Keeping a garage organized and clutter-free can be a challenge. It's not uncommon for things to start piling up, including trash cans, recycle bins, holiday decorations, donations and well, just more stuff. The average two-car garage in the US is approximately 400 square feet and the majority of Americans use their garage for storing stuff rather than storing a car or recreational vehicle. So how can you reclaim your garage and maximize garage space?
Ways to Make More Space in Your Garage
Determine what you want to use your garage for. Do you need to store a car or a recreational vehicle? What hobbies require some garage space like furniture refinishing or gardening? What items do you have to store that cannot be stored in another place in the house?
Declutter. Regardless of whether you are moving into a brand new garage space or reclaiming the old, decluttering is a top priority. Use whatever methodology will work for you. One option is the Lean 5S approach of sort, sift, shine, standardize and sustain.
Sort through your items and put them into different categories such as house wares, decorations and gardening. Then sift through each pile and decide what stays (your ‘keeper” pile), what goes and what items need further consideration. Try to limit items in the third category as much as possible. Sorting and sifting get you to the next phase of maximizing garage space and that is determining where the “keeper” piles of items stay.
Determine your garage space storage capacity. What cubic feet do you have for storage out and around and above the vehicle storage area? Do you have options for overhead storage for things like fishing rods and equipment? How much open wall space do you have for storing bikes vertically instead of horizontally? Will you need electrical outlet capacity and access area for a refrigerator or freezer? What cabinets or shelves do you have now and what do you need based on your sorting and sifting activity?
Re-space your items. Determine what stays and how you will store it. Look at each item you need to keep and determine how often it is used. Your holiday decorations are generally used once a year so taking up valuable floor real estate may not be the best option. You may have stocked up on paper bath products and those may need quick, easy and low access. You may have transformed your garage into a home gym.
Next, look at the item and determine if can be stored “as is” or does it need a storage container. You may use your food dehydrator only in the summer months but it needs a plastic cover to stay dust free and be fairly easy to access. Your door wreaths are hanging on the wall now but they are getting dirty so perhaps wreath boxes may be in order. Finally determine if the item needs a shelf, a hanger or table top access, such as a workbench. With wreaths in wreath boxes, you may be able to store them flat in hanging ceiling storage units.
Where Can I Get Garage Door Repairs and Installations in Amarillo, Texas?
For more ideas on maximizing your garage space, contact Willow Creek Overhead Door, an Amarillo garage and overhead door company. Owner Tony Hall can repair your current door and install a new one that better suits your style and needs.
A garage door must open and close all the way to serve its intended purpose -- keeping your car and possessions safe. One that won't close properly presents an opportunity for intruders to get into your garage and home. Also, when the garage door will not open or close properly, it may strain parts like the spring, which can snap and cause damage or injuries when the door suddenly comes crashing down.
Are the seals on the sides the problem?
Is the problem that the door won't bind or seal properly when the door is closing? Instead of closing smoothly, does the door groan, jerk or reverse automatically? If so, you may be able to sort out the problem yourself. Purchase pipe insulation used to insulate copper pipes from a hardware store. Stuff this pipe insulation into the rubber seal at the bottom of the garage door where it is not sealing properly. It's best to do this during warm weather.
If you observe that the door is binding on the side where the weather seal is, take a bar of soap and rub it on the spots that are sticking. This should stop the door from sticking.
Is the weatherstripping completely worn down?
If the weatherstripping on your door is completely worn down, then you will experience the problem of a door that won't seal. Some garage doors come with a metal track that holds a replaceable rubber seal. With time, the seal tends to crack and flatten, but it is not difficult to replace such a seal.
A gap of just a fraction of an inch around the edge of the door can let in as much cold air as one that is two inches wide. That is a lot of draft during the chilly months. Good weatherstripping gets rid of such drafts. It is easy to do and can last for years. Integrated vinyl tubing makes for a very effective seal against cold air and moisture.
Close the door and measure the length of the door along the side that will not seal properly. Transfer the measurement to a length of weatherstripping. You then need to draw a straight cutting line. Using a utility knife for the vinyl tubing and a hacksaw for the metal, cut through the material with a fine blade with 32 teeth per inch.
Then, using a self-centering drill bit, drill pilot holes and then put in the screws. Once you have them in place, attach the weatherstripping to the side of the door. If done correctly, the sound the door makes when you close the door will tell you so.
Can't do it?
If you find that replacing the weatherstripping is not something you can do correctly, don't hesitate to call in the experts on garage doors in Amarillo and the surround area. Willow Creek Overhead Door is well known for the quality of garage doors it supplies and its fast and efficient service. Contact these experts to look at your door and your distress call will be answered within hours. They will come seal the door properly so you can rest easy about winter drafts and a door that won't close smoothly.
A typical garage door can last 30 years or longer. A modern garage door opener typically lasts between 10 and 15 years.
Garage door springs are a bit different from the door or opener. Manufacturers gauge springs in typical cycle expectancy instead of years. Torsion springs, the ones mounted over the door, have a typical life of 15,000 to 20,000 cycles. Tension springs, the ones along the tracks or on either side of the door, have a typical life cycle of 5,000 to 10,000 cycles.
One cycle is equal to one episode of opening and closing the door. So, if you open and close the door two times a day, your annual cycle count would be about 730 or so. If you have four cycles a day, your annual cycle count will be just under 1500. The more you go in and out, the sooner you will need to replace the springs.
All of these expected life cycles are dependent on taking proper care of the door and its components over the years. Years of neglect or a car backed into the door can significantly shorten the life of any of these pieces.
How can you extend the life of your garage door?
Cleaning and protection come first. Steel doors can eventually develop rust if not kept clear of dirt and debris. Washing down the door with a mild soap solution and a thorough rinse will do the trick. You can also apply car wax to the steel for extra protection. Keep wooden doors clear of dust, as well. If the paint start chipping, repaint as soon as possible. If the door is stained, keep an eye out for fading and re-stain if needed.
Keep the garage door sensors in good working order. About once a month, take a clean, dry cloth and wipe the sensor eyes. Remove any debris or cobwebs. Perform a safety test a few times a year to make sure the sensors are working properly.
Lubricate the springs, rollers and hinges every three months. This will keep things moving smoothly, which keeps wear and tear to a minimum.
Inspect the door for loose or worn parts. When lubricating the door, perform a visual inspection. Make sure all cables and connections are tight. Run the door through a cycle while listening and watching the operation. Look for any signs of loose connections or wobbly tracks. At the first sign of trouble, get a professional garage door company out to take a look.
Have a professional inspection done every one to two years. A professional can spot problems that a typical homeowner would not consider an issue. It also gives you peace of mind that your garage door is performing as it should.
Where can I find a professional garage door installer in Amarillo, Texas?
If you need someone to come out to look at your garage door, contact Willow Creek Overhead Door. We are a full-service garage door company serving the Amarillo area. We can help you keep your new garage door performing at its best.
Garage doors make modern life a bit easier, providing protection for your vehicles against outside elements. When attached to an automated opener, they make getting in and out very easy.
If you take the time and the make the effort to keep your garage door maintained and up to snuff, you can rest easy. However, if not properly maintained or installed, the garage door can create dangerous situations. Below are the top areas that pose the most risks if not maintained.
Garage Door Springs
Garage door springs can be very dangerous if they come loose or break. These springs do all the heavy lifting when it comes to opening and closing the door. The tension in the springs offers a counterbalance to the weight of the door. When you or the garage opener opens or closes the door, the spring carries most of the weight.
Springs can come loose or break when they become worn. When one of the springs breaks, the tension is suddenly released in a violent uncoiling. This uncoiling can cause damage to any vehicles, humans or pets in the way.
A simple test can determine if your garage door springs are nearing the end of their useful life. Disengage the garage door opener by pulling the emergency release lever. Pull the garage door down about half way and let go. The door should stay in place. If it sags downward or is difficult to lift, the springs need immediate professional attention.
Garage Door Safety Sensors
All modern garage door installations have safety sensors installed on both sides of the door about six inches above the floor. Those sensors are there to protect people, pets and property from being crushed as the door comes down. If someone or something comes between the sensors, they signal the garage door to stop coming down and go into full reverse. That keeps the door from hitting your child as he or she comes running in under the moving garage door.
Garage Door Controls
The wall mounted garage door controls should be at least five feet off the floor to keep children from playing with the buttons. It is important to keep garage door remote controls away from children, as well. Children playing with the garage door controls can easily cause property damage or human injury due to garage doors coming up and down unexpectedly.
Garage Door Joints
Some garage doors do not have pinch-resistant joints. It is critical that all members of the family be taught to keep their fingers out of the joints, especially when the door is in motion. The garage door opener is not going to stop and a finger in one of those joints could end up being severely injured or even amputated.
Loose or Worn Parts
When opening or closing the garage door, listen for unusual sounds. That could be the first sign that a part is starting to become loose or worn. Conduct a visual inspection a few times a year to make sure the door's cables, wires and mounting brackets are secure and in good shape. If you find any areas of concern, bring in a professional garage door company immediately.
If you suspect your garage door needs professional attention, contact Willow Creek Overhead Door. We are a full-service garage door company serving Amarillo and the surrounding communities. Whether you are in need of a new garage door or just repairs, we can help.
photo credit: mrpuen / Free Digital Photos
There are several reasons why your garage door may be stuck. But here’s one of the most likely causes: Do you sometimes leave your garage door partially opened?
When you are cleaning out the garage or if you have a pet, you may leave the door partially opened. You should never do this. Why? Well, because it can cause your garage door to get stuck and not open or close smoothly.
How does a garage door become damaged?
There are two types of springs on garage doors. A door may have extension springs, which float above the roller track that is at the top. Other doors are fitted with torsion springs, which are mounted on the header at the top of the door.
A garage door may open singularly or as a whole in an upward directions. Others roll up panel by panel. Either way, the door operates on spring tension. Opening and closing is facilitated by the metal tracks that are fixed on the garage wall as well as one heavy weight spring or a number of them.
When the door is left partially opened, the springs are getting damaged every time. Over time, they may break. When they do snap, the door will unexpectedly come down which can seriously injure a person or pet in its way. The door would also crash any object in its path. Insurance may not cover any such injury or damage if the company determines the accident was a result of negligence.
Another form of damage that could be caused by the habit of leaving a garage door partially opened is that it could become stuck at this position. It can refuse to go up or come down which would bring a lot of inconvenience. The security of the garage and home would be compromised and you wouldn't be able to get the car in or out. This is also a cost that insurance would not cover so you would have to pay out of your pocket for experts to come in and do the necessary repairs.
How can I keep air circulating and light in my garage then?
If you leave the door partially opened for ventilation, you can have windows installed. This would be on the door itself or on the garage walls. There is a variety of designs and you can choose one that will enhance the fiscal as well as esthetic value of your home.
During the warm months of spring and summer, windows may not be enough. You may therefore want to look into having an air conditioner installed. You would really need one if the garage is also used as a workshop of home office.
If you leave your garage door for your dog, cat or other pet to come in and get out of the house without your having to open the door for them, you can have a pet door installed. The door will be cut to fit your pet so it will be able to get in and out without bothering. The pet door can be secured from the inside so you can do so at night to keep unwanted pets like snakes and rodents away.
Willow Creek Overhead Door in Amarillo, Texas is known for its professionalism and affordable, high-quality work. Contact this locally owned and operated Amarillo garage door business to fix the problem of a stuck garage door and to install useful features like pet doors, windows and more.
We are constantly bringing things home. With time, there is clutter all around. The quick fix is usually dumping things in the garage. However, with time, the heaps grow and they will need to be handled. Before you know it, your car is kicked out of the garage and there is hardly enough room to squeeze through the door. One way to clean out your garage profitably is to hold a garage sale. Taking a few factors into consideration will make your summer sale successful.
When is the best time to host a garage sale?
You want to hold a sale when people are out and about. This cancels out late fall and winter when people are staying indoors to stay warm and makes spring and summer ideal as people are out and about. Check the weather forecast. If it is going to be windy, chilly and dusty in Amarillo, postpone your garage sale. Wait for a warm, bright weekend when everyone will want to be outdoors.
What should I sell at a garage sale?
You may know that you want to sell items that are no longer wanted or needed in your home but which items are these exactly? You need to go through every room in the house and gather such items. Ask older children to go through their closets and put unwanted items in a box. Do the same in your room and common areas like the living room, kitchen and the rooms of younger children. You also need to sort out the items that have been piled in the garage.
You then need to go through everything and sort out what is broken or worn out and is to be discarded, what you want to sell and want you to donate or hand down. You can then get to setting up the sale.
How do you set up a garage sale?
Once you know what you will be selling, you will need to put a price on each item. Try and be as fair as possible. You don't want to sell expensive items at a throw-away price but you have to keep in mind that the items are used. For larger and more costly items, take into consideration the price you put down it for and factor in the condition of the item and how long you have had it and used it.
With more common items, keep prices as low as possible. Better to get a few bucks for all the items or almost all of them and complete the garage sale fast rather than hold out for higher prices and run it for so long. Also, be open to people bargaining and be as open as possible but remain firm on what you believe is a fair price.
Label the prices clearly. Use luminous stickers to write the price with a dark marker since the writing will be legible and the sticker easy to take off. Price tags that you wrap around the sale items with a string are another option.
How much room do you have in the garage?
Everything is set but what is the garage like? Before you put the sign outside your garage door, you want to ensure the garage looks presentable. What is the state of your garage door, walls and ceiling? Chipped paint, patches of dampness on the ceiling, cracks running down the walls and other signs of wear are not attractive.
Amarillo garage door company Willow Creek Overhead Door will undertake all minor and major repairs to your garage door and inside. You want to make sure your garage is clean and clear for the garage sale, and Willow Creek Overhead Door can help you do just that. Contact owner Tony Hall today for a free estimate.
Garage doors sometimes seem to all look alike, especially in cookie cutter subdivisions. Builders and homeowners looking for a way to make a home stand out should look to giving the garage door a rich, upscale look. One such door is the V-groove. It is one of the most popular choices in the newer neighborhoods in and around Amarillo.
What is a V-groove garage door?
V-groove refers to a finishing option available from some of the top end garage door manufacturers on the market today. This finishing option involves putting two boards together in a tongue-and-groove configuration. Instead of the two boards fitting together flat, the edges are cut at an angle. When the boards are pressed together, the angled cuts form a V-groove down the length of the joint.
The door is clad in these tongue-and-groove boards, finished with the v-groove. The effect is a series of V-grooves along the entire door. Spacing between the V-grooves varies from garage door to garage door. Most are between 2 and 5 inches apart. Less expensive doors use a faux V-groove pressed into the steel to mimic the look of the higher end garage doors at a lower cost.
Why should you choose a V-Groove door?
If you want to add an upscale item to your home's exterior, using a V-groove garage door would do it. You can find these doors being used in higher-end neighborhoods around Amarillo, such as Lake Tanglewood, the Colonies and the Greenways. They provide a unique look that fits in with the architecture of many traditional and older homes.
You can get this look in a typical steel segmented garage door. This is a perfect solution if you want to replace your current segmented garage door with an upgraded look. Midland and Raynor are two of the best names out there providing this option.
For a truly higher-end look, you can select a completely wooden garage door with v-groove inset panels. The rich stain applied to the door helps the v-groove stand out and make a statement. It provides a rich look to any home.
Selecting a V-groove door will give your home a unique look that makes it stand out from your neighbors. The quality construction will elevate the potential selling price for your home. It offers you a way to update the look of your home without making major architectural changes.
Where can I get a V-groove garage door in Amarillo?
You cannot just run down to your local home improvement center and find a V-groove garage door sitting on the shelf, ready for you to take it home. It is not a standard option they carry.
The best choice you can make is to bring in a professional garage door company ,like us here at Willow Creek Overhead Door. We are the only certified distributor of Raynor and Midland garage doors in the Amarillo area. We can order the exact door you want for your house and take care of installation. If you want to take a look at some V-groove door for a new home or one that you wish to update, contact our Amarillo garage and overhead door company today.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is paramount in today’s health-conscious world. Studies indicate not only do you need to manage intake but also maintain or increase energy. Getting to a gym can be challenging and if you like outdoor activities, the weather may not always cooperate. You may want to consider converting your garage into a gym or exercise area for you and your family.
3 Things to Consider When Converting Your Garage into an Exercise Room
When you are thinking about turning your garage into a gym, consider the following:
1. Space: Space is the final frontier, especially when it comes to garage space. How are you currently using your garage?
Cars: Are you storing one car, two cars, three or none? If you are storing cars, what are your plans for caring for your cars against environmental elements? Do you have a boat in your garage? Does your homeowners association have any restrictions regarding cars on the street?
Lawn equipment or workshop area: Even if even a small part of the garage is being used for storing these items, you do need to consider where these items will go and where you will do even your most basic of tinkering or repair work. Losing a small work area is fine until you really need it and you find yourself staining a chair in the kitchen or the patio.
General catch-all: Studies show that less than 25% of US homeowners can store a car in the garage because of storage. If you are in the general catch-all category, you may need to consider how you are going to sort, sift, and move on your belongings. You may want to consider including a storage nook as part of your new exercise area.
2. Health: Once you decide you are ready to transform your garage space, think about why you need to exercise and how that need links to a home gym.
Are you already a certified instructor and you want to open your own studio? Do you want to save time going to a gym? Are you a cyclist and you need to train during extreme hot or cold seasons? Do you want a circuit type training method to use at home? Do you want to create a “family fit” center so you can enjoy exercising together or do you just despise going to the gym and working out in front of people? Consider your need for exercise and then the types of equipment you want to include in your new exercise area.
3. Cost: There are many components to transitioning a garage to a workout space. Depending on your location, you may need to add air conditioning, heat, insulation, fans, a new garage door and other structural elements to create a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing workout space.
Will adding a gym affect my home's value?
In addition, how much value will be added to your home with this add-on? How easily can the space be converted back to a garage should you need to move and resell the house? How will the expense of a home exercise space offset any current expenses you currently incur such as gym memberships? What will improve in you or your family's life if you did convert your garage to an exercise room?
As you can see, there are many questions you should ask before knocking down any walls. If you want an expert opinion about your garage space, contact Willow Creek Overhead Door, an Amarillo garage and overhead door company. Owner Tony Hall has seen it all, and he can make sure you choose the right garage door, opener and operator for your new home gym. Contact him today for a free quote.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Have a garage but not a garage door? Typically, a house comes with a garage. However, if you live in anything but a typical house such as a trailer home or cottage, you may have to organize a garage for your vehicle yourself. You may also need to put up another structure to house an RV, classic car or boat that you use occasionally. Maybe you run your own business and need a workplace that isn't overrun by family and pets. If any of those scenarios sound familiar, you've probably considered constructing a building on your property. One type of building you can get is a Do It Yourself building.
Where can I get a Do It Yourself building kit?
Choose one from the companies that are known for high quality structures. SteelMaster is a good choice. You should also choose kits that are not too difficult to assemble. Maintenance is another factor to consider. You don't want a garage that will be too demanding to maintain. On this note, steel garages beat the rest. The ones coated with a special coat of Galvalume Plus in particular are virtually maintenance-free. They look good and remain in good condition for years and years. You can also rest easy about decay which is a problem with wooden structures. Pest infestation and damage such as termites is also not an issue.
The best kits come with only one size nut and bolt which makes assembly that much easier and faster. Your metal garage will not take you more than a few days to assemble with the help of one or two people.
The structure doesn’t come with a garage door. Where do I get one?
So you have successfully assembled your metal building but you are missing one crucial element: the garage door. You have to get the measurements exactly right if you are to have a door that closes completely so that your car is secure. It should also close and open smoothly.
You would do well to consider leaving this part to the experts. Depending on the metal garage kit that you have purchased, it may be necessary to have a door custom made. An expert will also fit the door correctly so that it will not give you problems in future. Just in case a problem does arise, you can call on the company to come back and correct it without additional charges to you thanks to the warranty you will have been given for the job. This is of course subject to terms and conditions.
It will definitely take an expert to measure out your garage door, make it and fit it. It is a feat you can give a go if you so wish but it will most likely be an effort that may give you more frustration than progress, not to mention a lot of labor and stress. You may also have to invest in some tools that a professional garage door installer already has.
Who can custom build garage doors?
Amarillo garage door company Willow Creek Overhead Door provides custom garage doors. Owner Tony Hall will expertly measure out, custom make and install your garage door for your Do It Yourself building or another type of struction. Contact Willow Creek Overhead Door today for a free estimate.