What Type of Paint Is Best for My Garage Remodel?

Blue Sky Builders garage paint optionsMany people use their garages for more than just housing their vehicles. A garage space can serve multiple purposes. For instance, it can be a work area for building or repairing cars or household appliances. A garage can also be converted into a recreational room for teenagers to hang out with friends, or even an office space for homeowners who are working remotely. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Illinois residents have spent more time at home and thus may be thinking about renovating their garages to fit this stay-at-home lifestyle. One item that may be overlooked when starting construction or remodeling is paint. Selecting the appropriate type of paint is critical for both the outside and the inside of your garage. Read more

What Type of Lighting Should I Use for My Garage?

Blue Sky Builders garage lighting interior exteriorWhen building or remodeling your house and garage, there are many issues to address and decisions to make. From the color of the siding and roof shingles to the flooring material and garage door, it is crucial to research your options to make the best choices. One critical item to consider is lighting. During a garage remodel, you may want to think about the type of outside lighting in addition to the lights that will be installed inside the garage. Outdoor lighting can act as a safety measure to deter break-ins, while indoor lighting can be critical if your garage is being used for work-related tasks or vehicle repairs. Regardless of how your garage is going to be used, there are many different sizes, makes, and models of light fixtures that can enhance the look and feel of your garage space.  Read more

What Are the Advantages of Installing Windows in My Garage?

Blue Sky Builders garage window installationA garage often acts as a multi-purpose structure for many homeowners. Not only is it a safe place to house your vehicles, but you can use it to store gardening tools, bicycles, motorcycles, holiday decorations, or your children’s outdoor toys. Your garage also impacts your curb appeal when someone comes knocking, as it may be the first section of your home that visitors or passersby see from the street. An easy way to enhance the look of your garage overall is to add windows. Although many garages may already have a window or two on the side or back of the building, additional windows can be added in these areas or above the garage door. Windows are visually appealing, and they can provide more natural light if you use your garage for other purposes, such as a workshop or for game night with friends or neighbors. Any kind of window also makes the space feel bigger and brighter.  Read more

What Is the Best Type of Roofing Material for My Garage?

Blue Sky Builders garage roof materialsSimilar to your house, a garage is a structure that should be built to last and provide adequate protection for your vehicles, tools, bicycles, motorcycle, or anything else you wish to keep in it. Garages may be constructed of a combination of wood, siding, and brick, and they usually have a concrete floor. Although you may not have put much thought into your garage’s roof, it is essential to make sure it is made with durable materials to endure the elements that Mother Nature may throw its way. At Blue Sky Builders, we can help you explore your options for choosing roofing material when remodeling or constructing a new garage. Read more

Common (and Not-so-Common) Garage Invaders in Illinois

Blue Sky Builders garage pest preventionWith the seasons changing and the weather proving to be persistent in its unpredictable shifting over the last several months, the likelihood of unwelcome visitors in your garage increases. It is important to know the types of creatures to be on the lookout for. This will not just prevent them from invading your garage now, but it will also help you determine whether a custom garage or garage remodeling project can help ensure that those uninvited guests do not make themselves at home in your garage.

Squirrels, and Termites, and Mice, Oh My!

A wide variety of pests, rodents, and other unsavory creatures can take up residence in your garage without you even realizing it, especially when the weather changes drastically. It is bad enough that many of them could do damage to your garage and what is in your garage, including your car. For example, rats and mice have been known to congregate under the hood of a parked car near the motor to help them stay warm in the winter. Some animals may even get more adventurous and brazen, attempting to break the barriers between your garage and home. Before long, you will have flies buzzing around your head in your kitchen or mice hiding under floorboards in your living room. 

Here are 10 “garage invaders” to keep away from your garage, your home, and your family:

  1. Termites and Ants—Both of these insects potentially present huge issues for the foundation and other structural elements of your garage, so if you notice them, take action immediately.
  2. Mice and Rats—While many suburban homes face seemingly innocuous field mice more often than rats, be aware that both can carry serious diseases. Keep an eye out for their tiny pellet-like droppings as a telltale sign they have invaded your garage, as they tend to be sneaky and remain out of sight most of the time.
  3. Opossums—While these odd animals are not as likely to show up inside your garage, be aware that they like to climb, and they could hide out in an attic or second level of your garage.
  4. Skunks—Unless you do not use your garage much at all, skunks are more likely to get defensive enough to spray and leave rather than dwelling, “gifting” you with a lingering and unmistakable stench but no permanent residency.
  5. Flies, Including Fruit Flies—If you keep your garbage in the garage, including your pets’ waste and any spoiled food, flies are likely to enter your space. Your best bet is to keep all garage doors closed when not in use, including the entrance to the home, as well as keeping all refuse properly disposed of and sealed tightly.
  6. Mosquitos—Make sure still water is at a minimum to prevent these disease-infested pests from taking over.
  7. Crickets—These insects would be relatively harmless to your garage were it not for their obnoxious chirping. Fortunately, they do not exactly come in “packs” to infest your garage, but even one chirping insect can be very irritating.
  8. Raccoons—If you do not keep your garbage cans tightly closed, or if your garbage is overflowing, these animals might get brave enough to follow the cans back into your garage, finding an unending supply of new garbage to forage through every night.
  9. Wasps, Bees, and Hornets—In most cases, these insects’ nests or hives tend to develop on the exterior of your house, but that will not prevent them from making use of your garage too.
  10. Squirrels—Squirrels are curious. They scurry about everywhere in search of something to nibble on. Do not make it easy for them to satisfy their curiosity.

Contact a Chicago-Area Custom Garage Builder

If you are thinking of remodeling your garage or having a custom garage built, be sure to hire a Downers Grove garage specialist who knows exactly what materials to use and what construction methods to employ in making sure your garage is safe from all pests, rodents, and other creatures. Call Blue Sky Builders at 630-852-8485 for more information.

What Are the Benefits of Adding a Second Floor to My Garage?

Blue Sky Builders two-story garage expansionA garage is an important part of your home. Although you may not put much thought into it when you purchase your dream house, it really is a vital component that is typically used on a daily basis. Whether you plan to use it as a safe place to put your vehicles or for storing other important items, you might want to consider the size of your garage. In many cases, a three-car garage is used to store two automobiles, and the third section is for storage. However, as families grow and accumulate things, you can quickly run out of room even with a large garage. If you are short on land space, the best option might be to build up on your garage rather than out. Putting on an addition such as a second floor to your garage can seem daunting, but the garage specialists at Blue Sky Builders can help you with this wise investment.

Multi-Purpose Space

Regardless of whether you have an attached or detached garage, it may be possible to add on to it by building a second story. With so many people working from home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, another level in your garage can make the perfect home office if you do not already have one. Since it is connected to the garage, it is separated from the house, which ensures privacy. Adding windows allows for natural light in while you work, keeping it bright and airy compared to working in a dark and dingy basement. 

This type of add-on can also provide added space for you to safely store valuables, exercise equipment, or holiday decorations. In addition, it can be used as a recreational area or sleeping quarters as your kids get older or for visiting house guests. It can even be used as a quiet “getaway” from a bustling household or as a private reading nook. 

Here are a few ways that a second story on your garage can be used:

  • Home office
  • Kids’ playroom
  • Game room
  • Sewing/craft room
  • Workout facility
  • Storage location
  • Guest bedroom

Special Considerations

Before embarking on any type of addition to your home or garage, it is important to acquire the proper building permits from your town or village. Professional garage remodelers like those at Blue Sky Builders will be able to assess your existing structure to make sure it can support a second level. We can also advise you on how to best use your space by creating a design plan to accommodate you and your family. 

Contact a Chicago Area Professional Garage Builder 

Having a second floor in your garage can make your life easier and more enjoyable in many ways. Not only does it give you more storage space, but it can become additional living space as well. To create the space you desire, it is essential that you contact garage specialists who are skilled in bringing your ideas to life. The knowledgeable team at Blue Sky Builders has more than 40 years of garage building experience. Call our Downers Grove garage experts today at 630-852-8485 to get a free estimate.

How Worried Should I Be About Someone Breaking into My Garage?

Downers Grove Garage Door SpecialistThis summer, home burglaries and car robberies are on the rise in the Western suburbs. While many of these thefts are the result of homeowners and car owners simply being negligent or careless, leaving doors unlocked or keys in doors, there are some instances when the instigators are actually quite clever. Here are some ways these thieves might try to use your electric garage door opener and its related equipment to gain entry to your garage.

4 Common Types of Garage Break-ins to Safeguard Against

Even if you are cautious about locking up, there are still ways criminals can break into your garage these days. Some of the more increasingly common ways that burglars are breaking into garages include:

  1. Gaining Access to the Emergency Release Rope—With enough dexterity and ingenuity, a burglar can use a hanger or some other tool to reach over your garage and get access to the emergency release rope. From there, a simple yank will make that door easy to open. To prevent this, consider repositioning or removing the release rope so that it is out of reach.
  2. Bypassing the “Fixed Code”—Some garage door openers, especially older ones, were built on “fixed-code systems.” These systems are particularly susceptible to manipulation; in fact, one security expert once rigged a children’s toy to break that “fixed code” and open a garage with the opener’s transmitter frequency—and no actual opener. To safeguard against this, consider either investing in a newer opener that relies on a “rolling code,” which is much more difficult to crack. Also, if you plan on being away from home for an extended period of time, consider turning off the power to your garage.
  3. Keypad Code-Breaking—Keypads are a great convenience, giving you, your spouse, and your kids easy access to the garage door without needing a transmitter, keys, or any other devices. However, police have seen time and time again that keypad codes are actually quite easy to break if the criminal is perceptive and observant enough. The buttons with the numbers you press regularly to unlock the garage door from the outside with a keypad will have oils from human skin on them while the buttons that are not used will simply have dirt or dust on them. Once the crook discovers the most common numbers by way of oils from the skin, finding the right combination of numbers to crack the code of your keypad is much easier. If you do not want this to happen, think about regularly wiping the buttons clean; routinely changing the combination of numbers; or removing the keypad.
  4. Hacking into “Smart” Garages—Smart garage door openers and controllers can be hacked into just like any other Internet of Things (IoT) smart-home device, computer, or smartphone. If it can connect to the Internet, it can be hacked. And if it is in the “cloud” somewhere to enable notifications and other remote access by you from afar, it could be even more vulnerable to hacking. In that sense, strictly Bluetooth-only garage door devices might help. Or you could just avoid smart garage devices entirely.

Contact a Downers Grove Garage Door Opener Expert

If you are concerned about how safe your garage is from burglaries, consider customizing your garage or remodeling your garage to make it safer. Call a Chicago-area garage specialist at 630-852-8485 for ideas about safety measures you can take. With more than 40 years of garage building experience, Blue Sky Builders can develop garage construction plans that will make your garage much safer.

Sources:
https://www.wisebread.com/are-you-giving-burglars-the-key-to-your-home
https://climaterwc.com/2018/05/14/redwood-city-police-warn-about-hackers-who-break-into-garage-doors/
https://lifehacker.com/test-if-your-garage-is-vulnerable-to-a-hack-that-opens-1710108565

Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Make Your Garage a Playroom

Downers Grove Garage Renovation SpecialistsWhen it comes to being a parent, the last thing you want to do is spoil your children. You want them to learn important life skills and build their character by allowing them to face forms of adversity. However, during these times, your parenting values may have shifted. While remodeling your garage or building a custom garage solely to accommodate your children’s playroom might seem like an unnecessary or frivolous pursuit, the truth is that you might be surprised at how useful such an upgrade can be during these unprecedented times.

3 Reasons to Convert Your Garage into a Playroom

Here are some productive ways a garage playroom can actually help your children’s development, and your family’s overall functioning, during this time and into the future:

  1. Avoiding Distractions: With the public health crisis far from over and the possibility of virtual schooling again in the fall, figuring out ways to keep your children occupied is critical. In fact, many employers are still encouraging work-from-home policies to ensure the health and safety of their employees as their businesses re-open. As many parents have learned over the last several months, working at home while fending off your children’s boredom — and potentially disruptive behavior — is no easy task. Giving them a place of their own to play will keep them secluded and busy when you have that important video conference or telephone call for work.
  2. Keeping Your Children Focused: That playroom does not have to be solely reserved for play; you might want to think about using it as a place where your kids can study, learn, and even take online classes in peace. This will become particularly relevant and helpful over the next month or two when school reopenings take full effect and many districts decide to engage in either fully-virtual or hybrid classwork.
  3. Maintaining a Clean House While Encouraging Creativity: There are certain playtime undertakings that can get quite messy. By relegating all such activities to the garage, you will not only keep your house cleaner, but you will also give your children the freedom to express themselves in a much more diverse way. From painting art and constructing crafts to building models and playing music, the rougher and larger garage space will open up a world of playtime possibilities for your children, all the while keeping any subsequent messes contained to one area.

Contact a Chicago-Area Custom Garage Builder

With the likelihood of working remotely and attending school virtually increasing by the day, now might be the right time for you to start thinking about converting your garage space into a playroom for your kids. Blue Sky Builders has been offering its customers creative garage solutions for decades, building a trustworthy reputation throughout the Chicagoland area.

If you are interested in this garage transformation or have other renovation ideas, call a Downers Grove garage specialist at 630-852-8485 to review your options.  

Source:

https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/move-out-10-ways-to-expand-into-your-garage-47789

Garage Door Problems? It Might Be Time to Spring into Action

Chicago-Area Garage Spring ExpertOne of the most important parts of a garage door opener are the garage springs. These critical components of a garage door opener not only keep your garage door opening and functioning smoothly, but they also maintain overall safety in your garage. That is why you should pay close attention to the condition of your garage springs and call in a professional if you need garage spring replacements or other garage hardware replacements. Here are some facts about garage springs and the risks posed by not having a professional evaluate and, if necessary, replace them.

What Are Garage Springs?

Garage springs are central to the overall functioning of your garage door opener. These springs provide the necessary force and resistance to withstand the pull of gravity when your door opens and closes. If garage springs are not working properly, the electric opener might struggle to lift and lower the garage door. Essentially, functioning garage springs can make the weight of a 100- to 200-pound garage door feel more like 10 to 20 pounds, which is how both you and your garage door opener are able to open and close such a heavy object.

What Are the Different Types of Garage Springs?

There are two types of garage springs: extension springs and torsion springs. Extension springs are long and thin, running along the garage door’s tracks. There are three main types of extension springs:

  • Open-looped
  • Double-looped
  • Clipped-end

Torsion springs are wide and placed on a metal shaft above the opening to the garage door. There is a drum at the end of that shaft, enabling the springs to be wound to a particular level of torsion. There are four primary types of torsion springs:

  • Standard
  • Early-set
  • Steel rolling-door
  • Torque-master

Why Is Fixing Garage Springs Yourself So Dangerous?

Even if you are good with tools and handiwork, it is always advised to steer clear of doing anything with the garage springs yourself. For one, they cannot be repaired; they can only be replaced. The most you can do as a homeowner is potentially apply some lubricant to the springs if they squeak; otherwise, you will want to solicit the assistance of a professional. Working on garage springs is very dangerous and can result in the following hazards:

  • Garage doors falling
  • Openers activating accidentally/unexpectedly
  • Both minor and severe cuts from rusted metal depending on the situation
  • Flying metal and other materials due to the tension that can build up in the springs

Torsion springs are particularly dangerous to replace yourself because of the massive power and force behind them.

Contact a Chicago-Area Garage Spring Expert

If you suspect issues with your garage springs or garage door opener, reach out to a Downers Grove garage hardware replacement professional at 630-852-8485. Blue Sky Builders has been replacing parts in garages for decades and knows exactly how to safely and effectively replace garage springs, cables, and hardware. In addition to possessing the proper expertise, Blue Sky Builders also has all the high-quality yet affordable parts necessary to get your garage back up and running.

Sources:

https://www.thespruce.com/garage-door-springs-1398149

https://www.bobvila.com/articles/replace-a-garage-door-spring/

https://www.thespruce.com/replacing-garage-door-springs-1398158

What to Do If You Suspect Your Garage Roof Needs Some Work

Downers Grove Garage Roofing ProfessionalsMany homeowners look at their garages and think primarily of their internal features: the garage door, the entry doors, the inside space, and the overall design. But roofing and siding are just as important to garages as they are to the rest of the house. If you are considering remodeling, replacing, or taking a look at the current condition of your garage, consider taking the following steps to assess the condition of your garage’s roof first.

4 Steps to Determine the Condition of Your Garage Roof

Whether you are replacing your current garage with a custom garage or just upgrading what you have, an evaluation of your current garage’s roof is important. Here are steps in the evaluation process that can paint a better picture of your garage’s overall condition:

1. Review documentation—Find all receipts and other paperwork regarding the roofing on your home and your garage. From this data, you will be able to sketch out a full history of your roofing. This will enable you to determine with more certainty how old your garage roof is. You may be able to go up to 25 years with the same roof, but after that, the wear and tear of the weather outside will take its toll.
2. Take a snapshot—Look at your garage roof from the outside as a whole, as part of your house. This at-a-glance, big-picture view will give you perspective on major structural issues. Is it drooping, sagging, discolored, or misshapen in any way? This might indicate detrimental damage that could lead to leaks or, worse yet, major safety issues with its structure.
3. Inspect, inspect, inspect—Start investigating the inside of your garage. See if there are any leaks from the ceiling. Also pay attention to natural light coming in from above or the corners of the garage. This will help you know whether leaks are a major issue, or will be a major issue, for your garage roof. After that, evaluate the exterior of the roof itself up close. Are there any cracks or other damages? Do you see any rot? Are there any green spots? If you see any green that signifies moss, mold, fungi, or other plant-life, your roof is likely retaining moisture which will adversely affect its condition.

The Final Step: Contact a Chicago-Area Garage Roofing Professional

Do not neglect the roof of your garage; it needs as much care as the rest of your home’s exterior. If you need help evaluating the condition of your garage’s roof or you are interested in remodeling or replacing your garage, call a Downers Grove garage specialist at 630-852-8485. Blue Sky Builders has been doing this for decades—we can assess your situation and provide you with various options.

Source:

https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/7-signs-you-need-a-new-roof-48751