5 Garage Conversion Ideas
What’s a homeowner to do in the middle of one of the coldest winters in recent memory here in Markham? Aside from trying to keep your driveway and sidewalks free of snow and ice, you’re probably not getting into too many outdoor activities in what has been either double-digit below-freezing temperatures, or mini ice storms.
But being stuck indoors can leave you at a loss for what to do next. Here’s a suggestion, next time you’ve had enough of Netflix, reading and social media, you can start thinking of the possibilities for converting your garage into a living space.
Even if the thought hasn’t entered your mind, the idea of it is intriguing, especially when you check out some of the possibilities.
If this sounds interesting, and its hailing outside, sit back and take a look of just some of the possibilities for your garage.
Increase Your Home’s Value With These Garage Conversions
1. Instant Home Addition
Well, maybe not instant in the sense of ‘right this minute’, but certainly faster and less costly than building an extension to your home.
One of the first examples we ever saw of using an attached garage to add living space was right here in Scarborough. If you’ve never heard of the ‘Ben Jungle’, it is the neighbourhood of typical 1950s Scarborough bungalows on the north side of Lawrence Ave., between McCowan and Brimley, where all the streets have ‘Ben” in their names, including Benleigh Drive, Ben Stanton Blvd., and, maybe coolest of all, Benorama Crescent.
Unlike many houses of the era, most Ben Jungle homes were built with an attached garage, even though the homes were relatively small compared to today’s standards. To open up space in the home for a larger family, one homeowner created a formal dining room in the garage. You could also create a bedroom, family room or any other space for which you would otherwise need to build an addition.
2. Hobby Room
If you’re indeed stuck inside, it might be a great time to indulge in your hobby, like artistic painting, modeling or scrapbooking. The problem is that many hobbyists need to put everything away when not actually taking part in the hobby, and bring it all out again when they’re ready to go. If you want a dedicated space where you can indulge in your hobby any time, your garage can be it.
3. Home Gym
This one can even pay for itself over time. While many fitness buffs might have one or two pieces of equipment at home, buying a gym membership is usually needed to get all the facilities they want for a good workout. But you can save the membership fees and have the space for different machines, as well as an aerobics and stretching area, right in your garage – and you don’t have to drive to get there!
4. Brew Pub
They are trendy places to go for a night out. But, if you brew your own beer and/or make your own wine, not only does your garage offer lots of space for all that fermenting, but you can have your very own brew pub in your garage. This is one that you can take to any level you want, from a bare-bones brewery and bar, to a fully decorated and ‘lit’ nightspot.
5. Home Entertainment Centre
Home entertainment has come a long way. It used to be just a TV and a stereo. Now, to do it right, you need a multi-seat home theatre, including a couch-shaking sound system, a dedicated hi-def gaming screen, seating and two or three different brands of game consoles, a popcorn machine, fridge and (are you ready for this?) a space for a VR system.
It’s kinda fun thinking of everything you can do with your garage, isn’t it? Maybe until it comes time to actually do it! If you’d like to instantly improve the look of your garage, consider getting a new garage door! Markham Garage Doors has the only showroom in Markham, so you can browse our selection while waiting out this cold winter! Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.
4 Reasons an Insulated Garage Door is Worth the Investment
4 Reasons an Insulated Garage Door is Worth the Investment
Many homeowners don’t think of their garage doors in the same way as they think of their regular front and back doors. Of course, they’re different, one lets people into and out of the house and the other is big enough for a car to drive through.
But the differences shouldn’t really go beyond that. There’s no reason to think your garage door should be any less secure than any other door in your home. In fact, the garage is one of the most popular places for burglars to get into a house and one of the most popular ‘rooms’ to steal from. From bicycles and sports equipment to tools and snow blowers, garages can be chock full of valuable stuff that’s very attractive to thieves.
So the argument can be made that the garage door protects your belongings almost as much as your entry doors. But you don’t install dead-bolt locks, chains and/or alarms on your garage door.
The same thing is true for another difference between your entry doors and garage door. Would you ever install a front door that wasn’t well insulated? Not likely, but lots of garage doors aren’t insulated.
However, like the security thing, it’s almost as important to insulate your garage door as it is to insulate your entry doors, or anywhere else in your home.
The Money-Saving Benefits of an Insulated Garage Door
Especially if your garage is attached to your house, an insulated door helps you save money in lots of ways.
1. Lower Energy Costs
Especially if your garage is underneath a room in your house, the temperature in the garage can affect the temperature of the house. And that can mean more electricity or fuel used to heat and cool your home. An insulated door can keep garages significantly warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
After being told that an insulated garage door would make a big difference to the temperatures inside his garage, a homeowner in Pennsylvania had one installed. To see just how much of a difference the insulated door made, the homeowner recorded some temperatures inside and outside the garage before and after the door was installed.
The differences in the inside temperatures before and after the installation are remarkable. After installing the insulated door, with an outside temp of -5 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature was 43 degrees inside the garage.
Before the installation, with an outside temperature of 10 degrees, the inside temp was 36 degrees
That means, the insulated doors kept the garage seven degrees warmer, even though the outside air was 15 degrees cooler.
2. Longer-Lasting HVAC Equipment
By keeping your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter, not only do you save on energy costs, but your heating and air conditioning equipment will not switch on and off as often, or have to operate for as long a time.
3. Reduce Stress on Your Car
While it might start faithfully in even the coldest temperatures, that doesn’t mean your car doesn’t go through more effort during cold-temperature starts. The insulated door in the example above maintained a 48-degree difference between the outside and inside air, versus just a 26-degree difference for the uninsulated door. That means, in the uninsulated garage, your car is starting in temperatures that are about 10 degrees colder.
4. Added Value for Your Home
If you ever sell your home, an insulated garage door can make a big difference in the price you get. As if it isn’t enough to show prospective home buyers that they can save energy costs, equipment costs and extend the life of their car, insulated garage doors also keep the garage quieter, they look better, last longer, keep out more pollution and give the option for using the garage for added living space in the home, like a playroom, home office or home gym.
When you really look at the advantages, not having an insulated garage door seems as odd as not having insulated entry doors. If you are interested in having a new insulated garage door installed at your home, contact Markham Garage Doors today! You can also visit our showroom in Markham to view our selection.
Black Garage Doors That Can Modernize Your Home
When you imagine a garage door, black might not be the first colour that comes to your mind, but black garage doors have been a growing trend for homes over the last few years. If you’re looking to modernize your home’s exterior, we have a variety of the best black garage door options for you at Markham Garage Doors.
Home Benefits Of Black Garage Doors
Some advantages of installing a black garage door for your home include:
- A fresh, modern look: If you ever get tired of looking at the front of your home because it’s too plain or boring, installing a black garage door can fix your problem almost immediately. Not only does it add a little bit of contrast to your home, but it also makes the outside look newer and more modern. So, the next time you walk out into the yard, you’ll feel good about what you see.
- Increased property value: Replacing your garage door is a great way to increase your home’s value — and replacing it with a modern black door can increase it even more!
Top Black Garage Door Options We Offer
If you’re looking for an attractive, reliable black garage door to install on your property, Markham Garage Doors offers multiple styles that will improve your home’s aesthetic.
GALLERY® Collection Garage Doors
One of our best black garage door options is the GALLERY® collection by Clopay®. You can buy the doors in a number of colours, including black, charcoal and ultra-grain oak slate finish. These are carriage house style garage doors with large windows that let in some light and help keep the garage from being dark and stuffy.
The windows come in almost two dozen different designs with multiple types of glass options. You can also choose to have your garage doors made with or without insulation depending on your individual needs. Take a look online for more decorative hardware options.
Modern Steel™ Collection Garage Doors
Our other top black garage door for sale is part of the Modern Steel™ Collection. Like the GALLERY® collection garage doors, these also come in the attractive shades of black, charcoal and ultra-grain oak slate finish.
The Modern Steel™ Collection doors come with flush panels or grooved panels, as well as a multitude of window designs. For instance, one of our popular designs is flush panel with four windows down the side. This gives the door a contemporary feel that many other decorative window inserts fail to replicate.
Many customers also choose the flush panel choice over other black garage door options thanks to its strength and insulation capabilities. If you want something durable and pleasing to the eye, this is the best garage door we have for sale.
How Does a Garage Door System Work?
Most people use their garage doors every day to leave and enter their homes. With such frequent operation, that means you likely open and close your garage door at least 1,500 times per year. With so much use and dependence on your garage door, do you even know how it works? Most homeowners likely don’t understand how garage door openers work and only note their garage door system when something unexpectedly breaks.
But by understanding the mechanics, parts and operations of your garage door system, you can better identify worn-out hardware early on, understand when you require garage door maintenance or repairs, and communicate more effectively with garage door specialists.
Anatomy of a Garage Door System
Better understand how garage door systems work by brushing up on the different parts and hardware that make up your entire system. Your garage door reliably and smoothly opens and closes using the mechanics of the door itself, a variety of small parts and hardware working together simultaneously, and the garage door opener machine.
Parts of the Garage Door
Most homes have a sectional overhead garage door — made from galvanized steel, fiberglass, aluminum or wood — that glides along a track using rollers located on the ceiling of the garage. To assist the door’s movement, the door is attached to a garage door opener by a curved arm. When prompted, the motor directs the movement of the door open or closed using the torsion spring system — or extension springs — to counterbalance the weight of the door, allowing safe and steady motion.
Garage Door Hardware System
While the operations of your garage door system seem simple enough, several pieces of hardware work together simultaneously to ensure dependable and smooth functionality:
- Springs: Most garage doors feature either a torsion or extension spring system — although torsion springs are among the most popular option today because of their superior quality, safety and longer-lasting operations. Torsion springs are large springs installed on the top of the garage door that wind and unwind in a controlled motion to open and close the door while sliding into a channel. Extension springs are two springs located on either side of the garage door. Typically, torsion springs last up to 10 years, while extension springs are only safe to use for up to seven years.
- Cables: The cables work alongside the springs to lift and lower the door, and are made from braided steel wires. The thickness of your garage door’s cables is determined by the size and weight of your door.
- Hinges: Hinges are installed on the garage door panels and allow the sections to bend and retract as the door opens and closes. It’s recommended that larger garage doors have double hinges to help hold the door while it’s in an open position.
- Tracks: There are both horizontal and vertical tracks installed as part of your garage door system to assist with movement. Thicker steel tracks mean your garage door can better support the weight of the door and resist bending and warping.
- Rollers: To move along the track, your garage door uses steel, black nylon or reinforced white nylon. Nylon allows for quieter operation. Proper rollers that are cared for and lubricated will easily roll along the track and not slide.
- Reinforced Struts: The struts help support the weight of double garage doors while in an open position for extended periods of time.
- Weatherstripping: Located between the door sections, on the exterior frame and along the bottom of the garage door, weatherstripping is responsible for maintaining energy efficiency and insulation and preventing exterior elements from entering your garage, like moisture, pests and debris.
For lasting strength, dependability and performance, garage door parts are made from quality galvanized steel. The thickness of these parts is measured in gauges with lower numbers indicating a thicker steel product.
For Garage Door System Installation or Repair, Contact Markham Garage Doors Today
Garage doors are an essential tool used by homeowners every day for safe, convenient entry to their homes. You want to ensure your garage door system is in good condition and working reliably, smoothly and efficiently. At Markham Garage Doors, we’re a locally owned and operated company serving homeowners throughout and beyond Markham, Scarborough, and Aurora in Canada. Our team of trained and friendly technicians is dedicated to providing quality garage door services at an affordable price.
3 Garage Door Repair Myths Busted
Garage doors can be very deceptive. They can last for decades, which might make you think that you’ll never need a garage door repair. They are also very easy to operate, even when opening and closing them manually, which can lead you to believe they are always easy to handle.
Unfortunately, those deceptive characteristics of garage door have led to many myths about repairing them. Myths that, at best, can end up costing you more to repair and, at worst, cause you serious injury.
Don’t Believe These Garage Door Repair Myths
Even if you are a committed DIY repair person, and you’re handy around the house, the vast majority of garage door repairs should be handled by professionals. This is both for your personal safety and to save you money.
1. The Garage Door Isn’t Complicated, So it Should be Easy to Repair
How complicated can it be? The opener pulls it up, lowers it and that’s about all. But, for it all that to happen consistently, day after day, there is a complex system of springs, cables, rollers, bearings and hinged panels that must work in perfect balance. The result? There is probably no non-mechanized part of your home that is more complicated to repair than your garage door.
2. OK, It’s Complex, but That’s Just a Squeak
OK. Let’s say you notice the rollers are making a lot of noise along the track. So you put some oil in the roller tracks. You’ve just made the problem worse. Dirt and debris will cling to the oil in the tracks. But that’s not the worst problem. The added friction of the gummed-up tracks can cause your garage door to go out of balance. Now you have a real problem. A costly one. So even repairing a garage door squeak isn’t necessarily easy.
3. One of the Springs Broke, So I Only Need to Replace One Spring
First, replacing a door spring can be very dangerous and should only be done by a professional. But when a garage door repair person tells you to replace both springs, take their advice. The springs help keep your door balanced. As they age, they can stretch and weaken. If you replace only one spring, the new one will be stronger. The difference between the performance of the new spring versus the old spring can put your door out of balance.
Yes, there are some garage door repairs that you can do yourself. The hinges between the panels are lubricated in much the same way as any door hinge. If you’re not sure about repairing your garage door, call us at 905-472-9178 or fill out our online contact form, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.
How to Winterize Your Garage Door
You change the filter on the furnace. You top-up the antifreeze in your car. You buy road salt for the driveway. You do them all because you want to minimize the chances of an accident or inconvenience in the middle of winter.
So why don’t you winterize your garage door? It might not be a disaster, but the moment your garage door decides to not work will probably be the coldest, stormiest and darkest moment of the winter.
It might be a ways off, but now’s the best time to get your garage door ready for winter.
4 Steps to Winterize Your Garage Door
This is mainly just good-sense, regular maintenance to keep your garage door in good working condition.
1. Look and Listen
To the garage door opener that is. If it conks out, the door won’t open. When the door is in operation, listen for unusual sounds of grinding in the motor and squealing from the metal parts of the door.
Also look at the door as it raises and lowers. Make sure the bottom of the door stays parallel to the floor and that the door doesn’t ‘lurch’ as it travels.
2. Check That the Safety Features are Working
Sticking with the opener, it’s important the door’s two main safety features are working properly.
For the first safety feature, put a 2X4 on the garage floor across the line where the door touches the floor. Trigger the door to close. It should automatically stop and go backwards when it hits the 2×4.
You can test the second safety feature with a stick and empty cardboard box. Use the stick to push the box into the path of the door as it closes. Stay well away from the door’s path. The door should stop and reverse as the box goes between the two photo eyes on either side of the door opening.
3. Fasten Connections Where Needed
There are metal hinges between each garage door panel. The tracks along which the rollers run are connected to the ceiling of the garage. And so too is the garage door opener. Check all their fasteners and connections for tightness.
4. Add Lubrication
Lubricate the rubber seals between the door panels, along the bottom of the door and around the door frame. Lubricate moving metal parts including the door hinges, cables, springs, and rollers.
There’s no guaranteeing that you’ll survive the winter without a garage door issue. But there are lots you can do to minimize it. And if you run into problems, contact Markham Garage Door. We’re happy to help in any way we can.
The Benefits of Having Garage Door Windows
After style, color, size and construction materials, wondering whether you should get windows in your garage door can seem like just another item on a long list. If you already have a windowless garage door, you may have wondered what it would be like to make the switch.
To help you make a decision, we thought we’d put together a list of benefits of having garage door windows. We think you’ll find at least a couple of points that you may not have considered.
Garage Door Window Benefits
1. Let the Sunshine In
The first and perhaps most obvious benefits of windows in the garage door are that it will make your garage brighter during the day. Not only is a brighter garage easier to work in, but it can have other benefits too. Homeowners tend to keep well-lit places tidier. So having windows in your garage can help you keep it more organized.
2. Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal
Your garage door is the largest single visual element of your home when viewed from the street. In other words, it has a major effect on your home’s curb appeal. But that effect goes beyond the fact that windows are more aesthetically pleasing than a solid, windowless door. You can choose windows for your garage door that match the windows elsewhere in your home, like those in your front door. So, not only do windows look better, but the right windows can unify the entire look of your home’s exterior.
3. Can Help You Use the Garage for Other Purposes
Want to build a pro workshop in the garage? Or how about your very own home gym? Arts & crafts room for the kids? Man cave? In any case, the windows in your garage door are often the only windows into the garage. Even while you only get daylight for part of the day, it’s always nice to have it when your garage isn’t just a garage.
You can retrofit an existing garage door with window panels or choose from a wide variety of new doors with windows or even doors made entirely of tempered glass and aluminum frames. Call Markham Garage Doors at 905-472-9178 to learn more.
Want a More Comfortable Home? Install an Insulated Garage Door
When you think of ‘home comfort’, insulation is usually part of your thinking. A well-insulated home, including attic and wall insulation, and thermal windows, stays warmer in winter and cooler in summer. But, unless you have an uninsulated garage door, your home might not be as comfortable as possible.
Even in well-insulated homes, an attached garage can be like a ‘hole’ in that insulation.
When you insulate your home, you usually insulate the attic and outside walls. You don’t insulate the walls and floors inside the home. Why would you? Inside walls and floors don’t let in any heat or cold from the outside, so it would be a waste of time and money to insulate them. (You might use sound insulation in inside walls.)
An attached garage can be like a hole in your insulation (a very large one!) because of how we think about the garage. Considering that there’s a door from the house to the garage, just like any other ‘room’ in the house, the garage can feel like a part of the house.
But, in the majority cases, homeowners don’t insulate the walls of the garage, whether they are outside walls, or shared with other rooms in the house. They also generally don’t insulate the ceiling of the garage, even when it is shared with a room above the garage.
Cold and heat can get into the garage through the outside walls and uninsulated garage doors much easier than most people think. With no insulation on the walls and floors that are shared between your house and garage, that heat and cold can get into your home fairly easily too.
An Insulated Garage Door to the Rescue
An insulated garage door will help reduce the amount of heat and cold that gets into your garage. That will make your home more comfortable, and it will reduce your utility bills.
If you would like to learn more about insulated garage doors, please contact us at Markham Garage Doors.
3 Features of The Future of The Garage
Garages have remained much the same since they started housing horseless carriages in the early twentieth century. Even seemingly ‘modern’ advancements, like garage door openers, have been around for a long time.
So with garages changing very little over the past century, you might think that they won’t change very much in the next century.
But that thinking could very well be wrong.
In fact, it might be safer to bet that garages will change more in the foreseeable future than they did in the past 100 years. Here are just a few ways your garage will be different in the not-so-distant (happening right now!) future of the garage.
1. They’ll be Equipped to Refuel Your Car
No, you don’t need to get safety certified to build a gasoline pump. But as electric vehicles continue their slow but steady foray into the world of fossil-fuel burning cars, there’s a good chance you might be retrofitting your garage to recharge electric cars.
2. It’ll be Online
The future is now for this one. LiftMaster’s MyQ™ technology has been offered on the many of their garage door openers for at least five years now. You can now even connect an older door with their retrofit package. It means that the status and control of your garage door, garage door opener, garage lights and security cameras in the garage are in the palm of your hand.
3. It Might be Your New Home Expansion
If self-driving automotive technology continues to evolve, there may be no need for personal vehicles. You’ll simply ‘whistle’ and one will find its way to you. That leaves one of the largest, continuous open spaces in your home empty. And ready to become anything you want to make of it. Think of the size of the TV you can get in through the garage door!
It’s a good thing that, until the future arrives, you can rely on Markham Garage Doors for quality maintenance and repairs to your garage doors. Contact us today to learn more.
Get to Know Your Garage Door Support System
Considering everything about your garage, the garage door is the star of the show. Without the unwavering security it provides, you wouldn’t be able to store anything safely in your garage. Without its ability to easily and quickly open and close, you wouldn’t be able to drive your car in and out of the garage; or simply wheel out your lawn mower, snow blower, boat or anything else, large or small, you keep in your garage.
When movie stars get an award. they often thank all the people who supported them and made the award possible. Well, as the star performer of the garage, your garage door owes its ability to do so many amazing things to a long list of supporting hardware. Every piece works together in order to create the garage door’s support system.
A Garage Door’s Support System
Without the following list of hardware, your garage door wouldn’t even be able to remain upright on its own.
Two types of springs work together to make it easy to open and close your garage door. A coil-shaped torsion spring sits horizontally above the door. It counterbalances the huge weight of the door. Extension springs located above the horizontal tracks help keep the door level from side to side.
Connecting the panels of the door, the hinges bend to allow the door to rise vertically to open and roll into a horizontal position when fully open.
Extending off either side of each door panel, the rollers sit inside the roller tracks. They support the door vertically when it is closed and horizontally when it is open. And they allow the door to roll smoothly between the two positions
Located on either side of the door, the lifting cables keep the door stable during its operation.
Running along either side of the door from its vertical position to its horizontal position, the roller tracks guide and support the door.
Between each panel, along with the bottom of the door and around the outside of the door on the door frame, weather stripping helps to insulate the garage from outside temperatures and wind.
Most homeowners never realize the complexity of their entire garage door system. If you want to learn more about your garage door and garage door’s support system, how it works and how to keep it working, contact us at Markham Garage Doors.