Maybe you read about my brother’s trip to New Zealand on this website – he runs a garage door company in Maryland. Well, like everything else about me and my brother, my company is bigger, as is my state – I run a Dallas bed and breakfast that dwarf’s my brother’s operation. I spend more on restaurant supplies than he does on wood. Well anyway, since he vacationed in New Zealand, I thought I’d head over to Australia, because it’s bigger too. I have to admit, I was mighty impressed with the way the folks down there design their garages!
The Aussies really treat their garages with respect. They figure that the future of home storage is in the garage, so they might as well get everything right the first time. I guess that’s why they pay so much attention to details like custom-designed garages with one-off doors. It seems that newer lots in Australia are smaller (not like Dallas, of course), so the good folks there have to get major bang for the buck. People are trading up from cramped old sheds to full-sized garages that have a lot of innovative storage areas. That’s important if you’re also going park your car or work at your hobby in the same space. Garage design companies have sprung up throughout Australia to help homeowners maximize storage and minimize clutter.
Let me tell you some of the nifty storage solutions I saw when I was “down under”:
* Shelving: They seem to like long-span wire shelving because it’s economical and doesn’t collect dust. If longevity is a prime factor, they upgrade to solid steel shelves. I saw shelves running from shallow to deep, so that you could store oversized luggage on the biggest ones. I also like the flexibility of adjustable shelving.
* Workbenches: How can you have a proper garage without a workbench? Back in Dallas, I got me a really big workbench, but actually any size will do as long as its adequate for your planned usage. The wife likes to unload groceries onto the workbench, which is OK ’cause I can spare the room. Anyway, a good workbench must be solid so that it can handle your work load. And it doesn’t hurt to get one that looks good as well. You can get nice ones without spending an arm and a leg, so look around. I saw some nice ones in Brisbane.
* Systems: These new-fangled storage solutions let you set up custom cabinets, tool storage, shelving systems – everything you need to keep the garage neat and clean. Some systems go into ceilings specially designed for storage. Also, you can get special hooks for bicycles, tools, kayaks, whatever.
I learned quite a few things about garages during my tour of Australia, and I’m going to put that knowledge to good use when I get back to Texas. I plan to add a new garage to my fabulous bed and breakfast!