Vernon Hills man believes a garage isn't just for storage

 
By Jean Murphy
Daily Herald Correspondent
Posted9/9/2018 6:00 AM
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  • Matt Joseph of Vernon Hills poses with his wife Elena, right, and 3-year-old son Isaac in their newly renovated garage. Joseph won a garage makeover sponsored by the Garage Store and Daily Herald.

      Matt Joseph of Vernon Hills poses with his wife Elena, right, and 3-year-old son Isaac in their newly renovated garage. Joseph won a garage makeover sponsored by the Garage Store and Daily Herald. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Joseph, right, and Garage Store owner Jim Melchert go through the new cabinets and workbench installed in Joseph's garage after he won the annual Garage Makeover Contest.

      Joseph, right, and Garage Store owner Jim Melchert go through the new cabinets and workbench installed in Joseph's garage after he won the annual Garage Makeover Contest. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Mathew Joseph, right, of Vernon Hills and Garage Store owner Jim Melchert look at new overhead racks that were installed in Joseph's garage after he won a Garage Makeover contest.

      Mathew Joseph, right, of Vernon Hills and Garage Store owner Jim Melchert look at new overhead racks that were installed in Joseph's garage after he won a Garage Makeover contest. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Garage Store owner Jim Melchert shows the strength of an overhead storage rack installed in Matt Joseph's garage in Vernon Hills.

      Garage Store owner Jim Melchert shows the strength of an overhead storage rack installed in Matt Joseph's garage in Vernon Hills. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • New cabinets were installed in Mathew Joseph's garage in Vernon Hills. Joseph won a Garage Makeover Contest sponsored by the Garage Store.

      New cabinets were installed in Mathew Joseph's garage in Vernon Hills. Joseph won a Garage Makeover Contest sponsored by the Garage Store. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Matthew Joseph, a Honeywell UOP mechanical engineer who handles the design, fabrication and delivery of refinery equipment, is enjoying a completely renovated garage at his Vernon Hills home thanks to an annual contest sponsored by Garage Store in East Dundee and the Daily Herald.

Joseph won the annual home-improvement contest from a field of about 1,380 entries. The improvement he received is valued at $5,000, said Jim Melchert, owner of Garage Store.

"I was shocked. Before this, I had never even won a $1 scratch-off lottery ticket," Joseph said, admitting that a garage makeover was the stuff of his dreams because he loves to fix things and putter around in the garage.

"I am 'that guy' who fixes everything because I don't want to have to buy something new," he said. "I spend a lot of time working in my garage. This was the best thing that I could have won -- other than maybe a Corvette!"

The prize allowed Joseph to have his garage floor coated with a polymer finish before the addition of a new work bench, two large powder-coated steel cabinets, one overhead storage cabinet and two overhead storage racks.

He and his wife, Leena, also removed the rusting metal shelves that were in the garage when they moved in about 18 months ago and invested in having the unfinished, dead bug-covered walls painted and additional lighting installed.

"Leena was really excited for me because she knows that I love a nice garage and I spend a lot of time out there working on my 2007 Subaru," Joseph said. "In addition, we have a 3-year-old son running around and we wanted a nonslip floor and to have things up off the floor so he can't hurt himself. Safety is important to us because we have him."

Joseph was not a stranger to Garage Store. After seeing the company at the Chicago Auto Show more than a decade ago, his mother had the floor redone in her Vernon Hills garage, as well as her front porch refinished, by a Garage Store crew. So he jumped right in and entered the contest to win a prize package this year.

"The durability, look and easily cleanable surface makes the product a must have for me," Joseph wrote in his contest entry. "Now that I own my own home, I would love to have this treatment within my own garage.

"A trait I picked up from my late father is to always be a hard worker and so I tend to spend as much time in my garage as the rest of my house," he continued. "I love working and fixing all kinds of things. Having an organized garage makes a huge impact on how the job gets done. With the garage floor coating, I don't have to worry about surface stains, damaging the floor from dropping tools or worry about using harsh chemicals for cleaning up messes. The added traction from the coating will also make it a safe environment for my toddler who seems to have learned how to run before walking.

"I'm very OCD when it comes to organization. I get a bit crazy with a label maker and storage bins. The Gladiator organization system will help me save space, stay organized and will safely keep harmful tools out of my toddler's reach. Unlike most homeowners who treat a garage like a storage room, I treat it as any normal room in the house," Joseph wrote.

And after the installation, Joseph was thrilled by how dust-free his garage has become and how friendly and courteous the installers had been.

"I am really nit-picky and I had absolutely no complaints," he said. "That kind of quality and attention to detail is hard to find these days and I really appreciated it."

Garage Store has been helping homeowners like Joseph reclaim their garages and transform them into another "room" of their house since 2007.

Garage Store is the place to go when a homeowner wants either a full garage makeover or a minor tweak. Solutions range from $300 for an overhead storage rack to $10,000 for a total garage makeover with a polymer floor, wall system, cabinet systems, etc.

"We can custom design your garage to meet your needs and budget. As our T-shirts state, 'It's not just a garage. We create it. You enjoy it,' " Melchert said.

Garage Store is the Chicago area's designer and installer of Gladiator GarageWorks powder-coated steel cabinets, made by Whirlpool, which come in silver, red or white. It also sells and installs carry hooks, baskets and shelves for the Gladiator Gearwall, as well as ceiling-mounted bike pulley systems, SafeRacks and MonsterRax for overhead storage and car lifts for stacking and storing vehicles.

Melchert's crews can also re-claim unused attic space above garages, adding pull-down ladders and flooring the space above the garage to add as much as 250 to 300 square feet of storage space to the home, Melchert said.

But the application of polymer floors like the one given to Joseph is one of the Garage Store's most popular services.

Melchert gives credit to his staff for its years of experience in applying commercial flooring systems to manufacturing facilities, automotive centers and restaurants. "They transfer those skill sets to our residential work," he said. "We also use the same commercial-grade polymer floor products with our residential customers, adding superior strength and performance."

For more information about Garage Store, call (847) 428-8862 or visit www.garage-store.com.

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