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!
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 am happy to announce an exciting partnership with Adam's Polishes. I am amassing a full arsenal of Adam's products and have already been putting them to the test. I am loving their performance so far, and I really love the way they look on display in my garage. I can see why this company has such a strong and dedicated following. The products are top notch and the marketing team really knows what it is doing in terms of cooking up excitement.
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.
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 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.
Mike from Ohio writes:
"How do you train your "psyche" to overcome a sense of "giving up". This is hard to put into words, so my apologies. Best I describe what I'm referring to. I don't have your talent, skill and know-how to do what you do...but if magically all of a sudden I did have that capacity, I would get discouraged after spending so many hours/days on a car...I would get severely "bummed out" when I take the car out on the road (in the rain) and my perfectly cleaned/detailed car gets dirty again. Hope that makes sense. I'm afraid that is how I'd feel. You have obviously overcome that "problem". How do you compartmentalize your sense of satisfaction when time after time..car after car...dirt, road grime and pollen spoil what you've just spent an enormous amount of time and energy cleaning? Is there a mental trick to it?"
This is a great question, and I have had to reconcile a few things in my own mind to maintain my dedication to car care. The environment in my city is very challenging. The winters are long and messy, and the rest of the year is dusty with a real mix of weather. There are a few ways I deal with the stress and most of them are visible in the way I have designed my garage. Combating the relentless challenges of maintaining a clean car has been made easier by the fact that my garage is a full-service detail facility. I can pull my car in on any day and everything I need to keep it clean is close at hand. My vacuums are easily accessible and I have a wide array of products that work in all kinds of different seasonal situations. By having all the tools and supplies I need at the ready, it allows me to use my energy efficiently.
Also, I just love the process of returning a dirty car to pristine shape. Yes, it may be dirty within seconds after leaving the garage, but that doesn't negate the fact that I had fun making it look brand new again. It is also rewarding to know that the car is still in excellent condition, free or scratches and defects, under the dirt and grime. I am really paranoid about the salt and salt residue embedding in my paint and causing corrosion, so every time I get the paint clean, it gives me hope that rust and corrosion will never claim my current vehicle liked it claimed a few in my earlier years! So, in conclusion, I can keep going no matter the challenges because I have the proper facility and supplies, I like the process, and I enjoy knowing that my car's condition is still flawless under the dirt, salt, pollen, or whatever other menace the world is throwing at me.
Now, if I had a black truck that I had to park outside like my friend, Bryan...that would be whole other story. He gets all my respect!
If you click, on "Automotive and Tires" on the main page of the Costco website, you will see a large advertisement for the QuickJack portable lift featuring a stunning photo of my old SQ5 in my garage. Over the years, I have been fortunate to have formed some wonderful relationships with some of my favorite retailers. The team at QuickJack and I have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship since I first added a QuickJack to my garage back in the Spring of 2016 and I am pleased to see these amazing shots getting some good press.
I am confident there is no place worse, no place more challenging, no place more frustrating to keep a clear clean than Calgary, Alberta in winter. Even with my garage converted into a detailing studio, I just can't keep up. But, I won't stop trying. Here's a video that demonstrates how I go about keeping a tidy interior despite Mother Nature's efforts to ruin me.
Hand washing a car in the garage may not be everyone's idea of an epic Saturday night, but I had been looking forward to this all week. The Flames were up against the Hawks and I had a dirty SQ5 that needed some love and attention. Here's a video that demonstrates how two or three hours in a garage can be quite enjoyable and productive. Enjoy.
I recently performed a "no rinse" wash on my SQ5. The weather here has been cold and sloppy so a no-rinse wash is about all I can do to keep my car clean. Here is a video I put together demonstrating my wash process when it is too cold to use my typical 2-bucket wash system. In addition to cleaning my SQ5, this video shows how I quickly clean my garage floor ahead of performing the no-rinse wash.
The final in my 3-part "Prepping + Detailing" series is complete. I am very happy with the results. I didn't apply a coating like I had originally planned. I simply ran out of time and energy. I used Menzerna's Power Lock so that should give me good protection until I can find the time to apply my GTechniq C1 Crystal Armour. In the meantime, here's the third and final video:
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