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.

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

4 Great Ways to Get Your Garage Organized

DuPage County garage organization professionalsWhen thinking of all the different ways you could update your garage, you might easily forget the primary purpose for garages in the first place: to provide storage for your car and other items. Unlike most parts of your house, the garage lends itself particularly well to clever organization and storage systems, especially when you are dealing with a diverse cornucopia of things that need a home. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get your garage organized while also saving space.  

Ideas for Garage Storage That Work Well

The primary goal when it comes to organizing your garage is to figure out ways to optimize storage capacity. Most garages are small, and space can be limited, particularly if you intend to keep your car in the garage. Due to this, you need to determine how best to store things without taking up too much space. Some possible ideas to achieve this goal include:

  1. Using the Walls—You would be surprised at how many different tools and other items you can fit on a wall. By placing these things flush against a wall, including even fairly large tools, it can seem like making them flat, since they no longer take up space on the floor. To enable effective use of the walls for storage, you might want to consider some of these handy options:
    • Pegboards and Other Paneling—Pegboards are simple ways to place small tools and other items on the wall with continued easy access while using very little real estate. In fact, pegboards can be used to secure not just small tools, but also rakes, brooms, shovels, and other larger pieces of equipment to the wall.
    • Magnetic Strips—If you do not have space for pegboards, you can also consider using magnetic strips, which can be added virtually anywhere, including across walls, on workbenches, and along shelving.
    • Hangers and Hooks—These can be attached to the walls and ceiling of your garage, and if they are used creatively, they can save space and create an interesting atmosphere in the garage.
    • Racks and Shelves—While these may be a more obvious option, they can provide valuable storage space to begin a serious organization of your garage.
  2. Using the Ceiling—Possibly one of the most common uses of ceiling space is to hang bicycles. This can be especially helpful, because bikes can take up significant space in your garage, and other pieces of equipment may also be stored in this manner. Decreasing the amount of overhead clearance in your garage can be a welcome compromise that opens up floor space for other items.
  3. Labeling—You can apply the same methods you use to organize your office to your garage space. This means grouping items in specific categories and creating clear labels that are easy to understand. Labeling could be done in several ways, including:
    • With Words—An affordable label-maker from the local office supply store will make labeling with words a breeze.
    • With Color—Color-coding is another option. This can allow you to group items by similar categories, while providing a more aesthetically pleasing (and colorful) way of organizing your garage.
  4. Installing a Multifunctional Workbench—Workbenches do not just have to be flat surfaces to complete work on. If you are inventive with your workbench, you might be able to include hidden cabinets, equipment used for specific crafts or projects, and other spaces where you can store the items you use often.

Contact a Downers Grove Garage Renovation Professional

As you work to organize your garage, you might come across a few things that could use some serious work, such as replacement windows, new siding or roofing, a new electric garage door opener, or any other number of major garage projects. Call our Chicago-area custom garage experts at 630-852-8485 to learn how we can help you create the perfect garage to meet your family’s needs.

 

8 Features to Consider When Converting Your Garage Into a Bedroom

Downers Grove garage renovation experts bedroom featuresEven though the Illinois Stay-at-Home Order may be coming to an end soon, many people have grown accustomed to sharing space in their home with others, and in some cases, large, multigenerational families have found themselves living together for both safety and company. Some family members may be considering long-term living arrangements, or families may be looking to make more room in their homes. Whatever your reasons might be, it is worthwhile to consider customizing your garage and converting it into a bedroom.

8 “Nice Touches” to Add to Your Garage Bedroom

There are two seemingly contrary questions you need to answer about garage bedrooms:

  1. What can I do to make my garage more like an actual, livable bedroom?
  2. What aspects unique to my garage can I use to improve my garage bedroom?

In consideration of these two questions, here are some great features you may want to consider adding to your garage bedroom during a renovation project:

  1. Bathroom—It does not have to be large, especially if space is limited, but if anyone is going to be staying in the garage bedroom, having their own private bathroom can be a tremendous feature. If you have a detached garage, you might even be able to add on a separate building for a more expansive bathroom that includes a shower and tub. 
  2. Special Entrance and Exit Doors—What better way to make people forget they are in a garage then to install doors that make it feel more like a part of the home. From heavy oak front doors to sliding glass doors in the back, there are all sorts of ways to use doors to your advantage.
  3. Skylight—Most garages seem dark and maybe even dank, and they could certainly use some brightening up to help people feel comfortable enough to sleep there. A skylight can let your guests or your family members wake up to direct sunlight from above. 
  4. Ceiling Fan—Helpful in function but pleasing in aesthetics, a ceiling fan can greatly increase comfort levels for those who will be spending time in your garage.
  5. Loft—Especially if your garage has particularly high ceilings, you might want to expand that space into a livable loft. This can make the garage feel more like a studio apartment that might be found in a downtown condo.
  6. Bold Designs/Textures and Colorful Paint—You will have more leeway and creative license with this bedroom; it was, after all, once a garage. In that sense, it does not necessarily need to follow the same design “rules” as other rooms in your home. Consider bright colors and bold textures and make it somewhere special.
  7. Kitchenette—While there is not enough room in most garages for an entire kitchen, there could be enough space for a few features or appliances. People who stay in this bedroom would love being able to cook their own food or mix their own drinks instead of having to go into the house for that. It would be like staying in a fancy hotel room.
  8. Creative Uses of Windows—This is yet another way to brighten up a dark garage. Consider atypical windows that work well with the garage construction in terms of design as opposed to the usual types of windows used in the main house. This can give the space some individual charm.

Contact Our DuPage County Garage Experts

With the proper planning, you can make your garage into a dream bedroom that will meet your family’s needs. Blue Sky Builders can help you build a custom garage that pushes the boundaries of what is possible when it comes to how you can use your space. Call a Downers Grove custom garage professional at 630-852-8485 to learn more about the ways we can help you create the best garage for your home.