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Spring cleaning in your garage is important for keeping your home safe, clean, and functional.

4 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Garage

Cleaning out and organizing your living space is a time-honored tradition. But when was the last time your spring cleaning extended to your garage? These functional spaces are often neglected and cluttered, which can make your life more difficult and even contribute to health issues. Aside from getting rid of unwanted items, your best ways to clean out your garage are:

Remove All Cardboard

Storing items in cardboard boxes is one of the worst things you can do in your garage. Cardboard holds onto moisture and can easily begin to sag with mold or mildew. Not only does this make your garage stink and damage your items, but it can pose health risks to you and your family. If the mold spreads it can damage your garage structure and home. Clear out the cardboard and replace it with plastic storage containers that are cleaner and easier to work with.

Clean Off your Garage Door

Give your garage door some attention and wipe down the dirt, dust, cobwebs, and other debris that can gather there. Not only will this keep your garage interior cleaner, it will also help prevent damage to your door. Humid days can lead to clumping of this material, which can cause rusting and more. Be sure to check the door edges, hinges, and runners as well! While you’re completing this work, inspect your garage door opener system and all related components to see if there are visible signs of deterioration or damage.

Check all Seals

While you’re completing all these cleaning tasks, pay attention to your windows and door seams. Do you feel a draft coming from anywhere? Is water seeping underneath your garage door? Improving a window seal or installing a garage door floor seal to keep the great outdoors outside is affordable, relatively easy, and can help reduce your energy costs. Keeping your garage more comfortable helps keep your space functional as well.

Eliminate sources of moisture

If there are still puddles of water or the air feels humid, your flooring may be a point of entry for moisture. Sustained humidity can potentially cause rusting and damage to your hardware as well as your door spring. A garage door spring that snaps can cause heavy damage and potentially injure someone if present. Testing your floor with tape is an easy way to determine what steps come next in reducing and preventing humidity in your space.

Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to spruce up, get organized, and perform some easy maintenance checks. Catching problems before they become major can save you (and your wallet) a lot of headaches. Find something wrong during your spring cleaning checks? Contact us to schedule a consultation.

couple looking at blueprints

Outdoor Living: How to Convert your Garage into Livable Space

Homeowners are on a quest for more space. In the United States, 70 percent of households have outdoor living space, but 71 percent are planning enhancements to up curb appeal, including seating and accessories, according to American Home Furnishings Alliance’s recent study. Their primary motivation? Relaxation. And the garage is one place they are renovating to create it.

There is almost no limit to what you can create in a garage space, but common projects include converting the space into a: sun room, living room, luxury bathroom, kitchen space, studio apartment, man cave, guest house, home office, fitness room and playroom. It’s an exciting proposition–just check out examples on Contemporist and Housely.

Major home changes often require major planning, construction and consultations. What do you need to know and who should you call in to help? We’ll give you the scoop. But first, you need to get creative.

Brainstorm your vision.

Most people enjoy the process of gathering ideas, and they are everywhere: online, in print magazines in showrooms, home stores and designer boutiques. The door often becomes a showpiece in garage door conversions, because it is in a position to make a statement. What are good door choices?

Glass. By far the most popular option, glass garage doors help open up the space, add light and give you more access to scenery.

Wood. A classic choice, wood provides charm. Wood doors often feature design details and styling that create ambiance.

Aluminum. Lightweight and inexpensive, aluminum doors can be fashioned for almost style.

Plan with professionals.

Depending on how extensive the renovation is, you may be knocking down and/or moving walls, adding or moving plumbing and electrical wiring. You need to be sure that weight is adequately supported and distributed, whether you are considering changes to the number or size of windows or trusses propping up a room/attic above the garage.

It is wise to meet with specialists, including general contractors, architects, and structural engineers, to gather information, sketch out a plan and define a time frame. The job may require more intensive work than you realized. It’s common to:

Insulate and install HVAC: Walls, ceilings and the concrete floors may need insulation to make the space comfortable–and easier on the utilities. This could require raising the garage floor and insulating above the slab, for example. Space will likely need heat and A/C, which should connect to the house’s system for greater control.

Lay plumbing: Putting in a kitchen, lavatory or bar? You’ll need efficient plumbing installed and properly connected.

Creating an entry: How will you enter the garage from the house? Now that it’s becoming an added room, you have a lot of options as to how the home flows into the garage. Generally, partition walls are knocked down for an open floor plan or a new door is installed.

Get permission.

It’s best to start any project with the right information: what the project will entail and how long it will take. Make sure you are covered to proceed with the work. You’ll need to consult and comply with:

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  • City permits
  • Zoning ordinances
  • Homeowner’s association Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs)

Quite often, on-street parking for a length of time is an issue, so make sure that you go through channels to get approval. The contractor overseeing the project should help guide you in who should be contacted and what permits are necessary.

Secure your space.

By nature, garages provide access and depending on the project, it may be more visible to outsiders–especially if you use glass doors. Installing a home security system if you haven’t already is a good idea. Your contractor, as well, might have additional ideas to secure the entry points.

Ready to explore possibilities in converting your garage door? Garage Doors of Indianapolis is here to help. We have nearly 40 years of experience installing and servicing garage doors in the greater Indianapolis area. Visit our showroom or contact us for ideas.

Old rusty garage lock

How to Remove Rust From Your Garage Door

Regardless of your garage door color, you may notice that it has turned a rustic orange color as spring approaches. How did this happen?

The salt you spread on driveways stews during winter, slowly eating away at your garage door. Over time it can compromise the structural integrity of steel, aluminum and wood doors. But these simple maintenance tips can help you restore it.   

Cleaning boosts curbside appeal and extends the life of your garage door. The only cleaning supplies needed for any garage door style is a bucket, warm water and a standard grease fighting soap or detergent. But you might also want to consider using white vinegar and water with a medium soft-bristled brush on steel and aluminum doors since the respond well to this technique. Where additional tools are concerned, hard bristles can scratch the door surface, so opt for a softer brush.  

Cleaning steel and aluminum doors

It’s not ideal to start your cleaning projects during freezing temperatures. But once your driveway is clear and the day is warm, inspect the bottom of your garage door for rust or corrosion and:

  • Brush the door with soap and water, starting at the bottom where the rust is concentrated
  • Rinse thoroughly and let dry
  • Dip an old cloth in white vinegar (do not use cider or spiced vinegar) and wipe the rusted areas with a steel wool pad. Repeat this until the surface is shiny again
  • Apply a primer corrosion inhibitor, Zinc Chromate, which will prevent further rusting

Cleaning wood doors

Salt can cause wood to swell and expand, leading to splits and cracks. You can avoid damages to your wood door with these cleaning tips:

  • Wash door with soap, water, and a clean cloth
  • Brush design elements (areas around knobs, recessed panels, and windows) with an old toothbrush, which is soft and paint-friendly
  • Once dry, apply wood staining protection or repaint

Anyone in your home can clean the garage door, including the kids. If the damage is beyond your ability to repair, call an expert. Garage Doors of Indianapolis offers full repair services for residential and commercial garage doors in the greater Indianapolis area. Contact us to schedule a service visit.

Organized Residential Garage Interior

Garage Renovations Rank Among Top Home Projects of 2017

What is the state of your garage today? Is it a two-car space with barely enough room for one car? Or is completely overflowing with boxes, sports gear, and lawn equipment to the point you can barely squeeze a motorbike into the chaos?

If so, it may be time to seriously consider a garage renovation, which is widely considered one of the top renovation projects for homeowners in 2017. These updates make the space more enjoyable and appealing to prospective buyers.

The New York Times describes garage makeovers as the “Final Frontier in Home Renovations.” Following updates to kitchens, bathrooms, and basements, homeowners are focusing on garages as an untapped opportunity to expand their home’s living space.

Realtor.com says upgrades to garages, like a simple garage door replacement, is one of the top renovations that could pay off for your home this year.

Stunning garage renovation options

Garage renovations can be as simple or extravagant as desired. If you’re simply looking to make your garage more organized, your project could fall into the $2,000 to $5,000 range. On the hand, if you’re truly looking to expand it into a living space that blends seamlessly with the rest of your home, it could cost as much $20,000 or more.

A finished garage can boost the value of your home and attract buyers, depending on the current value of homes in your neighborhood.

Here are several garage renovation goals worth considering:

Make room for two (or three) cars. You may simply want to organize your garage so that it performs the function for which it was built: to contain vehicles. In this case, you need to take an inventory of its contents and decide which are worth holding onto.

Do the hard work to downsize. Check out tips from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up if you need some extra motivation. For everything else that remains, consult a specialist to help you with options for clearing the space and storing the contents effectively. Vertical shelving, for example, is a good solution for tools, bikes and lawn equipment.

Extend your living space. If you like to have friends and family over to hang out, you may consider using your garage as an extension of your home. This could be a great project to take on, especially if you already park your cars outside. Living space expansion typically involves downsizing–just don’t work at cross-purposes and rent a storage unit for unused items.

Garage door renovation will likely involve sourcing for insulation, drywall, heating, flooring, furnishings and a garage door replacement to complement the upgraded interior.

Expand your garage. Perhaps you want it all: capacity for another vehicle, motorbike, and workstation. An expansion project gives you the opportunity to rethink the space and add extra touches that can be transformative, like an epoxy floor. Just make sure you are ready for a functional change. It would be a shame to invest in a beautiful expansion project only to clutter it.

Technology upgrades. The Internet of Things (IoT) has ushered in a new level of automated convenience. More than likely you already have a keypad attached to your garage. You can now program the garage to open automatically with an IoT device when your car pulls up. Security cameras and other technology devices can be installed in the garage and monitored virtually as well.

A garage door professional can explain a variety of options available for homeowners–it’s definitely worth a conversation to learn more about maximizing the use of underused space and expanding your home.

Contact us today to discuss your garage expansion.

Cluttered-Garage-Space

Storage Solutions for the Crowded Garage

It’s tough to keep a garage tidy without adequate storage, but even the tiniest garage can be orderly, with creative use of vertical space.

Check out these storage tips – from simple solutions to major overhauls:

Up, up and away!

Many garages have a lot of unused space above vehicles, but there are devices that can turn that dead space into storage.

Hoist-based storage units are flat surfaces suspended by wires from two or more ceiling anchors. They may have manual pulley operation, or remote-control motor operation, but the principal is the same for both – load the platform with items, and lift the platform into place near the ceiling. It’s an easy solution for storing a power washer, holiday decorations and other items that are seldom used.

Versatile pegboard

Pegboard is one of the most affordable storage solutions for garages – a 4-by-8 panel is about $20 or less, and the accompanying hooks are relatively inexpensive, especially when you buy them in bulk.

Hooks aren’t permanent, so you can reconfigure them to accommodate new items. Get a sheet of pegboard larger than what you currently need, so you have room to expand.

Put cylinders to work

A concrete form – the large, cardboard tubes used to make support pillars – can be affixed to rafters with metal edge banding to create a storage space for fishing rods, and other long, narrow objects.

With a little creativity and a hacksaw, you can transform PVC pipe into a variety of storage solutions – affix bands of PVC to the wall to store long-handled tools, or glue a cluster of short pipes together to make a tall, shallow shelf for everyday items like tape measures and light bulbs.

Stack your vehicles

If you’re an aspiring classic car collector who has no room in the garage for another vehicle, a hydraulic lift might be a solution. The lift elevates one car, allowing you to park another car beneath it, so you’ll need a garage with high ceilings (and a few thousand dollars). Another perk of installing a lift is that it makes underbody maintenance a lot easier.

When you’re ready to get organized, focus on making the most of your vertical space.

A garage with a lot of open space

Organizing Your Garage to Maximize Space

For many households, a garage is far more than a place to park the family minivan. In fact, a significant percentage of Americans park their cars in the driveway while using the garage for storage. Holiday decorations, photo albums, high school yearbooks, and other treasured memorabilia that often dates back twenty or thirty years can be found in the garage, stacked in boxes and labeled with magic markers.

Making Room for Cars       

However, parking a car in the garage can be a great theft deterrent. This is especially important for Columbus, Indiana residents, since crime rates are slightly higher than the national average. Most recent data shows a rate of 207 auto thefts per 100,000 people in 2011, which was significantly higher than the previous year’s rates.

One way to safeguard the family vehicle while still maintaining storage space is to maximize the amount of space available. Whether your home has a one-car, two-car, or three-car garage, builders often leave enough space either in front of the cars or around them to store at least one level of marked boxes.

Using Shelving

But boxes can be bulky and inefficient. In the search for Halloween decorations or a cherished photo album, a family can often waste hours sorting through stacks of boxes. By finding a more effective way to organize items, families can not only make the most of every square inch of garage space but create a more transparent storage solution that helps them find things quickly when they need them.

For items that can be stored in open air without suffering damage, shelving is the perfect solution. Built against the wall, shelving offers an area to store tools, lawn care items, cables, and even bicycles and ladders using hooks built into the wall. Several Columbus companies specialize in creating custom solutions for customers that will not only make the most of space but provide visual appeal.

Do-it-yourselfers can create the same shelving system using only a few common tools, saving money while improving the space. For those items that must be stored safely in containers, clear storage boxes are available that will stack together. Because they are clear, homeowners won’t be required to open every box to find the one item they’re seeking.

Storage space is at a premium in many households. By making the most of the space available in the garage area of a home, homeowners can store items while also leaving room to keep their cars safe from crime, as well as the elements.

Spring cleaning in your garage is important for keeping your home safe, clean, and functional.

5 Reasons to Clear the Clutter and Park Your Car in the Garage

If you’re like most homeowners, the available space in your garage is probably shrinking by the year. Old furniture, big plastic tubs full of who-knows-what and miscellaneous clutter can turn a two-car garage into a no-car garage before you even notice what’s happening.

And once the garage has completed its transition to a storage space, some homeowners decide it would be easier to park in the driveway than to try to reclaim their former parking spot.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and need some motivation to clear out that clutter, here are 5 reasons you should park in your garage:

  1. Security. A car that’s locked, inside a locked garage, is much harder to steal than one sitting in a driveway or on the street. Plus, small-time thieves have no problem throwing a brick through a car window to look for cash, electronics or anything of value. And if it’s a garage door opener they’re after, you could be putting your household in jeopardy too.
  1. Aesthetics. Keeping your car in the garage will preserve its paint job longer. You won’t have to wash it as often, and you can avoid a lot of environmental nuisances like berry stains and sticky sap from nearby trees, and bird droppings.
  1. Mechanics. In the winter, your car will stay warmer inside the garage, which means the oil won’t thicken as much as it would outside in the cold. When you start your car, the warmer oil begins to lubricate the engine immediately.
  1. Weather. Don’t waste precious time scraping snow and ice from your car in the winter, or thawing frozen locks — keep your car in the garage, where it’ll also be protected from costly hail damage.
  1. Random threats. Any number of random occurrences could damage your car when it’s parked outside — an errant baseball, a falling tree limb or even a curious raccoon that takes a walk across your hood could result in expensive repairs.

If you can’t get rid of the garage clutter, at least move it somewhere else for now. Paying for a monthly storage unit is a good investment, considering the direct and indirect costs that can come from parking outside.

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