Garage Door Maintenance: Essential Tips to Keep Your Door Looking Good for Years

garage door

Bungalow Federation Style Garage Door


If you own a home with a garage that has an overhead garage door, this is probably the most used piece of equipment in your home that experiences the most wear and tear.  Since a typical garage door goes up and down over a thousand times within a year, it pays to properly maintain it.

Following proper garage door maintenance helps ensure reliable, quiet operation and safety. The good news is that it does not take a lot of time or effort to keep your garage door in tip top good working order.
The Importance of garage doors to your home

First and foremost, garage doors help give your home curb appeal and add to your property’s aesthetics. They also help ensure the security of the property and the safety of everyone in the household.

Since garage doors have such a huge impact on the perceived value of your home, it is important to properly maintain and care for them on a regular basis to ensure that you get the maximum usage for years to come. Check out the following helpful tips on keeping your garage doors in excellent condition.

Lubricate garage doors regularly

While not many are aware of it, lubricating the door hinges, rollers and edges is a key maintenance practice that is often overlooked. Citrus-based solvents and other good penetrating solvents like WD-40 are often highly recommended to do the job.

Apart from the lubricating garage door rollers, hinges and edges, do not forget to also lubricate the pulleys and the torsion-spring bearings.

Clean garage doors routinely

Keeping your garage door clean is pretty straightforward.  Using a soft cloth and a household detergent diluted with water are things you have in your home. You can also apply car wax to help ensure the door is free from moisture and dirt.

 Install weather seals on your garage door

Weather seals help keep your door in tiptop shape by keeping moisture out. Ideally, it is recommended that seals are applied in-between the door panels, on the bottom edge and on the door frame. Use self-anchoring galvanized screws when screwing and use compressed foam strips when sealing garage door panels.

Align the garage door sensors

When door sensors malfunction, chances are a sensor misalignment is the likely culprit. Fortunately, realigning sensors will only entail gently pushing the sensors to set it back in the right direction. Ideally, sensors should be facing each other. Blinking lights would often indicate a misaligned sensor. Once fixed, a solid light will manifest in lieu of the blinking one.

Reset the garage door opener

When the door closes briefly and opens automatically or closes only halfway, resetting is the first option you should look into. While each model often have specific instructions as far as resetting goes, the common procedure often includes unplugging to shut off the power and waiting for 10 seconds before turning it back on.

Performing preventive maintenance at home should include making sure your garage doors remain in peak condition. After all, one that is working efficiently will help ensure your home’s safety and your peace of mind.

Key Factors to Consider when considering Awnings for your home

photo credit: General awnings

photo credit: General awnings

Turning your outdoor space into the ideal sanctuary for relaxation haven can be relatively simple, if the proper steps are followed. While solar lights, flower pots, and lattice panels can help enhance your outdoor’s aesthetics, you need to also ensure you are protected from the harsh elements of the weather.

Fortunately, you can get the necessary protection and intensify the visual appeal of your property at the same time with the addition of awnings.

There are several benefits awnings provide for your home: Take a look at a few of  the following outlined below:   [Read more…]

Decorating Your Home with Paint & Style – 2015

Benjamin Moore - Color of the Year

Benjamin Moore – Color of the Year

One of the first things that a homeowner is looking for in a new home or existing home, is doing a project that is a winner. Painting is a process that is a hands down winner for decorating with design and style. Freshly painted surfaces in a home gives you a fresh and inviting new look and feel of your interior space.

Each year there are new colors introduced as colors for the year that will inspire design furnishings and designers to use in the home. You should pay special attention to these colors for decorating with style in 2015.

Photo credit - Guilford green - Benjamin Moore

Photo credit – Guilford green – Benjamin Moore

[Read more…]

Dream Kitchen Design Ideas from Celebrity Kitchens to make your kitchen more fun

Celebrity Kitchens Ideas to make your kitchen more comfortable and Enjoyable

If you love to cook and entertain then you will enjoy feasting your eyes on some magnificent kitchen that are kitchen lover’s dream.

Every issue of Architectural Digest features pages of inspiring designs from the homes of the rich and famous.  This month’s issue is no exception.  Featured Writer, Leslie Anne Wiggins, highlights several kitchens in the slideshow article, Perfect Kitchens for Holiday Cooking and Gathering.

One after another they are just breathtaking. Unfortunately the average homeowner, does not have the unlimited funds of most of the kitchens featured in the slideshow, however, there are so many elements that can be used even in a modest kitchen remodel or kitchen renovation project.

Take for instance the High Gloss Kitchen cabinets in the following photo from Architectural Digest. This kitchen was decorated by Francis Sultana features an updated kitchen in a 19th Century London triplex.  You can steal the look by using Acrylic High Gloss Cabinets with a monochromatic color. Add a wood floor or faux wood floor using Porcelain wood planks that resemble the real thing.  You can Add track lighting relatively cost effectively. For the countertops you can use a nice quartz with a color shade close to the cabinets to give you that monochromatic look and feel. Top it off with a sleek stylish kitchen faucet and a stove top instead of a standard range with oven at the bottom.

Photo credit Architectural Digest

Photo credit Architectural Digest – Designer :  Francis Sultana

In the following kitchen, home of John Legend and Christy Turlington, Designer Don Stewart of Desiderata Design used beautiful teak wood cabinetry and stools by Emmerson Troop in this elegant yet simple 1960’s home to create more space in the kitchen/dining area. [Read more…]

Childhood Home of Walt Disney gets a Historical Makeover from New Owners

Historical Homes – Walt Disney’s Childhood home gets a Makeover with “Start Something Good” Campaign”

Disney Home - After Design

Disney Home – After Design

If you enjoy architecture, like most of our readers, then you will enjoy the news about Walt Disney’s Birthplace Restoration Project. Thanks to the efforts of two new owners, Dina Benadon and Brent Young we will all be able to enjoy visits to the childhood home of Walt Disney.

The landmark Disney home located in Illinois was built in 1893 by Walt Disney’s parent. The amazing thing about the house is that it was the birthplace of Walt Disney.  I can see why the owners felt so moved to save this house and make it into a museum for people to visit and learn more about Walt Disney because this is where it all started.

According to the article “Cause and Effervescence: O-Zell Soda Bubbles Back”, by:

The Walt Disney Birthplace is a two-story, wood cottage that was designed and built by Walt & Roy’s parents, Flora and Elias Disney in 1893, in the Hermosa neighborhood of Chicago. A couple of months after moving in with their sons Herbert and Raymond, Roy Disney was born in the home. They were joined by Walt, who was also born in the home, on December 5, 1901 and in 1903 their sister Ruth came along.


Unfortunately, when you look at the home now, it really needs improvement, from the photos of the exterior facade. The home is wood construction with a shingle roof that could use a new roof, new windows, paint and work on the exterior.

Disney Birthplace 2014

Disney Birthplace 2014

Principles behind the Historic Walt Disney Childhood Home

An important facet of this project is to foster ongoing discoveries about the environment and early family life that created these two remarkable individuals.

An in-depth study into Walt and Roy’s early upbringing will generate timeless, beneficial insights for today’s families and beyond:

  • “Helping families to nurture creativity”
  • “Helping families to embrace their children’s passions”
  • “Helping families to “live their values


For Architecture lovers, you will be happy to know that this house is representative of typical affordable  wooden-framed workers’ cottages built in Chicago in the late 19th century. The original architectural integrity  of this Walt Disney birthplace is amazing.According to an article: Walt Disney Birthplace – Restoration Underway from the amazing site Yesterland - dedicated to remembering Disney attractions from yesteryear:

Despite additions, remodeling, and modernization throughout the 20th century, the house is still largely the original handiwork of Walt Disney’s father Elias Disney. With committed owners and a team of highly respected restoration and cultural heritage professionals ready to turn the calendar back to the period when young Walt Disney lived there, this house promises to have unquestionable historical significance.

[Read more…]

Hot Trends in Real Estate – Add-on In-law Suites to the Home

Photo Credit - Ross Chapin Yahoo Homes

Photo Credit – Ross Chapin Yahoo Homes

Did you know that one of the hottest trend in real estate these days is to add on a space to a home somewhere on the property, say backyard or side of the house?

A recent article in the WallStreet Journal highlights this new phenomenon that is happening all around the country.

Technically, it is not a new concept, because in-law suites have been around for years.  It just so happens that because our society is changing it is becoming popular again.  The real good news to a homeowner is that it can improve a home’s value as high as  60 percent.

These “in-law suites” are formally known as “accessory dwelling units” (ADUs), and range in size between 300 and 800 square feet.

The multi-generational living trend has seen a rise since many millennials return to their parents’ homes and baby boomers are relocating closer to their children as age.

It is important to note that different cities have different rules. Before plotting the space for your new guest house or In-law suite, be sure that you check with your city’s planning and zoning department to determine what those rules are.

A great online resource with a list of  regulations by state and city is

Click on the following links to read more on In-Law Suites and Accessory Dwelling Units

The Hottest Home Amenity: In-Law Apartments – Wall Street Journal

Hottest trend in real estate: tiny add-on homes for in-laws or millennials – Yahoo Homes

A Guest House in Your Backyard? Here’s What You Need to Know - Coldwell Banker

What to Know Before Building a Guesthouse – Zillow

Why Preventive Maintenance Is so Important for Your Home

photo credit cottage life -

photo credit cottage life -

If you own a home, you can rest assured that it is almost impossible to run out of ways to improve your home. I know that you might be thinking of that person that over improves their home with things that are gaudy and too much for the home, but we are talking about things that help enhance the home’s longevity.

One thing that is always recommended, take the time to tastefully remodel or renovate your home’s interior, upgrade and purchase new appliances to help make your home a little greener.  In addition to these fun cosmetic upgrades you can do something like preventative maintenance that can help improve a home exponentially.

Sometimes, the most basic things are overlooked by homeowners, but there is no denying that preventative maintenance it is essential to a comfortable, beautiful and functional home.

There are so many reasons why preventive maintenance is is so critical for homeowners to be concerned with. We wanted to highlight a few of the more obvious reasons why preventative maintenance should be top of mind for every homeowner:

  • Preventive maintenance saves money.
    The reason why most homeowners shy away from hiring a maintenance expert is the cost. Granted, it may not always be cheap, but it certainly guarantees savings. It allows you to detect problems early so you can resolve them before they become more time-consuming, expensive and worrisome.
  • Preventative maintenance maximizes your home’s value.
    Properties that are well-maintained have a higher resale value than those that have never undergone upkeep checks for years. So if you are planning to sell or rent out your home in the near future, preventive maintenance should be a priority. Luckily, you can inspect the property on your own and there are easy fixes you can finish by yourself if you have the right tools. However, it’s best to let qualified and experienced professionals take care of the more difficult and hazardous projects such as hot water maintenance.
  • Preventative maintenance extends the life of your home.
    Preventive maintenance is truly the key to keeping all your major appliances running for decades. Take your heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit for example. Without proper care, its performance will decline over time. But when it undergoes maintenance on a regular basis, it stays in tip-top shape and retains its durability and efficiency for a long time.
  • Preventative maintenance gives you peace of mind.
    Because preventive maintenance helps ensure your home’s safety, it can put you at ease. When you hire professionals every few months to inspect your home and resolve all sorts of problems, you are making your home safer and more secure. Maintenance experts can help minimize the risk of all sorts of mishaps. They can give you peace of mind by resolving anything that could pose a threat to both your property and well-being.

Preventive maintenance is indeed beneficial and not attending to it can lead to major consequences. Do not overlook it if you want to steer clear of all sorts of costly and worrisome problems.



Window Treatments: Why are they a Necessity for Your Home?

photo credit - Hunter Douglas

photo credit – Hunter Douglas

Making your home more inviting and comfortable does not have to be an expensive, time-consuming and stressful endeavor. If you are looking to steer clear of renovation challenges and don’t want to spend a fortune, you can improve your home simply by installing new window treatments like roller tilt shutters.

It’s a good thing that there are many styles available, and each of them is designed to suit the unique needs of homeowners. You won’t have a hard time finding an option that suits your home’s interior design. Just take your time and do your fair share of research if you want to choose the right products, make the most of their visual appeal
and functionality, and of course, experience their well-known advantages.

Protection against the elements

When the inside of your home is exposed to sunlight for a long period of time, it could
sustain damage. Your furniture could crack and your appliances could overheat and stop working. As a result, you could end up spending a fortune on repairs and replacements.

Fortunately, curtains, drapes, shades, blinds and shutters all offer protection from harsh weather. They can reduce the sunrays that enter your home or block them completely, thus protecting you and your belongings.

[Read more…]

How to Avoid Common Home Building Mistakes

Home Building Mistakes

Avoid Home Building Mistakes with Planning Properly

Horror stories on home building blunders are real and terrifying. These stories are often told by homeowners who miss the recommended meetings with a licensed architect, designer, engineer or contractor and choose builders on account of affordability.

In pure pursuit of economy, you may become a victim of poor workmanship such as these common home building mistakes:

  • Plumbing errors: inadequate drain slope, clean-outs, air gaps, space around toilets and sink, combustion air, etc.
  • Structural issues: foundation, floors, walls, roofs, stairs, insulation and ventilation problems
  • Electrical wiring mistakes and other building code violations: mixing line- and low-voltage wires, fire hazards, burying the splice box
  • Mechanical: faulty duct installation, furnace installation, furnaces installed in the attic.

So if you are constructing, renovating, or buying a house, beware of these potential pitfalls (disastrous mistakes) your trusted builder might make. Are there foolproof ways to steer clear of home building nightmares and ultimately, build the house of your dreams?

Take heart. Think how some people built their houses as they had imagined. For some, the final result has exceeded their expectations. If you knew how they  approached the enormous task of building a decent dwelling, you’d be as satisfied as  they were.

A few valuable lessons to help with your building projects from experienced builders:

  •  Take note and serve all crucial aspects of the site where the house would be built. Structural foundation errors are the costliest and most difficult building mistakes to correct. Smart prospective homeowners know that they need to understand the specific surroundings, conditions, and possible obstacles in the area where they plan to construct the house. For example, they would consult a reputable soil engineer to check whether the construction site can support the type of house they plan to build. Follow their lead by visiting the construction site with a foundation specialist before you tell the builders to begin.
  •  They see the big picture yet manage to keep track of the minutest details. Adequate and affordable house construction demands attention to detail and the ability to put these details together to draw a 3D image of your dream home.  Brilliant homeowners seek the professional with the combined skills and experience of a contractor and an architect to cover planning, costing, and supervision tasks.  You need both creative genius and management skills to build the home you’ve always wanted. Check the previous works of this professional consultant before you hire him.
  • Make sure that you have a project manager working with your builder on the project. When you build a home, it is teamwork, not a one man’s job. By having a skilled project manager overseeing the project, you  have an objective and fail-safe way to monitor the work being done to your satisfaction.   Successful homeowners know understand the importance of having someone on the team that understands how to inspect the work and the project so they ultimately get the job they are paying for in a satisfactory manner.

Use some of these tips and ideas so that you enjoy the fun and exciting period of building the home of your dreams – rather than the home of screams. If you have other concerns or stories about home design projects, please feel free to share them in  the comment section.

The Beauty and Ease of Installing Laminate Floors

Laminate flooring - Modern

Laminate flooring – Modern

Laminate flooring is a common solution to homeowners looking for a cost effective flooring option. It provides a popular option, which is relatively easy to maintain and clean, plus it can be truly stylish. Laminate flooring has earned the nickname floating floor, as it is not attached to the subfloor. This is what makes it easy to maintain and what is more important – easy to install.

With enough preparation and attention to details laminate flooring laminate flooring is one of the best economical floors to install. However, if you are considering to DIY laminate flooring installation, you need to be sure that the proper steps are followed or you run the risk of botching up your laminate floors and having to call in a flooring contractor to fix them.

Where to Start with Laminate Flooring?

You must start with finding the best quality laminate flooring that you can afford. It is a misnomer that all laminates are created equal.  You may think that the .99/sq’ laminate floor looks the same as the $3.99/sq’ but be warned they are not the same.  Quality laminate flooring comes in all grades, sizes, colors and material.  Do your homework and learn how to choose the best quality laminate flooring before you make the error of installing poor quality laminate in your home.  Always do your homework first before making a purchase. [Read more…]