Four Ideas to Get Your Garage Ready for Spring

The weather is heating up just a bit and daffodils are starting to peek out of the ground. That can only mean one thing: spring is on the way.

This year, get your garage and garage door ready for the warmer months early so you have more time to enjoy the great outdoors with family and friends.

Below are four easy ways to get your garage ready for spring

Clean and Organize. Take a weekend day, go through your garage, and toss out anything you no longer need. This is also a great time to install shelving or cabinets to store items in the garage. You’ll also want to clean your garage thoroughly in early spring, as it can get pretty dirty with salt and dirt during the winter months.

Spring cleaning for your garage 

Consider a new garage door. Spring is all about new beginnings, making it a perfect time of the year invest in a new garage door. If your tastes lean clean and contemporary, take a look at Clopay’s Avante and Modern Steel Doors. Like traditional garage doors? Consider Clopay’s Carriage House style garage doors.

Add more living space. Why not make an area of your garage a space for more living? With the garage door open, you’ll have plenty of fresh air and room to socialize with friends while staying safe. Start by cleaning and possibly painting your garage walls or floors, then use your imagination to create living space. The garage is a great place for a home gym or playroom for the kids.

Add living space to your garage  

Schedule garage door maintenance. Garage door springs, pulleys and other parts need to be maintained by a garage door professional on a regular basis. Be sure to schedule spring garage door maintenance with Martin Door professional before spring gets underway.

5 Great Ideas for Remodeling Your Garage

Ready to remodel your home and get it ready for the warmer months ahead? Look no further than your garage, where even small updates can make a big difference.

Some garage remodeling projects – like painting your garage or adding new flooring – can be completed in a weekend. Others require a little more elbow grease but are more than worth the effort.

Below is our list of five remodeling projects that can transform your garage into something special.

Paint. One of the quickest and easiest ways to breathe new life into your garage is with a coat (or two) of paint. First, you’ll need to repair any areas of the walls where there are cracks and prime them.

Once you’re ready, choose a paint that’s mildew resistant or an interior latex paint. While oil-based paint can also be used, it will take longer to dry and has a strong odor and fumes, so you’ll need to wear a protective mask.

Install new flooring. There’s nothing wrong with the standard concrete garage floor, but over time, these floors can get stained from years and years of leaking car oil and antifreeze. That’s why painting the floor is a great idea.

First, clean the floor thoroughly to remove all the grit and grime. Then, prep the floor with a primer before applying epoxy. We recommend epoxy because it is stain resistant and makes cleaning the floors a breeze.

You could also cover your garage floor with interlocking foam tiles. This flooring can be found at your local hardware store and comes in a variety of styles and colors.

Add storage. It’s easy to de-clutter and transform your garage into a well-organized space that does as good of a job storing your tools and sports equipment as it does your car.

First, declutter the garage by getting rid of anything in it that you no longer need. Then, add pegboard, install a fold-up table to use for projects, and invest in storage solutions.

Check out IKEA for inexpensive yet durable cabinets designed for bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens and use them in the garage instead. Shoe and closet organizers work great in the garage as well.

Lighten it up. Why not add a window or two to your garage to elevate it’s look, or invest in a replacement garage with windows? Most garage styles allow you to pick just where you want your garage’s windows to go – and offer you plenty of ways to customize them, so suit your garage and home perfectly.

You could also install a skylight or even an overhead pendant light to really take your garage’s style to the next level.

Add living space. Your garage can do so much more than simply keep your cars safe. It can also double as a workout room, a study, or even an artist’s studio. The sky is really the limit.

Depending on how often you’ll use the extra room, you may want to take advantage of some of the above ideas, like adding new flooring or painting the walls. You could also replace the garage door with one that works great for living spaces, like Clopay’s Avante garage doors, for example.

Ready to get started? Martin Door carries great looking, high performing garage doors and other products that can take your garage space to the next level. Give us a call today.

New Year, New Garage: Five simple garage improvement ideas for 2021

Happy New Year! We hope it’s filled with time with friends and family, new adventures and lots of home improvement projects. If last year taught us anything, its that home is where the heart is. And if you’re going to be sprucing up your home this year, don’t forget about your garage.

Below are five very easy (yet important) new year’s resolutions for your garage. In honor of 2020, we decided to keep the list short, simple and stress-free.

Here’s our list of five simple things you can do in 2021 for your garage.

Replace your garage door. Installing new garage doors is one of the quickest and easiest ways to boost curb appeal and add value to your home. And it can even save you a little money down the road, as you won’t have to worry about garage door repairs.

We carry the full line of Clopay garage doors, and we’re confident we have the perfect one for your budget and your aesthetic.

Take a look at our residential garage doors. Then, when you’ve got a couple of garage door styles in mind, use the Design Your Door tool to “try it on.”

Schedule routine maintenance. This is one the most important things you can do for your garage door. Once a year garage door (and garage door opener) maintenance is a critical component to making your garage door last for years and years.

Our technicians have extensive experience and can thoroughly inspect and address any issues quickly, so your garage door continues to operate safely and properly. If it’s in need of a repair or replacement part, we’ll give you a thorough, accurate estimate and do the work promptly.

Organize your garage. There’s nothing wrong with storing items every which way in the garage. But  with a little organizing, especially with the addition of extra storage, you may find you have even more room available.

Clean it out. Set a date (when the weather warms up, of course), take a cue from Nike and “just do it.”

We suggest having a plan in place for what you’ll do with everything you don’t want before you clean, so make sure you have bags and boxes for the items you want to take to the thrift store and online accounts set up if you’re selling the items on sites like Facebook Marketplace or eBay.

Make it multipurpose. The coronavirus pandemic really changed the way we work. If you’re working from home now on a regular basis, consider adding an office area to the garage, or a workout or playroom. It’s easier than you may think – and can be done on a budget.

From all of us at Martin Door – Happy 2021! And remember: we’re here to help you with all your garage door needs.

Support local businesses this season

From the team at Martin Door:

This holiday season, we are incredibly grateful to be a part of a community that supports each other through and through. And in spirit of the holiday, we thought we’d update the article we shared in March, as local businesses still need our support.  

Here are five ways to support St. Charles businesses during the holidays:

Shop local. Make a list of all of your favorite local shops, then grab a cup of cocoa, sit down at the computer and start shopping! Not only can you do all your shopping in your PJs but might be able to get it all done in one day. Here is a fantastic article about shopping local while sheltering in place.

Order carry out or delivery from your favorite restaurants. The pandemic has hit St. Charles restaurants hard. Let’s show them support by ordering carry out and delivery as much as we can. This is also a great time to try out new restaurants you’ve been planning to visit and those that don’t normally deliver.

Hosting a small gathering this holiday season? Why not have it catered by a local restaurant?

Buy gift certificates. One day, in the very near future, we’re going to get back to a new normal. When that happens, we’ll be more than ready to visit our favorite businesses in person again. Purchasing gift cards is an investment in their future. It’s also cash for them now that you can redeem later, so it puts money in their pockets at a time when they need it the most.

Pay it forward. Have you heard about the massive pay it forward at the Dairy Queen drive-thru that made 900 people smile? Let’s keep it going! The next time you’re at a drive-thru or coffeeshop, make someone’s day and pay it forward. They’ll feel good — and you will, too.

Give to local charities. The coronavirus is still putting local nonprofits and charities to the task. This year, consider making a donation in someone’s honor for the holidays.  Or, make a homeless pet’s day by fostering during the holidays.

From all of us at Martin Door, we wish you a safe and wonderful holiday and new year!

The beauty and versatility of carriage house style garage doors

Carriage house style garage doors are very popular amongst homeowners for many reasons. Not only are they exceptionally versatile, but they’re also stylish. And since they’re made from a variety of materials that stand the test of time, they’re also extremely durable.

Todays’ carriage house garage doors are designed to evoke the carriage house doors of the past that were used for storing horse-drawn carriages. While they’re still made with the same craftmanship of yesteryear, they also feature everything you’d want in a modern garage door.

If you’re looking for a fully automated modern overhead garage door that evokes classic, rustic charm, consider a carriage house style door from Clopay. Learn more about their most popular carriage house models below.

The Coachman Collection

modern house with white garage door

One of Clopay’s most popular styles, Coachman garage doors look like wood but are made of four layers of insulated steel. They’re very low maintenance and are easy to customize. In fact, you can choose from about 1,000 style combinations and four factory finish paint colors.

Coachman garage doors look great on a wide variety of homes. Not only are they an ideal choice for traditional style homes, but they can enhance the curb appeal of more modern homes as well.

The Canyon Ridge Collection, Limited Edition & Ultra Grain Series  

canyon ridge wooden garage doors

Both Clopay’s Canyon Ridge Limited and Ultra Grain series are stunners. Both feature swing-out style carriage house style doors and are quiet and energy-efficient. The Limited Series also offers four-layer construction while the Ultra Grain Series features a whopping five.

Both of these garage door styles also offer Intellicore® insulation, fourteen base designs and are factory finished in medium or dark finishes. You can even customize them further with a field stain.

The Grand Harbor Collection

grand harbor white garage doors

These carriage house style doors are a great option for those on a budget. But just because they’re affordable it doesn’t mean you’ll be compromising on quality or style.

Not only are Clopay’s  Grand Harbor garage doors  beautiful, but they’re also extremely quiet, durable, and low maintenance. You can choose from two or three layers of insulation, and from six different designs with optional windows and decorative hardware.

The Reserve Collection 

reserve wooden garage door

When it comes to one-of-a-kind beauty you can’t get much better than Clopay’s Reserve Collection. These authentic handcrafted carriage house garage doors are made from gorgeous natural wood. You can choose from six carriage house designs and from three different types of wood. They also feature different panel and window designs and can be painted or stained.

Martin Door is proud to carry the dull line of carriage house garage doors by Clopay. Contact us to find out which style is perfect for your home.


Winter Maintenance for Your Garage Door & Opener

The last thing you want to deal with come wintertime is a garage door that won’t open and close. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your garage door & opener Is up to the challenge before the colder temps arrive.

From depleted batteries to a garage door that won’t open due to ice and snow, winter in St. Charles can be a challenging season for your garage door and opener. Before they start working overtime during winter, use our checklist below to make sure your garage door opener is up to the test.

Lubricate. One of the most important steps to making sure your garage door opener is ready for winter involves lubricating the garage door’s hinges, and rollers, and springs. This is critical so that the garage door & opener will operate smoothly. You can pick up a low temp spray lube at your neighborhood home improvement store.

Check the backup system. In the event of a winter storm, you’ll want to make sure your garage door opener back-up system is working properly. If it is, you’ll be able to open and close your garage door via the remote or touch pad even if the power goes out.

You’ll find details on how to test the back-up system in your garage door opener’s manual. For most, you can unplug the garage door opener from the outlet and test it to see if it still works with the remote.

Replace light bulbs. Not only should you replace the light bulbs in the garage before the cold weather sets in, you should go ahead and replace the garage door opener bulbs as well. Although most bulbs last about 10,000 hours, we recommend erring on the side of caution even if you think you’ve got a little ways to go before the bulbs stop working. You don’t want to be left in the dark in the garage on a cold winter night.

Replace the remote batteries. One of the quickest and easiest ways to get your garage door opener ready for winter is by replacing the batteries in the remote. Ideally, these should be replaced every two years or so, but bear in mind that cold weather will drain all batteries quicker.

A couple ways to tell if the batteries in the opener’s remote need to be replaced is by looking to see if a low battery light is on (if your model includes this feature) and by observing how quick the remote is to work. If it takes a few presses on the button to open the garage door, you probably need to replace the batteries.

Check the garage door. You’re going to want to make sure the garage door fits well in the frame and that there aren’t any gaps on the ground where snow and freezing water can get in. Should ice and snow get into the garage, particularly where it opens, it can cause the garage door to freeze shut and your garage door opener won’t work.

Be prepared. In the event that your garage door opener won’t work in the winter, be prepared. Have a broom and a shovel within easy access so you can clear snow and ice from the garage door. And for car safety during winter, have a pair of jumper cables or a power jump starter in your car, as well as a heavy blanket.

Still not sure if your garage door opener is ready for winter? Give the team at Martin Door a call. We can do a complete check so that it’s up to the test and ready for the colder months ahead.

How to create a garage fit for a car lover   

Do you see your car as a way to get from one part of town to another, or as a source of fun and escape? If you enjoy zipping around country roads, or if your idea of the perfect weekend is getting to spend time tinkering under the hood of a vintage automobile, you’re going to want a garage that’s perfect for a car enthusiast.

Below, we show you how to create a garage fit for a car lover.

Choose a great looking garage door. First, let’s talk aesthetics. A car enthusiast’s garage should look inviting and inspiring, and that starts with the garage door. Of course, the right garage door can add functionality, too. If it’s insulated, for example, you’ll be able to save energy (and money), and you’ll be able to work comfortably in it all year round.

avante modern glass garage doorWe like Clopay’s Avante collection for car lovers (pictured). These garage doors are made from glass and aluminum and are extremely durable and are sleek and modern in design – just like a great car.

And because you can choose how much light to let in, they’re an ideal option if you want to display your cars while keeping them safe.

Add a lounge area. If you enjoy spending all day in your garage, consider adding an area where you can take a load off and relax. Your lounge area could include a comfortable sofa and chairs, a mini-fridge or kitchenette, a sound system and even a wall-mounted television to watch races.

With a lounge area, you can have friends over to shoot the breeze with while you work under the hood, or you could simply use it to gather and watch races or drink a cold one. Trust us: those you live with who don’t know the difference between a gear box and a glove box will thank you.

A word about flooring. The typical cement garage floor is usually full of oil spots, dirt and grime – not to mention antifreeze and residue from the road. To create a great looking garage, you’re going to want to choose a flooring solution that’s easy to clean.

We suggest flooring made with an epoxy/polyaspartic coating. These floors are stain resistant and they come in a variety of colors. This flooring will also serve to protect your garage floor, so it will stay in great shape for years to come.

Garage storage. All garages need great storage, and it’s especially important if you love working on cars. We recommend investing in custom storage that’s durable, attractive and designed specifically for your garage. You could also find storage solutions at your local home improvement store and even at IKEA.     

Add a washing station. If you wash your cars at home on a regular basis, you can easily set up a washing station in your garage. This will allow you to wash your cars all year round. You’ll need a water source as well as proper drainage.

And a lift. Now we’re talking! Whether you’re doing a full restoration on a vintage automobile or prefer doing break jobs and oil changes on your cars yourself, consider investing in a professionally installed hydraulic lift.     

Make it secure. Everyone needs a safe and secure garage door, and especially those who have vintage or luxury cars. Make sure your garage door is secure by checking to see if it properly fits in the garage door frame and secures to the ground. If it doesn’t, contact a garage door professional who can either repair the garage door or replace it with one that fits.

You’ll also want to make sure your garage door locks properly and that your garage door opener is working optimally. In fact, LiftMaster garage door openers with myQ connectivity are a great addition to your home, because they let you control your garage door from anywhere.

Ready for a garage fit for a car lover? Give the team at Martin Door a call. We can help make it happen!  


Turn Your Garage Into A Study Room

The school year has begun and already it’s off to an “interesting” start, thanks to COVID-19. More students than ever before – whether they’re in kindergarten or in college – are learning virtually and that means they need a good study space.

If you’ve got a student at home, why not convert your garage into a study room where they can attend their online classes and study with relatively few interruptions? Alternatively, the study space can be used for those who are working from home.

It’s easy to transform your garage into a study space while also leaving enough room for your car. Here are some tips to get you started.

Electric outlets. Since learning is done primarily online these days, your student will need to a way to plug in in the garage. Position the desk and chairs near the power outlet if possible, or get an extension cord with a power strip that you can use for other devices as well. No electric in the garage? Either use a long extension cord or contact an electrician to install wiring.

Stay organized. You know what they say – a cluttered desk equals a cluttered mind. Add shelving and cabinets for books, files, and office supplies. IKEA has great, inexpensive home organization solutions.

Use a room divider. This will come in handy if you’re using your garage for your car, as well. Hang a pair of heavy curtains on a cable mounted to walls that you close when you’re in the study room. You could also use an accordian room divider specifically made for garages or a wooden curtain for a really unique look.

Keep it quiet. To keep outside sound to a minimum, consider installing an insulated garage door. You could also add carpet (to the study part of the garage floor, of course) or rubber flooring that you can get at a home improvement store. We love the idea of adding a rug for a little more style and to help keep noise at bay.

For extra noise control – and a little ambiance, you could keep a white noise machine in the garage study, too.

Keep it warm (or cool!). An insulated garage door can help regulate the temperature in the garage. You could also use space heaters in the colder months and window A/C units (if possible) or a portable floor A/C model. If you’re transforming your entire garage into a study space, we recommend a complete heating/cooling system.

Think color. One of the easiest ways to turn your garage into a living space is by painting the walls. Primary, vibrant colors can help keep students focused and awake while muted, softer colors are soothing. You could also paint a wall with chalkboard paint!

Add light. From floor lamps to desk lamps to overhead lights with unique shades, lighting is a great way to add dimension to your study space while also increasing productivity. A skylight can also be a great source of light and look great in the garage.

Your garage door can also be an excellent source of light. Consider a contemporary garage door like Clopay’s Avante garage door that allows you choose how transparent you want the glass panels to be.

With just a little work and creativity, you can make your garage a fabulous study area for your student, and who knows? It may end up being a quiet, peaceful retreat for everyone.

How to add living space to your garage  

Did you know your garage is one of most versatile rooms in your home? Sure, it does a fantastic job keeping your car safe and storing all sorts of items – from bikes to bowling balls – but it’s can be used for so much more.

With a little elbow grease and planning, your garage can also be a home gym, a playroom, an art studio, even a study room – and a lot of us can use one of those these days, now that more children than ever are learning virtually.

Martin Door is proud to carry Lifestyle Garage Door Screens that make it even easier to transform your garage into another living space.

Ready to do more in your garage? Take a look at our tips below to get started.

First, let’s go over the basics. When it comes to ideal flooring for your new garage space, we recommend priming and using a good paint designed specifically for garages. Behr Premium Concrete & Garage Floor paint, for example, works great and comes in a variety of colors.

If you’re using all or a part of your garage for your new space, you may want to consider another type of flooring, such as tile or carpet. Rubber tiles work great for garage gyms. You can pick these up at your local home improvement store.

You may also want to consider ways to cool your space in the summer, and/or heat it in the winter. Depending on your budget and needs, you could invest in a small air conditioning unit or a complete heating and cooling system. Additionally, you may want to choose a new, insulated garage door. If you’re going that route, we can help you choose the right one.

So, just how can you use your garage? Here are some ideas below.  

Study room. If your children are starting school at home this year, your garage can become a perfect study space with little effort. Make sure the space is comfortable and inviting by painting the walls and floor and add insulation to make it quieter.

Study spaces need to let in plenty of light, so consider replacing your garage door with an Avante garage door from Clopay, will let plenty of light in and create a beautiful space. Lastly, make sure there are enough electrical outlets in the garage. If there aren’t, consider reaching out to an electrician who can help.

Home gym. If you’re limiting your time at the gym or yoga studio, we’ve got great news – your garage can be transformed into a workout space easily. As we mentioned, you can install rubber tiles on the garage floor, or even paint it a tranquil color if you’re looking for a more peaceful, Zen way of exercising.

Add shelving for weights and props, and install pegboard to hang items like jump ropes, resistance bands and straps. And don’t forget about music to keep you motivated! Consider adding a stereo system, and perhaps a portable air conditioning unit on the days you really work up a sweat.

Kid’s playroom. The first thing to think about when making the garage your kid’s playroom is storage. Since there’s limited space in the garage, you’re going to want to maximize storage for all of their toys and games. IKEA has great storage space options for all budgets. And when your kids outgrown the playroom, you can use the storage for all sorts of other things.

We love puzzle floor mats because they are easy to install, soft, and they add a little fun and whimsy to the garage space. You could also decorate the walls with stickers and decals that you can find in craft stores. These are easy to remove, so when your kids outgrown the playroom you can easily use the space for something else.

Art studio. Thinking of learning something new with all the extra time at home? If you’re ready to get in touch with your artistic side, why not transform a part of the garage into an art studio? Start with creating great light in the garage. This can be achieved with a garage door that lets in light, solar tubes, skylights or LED lighting.

Next, you’ll need a great desk to sketch out your plans and plenty of storage for your art supplies and to make the space inviting and inspiring.

Ready to learn more about Lifestyle Garage Door Screens or how we can help transform your garage into a multifunctional living space, give the team at Martin Door a call.