Garage organization vendors see home improvement companies as likely customers.
Credit: Photo: courtesy Those Garage Guys Garage organization vendors see home improvement companies as likely customers.

Mark Curry sees the garage as home improvement's new frontier. Which is why, six months ago, he launched Those Garage Guys, a company marketing a modular system for bringing order to chaos. Garages, Curry says, are “the biggest junk drawer in the house.” His system can turn 400 feet of garage into a neatly arranged space with hooks, shelves, baskets, and cabinets for around $6,200. Add flooring, and it's about $10,000.

Curry's Those Garage Guys, in York, Pa., is looking for home improvement companies that want to add a popular and profitable product to their menu. His company will supply materials, installation training, and sales and marketing assistance.

VENDORS ON THE SCENE A half-dozen vendors now serve the market for garage organization. All see the product/service as a natural for home improvement companies. Rob Ritsema, owner of Extreme Garage Organization in Colorado Springs, Colo., for example, says that the average garage remodel costs about $8,000, takes three to five days to complete, and has a gross profit margin of 50% to 60%. “We can tell customers, ‘Why not start with fl oor covering? Then you can add cabinets, as your budget allows.” Ritsema has had sales as low as $1,500 and as high as $25,000.

THEY WON'T SHOP YOU In the last year, David Cox, managing partner of Home Services in Hamden, Conn., has seen garage organization grow to become 25% of his business. It's a new industry, he says, and it's less competitive than other home improvement categories. “If you present consumers with a logical solution, they won't shop your proposal around to 10 people,” he says. “You don't have multiple franchises on every corner.”

Cox uses Google SketchUp, a free software program, to show consumers what their refinished garage will look like. “People buy based on pictures, and if you can show them a before and after picture, they're impressed.”

Cox says the bulk of his work is “low-dollar-volume deals” that he completes in about two days. “Some companies won't see customers unless they're talking about a $10,000 garage,” he says. “Those companies don't want $4,000 jobs, but I'll take them every day.”—

G.M. Filisko is a freelance writer based in Chicago.