Diamond Certified Experts: Garage Remodeling and Improvements

by James Florence


When deciding which part of your home to remodel next, consider the benefits of improving your garage. Photo: Vulcan Garage Services Inc. ©2019

When it comes to home remodeling, one area that often gets overlooked is the garage. Perhaps this is because many homeowners regard their garage as separate from the rest of their home or simply fail to see its potential as a functional space. The reality is that improvements to a garage can significantly impact the aesthetic, practical and financial value of the entire home. To learn more, we talked to four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors about garage remodeling and improvements.

Garage Door Replacement

The focal point of any garage is its door, which is why it’s the first thing most homeowners think to improve about their garages. When choosing a new garage door, there are several details to consider, including material type and design style. Regardless of which direction you choose, Cory Wikstrom of Vulcan Garage Services Inc. in San Jose recommends investing in an insulated door. “An insulated door is essentially two single-panel doors with a piece of foam inserted between them,” he explains. “For a slightly higher cost, you’ll essentially get double the durability and longevity of a single-panel door, so it’s well worth the additional investment.”

Juan Caballero of JC Garage Door Center in Suisun City says an insulated door has another valuable function for westward-facing garages. “If your garage door faces west, the afternoon sun hits it pretty hard, which can cause your garage’s temperature to get uncomfortably high on warmer days. What’s more, this temperature increase can potentially cause issues with sensitive items that are stored in the garage, like paint and wine, which require a cooler environment. In this scenario, an insulated door will help keep the heat outside.”

While it’s wise to invest in a quality garage door, Mr. Wikstrom says this doesn’t mean you have to pay a fortune. “Make sure you’re aware of all your options before dropping a large sum of money. For example, some homeowners like the look of a carriage-style, mahogany wood door, but this can easily cost more than $10,000. For a fraction of that price, you can get a stamped metal door with the same design. It’ll look nearly identical and also require less maintenance.”

Garage Door Track Customization

Replacing your garage door is a great garage improvement step, but you don’t have to stop there. For instance, Mr. Wikstrom suggests customizing your garage door’s track. “Most garages utilize a standard garage door track, but if your garage’s ceiling is taller than average, you may benefit from a customized track design,” he explains. “By increasing the track’s radius, you can get more clearance, smoother door operation and a cleaner overall look.” Mr. Wikstrom says you can also customize the look of your garage door’s track by using a method known as powder coating, a color application that’s more durable than paint. “With powder coating, you can alter the color of your standard metal door track to one that complements your garage door.”

Wi-Fi Enhancements for Garage Doors

In addition to upgrading your garage door’s physical components, it’s worthwhile to invest in upgrades that enhance its functionality. According to Michael Fahey of Vulcan Garage Services Inc., one upgrade all homeowners should consider is adding Wi-Fi capabilities to their garage doors. “Incorporating Wi-Fi into your garage door’s motor will allow you to open and close the door from a smartphone app,” he explains. “Not only is this feature convenient, it can also go a long way toward increasing home security. Considering the relatively low expense, it’s well worth the investment.”

Mr. Fahey says the biggest benefit of a Wi-Fi enabled garage door is the capability for remote operation. “It doesn’t matter if you’re at work or on vacation—if you have an internet connection, you’ll be able to operate your door.” Furthermore, Mr. Fahey explains how Wi-Fi capabilities can help combat the modern-day scourge known as “porch piracy.” “With a Wi-Fi enabled garage door, you don’t have to worry whether your packages will be there when you get home. Just leave instructions for the delivery person to call you when they arrive. When you receive the call, you can open the garage door and they can leave the package inside.”

Garage Storage and Organization

It’s hard to overstate the value of a nice garage door, especially when it comes to enhancing a home’s attractiveness. However, while a lot of garages look good on the outside, their insides are often cluttered and unkempt. This is usually due to a lack of organization, which is why Nick Granato of PremierGarage in Foster City recommends investing in a garage storage system. “A garage storage system may incorporate cabinets, shelving, overhead racks, slat wall hanging systems and other elements,” he details. “All of these components work together to provide a seamless and intuitive organizational space. A garage organization specialist can design a system that meets your specific storage needs.”

When it comes to installing garage storage cabinets, Mr. Granato emphasizes the importance of proper design. “Before installing new cabinets, think ahead about how you’re going to use them,” he advises. “This will help you determine the ideal height, width and depth for accommodating your sports equipment, garden tools, holiday decorations, and other items.” Mr. Granato also recommends investing in sturdy shelving for extra support (opt for 1-inch thickness), as well as performance-enhancing features like soft-close hinges that prevent cabinet doors from being slammed shut.

Garage Floor Coating

Another measure to improve your garage’s interior is to install a floor coating. “A hybrid polymer floor coating will turn your garage floor into an attractive surface area that’s easy to clean and maintain,” affirms Mr. Granato. “Imagine turning your garage into another room and making it an extension of your home. You’ll be able to enjoy your garage in many new ways and use it for things like parties, games, and arts and crafts.” Mr. Granato says floor coating application only takes about three days to complete (curing time included), so it won’t be long before you can start enjoying your remodeled garage.

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