Mark Tavolino, who has worked in construction for 27 years as a general contractor and owned and operated a successful home building and improvement contracting business for more than 17 years, opened a garage remodeling franchise over a year ago. 
 
Tavolino has extensive training and experience in a variety of home improvement skills, including flooring applications, cabinet installation, carpentry, siding, and painting, and he is also an inventor. 
 
He developed Lock & Roll Organizer, a garage organization product that he successfully brought to market and is available on Amazon. His passion for creating garage spaces that look spectacular, are functional, and feel personal to each homeowner inspired him to seek out a like-minded business partner. This led him to Garage Living, a company he discovered at trade show. The products and processes won him over and Tavolino decided they were a perfect fit for him, so he started Garage Living Chicago.
 
“It was just a good fit for me,” he said. “And we’ve been doing it for over a year and business has been very busy.”
 
Along with the standard cabinets, slatwall and other storage options, the company also features a special product for flooring.
 
“This product is actually a polyaspartic flooring. It’s not an epoxy, it’s a better product than the epoxy. We can put it on at any temperature above zero degrees, which is much better than epoxy where the temp has to be more like 45 to 50 degrees. It’s thin and more flexible and it’s not going to crack,” he noted. “Our product actually bonds to the concrete. Unlike the epoxy which is like a topcoat. We have a UV in it, so it keeps the color over time. And then obviously we have the flake which keeps it from being slippery.”
 
This flooring solution is a standard for the Garage Living franchise, which is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, and has been in business 15 years with over 20 locations in North America.

Remodeling a six-car garage

When Closets & Organized Storage magazine spoke with Tavolino in February, he was on location at a job site in Burr Ridge, Illinois, remodeling a six-car garage (two 3-car garages connected via an archway) for a client who wanted to add a ‘wow’ factor to her expansive home.
 
“The clients were looking to have a wow factor in the garage and they pretty much let me have at it,” he said. “Besides her picking colors, I kind of put everything together with the diamond plate and cabinets.”
 
The garage was designed using 3D CAD drawings features Black Rain finished steel cabinets and doors, stainless steel countertops, aluminum diamond plate for the backsplash, and an Atlas 9000 car lift. 
 
Tavolino also used polyaspartic flooring material around the baseboard, and he also covered a portion of the walls with diamond plate to create a nice design effect.
 
“It just kind of gives it a nicer look and it keeps the walls protected,” he added. The homeowner can now easily wash and clean the wall because, “it’s completely sealed.”
 
Tavolino says business is going well and he has never been busier. He works with a small crew of installers, often working on the weekends to complete projects. 
 
He hopes to open a showroom location in the coming months to highlight the kind of work the company can do in the garage.
 
For more information, visit garageliving.com.
 

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