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!