My Garage Organization Project
After spending years struggling to get my garage space clean and organized, I’ve decided to start looking into some products that may help me finally solve the issue. My garage shelves are typically covered in shoes, paint cans, tools, and plenty of items that belong in the garbage.
One corner of my garage is a pile of rakes, shovels, brooms, and some old broom sticks that we used to attach to a roller when we were painting. Another corner is the catch all for large items like bicycles and a drum of recycles. Overall, my garage is a massive eye-sore. It’s a 2 car garage that will never hold more than 1 car. I’m also worried about all of this junk causing damage to my car.
About 18 months ago, I called a local company to come out and give me a quote on garage organization products. I’m still waiting on those guys to show up. Due to the poor response from them, and another company in that space, I’ve started contacting manufacturers to gather supplies to start doing this myself. I don’t want to do any of the work myself, but I want to source the best products, and choose the right contractors to do the install.
Below, I am going to outline my plan, and hopefully, provide some inspiration.
Cost to Renovate Rooms in Your Home
Before spending a lot of money on my garage, I want to make sure that I get a good return on my investment. I’ve been in my house for 10 years, and we are planning to upgrade in the next few years. I looked at my home value estimate on Zillow and it’s value is about $172 per sq ft. There are other higher value homes around, so I think I’ll be safe on getting my money back. I also think buyers would be thrilled with purchasing a home with a garage that is as pleasing to the eye as the inside of the house. I was doing research online and these are the typical prices for home renovations on specific rooms.
Kitchens: $250 per sq ft
Baths: $275 per sq ft
Garages- $22 sq ft
Cleaning Out The Space
I own my own construction company, so I have plenty of trucks to use. However, I really don’t want to use my valuable time and business resources for a garage clean up. I plan to use a service like 1-800-Got-Junk to remove items that I don’t want. They are a full service company. They will not only load up the things that I don’t want, but they will take these items to the dump. I gave them a call to gather pricing information. 1-800-Got-Junk bases their rates on volume. A single item like a fridge or a sofa is $139.00. That’s their minimum. They have 13 different price points based on how much you fill their truck. A full truck is $619.00. I don’t think I’ll need that. I believe I’ll have a ⅓ truck load that needs to be removed, so that is going to cost me $359, or roundabout $385 after tax. 800-Got-Junk Rate Card.
For those that don’t want to spend money to clear out the space, there are free resources that you can use.
GoodWill– They will pick up gently used furniture, bulk items and appliances that still work. They have a 2 items minimum. You must also be within 25 miles of a location.
Salvation Army – Can schedule online pick up of large goods like furniture, chairs, books, household goods, and even clothes.
Habitat For Humanity – Free pick up of furniture, appliances in working order , building materials and more.
Wheels for Wishes – Get a tax deduction by donating boats, cars, RVs, motorcycles, and jet skis.
Storing My Valuables
I’m planning on removing all items from my garage so that I can upgrade the floors. I will need a place to put my valuables. In my area, there is a company called PODS. They will deliver a storage container to my home. I spoke to one of their reps, and he gave me pricing for a unit that is 16’ long and 8’ wide. The delivery fee is $88.99. The rental for up to one month is $179.99. Once I’m done, the pick up fee is another $88.99, and the insurance on the POD is $10.00. After tax, the storage is going to cost me roughly $400. I’ll need help loading up the pod and then later removing the items. I should be able to hire that labor for $400 total.
Once I empty my garage, I want to focus on putting in a garage floor that is aesthetically pleasing and will last a long time. My son had 2 dirt bikes until recently, and there are oil stains on the floor.
I have had epoxy coatings applied to my driveway twice in the past few years. The most recent was in the past 6 months. In both cases, the coatings came up when we drove across them. The coatings were applied well, and we waited as recommended to drive on the concrete. In both cases, it didn’t work. I found a term online called “hot tire pick up.” Based on this experience, and my experience with epoxy coatings in my homes, I would never apply epoxy again.
Two Flooring Choices
When I started researching floor coverings I found out that some garages are not suited for floor coatings. Some contractors skip the steps of putting down moisture controls under the concrete, and these coatings will peel up almost immediately. I decided to do a moisture test in my garage.
In this test, I took a piece of plastic and taped down 3 sides. Then, for a reason I’m not sure of, I was told to place a pebble underneath the plastic and tape it down. If I remove the plastic, and there is moisture, apparently, I can’t use a floor coating. In that case, I’ve found a company that sells very attractive and reasonably priced garage floor tiles. The reviews on the product are great. The only caveat is that these tiles are a floating floor and they do not do well if you turn the car on them. I haven’t found any information to say that they are damaged, but the tiles can pop up and then you have to push them back down into place. Not a big deal for me, but like most, I like to have all of the facts. On another note, the tile and floor coatings seem to be about the same $6-7 a square ft installed.
Barring a moisture issue, the flooring I’m planning to install is a polyaspartic garage floor coating. This coating is not affected by hot car tires, and has a painless installation process. I’ll be sure to post those images when we are all done. I’ve found a reputable installer that will apply the coatings that I purchase. I don’t have the tools to do the job myself. The floor grinder with vacuum system looks to be about $30,000.00 with the diamond blades. I actually felt ok when I was quoted $2900 for my 22 x 22 garage.
Garage Slat Wall
As I stated earlier, I have loads of items on my garage floor. I found a solution online called slat wall. The slat wall I liked most is made out of durable PVC. It comes in a variety of colors, and works well with accessories that will help me get organized. I spoke to several previous customers that had this product installed. There was a franchise in my area that was installing these PVC slat walls in the early 2000s. They folded up during the recession, but the franchisee gave me the names of the customers. I had a list of folks that had their slat walls installed over 10 years ago. Not one person regretted the purchase. Many had moved to new homes, and took their garage organization products with them. The slat wall comes in 1’ x 8’ panels that look like siding. I’m planning to do one full wall in my garage. It’s 22’ long and I’m going up 8’. The slatwall and labor is going to cost me roughly $1600-1800.00.
For me to turn my garage into the space I want, I’m going to need to buy quite a few accessories. The great thing is that these products are scalable. I can add more accessories as needed. For now, I need a bike rack, a golf bag holder, something to handle garden tools and a few other accessories. I plan to start out with an accessory package that cost roughly $500-600.00.
In my garage, I have a few issues. My sons love shoes, so we have loads of them around. I need a cabinet with doors to organize these because they are expensive and are now caked in dust.
I decided to place cabinets at the end wall of the garage. I want to keep one of the side walls clear, so that I have new space to fit 2 cars. The wall is 22’ wide, but there are steps on the left. I think a 10’ span of cabinets will get the job done. I decided on gray cabinets. The color is neutral and will not be a deterrent for future buyers. I want a countertop area and I chose butcher’s block. The cabinets will include a tall cabinet on the right that’s 31” wide and 68” tall. This should handle our shoes. There will also be a cabinet on the left side that will handle our paint cans as well as have drawers for extra storage. The cabinet set up as shown will cost me roughly $4000 delivered and installed.
That puts my project at right around $9885.00. This worked out to exactly $20.42 per sq ft, which is what I found estimated online before I started my research. I think I could take a few shortcuts and save on clean up and storage, but that would take away from my work and family time.
By The Numbers:
- $385 Clean out
- $400 POD
- $200 labor to place items in the pod.
- $200 to organize items back in the garage.
- $2900 Flooring
- $1800 Slat Wall
- $4000 Cabinets
Total- $9885.00 divided by 484 sq ft = $20.42 per sq ft
I plan to kick off my garage renovation after the Covid-19 crisis is over. This gives me time to do additional research, post my blog, and hopefully, get exciting feedback and ideas.