Garages For most people, garages are just a place to park the cars. For the luxury market, garages can be something else entirely. As Arizona businessman Michael Rhodig sees it, they can be “GarageMahals®.” That’s the name of his high-end turnkey service that caters to collectors with autos—and sometimes motorcycles, aircrafts or boats—worth at least $1 million. Rhodig sees the garage as the final frontier of home improvement, the new room of the house, the new hangout.
Among his clients’ must-haves are a larger garage, a showroom for their collection, entertainment facilities, unique custom themes, display cases for collectibles and an adjacent office space with a similar theme. Accomplishing the projects involves 3D computer modeling to define the concept, metallic floor coatings, upgraded electrical systems, architectural surfaces, custom trim, customized lighting and more.
For example, one 5,000-square-foot garage he is designing for a Chicago client will have a Las Vegas theme with all the “wow power” that entails. A GarageMahals® project is not inexpensive. Projects start at $60 per square foot.
Turnkey high-end service may not be in your budget, but you still can put some pizzazz in your garage. Consider these steps:
Choose a color theme. Forget garage drab. Pick colors that highlight your vehicles or sports interests.
Determine your storage needs and select a system. For example, Easy Track® offers a patented steel rod system that attaches to wall studs. Components such as shelves and drawers hang off the rail at a safe, dry level that leaves room for more storage and easy cleaning and is a particular benefit for garages with uneven floors.
Marketing Manager Angela Smit says the garage system, in black and gray, is simple to install. Components—thermofused melamine over 100 percent recycled fiber content particle board—are moisture-resistant. Smit says the system can be added to or changed around as homeowner needs and budgets change. Retail price for a single tower is $330. Components are available on the company’s web site as well as a closet demonstration video to show how the system is assembled.
Lay down a garage floor. Snap Lock Industries manufactures RaceDeck®, a modular garage flooring system that can customize your garage in a few hours. Tiles just snap together, and there’s nothing to glue down. Its tiles are made from high-impact copolymer, are UV stable and resist oil, grease, petroleum products, antifreeze and most household chemicals. Cleaning involves simply hosing them off.
Its many color choices, two tile sizes, raised patterns and beveled-edge options help bring a unique look to a garage. Some customers, says Marketing Vice President Susan Hirai, have used color combinations to write their initials in the floor pattern.
Hirai says the systems is available to do-it-yourselfers, starting at about $3 a square foot or can be installed through its nationwide dealer network.