Garages are taking on more and more diversity these days than just storing cars and tools. We believe that the future of garages will focus on having storage elements like basements on a grand scale, and it totally makes sense with baby boomers and homeowners who simply don’t care to go up and down stairs hauling bulky items. Converting your garage space into additional storage is possible in almost any garage, but making use of heavy duty elevated storage is what we believe will be the future trend to garage design, especially for homes with small or no basements or homes that are limited with closet space. As homeowners, we contemplated what was the best way to go about designing storage space and came up with some interesting questions and answers that we feel are an absolute must to ask BEFORE you start this project.

For us, our “must have” list with storage was having the ability to store volume, able to store heavy items, along with safe and easy access. For those Do-It-Yourself homeowners, this project we put at a 6 on a 10 point scale of difficulty, as there is a fair amount of carpentry work, use of power tools, and understanding how to install a heavy duty overhead storage system that operates safely. We also found this to be a job that requires two people for a fair amount of the installation. There are plenty of home kits out there that are acceptable for lightweight units and are easy to install on a D-I-Y scale, but in our opinion having a custom heavy duty overhead storage system was a much better route to go in creating multi functional use, long term wear and a great return when selling. Think about this home sellers…. how many times do you get your house into “show shape” for buyers, but the garage is then filled to the brim with items everywhere that cars can’t be parked anymore? What does this translate to when buyers see this? Storage issues!!!

Below we have some miracle solutions to remedy any storage issue in our Q and A interview with Ted Kapica at TAK Interiors in Glenview.

Q- Ted, like a lot of homeowners, we have a lot of stuff that is big, bulky, and taking up a lot of space in our basement and garage. We also have a good amount of garage space. How big do you recommend to build overhead storage?

A- What needs to be really calculated is how much cubic feet of storage do you need. When doing overhead storage, being that this is truly dead space, you want to maximize this area as much as possible to increase functionality not only for your personal needs, but also for resale as you discussed with me that honestly I haven’t thought about before! Most people have a good amount of lawn furniture, large tubs of holiday items and those unusual items that can’t be packaged and are awkward in size, so height is a critical factor in designing overhead storage. For example, stacking storage tubs up to two, you will need about 4 feet in height for ample clearance. This height should also easily cover the height of lawn furniture. Depth wise, based on the bulkiness of furniture, you can extend the landing area out comfortably at a width of 6 feet for deep garage spaces, and have ample space for cars to still fit comfortably. Width wise, your garage has the ability to extend to 28 feet without interfering with any parking, giving you a total of 672 cubic feet of storage. (4 x 6 x 28) This is a game changer in solving storage issues, but you need to design a heavy duty storage system to be able to handle this load!

Q – I get why you recommend only to install heavy duty now, as these items we have weigh a good amount.

A- Most lightweight storage is maxed at 250 pounds. Building custom heavy duty storage, for the difference in cost, has been chosen every time by my clients when deciding to build. You are talking 900 – 1500 dollars for construction that will last a lifetime. It is so important to have versatility with storage, and that has to do with capacity and weight. Misuse of storage is a very common thing we see when we have to rebuild storage areas that fail. Custom heavy duty overhead storage is supported three ways: supports from joists in the ceiling, support from studs in the wall, and supports from carriage in the floor. So many D-I-Y mistakes are made by not supporting the structure from the floor. It is the most common mistake and correction we have to make for homeowners when they have accidents by not properly installing heavy duty overhead storage or putting up items that exceed weight loads.

Q – How long does it take to build heavy duty overhead storage? What items are needed for easy loading and unloading of items?

A- These projects are completed in one to two days. Most people take longer to clear their garage out so we can get in there to install! Critical items in design to consider are enhanced loading and unloading capabilities, so a heavy duty folding ladder is recommended, along with a two step platform that helps homeowners lift, load and unload items safely.