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Designing a Custom Garage

Jun 26, 2008
Your Custom Garage

One of the highlights to home ownership but, oddly, one of the last things to be done is the custom garage. In a previous article, I discussed how the garage is sometimes little more than a U-Haul storage container. Perhaps if we were to spend a little money on a custom garage set-up we would be less likely to cover it up with junk! Just be certain to give it some thought before you embark on a task that can be expensive and a waste if you don't plan what you want first.

Floor Options for Your Custom Garage

Strangely enough, especially with guys, the floor of the garage is kind of symbolic of the custom garage kick. There are several options when contemplating the design:

1. Simulated Quartz
2. Solid Poured Concrete
3. Simulated Granit Flake

In terms of appearance, they are each different from each other. However, with respect to durability, maintenance, resistance to chemicals, and anti skid, they are all similar. Also, constructing the floor is a similar process. Essentially, the difference comes down to personal taste and esthetics.

The Paint Job

Having selected the floor type for your custom garage, you are now beset by the happy thought of what wild paint scheme you will apply. But wait, keep in mind that unless you are the only person living there, the other's taste will probably have a say. Still, there are mutual options. What about a solid color of mutual interest, who said it had to be gray? Be creative, use symbols, logos or even family crests. Make it yours! And while you are spending money, don't forget the custom garage door.

The Custom Garage Cabinetry

Next up you need to decide on what kind of cabinetry to put in. There are two basic options each with there own advantages. The first is wood cabinets. Wood cabinets offer a cost effective way to store your things. They are durable and very traditional as well as being lightweight and generally easy to assemble. Most will have adjustable legs or can be mounted on the walls.

Chances are you have three bare walls in your custom garage. This is the perfect opportunity to install custom cabinets for all your present and future storage needs. Give this some thought. Will you be storing many floor size items? What about work bench area? Decide what you will be doing in your garage before you go out and purchase a whole series of cabinets that are designed for a purpose 180 degrees out from your particular needs.

The cabinetry comes in three basic materials:

1. Wood
2. Metal/Steel
3. Hard Plastic

Wood cabinets are perhaps the most attractive option as they balance esthetics with functionality very well. They are generally cost effective and have a long life span. They are also common and therefore have many options such as mounting on walls or free standing. On the downside, they can be a little traditional and perhaps out of place in the tough, almost industrial feel of the garage. They are also expensive and require maintanence, especially in the less than ideal environment of the garage.

Custom garage metal cabinets are actually made of various metals such as aluminum, pressed metal or tin or a composite. At times they tend to be rather heavy (and by virtue of this, tougher). It is perfectly feasible to mount them on the walls but many come designed with a freestanding floor design. If large, heavy tools are to be a fixture in the custom garage, these cabinets have the advantage of being able to take the beating these tools will dish out over time.

Last is the hard plastic cabinets. There is a large variety available; however, they often exhibit a "chintzy" or flimsy quality that is so out of place in a custom garage that you have to wonder why they would be marketed to the custom crowd. With the exception of casual one off storage needs, these cabinet styles don't seem appropriate.

An Indispensable Touch

Last but not least is the organizer. This wall mounted system makes it easy for you to find and store all of your big tools and sports equipment. There are several systems to choose from, but all have the same basic function.

Depending on what will be the main function of the custom garage, we wouldn't want to close without mentioning the "organizer." Any wall space not occupied by cabinetry or shelving should have an organizer to rapidly store items such as bicycles, leaf blowers, trimmers, sheers, etc. Anything that can be hung should be...and keep it off the floor and cause that age old garage problem (custom or otherwise)...clutter.
About the Author
Dean Deal is a successful Internet marketer, the founder and CEO of Live Long, Well! LLC, an information marketing company. Please visit Lots About Garages! your best resource for garage design and information.
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