If Conway Reimer has anything to say about it, garages should never have to take a back seat to the rest of the house. As the owner of six Texas Garage Living operations, the CandysDirt.com-approved vendor says his No. 1 challenge is getting people to recognize the untapped potential of this oft-overlooked space.
“It’s not even on their radar,” he says.
Yet anyone visiting Reimer’s North Dallas showroom will see first-hand how garages can be transformed into attractive, well-designed spaces. Fully outfitted displays of the company’s staggering array of organization and storage solutions present unlimited options.
“As soon as people come in, they get it,” says Conway. “Our customers are not only enthusiastic about their cars — they want a design aesthetic equal to that of their home.”
Since launching the business in Austin and San Antonio just a year and a half ago, the company quickly expanded to all major Texas markets. In addition to Dallas, Conway and his wife, Jennifer, run operations in Fort Worth and Houston. Unlike the saturated home storage industry, the couple were pioneers in the garage storage and remodeling field.
“Although some big-box retailers have entered the space, they’ve done it in a more utilitarian manner,” says Conway. “We’re unique in taking a comprehensive approach based on quality and service.”
Along with design, Garage Living services include the supply and installation of residential cabinetry, specialty storage racks, organizers, flooring, car lifts, and door openers—in short, everything needed for a soup-to-nuts garage makeover. A trained architect, Conway is adept at helping customers sort through the abundance of options. Floors provide a starting point; the company’s trademarked polyaspartic coating is superior to epoxy, offering better abrasion, chemical resistance, and tolerance to heat. A final bonus? Fifteen super-chic color choices (think harbor blue, cappuccino, nightfall, and quicksilver).
The decisions don’t stop there. Five lines of cabinet systems are offered in free-standing modular or custom-fitted designs. Also available: versatile PVC slatwall panels featuring 40-plus accessories for storing power cords, tools, sports equipment, and more. As for the bottom line, prices for a fully-outfitted garage typically range from $7000 (single-car) to $15,000 (three-car). Costs can escalate, however, depending on the size and extent of customization; Conway estimates an upcoming 6000-foot space (complete with six-foot diamond plates, 18-foot slatwalls, and steel mezzanine) will exceed $200,000. His most outrageous project?
“We installed 35 car lifts for the owner of the most insane car collection I’ve ever seen,” he said. Garage Living also recently made its reality TV debut — their NEOS Elite model, a fully-integrated system of custom components, was featured in a recently completed This Old House project.
Future plans will focus on increasing awareness, particularly within the building community. (Currently, the ratio of new to existing builds stands at 30/70, respectively). He also believes — strongly — in providing company staffers with an upwardly mobile career path. (The company’s first employee, an installer, now holds a sales rep position in the Austin market.)
“With everything we do, it’s important to be purposeful and professional,” says Conway. “And then we want to deliver the WOW.”