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Turn Your Garage into a Man Cave

Posted on March 3, 2017 by Leave a comment

If it ever feels like your house is too small or there’s simply not enough space in it to call your own, the solution to your problems could be closer than you think: your garage. Converting your garage into a man cave is a great way to make use of a space that is usually reserved for your cars. After all, your car can hang out outside. You, however, need to carve out some space to call your own–and the garage is the perfect place to do it.

Fully Convert Or Keep the Garage?

When you’re ready to convert your garage into a man cave, there’s one key decision you need to make before you get started: do you want to keep the garage, or do you want to convert the space completely? If you’re planning to sell the house down the road, giving up the garage may cause your home to lose value. On the other hand, if you know that you’re going to live in this home for several more decades, it’s up to you how you want to use the space. You can easily turn the garage into a man cave without removing the possibility that the space can later be used as a garage or convert it into usable space that’s no different from the rest of your house. It’s up to you!

Clean It Out

Let’s face it: right now, your garage is probably packed full of all sorts of things that your family chooses to store there instead of in the house. From bicycles and yard equipment–which might need a shed for storage–to boxes full of random items that just don’t seem to go anywhere else, you’re going to have to clear out the space before you can use it as your own. Take these steps:

  • Get rid of anything that no one in your family really needs or wants. Give yourself permission to give up on your pack rat tendencies.
  • Purchase a shed or other exterior storage area for big items that will be hard to store inside the house.
  • Move items that are still needed and can be placed inside the house to new homes. Utilize every inch of available storage space: under the sink, in the attic, in the laundry room, and anywhere else you can find it. Make sure items you use on a regular basis stay where you can find them easily.

Once you have a clean slate to start with, you’ll be ready to dive in and make the most of your man cave.

Take Care of Climate Control

If you’re going to use your garage as a man cave, you want to make sure that it’s a comfortable place for you and your buddies to hang out. There are several ways you can accomplish this.

  • Make sure the garage is insulated. If you plan to keep the garage door, an insulated door will help keep your room cool in summer and warm in winter without sacrificing the functionality of the room if you ever want to convert it back.
  • Install a heating or cooling unit that will keep your new man cave comfortable. If you have a window, a window unit may be your best option. No window? There are a variety of products on the market, from fans to heaters, that will keep your garage climate controlled no matter the season.
  • Choose insulated flooring or flooring that won’t immediately leech all the heat from the room in the winter. A thick rug in the middle of the floor can go a long way toward offsetting the cold!

Set Up the Lights

Chances are, your garage doesn’t incorporate a great deal of lighting. If you’re going to turn it into a man cave, you need to be able to see! Make sure you think through where you’re going to need lighting most. If you’re installing a bar, do you want lighting over it so that people can see what they’re eating or drinking? When you put in a pool table or poker table, you want to illuminate the game. Think through your lighting needs and how you’re going to install them. Do you have the outlets you need to plug in lights? Design the lighting you want for your man cave as you design the rest of the room so that it will be a cozy space you can enjoy for years to come.

Keep Your Storage

By keeping shelves along the walls or using the ceiling for storage, you can have the man cave of your dreams without sacrificing all the storage space you’ve always appreciated in the garage. Cabinets with doors that can be closed, open shelves, and ceiling racks are all options for making the most of your space while still allowing you the freedom to store items that simply don’t fit inside your home. Organizing these items–and keeping them that way–allows you to enjoy your man cave without it becoming cluttered.

Think About What You Really Want

Your garage starts off as a blank canvas. When you imagine turning it into a man cave, you have plenty of possibilities in mind! As you start to add items, however, that space may fill up faster than you thought. Do you really want a pool table and poker table, or do you want comfortable seating around a television where you can kick back with your friends and watch the big game? Chances are, having a fridge–even if it’s just a mini-fridge for drinks–in your space will be a huge convenience. Plan out your design for the room before you get started, then make it reality! You’ll fall in love with the freedom your new man cave offers–not to mention the fact that it will make your house the most popular on the block.

Converting your garage into a man cave is a great way to get more usable space out of your home. You’ll quickly discover that this space is one of your favorites in the house. All it takes is a willingness to park your car outside.

Dallas Garage Door Overhaul Giveaway Worth $500

Posted on December 17, 2016 by Leave a comment

At NTX Garage Doors we have an ongoing Garage Door Overhaul Giveaway. We give away one free maintenance every month through social media sites. The overhaul is worth $500 and includes new replacement garage door springs, rollers, cables, and drums with a garage door tune up.

Cool, right?

Are You Eligible to Win?

Anyone that lives in our service area can win.  Our service area includes North Texas, Dallas, Plano, Allen, Carrollton, Frisco, McKinney, Richardson, Garland, Mesquite, and Denton and surrounding areas. We will overhaul and service all garage door and gate opener brands.

How Do I Win a Free Garage Door Overhaul and Tune Up?

All you have to do to enter is like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or follow us on Google+.  You can also share our contest on any social media site, or retweet us for additional entries.  We randomly select a winner at the end of the month from our new followers and shares and retweets.  THe only stipulation is that you have to reside in the Dallas area.  We are a local Dallas garage door company.  We can’t afford to send one of our technicians out to Alaska, sorry guys.

Why Tune Up Your Garage Door?

Since 2002, NTX Garage Doors has been making the lives of our customers easier; many of which often take the appearance and functionality of their garage doors for granted. Usually once put in, they simply work. They open or close when you push the right button or enter the right code. You can make them operate with your eyes closed. Before taking for granted that your garage doors will always function for you like this, consider that they really perform best with an annual tune-up.

Garage door maintenance retains the functionality you rely on, ensures safety, and may save you money and the inconvenience of a costly service call. Your annual tune up service includes springs examination. Expect to replace your springs at least every 10 years. We’ll also look at your ducts to see if they need cleaning. Ducts get dirty over time, but particularly after construction projects. A tune-up includes a check on door appearance as well. We will look for water stains and/or rust indicating potential damage needing immediate repair. We usually check and lubricate rollers, examine hinges and bolts, inspect the weather-stripping, and look at the tracks to identify any bends or any mis-alignments.

Tips On How To Winterize Your Garage Doors

Posted on December 14, 2016 by Leave a comment

The one time you don’t want to deal with garage door issues is when temperatures plummet, or in the middle of an ice storm or snowstorm. Be proactive in addressing potential problems before inclement winter weather arrives.

Here are some tips for winterizing your garage doors:

Weatherstipping: repair or replace – To minimize air intrusion, it is imperative to install weatherstripping that successfully seals the gap between the garage door and the frame around the garage door opening. Properly installed weatherstripping will minimize drafts and help retain heat inside your garage. This is particularly important if your garage is heated, although simply retaining heat coming from your vehicle’s engine after you turn off the ignition is still advantageous.

Drafts worsen when weatherstripping ages or comes undone. As it ages, weatherstripping may crack as it loses its resiliency. Occasionally, it is damaged by a vehicle, lawn mower or other equipment that brushes against it. Sometimes, the weatherstripping is intact and pliable but the sealant is failing.

Damaged or aging weatherstripping is often removed with a pry bar or other appropriate hand tool. Next, old sealant is scraped away with a putty knife or paint scraper. Care must be taken to leave a smooth surface that will promote a proper seal when the new weatherstripping is installed. Proper installation is critical. The new material must be aligned so it runs perfectly parallel to the garage door’s exterior surface. Properly positioned weatherstripping will flatten slightly when the garage door is closed, ensuring a proper seal. However, if the weatherstripping is too close to the garage door, undue friction may occur as the door opens and closes.

Also, inspect the weatherstripping that runs along the bottom of the door. If it is brittle, or damaged in places, replace it to ensure that cold air will not continually seep under the garage door. When weatherstripping is aging but intact, it is often possible to extend its life with the application of an appropriate lubricant. For example, it is often possible to apply a silicone lubricant to PVC weatherstripping. If you are in doubt about the type of material sealing the gap, contact a garage door specialist for assistance.

Check batteries – Battery efficiency suffers in cold weather. The battery in your external keypad that operated flawlessly all summer may suddenly fail when temperatures plunge. Typically, a keypad operates off of a 9-volt battery that gets very warm in mid-summer heat and very cold when those arctic blasts arrive. Replace the battery before winter solidifies its grip on the area.

At the same time, it is wise to replace the round, flat battery that powers your remote. If you don’t already have a spare, get one now so your remote won’t unexpectedly fail in the middle of a winter storm.

Lubricate metal parts – Over time, the performance of lubricant on springs, rollers and tracks often declines as it accumulates dirt and debris. As foreign material accumulates, friction increases. Also, lubricant may begin to break down over time. Although it may do its job in the warmer months, it may stiffen or congeal in cold weather. Two things may happen. First, the mechanisms may operate with difficulty. Second, metal components may prematurely age and fail.

To reapply lubricant, it is important to begin by wiping old lubricant and accumulated debris from the door’s metal components and adjacent surfaces. Next, a new, oil-based lubricant is applied. As it is applied, excess lubricant is wiped off of adjacent surfaces with a dry, clean cloth. It is important to use the right lubricant. Some formulations, like WD-40, are actually degreasers that will fail to properly lubricate mechanisms over time. Also, avoid the use of grease, as it causes rollers to slide rather than to perform as designed.

Inspect garage door springs – Correctly operating garage doors rise and lower with ease, in large part because of the counterbalancing system. Aging springs that still operate well during warmer weather may fail during cold snaps. Check your garage door springs by first pulling on the emergency cord. This will disable the garage door opener. The door should open rather easily when you attempt to open it by hand. If it does not, the springs may be the problem. A garage door specialist can quickly diagnose any potential problem before winter’s arrival.

Check reversal systems – A garage door’s automatic reversal system must work properly to keep everyone safe. It is designed to automatically raise a descending door when a person or object is detected.

Mechanical reversal systems activate when the door physically detects resistance. Test it by placing a piece of wood where the door usually comes in contact with the ground. If the door does not automatically reverse, adjustments are necessary. The maintenance manual will provide step-by-step instructions, or a garage door specialist can make proper adjustments as part of an overall garage door checkup.

Photoelectric reversal systems consist of two units positioned on either side of the door, several inches off the ground. When the light beam is interrupted by a foot or an object, for example, a closing garage door will automatically reverse. Misalignment is the most common reason for a photoelectric system to fail. When realignment of the units does not correct the problem, the assistance of a garage door specialist is recommended.

Although the DIY homeowner may complete certain winterizing steps themselves. the assistance of a knowledgeable garage door specialist is often helpful. For prompt and friendly service, please contact NTX.

How to Operate Your Garage Door From Anywhere: Smart Home and Smartphone Garage Remotes

Posted on November 11, 2016 by Leave a comment

Have you heard that there is a new way to operate your garage door from anywhere, but you are not sure how this actually happens?  If you are unfamiliar with the “smart home” concept, the good news is that it makes your anxiety about whether or not you accidentally left the garage door open a fading memory.  To get a better understanding of how this style of garage door opener works and how you can get one, keep reading.


How is it possible to operate your garage door from anywhere?


In the recent past, the main way to open and close the garage door was with a remote.  Of course, the main disadvantage of this type of device is that it could be forgotten, misplaced, or compromised by a burglar. One other big concern is that once you drive away, you forget whether or not you have opened or closed the garage door with the remote. Solving all of these problems, one of the most interesting inventions over the past 10 years is a garage door opener that can be controlled with an app on a smartphone. Naturally, in order to get these advantages, a device must be installed by a professional garage door specialist.


What are the advantages of opening a garage door remotely?


In addition to the ability to never forget the garage door opener remote or have it run out of batteries when you need it the most, having the advantage to open the door to your garage when you are not around is priceless.  Along these lines, if you are running a business or have a lot of packages delivered, being able to remotely open and close the garage door for visitors can save you a considerable amount of time or money. Finally, when there is an emergency in your home, being able to open the garage door for service contractors remotely is the most ideal security option.  Being able to remotely allow service workers to gain access to your home also means you are not waiting around and missing work so your plumbing can get inspected.


Do businesses also get remote garage door opener upgrades?


There are many obvious advantages for businesses to use remote garage door opener upgrades on their property, but if you are worried about security, put those fears aside. These smart home devices are also great for business uses, and they can integrate into your current security schemes.  In some cases, the security company will need to be contacted by the garage door opener installation specialist to inform them that an upgrade has been made.


How do garage door openers work in businesses?


Businesses are often involved with using garage doors in ways homeowners do not.  For example, there are several types of security features that involve deploying a roll-down steel door that functions with the same machinery as a garage door for a home.  In these cases, having remote garage door openers installed in a business means multiple ones are used on the app.  This is ideal for shop owners that might decide to close up the business early from home because an employee had an emergency.  These smartphone garage door openers are also great for remotely opening the business to allow for early morning deliveries.


What is involved with the installation of remote garage door openers?


Within your current garage door opening mechanism is a remote sensor that works with your garage door remote. Simply put, a WiFi device is installed that will redirect this signal that is normally sent to the garage door remote to a device that will send the information to and from your smartphone through an app. Although it is fairly simple to install and does not require you to get a new garage door or motor, a professional will need to be available to calibrate the inexpensive WiFi device properly. They will also be able to help you understand how to use the new device on your smartphone through an app as a remote garage door opener.


Where can I get one of the garage door opener apps and devices?


Anyone can order one of the WiFi garage door opener devices online, but it does not mean that installing it and starting to use it will be easy for everyone. In many cases, it is not recommended for homeowners to upgrade or repair a garage door due to the fatalities and injuries that can occur if the weight of the door suddenly shifts. Alternatively, a new device can be purchased based on your current garage door machinery and installed quickly by a pro.  Along with taking out the guesswork about which device to choose, professional garage door repair and installation specialists can help make sure everything works effectively.


Are there any security concerns about garage door openers?


Although there may be a temptation to do DIY repairs to your garage door, there are many warnings on the side of the device that will tell you to reconsider this idea. Unfortunately, even minor repairs can put you in harm’s way if you are not a trained professional. For this reason, give a garage door contractor a call and ask for their inspection services. If you can in fact do the repair yourself, they will show you the proper techniques. Otherwise, be aware that garage door fatalities can happen due to inexperienced tinkerers.


Let us help you install your smart home garage door opener


Now that you have a better understanding of the next wave of affordable, high-tech home upgrades that can help put your mind at ease, your next step is to give us a call at NTX Garage Door Repair of Allen, TX.   Whether you are concerned about integrating security features or simply do not understand which device to choose, we are happy to help.  To get started, give us a call and tell us you are ready to install a device that will let you close or open your garage door from anywhere by using your phone.  Thank you in advance for choosing us, and we look forward to hearing more from you.

Common Garage Door Issues: Warped or Misaligned Tracks

Posted on September 14, 2016 by Leave a comment

The metal tracks that your garage door runs on must remain properly aligned for the door to open and close with ease. Misaligned or warped tracks often result in unwanted noise as the garage door goes up and down. Such tracks can stress the motor or other components, eventually increasing overall repair costs. Therefore, timely repairs are best.

When warped or misaligned tracks keep a garage door from closing securely, it is particularly important to address the problem right away. A certain percentage of residential burglaries occur because thieves gain easy access through a garage door that is left open or is no longer secure.

Reasons for Misalignment

Garage door tracks become misaligned over time or because of accidents:

Gradual wear and tear – Although most garage door systems are designed to provide years of carefree service, it is not uncommon for a track to get out of alignment after a garage door opens and closes literally thousands of times.

Acute events – Sometimes, a track is knocked out of alignment when a vehicle or other large object strikes the garage door. Keep in mind that, although there is often visible evidence of a misaligned track, other damage may have occurred. Therefore, a professional inspection is advisable when something like this happens.

Evidence of Misalignment or Warping

Track problems often produce a rubbing noise as the garage door reaches a certain point on the tracks. Over time, the sound usually becomes more and more noticeable. As the problem worsens, the door may begin to slow down as the rollers reach the problem spot.

When a track goes out of alignment, it is common to see a gap develop between the rollers and the rail. When the problem is more severe, the roller may come right out of the track. It is also common for a misaligned track to bend or warp over time. Therefore, prompt attention to misalignment may increase the chance that repair, rather than replacement, will be a sufficient response.

Basic Realignment

When a garage door is sticking or not operating smoothly, it is important to properly diagnose the problem. If it indeed is a matter of track misalignment, it is typically necessary to loosen the screws that hold the track in place, and to use a rubber mallet to move the track back into a proper position. The use of a level ensures that the realignment is successful.

The screws are then re-tightened, and the garage door is tested for smooth operation. It is important to realize that the misalignment initially occurred for a reason. If it is due to screws loosening over time, that problem must be addressed to ensure that the track will remain in alignment going forward. Sometimes, the movement of screws gradually enlarges the screw holes. In fact, this may be the reason the track went out of alignment in the first place.

Professional Realignment

Garage door professionals have the appropriate equipment required to successfully and safely realign the garage door. In some cases, prolonged misalignment leads to one or more bends in the tracks. When this occurs, it is often most appropriate to replace the track.

Self-diagnosis of track misalignment can be tricky. Garage doors fail to move up and down smoothly for a variety of other reasons as well:

  • Transmitter problems
  • Worn rollers
  • Broken or bent track support
  • Photo eye out of alignment
  • Broken springs
  • Broken torsion spring cable

Other Track Issues

Proper diagnosis is also important because another track issue is sometimes the actual culprit:

Sticky tracks – In some cases it is not track misalignment but sticky tracks that are the culprit. Then garage door lubricant used on tracks and rollers may gradually pick up enough grit to cause sticking. Or, the lubricant may dry out dry out enough to get sticky. When either of these problems arise, it is necessary to properly clean the tracks and rollers and to re-lubricate them.

Dents and bumps – Sometimes, it is a dent or a bump on a track which causes the problem. For example, it is possible for a heavier object to strike the track and dent it. In some cases, it is possible to use a woodblock along with a mallet or hammer to eliminate the dent or bump. In other situations, it is necessary to replace the track to ensure smooth long-term operation.

Cold temperatures – Winter cold snaps can also cause a garage door to stick when it would otherwise operate well. Aging lubricant that still does the job in warm weather may not perform well when temperatures drop.

DIY vs Professional Service

It is often tempting for the do-it-yourself homeowner to use a hammer, pliers, pry bar or other rudimentary tool to try straighten the track. However, there are some problems with this. First, tracks are typically fabricated from heavy-gauge steel designed for long-term service. When this heavy-duty metal does warp or bend, it is often difficult to repair. Second, heavy garage doors, springs and tension cables create safety concerns. A person who does not regularly work on heavy garage door systems is potentially at risk. Third, it is often difficult for a DIY individual to determine whether the track should be repaired or replaced. If a track warps or bends after a long period of successful service, it is often advisable to replace it with a brand-new, perfectly straight track which will properly perform for many years to come.

NTX has proudly served the Dallas metro area since 2002. When your garage door requires service, please contact us for a free estimate. We look forward to earning your business!