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.

Seven Ways to Keep Your Garage Cool 

If you think it’s hot outside, just imagine what the temperature is in your garage. During the summer months, garages are often a good five to ten degrees warmer than the temps outside. Without proper ventilation or a good cooling method in place, your garage may not just be uncomfortable – it could be downright dangerous if you’re in it for an extended length of time.

Don’t let summer keep you out of your garage. Instead, follow our tips below to keep it cool this summer. 

Park Your Car Elsewhere (for a little while). That’s right. We’re recommending you don’t use your garage to park your car, but only until it cools down. If you park a car that’s just been driven in the garage and close the garage door, the heat from the engine can get trapped inside, raising the temps inside the garage even more.

We recommend parking your car outside the garage (preferable in the shade) and then moving it into the garage when the sun goes down.

Limit Your Time in the Garage. Your garage can be a lot more than just a place to put your car. With a little effort (emphasis on the little) your garage can be a workout space, workshop, and even a play area for the kids.

If you’ve got a multi-functioning garage space, or if you enjoy working on your car, consider using the garage in the early morning hours or after the sun goes down during the summer months. Ideally, you should limit your time in the garage between 3-6 p.m. when the temperatures in St. Charles are usually the warmest.

Choose a light-colored garage door. Since darker colors absorb heat, consider choosing a garage door that’s light in color. This is especially important if your garage faces west. Additionally, you can paint your garage exterior walls and roof a lighter color to keep it cooler as well. You could also add trees that will offer shade around your garage, if you’ve got a decent sized area where you can plant.

Use fans. Although fans won’t necessarily lower the air temperature in your garage, they’ll help increase air flow to make it a much more comfortable space to be in. The easiest and least expensive type of fan to use is a simple, inexpensive oscillating fan that you can pick up at any home improvement center. A high-powered shop fan is another great option.

You can place one fan in the window or in the opened garage door area with the fan blowing air outward, while placing another fan in the area you want to the breeze to blow to keep the air circulating.

Invest in a ventilation system. Passive and active ventilation systems are the next step up from the use of fans. Passive ventilation is the easiest and often the least expensive vent system to install and usually consists of spinning turbines in roof vents that get the air moving freely quickly.

Active air ventilation systems are a bit more complex and require installation by a professional.

Air condition your garage. If you spend a lot of time in your garage, or if it’s attached to your home, you may want to think about getting it fitted for central air. If you’ve got a window in your garage, an A/C window unit is another option, provided you’ve got electricity and an outlet near the window to use. Portable air conditioners also work well in the garage, especially because they’re designed to cool a small space.

One of the drawbacks to using A/C in the garage is that it can lead to expensive monthly energy bills. Having the garage set up for central air can be a rather significant financial investment as well.

Insulate your garage. If you’re thinking of going this route, start with an insulated garage door. This alone can help keep your garage cooler. If want to insulate the garage itself, start simple by caulking the windows and your garage door frame. Check to make sure your garage door is fitted properly. If you see any space between the ground and the bottom of the door, give us a call.

Want to learn more about how you can keep your garage cooler this summer? Give the team at Martin Door a call.

June is Garage Door Safety Month

It’s one of your home’s hardest working doors, and at 100-600 pounds, it’s also the heaviest door in your home by far. We’re talking, of course, about your garage door. Considering its weight, not to mention all its hardware required to make it operate correctly – like pulleys and springs that perform under extreme tension – it’s important to understand and practice garage door safety.

Garage doors are not a toy

Many children find garage doors to be pretty impressive, and while we tend to agree, it’s imperative to teach your kids that garage doors are not toys. Keep a close eye on your little ones anytime you open and close the garage door.

Make sure children keep their hands away from the door, garage door  track and other type of hardware.

The same goes for the garage door opener. It can be fun to open and close the garage door from a smartphone or another type of remote, but it should never be done for amusement.

Leave the repairs to professionals

While regular, simple garage door maintenance like cleaning, lubricating, and painting your garage door is fine to do on your own, you’ll want to leave garage door repairs to us. Attempting to fix garage door springs and pulleys is especially dangerous if you have not been trained on safe and proper procedures.

Never race the garage door

While the garage door is in motion, you should always steer clear and avoid being directly under it.  Never push the wall button to close the garage door then race to get out before it closes. You could be seriously injured if the door strikes you.

Keep up on regular inspections

Whenever you hear creaking, crunching, rattling, or any other unusual noise coming from your garage door, you’ll want to call a professional to pinpoint the source of the sound and make the necessary repairs. Additionally, you should have your garage door inspected by a technician once every year to make sure the hardware and the garage door itself are safe to operate.

Understand your garage door system

Know where the emergency release feature is located on your garage door. To ensure your safety, read the door’s manual as well as those for your garage door opener system.  Make sure you have a clear understanding of how your garage door system operates, so you can better gauge when there’s a potential problem or safety hazard.

Have a garage door safety concern? If you do, don’t wait. Contact the team at Martin Door and schedule an appointment. We’ll check the garage door thoroughly to make sure it’s safe for you and your family. 

 

 

 

Your easy summer garage door maintenance checklist

Before summer gets into full swing, it’s important to check your garage doors to make sure everything is in working order. The warmer weather is a great opportunity to take care of things that may have gone unnoticed or set aside during the cooler months.

We’ve created an easy checklist of tasks that aren’t hard to do, and they just may even save you a little money in the long run on garage door repairs. In fact, you can do these tasks in one day and then sit back, relax, and enjoy summer!

 

Thoroughly wash the exterior of your garage door. A mixture of any gentle soap or detergent and water should do the trick. Make sure to clean the windows with a good glass cleaner and use a broom to clear off any cobwebs off the inside that may have gathered.

 

Give it a coat of paint. The easiest color to paint your garage door will be the one that matches the color of the door now. If you opt for a completely new color, especially if it is going to cover a lighter color, you may need to do some extra prep work including applying extra primer and a topcoat.

 

Make it a well-oiled machine. At the start of every season, make it a point to lubricate all of the hardware on your garage door. This is especially important if you’re hearing any screeches or grinding sounds when you open and close the garage door. Use a low temp spray lube that has protective white lithium grease in it.  and be very careful when applying the lubricant to your garage door springs, rollers and hinges.

 

Consider insulation. An insulated garage door can work wonders keeping the garage cool in the warmer months. If your garage is attached to your home, it can help you save money on your energy bill. Additionally, if you have living space above the garage, it can help to keep the area cooler.

 

Keep it strong. Homeowners in St. Charles should check their garage doors every summer and make sure they’re ready for extreme weather like bad storms. Look for holes in the garage door, gaps between the bottom of the door and the ground, broken windows, and loose or warped garage door panels. If you see any of these issues, give us a call. We can inspect your garage door and make sure it’s safe for you and your family.

 

You deserve a relaxing, fun summer! Don’t let garage door issues put a damper on your plans. We’re here to help with all your garage door needs.

 

 

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.

The 9 Easiest Home Improvements to 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!