Take Back Your Garage

take back your garage

Follow these tips to achieve your dream of a Pinterest-worthy organized garage.

Step One: Declutter

The first step to organizing your garage is to take everything out of your garage – after ensuring no rain is forecasted that day. Then, sort items into three groups: sell/donate, trash, and keep. Be ruthless during this process. If you come across an item that you’re unsure about, it may help to answer the following questions:

  • Do I love it?
  • Do I need it?
  • When was the last time I used it?
  • Do I own more than one of this exact item?

While you’re sorting through the clutter in an all-out effort to take back your garage, there are some items that should be stored anywhere else, but the garage. These items include paint; propone and other hazardous materials; pet food; paper products; and large appliances like a spare refrigerator or freezer.

Paint: Extreme cold or heat can ruin it. Store paint in a low-moisture, climate-controlled area, rather than the garage. Responsibly dispose of any left-over paint you don’t plan to use in the very near future.

Propane: A spark could ignite the fumes. Propane tanks should always be stored outside – away from the house. Always ensure the valve is fully in the “off” position after using the tank. Propane tanks also require responsible disposal.

Pet Food: Mice and other pests consider pet food – whether open or unopened – an open dinner invitation. This includes birdseed. Store pet food in sealed containers and place in a climate-controlled area.

Paper Goods: Another thing that may attract mice and other pests is paper goods (e.g., toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, etc.). It’s a good idea to store these items in your pantry instead.

Refrigerator or Deep Freezer: In areas that are not climate-controlled, these appliances will battle against the ambient temperature to keep your food and/or drinks cold, thus using more energy than if they were stored in the house.

Step Two: Storage

Now that you’ve thrown away the junk and sold or donated anything of value that is no longer useful to you, you should have a better idea of how much storage you need, and what kind. Your objective in this step is to get as much as you can off the garage floor and onto the walls or shelves.

Storage-solutions ensure that there is a place for everything and that everything goes back in its place after use. Before going out and purchasing storage-solutions or the materials to make your own, it’s important to determine whether you prefer to store items behind closed doors, on shelving units or a mix of both.

Step Three: Layout

Cabinets: If you’d prefer to store items behind closed doors, consider thick, low-gauge steel cabinets with sliding doors for longevity. Sliding doors are preferable in a garage over swing out because they help to minimize potential dings to your car.

Pegboard: Pegboard (now also available in galvanized steel) with an array of hooks and baskets is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to store your most often used tools. Slat walls or track systems with hooks and baskets are two more viable options.

Shelving: Industrial strength storage units are perfect for storing large items. Combine with stackable clear-plastic bins with lids for loose or small items. Use mason jars or other clear jar for nuts, screws, and bolts.

Workbench: A built-in workbench is the perfect accessory to any garage. You can custom build a standing or fold-down workbench in little to no time … or you can buy one. Painting the top using chalkboard paint allows you to jot down quick measurements.

Overhead Storage Racks: An effective cluster-busting storage solution is overhead or ceiling-mounted storage racks. Installation is very easy and straightforward. Their ability to free up valuable floor space is why so many people choose them.

Use the following rules of thumb as you assign everything a home:

  1. Store similar items (e.g., camping, gardening, woodworking, vehicle maintenance, etc.) together and within reach of where you are likely to use these items.
  2. Put bulky items, like lawnmowers and trash receptacles, in corners where they won’t get bumped or knocked over.
  3. Store seasonal decorations towards the back of the shelving units. Rotate forward during the month you’ll be using them.
  4. Finally, the single, most important tip for ensuring you’re able to park your car in the garage is to keep items off the floor whenever possible.

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.

Garage Door Resolutions

garage door resolutions

Home improvement, or at least the desire for it, is a shared American hobby. It’s why so many of us browse Pinterest, pinning DIY projects that interest us, determined to complete them. Despite our best intentions, however, only a tiny percentage of us follow through – especially when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions. Fact: Statistic Brain shows that only 9.2% of people are successful at achieving their New Year’s goals. Are you one of them? If you are, or you hope to be, here are four garage door resolutions you can make to ensure it functions properly all year long.

Resolute to Perform Regular Maintenance

All too often, we take our doors for granted, pressing the button on the remote once to open it and again to close it. Like most homeowners, you probably use your garage door to get into and out of your house; no matter how many times you come and go. That’s why it’s so important to take a few minutes at least once a month to perform a visual inspection. Certain parts, like the rollers, hinges and springs, should be lubricated twice per year (in the spring and fall).

Resolute to Optimize the Space Provided

In order to take full advantage of the space provided by your garage, take the time to browse websites like Pinterest and Houzz; both of which will provide you with a wealth of garage organization inspiration. Not only are many of these ideas easy and effective, many of them will cost you nothing but a little time. We do, however, recommend purchasing some storage containers to avoid the space ever becoming a mess again.

Resolute to Hire a Professional for all Repairs

Aside from preventative maintenance tasks, such as those previously mentioned, you should never attempt to repair any of your garage door’s major components. Many of the door’s components are under an immense amount of tension that can cause injury if improperly handled. Always consult a professional garage door repair company in your area. You will find that most provide free, no obligation, no pressure estimates.

Resolute to Invest in a New Garage Door

Upgrading your garage door can enhance your home’s curb appeal, and according to this year’s Cost vs. Value report, literally pay for itself should you ever decide to sell or refinance your home. If you have a damaged, malfunctioning or unsightly garage door that needs to be replaced sooner rather than later, make 2017 the year you treat yourself and your home to a new garage door.

A World of Garage Door Options

garage door options

How many of you would agree that the garage door is one of the last things we think about when we think about tackling home improvement projects? If it’s not broken, why fix it, right? This oversight is bit unfair though – especially when the market contains a world of garage door options that are sure to increase your home’s curb appeal. And as a result its value.

In fact, with modest costs and solid returns on investment, a new garage door should be the first home improvement project you consider! According to the 2016 Cost vs. Value report from Remodeling Magazine, the national median cost of a garage door replacement project is $1,652, and recovers 91.5% of your investment should you decide to sell your house. This is one of the highest percentage returns in the report.

Common Garage Door Materials

Wood: Wood offers unparalleled natural beauty and sophistication. It can be customized according to your size and aesthetic requirements, and stands up well against normal wear and tear. The downside; however, is that they are more prone to chipping, fading, and warping than many of the other options available. This simply means that they require regular upkeep. A good alternative to real wood is composite.

Steel: Steel is a better choice than wood simply because it doesn’t require a lot of upkeep. Steel is also much more energy efficient than wood. It can easily be insulated for even greater energy efficiency. The downside to steel garage doors; however, is that they can rust depending on the environment. Scratches should be touched-up immediately to avoid rusting. They are also more prone to denting.

Aluminum: Aluminum is both lightweight and rust-resistant which makes it a good choice for humid environments. Because of its lightweight, aluminum is a good choice for extra-wide openings, because it won’t put too much strain on the garage door opener. They downside to aluminum; however, is that it can be a bit more expensive than many of the other options available.

Garage Door Types

Sectional: Sectional garage doors are the most popular type available. They roll up and down with the help of a garage door opener – and countless other components. Before purchasing a sectional door, make sure to accurately measure the space between the top of the door’s opening, and the ceiling or overhead framing to ensure proper fit.

Swing-out: Swing-out garage doors, while traditionally less common, are gaining popularity in areas consisting of more modern and contemporary homes. They are also a good choice if you need to keep the ceiling clear or if you want a distinctive look. Another option is sliding barn doors.

Common Garage Door Openers

Chain-drive: Chain-drive openers are the oldest type of openers available, which continue to be a popular choice among homeowners, thanks in large part to their perceived value. These openers use a metal chain, must like a bike chain, to lift the door up and down along its tracks. The downside to these openers is that they tend to be quite noisy.

Belt-drive: Belt-drive openers, while appearing almost identical to chain-drive openers, operate with a rubber belt rather than a metal chain. This rubber belt is said to be as strong as a steel-belted tire. They can lift the heaviest doors with the utmost ease. Belt-drive openers also offer very quiet operation – making it a good choice for homeowners with rooms directly above or adjacent to the garage.

Screw-drive: Midway in cost and noisiness are screw-drive openers (also commonly referred to as operators). A screw-drive opener uses a lifting mechanism that moves along a threaded steel rod. There are very few moving parts on these openers, which lends to their minimal maintenance requirement. These are the most expensive types of openers available.

Garage Door Replacement for the Win

garage door replacement

Was improving your home’s curb appeal part of your New Year’s Resolutions? Are you seeking a renovation project that will add long-term value, and attract potential buyers, without having to spend a small fortune? Then garage door replacement should be at the top of your list.

Whether you’re putting your house on the market or planning to live in it for the foreseeable future, there are projects that pay off, and then there’s those that don’t. Garage door replacement, according to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value report for 2016, is one of those projects that are guaranteed to generate the biggest bang for your buck.

According to the report, if you do a midrange garage door replacement that costs an average of $1,652, you can expect to get 91.5% of that back. If you do a upscale garage door replacement, however, that costs an average of $3,140, you’ll recoup marginally less: 90.1%. Both of these values are up from last year.*

The Cost vs. Value report is based on an annual survey conducted by Remodeling magazine that asks realtors in 100 metro markets around the country to estimate what specific home remodeling projects would provide a high return on investment at resale. Generally, the simpler and lower-cost project, the bigger its cost-value ratio.

It’s not surprising that realtors rated exterior projects as some of the most valuable for homeowners. Curb appeal is after all a key factor for visually drawing in more potential buyers or sending a message to your community that you take pride in your property. Whatever your reasons for increasing your home’s curb appeal, garage door replacement will have positive effects on your property value.

*It’s important to note that these values may vary depending on your geographic area.