FOLLOW ALONG WITH WHAT I GOT GOING ON
Brandon Burrell's "Toy House"
Brandon Burrell is a remarkable dude. He says he enjoys "tinkering" in his garage, but what he does is so much more than tinkering. He has created a number of amazing custom vehicles over the years and maintains a strong social media presence that allows him to showcase his passion for everything custom with thousands, perhaps millions of followers. I was humbled when Brandon mentioned my garage was part of the inspiration behind his own garage. As you will see, he has created a space that is truly special and unique, and is the perfect environment to create and play with his toys. It has been cool getting to know Brandon and I am really enjoying following along with all his amazing projects, especially his current "cRAMbury" build featuring a 2019 Ram. I am confident you will enjoy his story as much as I have.
Name: Brandon Burrell
Location: Asheville, NC
Type: 2-car attached
Dimensions: 19' x 22'
Date of construction: Late-2014
Brandon refers to his garage as a "two civic" garage because of its modest size, but lack of acreage hasn't stopped him from accomplishing some remarkable custom builds. Located in a suburban area consisting of 600 homes, this garage is currently home to Brandon's #cRAMbury build which promises to snap necks at this year's SEMA show. He enjoys tinkering on his and friends' vehicles, detailing, and displaying various automobile paraphernalia along with his extensive array of Adam's Polishes products. I am pleased that Brandon agreed to this blog feature. I haven't known him for a long time, but in our conversations I have found him to be an incredibly down-to-earth car guy with an incredible eye for detail and his "automotive portfolio" demonstrates a ridiculously high level of vision, creativity and execution.
What projects have you tackled in your garage?
I currently park my #cRAMbury build in it. I use the garage to tinker on mine and friends' custom vehicles, detail my vehicles and some others from time to time. We have built three full custom Honda Groms, a custom motorcycle trailer (with speakers, lighting, etc), a Subaru WRX that was at the 2016 and 2017 SEMA shows, a 2015 Tundra that was at the 2017 SEMA show and a custom lifted golf cart in this garage.
What inspired you to create the garage you created?
I have always wanted a cool garage and the standard contractor grade white walls and stained concrete floor weren’t cutting it anymore. I decided to have the walls painted and while picking colors, I did a lot of research online trying to get garage ideas. I came across your RAD Garage and instantly fell in love with the tile flooring look and color scheme. That’s when my plans went from one color walls to doing the front accent wall black to spice it up, then ordered the Racedeck Circle Trac flooring. That led to “I should add a TV out here since I am in the garage a lot, so I’ll find a cheap 32-inch TV”. While TV shopping, I found a deal on a 50” smart TV and a soundbar system with subwoofer, so I said “why not, I spend a lot of time out there” and bought it. I stripped all the stickers off of my cabinet, tool box and work bench drawers for a cleaner, more adult looking garage. After more online research, I decided a larger tool box and second cabinet would complete the look, so back to the store I went.
I am OCD about clutter so I got rid of junk, sold my old ugly shelving and stashed some stuff in the attic. Knowing I planned to do quite a bit of detailing in the garage once it was done, I upgraded the lighting and now have a total of 28 feet of LED lighting. I still want to add a few more lights, but this will work for now. After the walls were painted, flooring was down and “furniture” was placed where I wanted it, I spent hours trying to lay out all the wall artwork to ensure that everything was evenly spaced and looked as much like a show room as possible. I then changed out the all-metal fire rated door that led into the house, for one with full length glass in it. This was double purposed, one is so when people come over, they can look into my garage almost like a show room, and also so I can keep an eye on my dogs while I’m in the garage. (they like to lay in front of the door and watch me) My friends always say that I don’t tiptoe into anything. If I decide to do something, I dive in and don’t quit until I’m 100% done with everything. I can’t do one thing and wait on the next. After several months of the original garage layout, I decided to build another SEMA vehicle and needed 8 more inches deep to fit the new truck, so had to rearrange all the cabinets, work bench and tool box. This threw off how my artwork was laid out so I had to take most of it down and rehang it. I’m actually happier with this new layout. Since finishing this garage remodel, I’ve had two friends also add Racedeck flooring and do paint and lighting. It’s nice being an inspiration for others.
What do you love about your garage?
I love being able to hang out and just tinker on things and have a place that is comfortable to be in. When friends come over, its more of a “room” now and not just a concrete slab. Any time I’m in the garage, I’m constantly having neighbors stop by and ask questions and want to know what project vehicle I’m working on. My house has often been called the “toy house” due to me always having cool vehicles or toys being worked on in the garage.
What future plans/dreams do you have for it?
I feel I’m done with the garage (other than finding some more wall art) and plan to use it as I originally intended to do. Since my recent addition of a Quickjack, I have a feeling I will be doing more tinkering than originally planned. I do know that this garage is no where big enough for my needs/wants. My next house will have a 3-4 car garage with higher ceilings, etc. But rest assured, it will be this level of detail as well. I enjoy building custom vehicles and being I didn’t build one for the 2018 SEMA show, finishing the garage in 2018 was my “build” that year. It actually kept me from building another project vehicle which was fine with me. I wanted to take a year off, yet needed something to mess with.
What advice do you have for anyone wishing to create a space similar to yours?
Take your time and do your research! Make sure the cabinets, flooring and wall color all flow together. Give yourself plenty of lighting, make your tools easily accessible while working on things. Plan a budget, then plan to have that budget shot to hell and just forget the budget.
What is the backstory behind your passion for Adam's?
I have always been a clean freak and enjoyed cleaning my show cars and daily drivers on a regular basis. I have used about every company of cleaning product over the past 25 years of owning show vehicles and wanted something better. I had a friend, named Adam (no relation to the company), using Adam's detail spray at a car show, and the awesome smell caught my attention first thing. I went home and did some research into the company and noticed they had about every chemical, towel, brush or anything you’d need to keep a car detailed. At the time, I was helping a buddy build a truck for the 2017 SEMA show which was named #pumpkinspicetundra (awesome article here) and scrolling through Instagram, I saw Adam's Polishes was releasing their Pumpkin Spice Detail Spray. The marketing side of my brain instantly thought what a good collaboration it would be to work with Adam's and use this special detail spray with a trucked named the same. So I hit up the Adam's marketing team and instantly hit it off with them and we wound up partnering on the build and another one I had. That one product led me to doing a hard conversion to 100% Adams products used in my garage. The customer service, friendliness of the marketing team, awesome explanation on the site of how to use every product they carry and even how well EVERY product they carry works, made the transition a no brainer. I also fell in love with the idea of collecting the Adam's limited edition detail sprays (which the pumpkin spice one was what got me hooked) as well as a ton of rare bottles of their detail spray. I knew it would not only make cool wall art, but would be a nice conversation starter while having friends over to hang out in the garage. Since then, I have started the @adamspolishescollection Instagram and Facebook pages to showcase my collection and experiences with the products as well as a place I can post the Adam's collections of others. The page is strictly a fan page and not associated with Adam's in any way, but the marketing team at Adam's have all expressed their love for the page.
What's the deal with your passion for customization?
I have been building and showing custom vehicles since 1995 and have always been into the custom scene since I could drive. I also shoot for automotive magazines and have for about 19 years which has let me travel all over the country shooting shows, vehicles and products. This love for all custom things is a big factor in what led me to having a custom garage. I can’t leave anything “stock” anymore. I am currently in the middle of my 5th SEMA build and plan to show it all over the country in the 2020 show season. I am truly honored to have someone interested in my garage like this. Building it, I never imagined anyone other than myself enjoying it and If I can ever assist anyone with ideas for their garage, I’m always down to meet other car enthusiasts. You can find me on all forms of social media under the @burrellimages screen name (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter) or on my website www.burrellimages.com.
For more info on myself or any of my work or projects. I also run the @customgarageaddicts Instagram and Facebook pages. They are pages I started to showcase other “average joe” garages to help give other people ideas for their own garages. I try to stay away from the “baller” style garages that most people will never have, but do more of the garages the average working man can be proud of. My research for my own garage led me to create the pages since there wasn’t anything like that out there at the time.
I want to thank Brandon for providing such thoughtful responses to all of my questions and for so openly sharing his automotive passion with me. The more I read through his responses, the more I found myself thinking he was talking about me. Well, except for that part about building remarkable custom cars. His garage is impeccable and clutter free, he utilizes a QuickJack and he doesn't care one iota about sticking to a budget - remind you of anyone?? I hope you enjoyed the read and don't forget to explore on all the active links above to keep tabs on all the shenanigans Brandon is getting up to.
If you have an interesting garage project in progress, or if you would like to show off your slice of garage paradise, feel free to contact me and let's do it.
RAD GARAGE is my personal detailing theatre. I am a teacher who finds immense pleasure in completing deeply therapeutic, thorough and highly satisfying detailing projects in my residential garage. I have converted my suburban double car garage into a world class detailing environment and I enjoy caring for my own car and select cars belonging to others. The garage and the work I complete in it have allowed me to connect with other detailing enthusiasts from around the world.
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Carzilla is a local detailing store that caters to the North American community of professional and enthusiast detailers. I have been a longtime customer and I am fortunate to call the owner a friend. Besides stocking a vast quantity of top quality detailing products, the owner has supported various garage and detailing projects of mine over the years.
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