To say it has.been a while since I updated my blog is a massive understatement. I have no excuse other than I have been busy with other aspects of life. But, I am back and I wanted to update readers on what has been going on in my "car and garage life".
Project: Audi A6 Full Detail
This project involved a friend's 2012 Audi A6 that was in serious need of a thorough interior/exterior detail. We agreed on an 8-hour timeline and I set to work. The video does a nice job of demonstrating the various processes I went through returning this car to extremely clean condition. The paint remains in need of correction,. but I am hopeful I can take a crack at that in the Spring. This video has been my most popular post to date with over 120k views!
Cleaning Swisstrax Floor
Prior to the arrival of winter, I was able to perform one last thorough clean of my garage floor. I have developed my own floor-cleaning process over the past decade and I am quite happy with the process. Since we are in the middle of winter here, there is little opportunity to perform such a cleaning job. For now, I am relegated to performing vacuum and mops of the floor. I look forward to performing a very through Spring clean in a few months.
Ceramic Coating my SQ5
Back in the Fall, I had a lot of fun re-coating my SQ5. I used Adam's Ceramic Coating and the process was highly satisfying and enjoyable. It is a few months into winter and I am very pleased with the performance of the coating to date. This video demonstrates all the stages I went through to get the SQ5 re-coated.
It took me an hour to haul the centre section of my Swisstrax floor onto the driveway, clean the garage floor and then set things up again. I used to "snake" the floor in long sections, but the Swisstrax doesn't have the flex or strong connections for that, so I have to break it up into 3x4 or 4x4 sections and stand those sections up against a garbage bin to power wash both sides. Here is a little photo gallery that demonstrates the various steps in my floor tile cleaning process.
I'm excited to be featured on the second in a series of videos produced by YouTube sensation, Pan the Organizer! His "Pan & the Organizers" series features viewers touring people through their detailing themed garage spaces. I am enjoying reading through the comments left by Pan's viewers and feel very proud that people seem to dig what I have created.
The best part of being featured on Pan's channel is the amount of feedback from his viewers. I will admit to reading each and every comment and I am so impressed with the amount of positive feedback my garage has received. Here's a sampling. Click image to enlarge.
Let me explain to you how cold and miserable February has been in these parts. The average daily temperature for last month was minus-19 and we had snow on 25 of 28 days. The mercury dipped below minus-30 on 14 occasions. This has made keeping the garage clean very challenging. I spent a few hours in there today cleaning up the mud and rocks that have accumulated over the past week or two. I am really hoping March will bring milder weather, because I don't know how much more of this I can take. At any rate, here's a video demonstrating the process I went through to bring things back to a tidy state.
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.
This city has been caught in the icy clench of a nasty cold spell for two weeks and counting. There has been no opportunity for me to do any major cleaning of my garage floor. Day after day, I track mud, rocks, salt, and all kinds of debris into the garage where it falls onto the floor, dries out and creates an unsightly mess. Today, I finally found the inspiration to tackle the job.
Step 1: Vacuum
Step 2: Mop
Step 3: Scrub
Step 4: Mop
I have been an admirer of this garage for years, so I was pumped when the owner agreed to having it featured on my humble blog. This is a true car lover's dream garage that I really hope to one day see in the flesh. Everything you see here was created by the owner with the help of his family. I have followed each evolutionary change that he has made and the level of execution is simply amazing. You can learn a lot more about the history of this garage by checking out the build thread on garagejournal.com or his photo album on Photobucket. It's amazing to see how Chad and his family transformed this regular garage into something truly special and unique.
Location: Nashville, TN
What inspired you to create the garage you created?
I have always loved fixing ugly things up and that applied to garages too. I have enjoyed taking several houses that had the nastiest and ugliest regular old garages and trying to turn them into something that wows you when you open the door. With this house, we usually come in through the garage and my wife and I wanted to make it a beautiful and inspiring path to come into the house. She is a car fanatic too!
Our friend came by last weekend to photograph my garage. Heather is super talented and I am very pleased with the final results of her work. Here's a little gallery highlighting her talent and the beauty of my place!
Last weekend, a good friend came by to snap some photographs. She is quite talented so I am very eager to see how they turned out. She sent a few teaser pics and they look great. I even convinced my family to pose for a few. My plan is to use her shots to update my website. Since I had the garage tidied up, I did a new tour video because the last tour video is a couple of years old and things have changed a bit since then.
Because my home has a north-facing front, the driveway gets no sun. Ever. That means the driveway ices up pretty quick if I try to clean my floor with my pressure washer. But, when the weather throws me a bone, like it did today, I feel guilty if I don't take advantage and perform a complete clean of the garage floor and driveway. Here's a little look at how I deal with the floor in the winter.
The first step is to disconnect the middle portion (slate grey colour) of the floor. Since I have one car, and I park in the center of the garage, filth only accumulates in the middle of the garage. I unfasten the connectors with a paint lid removal tool and drag it out to the driveway in two equal sections. I use my pressure washer to wash the debris that has accumulated under the floor to the front of the garage, but not quite onto the driveway. Once I have the bulk of the muck at the apron, I use a squeegee to push it into a pile. The thick mud and rocks then get sucked up in my Shop-Vac. I rinse any leftover dirt and residue into the gap between the slab and the driveway and do a final sweep of the concrete floor with my pressure washer and squeegee it dry.
I am excited to share this charming garage from Reykjavik, Iceland. Brynjar Hartharson is a mechanic who works primarily on GM cars. He has created an impeccable detailing environment he uses to care for his cars and the cars of others. I have been a fan of his space since I first caught wind of it on his Instagram. It was instantly apparent that Brynjar and I have similar tastes in many regards. Like me, he is an avid hobbyist detailer, obsessively pampers his German car, and prides himself in maintaining a very neat and organized workspace. I am thankful he agreed to answer my questions about his garage story and I was extremely flattered he mentioned my garage as one of his design inspirations. I am confident you will be as impressed with his space as I am. So, off we go to Iceland!
I have always been passionate about cars, dreaming of one day buying my own house with a garage. After I stumbled upon The Garage Journal in 2011, I spent a lot of time looking at garage projects and getting inspiration for my own in the future, I had designed the basic layout and look in my mind long before I had a garage.
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
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.
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:
After many years, I have decided to part with my RaceDeck Free Flow floor. I found a local buyer who picked it up a few weeks ago. Living without a flooring system for the past little while has been terrible. I am really looking forward to installing my new floor soon. Stay tuned to see what I have planned!
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 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.
A recent spat of mild weather enabled me to do a thorough spring clean of the garage. The floor wasn't too bad, but a lot of grime and debris was lurking in the vents of the Free Flow tiles and it was time to get rid of it. The entire process took a few hours. I put a video together that demonstrates each step of the process. Enjoy.
It's probably the most common question I get; is a RaceDeck Free Flow floor system a good idea for people who endure winter? The answer is dependent on a number of factors, but my short answer is "Yes". The Free Flow tiles provides a crucial layer of protection from the dirty water that constantly pools on garage floors during the winter. Some of the muck that drops off the undercarriage dries to the top of the tiles, but that is easily dealt with by a shopvac and mop. I can walk around my garage in my socks minutes after pulling into my garage. Another thing I appreciate about the RaceDeck is that I am not grinding gravel into an epoxy finish every time I pull into the garage. Right now, the floor of my garage is a total mess. I have a few months of compiled crud on the floor, but it's all hidden below the tile floor. I know it's there, but I don't have to do anything about it. When the next heavy chinook hits, I will perform a thorough clean of the floor and tiles. In the meantime, here's a quick little vid I posted on my Instagram account. You will hear the crackle of gravel and debris as I walk on the tiles, but the mic on my iPhone is making that sound much louder than it actually is. Just imagine doing this on an epoxy-coated floor.
The RaceDeck Free Flow system has been my saving grace since its install six years ago. Some maintenance is required, but there is no floor that will keep itself clean during the winter. Let me know if you have any questions about my floor by shooting me an email here.
It's been quite a while since I updated this blog. The holiday season was a whirlwind with family staying with us, and winter's tight grip on the city has been keeping me busy. After about a month of freezing temperatures, the mild weather arrived so I have been doing my best to combat the salt and mud that the nice weather generates. Keeping the exterior clean is a hopeless endeavor, but I will never let the mess infiltrate my interior!
I have two sets of all-weather interior mats. One set by Husky and the other by WeatherTech. I can't say I am in love with either of them, but they are what I have so I make the most of it. It's nice having a second set at the ready for when the other set is caked with salt residue and mud. The Husky's don't fit as well as the WT's, but they do offer more protection. The WT's have a lower profile which allows water to escape and stain the carpet. I had to remove some salt residue that had dried into the carpet. I used my Mytee Steamer and Rupes iBrid as you can see in the photos below. I used Griot Garage's Carpet Cleaner and used my steamer to open up the carpet fibres. I worked the cleaner into the carpet using my iBrid. The slideshow below should give you a good idea of the various steps I take to maintain a clean interior. I have had to perform this job numerous times in the past month or so.
Cleaning Garage Floor
I have not been able to perform a full maintenance wash of my floor this winter. Each day, my car is dragging in mud and slop and it ends up falling to the floor and seeping through the cracks in the Free Flow tiles. On particularly bad days, huge chunks of debris fall from the undercarriage and wheel wheels and compile on the tiles. I use my shopvac to clean up the mess and finish with a quick mop. It is not a particularly difficult job, it just takes a bit of time. I am waiting for some really mild weather to hit so I can actually drag the floor out to the driveway and clean the mess off the garage floor. As it is now, there is a lot of mess under the tiles, but the tiles themselves remain clean as long as I mop the floor. The slideshow below should give you a good idea of what I'm dealing with.
Since purchasing my BL-5000SLX QuickJack lift, I have been putting it to the test quite regularly. I have taken the wheels off a number of times to gain access to the wheel wells and I have been able to perform some touch ups on the paint around the rotor hats. It has been a helpful tool as well as a cool one. My friend, Geoff popped by a little while ago with his camera gear to snap some shots of the QuickJack in action and here's a little slideshow that demonstrates how it has helped me raise my detailing game. The photos give you an idea of how I have the system set up. Like I have said before, it works great for my needs and it is a purchase I am very happy with.
Who is Rick?
I'm just a suburban dad who loves garages, Audis, and detailing so much he blogs about them.
Custom Decals YYC
Geoff Wilkings Photography
Thompson Graphics Ltd.
In addition to showcasing my own garage, I enjoy sharing other amazing garages. Here are some spaces that I have featured on my blog:
Tyson's Acura Museum
Larry's Charlotte Showroom
Chad's "Next" Makeover
Gully's Dream Garage
Orland Park Audi Oasis
Cory's Industrial Arts Studio
Brynjar's Icelandic Garage
Pat's Controlled Chaos
Greg & Nancy's Place
Brandon Burrell's Toy House