Your car? Your bike? Sleds? Trash cans? Garden hose? Tools? Half buckets of paint and old rags? Perhaps that unadorned space that you repair broken things or spray paint things to freshen them up?
If you look it up in the dictionary, you’ll find it’s a place to ‘store or protect automobiles.’
HA! GARAGE is a state of mind!
Back in 1901, William Harley and Arthur Davidson started up a few projects in one.
In 1923 Walt Disney, and his brother Roy, hatched a few good ideas in theirs, too.
Shortly after 1939, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard used one to make oscillators. (Walt Disney bought eight of these to use to make his block buster ‘Fantasia’ movie.)
It was in one of these, that doll houses made out of picture frames turned a few toys into ‘Mattel’ in 1945.
Every police officer carries a standard issue flashlight, a ‘Maglite’, created under such a roof, by Tony Maglica, a man from Croatia who could hardly speak English, in 1950.
Sixteen year old Michael Kittredge, in 1969, melted down crayons to create the beginning of Yankee Candle Company in one of these.
It was in 1976 that the two ‘Steves’ made theirs, their own garden of Eden putting an ‘Apple’ out as some new kind of fruit!
It was in one of these in 1994 that Jeff Bezos sold his first, of many books, under the roof of ‘Amazon’.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin borrowed one from Susan Wojcicki in 1998 to give ‘Google’ a home.
To help you decide which way you want to go to choose your new industrial garage doors, here is a break down of the initial advantage factors to sort through:
Very flexible in material (steel and aluminum) and steel gauges.
Various colors of baked-on enamel.
Custom finish (raised panels, flush sections, full view glass or ribbed.
Various window configurations.
Various options for insulation …R-values up to 17.2.
The best government U-values for energy tax credits
Options for friction fit or sandwich (bonded) structure.
Components are readily accessible– making routine maintenance easier.
Replacement of components usually easier then rolling or sheet doors
Torsion spring power unit open; easily lubricated.
Guides are durable heavy structural steel little maintenance required.
Springs are enclosed in barrel and hood (not visible).
Curtain has continuous hinge (longer wear).
Configuration of large ‘special’ doors for specific applications.
R-values up to 8.1.
Windows are riveted in place.
Initial cost usually higher due to weight of the door and the equipment and time needed to install it.
Lighter then rolling door therefore a larger range in manual push-up.
Best paint warranty in the industry.
Foil covered ‘blanket’ insulation (R-value 3).
Initial lower cost.
Installation time and costs are lower.
Whether you are looking at your two car family garage or your businesses rows of industrial ports, garage doors can make or break the entire look of your property.
Maybe in the past you had to settle for something adequate and functional. It is very important to have your vehicles protected from inclement weather, animals, thieves and be at least compatible with the design of the rest of your property. All admirable, but such dull dogs!
The good news is an attractive garage door adds value to your investment.
They’ve been saying for years that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but we all know that is not true! That cover better let me know what the book is about. In the world of property and business the words ‘curb appeal’ are a serious factor.
In your home, you can have doors that are made of glass that allow for day light and a view from the inside. For a business, letting your customers see you working hard is a plus!
Wood carved in a Spanish style with cast iron embellishments, the open- from-the-center rustic barn charm, ultra modern minimal lines (horizontal or vertical), or the elegant look of beach-washed distressed designs all look fabulous.
In today’s market, you can get a Screen garage covering that works just as a regular garage door, open and closing with the touch of the remote. The real game changer is what can be accomplished with Faux Designs.
This, again, holds true for your home or business. Anything you can do for real, can be done in Faux. It is wonderfully mind boggling to watch a garage door of solid dark mahogany with steel rivets roll down after you back out!
Unsightly cracks, flaking paint and the plethora of problems epoxy can create are a few reasons you might need to cover the floor of your garage.
Having proper flooring can make it safer and easier to clean. It’s one way to add value to your home or business. After your home, your vehicles are usually your most costly investment.
Here are a few guidelines to help you decide what works best for your garage:
If you just put in a new concrete floor, it must be dry 30 days before applying an epoxy. If you have tried your hand at doing it yourself and are stuck with bubbles, pin holes, a waxy film, sags in the joints, fish-eyeing in the coating, or you inherited someone else’s epoxy job gone wrong, you must remove the old epoxy before recovering it again.
There are all kinds of epoxies. You have a limited time to work them over the surface. If your floor is fiberglass you’ll need to burn off those hairs with a gas torch. You will need tools and a higher level of skill. Floor must be well cleaned and well prepped.
Note: BREAK FLUID WILL EAT THROUGH EPOXY.
Remember a mil is only 1/1000 of an inch. You’ll need a cleaned and prepped floor. It must be measured and cut out (almost like wall papering) but on the floor. It will be joined at seems. Like epoxy, you’ll need tools and a certain amount of skill level.
No extensive floor prep. They are skid resistant and simple to install. They are not only portable but also replaceable. They are not affected by heat or cold. They can withstand thousands of pounds and come in fun colors that can be coordinated to basement and/or patio.
To LED or not to LED your garage, that is the question!
If you are thinking about the lighting for a new garage or adding and/or updating your present one, this is a very important decision.
How do you feel about the opportunity to get big utility rebates? How do you feel about 77% savings in energy?
Since all the wild weather, how do you feel about LED bollards with enough battery back up to supply lighting power for 90 minutes without wire or external back up system?
Lighting is crucial in a garage.
Be sure to be aware of ‘safety’ before you decide on overhead, natural daylight, ambiance, under cabinet or track lighting. Almost all garages end up with a combination of these.
Door ways, steps, (even a single one) light switches, places where rain, snow, or leaves tend to gather, short walls, handles on doors, cupboards or draws, things hanging from the ceiling or potentially dangerous tools (shovel, picks) all need to be contained or clearly lit.
Solar powered, sensor and motion lights are down right fun.
Nebraska native, Jay Leno, is not only a funny guy who has lots cars, he is super savvy about the garage he keeps them in.
Yes, he whistled long and loud over the initial cost to switch to LED lighting, but after learning how soon he would re-coup the cost in energy savings he jumped in with both feet.
The other fellows who work with him were quick to add that the new lights didn’t make the awful thrumming sound florescent lights made. They actually preferred them.
It’s for the Birds! No…It’s Not!
You are just itching to utilize your garage for that extra work and storage space but wait a minute, so do some birds! What to do?
As far as they know, they think you’ve arranged it for them.
You must sway them away from the garage.
A lot of birds are protected by environmental laws so you must resist the urge to shoot them. However, they still make nests in your garage door opener or open spaces above, leave unsanitary droppings (often right on your windshield), some make holes and oh yeah, that swooping-down-on-your-head thing when you are in their path.
You can try to always keep the door closed, but your next bet is to try to give them another, more favorable to them, option.
Options Away from the Garage
Bird baths, higher bird houses, even bushes with berries away from the garage. If you can make them feel safe this actually works pretty well.
Another option is to make sure they can not ‘get comfortable’.
There are Sound deterrents that are as well as Netting. That is often used on fruit bearing trees and bushes to keep birds off, works in the garage rafters as well.
Reflectors and/ or Flash tape, will keep your garage walls free for your use.
Balloon Decoys (big eyes) Cut-out photo Decoys (coyotes) seem almost funny to people, but they do fool the birds if you move them around often.
If you have the right wind drafts, Predator Kites are down right fun.
If you still have no joy, there are Bird Spikes. They sound ominous, they just attach in strips and make it so there is no purchase for bird feet to grip on to. They are U.S. Humane Society approved and come in metal or a choice of acrylic colors.
The garage isn’t just for storing your car…at least not for most people.
It has become the storage for just about anything people do not want in their homes…shoes, tools, old furniture, cardboard boxes that might be used to ship stuff at Christmas, etc.
Here are a few ideas to help with all the clutter you need to step around as you venture from your garage door to your car and back again.
Since the garage is the main entrance for your family and sometime your friends, especially your kids’ friends, a lot of folks make others take their shoes off by the door. And, most of the time, they just sit there, waiting to trip you. Why not get a shoe organizer you can leave by the door? Easy to build from the store and clears the floor.
Do you have a high ceiling garage or see a lot of room up there that could be used for storage? How about building a loft? It’s essentially an attic.
These have become more and more popular over the years because of how great they are for getting things off the floor and creating more space. You can hang just about anything from them.
Are you considering removing cabinets inside your house and were just going to throw them out? How about hanging them in the garage? If not, you can buy cabinets and install them or, have custom built cabinets installed…clear the garage of everything!
Like a slat wall, hanging peg boards on walls will remove excess clutter from everywhere. When the garage floor is cleared, your garage will look like a huge room!
Take a long look at the garage with the cars not in it…or, if there isn’t even enough room for your car in the garage, change that…it’s easy!
Do you look at your garage as an extension of your home or part of the outside world since it’s for outside “stuff”? Most people don’t consider the garage part of the house and this is why it’s more than likely the most inefficient room of your house. If the garage is attached and isn’t considered just like a living area, it basically sucks hot air into the home during the summer and cold during the winter.
But, you can change your garage efficiency very easily!
First, let’s talk insulation. Most homebuilders also don’t view the garage as a room of the house and therefore do not insulate it. The walls are basically sided, sheathed and particle board placed on the inside. You can start here by blowing insulation into your wall space. Also, consider caulking between bottom of the walls and the floor.
How about your garage door? Did you know you could insulate that as well or buy a new door that is insulated?
Let’s talk about that door from the garage into the home!
Do you have weather stripping and a draft stopper? There should be! Make sure the entire frame of the door has the weather stripping and be sure to caulk around the door frame as well.
Do you use your garage as a workshop but are using heaters during the winter? Did you know you could scrap that heater and get cheap solar heating installed with a homemade unit? It’s easy – check it out!
Look down at the garage floor. Do you see lots of cracks? It’s time to seal those and stay flat with the sealant…you don’t want bumps and such when driving in.
It’s a perfect time to start getting this done for your garage and your home. Before you do your spring cleaning, make your garage a more livable space – get a “new room” and make your home more efficient!
Let’s talk SPRING CLEANING and your garage!
OK…keep reading and don’t grimace. It’s something that should be done…since you clean your house after the long Winter, why would you ignore the garage?
If this is what it takes to get into your garage for Spring Cleaning…you might need help…
WARMER THE BETTER
First, wait until a sunny and a little bit warmer day. Start to bring everything out of the garage that is moveable and think about taking an inventory. This is the best way to see what you DON’T need anymore. Consider items for a garage sale that you haven’t used in the past 2-4 years and if it’s longer than that, consider the trash can.
Remember, as well, that some items cannot just be thrown away – batteries, gasoline cans, electronics. Check with your local municipality about disposal of those items.
CLEAN IT, CLEAN IT GOOD!
Sweep out the dirt, and then hose out the garage floor as well…using a push broom to get any excess water out. Let the garage dry – which is why doing this on a warmer day is essential. While it dries, take a look at your stuff!
VISUALIZE THE SPACE
Now that you’ve decided what to keep, sell or throw away, think about moving stuff around in the garage to offer more space. Where can the lawn mower fit better? Can you hang the bikes? Can something be done with the yard tools? Consider hooks and space saving items to take stuff off the floor. How about using a pegboard or reels for cords?
Can you make anything mobile? How about plastic bins with little wheels and putting labels on the outside of the bins?
Think of your garage as an extra room from now on and you won’t worry too much about cleaning it for Spring…or again in Fall!
Is your garage door not closing all the way or it goes too far past the opening? Does it come down with too much force? For some, your garage door might need replacement, but for many, there’s a few fixes you can make and all it will require is a stepladder and a screwdriver.
Garage Door Up and Down Limits
All garage door openers have either dials for force or limit and force adjusting screws. Let’s start with the limiting screws on the garage door opener.
The door cable can become misaligned if the door opens all the way and is too far back. The bottom section of the door should stop right at the head of the garage. If the door doesn’t go far enough back, good luck getting your car or truck in and out. Get on the step ladder and locate the limit adjusting screws – usually, they are on the left side of the unit. If there’s a friend who can help, have them standing by the opener button on the wall. If you need to change the up limit of the garage door, turn the screw to the left. Turn it to the right if you need the up limit to go down a bit. Do this in small increments and each time you do an adjustment, open and close the garage door to see where it ends up.
If your garage door won’t close all the way, change the down limit by turning the screw the same way as above – to the right if it needs to go down more, to the left if you need it to be a little higher when the door is closed. Again, small increments and test the door each time you make an adjustment.
Garage Door Up and Down Force
Your garage door will have screws or dials to fix the force of the door opening and closing. If it’s a screw, turn it clockwise to increase the amount of force required to reverse the door’s direction. Turn the screw counterclockwise to decrease the amount of force. And remember to do this in small increments. Open and close the garage door each time to test. If you have dials, it is the same concept as the screws: clockwise to increase force and counterclockwise to decrease.
If you have done all this and don’t see a change, you should call us and we can inspect the garage door. It might be time for a replacement.