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Heating Tips for Your Garage

Heating Tips for Your Garage

Unless you are living somewhere where it never gets cold, you know the feeling of stepping out of your vehicle into the cold. Though it’s only cold a few months here in Houston, when it cold, it gets REALLY cold. Whether you are just using your garage store vehicles, or have turned it into an extra room for workouts, crafts or whatnot, the last thing you want in the winter is a cold garage. And, as you will see with our first tip, it the answers may seem obvious on how to heat your garage, there are some things to consider. And with that, we going to give you some heating tips for your garage so you can stay warm, safely.

Garage Heating Tips 

Get a Heater

Yes, getting a heater sounds like an obvious answer, until you think about it. Depending on what you store in your garage, you may not want your traditional combustion heater that uses propane or kerosene. We suggest a forced-air garage heater. A forced-air garage heater moves air past a heating element warming the surrounding air; then the hot air rises away from the heater. These garage heaters are best for enclosed spaces and are similar to a forced air heating system in a home. They are easy to use and install, with heating levels set by an adjustable thermostat, and louvers to adjust the direction of heat. 

You could also consider an infrared garage heater. Infrared heaters deliver radiate heat rather than using a conventional blower fan. An infrared heater may be the best heater for a garage if you use it for a workshop or crafting area. Infrared heaters don’t raise dust or keep dust airborne. 

Insulate the Garage Door

Your garage door can take up a large space on the outside of your home and takes the brunt of the cold weather. Because of this, having insulated garage doors or insulating your current garage door will help keep the warm air in and the cold air out.  A garage door insulation kit is an easy and effective way to block this heat from traveling through the door. You can find a wide variety of garage door insulation kits online.

Repair Or Replace the Weatherstripping.

The function of weatherstrips is to create a seal for the garage and garage door opening. If your garage door has old, dirty, and worn weatherstripping, this does not provide adequate sealing to hold the warmth inside. A simple replacement of weatherstripping will ensure more heat is contained in your garage. Remember, however, that you always need to install enough new weatherstripping to ensure that the garage door closes properly.

Insulate Your Garage Walls

Insulating your garage door is only going to help so far if the garage walls are not insulated as well. If your studs are still exposed, add fiberglass batt insulation in each stud space. Cover the walls in either drywall or plywood.

Thermal Curtains

Installing thermal curtains over windows in the garage can further insulate the space and reduce heat loss. Thermal curtains are made from thick, heavy materials such as cotton, polyester, or a blend, often with a foam layer. This composition helps to block out cold air and retain heat inside the garage. Some are designed with multiple layers, including a reflective film that further enhances their insulating properties.

Fix Garage Door Issues

If your garage door has come off track, or the panels have been dented, you will want to repair your garage door as soon as possible. Otherwise, you are letting the cold air into your garage unnecessarily.If your garage door is old or poorly insulated, consider upgrading to a newer, insulated model. This can significantly improve heat retention.

If you are in the Houston area, Spectrum Overhead Door LLC can repair your garage door, oftentimes on the same day! Call to schedule your appointment and don’t let cold air blow into your garage. 

Maximizing Space with a Side Mounted Garage Door Opener

Maximizing Space with a Side Mounted Garage Door Opener

Ah, the garage. For many, it’s not just a place to park the car, but also a storage area, a workshop, and sometimes even an extension of the home. However, with so many roles to play, the garage often ends up cluttered and disorganized. But fret not! With a little time and creativity, you can transform your garage into a functional and tidy space. And we are going to show you how you can maximize your space with a side-mounted garage door opener.

Basic Garage Organizational Tips

Step 1: Declutter

The first step in any organizational project is to declutter. Go through everything in your garage.

  • Sort: Create categories like ‘Keep’, ‘Donate’, ‘Sell’, and ‘Toss’.
  • Evaluate: Ask yourself if you’ve used the item in the past year. If not, consider letting it go.
  • Dispose: Hold a garage sale, list items online, donate to charity, or properly dispose of items.

Step 2: Categorize

Organizing becomes easier when you group similar items together.

  • Garden tools: Rakes, shovels, and mowers should be together.
  • Workshop area: Group tools, nails, screws, and other DIY necessities.
  • Seasonal items: Winter gear, holiday decorations, and summer beach toys can be grouped by season.

Step 3: Vertical Space is Your Friend

Make the most of the walls. Wall-mounted pegboards, shelves, and hooks are great for keeping tools, bicycles, and other items off the floor. This not only maximizes space but also ensures that everything is visible and accessible.

Step 4: Invest in Clear Storage Bins

For items that aren’t used daily, clear storage bins are perfect. You can easily see what’s inside, and they can be stacked or stored on shelves. Don’t forget to label them for even easier identification.

Step 5: Create a Workspace

If you often work on DIY projects or need a space for gardening tasks, set aside a dedicated area. Install a workbench with storage beneath and hang frequently used tools within arm’s reach.

 Using a Side Mounted Garage Door Opener to Maximize Space.

One of the often overlooked but revolutionary ways to free up overhead space in a garage is by using a side mounted (or jackshaft) garage door opener. Here are some benefits:

  • Maximized Ceiling Space: Traditional garage door openers hang down from the center of the ceiling, taking up valuable overhead space. This space could be used for overhead storage racks or other hanging solutions. A side mounted opener is mounted on the wall next to the garage door, leaving the ceiling clear.
  • Increased Storage: With the opener out of the way, you can use the overhead space to store seasonal items, sports equipment, or bulky items that don’t fit elsewhere. It’s an excellent solution for garages with high or low ceilings.
  • Versatility: Many side-mounted openers are equipped with the latest technology. This includes features like battery backups, security enhancements, and smartphone integration, allowing you to open or close your garage door remotely.
  • Efficient Operation: These openers tend to operate quietly and efficiently. Their design offers a direct drive to the door, which means fewer moving parts and reduced maintenance.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: With no bulky mechanism hanging down, your garage will look cleaner and more streamlined.

LiftMaster  Wall Mount Garage Door Opener

Our garage door experts here at Spectrum Overhead Door believe the best garage door opener brand to date is Liftmaster. LiftMaster is is considered the professional grade garage door opener and last longer than just about any other brand on the market. LiftMaster does have a wall mounted garage door opener, the 8500. Some of it’s features:

  • Wall mount design frees up ceiling space in your garage, reduces noise and vibration.
  • Add myQ® smartphone control
  • Features a DC motor for ultra quiet operation.
  • Automatic Garage Door Lock deadbolts your door after closing.

If you want to look into upgrading to a wall-mounting garage door opener here in the Houston area, the garage door opener installation experts here at Spectrum can give you a free consultation and estimate.

The Hardest Part:  Maintain Your Organized Space

Once you’ve put in the hard work to organize your garage, it’s crucial to maintain it. Make it a habit to return items to their designated spots after use. Periodically reassess and declutter as needed. Remember, an organized garage is not only about aesthetics but also about functionality.

Conclusion

Organizing your garage might seem daunting initially, but with the right strategy and tools, it can be transformed into a space that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing. By decluttering, categorizing, making the most of vertical space, and investing in a side mounted garage door opener, you can truly maximize your garage’s potential. So, roll up your sleeves and get started – your dream garage awaits!

Ways You Can Improve Your Garage Lighting

Ways You Can Improve Your Garage Lighting

Many homeowners use their garages for more than just storing vehicles. So whether you are building a new home here in the Houston area, or just want to remodel or redesign your garage, your garage lighting should be something you consider. There are lots of ways to light your garage, making it more useful and safe. Let’s look at some ways you can improve your garage lighting.

New Garage Door Opener

If you are building a new house, or have a garage door opener that is over 10 years old, then why not look at a garage door opener that solves more than one problem? There have been some exciting advancements in the world of garage door openers. One is the incorporation of the 360-degree light ring like in the LiftMaster 87504. The 360° light ring uniformly brightens every corner of the garage with 2,000 lumens of the long-lasting LED light. If this is an option you would like to explore, Spectrum Overhead Door has been installing garage door openers since 2006. Give us a call and we can give you a free quote.

Liftmaster 87504 in Houston

Wraparound lights

Wraparound lights are the most common type of garage light. If you like your current lights, but they aren’t providing enough light, consider replacing them with high-efficiency wraparound lights.

High-efficiency wraparound Fixtures

These fixtures use highly efficient T8 bulbs. They’re easy to install and provide more than twice the light as standard fluorescent lights. These fixtures are available in lengths from 2 feet to 4 feet and come in flush or surface mount styles. They can be installed on ceilings or walls, and some come with pull chains for easy on/off control.

LED wraparound fixtures

LED lights have a long life and use little energy compared to fluorescent lamps. Some models are dimmable and come with a color temperature of 3000K (warm white) or 4000K (cool white).

High bay lights

High bay lights are ideal for garages with ceilings that are over 20 feet high. They’re suspended from the ceiling, and most of them need to be hardwired into an electrical system. You can find high bay lights in a variety of styles, from traditional to industrial. Some have a motion sensor that automatically turns on when you enter the garage, and others have adjustable heads so you can direct the light where you want it to go.

Recessed lighting

Recessed lighting, also known as can lighting, is one of the most common types of garage lighting. It’s a cost-effective way to light up your garage without taking up any space. Recessed lights are great for task lighting and can be installed in rows, in a grid, or in a combination of rows and grids. They come in a variety of colors and finishes, so you can customize them to fit your style.

Utility lights

Utility lights are the cheapest and easiest to install. They are simply a wire that’s connected to a power source, with a light bulb attached at the end. Since they’re not hardwired, you can move them around as necessary or even take them with you when you leave. Just be sure to disconnect the wires first.

Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting can create a sense of security. Have you ever taken a walk in your neighborhood at night and wondered if you were going to be mugged by someone hiding in the bushes? With outdoor lighting, you don’t have to worry about that happening. Examples of outdoor garage lights include:

Motion sensor garage Lights

There’s nothing worse than fumbling around in the dark when you pull into your Houston garage doors late at night. Motion sensor lights will automatically turn on when a car pulls into the driveway. Plus, they’ll stay on until you turn off your car and exit your vehicle.

You won’t have to worry about leaving them on all night and wasting electricity either. Most motion sensor lights can be set to turn off after a certain amount of time (anywhere from 30 seconds to 20 minutes).

Garage coach lights

Garage coach lights are outdoor lights that resemble a carriage or coach lantern. They’re ideal for installing on the exterior of your garage since they are low enough not to interfere with opening the garage door. You can find garage coach lights in most hardware and home improvement stores.

Solar-powered garage coach lights are a good choice if you don’t want to wire any new lighting. These lights include solar panels that collect energy from sunlight and store it for later use. You can even add a motion sensor to the light so that it turns on when someone walks by.

To install, simply mount the light fixture on an eave above your garage door using suitable mounting hardware. If you’re installing solar-powered lighting, be sure to mount it in a location where it will get direct sunlight during daylight hours.

Bulbs that can be used in outdoor lights

Some lights are only meant for indoor use, so you have to find bulbs that can be used in outdoor lights. Here are some tips for finding the right bulbs for your garage door lighting:

  • Look for a weatherproof rating: Lights that are rated IP65 or higher are protected from dust and water, so they can handle the elements if they’re mounted on an outside wall.
  • Use shatter-resistant bulbs: Bulbs with tough shells can survive a fall to the ground without breaking, which minimizes cleanup time if the light is accidentally knocked loose.

Examples of bulbs that can be used outside:

Fluorescent bulbs

The modern fluorescent bulb is the most efficient and cost-effective light source for garage lighting ideas. The fluorescent bulb is by far the most versatile type of bulb available. There are many types of fluorescent bulbs available, including high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs.

These bulbs can also be used in outdoor lighting applications such as security lights or landscape lighting. The only downside to these types of bulbs is that they are expensive to purchase and maintain. Another disadvantage is that some of them do not operate at full brightness without a special adapter.

Halogen bulbs

Halogen bulbs are known for their high-intensity output and their ability to be used in outdoor lights. Halogen bulbs will last longer than other types of bulbs, meaning that they require less maintenance because they have to be replaced less often. They also use less energy than other types of bulbs, meaning that they will allow you to save money on your electric bill at the end of each month.

Incandescent bulbs

Incandescent bulbs are a classic choice for outdoor lights, but they do not provide as much light as halogen bulbs do. Incandescent bulbs also require more maintenance because they typically burn out faster than halogen bulbs do

These are a few of the best garage lighting ideas you can try in order to have a nice and well-lit garage space. The most important thing with lighting in your garage is to maximize light output, so you don’t get tripped up, especially when working in the dark.

If you are considering a garage door installation in Houston, Call us at Spectrum Overhead Door LLC and we can help you design the door and give you a free, no-obligation quote. Main Office: 281-748-9542, East Houston 713-557-3407

 

Best Uses for Your Garage

Best Uses for Your Garage

A good portion of Houston homes has a garage. The most obvious thing to do with your garage is to park your vehicles in the garage. Yet, that is not the only thing you can use your garage for. Some homeowners have extra space when they park their vehicles. Others may want to do something completely different with the garage. It is, after all, an extra room. Here are some best uses for your garage.

Your Use of Your Garage Can Change

One of the best things about using a garage for other things besides parking your vehicles is that the space is easier to change uses than other rooms in the home. You could even combine some of these ideas together if you like.

Uses for Your Garage

Home Gym.

Your garage can be a perfect place to turn into a small home gym. This does not take a bunch of fancy, bulky equipment. You can easily start with a bench, dumbbells, and a mat. A garage is a good place to do a wok out because you can open your garage door when there is a nice breeze, or it is cool outside to get a natural ventilation. All the for mentioned equipment is easy to store or move to a corner of the garage, making your garage still usable for your vehicle.

Game/Party room.

Your garage could make for an excellent way to entertain friends and family. When the weather is right, you can open the garage door for expanded space and let the breeze cool your guests down.  You can add games like dartboards on the wall or foldable tables for cards. All these ideas for having friends over and entertaining guests can easily be stored or in cases like a TV or darts,  be on the wall so your garage is till usable for your vehicle.

Computer Repair.

Now, we wanted to steer clear of the stereotypical thought of tools and workshop in the garage. That is a fairly well know idea. That being said, when one thinks of that idea, usually what comes to mind is fixing a car or repairing a door. Yet, if you have a tech geek in your home that loves to fix computers, setting up a small workbench on the side or at the back your garage could be a perfect idea. You can use totes and pegboard to keep everything organized and out of the way, still making room for your vehicle.

Sewing.

Sewing machines do not take up vast amounts of space. If you’re a person that likes to sew and wants to be a bit removed away from the rest of the family while doing it the garage is a great place to set up your machine. Sealable boxes can be used to keep dust away from the fabric.

Start-up Business.

Google, Dell, Microsoft, Yankee Candle all started from a garage. If you have a dream you want to turn into a business, you can put together a small corner office or workstation in your garage where you can start your dream business, yet still have room to park your vehicle.

Art Studio.

If you are an artist, and especially a painter, turning your garage into an art studio might be a great idea. There is less chance of your paints getting on indoor floors. Plus it could be a great place to get away from the family and have some peace and quiet to enjoy your painting, sculpting, or whatever art you do.

Home Repair and Construction Workshop

Probably one of the best-known uses for a garage is a place to do home repair projects. Need a place to paint a door before hanging it on the henges, a garage is a great place for that. Need to cut some wood for a repair or remodel? A garage is a great place for that too! A garage is a great place to store your tools and put them to use when you need to.

Some Considerations When Choosing Garage Space Usage.

When deciding what to use your garage for instead of just a storage closet, there are a few considerations you need to think about.

  • Noise – Garages usually have a concrete floor that can bounce noise a bit. Also, the build and insulation of your garage door will have an effect on how much outside noise you hear.
  • Dust – Because you open your garage door, there is more of a chance your garage will have dust and dirt. If you decide to use your garage for something that you do not want to get dirt or dust on, use containers like plastic tote boxes.
  • Size of your vehicle and garage – A two-car garage is obviously going to have more room, but be mindful if you have two bigger vehicles. You want to have enough room to comfortable to move about with the vehicles in the garage if you still plan to park them there.

 

Spectrum Overhead Door LLC is a locally owned and operated garage door repair company serving Houston, TX and surrounding areas. For over 12 years we have helped hundreds of homeowners in the Houston area with their garage door needs with award-winning service. If you have an issue with your garage door or garage door opener, call 281-748-9542 for a free estimate today!

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Pros and Cons of Getting Garage Door Windows

Pros and Cons of Getting Garage Door Windows

With more than 63% of American houses including a garage or carport (entergy.gov), it is safe to say, that the garage door is a vital factor when it comes to household investments. There are several ways you can make your garage door less ordinary and make the home have more curb appeal. One of those ways is garage door windows. These are windows that generally are in the second from the top garage door section on a sectional garage door. There are some good reasons to have windows in your garage door, as well as some drawbacks. We are going to look at the pros and cons of garage door windows.

Pros of Garage Door Windows

These are the benefits of installing a window that sits on top of your garage door:

Curb Appeal

One of the main reasons to get garage door windows is curb appeal. Your garage door takes up a good chunk of one side of your home.  With a garage door window, you are able to customize your garage door to go with the rest of the house, and or stand out as an accent piece. Either direction you go will help raise your home’s value. 

More natural light

One of the biggest benefits of adding a window to a garage door is the fact that more natural light can enter the garage. This provides convenience at any time of day as well as an easier way to clean up the garage floor if you’re working on your vehicle or just organizing. This can also make your garage safer by being able to carry things into the garage without having to hit a light switch. It will be easier to watch your step in the garage before you get to the light switch. 

Ability to Customize

As we mentioned, one of the reasons for garage door windows is curb appeal. This is because you can customize what windows you have in your garage door. You can have one or two rows of windows, and large rectangular panes, or you can take advantage of many other panel and window designs. There are plenty of designs to choose from and you can even make them match the windows you have in your home. 

Cons of Garage Door Windows

While the pros are significant, there are a few cons that you may want to consider. These cons include:

Privacy and security

The biggest con of garage door windows is privacy and security. Just like any other window, people can see what is inside your garage. Having glass on your garage door can make you feel your property is more vulnerable to theft and break-ins.  This can be mitigated through by making sure the windows are high enough that it is hard for anyone walking by to look directly through them. You can also choose thick, double-pane windows for your garage door, you enhance its safety and energy efficiency.

Potential for water damage

Windows on a  garage door, just like any other window, need to be sealed against the elements, especially considering it rains a lot here in Houston. Just like any other weather seal, those seals can break down over time. This could allow rain to get in the inside of your garage and potentially inside your garage door. 

Glass breakage

Whether it’s from a rock thrown to a dropping tree branch, it is possible for your garage door window to break. Shards are easily broken into small pieces that can be dangerous to anyone who walks by the garage at any time. Plus this now poses a security risk as your garage is now exposed to being broken into. To help avoid damage, consider getting tempered glass, a more resilient glass choice for garage doors. 

If you’re still interested in adding garage door windows, make sure that you consider the above cons and pros to determine whether window installation is right for you. Here are the other few things to consider when buying garage door windows:

In conclusion, garage door windows can be an excellent choice if you’re looking to improve the functionality of your garage or eliminate any visibility issues that may have arisen over time. Not only are these beneficial for you, but they make your garage safer and more convenient for anyone who uses them regularly. If you’re interested in installing garage door windows, consider the Houston garage door pros at Spectrum Overhead Door. We have been helping Houstonians with their garage door installation and repairs since 2006. Call either 281-748-9542 or if you are closer to East Houston 713-557-3407 for a free quote today.

Fix Cosmetic Dents in Your Garage Door

Fix Cosmetic Dents in Your Garage Door

Your garage door can take up to 40% of one side of your house and many Houstonians tend to use their garage doors as their front door. So when something like a basketball or even a vehicle dents your garage door, it’s unsightly and could cause problems later on down the road. But can you fix cosmetic dents on your garage door?

Cosmetic Vs. Structural

First, let’s go over the difference in cosmetic vs. structural damage. If the dent is in the middle of the panel where it has only pushed the embossing in, that is cosmetic damage. If the dent is toward the edges of the garage door panel, especially if it’s causing two pieces to separate, that is structural damage.

Fixing the Cosmetic Damage on a Garage Door.

Now, if you have had something dent your garage door panel in the embossment, you can fix it yourself. It’s still not going to look perfect, but it will take the dent out of your garage door.

  • Wash the dented surface with soap and water.
  • Locate a wood block and mallet.
  • Move to the opposite side of the indentation.
  • Place the wood block over the dent.
  • Tap the section with a mallet until it sits flush with surrounding panels.

Structural Panel Damage.

If your dent is at a place and way that is making 2 of the panels separate in a section or some sections, that is structural damage. Unless you are fairly handy with home improvement projects, it’s probably best to call a garage door repair company to have them make the repair.  This type of damage you don’t want to leave, as it can eventually affect the opening and closing of the garage door.

What Can Be Done?

Strut Brace to Fix Dent in Garage Door

If the dents or separation is small, your garage door technician will probably install strut braces. Strut braces go on the back of your garage door panels to help keep them in line and reinforced.

Garage Door Panel Swap

If the separation does not look like it can be hammered out and reinforced, not all Is lost. You will not have to buy a whole new garage door. Instead, your garage door technician will do a panel swap. We replace just the panels that were damaged with new panels. From the outside, it will look like you have a brand-new door.

If your garage door panel is dented in a structural spot, or you are just generally unsure of what you should do about your dented garage door, you can contact Spectrum Overhead Door if you are in the Houston area. We have repaired and replaced garage door panels since 2006 with award-winning service. Call us at 281-748-9542 to schedule your appointment.

 

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