Must Have Gadgets for Your Garage

must have gadgets for the garage

The garage: It’s where we park our cars and store our stuff. Garages, whether attached or detached, add a great deal of value. However, no garage is complete without its share of gadgets! Here are some must have gadgets for your garage.

Smart Garage Door Opener

Have you ever driven away from home wondering if you left the garage door open? With a smart garage door opener, you can monitor and operate your door using only your smartphone from virtually anywhere in the world; assuming you have a reliable Internet connection. Whether you’re upstairs, at the office or on vacation, you’re always in control. You can also receive notifications whenever your door is opened or closed.

Emergency Roadside Kit

Getting stranded with a dead car battery or being caught off guard by a flat tire is not only stressful, but potentially dangerous, which is why it’s a good idea to store a well-stocked emergency roadside kit in the trunk of your car. AAA endorsed, this kit features both first-aid and automotive emergency items, including (but not limited to) jumper cables, tools and first aid items. You should also add:

  • Blanket
  • Paper towels
  • Fix-a-Flat sealant
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Coolant (one gallon min)
  • Motor oil (one quart min)
  • Flares or triangle reflectors
  • Non-perishable food and bottled water
  • A portable jump starter kit (optional)

Laser Parking Assistants

Whether you share your garage with another car or space is at premium, a laser parking assistant takes the guesswork out of parking by telling you exactly when and where to stop. When the garage door opens, a laser beam turns on automatically, guiding the driver to a predetermined location as evidenced on their dash or hood. No more need to inch back or forth, or worry about damaging your vehicle.

Travel Tray

It’s inevitable. From the grocery store, pediatrician’s office or local amusement park, today’s families are always on the go. Make car rides easier with Travel Tray; an innovative two compartment snack and drink travel tray. It can be taken anywhere and fits conveniently into vehicle, car seat and stroller cup holders. 100% food grade safe; BPA-free, PHT-free, and PVC-free; and top rack dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.

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Prepare Your Home for Winter (and the Holidays)

The holidays are less than four weeks away! While we’re sure there’s a lot to do (gifts to buy, decorations to hang, cookies to bake, etc.), it’s just as important to ready your home for the winter season as well. Having lists, such as this one, is guaranteed to help you prepare your home for both winter and the holidays.

Maximize Useful Space

Home to so much stuff – from sports and recreational equipment to seasonal decorations and garden tools – there’s rarely room to park one car; let alone two in a three-car garage. Let’s change that. Before decorating for the holidays, take a couple hours or if necessary, days to declutter your garage.

Start by donating, selling or trashing anything you no longer use, or have too many of. The idea here is to get items off the floor, into clearly labeled containers, and onto modular storage units. You can easily purchase everything you need – shelves, cabinets, hooks, pegboards, overhead storage racks – at local home improvement stores.

Replace Weatherstripping

After you’ve maximized space in your garage, inspect the weatherstripping around the garage door’s bottom, sides and top for any wear or tear. Replace as needed to keep rodents, debris, and rain from getting in. Weatherstripping can also improve energy-efficiency by keeping cold air out – an especially valuable quality in an attached garage. Don’t forget to improve weatherstripping on side entry doors as well.

Increase Lighting Outdoors

Transform your whole home in both curb appeal and function simply by increasing your use of LED or solar lighting outdoors. Path lights, spot/flood lights, landscape lights, deck lights, in-ground/well lights, and porch lights are all solid choices. Additional benefits include extending your living space and deterring intruders. Motion-activated lighting often provides the greatest benefits.

Decorate Your Front Porch

Deck out your front porch for the holiday season by stringing lights, hanging wreaths and/or garland, or setting up mini pine trees on both sides of the door. Line your walkway with luminaries or pathway trees for a festive touch. Another good idea is to cozy up any outdoor furniture with holiday printed throw pillows. Pinterest offers some excellent ideas for decorating your front porch for the holidays. Tip: Using LEDs will reduce the cost of decorating your home for the holiday season.

Schedule Garage Door Maintenance

By having the garage door periodically inspected and maintained by a professional garage door service company near Tulsa, you can extend the functional life of what is, arguably your home’s largest moving object. A garage door professional can identify excessive wear and tear, and parts in need of repair or replacement, as well as tighten any hardware that may have become loose over time.

Consider a New Garage or Entry Door

If you’re looking for a way to save energy and increase security, while also adding value to your home, consider replacing your existing garage or entry door. Replacing the garage door ranks as one of the top home improvement projects you can do, generating a 76.9% return on investment at resale, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value report. A new entry door has a 90.7% return on investment.

Spooky Garage Door Halloween Decor

Garage Door Halloween Decor

With Halloween just around the corner, kids both young and old fantasize about what superhero or Disney princess they will dress up as, parents are plotting how they will make their outdoor decorations come to life with minimal expense. For DIY-minded families, garage doors often become a blank slate, as they decorate it with black bats, Halloween silhouettes, or transform it into a frightening haunted house.

Black Bats

Black craft foam and glue-on googly eyes are all you need to turn your garage door into a spooky little bat colony. Make sure to get the kids, big or small, involved. To start, you will need to print out a bat template, which you will then fold in half and cut out. Trace the bat shape onto the craft foam then cut out. Attach googly eyes to the bat’s head. Stick several bats on your garage door or hang them in nearby trees using fishing line.

Halloween Silhouettes

If you want something that really stands out this Halloween, garage door silhouettes are easy, and affordable to make. You can also purchase store bought silhouettes at party stores but where is the fun in that. All you need to is cut out some cool shapes (i.e. skeletons, pumpkins, trees, witches, jack o’ lanterns, crows, or cats) from black poster board and apply them to your garage door.

Spooky Shadows

Deck out your garage door’s exterior with a festive set of Halloween lights. Place led lights low to the ground, aiming them slightly upward, to create creepy shadows. Conjure mystical creatures with dark blue lights – not black. Use yellow and orange lights to cast striking flames against the house. Couple silhouettes and Halloween string lights together for a haunting good time.

Mausoleum Wall

What is Halloween without tombstones? Make them yourself with Styrofoam insulation, black and grey spray paint, and magnets. After measuring your garage door, cut out enough stones to cover it, and sketch out whatever you want each stone to say (i.e. Here Lies…, RIP…, etc.). In a well-ventilated area dust on the black and grey paint. Glue magnets to the back of each stone and place on your garage door.

Haunted Maze

With your garage door open, create a haunted maze, by dividing your garage into sections. The appeal of a haunted maze is the suspense of not knowing what waits around the next corner. Make sure to place blind corners, hanging bats, giant spiders, and pop-up ghosts that will cause visitors to jump back in terror. Bear in mind the ages of neighboring children: young children tend to be easily frightened.

Picturesque Fall Porch Ideas

fall porch ideas

Celebrate the change of season by decorating your front porch with the colors, elements, and plants that show off fall in all its glory. Create a picturesque fall porch using the following ideas:

Focus on Natural Elements

Add interest to your fall porch by focusing on the differences in texture that happen when you group bales of hay with pumpkins in varying shapes and sizes, and gourds that are both bumpy and smooth, layered with mums in rustic wooden baskets. This display’s contrasting colors also add punch to your porch, especially when viewed from the street. Other natural elements to consider include dried cornstalks and leaves.

Oversized Welcome Signs

Oversized welcome signs, either homemade or Etsy bought, are a great way to decorate your fall porch. These signs look stunning surrounded by pumpkins and colorful mums. You can dress it up for the holidays using strings of white or colored lights. Pinterest offers great advice for creating your own welcome and other versatile signs that can be used inside or out.

Add Lighting

As the days get shorter and the nights longer, a need for lighting is created. If your outside lighting is currently limited to one porch light at the front door, add more lighting such as landscape or motion-detection lighting to your home, ensuring no one trips or falls in the dark. Lighting also allows you to enjoy your fall porch well until the midnight hour.

New Entry Doors

One of the first things people see when they look at a home is the entry door. Look for a door featuring durability, efficiency, and good looks. Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report revealed that replacing an entry door is one of the best ways to increase home value. Steel entry doors show a 90.7% return on investment. Make sure to choose a door that complements your home’s architectural design.

Join the conservation: What are you most excited for this fall?

Garage Upgrades Worth Considering

garage upgrades

Here are our favorite garage upgrades that can be knocked out in a weekend.

Smart Garage Door Opener

Recently, we offered some tips for purchasing a new garage door opener, ensuring you can get in and out quickly and securely. One opener worth mentioning again is a smart garage door opener. Connecting your garage door to your home’s wireless network can be very helpful – especially if you have kids that leave the door open all the time. You can operate and monitor your door remotely courtesy of a smartphone app.

Epoxy Floor Coating

Cover oil stains with a fresh coat of epoxy. This high-performance flooring is a great solution for garages, workshops, and industrial environments. Epoxy can be applied in your choice of tint, color chip and extent of non-skid protection, so lots of options. One of the greatest benefits of epoxy floor coating is durability.

Overhead Storage

Make better use of your garage’s space and get things off the floor with overhead storage. Store frequently used items, like holiday décor, on these racks. You really can’t go wrong with freestanding shelving units either. Use heavy-duty storage containers to consolidate the clutter and prevent the garage floor from being used a dumping zone.

Work Bench

If you work in the garage, whether on home improvement projects or Pinterest-inspired creations, consider installing a workbench. You can buy a pre-made workbench or make your own. Then, equip the surrounding area with pegboards, complete with hooks and storage containers. You may also want to consider adding shop lights.

Insulate

Here in Oklahoma, the summers are HOT, and the winters COLD. If you like spending time in the garage, insulating the space allows you to, no matter what the weather might be like. Make sure that the insulation you buy has the right R-value (measures how effectively insulation resists heat flow) and is cut to the proper thickness.

The Importance of Photoelectric Sensors

photoelectric sensors

To reduce the number of injuries, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) mandated important safety features on all garage doors manufactured on or after January 1, 1993. The photoelectric sensors are a response to this mandate. They are required on both residential and commercial doors.

The photoelectric sensors are your garage door’s eyes. They are made up of a light source (LED), a receiver (phototransistor), a signal converter, and an amplifier. The phototransistor analyzes incoming light, verifies that it’s from the LED, and appropriately triggers an output.

Photoelectric sensors offer many advantages over other technologies. If a child or animal wanders through the beam between the two sensors – installed on opposite sides of the door, about six inches above the ground – breaking their connection, the garage door will immediately reverse direction thus avoiding a potential entrapment situation.

For safety reasons, if you discover your photoelectric sensors are not working, you should immediately contact a local garage door repair professional to come out and service them. In the interim, unplug the opener from its power source, ensuring the door is rendered non-operational.

Some signs that the sensors are not working include:

  • Lights on one or both sensors start blinking
  • Door starts to come down, then goes back up
  • Garage door can open, but will not close when summoned

If your sensors are not working, this is usually because they cannot “see” each other to make the connection they need to, to give your garage door system the okay to close. You can try troubleshooting the problem using the following techniques:

  1. Gently clean the sensors using a microfiber cloth.
  2. Move any stored items that might be blocking either sensor to another location.
  3. If 1-2 didn’t work, see if one of the sensors appears misaligned. If so, try manually adjusting it. This should require minimal effort. If you need to apply force, leave the sensor alone as it might be break.
  4. If the problem persists, contact a local garage door repair professional.

Buying a New Garage Door Opener? Read This First!

If the time has come to replace your garage door opener, either as part of a system upgrade or because the old one has outlived its useful life, you are likely in unfamiliar territory. In this article, we’ll help you narrow down your options, ensuring you’re able to choose the perfect garage door opener for your home.

Garage Door Opener Drive Units

The first choice to make is the way your opener will be operated: either by chain, belt or screw drive.

Chain drive openers are the most common and least expensive units available. As their name implies, these openers rely on a bicycle-like chain to push the trolley connected to the J-arm, which is attached to the garage itself. One caveat is noise. For that reason, chain drive units are typically best suited for detached garages.

Belt drive openers are a good choice if your living quarters are directly above or adjacent the garage. Belt drive units use the same mechanisms as chain drive openers, with the exception that instead of a chain, they use a steel-reinforced rubber belt. These openers are almost silent by comparison with other types of openers.

Screw drive openers are an excellent alternative to chain drive units because they’re durable and low-maintenance. The downside is that screw drive openers are somewhat sensitive to temperature. Noise wise, screw drive units tend to be nosier than belt drive openers, but quieter than chain drive units.

Garage Door Opener Features and Accessories

The second choice is to decide which features and accessories you’d like your opener to have.

Horsepower: The higher the horsepower, the more weight the opener can handle, with the least amount of strain. Today’s standards are ¼, ½, ¾, 1 and 1 ¼. Some newer models offer 2. You will need to know the weight of your door to determine the minimum horsepower needed.

Battery Backup: Do you need a battery backup? Depends. A battery backup provides 24-hours of reverse power to operate the garage door up to 20 full cycles during a power outage. If you’re in a region that experiences severe weather, such as monsoons or thunderstorm, you’ll likely benefit from a battery backup.

Internet Connectivity: A relatively new feature is the addition of home automation capabilities to garage door openers courtesy of a Wi-Fi connection. Smart openers allow you to operate and monitor your door remotely via a smartphone app. Some models can also integrate with other smart devices for total home automation.

Keyless Entry Keypad: This convenient and time-saving technology makes it very popular with today’s homeowners. Keyless entry allows you and other family members to open the garage door without a remote or key in hand. You can also set temporary codes for guests or service workers and use one button to close the door when you head out to walk the dogs.

Wall Mount: If the height of your garage doesn’t permit standard, ceiling mount openers, a wall mount opener (also known as a jackshaft operator) may be an excellent choice. A powerful, 24V DC motor delivers relatively no noise.

Rolling Code Technology: In addition to the above, all garage door openers should feature rolling code technology, which selects a new, non-repeating access code from approximately one million possible code options each time you press the button on your opener remote.

Installing Your New Garage Door Opener

If you’d like your garage door opener professionally installed, our experienced, licensed and insured technicians are ready to help. In addition to garage door opener installation, we can with garage door opener repair, new garage door installation, and garage door repair. Contact us today at (918) 938-1338 or visit us at www.tulsagaragedoorrepairs.com for a free quote.