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.

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.

Garage Storage Solutions

garage storage solutions

Looking to organize your garage?

Here are some of our favorite garage storage solutions.

Magnetic Tool Holders: You might already have one of these in your kitchen. Magnetic tool holders, such as this one here, are great for storing hand tools within arm’s reach. No more digging through a tool box to find what you need.

Shoe Storage: The garage door is often a family’s main entrance into their home. If you have a strict “no shoes” policy, a shoe organizer with or without built-in seating, is a great way to stop the pileup of shoes outside your main door.

Overhead Storage: Suspended shelving just above your vehicles or the door itself provides out-of-the-way storage space. Use these shelves to store items you rarely need to access such as holiday decorations.

Shelving Units: To get the most out of your garage, it is worth investing in some high-quality, sturdy shelving units from your local home improvement or warehouse store. Assembled just like a bookcase, shelving units are a good choice for items you frequently need to access, such as lawn chairs and sporting goods.

DIY Recycle Bin Hangers: Keep your home recycle bins from taking up valuable floor space with just a few pieces of scrap wood. This project also makes remove each bin a breeze compared to when they’re stacked on one another. For step-by-step instructions, click here.

Peg Boards: Peg boards are a great option for garage storage. These relatively inexpensive wall boards allow you to store your tools both vertically and horizontally. Hooks and small bins can be purchased for storing power tools, hardware, and materials.

Cabinetry: Cabinets, drawers, and shelves purchased from your local home improvement store make it easy to keep everything tidy. Look for storage that stands on legs to avoid any potential water or rodent issues.

Garage Door Cleaning Tips

  • Set aside at least a full day to get the job done
  • Make organizing a family or household project
  • Sort all items into four piles: keep, donate, sell, and trash
  • Have lots of black garbage bags and boxes ready to be utilized
  • Further sort those items you plan on keeping into broad categories (i.e. sports equipment, power tools, hand tools, holiday decorations, paint supplies, etc.)
  • Paint, propane, and other hazardous materials should never be stored in the garage

Contact Us Today!

Need your garage door repaired before you can park it inside your newly organized garage? Give the experts at Dynamic Door Tulsa a call at (918) 938-1338 for an initial consultation and free estimate. We offer 24/7 emergency garage door repair, and don’t charge extra for nights or weekends.

4 Tulsa Home Improvement Projects That Boost Curb Appeal and Value

Tulsa Home Improvement

Even in hot housing markets, this adage holds true: “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” If the exterior of your home doesn’t impress people, they aren’t going to want to tour the inside, which is cause for concern if the house is listed for sale. By upgrading your curb appeal, you have a better chance of selling your home faster and possibly, for more money.

As they have done for the past fourteen years, Remodeling magazine recently released their Cost vs. Value report, comparing the average cost of 29 popular home improvement projects with the value they retain at resale in 99 U.S. markets. Curb appeal is a major reason why some projects rank higher than others on this report. Many of the projects listed in the report also offer the added value of being low maintenance and/or energy-efficient, an important issue for cost-conscious buyers.

If you’re thinking of sinking some money into Tulsa home improvement projects this year, you cannot go wrong with one of the four ideas listed below, as they offer the biggest bang for your buck. For more information on replacing your entry door or garage door, contact Garage Door Repair Tulsa at (918) 938-1338. We provide free estimates on all new installations.

Entry Door Replacement: One of the quickest ways to make a big impression is to install a new entry door. This low-cost option not only gives the home additional curb appeal, but today’s materials and construction offer increased durability and greater insulating properties, which can create an entrance that is as functional as it is attractive. Entry door replacement has a 90.7% (steel) and 77.8% (fiberglass) ROI.

Garage Door Replacement: Your garage door takes up from 20 to 40% of your home’s front facing façade. If your current door is rusted, dented or damaged beyond repair, this is reason enough to consider replacing it. An attractive, new garage door has been shown to increase home values and curb appeal; helping it sell faster. Garage door replacement recouped 76.9% (midrange) and 85.0% (upscale) of its cost at resell.

Energy-Efficient Windows: If you’re still rocking single pane, uninsulated windows, your monthly heating and cooling costs are likely higher than they should be. With double pane windows, you can enjoy incredible energy efficiency, resistance to sound and durability, without paying a premium for triple pane windows. Energy-efficient window replacement has a 79.9 percent (vinyl) and 73.0 percent (wood) ROI.

Landscaping Your Front Yard: Maximizing your front yard’s attributes while minimizing its problems to create beautiful curb appeal doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. There are ton of great landscaping ideas that can be completed in little time on both Pinterest and Houzz. To date, the actual return on investment for front yard landscaping has not been computed.

Spring for Garage Door Maintenance

garage door maintenance

Spring is right around the corner, which means it’s the perfect time to start spring cleaning, organizing and maintenance. On the top of your list should be garage door maintenance. Maintaining your garage door and garage door opener is one of the best ways to ensure they function properly all year long. Use these tips to get started.

Cleaning a Garage Door

Clean the outside of the garage door at least once a year. Use your hose to wet down the surface of your garage door, and then with a rag or sponge, gently scrub the door down with warm soapy water (one cup of dish soap to five gallons of warm water). Rinse thoroughly and allow it to dry. For metal doors, you can apply a coat of wax, following the instructions on the wax’s packaging.

Inspecting a Garage Door

By visually inspecting the door each month, you’ll protect yourself from potentially expensive repairs down the road. To inspect the door, run it up and down its tracks, noting the movement and the presence of any unusual noises. You should also check the tracks, rollers, springs (torsion or extension), and cables to be sure they are securely fastened and functioning properly. If anything seems amiss, contact an expert.

Testing a Garage Door

Photo Eyes – The first thing you’ll want to test are the photo eyes (black devices). They should be mounted on both sides of the door, no higher than six inches off the floor. These devices prevent the door from closing should they spot an obstacle in its path. To test, block them with an object over six inches tall, and activate the garage door opener to close. The door should not be operational.

Door Balance – You can also test the functionality of your garage door on your own. Disconnect the opener by pulling on the release cord or lever. This puts it in manual mode. A properly balanced door will lift easily. If it difficult to lift or doesn’t stay in an open position, there could be a problem with the spring tension and you should contact a professional for repair.

Safety Reversal – A common method for testing this system involves placing a roll of paper towels or a 2×4 piece of wood in the center of the garage floor. If upon impact, the door fails to immediately reverse direction, the opener should be disconnected until repairs have been completed by a garage door professional. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends testing this system monthly.

Hiring a Professional

Though these are some simple steps you can take on your own to keep your garage door operating smoothly and safely, nothing can take the place of a preventative, ongoing maintenance schedule from a garage door professional. A garage door professional will adjust springs and cables, lubricate moving parts, tighten all hardware, tracks and hinges, test the safety sensors and reversal, as well as troubleshoot other issues.