Unless they’re NASCAR mechanics, outfitting a state-of-the art garage probably hasn’t been at the top of most homeowners’ to-do lists. Until recently, that is. With the proliferation of high-tech gadgetry and a widening market of easy-to-use products, tricking out a garage is becoming increasingly appealing to a growing number of people.
A high-impact garage door hints at more great things inside. No longer an afterthought, homeowners are opting for doors that are both durable and stylish. “We’ve noticed the residential industry continues to move towards deep colour tones with woodgrain finishes,” says Cara Tenderenda, Director of Communications, Steel-Craft Door Products. She says natural tones—including walnut and cedar woodgrains—as well as a deep charcoal shade with a reflective coating have been particularly in demand.
Tenderenda says customers are choosing modern designs much of the time and have shown a particular interest in the company’s product lines with anodized aluminum or powdered-coat colours—a trend she predicts will continue throughout the year.
NEXT LEVEL TECH
A show-stopping garage door, of course, deserves an equally well-made opener. Chamberlain, for example, offers top-of-the-line openers with a few advantages. First, with motors moved to the wall rather than the ceiling, there’s now room overhead for more storage. Next, the whole house doesn’t have to shake (or wake) when a garage door opens, since noise and vibrations are reduced when the unit is on a wall.
There’s also a “power lock” feature that mounts to the track and provides improved security since the door can’t be forced open like with overhead-mounted units. Bonus: it can be connected to the Internet and controlled by any smartphone with the company’s app.
Photo courtesy of Steel-Craft
Photo courtesy of Stinson
The company’s products also feature a backup battery so the unit will work even in a blackout, ultra-quiet belt drives, and an optional LED lighting system.
ORGANIZATION TO THE RESCUE
Even the newest garage door and coolest tech can’t make a space that’s messy and cluttered feel inviting. That’s where an organizational product can be a room-saver. “We bring value to homeowners by helping them consolidate their things,” says Asher Perez, President of Toolway and makers of Stinson organizational products. “We offer track systems with tradition- al hooks and brackets, slot boards and pegboards—a range of different sets that can help them organize and store all their gear in an efficient manner.”
One Stinson kit, for example, offers storage solutions for a wide range of families’ typical sports equipment, including
biking, baseball, football, golf, tennis and skiing. The company anticipates new products out this spring that will enable overhead storage, as well, to safely and easily make the most of smaller spaces.
TOP (NOTCH) COATS
One final touch—that plenty might miss—is a properly paint- ed and coated floor. It might seem excessive—it’s just a gray, oil-stained slab of concrete under a car, after all—but giving your garage floor a good-quality finish can pay off in ways you might not imagine.
“First of all, it helps keep your garage and cars clean,” says Kristen Nicol, Senior Brand Manager at Rust-Oleum Canada. “As concrete is in a continual state of breaking down, dust particles are constantly landing on your car and everything else in the garage. Coating the floor will stop dust in its tracks.” That also means there’s less dust and dirt tracked inside, too.
“A coated floor is super-easy to keep clean,” adds Nicol. Even though concrete seems like a hard surface it’s actually very porous. “When oil or some other fluid drips, it soaks into the surface creating a permanent stain. If the floor is coated, drips and spills wipe right off,” says Nicol.
And of course, a gleaming, glossy, colorful floor will make your garage look bigger and more polished.
Rustoleum offers a wide range of products that make it easy for DIYers to get a professional finish—for less—in just a weekend. RockSolid, for example, is an industrial strength coating that’s easy to apply and leaves a showroom quality floor that can be driven on in just 24 hours. It’s flexible so it prevents cracking, is 20 times stronger than epoxy and comes in a variety of colors including a gleaming metallic.
“This product is simple to use and the kit contains everything you need to complete the project,” Nicol says. “If you can paint a wall, you can paint a floor.”
BONUS LIVING SPACE
Ultimately, whether homeowners decide to paint a floor, organize sports gear or install a new door and opener, they’re creating a space that’s more livable and inviting. “For so many homeowners, the garage has become an extension of their living space,” says Nicol. “It’s become the workshop, home gym or extra space for family parties.” With a little care, attention and thoughtful de- sign, that once-neglected room can become an appealing and comfortable spot for the family, partygoers and yes, even a NASCAR mechanic.—
Photo courtesy of Rustoleum