Celebrations in the Garage

Garage_PartyCelebrations are in full swing! You’ve got plenty of parties to make an appearance at but you’re also in charge of hosting one this year. Having everyone over will be fun but if you do some strategic planning ahead of time you can save on stress. One of the best things you can do to ensure a successful soiree is use your garage space. Sure you’ll have to park the cars somewhere else but it’s more than worth it!

Your Garage as Party Central

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The Cold and Your Garage Door

SNow-Garage

Staff Sgt. Phillip Bridges shovels the driveway of his new home Jan. 17. Thanks to a total basewide effort at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Sergeant Phillips’ family was one of 241 successfully relocated from the on-base Sprucewood Homes development to viable on- and off-base residences before the harsh Alaska winter rolled in. Sergeant Bridges is assigned to the 354th Logistics Readiness Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Justin Weaver)

Don’t get sideswiped this winter when the cold weather starts to affect the functionality of your garage door opener. Keeping your door operating safely year round is essential to get the most out of your garage. A garage door that is in a state of disrepair can cause big problems, especially when the weather gets colder.

Water from melting snow and ice can cause damage to your garage door and opener. If your door is made of wood the increased moisture can create swelling in the frame. That can lead to the door rubbing against the frame or possibly becoming stuck. Keep rain gutters clear to avoid run off that will splash onto your garage door. (more…)




Old Man Winter Is Not Welcome In The Garage

insulation-garageYour garage is easily one of the most inefficient rooms of your house, but there are ways to combat energy loss. If you have an attached garage, making it more efficient will improve your home’s overall performance. In the winter an inefficient garage will have cold air whistling through its bones. That frigid air will then penetrate the walls and ceiling of surrounding living spaces, making your whole home colder.

A lot of homes, new and old are built without insulation in the garage walls. Insulating your garage walls is usually an easy process. You can roll the right kind of R-value insulation between your joists, or have it blown in through a small hole in the drywall.
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Brace Your Garage, Winter is Coming!

snowIt’s not really a thought that most of us want to be having right now but winter is coming. Yes, soon the snow will fall, and the garage is one of the easiest places to fall behind on when you’re preparing for the cold weather. During the summer months it’s easy to start piling up all sorts of stuff in the garage but that space will be much better suited for your cars this winter. (more…)




Leaving the Garage Empty

House

Hopefully you have some time away planned for the summer. Even if it’s somewhere close, downtime is necessary to recharge and enjoy all the things you’ve worked so hard for. Don’t forget that a vacant house is a prime opportunity for a criminal to break in. There are plenty of ways to secure your house while you’re gone. Besides, you want to enjoy your vacation without the constant worry about what might be happening back home.

If you can find someone you trust, having a house sitter is the best way to go. They can water plants, feed pets and get the mail. If that’s not an option make sure you get a hold of the post office and stop mail delivery if you’re going to be gone for more than a couple days. There is still the potential that fliers might be left no your doorknob or porch. You might have a neighbor watch out for those.

You’ve heard it before but don’t forget to put your lights on a timer to emulate someone being home. If you mow your lawn every week you may want to have someone take care of that chore so things don’t begin to look overgrown.

Alright, on to the garage!

Make sure you cover windows in the garage so a potential burglar doesn’t know if you car is gone. Put either a clamp or a padlock on the garage door track. That way if someone tries to slip a hangar in and grab the emergency release cord the door still won’t open.

Some things you may not have thought of but are equally important. Don’t announce you’re going on vacation on social media. It’s tempting to celebrate your hiatus but if the wrong person finds out, there goes all your valuables. Unplug any electronics that might burn power while you’re away.




Picking The Right Garage Door

GarageReplacing your garage door requires some thought and research. If you put in a little bit of work on the front end you’ll be much more pleased with the result. Design and color are important to ensure your new door/s line up with your home’s existing architecture. One of the top priorities should be the insulation.

Energy costs have not gone down and garage door insulation is just as important as all the other insulated areas in your home. The sales for garage doors with no insulation have gone down as people demand energy efficiency to save money. Garage usage has changed a bit over the years. More and more they are used as a work place, social gathering spot, not just for storage.

Insulation

The R-Value is the measurement of how well a building material is insulated. A higher R-value reduces outside noise and helps the door operate more quietly. A couple common types of insulation are polyurethane and polystyrene foam. Most polystyrene insulated doors are thicker but have a lower R-value than polyurethane. So don’t be fooled by the thickness of the door!

Safety

A garage door is the largest moving object in your home making sure it operates safely is imperative. Pinch resistant garage doors are designed to push fingers out of harm’s way if they get placed too close to a door that’s closing. Tamper resistant bottom brackets reduce the risk of injury from garage door components under tension.

Material

The length of life you will get out of your garage door is determined by what kind of material it’s made with.

  • Steel Garage Doors: durable with only an occasional need for cleaning and touch up
  • Vinyl Garage Doors: Vinyl do very well in harsh weather conditions, resist dents, rust free with no need to paint
  • Fiberglass Garage Doors: Made to look like a wood door but you will not have the maintenance associated with wood
  • Wood Garage Doors: Require painting or staining every few years, the work can be worth it due to added curb appeal
  • Aluminum Garage Doors: Relatively maintenance-free but may not have as much insulation as other doors

Picking out the right garage door can actually be a lot of fun. When you work with Norm’s you’ll find out just how much we love what we do.




Painting Your Garage Door

Garage doors are a huge part of your home’s first impression. When they’re looking worn it can create the illusion that your whole home needs work. Re-painting the garage door is a job anyone can do and the new look will really freshen up the image of your house.

Don’t Paint the Garage Door Wrong!

As simple as this improvement can be, doing it the wrong way could leave you with splatters on the driveway or old paint color on the ends of the panels when the garage door is opened. Here is a list of some things you’ll need to do it the right way.

  • 3-inch latex brush or Paint Sprayer
  • Sanding sponge
  • Exterior paint
  • 1-gallon work bucket
  • Rags
  • Dropcloth
  • Step stool

What about the Paint?

Photo credit: www.cnbhomes.com

Photo credit: www.cnbhomes.com

When it comes to the amount of paint you’ll need that depends on the type of garage door you have. Aluminum doors will need a bit less, wooden doors a bit more. If the new color is a drastic change from the old that could require more paint. You’ll also have to make the decision to either brush or spray the paint on. Make sure you consult with your local paint store on which method would work best for you.

Try to pick a day with little wind, not too hot or cold and make sure there will be no distractions to pull you away from your work. Unplug the garage door opener, and detach the door with the emergency release cord. This will eliminate the risk having an accident if the opener were to operate while you’re painting.

Start by roughing up the surface of the door with a sanding block to remove any dirt, cobwebs or oxidized paint. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just give it a good once-over. Make sure you’re drop cloth is down, any areas you want protected are taped off, and get painting. If you’re garage door is beyond the point of livening up with a fresh coat of paint get a hold of us to talk about a complete replacement.




Air Conditioning the Garage

You read that headline right.

garage air conditionersIt might seem like a great idea to air condition the garage but there are a lot of questions you have to ask before you jump on this project.

 

Most importantly, what are you using your garage for? Is it mainly to store stuff and park your cars? If that’s the case then throwing in an AC unit doesn’t really benefit you. Cars don’t need to be kept cool, and all the stuff you’re storing can most likely take a little heat and humidity anyway.

If you plan on using your garage as a wood working shop, a man cave or a hangout/ recreation room then keeping it cool comes into play. That being said, you don’t want to route your existing air conditioner to your garage. There is too much potential for dirty and dangerous air to be pulled into your home. A separate unit is the only way to go.

There are a few options when it comes to separate AC units!

  • Portable Unit – A portable is a freestanding unit that uses a tube to take in fresh air and expel heat.
  • Window Unit – Can be put in a double hung window or a hole can be made if no window exists.
  • Ductless Mini Split Unit – Works like a heat pump, uses an outdoor compressor/ condenser and indoor evaporator/ air handler. This option requires training so you’d have to consult a professional.

Don’t forget to consider how what type of insulation your garage has/ needs. Installing an air conditioner without proper insulation will certainly make it less efficient. Take a look at your garage doors as well. A high R value door will further energy savings. Here are some helpful tips Selecting the right garage door. Put your time in on research for this project so you don’t end with an inefficient set up.