Building a New Home? 5 Decisions to Make About the Garage

Decisions to Make About the Garage

A garage is a garage is a garage – not necessarily! Here are 5 decisions that need to be made. You want a garage that is right for you, your vehicles and how you will use it — so don’t ignore the garage!

1. The Door: One big door? One bigger door and one single-car door? Two doors? Part of this planning should be the aesthetics of your new home and how the garage fits into its style. If the garage door faces the street, it can account for up to 40% of the way your home looks. Even a side garage will be seen from the street. You want the garage to enhance the style of your home, but you also want it to be usable. Doors should be wide enough so the vehicle you drive (no matter how big) can get through with side mirrors intact.

2. The Driveway: Again, think about the vehicle you drive and future landscaping. A beautiful curved driveway may be great looking, but not if your super-sized truck can’t make the tight turn into the garage. Pay attention to the placement of any utility boxes so they are not in your path if you make a small mistake coming up the driveway. If your garage has columns or pergola make sure there’s enough space so when you turn, the front of your car doesn’t hit them. They’re beautiful – but not if they’re broken or bent. Know your vehicles and your path. Continue reading

5 Fixes for Common Garage “Wishes”

Fixes for Common Garage

Some can simply be old-school easy. Some take advantage of the newest garage technology. But, see if one of these 5 are on the list of things you’d like in your garage and if the solution would work for you.

1. Making Parking Easier. You’re worried. It seems like your car or cars just barely fit in your garage. You don’t want to hit the wall and you don’t was the garage door to bounce off the bumper of your new truck. The old-school fix? There’s the hanging tennis ball. When it touches the windshield, it’s time to be sure you’re stopped. You can even give it some old-school backup with a pool noodle just in case you gently nudge the wall. The new technology solution? Laser beams! Available online and inexpensive. These devices give you a laser light to guide you to exactly the right space. They’re made for both one and two car garage parking!

2. Emergency Lighting. The power’s out and that garage is so dark that you’re afraid you’re going to knock something down before you can get the car door open. Old school? Grab your flashlight before you head for the car. Another old school solution is a flashlight that plugs into a plug and come on in a power outage. Both of those will work, but they probably don’t compare to today’s emergency lighting with adjustable fixtures to put light where you want it and a charge that can last up to 20 hours. Still, even the new emergency lights are a bit old school – just a better power-is-out light fixture. Continue reading

5 Things to Do for a Great Garage Party

Things to Do for a Great Garage Party

Think it’s impossible? It’s really not that hard to get your garage ready for a party. Here are 5 tips to help you enjoy an evening with friends – with room to spare.

1. Get Ready to Party. Start with decluttering the garage. It’s a good time to get rid of the things you don’t use and don’t want. As you declutter, make an “I’m going to donate it” pile and an “I’m taking it to the dump” pile. This will pay off with more space when the party is over – you may even make enough room to bring in the car. Put the things you need along one wall so they can be concealed (see #3).

2. Think about the Smell. If your garage has a musty smell or a gasoline and chemical smell, get to the source. Make sure that chemicals are covered and capped so the odors don’t escape. That musty smell can probably be controlled by opening the door and washing down the walls and the floor – and that wash down is a necessity even if there aren’t any odors. Continue reading

5 Things that Say It’s Time to Replace Your Garage Door

Time to Replace Your Garage Door

You want your garage door to go up and go down. Plus, it’s about 40% of the front of your home so you want it to be good looking. Investing in a garage door can pay off – you can recoup over 90% of your investment when you sell. Take a look at these 5 reasons to replace and see if any of them are meant for your garage door.

1. It’s loud and you know the repair number by heart. When your garage starts making sounds of protest every time it opens and closes, that’s a sign. You need to call a trained garage technician to make sure that even if it’s noisy, it is still safe. And, when you dial that technician and find his phone number is at the top of your most-called list, that’s another sign that your garage door is probably ready to be replaced.

2. You have an attached garage and a high utility bill. Your garage door could be part of the problem. If you live in a climate that is extreme – very hot or very cold, every time someone opens that garage door and then comes into the home, they’re bringing that hot or cold garage air with them. If the walls and ceiling are insulated, that leaves the door. Replacing an old garage door with an insulated door may bring that utility bill down. Continue reading

5 Weekend Hacks to Beautify and Organize Your Garage

Weekend Hacks to Beautify and Organize Your Garage

You don’t have to be overwhelmed. Getting started on beautifying your garage and getting it organized can be done one step at a time. Here are 5 things you can do in a few hours or over the weekend that will get your garage in better shape than ever.

1. Create Carriage House Style. You’ve seen hose carriage house garage doors and you wish you had one, but your door is in good shape and you’re not ready for a new one. Create a carriage door from the garage door you have! You can buy fake windows and magnetic hardware that will give you the carriage or coach door look – and it’s so easy! Just add them to your existing garage door and, presto, you have created a very stylish look for your home.

2. Look Up and Add Storage. If your garage is home to tottering stacks of boxes full of things you need only once a year or so, it’s time to think about hanging storage from the ceiling. You can get those boxes out of the way – and, maybe, create space so you can actually park your car in the garage easily. There are even bike racks that can hang from that overhead system. Move things up and regain the space. Continue reading

4 Floor Coverings – for Your Garage!

Floor Coverings for Your Garage

Is your garage floor making you crazy? Is the concrete cracked? Are there stains? Garage floor coverings are easy. You can make a floor look great in just a few hours. Plus, floor coverings can open up new uses for your garage – from parties to making working on your car easier.

1. Rigid Tiles. If you like working on your car in your garage, rigid tiles may be the right choice for you. They will stand up to the intense pressure created by a jack. They can handle the load – even big motorcycle kickstands. Rigid tiles are more stable – they don’t expand or contract like flexible tile. Some even come with perforations to drain spills or rainwater. You can choose from many different colors and styles. Installation is literally a snap. You just line them up, lay them down and then step on them to click the male and female connectors together. The costs averages from $2.50 to $4.25 a square foot, depending on your selection. Continue reading

6 Things to Do to Maximize the Use of Your Small Garage

Things to Do to Maximize the Use Your Small Garage

You wanted a three-car garage – maybe, even a four-car garage, but instead you got a double or, worse, single-car garage. Now, how to you maximize the space? How do you use it? Here are 6 good ideas.

1. Mark the Space for the Vehicle. Protect that shiny new truck or any other vehicle you keep in the garage. If you need to, paint a space that can guide you. Then, make sure that you know exactly where to stop so you don’t bump the wall or let the closing door bounce off your bumper. You can use a hanging tennis ball as a marker. You can put a soft “noodle” from the pool on the wall to avoid dings if you go a half-inch too far or open the car door too wide. You can put some blocks or bricks where your tires absolutely, positively have to stop. You can do-it-yourself or you can shop for items and devices to warn you when to stop online or in a car supply store. Make it safe to park the car and/or truck that needs the protection of the garage.

2. Make a Map. If there are items that you want to keep in your garage – whether it’s a vehicle or equipment and boxes, get out the measuring tape. Know the size of everything you want in the garage and use a CAD program or drawing program to “move” those items around until you get a good, safe fit. Not comfortable with doing it on the computer? Use graph paper and shapes that are to scale. Continue reading

How Your Garage Door Works

How Your Garage Door Works

Understanding how your garage door works and the choices you have will give you new respect for that great, big door that goes up and down. Here are 5 things to know about how it works.

1. There’s a Motor. Of course! Usually that motor is about a half horse power, 6-amp motor that plugs into a 120 volt outlet. It not only raises the door; it slows the door as it lowers so it doesn’t crash land against the garage floor.

2. What Moves the Door? Your choice! Each of these devices is connected to the trolley to drive the door. The drive mechanism can be a belt, a chain or a screw. A belt mechanism is both the quietest and the most expensive. It has teeth on one side that allow the gear to raise and lower the door. Another choice is the chain. It’s like a big a bike chain. It’s the least expensive, but makes the most noise. A screw is a continuously threaded shaft that “reaches” out and grabs the door to raise and lower it. It’s middle-of-the-road – not too noisy and not too expensive. However, it needs to be lubricated! Continue reading

5 Reasons Why Summer Driving IS Dangerous Driving

Reasons Why Summer Driving in Dangerous Driving

August comes in second for the most fatal accidents, following October. There’s probably not much very harsh winter weather in either month, but August averaged 3,037 fatal accidents in 2014 against October’s 3,068. More, June, July and September come in with about 2,800 fatal accidents each. Summer is definitely a time for caution behind the wheel. Here are 5 reasons why.

1. Teens Take to the Road. They’re driving more often than when school is in session. They may be driving to their summer job or picking up their friends for a day of fun. Statistically, teens are involved in more accidents than any other age group. Their risk of an auto accident is almost 3 times higher than that of drivers 20 and older. There are about 6 teenage deaths from motor vehicle accidents every day. They may not have the experience to make critical decisions; they are more likely to speed. And, you can’t leave out accidents caused by distracted driving – think radio, texting and phone use.

2. There is More Congestion. This is especially true on routes to popular vacation spots. Traffic jams can cause accidents of all levels of severity. They can also lead to road rage which in turn can have serious consequences. If you’re caught in traffic, stay cool. Be prepared for drivers who may cut you off. Also, keep in mind that while your family may be returning to a spot you visit every summer, some drivers will be newcomers finding their way and that can lead to erratic driving. Continue reading

5 Ways to Give Your Garage Vintage Chic

Ways to Give Your Garage Vintage Chic

Do you wish that your garage had some style – that it reflected the way you’ve decorated your home with bright colors and country chic. Here are 5 ways to make your garage live up to your dreams.

1. Create a Slat Wall. It’s got the look of a country cottage, but it’s, oh, so practical. A slat wall – think cottage white, go bright or you can even use a soft pastel – goes to work for you. You have a fun, vintage look and the easiest way to organize anything. Use hooks to hang up your tools or trays that can hold your selection of spray paints. A slat wall can brighten up that dark space and get you organized at the same time. It’s a win-win! Continue reading

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