Take a look at this spectacular North Carolinian estate belonging to my longtime garage buddy, Larry. For years, I have been a fan of Larry's clinically clean and expertly organized garage, but what impresses me even more is Larry's remarkable detailing work that he completes inside it. When I made the decision to feature garage spaces of others on my blog, I immediately sent Larry an invite and he graciously accepted. He furnished me with comprehensive responses to all of my questions along with quality photos that showcase the pristine environment he has created to pursue his passion for detailing.
Name: Larry Bishop
Location: Charlotte, NC
We moved to Charlotte from the DMV area in mid-2016 and built our first single family home. Construction was completed late August and I quickly started on the garage. Fortunately, the builder finished both garages and installed baseboards which gave us a great starting point. In the first month of ownership, we completed the epoxy, lights, and all the gladiator wall tracks/cabinets. Since we built the house, I spent the construction period researching and accumulating products which meant I had the bulk of the items upon move in. I originally met Rick on Garage Journal, where I spent a good amount of my research time. Yes, I went through all 88 pages of Rick's build journal and contributed greatly to his 630k views! I lost steam on my garage journal thread but the following is what I started:
Click here to connect to Larry's informative build thread on garagejournal.com
For the flooring, I selected ArmorPoxy's ArmorClad with upgraded clear coat. I had epoxy in our Maryland townhouse and it suited my needs very well. The ability to wash inside and easily clean up the floor was the main appeal. My wife and I did the install over a long weekend on both garages. Next was the Gladiator wall tracks. The back wall has 16'x4' of total coverage with the opposing wall having 8'x4' of tracks. I found a local wholesaler who bought returned Gladiator stock from Home Depot and I was able to secure the tool chest, large cabinet, and smaller cabinets at a great price. Those were delivered the second week after the floor fully cured. At this point, we've been in the house less than a month and the garage was progressing very quickly.
The master closet had a door to the unfinished attic space which extended over the primary garage. We had a contractor finish the attic and do a custom closet which meant I was going to lose access above the primary garage. For this reason, it was time to upgrade the lighting before the area was sealed. As of this writing, I've redone the lighting two times and finally happy with the end result. Ideally I would like to add more wall lights but I haven't found a cost effective solution. The current light configuration in the primary garage is six fixtures containing four T8 5K LED bulbs and one fixture containing two T8 5K bulbs. At this time I also had a another 20A outlet installed for a compressor. It's bright and shadows are greatly minimized. Since the interior of the house was being painted, it made sense to paint the primary garage. Four painters completed the task in a half a day, it would've taken me a month.
Next up was the water source. I had the builder do a rough in for a sink knowing that I wanted a hose bib inside the garage. A couple hours with a plumber and I had my utility sink and hose bib ready to go. I do have plans to redo this section as I want to upgrade to a stainless tub and hose reel, hopefully that can happen this year.
The secondary garage received similar treatment with matching epoxy flooring and wall tracks. Since getting my wife a wider SUV and having a baby, it made sense to give her the primary garage and S4 gets the single bay one. I do have some storage goals and possibly lighting upgrades in the works.
I like the garage to feel like an extension of the house. My original goals were simply to have a clean, well lit, and organized space to enjoy my free time and hobbies. Starting in my late 20's, motorcycles were my focus and the two bikes demanded much of the garage space in Maryland. After seven years, two accidents, nine bikes, and sixty plus track days I was starting to shift more attention to cars and detailing. In the summer of 2017, I started detailing professionally in Charlotte out of the primary garage. This decision was more out of fun and to get more involved with the local community since we were relatively new to the area. My career is in corporate finance but I really enjoy the tangible aspect of detailing. So I put my S4 and garage on display and I received my first client in Sept 2017.
Click here to subscribe to Larry's IG feed where he features his detailing work.
My biggest advice to anyone wanting to transform their space is to take your time. Figure out your needs and research till you're bored with the topic and then start. I spent the five month construction period simply reading and asking questions. My wife was a big help with layout and installation as well. Taking advantage of sales or used items can keep costs down, in addition to simply doing what you can yourself. Good examples being the floor and cabinets. I covered the near 1k sq ft of flooring for about $1.50 a sq ft as compared to $4 a sq ft for a local installer. All the cabinets were purchased for 40% off retail since they were overstock.
I want to thank Larry for taking the time to share the story of his garage with me. It is my hope that people will take inspiration from his garage and make the most of their own garages. If you would like to see your garage story featured on my blog, feel free to contact me. In the meantime, thanks for taking the time to visit this blog and be sure to come back soon because I have more amazing garage stories lined up!
My quest to feature garages belonging to other enthusiasts takes me to Saskatoon, SK. Shaun Gullacher and I have been garage buddies for a few years. We became acquainted through the Obsessed Garage Facebook group page and have been communicating our fascinations with garages and detailing through texts and Instagram messages ever since. We had the opportunity to meet up this past summer when his family was in town. We took the kids to a play centre, dropped in on Chris at Carzilla, downed some burgers, and hung out in the RAD environment for a few magical hours. Since the summer, Shaun and his wife have begun construction of their dream home complete with the most epic of garages. The project is in full swing and I thought it would be fun to ask Shaun some questions about his project. Before I share his responses, here are the vitals:
What is the primary focus for your dream garage project?
Primarily, the garage will be used for keeping my two vehicles clean as well as accommodating my side detailing business. I will also use the space for minor vehicle maintenance (oil changes/etc.). The focus of the garage is to have a large enough space to comfortably park two vehicles year round and have enough room to move around the vehicles while they are in the garage. Getting kids in and out of the vehicles daily with out having to worry about doors opening and hitting the other vehicle or other items in the garage. Having the space to be able to unload those big grocery hauls from Costco on cold January nights in the comfort of a heated garage with the doors down.
I can certainly appreciate Shaun's desire to make his garage a warm and inviting space given the Canadian prairie winters we experience. I can also appreciate how handy it will be for him and his family to unload those sizable Costco hauls. We Canadians need to stock up on supplies to make it through the long cold winters!
What has been the most rewarding step in this process?
The whole process is really rewarding to me. Being able to see your dream garage being built and watching it advance through every step is pretty special. You are witnessing your dream come to a reality in slow motion. Almost makes it sweeter because you can truly soak it all up at each stage. It is like a kid walking into a candy store. They can't fully digest it all at once so much of the greatness is overlooked. It is like handing a kid a store full of candy one handful at a time. This all being said, stepping into your garage for the first time once it is framed and actually being able to physically feel the space is probably one of the biggest highlights in the process for me.
Shaun eloquently communicates the feelings I had when my home/garage was being constructed. I'm glad I was patient with the process and took the time to savor the experience.
What have some of the challenges been?
With having a custom home builder the biggest challenge I have had is getting them to understand the importance I put on my garage. It is fairly common that the finishing standards in a garage are not the same as the actual living space of the house. From the very first time I talked with the builder I made it very clear that I wanted the finishes in my garage to be of the same quality as the rest of the house. I have had to continue to remind them of that throughout the whole process. Just making them understand that I care about all the fine details of my garage just as much if not more as the rest of the house is very hard to get across to them. People just don't get it. The builder spends a lot of time in the house with us ensuring they are getting things right in that area. At every stage I have to request we go out into the garage to discuss things out there. It's like they almost forget about the garage. It is as though it is usually just an after thought for most people where they store all their junk. Why waste a bunch of time on it? Nobody cares that much about their garage.
I know how detail oriented Shaun is, so I completely understand how these frustrations materialize on a regular basis. I also know that Shaun isn't the type of guy to let those frustrations get in the way of him realizing his vision. I anticipate the garage will be finished to his high standards come hell or high water.
What wisdom have you acquired throughout this process that would be helpful to someone wanting to build their own dream garage?
Don't be in a rush. Think everything through (the initial effort will be worth it in the end). Take your time. In your initial planning always plan for the future. Think about things that you might want to do in your garage down the road and make sure you have everything is place to make that happen. ie: Extra bracing in the wall for hanging heavy objects, electrical/plumbing rough-ins in place for additional lighting etc. This is the 3rd new home build that the wife and I have done and i still don't think I will get it completely perfect. I will always overlook something but the idea is to limit it to as little things as possible. Some things can be done after the fact but then again some things just can't. I have spent countless hours thinking about all aspects of this garage and what I want the finished product to look like. In order to have all your rough-ins (electrical/plumbing) in the proper places you need to have a solid plan for the garage prior to the shovels in the ground.
From what I have witnessed throughout this build process, I can honestly say that Shaun has taken his time and considered each and every detail of his garage. While it is true that there will always be a detail that sneaks by, I will also say it is true that this garage, when finished, will be one of the most thoughtfully planned and expertly executed garages imaginable. I am sure Shaun will continue to share this project with others as it nears completion and I am hopeful he will share the detailing work he will complete once it is in full operation. To follow Shaun's progress, I suggest checking out his Instagram. He has a decent amount of progress pics on there with many more to come in the near future.
Here is a gallery of images taken from the onset of the project. You will see the garage floor plan along with a number of shots of the concrete work. Once framed, you will see a trench system has been incorporated into the pad which will undoubtedly help with water management. Schematics for his garage cabinets are also included and they look spectacular. Thanks to Shaun for agreeing to share his garage story with me and I look forward to posting more of his project once it is complete.
I'm always talking about and showing off my own garage, but I also spend a significant amount of time obsessing about other peoples' garages. One garage that has always impressed me is the one that belongs to Tyson Hugie. This past holiday season, Tyson emailed me to share a flooring project he was undertaking. He had an epoxy coating applied to his garage floor and he wanted to share the process with me. I enjoyed the story and photos he sent and thought it would be interesting to share the story here on my blog.
Tyson's Arizona garage is a shade under 1000 square feet and is set up in a triple tandem configuration (6 cars). In addition to being large, it is home to an extensive collection of Acura cars. Currently, he owns eight of them! What makes his collection even more impressive is that they are all impeccably maintained and driven on a regular basis. In fact, he gained notoriety a few years back when his pristine 1994 Acura Legend coupe surpassed the 500,000 mile mark. In the early summer of 2013, Acura honored this incredible milestone with a red carpet ceremony. Six months later, Acura presented him with the keys to a silver 2013 ILX. Tyson has done a fantastic job of documenting his automotive passion and accomplishments on his "Drive to Five" website and has been featured in a number of videos on Acura's YouTube channel.
Recently, Tyson made the decision to have the floor of his garage epoxy coated. This, along with an extensive collection of dealership display items and literature, contributes to the showroom theme that makes this garage such a standout. Because the 3-stage epoxy coating application required substantial curing time, Tyson was forced to store the bulk of his collection in his backyard. But, after allowing the coating twelves days to fully cure, the majority of his collection is once again in the safe confines of his garage. The results of the project are stunning. Below, you will find a gallery of images that Tyson shared with me along with a video he produced that documents each stage of the project.
In addition to owning an incredible collection of classic Acuras and a spectacular garage, Tyson is a well-respected and popular member of the automobile community. My garage hobby has enabled me to forge friendships with people all over the world, and it is my genuine hope that one day, Tyson and I will have an opportunity to sit down and talk cars and garages in person.
After I parted ways with my RaceDeck Free Flow floor, there was a period of time when I was living with a bare concrete floor. Thankfully, it was only for a few weeks, but the experience left a mark on me and helped to solidify my belief that a modular flooring is a better option than an epoxy coating. These photos demonstrate the constant battle I face with water accumulating on the floor. After two weeks of having to watch where I stepped so I didn't track the filth all over the garage and into my car, I was relieved when my Swisstrax order finally arrived.
I understand that epoxy is the option some garage owners prefer, but not having to worry about where I step, or what I step in is a massive advantage, in my mind, to having a modular tile floor. My Swisstrax floor is always dry despite the constant snow that gets tracked in on the tires and undercarriage of my car.
While I do think epoxy coatings look nice, I would be constantly dancing around the garage trying to avoid slop and water and that's just not something I have any interest in doing.
After three weeks of suffering with a bare concrete floor, my Swisstrax floor arrived this weekend. Here are some photos of the install process and final result. I am very pleased with how things have come together. I need two Pearl Grey tiles and the edges weren't included with the order, so it's about 98% complete at this point. I am looking forward to putting it to good use and sharing my insights into its performance.
Here's a video I put together:
I didn't take any chances this year and installed my winter wheels in September. We experienced a significant amount of snowfall later in the month so I did the swap just in time. I do enjoy driving the SQ5 in the winter with the meaty Nokians. The gallery of photos below demonstrates the process I follow when performing a seasonal wheel swap. It is pretty awesome being able to do the swap in the comfort of my own garage with the QuickJack.
I enlisted the services of a local decal maker and had a batch of 6" x 2.5" decals made. I have only a few left. It is pretty sweet to see many of my fellow detailing and garage enthusiasts sporting the RAD logo in their own spaces! Feel free to contact me if you would like to order one for your own space.
With the support and encouragement of Carzilla, I have been working and experimenting with a variety of products from Gyeon. These videos demonstrate the application process and results of 1. Gyeon Syncro paint coating and 2. Gyeon Q2 Rim coating. I recently picked up several other Gyeon products and plan on completing a comprehensive detail on my SQ5 in the next week, once it gets dirty! Until then, enjoy these two videos:
While the owner of this sweet little Allroad and his family were vacationing down in Mexico, I saw working away on it for three days. In total, I put probably north of 15 hours into this project and I was impressed with how it came out. The video is on the long side, but it really tells the story of what I did to it. Enjoy:
The owner of the Infiniti FX35 I recently detailed dropped his first-gen SQ5 off for some RAD treatment. I didn't have the time or energy to make a video for this one, but I did do a short video for Instagram. It was a 8 hour job and the results were pretty good.
A good friend of mine found himself in a desperate situation involving the tires on his BMW 435i. He returned from a business trip and noticed that the belts were showing through on his front tires. A quick call late on Friday afternoon and the new tires were ready to roll on Monday afternoon, which is amazing turnaround.
I think running a staggered 20" setup on this car isn't the most practical way to go, but they do look awesome. Anyway, here's some photos from the install. I would highly recommend giving Shaun a call at (403) 465-0771 or dropping him an email at email@example.com if you are in the market for new tires. His prices were highly competitive and the service he provided was top notch!
I put a good twelve hours into this gorgeous FX 35. I just love these cars. I was extremely happy with the end result. Here's the video:
Following on the heels of the black R8, an Edmonton R8 owner popped down for a detail. I spent the entire day obsessing over this car and just before I was about to post the video, my MacBook crashed. For days I thought I had lost all the footage, but I was able to salvage it in the end. Here's the video and I hope you enjoy it:
I have never discriminated when it comes to the makes or models of cars I have detailed. I have attacked 15-year-old Toyota Corolla's with Cheerios stuffed in every fold of the back seat and I have slogged away in minivans covered with dog hair. You never heard me complain. But, now I want to treat myself. If you, or someone you know, has an Audi R8, let it be known I am offering a free exterior wash and detail. I would need the car for a weekend during the summer.
I am experimenting with a new logo, but I am not completely sold on it. It was a collaborative effort between me and a Belgian designer I hooked up with through Fiverr. Currently, I have commissioned another designer to see what they can come up with, so hopefully they can come up with something even better. In the meantime, this is the new one:
I am in the process of planning out an exciting detailing project that will culminate with a Gyeon coating using their new "Syncro" system. I have no experience using products from the South Korean company, but I have only heard great things. The Syncro system is a two stage process that combines two base coats of their durable Mohs ceramic coating with a durable and flexible top coat of Skin.
I want to thank the owner of Carzilla for suggesting this coating and I look forward to applying it to the Daytona Grey paint on my SQ5. In addition to the Syncro system, Carzilla also supplied me with 1000 ml bottles of Prep, Iron and Wet Coat to ensure I enjoy optimal performance from the Mohs and Skin coatings.
It is no secret to anyone following my work that I have grown quite fond of Leno's Garage products. Recently, a sizeable shipment arrived just in time for summer. I have a number of exciting projects lined up for my summer break, and these products will play instrumental roles in all of them.
I had the opportunity to speak with Troy, the owner of Auto Obsessed in Edmonton recently. Our conversation was focused on the line up of OBSSSSD premium detailing products. I was overjoyed when a sampling of these products arrived on my doorstep a few days later. I am eagerly anticipating putting these products through the motions in the coming weeks and months.
- Paint Finish
- Leather Cleaner
- Leather Conditioner
- Auto Wash Shampoo
- Touch Up
- Wheel Cleaner
- Tire Satin Finish
Here's a little teaser video I shot starring the new OBSSSSD arrivals. I look forward to sharing my impressions of each of these products once I have had some time to experiment with them.
The team at Leno's Garage has created a discount code and I am hoping my fellow automotive and detailing enthusiast friends will use it. You will save 10% off your order by using "RADGARAGE" at checkout at www.lenosgarage.com. I want to thank the team at Jay Leno's Garage and I hope this code will drive some business their way because they have been very supportive of me and my detailing obsession.
Who is Rick?
I'm just a guy who loves his garage, Audi, and detailing so much he blogs about them.
Geoff Wilkings Photography
Jay Leno's Garage Advanced Vehicle Care
OBSSSSD Premium Products
RaceDeck Garage Floors
Thompson Graphics Ltd.
My Flickr Page