How to help small businesses in St. Charles during coronavirus

By now, the coronavirus has completely changed day-to-day life our entire community, and although we remain open for business, it still feels like all the things we love to do have been put on hold. It’s a difficult time, for sure, but it’s also a time when we can show our support for local businesses. And they need it. Now maybe more than ever.

At Martin Door, we love being a part of the St. Charles community and care deeply about our neighbors and the small businesses we serve – not to mention the people who help us do our job better every day – from the servers we’ve gotten to know when we go to lunch, to the people who keep our trucks up and running.

Over the past week, we’ve been looking for ways we can support small businesses, especially those that are temporarily closed. Below is the list we came up with and we thought we’d share it with you.

Order carry out. Why not give yourself a break from the grocery store and order something to go from your favorite restaurant? If you’re watching your carbs and calories, take a night off and order from your favorite Italian restaurant. This is a rare chance to patronize restaurants that don’t normally do take out, so go ahead and place an order. Not only are you treating yourself, you’re also helping a restaurant weather this tough time. Note: many bars will happily sell you a six pack, too.

Take advantage of online exercise. After an evening of take out, you can burn off the calories with an online class offered by your local fitness facility. Many YMCAs, big gyms and little studios have set up classes offered on Facebook and zoom.com. Plenty of these are free, but you if take an online class on a regular basis, you may want to send the instructor or facility a donation. You can do this easily through Venmo.

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.

Go holiday shopping. Here’s how you do it: First, make a list of all of your favorite local shops, then get online and see which ones take online orders. If they do, now is the time to do your Christmas shopping. Just think of how much time you’ll have come December. Here is a fantastic article about shopping local while sheltering in place.

Support local charities. The coronavirus has really put local nonprofits and charities to the task. Consider going online to find out what your favorite charity needs and help out. Check out the St. Louis Foodbank for ways you can help feed those in need. Need a friend to quarantine with?  Contact the St. Charles County Pet Adoption Center to foster a cat or dog while the shelter is closed.

One the greatest things about a crisis is that it shows how capable the St. Charles community is doing extraordinary things. Stay well, from all of us at Martin Door.

Spring cleaning for your garage

We can’t think of a better time than now to clean out the garage. Not only is it the perfect time of the year to get your garage ready for the warmer months ahead (they don’t call it spring cleaning for nothing!), it’s also fantastic way to clear your mind during this stressful time, as we come together (and yet, remain at home) to end the spread of COVID-19.

Keeping things clean is top of mind these days, indeed. And not only does a clean home and garage help keep you and your family safe and healthy, but studies have shown that a clutter-free environment leads to less stress and more happiness. Now, who wouldn’t want that?

So if these next few weeks mean more down time at home, why not add cleaning out the garage to your list of things to do? Our list below can help get you started.

Get in the game! It’s helpful to approach garage cleaning with positivity. Don’t look at it as a chore you have to do, but a chance to clear out the old to welcome in the new. Take a look at the forecast and pick a nice sunny day to start your project. Make sure to have a great playlist of motivating music on hand, and wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

Plan accordingly. When it comes to cleaning your garage, you’re going to want to do it right. That means planning for a top-to-bottom thorough cleaning of your entire garage from the floor to ceiling, and yes, the garage door, too. For this, make sure to stock up on all cleaning supplies before you begin so you can get everything done without having to run to the store.

Clean everything. And everywhere. Start by removing everything from your garage. Remove all equipment like bikes, lawn mowers, and shovels. And pile everything outside of the garage.

Then, clean beginning with the ceiling and ending with the garage door (more on that later). This is also a great time to inspect your garage door for any cracks or leaks and make plans to repair.

Decide what to keep. This is the time to remember the Marie Kondo rule of letting items go if they don’t “spark joy.” Take a look at what’s in the pile from your garage and ask yourself if it’s something you really need. If it’s not, you’ve got some choices to make. You can toss it, recycle it, sell it, or donate it.

Make sure you have a plan to get rid of the unwanted items quickly. Here’s where things can get tricky. If you place the items you don’t want to keep back in your garage, there’s a good chance they’ll stay there. If you’re selling items, have an account ready if you’re selling online, or drive it immediately to the consignment store.

Do the same with items you’re donating. And if you’re giving things away, make sure the receiver is picking the item up sooner than later. Tossing it? Know when your city picks up bigger items or arrange a pickup if it’s required.

Air it out. If you’ve hosed down your garage floor, or if you’ve used powerful cleaning solutions on your garage’s floors and walls, make sure to well-ventilate before closing the garage door. Strategically place a box or shop fan in the garage to help air it out quickly.

Clean the garage door. First, gently hose the garage door down to eliminate dirt and other residue, then use a sponge, gentle soap (dishwashing soap works fine), and warm water to really scrub down the door.

Don’t forget to pay special attention to windows on your garage door. You can clean them with any window cleaner, but for stubborn stains, we recommend using a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water.

Inspect your garage door. This is as important as keeping your garage clean and one aspect you don’t want to forget to do. Make sure there’s no rust on your garage door parts including the garage door springs, hinges and on the tracks.

You can also apply a spray lubricant to the garage door springs and pulleys, but for any more garage door maintenance, it’s best to leave it up to us professionals.

This is also a good time to check your garage door opener. Clean the opener’s “eye” and properly lubricate its chain drive.

Consider what you need next. Do you need a better garage organization system? If so, maybe now is the time to add slat wall, cabinets, and maybe even a workspace if your garage is large enough. We like Organized Living’s garage activity organizers, and if you’re thinking simple and smaller scale, check out IKEA for durable, low cost storage.

Here are some great ideas to transform your cluttered garage into one of the most organized places in your home.

Reward yourself. Make sure to have a reward waiting for you once you’re ready to call it a day, like a favorite dessert or beverage or treat yourself to a night of Netflix (go ahead, you deserve it!)

 

 

Five easy garage improvement ideas for 2020

Can you believe 2020 is here? If you’re already thinking of home improvement this year,  might we recommend putting your garage on the list?rustic entryway at night

Making improvements to your garage is always a great investment. Take a look at our list of five easy ways below. And let us know how we can help!

Invest in a new garage door. A new garage door is a great way to increase your home’s ROI, but there are many more reasons to make 2020 the year you invest in one. For example, with a new garage door you won’t have to worry about getting any repairs in the near future. And since they’re custom-fitted to your home, they offer security, are energy-efficient and offer curb appeal.

Nine reasons to invest in a new garage door

Get organized. If you’re still storing things like recreation equipment and tools every which way in your garage consider making this the year to get organized. We love Organized Living’s garage storage solutions that maximize the space in your garage while making it clutter-free.

Make it multi-purpose. How about making 2020 the year you finally make your garage one of the most multi-functioning spaces in your home? With retractable screens, you can transform your garage into a place where you can work or play, an exercise or party room, or an area for your pet.

Schedule those garage door repairs. Is your garage door squeaking or rattling when it opens and closes? If it is, perhaps now is a good time to make getting the garage door repaired now that the new year is here..

Spruce it up with customized paint. For a long time, homeowners facerustic entryway at nightd a tough task when finding paint that could be customized while also being suitable for garage door materials like steel and aluminum. Now Clopay can color match Sherwin-Williams color codes on a new garage door prior to installation. We love this paint and its beautiful results.

So, here’s to the new year! Let us know how we can help set any of these five ideas in motion for you. We’re looking forward to serving you in 2020.

9 Easy Home Improvements to Help Sell Your Home Fast

You’ve been trying to sell your home and you did everything you thought was expected of you. You connected with a real estate agent, had professional photos taken of your house, and opened your home to numerous strangers as they paraded around your halls on private tours and open houses. But after weeks of your home being listed, not a single reasonable offer has been made. Sound familiar?

Currently, the median number of days a home sits on the market is 41 days. And, of course, the longer your home sits on the market the more control homebuyers have when it comes time for negotiations. So, take your house out of seller’s limbo by adding perceived value (and actual value) to your home. Here are nine easy home improvements you can do that will make your house more appealing to potential home buyers and help sell your home fast. slate garage door with windows

1. Upgrade Your Mailbox

Upgrading your mailbox might seem like a rather silly thing to do at first, but if we are talking about making a great first impression to potential home buyers, the mailbox is often the very first thing someone sees before pulling in the driveway. It’s also the easiest home improvement you can do.

It could just be a new mailbox that replaces the old, weathered one you’ve had for years. And let’s face it, most homeowners don’t put much thought into what their mailbox looks like, often becoming an eyesore to your driveway. Or, you could upgrade to a “Next Generation” mailbox that allows USPS to deliver large packages to your mailbox instead of your front door. And we all know packages that are apparently visible to any passerby have a better chance of not being taken.

In fact, with more and more consumer products being purchased online and delivered to homes, you may even consider upgrading to a security mailbox that keeps your mail and packages safe from theft altogether.

Either way, upgrading your mailbox is a simple, cost-effective method of bringing perceived value to your home.

2. Paint Your House Inside and Out

This cannot be emphasized enough, but painting the inside of your home with a fresh neutral color goes a long way with potential homebuyers. For example, your kids’ rooms may have very unique colors that they had insisted upon at one time, but not every potential buyer is going to enjoy that purple room as much as your kid does. You’ll want to put a fresh coat of paint on those walls so anyone touring your home can envision themselves living in your space.

In fact, everything you’re doing to prep your home for sale is making your home look its very best and allowing potential homebuyers to envision themselves in every room of your house. You want people touring your house to think, what if I bought this house? This room could be my office, nursery, guest bedroom, etc. However, it becomes hard for potential buyers to envision themselves in a room with purple walls.

Alternatively, painting the exterior of your home may be the best solution to getting your home sold faster. If your home’s color has faded from its former glory, the paint is chipping, or your house has always been that home on the block the neighborhood kids call the orange house, you may want to consider getting your home painted a more contemporary color. Though painting the exterior of your home can be pricey, when done by professionals, the process has a very quick turnaround time and the result will be sure to leave a lasting impression on potential buyers.

3. Enhance Your Curb Appeal

It doesn’t matter if you live in Dallas, TX or Portland, OR, enhancing your curb appeal can go a long way toward making a great first impression on potential homebuyers.

First, you’ll want to look at your landscaping in front of and around your house. How does your lawn, trees, and overall vegetation look? Make sure your lawn is freshly trimmed, all dead debris (like sticks and leaves) are picked up, and 2 to 3 inches of fresh bark mulch is placed around your shrubs, trees, and plants.

Do you have hedges that line your property or some other form of fruit or decorative trees on your property? Having your hedges trimmed and your trees cut back can make your yard go from something that resembles an unruly wilderness to a well-maintained and welcoming paradise.

Also, if you don’t already have decorative plants bringing color to your front driveway and entrance, a few well-positioned potted plants are an inexpensive and inviting sight for newcomers to your home.

4. Clean, Declutter, and Stage Your Home

Nothing turns potential homebuyers away faster than an unkept and cluttered home. If you’re looking to sell your house quickly, it might be a good idea to hire professionals to get your house in order. Decluttering and staging your home is a must if you want to make your home and all its uniqueness shine its best for potential buyers.

If your closets are overflowing with winter jackets, or you have too many large pieces of furniture in your living room, your spaces will not be showcased the way they should be. People touring your home like to look not just at the larger rooms, but also poke around in closets, drawers, and other storage areas to make sure their stuff will fit. If your stuff is in the way, that makes it much harder for buyers to see themselves in your space.

Furthermore, a deep cleaning is a must before any open house or home tour takes place. If you have a cat or dog (or both), you probably don’t smell them anymore. However, people that don’t have pets are acutely aware of homes that do, simply because it’s a scent they’re not used to. If you’re looking for a quick turnaround, a professional can help eliminate odors, stains, and any number of other things you may no longer be aware of and make your home feel brand new again.

5. Fence in Your Backyard and Refinish Your Deck

It’s amazing what a refinished deck or new cedar fence enclosing a backyard can do for a home. Not only is it functional and aesthetically pleasing, but the return on investment is nothing to shy away from if you’re looking for an easy project that will help you get your home sold fast.

In fact, the national average in 2019 for recouping the cost of a wood deck addition on a home is 75.6%. So, although you may take a small hit financially by adding a wood deck onto your house, you would recoup most of the cost and potentially sell your home faster because of the added feature.

Likewise, adding a fence to your property can do wonders for your home in a relatively short period of time. And according to a 2018 survey by the American Pet Product Association,67% of U.S. households own a pet,” meaning over half the people touring your home have a fuzzy little friend, and a fenced in backyard is a bonus to some homebuyers but a must for others.

6. Fix Your Light Switches and Update Your Fixtures

So it’s true, people touring your home will play with your faucets, open your drawers, and test ALL your light switches. If you have a light switch that doesn’t work (or an electrical outlet), now is the time to get it fixed. Light switches that do not work signify to homebuyers that your house may have electrical issues, when in fact, it may be something much more simple. Nonetheless, at that point, you’ve already lost that potential offer.

You’ll also want to replace all your burnt out light bulbs to make sure every room in your house is bright and inviting. Furthermore, all your interior lights should be the same color temperature for consistent lighting throughout your house.

Updating your light fixtures, ceiling fans, and even your hardware on doors and cabinets is an easy and cost-effective way of increasing the perceived value of your home. If you already have an electrician fixing your light switches, they could also replace your dated brass light fixtures with ones that have a more contemporary feel. Beyond making your interior appear more modern to homebuyers, you can take this opportunity to find fixtures that can help brighten your home and make it stand out among other homes for sale in your area.

7. Upgrade Your Garage Door

Installing a new garage door is one of the simplest and quickest ways to give your home a much-needed facelift and impress potential homebuyers. New garage doors recoup nearly all the money invested into them, and, in some areas like the west coast, a new garage door actually recoups more than its initial investment at 123.8% on average. Meaning your new garage door could actually put money back in your pocket.

There are several styles and designs to choose from, just make sure that you go with a style that fits the look of your house. Especially if you’ve recently painted your home a more contemporary color, a new garage door can be that easy home improvement that pushes home lookers into actual offers.

8. Get a New Front Door

Give others entryway envy by upgrading your front door and transforming the character of your home. Over the years, front doors see a lot of abuse and begin to look worn and tired. Luckily, a new front door is quick to replace and a very cost-effective way of making your entryway unique and aesthetically pleasing to anyone stepping up onto your doormat.

Solid wood doors are always a classic style for homes not to go out of style anytime soon. They’re solid and typically last much longer than alternative materials like fiberglass. Additionally, front doors with inlaid glass can also give your entryway more natural light for the interior of your home. Either way, a new door is a quick and easy way to impress homebuyers.

9. Update Your Kitchen Appliances for a Fresh Look

If you’re looking to sell your home quickly, updating your kitchen with modern and timeless stainless steel appliances is a great way to go. Though this can be costly, new appliances really appeal to first-time homebuyers, and as a result, you could see more competitive offers.

Furthermore, there is a good possibility your appliances probably need to be updated anyway. Typically, larger appliances like fridges and stoves should be replaced every 10 years, while smaller appliances it’s recommended to be replaced every 5 years. Nonetheless, updated appliances are a safe bet if you’re looking to sell your home fast.

Want to learn more about new garage doors? We can help with that one. Contact us today.

Originally published on Redfin

Your easy fall garage door maintenance checklist

canyon ridge red garage doorIt’s getting cooler outside, and you know that that means (or at least what we’re going to say!)… it’s time to check your garage door and make sure it’s ready for the weather ahead. This season, we’ve kept the list simple, but what’s on the list is important. Trust us, you don’t want to deal with a garage door repair during the busy holiday season or when it’s bitter cold outside.

Take a look at the list below to ensure garage door is ready for winter.

Garage Door Replacement. If you’ve been planning on investing in a new garage door for your home this year, now is the perfect time. There are a myriad of benefits to replacing your garage door in the fall – from better energy efficiency to increase security to not having to worry about costly repairs.

Garage Door Springs. You’ll want to check your garage door springs now to make sure they’re working properly. Try pulling your garage door’s release handle when the door is down completely. Then, lift it part of the way up and let it go down on its own. If it comes down quickly you may need your garage door springs adjusted or replaced.

Also check that your garage door springs are lubricated. Sometimes, especially in older garage doors, the lubrication can dry up or harden which can cause your garage door springs to not work optimally.

Check the seal. The bottom of your garage door should seal to the ground. This is essential to keep drafts out of the garage – as well as any pesky critters! If there’s room between your garage door and the ground, it may be time to replace your garage door or the garage door seal.

Replace the rollers. We recommend replacing your garage door’s rollers every five years, and they should be checked at least once every year. If you haven’t done this yet, make sure to do so before the weather gets cold. Look for worn, cracked or chipped rollers. If you see any, give us a call to have them replaced.

Clean the garage door. If your garage doors are fiberglass, you can wash them down with a good all-purpose cleaner. If your garage doors are made from wood, take a look to make sure there are no warped or water damaged areas, especially if your wood garage doors are older.

It doesn’t take long to complete these fall garage door maintenance items, but it can really save time and money in the long run. We’re happy to check your garage door, too. Just give us a call to set up an appointment with one of our experienced technicians at your convenience. And if you need a new garage door you’re in luck because we’re running a Fall Extravaganza with deep discounts on replacement garage doors!

The Fall Extravaganza is Here!

Have you been putting off replacing your old garage door?
Well, now is the time during The Fall Extravaganza here at Martin Door.

We’re currently offering DEEP DISCOUNTS on all polyurethane insulated doors.

Contact us today to schedule a free in home quote at 636-928-3875

rustic collection gallery houseHurry, winter is coming!

Nine reasons to invest in a new garage door

Maybe you’re looking for simple ways to update your home’s appearance, or perhaps you want to increase your home’s value or save money or personal security. Each of these goals – and many, many more – can be achieved with a new garage door.classic steel garage doors

Consider this: The garage can comprise as much as 30% of a home’s façade, so updating it is an excellent, relatively low-cost way to increase the curb appeal of your home. And a better looking home, means you’ll get a higher ROI if you decide to sell it.

Since your garage is such a big part of your home, it’s important to keep it secure. Many new garage doors come with extra safety features. Combine it with a new garage door opener and you’ve got peace of mind, knowing that you and your family – not to mention your car – are safe.

As garage door professionals who have spent decades helping home and business owners find the right garage door, we can think of tons of reasons a new garage door is a great investment. Below, we’ve narrowed it down to our top nine.

Enhance the look of your home. Styles change. That’s not only true for fashion and cars, but for garage doors as well. Take a look at Clopay’s newest residential garage doors and you’ll see some amazing classic and modern designs that would make any home look great.

If your garage door is older, it likely has some dents and maybe some chipped, peeling paint. Sound like your garage door? It may be time to invest in a new one.

Better safety. Your garage door is one of the hardest working doors in your home. Over time, garage door springs and other key components to your door can get worn out and break. Sometimes, this creates a dangerous situation. If your garage door is older, purchasing a new one may be more cost efficient than replacing old parts, or having a professional come out to service it often.

Make it multifunctional. We love that garages are being used for more than our cars these days. A new garage door can help transform your garage into additional living space. Clopay’s Avante and Modern Steel garage doors create a fresh, contemporary space, while garage door screens let a little of the outdoors in.

Note: If you want to make your garage a space for hobbies like woodworking or painting, a playroom, or a workout room, it’s best to have it insulated so you can use it all year long, and the easiest way to ensure this is with a new garage door.

Quiet, please. You know an old garage when you hear one. They creak and squeak every time they close and open. That’s the sound of old garage door parts being pushed beyond their capacity and it’s never a good sign. Plus, who wants to be woken up from sleep by a garage door opening or closing? New garage doors are quiet, and they help to reduce noise coming from the street as well.

Increase your home’s value. This is a big one, especially if you’re getting ready to put your house on the market. In fact, a new garage door is one of the single most important, and easy ways to make your house look better on the outside, so when potential buyers show up to look at your home, they’ll be more motivated to make it their own.

And your home’s ROI, too. In addition to increasing your home’s value, garage doors are great investments. Studies have shown that when it comes to increasing your home’s ROI garage doors are one of the best investments you can make
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Better energy efficiency. Older garage doors that are warped and cracked are likely to let in drafts, and if they’re letting in cold (or hot) air in, they’re letting it out, too. If you have a garage that shares a wall or a ceiling with any room in your house, having an insulated garage door — fitted by experts — is even more important. New garage doors are guaranteed to fit, and that means you’ll save money on your energy bills.

No unexpected repairs. Few things will ruin your morning like a malfunctioning garage door when you’re pressed for time. Broken garage door springs and other faulty garage door parts are par for the course when you’ve got an old door.

They’re not only inconvenient, they can also lead to pricey repairs. Newer garage doors are under warranty, and when they’re installed by professionals with decades of experience, you’ll avoid calls for repairs – especially with regular maintenance.

Increased security. An old garage door that no longer fits securely can be a welcome sign for thieves, many who gain entry to the home through the garage. To protect your family, the items in your garage and home, and your car, make sure your garage door is secure, or better yet – purchase a new one.

Ready to get started? Use our Design Your Door feature to see what garage doors will look best on your home. Then give us a call. This is a great time of the year to invest in a new garage door!

Seven easy ways to make your garage safe

How safe is your garage? If you’re not sure, maybe it’s time to do a quick check with help from the list below. It’s doesn’t take much time – or money – to make sure your garage is a safe place for you and your family. With easy to install items like garage cabinets and smoke alarms, your garage can be made safe for your peace of mind.

Below are seven ways to make your garage safer:

Store your power tools someplace safe. Make sure your power tools are properly stored and kept out of reach of children. Consider investing in cabinets for your tools, and secure them with locks. Additionally, any saws or other electric tools should always have their safety locks on and should never be kept plugged in.

Do an electrical safety check. Check of your garage outlets and make sure they aren’t overloaded. You’ll also want to make sure your garage’s electric wiring isn’t outdated and in need of repair.

Keep fires at bay. Make sure you install a smoke alarm in your garage, or if you already have one, check to ensure it’s working properly. It’s also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher in the garage, too.

Get organized. We know how easy it is to keep things stored randomly in the garage, but keeping your it organized is one of the best ways to make sure it’s safe for you and your family. In addition to storing your power tools in a locked cabinet, do the same with yard tools and cleaning supplies.

Keep hazardous materials out of reach of children. Any cleaning products, fertilizer, gasoline, paints and other materials should be kept out of reach of children. Store these materials in a locked cabinet and make sure it’s equipped with proper ventilation.

Floors need to be kept safe, too. Check your garage flooring to make sure there aren’t any cracks, or leaks in the garage’s foundation that have caused leaks on the garage floor. Cracks, leaky walls, water on the floor needs to be addressed right away.

Make sure to use a garage door floor coating to seal floor cracks. Then, do the same with any cracks in the walls.

Invest in good locks and remote access. Make sure to always lock your garage door, and if you’re prone to forgetting, consider investing in remote access so you don’t have to worry. You could also consider LiftMaster’s myQ Smart Home, which lets you control your garage door from your smart phone.

Garage Door Trends for 2019

The new year is a great time to start thinking about updating the look of your home with a new garage door. We’re excited about the latest and greatest garage doors that include bold colors, large windows and contemporary design. And while these doors are on trend for 2019, they’re also timeless, so whichever one you choose for your home, you can be confident it will add curb appeal for years to come.

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Don’t fall victim to a garage door scam

Last year, bogus garage door companies disguised as local companies – often with names very similar to real ones – purchased millions of dollars in ads with Google to operate a garage door scam.

Luckily, Google has cracked down on these bogus garage door dealers, making it more difficult for them to purchase ads and requiring legitimate companies like us go through an extensive verification process with Google, proving we are the real deal.

But there are still phony garage door companies out there preying on innocent people. As a family-owned company serving St. Charles and the surrounding area, we truly care about our community and it troubles us to hear when someone has been taken advantage of.

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