Chicago Tribune Home Guide
You may not be able (or inclined) to do anything about the placement and outward appearances of your garage, but what’s inside is another matter. If you’re building or remodeling, consider it the last frontier: space.
While the rest of us are waiting for that “someday” to arrive when we get organized, an admirable few are already there.
Not content to have their closets under control, they have looked upon the detritus within their garages and declared war.
Garage organizers have arrived.
Moving the concept of closet organization a step further, White Rabbit Inc. of Deerfield will take charge of the patio umbrella, the four basketballs, the bike with one flat tire and all manner of smelly household chemicals and find a place for them, preferably out of sight but not out of reach.
White Rabbit, which only does garages, designs and installs white laminate cabinets, pull-out wire shelving and finished walls that are ready for painting:
The transformational effect can be startling, sort of like encountering a hospital linen closet where the Weed-B-Gone used to lie spilled in a corner.
Richard Schulman, a lawyer by training, decided to develop such a service after tinkering with the storage in his own garage.
“Considering the efficiency I attained and the compliments that I got, I decided to make a go of it,” he explained. “I thought I had invented the wheel [as a garage specialist], but I found out that it’s a concept that’s widely accepted in Arizona. California and Florida, probably because so many people there don’t have basements.”
This year, he and his wife, Sally. expect their firm to do about 180 such installations, primarily on the North Shore. No surprise geographically, as the service can cost a tidy sum.
“We start at about $1300 and go up to $5,000 or $6,000, but I’d say $2,500 to $3,500 is average,” Schulman said, noting that the. built-ins have proven to be a selling point when clients’ houses have gone on the market.
Plus, the kids can retrieve their rubber duckies them-• selves when they’re heading for the pool, and. all sorts of Seldom-used paraphernalia (card tables. Christmas punch bowls and obsolete golf bags) that used to clog the hall closet find a home.
Some closet organizing firms point out that they can do essentially the same thing, and do-it-yourselfers probably can find most of what they’d need for the undertaking at home centers.
Besides being freed from the daily stumble over the rototiller, homeowners and builders can benefit in other ways from rethinking the utility of their garages.
Need a three-car garage in a two-car space? Hydraulic lifts, such as those by a firm called Backyard Buddy Corp. of Niles, Ohio. Its standard model ($2,650) hoists the car, leaving a six-foot head clearance underneath for parking a second vehicle.
Claim some playroom space in heated garages by carpeting an area for the kids. The Little Tykes playhouse will fit right in. but also consider secured areas for pesticides, etc. In planning a home’s plumbing needs, consider running water hookups and drains into the garage.
Not only could you stick your washer and dryer there, some homeowners use the space to wash the car.
Then it won’t rain. Promise.
Experience the Magic of White Rabbit