The Garage Dude Blog

Unique Garage Storage and Sustainable Office Space

Posted by Chris Watkins on Monday, 28 Nov 2011 10:20 PM

Our Wilsonville client had a unique challenge with their garage project - considerable garage clutter, inadequate garage storage and a need for added office/desk space within their home.

Click meGiven these challenges, we utilized the Hyloft SuperPro overhead racks to create a cost effective storage option for seasonal and infrequently used household items.  Additionally, with the ceiling height, we could mount the storage racks above the garage door to provide a "cleaner" or less cluttered look, while providing ease of access to the racks.

Then, we added Redline Garage Gear storage cabinets with a Pewter powder coated finish and a custom redwood "live-edge" countertop complete with a two-part epoxy finish.  The countertop will be used for a multi-screen workstation/monitor configuration.  What was fun, was building the live edge redwood countertop out of reclaimed redwood timbers.  Also uniquie was the 7" square leg, made from a reused Redwood telegraph pole from the days before the information age.

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A Toshiba flatpanel TV opposite wall along with a Redline Garage Closet complete the solution. 

Tags: Storage Cabinets, Redline Garage Gear, Garage Workbenches, Garage Interiors, Garage Design, Custom Countertop, Redwood Countertop, Live edge countertop, Garage Cabinets

New Redline Garage Gear Man Cave to Emerge in West Linn

Posted by Chris Watkins on Monday, 23 May 2011 8:01 AM

Alright folks, we plan to do a feature article on our latest creation but we just couldn't wait to get at least one picture up on this garage as it happens to have some pretty cool transportation sprucing up our work.  :)

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We laid down a stained floor, Redline Garage Gear Cabinets and a color matched custom water heater/furnace partition surround to streamline the look of the garage.  The partion is on full casters so it is easily moved to service the water heater and furnace.  It even has Storewall brand slatwall for hanging various tools and uses Slatboxes for storage of miscellaneous parts, etc

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Phase III is adding the FRP to the wall on the left front garage bay for off-season car washing and detailing.  We have planned some really cool Black FRP with brushed aluminum trim.

Tags: Dream Garages, Redline Garage Gear, Garage Workbenches, Epoxy Garage Floors, Storage Cabinets, Garage Design, Garage Mahal, acid stain concrete

What to Look For When Buying Garage Storage Cabinets

Posted by Sarah Eadie on Thursday, 12 May 2011 4:14 PM
Stuff, stuff, stuff, STUFF, STUFF!
 
When you’re a homeowner, stuff just seems to accumulate in large quantities – especially in low traffic places in the home such as laundry rooms, basements, and garages. Unfortunately, most of us are too busy to pay much attention to those spaces until it’s too late, and the mess has reached critical mass. Weeks turn into months, and months turn into years as these rooms become increasingly untidy, and eventually unusable.
 
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Instead of perpetuating this guilt-inducing cycle, many homeowners are turning to wall-mounted cabinets as the solution to keeping clutter under control. With the right set of mounted wall cabinets, you can create a place that’s off the floor, protected and weatherproofed for virtually anything.

But not all garage cabinets are created equal! Don’t make the mistake of using cabinets meant for other places of the house in your garage. Just think of the types of things people typically store in their garage: household chemicals, heavy-duty tools, and dirty football equipment. What works in the laundry room won’t necessarily work in your garage. Your garage cabinets need to be as sturdy as the things you’re storing in them.
 
Here are four key qualities you should look for in your garage cabinets:

  1. Make sure that your cabinet system is weather resistant. One of the reason cabinets from other parts of the home can’t simply be transferred to the garage, is that other cabinets aren’t built to withstand the changes in temperature and humidity experienced in most garages. Garage cabinets need to be resistant to extreme weather and moisture. Check to make sure any cabinets you have your eye on are made out of sturdy materials. The Redline Garage Gear cabinets used at Garage Themes are powder coated to withstand the stresses of everyday use.  Even our 9-ply baltic birch drawer units use dovetail joinery to ensure they withstand the rigors of daily use. This coupled with anodized aluminum or brushed stainless steel handles ensures an attractive result with no rust. 
  2. Make sure that your cabinet system is fast and easy to install.  The harder your cabinet system is to install, the more time and money you’re going to have to spend. Whether you decide to make the time investment yourself to put it together or pay someone to put it together it for you, you’ll benefit from a simply designed, easily constructed set of cabinets. With Redline Garage Gear, a streamlined wall mounted system makes it easy for you to sit back and relax while your Garage Themes installation technician takes care of a your projects installation.
  3. Make sure that your cabinet system is customizable. Everyone’s home is different. Making an investment in your home only to find that what you’ve purchased doesn’t fit the space – either physically or aesthetically – is incredibly frustrating. Look for cabinets with flexible design, in a variety of colors and wood finishes.
  4. Make sure that your cabinet system has a warranty. Purchasing garage cabinets is a serious investment. Ideally, the person selling them to you is confident enough in the quality of their product to offer you some sort of warranty, or – better yet – a lifetime guarantee. Preserve your peace-of-mind knowing that your cabinet investment is protected in the unlikely event of a warranty repair.
Tell us about your garage cabinet buying experience in the comments. What tips do you recommend?
 
For more information about how Garage Themes can remodel your garage with Redline Garage Gear cabinets, visit our Storage Cabinet page or call for a free consultation.

Tags: Storage Cabinets, cabinet pricing, Garage Storage Cabinets, Garage Cabinets, Redline Garage Gear, Garage Cabinet, Garage Design, Garage Interiors, Garage Design, garage organization

Is Garage Organization a Good Investment?

Posted by Chris Watkins on Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 6:45 PM
You’ve poked around the site, taken a good look at different flooring and cabinet options, maybe daydreamed about how you’d use the additional floor space in your organized garage. But you’re hesitant to contact Garage Themes. You’re thinking, “Okay, Garage Dude, I’ve seen what you can do. But you’ve got to be careful in today’s economy. Is organizing my garage really the best use of my money?”
Absolutely. And I’ll tell you why.
 
wall storage system
  1. Less effort. Continually having to make temporary fixes here and there to keep your garage from falling apart is annoying and expensive. Garage Themes completely transforms your garage with high quality Redline storage cabinets, Liquid Concrete flooring, and wall storage systems that can take a beating and still look great. Once they’re installed, you won’t have to worry about them beyond the occasional wipe-down. You’ll be free to focus on the finer things in life: like designing the perfect man cave.
  2. Less stress. Cluttered garages aren’t just ugly, they can also be dangerous. You typically store things you don’t want in the house in the garage- heavy-duty power tools, poisonous or flammable liquids, muddy kids toys -and that’s fine. But when you collect all these items in one place without an organization system, you’re going to create safety hazards. Pulling your car out of an unorganized garage to go to work every morning is sure to leave your brain feeling equally unfocused and cluttered. “Those shelves are too full. What if one of them was to finally tip over? And those chemicals all over the floor, what if the dog were to get into that?” Investing in an optimally organized garage is investing in your family’s safety, and your peace of mind.  Stop worrying yourself with these troubling scenarios and call for a free consultation.
  3. More time. Still not convinced? Think of it this way: time is money. Once you’ve worked with Garage Themes to create space for all the stuff that’s been collecting in your garage (for tips on how to get rid of old junk you don’t need, check this post), all of your tools and equipment will be at your fingertips. Life is too short to spend hours trying to dig through cobwebs looking for your wrench set, or find your son’s long-lost baseball glove. Once your garage clutter finds a place either on a wall storage system or tucked away in a quality Redline storage cabinet, you can invest the time you used to spend looking for stuff, into actually doing things. Revive that long lost project you finally found the tools for, or use the extra garage space to work on the car. The possibilities are endless.
  4. Bragging rights. Here on the Garage Dude Blog, I don’t advocate the exercise in futility that is ‘keeping up with the Jones’… unless you’re the obvious winner. Your days of hiding your cluttered garage from your neighbors and family can be over. Invite friends over for an evening of cold beers and car maintenance, or enjoy lifting weights with your nephew in the new space. When you’ve worked with Garage Themes to optimally organize your garage, all you’ll want to do is show it off.

Have you or someone you know recently invested in garage reorganization? We want to hear about it! Tell us about your experience in the comments.

Tags: Storage Cabinets, garage organization tips, Dream Garages, Garage Storage Cabinets, Garage Organization Solutions, Garage Cabinets, Redline Garage Gear, Garage Floor Coatings, Garage Flooring, Garage Floor Coating, Garage Floor Covering, Storage Cabinets, Garage Cabinet, Garage Design, Garage Interiors, Garage Walls, Garage Flooring, Garage Design, Garage Themes, garage organization

3 Weekends to a Safer Garage Enhancement Project

Posted by Chris Watkins on Tuesday, 22 Feb 2011 5:30 AM
Yes, the Garage Dude Blog is a place for me to promote my products and services to you, fellow garage and home improvement enthusiasts. And not because I’m out to make a quick buck, but because I am convinced that the garage accessories, flooring, wall storage systems, and storage cabinets I offer are the best in the Northwest. But for this post I’m going to step down from my salesperson platform to provide you with some important information on garage safety.
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According to the Home Safety Council, 65 million US garages are in cluttered disarray.  That explains why many of the 21 million preventable household injuries Americans suffer each year happen in the garage. Here are some quick and easy things you can do to make your garage a safer place for you and your family.
  1. Get rid of junk. Grab a garbage bag and a large box, and head out to the garage. Garages are notorious junk magnets where stuff you don’t want in the house inevitably piles up. Be realistic with yourself, and aggressively comb through your garage deciding which things you should throw out, sell, or give away. The folks at Goodwill or popular exchange site Freecycle will happily accept any donated usable items. For goods you feel like selling, Craigslist allows you to list items on their website for free so people can contact you and pick things up at your convenience. Before junking all your garage clutter, be sure to check out these resources. Both your wallet and the environment could end up looking a little greener if you do.
  2. Divide your garage into ‘zones’. Think about how to best organize your garage into zones based on putting like items together (lawn and garden tools, kid things, auto supplies, chemicals). Even this basic organizational system will prevent pileups of random garage stuff, meaning you never trip over your wrench set and your kids don’t store toys on top of your table saw. Here are some ideas to get you started:
    1. Hang tools like shovels and rakes securely. This is safer than leaning them up against a wall, and frees up valuable floor space for larger items.
    2. Tightly screw on the lids of hazardous chemicals (pesticides, car fluids, paint and lacquer thinner, &c.) and store in a locker with doors. This will minimize fumes and potential spills, making the garage a safer place for everyone, especially pets and children.
    3. Put sporting goods and children’s toys in easy to reach bins on the floor, as far away from potentially dangerous tools and chemicals as possible. You can also utilize our wall storage systems, like storeWALL, to free up floor space by using baskets and hooks for your most needed items...
    4. Prevent shelf collapses by not over stacking. Be sure to put heavier items towards the bottom of the shelf, and lighter items on top. If your shelves still look too cluttered, think about creative storage alternatives, such as our Hyloft ceiling mounted overhead storage systems. 
  3. Garage Maintenance. Now that your garage is better organized than 90% of the population and usable again, you’ll want to keep it that way. In addition to purging junk and making sure your organizational zones hold up, check for and repair fraying extension cords, replace burnt-out light bulbs and test the smoke alarm. Make sure your tools are in good working order. With minimal care each month, you’ll reap the benefit of having a safe garage.

These are tips that you can easily- and should! –implement. Block out a Saturday or Sunday, and get your family to help. If you feel like your garage needs a more drastic overhaul, then consider scheduling Garage Themes for a free consultation. Whatever you choose to do, it’s important to be sure your garage is a safe space for you and your family.

Tags: garage organization tips, Garage Organization Solutions, Garage Cabinets, Garage Cabinet, Garage Safety

Garage Themes - Ensuring a successful new vehicle purchase

Posted by Chris Watkins on Tuesday, 05 Oct 2010 9:55 AM

As someone who appreciates nice garages with storage cabinets, floor coating systems and more, it is equally nice when they are outfitted with really nice cars too which brings me great pleasure to introduce Steven Paul, Owner of Test Drive Technologies Vehicle Inspection Solutions as our guest blogger on Garage Dude Blog.  Steven brings a wealth of knowledge on vehicle buying tips that extends to autos, trucks, boats and more.  I have made many auto purchases over the years and given the number of quality used cars on the market and the ease of purchasing cars on-line, it is nice to be able to talk with experts like Steven. 

For every auto purchase I’ve made, there is always that emotional aspect that can get in the way of sound judgement while making that purchase.  new garage theme neededTest Drive Technologies is independent from dealerships & auto manufactures which allows Steven to work directly with his clients (the auto purchaser) and the existing vehicle owner to perform pre-purchase inspections to ensure all aspects of a vehicle are investigated.  I’m sure you’ll find Stevens article “The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Used Car Online” helpful toward preparing for your next vehicle purchase.

“The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Used Car Online”

Over a million vehicles with total loss history get listed for sale on eBay & Autotrader each year.  Used vehicle buyers have begun to protect themselves by ordering vehicle history reports from sources such as CarFax & AutoCheck. These vehicle history checks do a great job at reporting vehicles that are total losses and that have sustained major damage. The problem with relying on one of these vehicle history reports when purchasing a used car or truck is that they instill false security that the vehicle is in good mechanical condition. This guide will help you spot the lemon-listed vehicles for sale online.

Used Car Buying Guide ImageThe Number of Photos Makes a Difference - One of the first things to be weary of when viewing vehicles online is the amount of photos a seller provides of the vehicle. Many times, a seller will only post a couple photos of the car or truck. This can mean a few things - First, the seller did not want to pay for additional photos of the vehicle. Second, the seller is trying to hide damaged areas of the car or truck by omitting what you can see. Third, which is even more terrifying, the vehicle has massive damages and there are no photos at all; this is often the case on Craigslist. What you can do to protect yourself from the above situation is to set a standard when you are browsing cars and trucks online. Set a standard of how many photos must be included with the listing before you entertain the idea of reviewing the rest of the vehicle. With all of the photo sharing technology out there today there is no reason why someone should not have a minimum of at least 20 quality photos somehow attached to the listing. Sellers have the ability to use Flickr, YouTube, & Photobucket just to name a few. All of these services are free and provide special coding which will allow the photos to play as a slide show in the listing. What if you find a vehicle that fits your budget and seems to be a good deal but does not have enough photos? Contact the seller and ask them to send you more photos. If the response is that, they will have to barrow a camera or send via cell phone, be patient with them but be specific on what areas you want to see. Once you receive the photos review them carefully looking for misaligned panels and areas that do not have the same type of shine to them, these are sure signs of repaired areas.

Know Whom You Are Buying From - Another thing to beware of when browsing vehicles online is know if you are buying from a private seller or a dealership. Often if you find yourself buying from a dealership online they will not have near as much information about the vehicle but they will have plenty of photos. The trick here is to know what a dealership ad looks like vs. a private seller listing. A dealership will list every single option available and possibly have fancy photo angles. A private seller will likely say things like “one owner”, list the exact miles and say things like “firm or hard” as well as “obo”.  Why do I say to know the difference? You are likely to pay more online for a dealership owned vehicle. The price on a dealership vehicle is more firm and fixed than that of a private seller. Private sellers normally over price their vehicle knowing that they have some wiggle room to make the sale.

Get It Inspected and Get Protection - So you have found a “good” vehicle and you are ready to finalize the purchase? You should be sure to order an independent pre-purchase vehicle inspection. An independent vehicle inspection will not only provide you with an unbiased & hands-on assessment of the vehicle but can also provide you with some security and protection as well knowing a trained and certified vehicle inspector has fully examined something you were not able to lay your own hands on. There are many auto inspection companies in the market today. When choosing a good auto inspection company compare the amount of inspection points and ensure you will be able to speak directly with the inspector and provide some specific checkpoints. You should also be sure the inspection company is 100% independent of body shops, repair facilities and dealerships.

 

By Steven Paul,

Owner of Test Drive Technologies Vehicle Inspection Solutions

Tags: Garage Themes, Nice Cars, Vehicle Purchases, Vehicle Buying

Acid Stain Concrete - Personalizing your garage, basement or patio

Posted by Chris Watkins on Tuesday, 14 Sep 2010 10:09 AM

Today, decorative concrete has grown into a huge industry with many options for homeowners and businesses.  To coin a Garage Themes tagline, "The Possibilities are Endless..."  I am always amazed at the multitude of options available to beautify concrete.

One of the increasingly popular concrete options is utilizing acid stain to create a decorative finish.  There are many options for using concrete acid stain and the video below will take you through all phases of a recent project we completed for a couple as part of an overall remodel to the basement of their 1920's home.

Now that the acid stain floor is complete, the project can continue with some fresh paint and mouldings along the floor and columns
to complete the finish.

Tags: acid stain concrete, Garage Flooring, concrete acid stain, Garage Design, patio design, basement floors, Man Caves, garage mahals

Garage Design - Developing your interior space

Posted by Chris Watkins on Saturday, 28 Aug 2010 2:47 AM

One only has to watch an episode of DIY Networks Garage Mahal or Man Caves to realize that today's garage has gone well past the traditional dumping ground for all your stuff that couldn't find a storage place elsewhere in your home.  In fact, today's garage is much more than an organized space that leaves room for your cars - it has been elevated as an extension to the home, providing many homeowners with a great place to hangout with friends and family.  How about a game of poker, or working on your hot rod, watching TV, playing table tennis or relieving some stress on your pinball machine?

So, designing your garage interior is a great opportunity to ensure your space meets a variety of needs, not just a place to park a vehicle.  Each garage has a unique opportunity to be molded into your dream garage.  Can you believe this is still a garage?For example, a common floor plan layout in many newer homes with two car garages, includes a back alcove offering homeowners a place to add storage and organization systems along with sports and hobby interests.  In fact, in one instance, we partioned off the back alcove to become a large storage location within the garage, then added yet another partition and added two double slider doors and wire shelving to create one large garage closet.  Of course we coated the floor with the latest in polyurea coating technology and presto an instant 450 sq. ft. bonus room with an additional separate 100+ sq. ft. storage center.  Meanwhile, the customer had fun decorating the space in a nautical theme.  What was great about this project - the customer instantly gained usable living space within the home, yet the space still can be used as a garage.

Your Garage Enhancement Company should be able to design your space and give you perspective on what works for storage, organization and more.  Increasingly, customers want to use their garage space as an extension to the home, so garage interior designers need to consider all possibilities when working with their clients.

Tags: Dream Garages, Garage Floor Coatings, Garage Flooring, Epoxy Garage Floors, Garage Floor Coating, Garage Floor Covering, Garage Design, Garage Interiors, Garage Walls, Garage Partitions, Man Cave, Garage Mahal

Garage Cabinets - Redline Garage Gear the essential cabinet system

Posted by Chris Watkins on Sunday, 01 Aug 2010 4:33 PM

This garage dude has seen a lot of garage cabinets and let me say, they aren't all created equal. OK, so I am biased in what our company offers - Redline Garage Gear is truly a versatile system at an affordable price, but everyone will say that about their cabinet line.  When I meet with clients it is easy to point out why our products are the best in the industry.  

Let me mention some key points here.  First, let's do the easy cabinet comparison of Redline to the luxury metal brands. Redline appeals to a broader range of customers who can see the value of having a quality storage cabinet product at a third of the price of luxury metal products.  Besides, how many metal brands offer 10 standard colors to choose from.Garage Workbench resized 600

With a finish quality delivered by a premier quality manufacturer, customers can't justify paying three times the cost to have a metal product.  Do you want a comprehensive garage cabinet solution for 5-10K or can you justify spending 15K-30K on a metal luxury brand?  Besides, Redline Garage Gear uses the same powder coated exterior finish, as metal products, simply optimized for application to a wood substrate. Folks, I am not saying that the metal products are not good quality or have nice features - but I am not writing the check to put them in my garage.  Also, it doesn't hurt that Redline Garage Gear is manufactured entirely in the USA using computer controlled systems and by highly skilled operators and artisans.

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For a while, I test marketed Redline in some side by side comparisons with product X - the result, NOT ONE customer was interested in purchasing product X! Why, Redline simply stood out far and above...it is the only storage cabinet product, that I know of, that has over three hundred cabinet layouts which makes it extremely versatile for every customer garage challenge our company has faced!

When I look at the quality of wood substrate based cabinets in the marketplace, I see poorly glued edge banding, edge banding that has peeled from the substrate, chipped melamine along edges, doors that are poorly aligned, loose hardware, etc.   When your a garage organization company that is relying on it's manufacturer to deliver a quality product, everytime, then not worrying about product quality, that should just be there, means you can focus on installing a quality solution for your customers.

OK, so Redline has had a couple of deliveries where we had a manufacturing defect that was promptly handled with a replacement part at no charge of course.  I haven't asked them to be perfect, but they are very close.

I could go on-and-on about Redline, but I'll save some fun discussion points for other key features in future blog articles.

Tags: Garage Cabinets, Redline Garage Gear, Storage Cabinets, Garage Cabinet

Garage Flooring - Part I, Installing an epoxy garage floor correctly!

Posted by Chris Watkins on Thursday, 22 Jul 2010 11:48 AM

Folks, I read a lot of stuff on the Internet about installing an epoxy garage floor that I just don't agree with.  Now, when it gets down to installation details, yes, there is more than one way to skin a cat (sorry for the metaphor), but overall there are many things in common with well installed garage floor coatings.

Garage Mahal Floor

In part one of this series, we'll outline the steps necessary for the basic garage floor coating installation process and in part two, we'll discuss each step in more detail to ensure the successful installation of your garage floor covering.

Free Design Consultation

The typical installation sequence includes:

  • Floor preparation - this is about abrading the floor so that you maximize the ability for the coating system to adhere to the concrete substrate.  The most common methods of floor preparation include acid etching, diamond grinding or shot blasting.  I don't think all methods are created equal, more about that in part II of this series
  • Primer coat - Most systems will call for some form of primer coat.  Depending on the garage floor coating, a coating manufacturer may recommend utilizing a primer such as a water based epoxy. Other coating systems, such as solvent based systems may best be installed with the coating acting as the primer although a solvent additive is added in the correct ratio for thinning the coating for maximum penetration and adhesion to the concrete substrate.  Other coatings function as a self primer, allowing broadcast elements to be added directly to the coating to create the base color for the system.  (Again, this primer step is largely dependent on the coating manufactures recommendation.)
  • Base Coating - Adding the base coat and any broadcast medium is about creating the actual color and look of the garage flooring.  Although there are many different coating colors, many coating installers utilize tan and gray as their base colors and then use various broadcast elements into the wet coating to create the actual color.  There are numerous broadcast elements, but most commonly vinyl chips in various colors and sizes are utilized for garage flooring. Quartz is another option with many colors including vibrant colors for a truly custom look.  Metallic additives are also growing rapidly in popularity and can create a rich showroom look
  • After some additional floor preparation, a clear top coat is later applied over the base color/chip broadcast to seal in the base coating and broadcast agent while creating a very durable finish that is resistant to vehicle and people traffic. Some coating systems utilize two clear top coats, depending on the type of coating.

Stayed tuned as the Garage Dude will further detail the installation process in Part II of this series.

Tags: Garage Floor Coatings, Garage Flooring, Epoxy Garage Floors, Garage Floor Coating, Garage Floor Covering