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Home buyers want accessible features they can age with

According to U.S. Census data, the number of Americans 65 and older is expected to rise 35 percent from 2010 to 2020. This plays a big part in the upswing of universal design and aging-in-place home features the past few years, accompanying the increase of multigenerational homes. A recent article from The Washington Post cites AARP findings on the subject:

According to AARP, the majority of older Americans want to stay in their homes permanently and live independently. This demographic change translates into demand for residential designs that anticipate changes in health, vision or mobility, and ensures that homes stay safe, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

The National Association of Home Builders’ What Home Buyers Really Want report released in 2013 surveyed new and prospective home buyers nationwide to identify which features they want (and don’t want) when looking to purchase a home, one of the most desirable purchases home buyers are making with aging in mind is selecting a garage door 9 ft. or higher to accommodate a raised roof van with wheelchair lift. Besides the accommodation, it’s a good investment as well adding more value to the house itself.

Read Your Garage Door Owner’s Manual!

For those of you who have moved into a new home or have just installed a new garage door, be sure to take the time to thoroughly read the garage door owner’s manual. It may seem like a chore and take time, but one would be surprised at what they can find in most well written garage door manuals. The manual will contain safety and design information to help you insure that your garage door is safe to use and properly installed, and contain information on how to keep your garage door properly maintained.

For example, many garage door manuals will contain helpful tips for painting them. Most companies will tell you to pain BOTH the inside and outside of the garage door to keep everything even, and to never remove any parts of the garage door when painting. If you want to make sure that your garage door is completely covered in a fresh coat of paint, you need to call in a professional to dismantle it so that you can finish the paint job, and then have the garage door installed again. This usually does not happen, but again, do not try to dismantle any of the parts of [more]

Garage Door Emergency Release Latch

Well you probably don’t think about the electricity cutting out in your home. If it happens to you, how can you get your garage door open?

No need to worry, there’s a solution to your problem.

Garage Door Openers have an “emergency release latch” mechanism that allows you to operate the garage door manually in the event you lose power.

The carriage is the part of the opener to which the door arm connects. The carriage locks around the opener trolley during normal operation. Once the power comes back on it is necessary to reengage a garage door opener to the door. The process is generally the same among all the garage door opener manufacturers.

To do this:

Locate the release mechanism. Somewhere along the track between the motor and the door should be the drive carriage and a release mechanism with a cord hanging down. Usually it will be closer to the door assuming it is closed. If the power is out and your garage is dark, you may need to use a flashlight to help you see.
Pull the handle to release the carriage. It may take a little force especially on an older opener that might be stuck. Pull all the way until it [more]

Rub-A-Dub-Dub Your Garage Door

Your garage door is the largest door in your home, and is constantly exposed to all kinds of weather.

Set up a regular annual cleaning schedule for your garage door. Remember that garage doors are often the largest visible part of your house. A clean and well maintained Garage Door will help keep the ‘curb appeal’ of your house, as well as its value!

It’s simple. To clean steel garage doors wash both the exterior and interior twice a year using water mixed with a half cup of mild laundry detergent. If your garage door is a pre-painted steel door, you can apply a car wax to the exterior to help protect it from the elements. Avoid using abrasive cleaners since they can damage the paint. When using the brush to remove debris, use gentle action to avoid removing paint. Never use bleach full strength, and do not use acid-based products, such as vinegar.

Clean the weather stripping with an all-purpose cleaner, such as Formula 409, and lubricate the weather stripping with a silicone-based lubricant. Check the weather stripping between the door panels for cracks and replace, if needed.

Once you’ve washed your door and allowed it to dry, take the time to perform [more]

Reduce the Noise Coming From Your Garage Door!

Every time the garage door opens and closes, a loud rumble comes right through the walls of your home. Can’t stand it? Here’s some advice to help you reduce noise generated by the up and down movement of your garage door.

1. An insulated garage door can significantly reduce the intrusion of street noise into the home – especially important when there are bedroom or other living areas above or adjacent to the garage. If your door isn’t already insulated, the insulation can be installed by professional installers for a minimal charge, but it is not difficult to mount the insulation yourself and kits are available at your local home improvement retailer. It is important to consider having your springs recalculated because of additional weight to the door.

2. Have the steel rollers on your garage door changed to nylon. With nylon rollers, you will obtain almost silent running on the tracks and there is no need for lubrication.

3. Another point to look at is your electric operator. Any belt-driven model is best because the motor of this model is insulated from the metal case and will cut vibrations. The rubber belt is also quieter than the steel chain.

4. A noise isolator [more]

The All Purposeful Garage Door

Your garage door serves many purposes. It keeps your garage secure. It provides aesthetic appeal for your home. It also can be an energy efficiency product to help lower your energy bills.

You can get so much from a garage door that when it comes time to buy a replacement, you should shop smart. Make sure that the new one will be even better than the last. Do not settle for just any door. Shop around and be sure the model you get will serve all your purposes perfectly.

There are many considerations to make when choosing a new garage door. You should consider how you use the garage when making your choice. In some homes the garage is a playroom or a workshop in addition to keeping vehicles in out of the elements. How you use the garage will play into your final choice on a door.

You also need to make sure you get the right size of door. The wrong size of door will not serve any purpose. Take measurements carefully. Get help if you need it. Many retailers will offer help with taking measurements.

The appearance is also important. There are a range of styles, so you should try to [more]

Garage Doors Open Up Homes to Curb Appeal and Value

Garage doors just aren’t what they used to be. The garage door is a fundamental part of the blueprint, structural design and sanctuary of a home. The garage door is one of the most important visual features of a home, representing up to a third or even more of the front. They are now eye-catching, beautiful and — dare we say it? — even “cool.” In a marketplace where enhanced curb appeal, residential diversity, and neotraditional architecture are in demand by municipalities, we’re seeing an onslaught of more unique garage door styles, especially steel, three-section, carriage house-style garage doors.

Carriage house garage doors help us recall the charm of that turn-of-the-century swinging barn-door style, behind which hid a jaunty horse-drawn carriage. Today’s doors may look attractively retro, but they are also durable and they open overhead like any other modern sectional garage door.

Original carriage house doors were made of wood. Garage doors today are made from various materials including wood, composite and steel. Each type offers its own benefits, characteristics and costs.

Most homeowners want affordable beauty with low maintenance. That means a moderately priced, steel, carriage house garage door. Because they are all steel, all the parts expand and contract at [more]

Garage Doors & Home Security

The garage is an easy entry for unwanted people in our homes making garage security essential to protect yourself and your belongings. They are a popular target for criminals to get into your home and for obvious reasons. Some of our most expensive belongings are placed in there besides your car including bikes, lawnmower and power tools.

There are a few tips that you can use to ensure the safety of your family and home. Make sure that you invest in a good garage door and door opener. Some new openers, like the Liftmaster brand, have automatic locking feature on some models that make it much more difficult for any stranger to open. On a side note, when you have a new garage door opener installed, make sure the combination is reset, as the factory set combination is a familiar one to criminals.

It is important to understand the different security features that garage doors have. Most people aren’t aware how easy it is to simply open up a garage door. If you don’t have a proper garage door lock in place, for example, you will find that most doors are very easy to open.

Always try and look for a good system [more]

Don’t Wait Until Your Garage Door Doesn’t Work… Maintain It!

For those of you who have moved into a new home or have just installed a new garage door, be sure to take the time to thoroughly read the garage door owner’s manual. It may seem like a chore and take time, but one would be surprised at what they can find in most well written garage door manuals. The manual will contain safety and design information to help you insure that your garage door is safe to use and properly installed, and contain information on how to keep your garage door properly maintained.

For example, many garage door manuals will contain helpful tips for painting them. Most companies will tell you to pain BOTH the inside and outside of the garage door to keep everything even, and to never remove any parts of the garage door when painting. If you want to make sure that your garage door is completely covered in a fresh coat of paint, you need to call in a professional to dismantle it so that you can finish the paint job, and then have the garage door installed again. This usually does not happen, but again, do not try to dismantle any of the parts of [more]

Don’t Overlook The Garage When Getting Your Home Ready To Sell

There’s a lot of talk about curb appeal being the driving force drawing buyers into your home. It makes sense. If the house looks a mess from the outside, what buyer would want to set foot inside?

Well, maybe your house isn’t quite a mess. You have taken the time to fix-up the landscape, power-washed the house, and even painted the mailbox. But did you overlook what can be the biggest eyesore — the garage? It’s the largest architectural element on the house. So it really, in this day and age, is impossible to dismiss the garage door as an important architectural element.

But the garage door is more than an architectural element. It can be a trigger point for buyers. They’re driving down the street in a tract-home neighborhood and suddenly they spot a custom wooden garage door. It’s striking and different and often gives them reason to stop and take a closer look, maybe even come inside.

If you have a house that has a nice garage door, it sets the stage for the fact that everything else in the house is going to have attention to detail and it really does differentiate homes that are on the same street. With [more]