners decided upon a multiple storage design, a combination of storage platforms, closed cabinets and a custom workspace.
Starting from the top down, a set of overhead storage platforms was installed. Prior to installing the overhead platforms, the central vacuum was re-positioned to make room for the storage platforms as well as make the it more user friendly. These overhead U-shaped platforms were custom-fit and carefully mounted so as to be both useful and accessible.
Below these overhead platforms and alongside one of the walls, two rows of slatwall were installed for hanging odd tools like shovels and rakes. Interestingly, the homeowners agreed right away on the colour Black for the slatwall. Slatwall is available in quite a number of colour choices. Here, the black slatwall is the perfect complement to the native black colour of the car lift.
During the consultation, the pros and cons of open versus closed storage solutions were explored. After considering the husbands desire to tinker along with a young child in the home, these homeowners chose a custom cabinet solution from Onex. The Onex cabinets selected included a custom workspace along with a set of full pull out drawers. Better still; the husband specified a material choice of stainless steel for the work space.
After a bit of back and forth, the homeowners decided on a Burgundy colour for the custom cabinets to complement the black from the slatwall and the lift. Also, the homeowners had initially purchased and installed them, in order to make sure that full attention was paid to proper aesthetics; the Onex cabinets were specified with full length black colour under mount hardware and trim.
The next area addressed was the overhead lighting, or more to the point, the lack thereof. For these homeowners, a combination solution was selected. Two new overhead fluorescent lighting fixtures were installed in place of the existing incandescent overhead bulbs. The fluorescent lighting takes care of the overall garage lighting needs. For workspace and spot lighting needs recessed lighting fixtures are installed under the rear overhead storage platform. Additionally, the Onex cabinets include under mount lighting for the workspace.
Still not done, another facet of this garage intervention included a complete floor recovering. For the floor, the homeowners wisely chose the widely popular polyaspartic coating. The polyaspartic coating, available in a wide range of colours, provides a durable long lasting floor finish that is easy to clean and virtually maintenance free. Although there is always the option to continue the polyaspartic coating up the wall, these homeowners decided to keep their existing tile around the bottom edge of the walls. The tile was in good condition and the colour proved to be a good complement to the polyaspartic floor coating.
One last phase of this garage intervention project included a custom paint job. The paint colour was carefully selected to complement all the other choices selected for this garage project, from the floor lift, to the burgundy cabinets and the polyaspartic floor covering.
All told, this entire project took two weeks to complete (not counting the 10 weeks for the design and delivery of the Onex custom cabinetry). The project came in at the budgeted amount, just a bit shy of $35,000.
Conclusion: the existing minimalist garage the builder left these homeowners with has been completely transformed. Now, this happy family has a functional space that is both practical as well as aesthetically pleasing. The garage now comfortably accommodates the husband’s exotic car as well as the other two vehicles. Not only that, all the tools, outdoor equipment and toys are now neatly stored away in their proper cabinets or drawers. Most important of all, their newly renovated garage will take care of current and future needs for years to come.