Transforming Your Garage into a Workout Facility for the Winter

DuPage County garage workout facility tipsThe Chicago-area winters can be especially cold and long. Temperatures can hover at or below freezing from November all the way to March. Although some natives of Illinois may venture outside to get some exercise, many prefer to work out indoors during these months. With COVID-19 restrictions still in place throughout the state, it may be awhile before individuals will feel safe going to a public gym or rec center. As such, now might be the perfect time to consider renovating your garage into a workout area. Whether you want to utilize the entire garage space or just a section of it, there are ways to accomplish your goal of staying fit and healthy.  

Tips for the Best Use of Space 

Creating a gym in your garage can save you time and money in the long run. Gym memberships can be expensive, and there may be gas and transportation costs if there is not a gym within walking distance. Having an area to exercise in your garage makes it much more convenient, which is sometimes half the battle. In addition, if you are working from home or your kids are learning remotely, going to the garage allows for an escape from the same four walls. Keep in mind that depending on the size of your garage, you may or may not be able to leave your vehicles in it during your workout time. If you have a three-car garage but only two cars, that extra space can be ideal. You can also move your lawnmower or snowblower to a shed if you have one.

Here are a few steps for turning your garage into a place to get exercise when it is too cold to go outside:

  1. Clean the area you want to use and donate any items you are not using.
  2. Put decorations or lawn and gardening tools in labeled bins. 
  3. Install hooks or shelving units to store dumbbells, gloves, jump ropes, medicine balls, and more. 
  4. Make a floor plan that provides enough space to set up a treadmill, weight bench, stationary bike, or yoga mat.
  5. Mount a flat-screen TV on the wall to watch workout videos, the news, or listen to music while you work out. 
  6. Hook up a ceiling fan or portable fan for cooling off and to ensure adequate ventilation. 
  7. Consider putting in light fixtures or a skylight for more natural light.  
  8. Seal the floor with epoxy or place a rubber mat down for cushion.  
  9. Build out walls and insulate with drywall for a more secure and comfortable room.

Contact a Downers Grove Garage Builder

Creating an area to exercise may be just the motivation you need for your New Year’s resolution to lose a few pounds. If you are thinking about using your garage as a workout room, we can help you make the most of your space. Blue Sky Builders has more than 40 years of experience building and renovating all types of garages. Our reputable DuPage County garage professionals have proven experience turning your ideas into reality. To learn more about our offerings, call our office today at 630-852-8485 to schedule a free estimate.

How to Renovate Your Garage to Include a Wine Cellar

Blue Sky Builders garage wine cellar renovationsAfter the challenges of 2020, everyone is hoping for a return to some sort of normalcy in 2021. However, with COVID-19 vaccines just starting to be administered, it may be months before the country is opened up again. In Illinois, many restaurants are still closed, or if they are open, they are operating at reduced occupancy. In response to these restrictions and social distancing guidelines, a lot of people have spent more time at home than ever before. This may include entertaining at home, either outside in their yard, on their patio, deck, or even in the garage. Wine lovers may want to consider utilizing their garage space by converting part of it into a wine cellar.  Read more

How to Turn Your Garage Into a Dream Space for a Chicago Sports Fanatic

Blue Sky Builders garage updates for watching sportsWith people spending more and more time at home these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many have utilized their garage space like never before. From turning your garage into a home office or gym to using it as a rec room, it can provide a practical and inviting area for your friends and family to gather. There is no time like the present to show your love for your favorite Chicago sports team. Whether it is the Bears, Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks, Fire, or Sky, you can share your pride in a fun and festive way. If you are more of a college sports fan, don your garage walls with items showing your support of schools like Northwestern, Loyola, DePaul, or the University of Illinois. Not only can this improve the aesthetics of your garage, but it may also increase your home’s overall value.  Read more

The Best Ways to Protect Your Garage During an Illinois Winter

Blue Sky Builders preparing your garage for winterNow that December is here, Illinois residents are bracing for a cold and snowy winter. Preparation is key to survive the often harsh winter conditions, and this may include “winterizing” your home and vehicles. In some cases, people put plastic on their home’s windows to keep them insulated and free of drafts. Keeping cars running in the winter may mean putting snow tires on and antifreeze in the engine. Similarly, there are steps homeowners can take to protect their garages during the cold months to preserve and maintain their value. Not only do garages house your automobiles, tools, decorations, and more, they may also be used as home offices during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important now more than ever to keep your garage properly maintained, especially if it is serving multiple purposes.  Read more

Why You Should Leave the Demolition of Your Old Garage to the Experts

Blue Sky Builders garage demolition safetyWhen updating or remodeling your house, you may want to consider renovating your garage as well. If you have an older home, then it is likely that your garage may need some work, too. Perhaps you have looked into how much work it would take to upgrade your garage, and you may have made the decision to demolish the existing structure and build a new one. This is a major undertaking, so it is best to leave it to the professionals. Not only will it save you money in the long run, but it can also prevent injuries as well as a lot of time and headaches instead of you trying to do it yourself (DIY). Although DIY projects are popular this year because so many people are stuck at home due to COVID-19 restrictions, having a company like Blue Sky Builders assist you in tearing down your old garage and building a new custom garage is a wise investment!  Read more

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

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.