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May 14, 2014

A Floor Coating Story

In any customer quote I understand that I’m not going to land every estimate I give. It’s part of the sales process in any field I suppose. All I can do is provide my potential customers as much information to make them feel comfortable with making the proper decision they feel is best. Sometimes people might think the quote is a little more than they wanted to spend and that is understandable. Some people look at what I do and think “Hey I’ve seen that stuff at the store and I’ll just do it myself.” Again, I can understand the thought process but it’s a story I’ve seen and heard unfortunately way too many times. I tell this story not to scare anyone into getting us a job but to ultimately just provide the information. Here is one such story.

Let’s use John, since that is a pretty non-descript name. John one day decides he wants to put in an epoxy garage floor. He calls me out for an estimate and I provide him with all the benefits; how our coatings make your garage floor easier to clean, easier to maintain, and overall just look nicer. Not to mention inform him about all the prep work involved and the quality of the coatings I offer. I also tell him how I can usually do a job in typically a day and a half. I guess this talk got him to thinking he’d just do it himself. So he did.

John was a pretty thorough guy, so he didn’t just run out there and buy something. But he didn’t want to spend too much in the end, so he received a few more quotes and was shocked that even the DIY stores products weren’t cheap either. He priced out what I call over-the-counter epoxy garage floor coating products that you can buy at your local big box store. He ended up buying one that came with an accompanying product that degreases, cleans, and etches the concrete. It ended up costing him about $400 for the epoxy material itself.

After purchasing the product, John watched the instructional DVD and read the instructions (very important, although it doesn’t give you the information an experienced epoxy floor professional would have accumulated over the years!). After that, he had to purchase additional tools for the job. Not sure what all of this cost him, but I’d bet it’s at least another $200 dollars.

So far, he’s spent $600 bucks, give or take, and he hasn’t even started yet. John picks the day to start this project and spends his whole weekend in the garage. After the floor is cleaned he realizes that his epoxy kit has nothing to repair the cracks and the spall marks in his concrete that he has found. Overall, he does exactly what the instructions tell him to do and in the end has a garage floor that looks OK at best. The final product is an uneven coating with roller marks and very minimal flakes scattered about in a blotchy pattern. The cracks and spall marks now stand out more. He now has a single epoxy layer with no protective clear coat to protect against stains and tire mark lines. Because the product is not UV stable it begins to yellow over a few months. The low grade epoxy takes up to a week to cure and then after the first time his car is backed out of the garage he notices pieces of the floor coating has peeled up under his hot tires. His only option is to invest more money and time, recoat the floor and pray that it doesn’t peel up again.

 Let’s review what actually happened here – supplies cost $600, at least 20 hours was spent on installing the epoxy garage floor, not to mention the time and hassle of talking with the epoxy companies customer service, the time and money to actually go pick up more product, and then not knowing if it was going to be okay after that.

So if you might be thinking about a do-it-yourself epoxy garage floor installation, at least explore hiring a professional. It is safer, you are guaranteed to receive a great looking product with a warranty, and you get to save the time and hassle of trying to do it yourself.

Currently, I’m offering a great promotion that I will hold until July 15, 2014.

Single Bay garage (200 sq. ft) $1,399

Double Bay garage (400 sq ft) $1,799

Call us….you will be pleased by the end result!

July 18, 2013

Finish your garage and increase your home’s resale value

If you are planning on selling your home in the near future, chances are you have probably already made a list of home improvement projects you intend to tackle. Many homeowners tend to focus on key areas like kitchens and bathrooms, and for good reason. These rooms are high selling points; any real estate agent will tell you to make these spaces a priority. One area that people too often neglect is the garage. It may come as a surprise, but a finished garage can actually have an impact on your home’s equity and market value. Why? Well, the times have changed and these spaces are no longer considered trivial. Most people want to have enough room to park their vehicles and for storage purposes.

Just like that shiny kitchen and that sparkling bathroom, however, a dirty and dysfunctional garage can be a real turn-off for buyers. It is important to stress that a finished garage is one that is comfortable. A sealed floor, lighting and heating are all key features you will want to include. The goal is to make the space as warm and inviting as possible. Basically, you don’t want buyers to think of the garage as a “garage.” Think of it as an extension of your home. There are a number of things you can do finish off your garage, though, so here is a list to help you get started. Be sure to evaluate your budget and start with the priorities. You can always perform add-ons later, so start with the big-ticket items that will make an impact.

How to Finish Your Garage
•Take care of that concrete floor; this is by far one of the most important components of finishing a garage. An Ultimate Interiors and Coatings garage floor solution will make the space cleaner and safer. Cracks and an uneven surface are unsightly safety hazards.
•Drywall, insulate and paint the walls; this will make your garage warmer and more inviting. Think about it; buyers will be thrilled at the thought of coming home to a heated garage in the dead of winter. It is important to think about why a finished garage is important to understand where the value comes into play.
•Create a designated work area; build or install a work bench and hang pegboards and shelving that can be used to hold tools and equipment. For most people, the garage doubles as a shop, so don’t neglect to add this feature.
•Make room for ample storage; installing floating shelves and overhead storage can make a big difference. More room in the garage means less room inside the house.

It cannot be overstated. If you want to make your home stand out on the market and land the sale, you will need to spend a little money on your unfinished garage. The great thing about finishing a garage is that the return on investment is always high.

6 critical mistakes when buying garage cabinets

1. Will your new Cabinets withstand a harsh Garage Environment?

Using heavy duty cabinet material is a must when considering storage units in your garage. Garage cabinets are subject to heavy, wet, and harsh items that can beat up your investment over time. Using thin pressboard material will only result in the homeowner having to reinvest in the garage again and again. Your cabinets should be made of ¾” inch sides and 1” inch shelves and bottoms and tops.

2. Longevity has much to do with the cabinet backing. Don’t be misled!
One common way companies save money and keep costs low is by using no backing board or a thin lightweight backing. However as any skilled craftsman would attest the majority of the weight in a cabinet is supported by the backing. We use ¼” inch backing that is dado-grooved into the sides, and we also use nailer supports that cut weight capacity by more than 50%.

3. A sturdy box is only as strong as its weakest link and screws are no exception.
Our cabinets are held together with the toughest “Confirmat” screws ensuring stability, as opposed to Cam Locks or other fastening options that are inferior. Confirmat screws are designed specifically to be used with processed-wood materials. Cam Locks are generally used to fasten low-grade, do-it-yourself box-store furniture, or closet cabinets.

4. Just how harmful are your cabinets to the environment?
Insist on a cabinet manufacturer that mandates Zero to Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) cabinets for all lines to ensure the highest indoor air quality to protect the health of a homeowner and their loved ones. We ensure our products are environmentally friendly and compliant.

5. How confident are you that the cabinet will not rip off the wall?
Having a strong cabinet is only half the battle. Attaching the cabinet to the wall, and keeping it up there so it doesn’t rip off and damage cars, property or even worse you or a family member We use strong, all steel construction hardware and 4” connection screws with over 250lbs of sheer weight capacity per screw.

6. Are they willing to back it up with a LIFETIME WARRANTY?
Not a limited warranty, not a fine print warranty, we use a LIFETIME WARRANTY