What Is the Best Type of Siding to Use for My Garage?

Blue Sky Builders garage siding material optionsAs the weather warms up during the spring, you may be looking to make improvements to your home or garage. If the exterior of your garage is looking worn, you may be considering replacing the siding. This type of garage renovation can not only improve the appearance of your home, but it can provide you with other benefits, such as better energy efficiency. By looking at factors such as price, durability, and maintenance requirements, you can choose the type of garage siding that will meet your needs both right now and in the years to come. Read more

Tips for Turning Your Garage into a Guest House

Blue Sky Builders garage guest roomNow that COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed across the nation, more and more people are eager to travel and visit their loved ones. Whether you have relatives or friends planning to stay at your house, you may wish you had more room for overnight guests. If you are short on bedroom space in your house or basement, another potential option worth considering is your garage. Regardless of your budget for home improvements such as this, with the help of a dedicated garage builder, you can find the right fit for you and your family. Read more

What Type of Flooring Is the Best to Use for My Garage?

Blue Sky Builders garage flooringWhen you buy or build a house, there are numerous decisions to make, such as brick versus siding, paint colors, brands of appliances, and flooring. This can also apply to determining how you want your garage to look and function. Although most garages are built on a concrete slab, you do have options when it comes to placing a new floor over it. Whether you are simply storing your vehicles in the garage or utilizing the space as a home office or an entertainment center, it is important to consider the best type of flooring material to protect and maintain your property’s value.   Read more

Adding a Porch or Patio on to Your Garage

Blue Sky Builders garage patio or porchPerhaps thoughts of Southern homes with white columns come to mind when you think of porches. A porch can make just about any structure look better, whether it is a house, a garage, or even a shed. When attached as part of the garage, a screened-in porch allows homeowners to enjoy the outdoors in the spring, summer, or fall in Illinois while avoiding bugs. Patios have also become popular this past year, especially with many people entertaining family and neighbors outside due to COVID-19 restrictions. With a portable or built-in firepit, a patio adjacent to your garage can be the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long workday or on the weekends.  Read more

Options for Adding a Breezeway to Your Detached Garage

Blue Sky Builders garage breezeway constructionMany older homes have “detached” garages, which means they are separate structures from the main house. Newer, more modern residential architecture typically has the garage “attached” to the house. This makes it convenient for homeowners to exit their vehicles and enter their mud room, entryway, or kitchen without having to go outside. Illinois residents may particularly like this option, since it means that they do not have to brave the elements, especially during inclement weather or when it is dark. A connected breezeway that goes between your home and garage provides a covered space to improve traffic flow into your home. As with any type of house renovation or addition, you will want to be sure to explore your options and consider your needs, as well as how these changes will complement your existing garage and house.   Read more

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.   Read more

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

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.