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updated: 3/13/2017 3:16 PM

Garage Store pros can help you reclaim your garage

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  • Rob and Liz Ruisz of Schaumburg won last year's garage makeover contest, sponsored by the Daily Herald and Garage Store. The floor received a concrete restoration and a commercial grade coating.

    Rob and Liz Ruisz of Schaumburg won last year's garage makeover contest, sponsored by the Daily Herald and Garage Store. The floor received a concrete restoration and a commercial grade coating.

  • Before, the Ruisz garage had a deteriorating floor.

    Before, the Ruisz garage had a deteriorating floor.

By Jean Murphy
Daily Herald Correspondent

This year Garage Store celebrates its 10th year of helping Chicagoans reclaim their garages and transform them into another "room" of their house.

"It used to be that 60 to 70 percent of our work was done a la carte," said Jim Melchert, a former Marine and owner of Garage Store in East Dundee. "Now approximately 80 percent of our clients just ask for the complete makeover, including the polymer flooring system and sometimes even a car lift. They are busy and simply don't have the time to do it themselves or even to oversee the work.

"This is what we had in mind when we founded the company in 2007, but it took awhile to get to this point. Kudos to our crews and employees because if they hadn't stepped up and done such consistently great work, we wouldn't be getting the reviews that we are getting on Facebook, Google, the Better Business Bureau and other sites," Melchert said. "Thanks to their hard work, homeowners are allowing us to use our creativity, experience and craftsmanship to accomplish for them what they have requested."

Clients sharing garage makeover photos online -- including last year's winner of the Daily Herald Great Garage Giveaway contest, Rob Ruisz of Schaumburg -- has also had a big impact on Garage Store's success.

Garage Store has truly become the authority when a homeowner wants to increase the functionality of their garage to fit their own particular lifestyle, whether they are into gardening, sports, cars or even woodworking. Solutions range from $300 for an overhead storage rack to $10,000 for a total garage makeover with a polymer floor, wall system, cabinet system, etc.

Garage Store carries several lines of cabinets and wall systems, as well as hooks, baskets, specialized sports racks and shelves. In fact, it is a designer and installer for Gladiator GarageWorks, a line of powder-coated steel cabinets made by Whirlpool. It also carries two ceiling-mounted bike pulley systems, SafeRacks and MonsterRax, for overhead storage, as well as car lifts for stacking and storing vehicles.

Garage Store also re-claims unused attic space above many garages, adding pull-down ladders and flooring to add as much as 250 to 300 square feet of storage space, Melchert said.

One of the most popular products in Garage Store's service repertoire is the application of an easy-to-clean, OSHA-approved, slip-resistant polymer flooring system.

This spring Garage Store is teaming up with the Daily Herald to hold the fourth annual Great Garage Giveaway. Entries will be accepted through April 16.

Log onto for more details about how you can register to have your disorganized (but not garbage and clutter-packed) garage made over. In mid-April, 25 semifinalists will be asked to submit a photo of their garage and designers from Garage Store will choose the winner of the $5,000 garage makeover grand prize, which includes coating the floor, painting the walls and installing an organization system. Two runners-up will each receive an installed overhead storage rack.

"We are looking for people who love their garages like other people love their basements or kitchens," Melchert said.

For more information about Garage Store, call (847) 428-8862 or visit

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