NASCAR Winds Down Exciting Season

With four drivers vying for the coveted NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, all eyes will be on Homestead-Miami Speedway this Sunday. Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, and Kevin Harvick look to out muscle each other in a race to the finish at the Ford EcoBoost 400.

Of the four, Ryan Newman is perhaps the most surprising as he has yet to win a race this season. But NASCAR’s newly revamped playoff system (and a last-lap push of Kyle Larson into the wall in Phoenix) has allowed him to compile enough points to contend for the championship, even if it was just by one point over popular driver, Jeff Gordon.

Newman doesn’t even have to win on Sunday, he just needs to finish higher that the other contenders. If he is able to come away with a victory, Newman would be the first win-less driver to win the cup.

Regardless of the outcome, this years championship race promises to be exciting. So many stories develop with each NASCAR season it will be very interesting to see how this plays out. Payback is always in question when the green flag drops, especially in races as intense as this one with so much riding on the line.

Liftmaster driver Jamie McMurrayOf course we here at Precision Garage Door in Las Vegas always pull for Liftmaster sponsored driver Jamie McMurray, who finished a respectable 14th in his last race in Phoenix after over-coming many challenges during the race. Although currently the 18th ranked driver in the Sprint Cup chase, McMurray looks to end the season on a high note next Sunday at Homestead.

This Halloween, Make a Haunted Garage!

Make a Haunted GarageOctober is just around the corner and with it comes many peoples favorite holiday, Halloween! Trick or treaters will soon be donning their costumes and going door to door for treats and fun. Instead of simply greeting kids at the door, why not convert your garage into an awesome haunted house. Here’s some ideas for using your garage space for a great spooky experience.

Clean Up
Of course the first thing you want to do is to clean out any obstacles or items that could be dangerous such as sharp objects or flammable liquids. Make sure there are no oil spills or slick spots that someone could slip on. Take out any low hanging items such as bikes on hangers, etc. Hang sheets or curtains over shelves to hide them.

Make a Plan
Create a floor plan layout of how you want to set up your haunted house. Have a clear enter and exit area. Thick cardboard is excellent for partitioning off sections of your garage. Each section or room should have it’s own ‘scare’ such as a pop-up ghost or caged madman. You may want to add things like short crawl ways with tubes or boxes for kids to go through. Keep lighting in mind, but of course you never want it too well lit. Simple darkness is the best way to make imaginations run wild so use that to your advantage.

Adding Decorations and Props
A quick trip to the local Halloween store will give you plenty of props and decorations to use. Sometimes subtlety is the best like rubber spiders hanging from the ceiling that you can barely see. Tall, creepy, looming figures stashed in a dark corner are great for giving chills. Avoid things that may break if knocked-over. Keep in mind the age group you will have going through your haunted house especially if you have very young children in your neighborhood.

Lights and Sound
Purposeful lighting and a scary soundtrack will help enhance your haunted garage. As we said before, darkness itself is scary for most kids but you may want to add fun lighting like a strobe or black light. Also use lights to cast scary shadows on the walls.

Use Your Friends
It’s usually not hard to conjure up a couple of friends to be actors for your haunted house. Teenagers that are a little to old to trick or treat are also a great resource which also keeps them busy from creating mischief.

Decorating the Outside
The best way to attract trick or treaters in your haunted garage is decorating the outside. Line the path to your garage with jack-o-lanterns and other scary props such as gravestones or zombie hands sticking out of the ground. You may want to create a theme for your haunted house such as an asylum or haunted castle. Create a story line to tell kids before entering like an escaped madman or wild animal has been living in your garage.

Remember that Halloween should be all about having fun and don’t allow anyone too young to enter if you feel it’s too scary. A just reward for surviving your haunted house should be available as kids exit.

The Pre-Vacation Checklist

Pre Vacation ChecklistYour bags are packed, boarding passes in hand, family pets are taken care of and you are ready to leave it all behind for a great two-week vacation. Not so fast. Have you taken care of everything you need to before you leave? After all, your home will be empty and vulnerable to a break-in. Better take a look at this pre-vacation checklist:

Stop the Mail and Newspaper
Notify your local post office to put your mail on hold while you are gone. USPS actually allows you to do this online. If you have a newspaper delivered, advise them that you will be gone as well.

Tell the Neighbors or Friends
If you have a neighbor you trust or a friend nearby, ask them to keep an eye on your house. Provide them with a way to contact you and let them know when you are leaving and returning. If you have someone that will be house-sitting, it’s a good idea advise neighbors that there will be a car in your driveway they may not recognize.

Turn Off Automatic Irrigation
If you have an automatic irrigation system, you may just want to shut it down while you are on vacation. Busted irrigation pipes are a hard thing to deal with from afar.

Forward Your Home Phone
If you have a land line at your home, forward the number to your cell phone if possible. Never leave a voice message that you will be out of town.

Invest in Light Timers or Home Automation
Making your home look lived in while you’re away can help keep it safe. Invest in light timers that come on at night for at least two rooms. For a little more money, you could always have a home automation system installed to allow you to control lights from anywhere you go with your smart phone or tablet.

DON’T Post on Social Media
While you’ll be tempted to share all the great things about your vacation to the social media world, you never know who’s hand that information will land in. More and more, burglars scan social media networks to look for easy targets. Keep your photo’s to yourself while you are away, the post away when you get home!

Lock Up and Set the Alarm
Make sure all doors and windows are locked and secure, especially the door to your garage. If your automatic garage door has a lock feature, use that as well. There are additional steps you can take to keep your garage door safe as well. If you have a security system installed, notify the alarm company that you will be away and give them a local contact in case something happens.

Vacations are for resting and relaxing. By taking these few simple steps, you can have piece of mind your home is safe and secure while you are away.

Which Garage Door Material Is Best?

garage door materialWhen you decide to purchase a new garage door, you’re faced with a number of choices. One of the biggest decisions you will need to make is selecting the material of the door. There are many types of garage door materials and there are few things you should factor in when making a choice. Today we will cover some of the different materials garage door builders use and what to consider when purchasing a new door.

Wood
Wood was once the mainstay material of garage doors but has taken a backseat to newer, cheaper materials. Wood doors used to require a lot of maintenance and they would need to be repainted often. Today, longer lasting paint or stain makes this requirement less of a concern. Most wood doors are built with a hemlock frame and hardwood panels but custom wood doors are often made with douglas fir. While wood doors are pricier than their counterparts, they look great and are often the choice for high-end home builders.

Steel
The most popular choice for garage door builders these days is steel. Steel is a very strong, durable material and requires low maintenance. The face of a steel garage doors can be embossed to look like wood grain or have a smooth finish. Steel doors are often padded with insulation to help with weatherproofing. The downside to steel doors is that they can rust if not properly treated.

Aluminum
Aluminum is a lightweight material that can be used to create doors that have a painted wood look. They are more resistant to rust than steel doors and are built to be dent resistant. The disadvantage for aluminum doors is they can be costlier than other doors.

Fiberglass
For those wanted their door to resemble a wood door but is resistant to moisture and insects, fiberglass is the way to go. A big advantage of fiberglass garage doors is that they are very flexible which means they have less chance of warping with weather changes. However, they are not suggested for colder climates has they tend to break down when temperatures drop below freezing.

Plastic
Probably the least used material for doors is plastic although they are gaining in popularity. The fact that it is such a light weight material means it will put way less stress on the garage door opener. They are also won’t rust or rot which can happen to steel or wood doors. The plastic used is high-density much like truck bed liners and they carry the longest warranties in the market.

Besides the style and look of your garage door, you should also consider safety, durability, and strength before buying a new garage door. Where you live also should be a factor as weather can effect materials differently. We strongly suggest consulting with professional before deciding on which door material to use.

Garage Problems – Know The Symptoms

When your garage door breaks, it can be an incredible inconvenience for you and your whole family. It generally either means you are unable to leave the house or unable to get back into your garage. In cases where you door gets stuck open and you have to leave your home, the property in your garage is at risk of being stolen or criminals have easier access to your home. In any case, it’s imperative that you have your garage fixed quickly.

But if we back up a few steps, maybe there is a way to prevent you garage from breaking in the first place. In most instances of broken garages, we find that there were symptoms leading up to the final catastrophe. Recognizing and addressing those symptoms are key to avoid putting yourself in position of dealing with a broken garage door.

Here are a few things that may indicate your garage needs servicing:

Noisy Operation
Probably the most common symptom that your garage door needs maintenance is noisy operation. A high pitch squeal or a grinding sound is a good indication something needs to be looked at. Sometimes it’s just a simple matter of lubrication. Or it could mean you have a bent railing or that a spring is about to give out. If your door suddenly starts making a noise you haven’t heard before, it’s a good idea to have someone check it out.

Door Wobbles or Misalignment
If you notice that your door vibrates or wobbles when you open or close it, or that one side of the door touches the ground before the other, it might be time to call a professional. This is a major symptom that a lift cables stretching or about to break. It could also mean a spring is losing tension on one site. It might also mean a railing is bent or knocked out of alignment. Taking care of these issues before a major mishap can save you from buying a whole new door.

Hesitation When Opening or Closing
Another indicator of a problem is if your door hesitates when you hit the button to open or close it. It could just mean you sensors are out of line or even that the batteries in your remote need replacing. In more serious cases, wiring may be the issue which could result in replacing the entire opener.

Smells Like Somethings Burning
If you smell something burning you will want to have your opener checked immediately. This is a good indication that wires have become exposed and are touching something they shouldn’t. Could also be the motor is about to give out. There are other instances where bird or critters have built their nest inside an opener creating a major fire hazard. This is a symptom you do not want to wait on.

Even if your garage is not exhibiting symptoms, it’s a good idea to have a professional tune-up and inspect your garage functions at least once a year. By taking a few simple steps, you can insure you garage door will operate safely and properly for years to come.

Top Five Hidden Dangers in Garages

garage dangersGarages seem to accumulate stuff no matter how diligent you are about keeping it organized. Among some of the clutter, hidden dangers may be lurking in the dark or even right out in the open. Here’s the top five dangers that may exist in your garage.

Fire Hazards
Firefighters will tell you that some of the worst home fires they fight start in the garage because of the amount of combustible materials that are usually present in most garages. Gasoline, paint thinner, greasy rags, wood, and sawdust are all items that can be potential fire hazards. Keeping theses items stored safely away from heat sources is key to helping prevent fires in your garage.

Standing Oil/Fluids
We have all probably had that car that leaves a puddle of oil or transmission underneath the car. When the car is not in the garage, the standing fluid is exposed and that creates a slip and fall hazard for anyone walking through the garage. If you’ve ever accidentally stepped in a patch of oil, you know just how slippery it can be. Use kitty litter or absorbent to soak up any free standing oil or fluids. Probably a good idea to have you car serviced if it is constantly leaking oil.

Spiders, Bugs, and Critters
There are many critters that like to invade garages such a mice, squirrels, snakes, and raccoons, and bugs as well like spiders, bees, and wasps. To help avoid getting critters in your garage, inspect the outside to see if there are entrances into the garage you aren’t aware of. Don’t leave food, drink, or open garbage exposed as that may attract unwanted guests. Have a pest control spray your garage regularly to help rid of spiders and bugs.

Water Heaters
Many time water heaters are located in the garage. Poorly maintained water heaters can pose a potential hazard for homeowners in different ways. Water heaters have a life span and when they fail, it’s usually because of rust. When the rust eats through, you may end up with a completely flooded garage ruining any non-waterproof items you have on the ground. Even if it’s a slow leak, the moisture can result in a build up of black mold which can be a respiratory hazard.

An even worse situation is when the water heater burner fails to shut off. This can cause a fire or may cause the water heater pressure to build up to the point of exploding. It’s important to make sure you water heater is properly maintained and replaced when necessary.

Carbon Monoxide
Carbon Monoxides is an odor-less, color-less gas that is deadly in high quantities. Running vehicles emit carbon monoxide so that is why you should never run you vehicle with your garage door closed. Indoor Barbecues also put off carbon monoxide so never use a barbecue grill in a closed garage. Broken furnaces are another source of co2 as well. We suggest having a carbon monoxide detector installed in your garage to warn you of the presence of carbon monoxide. Be sure to check the warning labels of any equipment you plan on using in your garage.

National Garage Door Safety Month

garage safety in las vegasJune has been declared National Garage Door Safety month. As the largest moving object in your home, it’s important that you garage is properly maintained and inspected to keep it operating safely. Every year, hospitals see a significant number of patients with serious injuries caused by garage doors and there have even been deaths reported due to garage door accidents. With that in mind, here a few safety tips to help prevent accidents.

Check Your Electric Eye or Auto-Reverse
Since 1993, all garage doors openers are required to have an external entrapment protection system which consists of an electric eye sensor that detects if anything is in the path of a closing garage door. If the eye detects an object, the garage door reverses to its original position. Older garage doors also had an auto-reverse feature but the door only reacted once it made contact with an object.

To test you electric eye, simply place an object under the door and try to close it. If your eye is working, you garage door should not move or reverse immediately. If you garage only has an auto-reverse from contact, test it by place a roll of paper towels on the ground under the door and make sure the door reverses upon making contact with the paper towels. If either feature fails, contact a garage door repair company immediately.

Teach Your Children Well (About Garage Doors)
It’s very important that you children understand that your garage door or garage door opener are not toys. Let’s face it, kids love pushing buttons especially if it controls an object. Consider replacing your old garage door opener with key chain version that you can keep away from children. Or if you want to get really hi-tech, purchase a new opener with a smartphone app that controls your door.

Also teach you kids to stay far away from the garage door when it is opening or closing. A lot of injuries occur when kids are trying to ‘ride’ the garage door as it opens. Many times children will get their fingers caught between the door panels as the door is opening or closing. It’s a good idea to mount the garage door opener control out of reach of small children. Make sure the manual release rope is set at height that kids can’t reach also.

Let The Pro’s Handle Repairs
Garage door springs and cables are under a high amount of tension and can become a source of injury if not handled properly. While you may save little money making your own garage door repairs, it’s not really worth the risk to your personal health. Garage door technicians are equipped with special tools that keep them safe when doing garage door repairs and have been trained to deal with high-tension springs.

First and foremost, have respect for your garage door. As we said, it is the largest moving object in your home and can be the source of tremendous damage, injury, and even death. Have your door and opener inspected routinely to insure everything is operating properly. If you suspect there is a problem with your door, contact Precision Garage Door of Las Vegas immediately. We will respond promptly and have your garage door repaired quickly so that you can carry on with your normal routine.

Preparing for a Garage Sale

garage saleIf you’ve talked to anyone who’s had a garage sale, they will tell you it’s not an easy undertaking. There are some serious garage salers out there so you better be prepared. So if it’s your first time having a garage sale, here’s some tips to help it go smoothly.

Advertise
We’ve come a long way from posting flyers on telephone poles to advertise your garage sale. To help make you garage sale successful, make sure to advertise online. Craigslist is a must but its also a good idea to post on your local newspapers website and advertise on any social sites you may belong to such as Facebook and Twitter. Many people now use garage sale finder apps on their phones, so it worth taking a look at what apps are out there if you have a smart phone or tablet.

Price Tags
Be sure to put a price tag on everything you intend to sell. This will help you avoid being asked ‘How much is this?’ every two minutes. Make sure the tag is clearly visible for anyone looking at the item. Know that most people will want to negotiate so price things accordingly.

Keep Sets Together
If you plan on selling sets of items like cups or plates, it’s a good idea to put them in plastic bag together so that the buyer knows you intend on selling all the items together.

Have a Free Pile
If you have damaged items or things you just want to give away, it’s a good idea to have a ‘free’ pile that’s marked with a sign. Not only will this help you get rid of unwanted items, it will also help to attract people that are just driving by.

Put Items Not For Sale Away
If you have things that you have no intention of selling, you may want to put them away or move them away from the area where you are selling. If you are on the fence about an item, perhaps leave it unmarked and close by to see if someone makes an offer.

Place Larger Items Closer To The Street
Bulky items such as furniture or appliances should be placed closer to the street to make it easier for the buyer to load the items in their vehicle.

Have Extension Cords Available
When you are displaying electrical items, people are going to want to know if they work. Have an extension cord handy so that you can plug in any electrical items to show potential buyers.

Watch Your Money
Don’t ever leave your cash bank unattended. There’s nothing worse than doing all the hard work to put on a garage sale just to have your money stolen from you. Don’t leave young children in charge of the money either without supervision.

Invite Your Neighbors and Family
Before you have garage sale, check with your neighbors and family to see if they have items they may want to sell. The more items you have on display, the greater your chances attracting customers. It’s also nice to have an extra helping hand to set-up and tear down when the day is done.

Garage Sales aren’t easy but with some careful planning and preparation your garage sale can go smoothly and you can make some extra cash as well!

Garage Decor

Garage DecorSure your garage is a functional space in your home where you park your cars and probably store many items. You may even use your garage as a work area complete with work bench and cabinets. But there’s no reason you can’t add some flair to your garage. Here’s some ideas for helping add to your garage decor and provide some spice to the look of your garage.

Vintage Garage Art and Posters
If you want to give your garage that old-time motor garage look, antique metal signs, vintage art, and posters are a perfect addition. Retro motor oil or classic Coca-Cola signs make for great garage art. There also many companies that offer customize-able vintage signs so you can add your family name to help personalize your garage. Framed posters are also a great idea for enhancing the look of your garage.

Neon Signs
Brighten up your garage are with cool looking neon signs. Neon signs come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and look great hanging over workbenches.

Flags and Banners
Why not show support for your favorite sports team by hanging a banner in their honor in your garage. Or maybe you’re feeling patriotic and want to show your patriotism by hanging the flag of your home country. Flags and banners are great decorative tools and can cover a lot of wall space!

garage-decorDartboards
Need an excuse to slip out of that boring house party? Well having a dartboard in the garage will do just that. Careful on the placement, though. Dartboards hung on the back of the door into the house have resulted in many trips to the hospital.

Workbench Stools
You know when you finally decide to rebuild that carburetor, you’re not going to want to stand the whole time. Custom workbench bar stools look great and give you the opportunity to rest your feet when the work day is done.

Floor Paint
Epoxy paint is perfect for providing a stain-resistant floor and can give your garage that great auto showroom look and feel. Epoxy is tough, long-lasting and comes in different colors to help you customize the appearance of your garage.

Designing Your New Garage Door

Las Vegas Garage Door So you’ve decided to replace that old flip-up garage door with a brand new roll up style garage door. Not only are new garage doors safer and more secure, they will also add curb appeal and help make your home look great. There are many styles of garage doors to choose from, as we have covered in previous posts on new garage doors, but there are other features that can help you customize the look of your new door.

Panels
Most garage doors have a grid of panels that define the look of the door. There is a wide variety and styles of panels to choose from. The styles range from long, short, recessed, ribbed, and flush panels. Each style has its own character so we suggest that you take some time and review the different looks before choosing a new door. Take note when driving around your neighborhood of the different garage door styles to help you decide on the right look for your door.

Windows
Many garage door styles have an option for windows. Like panels, windows can come in different shapes and sizes. Windows are a great looking feature and really help your garage door look like part of your home. Note that windows will allow others to see into your garage. If you feel this is a security risk there is always the option of frosting or tinting windows.

Accessories
Another way to enhance the look of your garage is with accessories and hardware. There are many different types of hinges, handles, and trim that can help you customize your door.

Paint and Stain
Depending on the material you choose for your door, such as wood, aluminum or steel, you always have the option to paint or stain your door. Wood doors will give you the most options for customizing the look of your garage as you can choose from stain, paint, or just a natural wood finish.

Remember that the look of your garage door directly impacts and can add value to your home. When you are in the market for a new garage door, be sure to explore you options. There are many online articles on choosing a custom door for your garage or our expert technicians can help you decide which materials and options will work best for your home.