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Blog Archive: January 2011

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Anyone who has ever tried to accomplish anything in their garage during the cold months of the year is aware of the benefits of a heated garage.

Whether you have a shop out there or rehearse with your band, an unheated garage is extremely uncomfortable. It need not be as cozy as your den, but a little heat makes all the difference in the world. While that may be true, there are some disadvantages to heating your garage. The cost of insulating might be prohibitive, but without it any heating tends to be quite inefficient. The other problem is the cost of energy. Before you decide whether or not a heated garage is worth the cost, look at both sides of the issue. 

Pros

An unheated garage is a most uncomfortable place to have your shop, workbench or makeshift recreation area. During the winter months you will spend as much energy keeping warm as you will on your project. Having to wear gloves, a hat and a scarf while building a model, jewelry box or anything else is no way to work. There are methods to heat your garage while you are present that will neither require a great initial investment nor [more]

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When it comes to remodeling, Americans are thinking small. It’s a reflection of the times we live in, according to Remodeling Magazine, a trade journal that each year conducts an extensive study of the typical costs of home-remodeling jobs, compared to ballpark estimates of how much of those expenditures homeowners would recoup at sale time.

The short version: Economic realities have generally snuffed out over-the-top kitchen remodels and room additions in favor of more modest jobs.

In broadest terms, the average return on investment of a remodeling project this past year at sale time was 60%, vs. 64% last year. The magazine studied tightly defined jobs on a national and regional basis, as well as for many cities. The study was conducted in collaboration with the National Association of Realtors, whose members offered payback estimates based on resale’s in their geographic areas.

The top five “moderate projects” with the strongest payback at resale time, returning 72% or more of their cost: steel entry-door replacement (at a cost of about $1,200); garage-door replacement ($1,000); wooden deck addition ($11,000); replacing 10 insulated, wooden windows clad in vinyl or aluminum ($12,000); an attic bedroom addition ($51,428).

The best bang for the buck was garage-door replacement. It was [more]

Garage Door Romance

Can any homeowner live without a garage door?

People leave garage doors alone until they’re broken, even though they can make a family safe. Garage doors are primarily made from two materials, steel and wood.

The scale of drudgery that they entail differentiates steel from wood residential doors, confirmed the product manager of a leading manufacturer of overhead rolling doors. Not much is needed to keep in optimum state steel doors coated with baked enamel. The enamel is a protective covering, needing only minor touch ups for scratches, for steel doors.

However, steel doors can also be painted. There are also those who prioritize a blend between the doors and the rest of the home exterior, preferring a full bodied paint. No harm comes to galvanized steel doors from rain, sleet, or snow.

Wood doors, unlike their steel cousins, can be ground down, resulting in rifts and sagging, if they are not safeguarded. It is highly recommended that at least two coats of oil based paint, stain or other exterior finish are applied. A single coat must be applied on an annual basis to preserve the wood.

Those who heed this guidance can expect their doors to stay looking new for decades to come. [more]