Stay On Top Of Your Garage Door Opener Maintenance

If you want your garage door opener to stay in tip-top shape all year long it’s important that you take the time to do a bit of preventative maintenance from time to time. The last thing you want is for your garage door to fail on you in an unpleasant situation – when you’re running late for work, experiencing terrible weather, or events such as these. I’ve personally had a situation where my garage door opener wasn’t functioning properly, and while I watched my garage door close on my way out for the day I didn’t realize that it turned around and opened right back up as I was driving away!

Issues such as this and many more can be avoided by paying attention to a few of the most common issues experienced with garage door openers. Let’s take a look at some of the more important aspects of garage door opener maintenance that you can focus your time on.

Keep it Quiet

While the operating noise produced by your garage door opener is largely dependant on the model you choose and the mechanism of opening, there are still some things that you can do to make sure the unit operates quietly on an ongoing basis. First off, if having a quiet garage door opener is of utmost importance to you, you should find a model that is known for it’s quiet operation to begin with. You can check through BGDOR’s recommendations and find a model that works best for your home and your budget.

Beyond having the proper model installed in your garage, there are a few things should check up on. First, you need to make sure that you keep the drive mechanism clean. As time goes on they have a tendency to build up dust and debris – especially if the drive mechanism has exposed grease. If you notice this kind of build up make sure to remove it and it can make the operation less smooth and in really serious cases it can even cause the drive mechanism to jam up and break.

With the drive mechanism in excellent shape (as I’m sure you have it by now!) it’s important to make sure that you replace any lubricant you’ve removed with a fresh application. Refer to your garage door opener’s owner’s manual for specific details, and always make sure to isolate the units from power sources to remove the risk of hazard while working.

Check The Battery

Another place that will often be the source of issues with garage door openers is their on board battery. You might not even know that your garage door opener has one until it’s too late. They have a battery in case of power failure, and once it needs to be replaced it’ll start beeping to let you know that it’s time. While the beeping can be a bit annoying, it’s not the end of the world until the power goes out. Then you’re in trouble!

The main problem with this is that the batteries for garage door openers are simply not a standard size. You can’t just grab some AAs off the shelf of your pantry and get it back to operational unfortunately. For this reason, I’d recommend having a spare on hand, especially as your garage door opener gets older and has seen some use.

Check In On The Sensors

Did you know that every garage door opener has sensors that detect if there is something blocking the travel path of the garage door? These are installed for obvious safety reasons. The number one reason that people have trouble with their garage doors is due to faults with these sensors. If you’re experiencing issues like the one I described in the opening paragraph of this article, then the sensors are a great place to start troubleshooting.

Take a look at your owner’s manual to get an idea of how your particular sensors work, but generally one is an emitter and one is a detector. If they are not optimally aligned they make be telling the brains of the unit that something is in the way when it actually is not. This can lead to odd behavior that is otherwise unexplained.

These preventative maintenance steps can make sure that your garage door operates smoothly on an ongoing basis. A little bit of work can go a long way in preventing headaches throughout the year.


How To Choose The Perfect Crate For Your Family Dog

We all love our furry family members, and they too deserve a comfortable, private dwelling to relax in. If you are like most other pet owners (especially first-time owners) you might stumble or draw out the process of purchasing your dog a crate. Between guilty feelings and overanalyzing the process to make sure that you get the perfect dimensions so that it doesn’t look like you are placing your pet in doggy jail, you may feel a bit worn out from the start. However, most dogs actually become quite fond of their kennels and choosing one to satisfy their needs doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems (read more on that here). Here is how to choose the perfect crate for your family dog. 

Determine Its Purpose

What is the sole purpose of the crate? Sure, it is going to be a place in which our furry companion will spend some of its most precious moments in, but what is the primary purpose of the crate? Will it be solely used for transportation purposes? Will it only be occupied during dinnertime, while you are away working, or only for a couple of hours a day? Is it just a spot where your pet will go to whine down and get some quiet time? Will it only be used for training purposes? Or will most of the time be spent in the crate? Establishing the “why” is key so that you not only choose the proper size but also make sure that the crate is made up of the appropriate material. 

Measure Your Dog

Arguably, size is the most key feature of a dog crate and getting one that is too small can make your dog feel cramped and uncomfortable while getting one too large can make it feel intimidated and unsafe. The key is to provide enough room to roam around but not too much space. To determine its width, measure your dog from its nose to the base of its tail. Most dogs are taller when they sit up versus when they stand, so for length, allow them to convert to a seated position then measure it from top to bottom. Once you have attained these measurements, add about four inches and you will use this to choose the perfect crate size. If your dog is still a puppy, account for its growth and either purchase a crate that will fit its adult size or prepare to buy a new one in the near future. 

Decide On The Material

To the surprise of many, there are actually a lot of kennel types to choose from. The material is another key crate feature and each variation has different qualities to offer. 

1. Plastic

While the kennel itself is made of plastic, the bottoms are solid and leak-proof while the sides have open panels for ventilation purposes. Plastic kennels are approved for airline travel (depending on its size of course). 

2. Metal

Metal crates are probably the most common and are ideal for bigger dogs and training purposes. Metal crates are generally quite tough and can handle aggressiveness without damaging. While these crates are often as tough as nails, they aren’t too likely to be heavy which makes them durable as well (most are also approved for airline travel). 

3. Wood

Wooden crates are less for dogs and more for home decoration as they are fancy looking but lack common features of many other dog crates. Sure, they can provide comfort to an extent but they are more for the purpose of giving the dog a furnished place to dwell within the home. They typically aren’t durable. 

Now that you have the key knowledge needed to pick a safe haven for your furry life companion, you can now choose the one that you feel is the most worthy. Just remember to always factor in any distinguishing personality and physical features that your dog may have.


With Winter Storms Around The Corner, A Snow Blower is A Must Have

It is that time of the year once more, the time when the snow starts falling and continues to fall for days. It is the time of the year when roads get slippery and stores are sold out of all the essentials. But with it being that time of year, what is the one thing that everyone should have? The answer is simple, a snowblower. 

Trying to dig yourself out of the snow can be hard if you suffer from any medical problems. The medical problems can include a bad back, bad shoulders, or even little strength. When you have any of these medical problems, digging yourself out of the snow can be impossible. 

A snowblower is a must have for more than just home owners. If you rent a place, a snowblower is just as important. The Troybilt Squall 2100 is a favorite of many homeowners. Perhaps you are responsible for the removal of the snow where you live. If so, a snowblower is the solution for you. 

Snow can be difficult to remove if the snow is too heavy. There are things that you can do to make sure that when you begin snowblowing that the snow is being cleared easily. Here are some things you can do when snowblowing your driveway, sidewalks or simply clearing paths. 

First off, just like when you mow the grass, you need to plan on a pattern. This pattern is going to clear the snow easier than if you just start snowblowing. You will then need to decide how you want to clear the pathway. You will want to decide if a pile of snow is what you want to do or if you want to make piles of snow on both sides of what you are clearing. 

You will also want to consider this as you are clearing the snow. You do not want to always blow the snow out into the street. Consider this as you are clearing the snow, it can be dangerous to blow all that snow into the street where passing cars are. You also want to consider that when the snow plow comes along to clear the street, the snow will only get pushed back into your driveway or yard once more. If your car is parked in the road, that cleared snow will only pile around the parked cars and you will need to clear it once more. 

Before you begin snowblowing, you will want to start the snowblower in an area where it is well ventilated. The start of the snowblower in a confined area is going to create exhaust which can be bad for your lungs. The electric start option is one thing that people like but this can also be a disadvantage as it will require the extension cord to reach to the area where you want to start the snowblower. 

Also you will want to clear the snow in a slow manner. If you have a large amount of snow and it is heavy snow, the slower you go, the better your experience will be. The pace of the snowblowing can affect the function of the snowblower. If you push too fast, the snowblower can malfunction and can burn out the engine of the snowblower. It is also important that you rotate the chute often to create multiple piles rather than just one spot as well. 

If you put all this thought into how to snowblow, you will see that snowblowing is easier than most people think. Snowblowing your first time will be easier and better than shoveling your way out of a snow storm.


When Making A Garage, Here Are Key Aspects To Get Right

For many men and women, the garage isn’t just a place to store items. Instead, it can be used as their private space to get away from the world for a time. For those who like to use their garage as places to build projects, store their favorite activities, or just use it as a place to hang out, building your very own garage can be useful. However, it can be easy to get it wrong, especially for beginners. As such, here are a few tips to consider before you start construction on your new garage.

1. Know What You’re Using It For

First and foremost, you need to know what the primary use of your garage is going to include. If it’s just for storage, then you know you need to make sure that you make it tall enough to possibly use the ceiling as an anchor to hang items. You may not need the same sort of space that you might if you were going to use it for projects or a workspace. With the primary use in mind, you can more accurately plan the size and shape of the garage without wasting materials or not have enough materials for your build.

2. Garage Door/Door Opener

You also need to consider what garage door you intend to use. How does it look? Do you need windows for ventilation and light? The garage door opener goes hand-in-hand with this. What form of garage opener works best for you and your family? You’ll want to make sure you have an excellent quality garage door opener, or else you’ll run the risk of having to pry your door open yourself. While these may be the last details that you’re thinking about, they’re important to both the design and execution of your finished garage.

3. Ventilation

If you intend to use your garage in the winter, or during the hot summer, then you need proper ventilation. While many open their garage doors during the winter and then turn on their cars to heat the space, this could make it easy for potential robbers to come by and steal items in your garage unless you are constantly in the garage while the door is open. Instead, you may want to close the door, but with the cars relaxing toxic fumes in an enclosed space, it could prove fatal. As such, you need to ensure that you install proper ventilation space, particularly around the zones of the garage you’re going to frequent.

4. Workspace/Workbench

For those who have hobbies that involve a workspace or workbench, that is something to keep in mind when building and designing your garage as well. How big do you want your space and bench to be? Is it close to a window or light, so you can actually see what you’re doing? As mentioned earlier, is it close enough to ventilation ducts to keep you safe? You may also want to consider the workbench itself and what you need to make sure the bench is durable and sturdy. The last thing you want is your bench to fall apart during its first use. Plan the space accordingly, so you can use the rest of your garage practically as well.

5. Electric

Unless you have a keen understanding of electric work, this is probably best left for the hands of professionals. Lighting will be something to consider and how much you need of it. You’ll also want to be sure that you put enough outlets for the tools and devices that you need to power. Also, you have to consider the voltage. If you intend to use big powered items like a welder, then you can expect to need a whole lot of voltage. If your electrical system isn’t pushing out enough, then you aren’t going to be able to use those items. Talk with professionals, so they understand exactly what you need, so they can properly assist you.

6. Heating And Cooling

One last aspect you may want to consider is installing a heating and cooling system. For those who intend to use their garage a lot, then an HVAC unit can make their time in the garage comfortable and less dangerous. Staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter can allow you to work in your garage regardless of the weather outside. Install it correctly to make the most of your garage.


How To Choose The Right Home Water Filtration System

Keeping clean water in your home is an obvious priority. If the water that comes out of your tap doesn’t look like it’s up to speed, you can take action to improve it. There are a number of highly effective water filtration systems that you buy on the market. These systems are easy to install and even easier on your budget.

However, before you commit to a purchase, it’s a good idea to make sure that you are choosing the system that is right for your needs. What follows is a handy checklist of things to keep in mind when you buy a water filtration system. Use it to make the best choice for your own needs as well as the needs of your family.

Step 1: Find Out What is in Your Water

The very first thing you will need to do is find out exactly what is in your water. This way, you will be able to select the most effective water filter for your home. When you know what kind of chemicals and minerals may be present in your tap water, you will be in a much better position to decide what kind of filtration unit you need to buy. If your home is on a municipal water system, you can get this info from the city or county authorities.

Step 2: Decide What Kind of Water Filter You Want to Use

The next step will be to decide exactly what kind of device you intend to use the filter the water in your home. There are several different kinds of filters that come in various shapes and sizes. These filters make use of different types of technologies to do their intended job.

Pay attention to the type of filter that you are looking at. Some filtration units are definitely better at removing specific types of minerals and chemicals than others. Filters that make of use reverse osmosis technology are equipped to remove arsenic, nitrates, fluoride, and various other harmful substances.

There are a number of different types of water filters that you can choose from. A pitcher filter has an attached water filter as well as a a carbon filter that removes various types of silt, chemicals, and other materials.

You can also buy a faucet mounted filter. This may be the most common and inexpensive type of water filer. It can be attached directly to your faucet. You can set the device to dispense filtered or unfiltered water.

There are also a large number of under the sink filters. These are literally attached under the sink in order to perform the task of filtering harmful materials out of your water supply.

Step 3: Decide Where You Want the Filter to Be

How much water do you normally use in your home? Do you need your water filtered specifically for drinking or for other purposes? If you just want to filter the drinking water in your home, you can make use of a point-of-use water filtration system. These are standalone devices that can be installed at the point where the water will be used. In this case, you can install it at the taps in your kitchen sink or on your refrigerator.

If you want to filter all of the water in your home you will need a point-of-entry system. This type of filtration device is specially installed at the point where the water first enters your home. All of the water that flows throughout your home is now being filtered. This would include the water that passes through your shower, washer, dryer, and other household utilities.

Step 4: Keep Track of How Much Water You Use in Your Home

The final step will be to keep track of just how much water you use in your home. By doing so, you can greatly extend the life of your water filter and save a great deal of money.


6 Must-Have Power Tools for the Serious Home Renovator

Whether it’s converting an attic into a complete bedroom or installing new cabinets in the kitchen, home renovation projects are hard work. You must measure walls and corners, install fasteners, make adjustments and more. And if you make a mistake, you might be forced to start over. The right power tools, however, can streamline your renovation projects, allowing you to quickly and efficiently upgrade your home.

1. Cordless Drill

A cordless drill is an invaluable tool for serious home renovators. Typically featuring either a nickel-cadmium or lithium-ion rechargeable battery, their primary function is to bore pilot holes into wood and other materials. Most cordless drills support a variety of bits, so you can use them to insert screws into newly created pilot holes as well. Just remember to keep your cordless drill charged or invest in a backup battery.

2. Cordless Screwdriver

Many home renovators simply use a power drill to extract or insert screws. While this usually works, a cordless screwdriver is the preferred choice among serious renovators and builders because it performs fewer revolutions per minute. This makes them easier and more comfortable to use. Keep in mind that cordless screwdrivers aren’t as powerful as cordless drills. Therefore, you shouldn’t use them to drive screws into solid materials. Only use them to extract or insert screws.

3. Air Compressor

Some tools are designed to support the function of other tools. An air compressor, for example, is a versatile power tool that’s used for pneumatic staple guns, nail guns, paint sprayers, water hoses and more. Without an air compressor, you won’t be able to use any of these tools. Air compressors feature an electric or gasoline motor that compresses air to a specific pressure. While all air compressors perform this action, there are different available, including twin-stack, wheelbarrow and pan cake style.

4. Belt Sander

A belt sander will allow you to buff and refinish surfaces in your home renovation projects. This handheld, motorized power tool features two small cylinders on the bottom that hold sandpaper. When turned on, the sandpaper moves rapidly against any surface on which it’s placed to remove the outer layer of material. After the outer layer has been removed, apply your surface preferred finish. You can use a belt sander to refinish floors, cabinets, doors and furniture. For most projects, it’s recommended that you start with a high-grit sandpaper and gradually transition to a low-grit paper to achieve the smoothest finished texture.

5. Nail Gun

Also known as a nailer, a nail gun is a handheld power tool that drives nails into wood and other materials. Most nail guns are driven by compressed air though some use butane or other flammable gases. Regardless of type, all nail guns make driving nails into floors, walls and ceilings a breeze.

6. Circular Saw

A circular saw is a power tool that uses a circular, metallic disc to cut through material. Power supplied from either a connected electrical outlet or battery spin the metallic disc. When the spinning disc is placed against a surface, such as a 2-by-4, it creates a clean, smooth cut through the material. Without a circular saw or any other powered saw, you’ll have to cut materials the old way: using a hacksaw. This is incredibly tedious and inefficient for home renovation projects, so add a circular saw to your toolbox.

For serious home renovators, a hammer and manual screwdriver isn’t going to cut it. Invest in these power tools to streamline your renovation projects.


Bathroom Talk: How To Make Your Tiles Remarkable

If you are planning a bathroom remodel, then you may be overwhelmed with the multitude of choices that you are going to have to make. What height do you want your mirrors at? What kind of hardware do you want on your cabinets? Do you want your floors heated? The list of questions can go on and on. There are upgrades that you may choose to forego, but there are upgrades to your bathroom that you may definitely want to consider. The following upgrades discussed are perhaps the most important ones to consider, when creating your bathroom remodel plan.

One oftentimes overlooked upgrade, but a very simple one to make is to actually anchor the towel bar to the wall. Many times, the towel bar is just screwed into the dry wall and over time the weight of wet towels on the bar can cause the bar to pull away from the wall, thus causing damage. An easy solution is to actually use specialized anchoring hardware to anchor the bar to the wall in a more sturdier fashion. This installation technique will keep the towel bar more secure and will prevent wall damage down the road. A really cheap upgrade for your remodeling project.

Make sure that you include the installation of a vent fan in your bathroom upgrade. A vent fan works to shift all of that warm, moist air out of your bathroom after a steamy hot shower is taken. This move not only prevents you from having a foggy bathroom mirror, but over time that warm, moist environment can actually allow mold to grow. A vent plan is an absolutely necessary bathroom upgrade to keep your bathroom mold free.

Caulk, caulk, caulk. Caulking may seem like a tedious process and if you are not a professional contractor then it can be, but by utilizing the correct tools and having just a bit of patience, you can complete the job. Caulking is a necessary step in sealing the area around your shower, bathtub, and sinks from damage that will occur if water slips into cracks and crevices. So, take the time and caulk or make sure that your remodeling contractor is doing it for you.

Another simple upgrade, that can actually really change the look of your bathroom and not break the budget is to upgrade all of your faucets. One trip into a home improvement store will allow you to see the hundreds of choices that you now have for bathroom fixtures, including faucets. Choose the ones that fit your taste and your budget and you will be surprised at just how much it changes the overall look of your bathroom remodel.

Renovating your bathroom can be an exciting process. You may finally be getting that new look that you have literally waited years for or maybe you are actually making the changes to increase the resell value of your home. Take your time in the process and choose to complete the upgrades that you think will give you the overall look that you want for your bathroom remodel.


The Most Important Upgrades When Renovating a Kitchen

It is no secret that home improvements are the key to selling your home and obtaining the best value for it. Choosing the right improvements is key to getting the most out of your real estate sale. The cost to renovate is quite expensive so what area of the house does one focus on? The answer is…the kitchen. The kitchen is the main attraction to any home. In fact, most new homebuyers do not want to get a subpar kitchen as they themselves would have to spend lots of money to renovate it. It is probably the most expensive room to renovate and requires the most detail. In this article, we will outline the most important upgrades when renovating a kitchen.

Countertops Speak Volumes About the Kitchen

The countertop is the centerpiece of every kitchen upgrade. There are many types of material to choose from such as: wood, granite, quartz, marble and even recycled glass! The preferred choices are granite and marble due to the variety and ease of installation. Although costlier than wood or laminate, they are stronger material and have an aesthetically pleasing appearance. As I have experienced, wood laminate will peel along the borders as they age but granite and marble still appear intact after many years. If you cannot afford granite or marble, find a wood laminate that is darker in appearance as spills can cause staining of the wood which are noticeable. Also, depending on the size of the kitchen, renovators should always consider adding a median island counter at the center of the kitchen.

Cabinet style that compliments the Countertop is Key

A durable and stylish cabinet selection will add value to the kitchen. Some of the more popular styles are the see-thru glass door or shaker-style cabinets. Color also plays a big part in this selection as it should compliment the countertops in a way to blend with the rest of the kitchen. Some other popular ideas that are emerging include the use of under cabinet lighting which adds spice to any kitchen décor. The barest of details are also critical to cabinet selection. This could include selecting the right handles and knobs or deciding to have open shelving. As you can tell, there are a lot of considerations when selecting the kitchen cabinet.

The Cherry on Top: Kitchen Appliances

The selection of kitchen appliances is the last major component in renovating the kitchen. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: refrigerator, stove, sink, dishwasher and microwave oven. There are different styles of appliances but the two main ones are stainless steel and traditional matte color. Some of the trending styles include retro–style and glossy-style appliances. Ensure that the brands of the appliances are reputable. Other considerations include: bottom freezer versus side-to-side refrigerators or selection of the stovetops such as electric coil or induction.

If you consider the above upgrades to any kitchen renovation, you will not have any problems selling your home in any market.