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My Rubbermaid Garage Makeover (from bad to great) – Part 5 of 5

I love my garage! I never expected it to turn out this good.

I’ll be honest. When I started this project I had a few preconceived ideas about how it would turn out. I figured my garage would look better than it was prior to the project but I wasn’t expecting miracles. I had also anticipated the cleaning, assembly and organizing to be fairly difficult and time consuming.

I was wrong. My garage IS better than before, and the makeover/transformation DID perform miracles. I had no idea how nice my garage would become. It’s clean, organized, great looking and most importantly extremely user friendly.

The wall with the FastTrack rails and hooks is great. Hanging and organizing the infrequently used bikes, ladders and tools opened up so much floor space. The new steel-reinforced resin shelves allows my family to keep often used items nearby and accessible. The rail-mounted FastTrack cabinets are great for storing tools, chemicals and other random items that don’t need to be in plain view. My garage now seems twice the size. I actually enjoy being in it. But before I go on too long about the completed makeover, let me tell you about the final weekend of the project.

The Final Weekend

Corner_tool_caddy_3307_blog_4Coming home from work on Friday evening I knew that by end of this weekend I was going to be done with the garage makeover project (what am I going to blog about now, suggestions welcome). With the experience of prior weekends under my belt I was fully aware that breaking the remaining tasks into easily manageable chunks was the best way to approach the final leg.

So before I went into the house I decided to assemble the corner tool caddy my wife had picked up at Ace Hardware during the day. I wasn’t sure how much time it would take but I knew it couldn’t take too long. I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the box to find only five parts. Assembly only took a few seconds. It actually took longer to open the box than to build it. One task complete only a few more to go.

The Cabinet Build

Cabinet_build_3321_blogWaking up early Saturday morning (trying to avoid the heat of a North Carolina July) I made a pot of coffee and headed to the garage. In tow was my trusty, but sleepy, helper Shannon. The task today was to assembly all of the wall cabinets. Having plenty of experience building ‘ready-to-assemble’ furniture I had a good idea what to expect. Read the directions first, gather the required tools, review the directions one more time, then start. (NOTE: Follow the directions for each and every cabinet. After assembling three cabinets I figured I didn’t need the instructions anymore. Of course I missed a step on the fourth one and had to undo some of my work.)

The assembly was rather straight-forward. Take part A, insert screw B, you now have part C. Again, I must give credit to the Rubbermaid engineering, product and graphics teams for creating a very easy to understand instruction manual. You guys rock! A few hours later I had all of the cabinets assembled sitting neatly in my very clean garage.

The Final Day

The final day of my garage makeover project consisted of a few tasks. I needed to remove my two old shelves along with all of the stuff on them. Six new FastTrack rails had to be mounted to the wall. And I had to hang the cabinets onto the rails. Oh, and I had to move all of the stuff from the old shelves back into the new cabinets while sorting and purging during the process.

Taking down the old shelves and moving everything on them into the driveway was as expected. I actually felt like a treasure hunter. Who knew I had a robin nest on the top shelf. Once everything was moved into the driveway and the old shelves dismantled I was able to begin mounting the FastTrack rails.

As I described in my previous post the mounting / installation of the FastTrack rails is a fairly easy process. I did run into a little snag as the only outlet in my entire garage ended up being exactly where I wanted to install one of my bottom rails. I ended up mounting the rails a few inches lower than I had initially planned (which actually turned out to be a good thing).

With the rails mounted on the wall I was ready to hang the cabinets. This step required two people so I had to go get my wife, Susanne, to help. Hanging the cabinets was very simple. Pick up the cabinet, hang/clip it to the rail, tighten a couple screws and you’re done. The process of hanging the cabinets only took 15-30 minutes.

The final step of the entire garage makeover project was to move the rest of "my stuff" back into the garage. This was time consuming as I tried to be very strategic about what went where. Shannon kept asking, "why do you keep putting stuff in and taking it back out?" I told him he should go play basketball 🙂

I’m Astonished

Standing in my super wonderful, awesomely organized, and just plain great garage I was somewhat astonished. My new garage exceeded all expectations. Everything about it was perfect. There’s really not much more I can say… aside from the fact that I’ve had two neighbors and one friend who now want to do the same thing. They are a little shocked when I tell them I used only Rubbermaid products. They had no idea.


Best of luck to you in your garage makeover.
  Be sure to take some photos or video so you can share your project.


  View the Complete Photo & Video Gallery on Flickr
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  My Rubbermaid Garage Makeover (from bad to great)
Part #1: I’ve got a BIG problem. My garage is a total mess
Part #2: Planning is half the battle (or at least some of the battle)
Part #3: Tackling the installation – One step at a time
Part #4: My garage is really starting to shape up

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  37. Jim Deitzel September 8, 2009 at 7:28 am #

    I don’t believe the version of the cabinets I used had feet.

  38. Jim Deitzel September 8, 2009 at 7:27 am #

    I realized I had an outlet in the middle of the wall and wanted to still access it. The tall cabinet had an open back which allowed me to still have access with the tall cabinet door open.

  39. Cecile Gochoco September 6, 2009 at 7:23 pm #

    In addition, why did you opt to hang the cabinets instead of using the feet that the cabinets came with?

  40. Cecile Gochoco September 6, 2009 at 7:18 pm #

    Hey Jim, I’m really digging your garage make-over. I have the same area in my garage that I want to put 2 base cabinets and a tall cabinet. What made you change your final cabinet installation from the drawing? I, too, have a water heater in the corner and was planning on putting the tall cabinet to the left of it.

  41. Jim Deitzel July 8, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    Greg, I would agree the 3/4 is more heavy-duty. The stuff I used in my garage was the 1/2″. I found mine at Walmart. It’s been about a year since I installed them and I’ve had no issue. Either way the cabinets work well. Thanks for the advice.

  42. Greg S. July 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    Jim make sure to tell the customers to look for the 3/4″ inch material. I was suprised to find that Wal-Mart has/had carried the whole rubbermaid fast track system and I was fooled into thinking it was 3/4″ and it was only 1/2″. The quality between the two is a huge difference. The 3/4″ material is better quality and hardware is more heavy duty the 1/2″ doesn’t even come close in comparison.

  43. Jim Deitzel July 7, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    I was able to located them on the following website:
    In these types of cases I also resort to Google.

  44. Tom July 7, 2009 at 3:27 pm #

    I am in Massachusetts, and am going to use the Fasttrack for my garage makeover. I really like the cabinets that you note seemed to be available through Menards (floor-standing units). But there are no Menards out my way. Any suggestions on where they could be purchased? Are they still made? I’ve tried searching online to no avail.

  45. Kristina March 30, 2009 at 8:21 am #

    Looks fantastic. I’m envious! 🙂

  46. Jim Deitzel December 26, 2008 at 5:41 pm #

    Larry, I’ve never installed a ball storage unit. I’d recommend contacting our customer service department. They’ll know exactly what to do.

  47. Larry December 24, 2008 at 2:50 pm #

    I accidently put the hook on the ball storage unit backwards (the rail would have to run inside the basket in order to connect) how can I remove the hook from the basket to install it correctly?

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