Home & Garden: Turning a Pit Into a Palace
B.J Miller of Edmond’s California Closets wants to talk about the other room in your house: the garage. It’s not just for parking the cars. Today’s homeowners see their garages as extended living spaces. They’re used for storage, workspaces and even band practice. At the very least, though, more and more homeowners simply want clean, functional garages. Their mission: declutter the garage and get the junk off the floor.
But he’s also quick to remind customers not to forget that cars do belong in garages. “To me the most important thing is being able to get in and out of your car,” he says.
“It’s obvious that there’s a new trend beginning and that’s remodeling the garage,” says Jason Johnson of Garage Innovations. “The garage typically has been just a place to collect junk and people have decided that they want the garage to look as nice as the rest of the house. So the garage is not just a place to store junk anymore.”
Both companies offer custom-built solutions for turning garages from pits into palaces. Even the little things make a difference. Try slat walls to get tools and yard implements off the ground and get rid of those sagging shelves. Replace that single bulb in your garage with track lighting and make it a friendlier work space. Cabinets are always a good idea – putting junk behind closed doors helps organization and simply makes a garage easier to look at.
“People ask what our garages are like,” says Miller. “There’s not anything that they’re like. Each one reflects the needs of the customer.”
Clutter is the biggest offender when it comes to keeping a garage from realizing its full potential. Often the garage becomes a permanent holding area for items in transit to the attic. Richard Byers of Versa Lift solves that problem by turning your attic into an extra garage bay.
“Versa Lift automates home storage. It gives everyone the ability to utilize all of the space that’s overhead that’s difficult to access,” says Byers. “It can be dangerous carrying things up and down an attic ladder. With Versa Lift you just push a button and set things up in the attic. And it’s just a push of a button to bring it down when you need it.”
Homeowners often overlook the simple fact that increasing storage capacity of the house increases its value, regardless of the route they choose. It’s a nominal expense compared to the amount of value it adds to your home. It’s the equivalent of adding an extra garage bay to your home.
The same is true of an aesthetically appealing garage. Concrete floors splattered with years of stains can be covered with tiles or floor coating. A fresh coat of paint can radically transform the appearance of an old garage. Matching those with a custom finish to some cabinets and some good lighting goes a long way to make a garage a less dingy place.
Using off-site storage? Home-owners often opt for this kind of storage because they’re not using the space they already have – and are paying for. With an average cost of $100 per month for off-site storage, it doesn’t take long for the cost of off-site storage to pass the cost of remodeling a garage or utilizing that empty attic space.
Says Miller, “I liken it to having your leaves raked in the fall. It’s just nice to have it done. The same is true of a garage. It just feels good to walk into a clean garage.”