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Tag: garage

 

Having a garage is ever so convenient! You’ve got a place to keep your car secure and have great storage space. If you’re into repairs and crafts, you probably spend there a lot of time. To some people, their garage is like their own kingdom.

But what if the gates to the kingdom stop guarding it as well as they used to? Most likely, the culprit is easy to detect, and it all comes down to a set of garage door springs. It’s a quiet hero of the whole garage door system, and if this part malfunctions, the best solution is to replace it. This article will give you answers regarding all things related to garage door springs. If you want to learn more, keep on reading!

Types of Garage Door Springs

Let’s start with the basics. Your garage is equipped with one of the following types of garage door spring systems:

  • A torsion spring system uses one or two tightly wired springs, depending on the garage door size. The springs are placed on a steel shaft and run parallel to the door, serving as a counterbalance. It’s an option that’s generally considered to be safe and reliable.
  • An extension spring system is made of two springs that are mounted on either side of the garage door track. When the garage door goes up or down, a mechanism of cables and pulleys extends and contracts them. Experts from A1 Garage point out that while this system is cheaper and easier to install, it’s less reliable and doesn’t last that long.

How Long Do Garage Door Springs Last?

Once again, it all comes down to the type of springs. Typically, extension springs have a life expectancy of 4 to 10 years or between 5,000 to 15,000 up-and-down cycles. Torsion springs are more durable, with the expected lifespan of 7 to 14 years or between 10,000 and 20,000 cycles.

Replacement: When and Why?

Now you know how durable each system is. Mechanical parts, such as garage door springs, undergo the wear and tear process, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. At some point, you’ll have to replace them; otherwise, the excessive tension might be too much, and the springs will break. As a result, the door may come crashing down and seriously injure whoever will be underneath.

There’s a couple of factors that can indicate your garage door springs might be having some issues, and their lifespan might be coming to an end. These include:

  • Imbalanced springs – this one is easier to detect than to correct. Your springs are likely out of balance when you notice your garage door is crooked, closes way too fast, and doesn’t open as smoothly as it used to. What’s more, your garage door may open and close on its own.
  • Excessive noise – if your linear garage door opener starts making a sound while opening or closing doors, chances are the springs are beginning to wear down.
  • Rust – if you see rust on the springs, it’s time to replace them. If you leave them as they are, they could potentially break at any time.

Garage Door Springs Replacement Cost

Again, the cost depends on the type of your garage door springs. Obviously, if you decide to do it by yourself, you’ll have to pay for the springs and any additional tools that can make your task easier. However, it’s a dangerous task, and it would be best if you considered hiring a professional to do it for you.

That being said, a professional replacement cost will vary from $120 for a single extension to $350 for a double torsion. Keep in mind that experts advise replacing both springs, even if only one is broken or damaged. This way is more cost-efficient, and the garage door is more balanced.

How Much Time Will It Take?

Garage door springs have a relatively long lifespan, compared with the time needed for them to be replaced. An expert should be able to do it within 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you want to replace them on your own, keep in mind it can take you more time, especially if you’ve never done this before, and you’re not familiar with all the tools needed to get the task done.

The Bottom Line

Just like any part of your house, your garage door needs to be properly maintained in order to serve its function. In case you notice any wear and tear, or you suspect that the springs’ lifespan might be nearing an end, consider replacing the springs before they break. If they’re broken already, don’t wait! If you’re not comfortable with doing the repairs yourself, hire a professional. A team of garage door experts will have the experience, skills, and tools to do the job safely.

 

 

As a homeowner, being proud of both the interior and exterior of your home is important. When guests pull up outside your property, the last thing you want is for them to get the wrong impression. If you have a concrete driveway, keeping it well maintained should be your top priority, so to make sure the surface looks its best and stands the test of time, here are five top tips you can use.

How to Look After Your Concrete Driveway

Regular Cleaning

 

To keep your concrete driveway gleaming, it’s important that you factor in time to clean it. If left untouched for a long time, concrete can begin to look really dirty, which can set a bad tone for those coming to visit your property. Giving your driveway the attention and care it needs is important, so using a pressure washer can be a great way to keep it clean.

Seal the Surface

 

No matter how great your driveway sealer is, it will ultimately wear out over time, regardless of how much money you shell out. The main purpose of a driveway sealer is to stop water from getting into the porous surface, as this can cause major damage. It can also help protect the driveway surface from UV light degradation and spillages, so make sure that you reseal the surface every 3-5 years.

Avoid Using Chemicals

 

When it comes to driveway maintenance, there are some harsh chemicals that are best to avoid, such as deicer. Deicers are known to eat into the surface which results in gradual deterioration. If your driveway becomes icy or slippery, it’s best to use sand which will provide traction. Sand can also be easily brushed to one side or swept away once the summer months draw in. If you have any grassy areas at the front of your property, chemical products will only cause damage in the long run.

Avoid Spillages

 

Another way to keep good care of your concrete driveway is by avoiding spills. Your car oil may be the root cause of a spillage or stain that can cause major damage to your driveway’s appearance. If you notice any spillage, make sure that it’s cleaned up quickly and appropriately by using a professional driveway cleaning solution.

Seek Professional Help

 

If you’ve lived in your property for many years and feel the damage done to your concrete driveway is irreversible, it may be time to hire a professional who can lay down a brand new one. Richfield Blacktop is a company you may want to consider using, as they specialize in concrete driveways, asphalt driveways, and commercial paving.

While concrete is known as the easiest surface to maintain when compared to other driveway types, that’s not to say there aren’t measures that can be taken to make sure it looks its best. If you have noticed any changes to your driveway, there are lots of tips that you can take on board, but you may also want to seek out a professional to help.

 

shed plans

 

With the average price for materials ranging between $17-$24sqft, it can cost homeowners about $2,500 to build a typical 10’x12′ DIY shed. Depending on the size, style, siding, roofing, and extra features such as plumbing, electrical, overhead doors, or solar panels, the cost can soar upwards of $10,000 or more. Then, if you consider what’s being stored inside of your shed? The total value of the structure and its contents can undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows and questions, especially when it comes to being vandalized or totally lost due to a natural disaster or fire.

There are several reasons why homeowners might have a shed on their property. In most cases, these structures are covered by their homeowner’s insurance policy; however, there are also cases where they are not. The biggest mistake that some homeowners make is failing to call their insurance company to see if the new shed and its contents will be covered under their current policy. This guide is designed to help the average homeowner understand how it works with some tips along the way, and without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about shed insurance.

 

What’s Other Structures Protection?

 

Whether you have a shed, detached garage, gazebo, chicken coop, fence, or in-ground swimming pool located on your property? In the world of insurance companies, this type of homeowner’s insurance policy is known as other structures protection. In general, the standard coverage is about 10% of your entire home’s insurance policy. For example, if your home is insured for $150,000? Under the other structures protection policy, your shed and other outbuildings would be insured for $15,000.

It’s essential to call your insurance company or read the fine print in your homeowner’s insurance policy to know what the number of your coverage limits are. The next thing you need to know is the value that your new shed brings to your home? If your new shed has an amount more than what your current coverage limits are, it’s a good idea to have your insurance agent raise and adjust your coverage limits to protect your investment.

 

What’s the Value of Your Shed?

 

DIY sheds generally include just the cost of materials to build it and perhaps a good shed plans from Shedplans.org to work from, but you still need to know what it’s worth before you talk to your insurance company about raising your rates. A simple way to get a rough estimate of your shed’s value is by taking the cost of materials and tripling it. Most professional contractors charge about two thirds above the cost of materials for their labor.

On the other hand, you can expect that most insurance companies will want proof of the structure’s existence and paperwork backing its value, especially if they’re going to write you a check to repair or replace your shed. In cases such as this, it’s always best to have a home appraisal conducted. You can easily find a professional with any appraisal management company. These experts are certified and licensed in their perspective states or countries to determine the value of a structure objectively, fairly, and without bias opinions.

 

Does a Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover the Shed Contents?

 

Most homeowner’s insurance policies will have a set amount of protection for personal property. This also includes the contents stored inside of your shed or other outbuildings. The amount of protection is typically determined by the amount of insurance outlined in your home’s insurance policy. While insurance companies cover certain items stored in outbuildings such as ATVs, lawnmowers, power equipment, garden tools, there may be a limit to what your insurance company is willing to fork over.

On the flip side of the coin, items subject to damage from moisture and humidity like clothing, photographs, and other personal effects, in most cases, wouldn’t be covered by your insurance company. Therefore, these types of personal items should be kept safe in your house to qualify as being insurable under your insurance policy’s protection for private property.

 

Are There Any Limits on Shed Insurance?

 

In the real world, although your shed and its contents are covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy, it’s wise to talk to your agent about your policy’s stated coverage limits. This allows you to make a few different decisions based on what best fits your needs.

For example, let’s say your shed’s finished value is $5,000, and you’re basically using it for storing lawn and garden tools and supplies with a riding lawnmower that’s valued on the lower end of the scale? In most cases, this will not affect the limits on your homeowner’s insurance policy, which also includes the other structures protection plan. Meaning, your current coverage rates, and limits will not be affected.

 

When Does a Shed Limit Apply?

 

When you have specific items stored in a shed or outbuilding, limits will apply. As an illustration, if you have a $10,000 side-by-side ATV in your shed and a natural disaster or fire occurs? There may be a limit of $2,500 on the entire contents of the shed, including your expensive toy. Other items where restrictions may apply include but are not limited to:

  • Motorcycles
  • Snowmobiles
  • Vehicles
  • ATVs
  • Guns & Hunting Bows
  • Woodworking equipment
  • Expensive power tools
  • Small farm machinery
  • Zero-Turn riding lawn mowers

Pro Tip: To protect expensive items that are stored in your shed, talk to your agent about additional coverage for these specific items. You may discover that it’s best to insure them separately as opposed to raising the coverage and rates on your homeowner’s insurance policy.

 

Is There Anything Else That I Should Know About Shed Insurance?

 

One key component to shed insurance for theft claims is to make sure that you have either a keyed lock or a paddle lock installed on the doors of your shed. Contrary to what you may believe, some insurance companies will not give you a dime if you don’t have a lock on your shed, and theft occurs.

Anytime that you have a question about what your homeowner’s insurance policy covers, contact them and get it to explain to you because the information you need to know is usually contained in the small print that every homeowner hates to read. And lastly, you can certainly benefit from building a new shed yourself, but make sure you are covered.

 

When it comes to your garage, taking on a renovation project is more than a great way to update your home’s exterior — it’s a great way to add to its value. According to Remodeling Magazine, adding on a garage provides an average 69.3% return on investment for homeowners, and replacing the garage door can yield as much as 83.7% in resale value. That’s why the question is less about whether or not you should update your garage and more about how. So what is the best way to remodel your garage? Should you hire a professional to take on the project or should you go at it alone? Is updating the garage a good do-it-yourself project or is it best left to the professionals? To help answer these questions, here’s a look at the differences between these two options. When you’re trying to decide how to take on a garage project, here’s what you need to know:

1.     Hiring a Professional — More Convenience but More Costs

Hiring a professional to handle your garage renovation means putting the project in the hands of someone who specializes in the job. This gives you more confidence that the end result will meet your expectations and more convenience as you can leave the work to someone else. As Ann Reagan says at Porch.com, “If you don’t know a stud from a socket, hiring a professional is the way to go. Your contractor can handle all aspects of your garage remodeling project, hiring subcontractors as needed for things like plumbing and electrical.”  You won’t have to deal with the stress of learning new skills and potentially messing things up, and you’ll know everything from electrical work to wall demolition are done the way you want. Laura Gaskill of Houzz says, “Because of the precision required, installing a new garage door is best left to the pros. A professional will have the most experience at fitting and installing your garage door.”

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One disadvantage to hiring a professional is that it is usually more expensive. So if you think you are savvy enough to know how to take on this kind of project, you could save a bundle by skipping the costs of professional help. For some homeowners, the initial investment required to replace garage doors or make improvements to the garage space will be prohibitive and keep them from even starting the project to begin with.

2.     Doing It Yourself — More Work but More Savings 

Whether you’re already an experienced handyman or just interested in teaching yourself new skills, taking on a garage remodel yourself can be a highly profitable undertaking. You’ll cut costs, gain or improve your skills and, assuming that everything goes well, still wind up with an improvement you enjoy. Generally speaking, unless you’re a very seasoned DIYer, there are some tasks that you can assume will be too hard to tackle, however, like electrical work (which most building professionals call “the No. 1 no-go for homeowners to handle,” says HGTV), along with plumbing or removing insulation. That said, the less you spend on a renovation, the easier it is to recoup your costs, so doing work yourself can be highly advantageous.

Despite the potential savings, the problem with taking on a garage remodel is the same problem you’ll encounter with any home renovation you do yourself — the work takes a lot of skill, a lot of time and a lot of effort. What’s more, you will probably need to obtain particular permits, especially if you’re doing big projects, such as adding electrical wiring or knocking out walls. While contractors are adept at getting these permits, as well as knowing which ones are needed, amateurs can easily get stumped.

Ultimately, the choice of whether or not to take on a home improvement project — whether it’s the garage, a bathroom or the kitchen — is a personal decision. The best answer will depend on how much you’re willing to do yourself, as well as how much you’re willing to outsource. In either case, upgrading your garage’s doors, floors, shelving or layout can be a wonderful investment, so evaluate how and when you’ll get started soon!

 

Author Bio

Vicki Clary is the Marketing Director for the semi homebuilder, Curtis Homes (http://www.curtishomes.com). For over 50 years, Curtis has been providing premium homes and townhomes for Southern Maryland Communities.

It is extremely easy to get caught up in a cycle of disorganization. Most homes do not have adequate closet space, so storage is a major challenge. However, a few tips will help a home get more organized and become less messy.

1. Turn Toy Room Nightmares into a Dream Space
A child’s playroom is probably the messiest space in the house. Usually small toy pieces are everywhere. It is possible to create an organized place for a child to play. To maximize space, it is wise to net stuffed animals from the ceiling. This keeps them out of the way but within reach. Most parents opt for a toy box, but this rarely works. A child digs to the bottom and leaves behind a big mess. Instead, it is smart to invest in clear bins. Since a child can see the contents, there will be no need to disrupt everything at one time. Each container can be labeled as well. If a child is too young to read, the labels can be made of pictures.

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2. Clothes for All Seasons
Most people have clothing that does not fit into the closet. There are numerous ways to organize a bedroom closet to make the most of every inch of space. Hanging organizers will work well for shoes and accessories, but an even better solution is a complete closet system. This includes drawers, cubby storage, and hanging bars that ensure everything has a dedicated place. It is important to avoid too many shelves. Even though they seem helpful, they take up precious space. Also, having them placed too high can make it difficult to remove and neatly stack items.

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To keep things organized, it is important to group items according to color and style. For example, dress pants should be kept separate from jeans, and polo shirts should be in a different place than long sleeve dress shirts. Shoes should be neatly stacked in rows on the bottom of the closet.

Each season requires different types of clothes. It makes no sense to keep sweaters in the closet during the summer. Since space is limited, it becomes necessary to find an alternative place to keep them until winter. A great idea is to purchase tupperware containers that can slide under the bed. This is also a great place to keep comforters and sheets as well.

3. Entry Door Storage Solutions
When a person enters the home, he or she is likely to take off his or her shoes and jacket. It is important to have a place to hang and keep these items out of the way. With a large family, it is common to see piles of shoes all over the house. To hide the clutter and keep things neat, it is wise to create a space with built in hooks and cubbies. These pieces of furniture come pre-made, but it is also possible to build a custom piece that fits specific measurements. It is simple to gather a few cabinets, beadboard, and a shelf to assemble a simple place to sit, take off shoes, place them neatly, and hang coats, purses, and backpacks.

4. Organize the Kitchen
Kitchens are heavily used, so it is essential to keep things neatly tucked away for mealtime. To keep the pantry in order, it is essential to create a space that conveniently displays contents. Shelves, baskets, and drawers will keep things looking tidy and easy to find. Instead of organizing containers according to size, it is better to group them according to contents. For example, cans of soup and vegetables should be placed apart from snack foods.

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Besides storing food, the kitchen is filled with all sorts of pots, pans and other cooking devices. Since cupboards are usually filled with dishes and cups, it is important to find furniture that is functional and creates more storage. One of the smartest pieces of furniture for the kitchen is a mobile island. Not only can it be used for extra counter space to prepare food, it usually contains drawers and cabinets that can store extra items out of sight. Since it is not permanent, it can be moved anywhere. It is a great place to keep small appliances from cluttering the counter tops. Some larger kitchens have ornate hutches that add beauty to the room and also create a place for loose items. It is possible to find a piece that is made from wood for a traditional look or metal for a more modern feel.

5. Garage Junk
It seems that people store everything but cars in a garage. To clean up the space and make it more useful, there are certain tips to follow. A garage usually houses garden equipment, tools, and other junk that has no place in the house. Determining a functional garage layout is key to organization. Installing built-in cabinets and modular storage is a smart idea. These can house sporting equipment, gardening supplies, and holiday decorations. Cabinets should be sized appropriately and include mounted pegboards. This will make best use of the space and allow items to hang from the walls. Some people enjoy shelving units that are sturdy enough to store bulk items like pet foods and large containers of cleaning supplies. Adding a workbench against the wall will create a space for projects. Having a dedicated area will increase the odds of completing tasks before moving onto something else.

Home organization does not need to be complicated. The above ideas are just a few ways to declutter the area and effectively store things neatly. It creates a pleasant space that has increased function and helps a person become more productive.

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