Nuvo Garage Garage Interior Design & Renovation Tue, 21 Apr 2015 08:36:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Five Ways to Go Green for Earth Day and Beyond Tue, 21 Apr 2015 04:01:01 +0000 eco-nuvo-garageWith Earth Day fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to take a look at the impact we’re having on the earth and our environment. Reducing your carbon footprint and protecting the environment might seem like overwhelming tasks to take on. However, even the smallest changes can have a huge impact when incorporated daily. When those changes are made as part of a larger, environmentally-conscious community, there is a ripple effect that can have a measurable impact on our environment.

Not sure where to begin? Well, here are five simple ways to go green, starting in your own garage.

Revisit Recycling Habits

Recycling glass, plastics, paper and other materials keeps tons of trash out of the landfill and diverts it to centers where it can be reused. The Blue Box recycling program in most communities makes recycling quick and convenient. Review the recycling guidelines for your community and recommit to recycling as much as you can. Keep the guidelines posted in an accessible area, near your recycling containers. This will make it easy for family members to consult the guidelines, whenever in doubt.

Purge and Re-purpose

Earth Day is the perfect time to reduce the items you currently own, repurpose whatever you can and recycle the rest. Attack the spaces where junk tends to accumulate: the garage, attic and basement. Eliminate items you no longer need. Re-purpose items, like an old dining room table, that might serve another purpose, like a craft space in the basement or garage. Sell or donate items that are in good shape, but you no longer need or want. Properly dispose on damaged, out-of-date or otherwise unusable items.

Park the Car and Use Pedal Power

Even in communities where everything is conveniently located, we often hop into the car whenever we need to zip to the convenience store. However, walkable communities were created to help reduce the carbon footprint of each resident and the overall community. Ride your bicycle or walk to neighborhood stores and restaurants, whenever possible. You’ll reduce your gasoline usage and improve the environment. The additional exercise will also help boost your health.

Increase the Fuel Efficiency of Your Vehicle

Keep your car in tiptop shape, and you’ll increase the efficiency with which it uses fossil fuels. Even something as seemingly inconsequential as properly inflating your tires can increase your mileage. Get regular tune ups and change the oil at the manufacturer-recommended intervals. If you change your own oil, be sure to use the type of oil recommended for your vehicle to get the best results.

Properly Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste

The garage often becomes a collection reservoir for a wide range of household hazardous waste, including automotive waste, pesticides, solvents, household cleaners and unwanted electronics. These items don’t belong in landfills. They should be disposed of properly.

For instance, used engine oil should never be poured oil down the drain or in your lawn. According to Environment Canada, if a single litre of oil leaches into our waterways, it can contaminate up to two million litres of water. Protect soil and waterways by properly disposing of engine oil drained from your vehicle, oil containers and used filters. Visit your city’s website to find out how to dispose of the household hazardous waste (HHW) lurking in your home and garage. (See Toronto’s HHW guide here.)

There are countless ways, big and small, to be more environmentally-conscious every single day. Check out some of our past recommendations for living greener on Earth Day and beyond. Visit to learn about local events and initiatives designed to help improve our environment.

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Maximize Garage Storage with Shelving Tue, 24 Mar 2015 04:01:57 +0000 strong-racks-overhead-wall-storageWhether your garage is big or small, it probably doesn’t have nearly enough storage space to accommodate your family’s lifestyles. Bikes, sporting goods, lawn care equipment and gardening tools take up lots of space. Then there are bulky items like tires, kayaks and roof equipment racks that consume as much space as a small vehicle. So how can you possibly fit all of these items in your garage and still have space to park your vehicle?

Last time we discussed the importance of optimizing available storage space, as one of three steps to prepare your garage for the change of season. Now we’ll consider how sturdy, steel shelving can be used to maximize the storage space in your garage.

Boost Garage Storage with Strong Racks Steel Shelving

Inside your home there are designated spaces for storing items. The closets, laundry room and pantry have racks, shelving and perhaps even cabinets. However, the typical garage consists of three bare walls. Without distinct storage space, it’s no wonder families often resort to using the entire garage as a dumping ground. The key to eliminating clutter in the garage is creating clearly defined storage space for each item. Shelving creates much-needed storage space while keeping items clearly visible.

There are a variety of shelving options available, from freestanding shelving units to garage wall organization systems with movable shelves that lock into place. Another option is sturdy, steel shelving, which does not require a paneled wall system for installation. Strong Racks ceiling shelves provide sturdy overhead storage. This reserves premium floor space, allowing room to park your vehicle inside the garage.

Strong Racks wall shelving provides a sturdy space for storing boxes, cans and other items that are solid underneath. Available accessories, like ladder and bike hooks, double your storage by creating space in front of the shelf to hang these items.

Make Use of “Unusable” Space

Overhead storage racks convert “unusable” space into functional storage space; perfect for seasonal and rarely used items. With the highest weight capacity in the industry, Strong Racks provide safe, convenient overhead storage. Available in chrome or white, these shelving units are highly-configurable. The height of the shelves can be adjusted to accommodate tall items.

strong-racks-automated-ceiling-overhead-storageStoring heavy items overhead can be challenging for some, as it requires ascending and descending a ladder with heavy items in tow. However, a motorized lift system allows the rack to be lowered with the touch of a button. Load the rack with heavy tools and boxes or bulky items. Then simply push the button to hoist the shelf back into place overhead.Push button, motorized overhead storage is an ideal solution for storing large, bulky items like kayaks, canoes and roof rack equipment carriers.

The Key Advantages of the Strong Racks Steel Shelving System

Strong Racks provides an excellent system for getting items off of your garage floor by utilizing what is normally considered unusable space. While other overhead shelving system are available, Strong Racks shelving is superior in these key areas:


  • The Strong Racks mounting rack is the thickest and strongest in the industry. It is made of strong, 11-gauge steel, not the low-cost angle iron, or steel straps used by some competitors.
  • The square tubes used to hang the racks are made of strong steel.
  • Each overhead rack holds up to 750 pounds. Wall mounted overhead racks can accommodate up to 1,000 pounds.


  • Each 4’x8’ section is secured to four ceiling trusses with sixteen, three-inch screws. This distributes the weight over a wider area of the ceiling, ensuring that each rack remains firmly and safely attached.
  • Sixteen bolts are used to secure the grid system to the rails, for added strength and safety.
  • The exclusive, patented rail brackets used to secure shelving allows the shelf to be secured to a wall, for additional safety and increased weight capacity.
  • A two-inch safety lip surrounds each shelving unit to prevent items from inadvertently being shoved off of shelves.


  • Strong Racks are backed by a lifetime guarantee, when professionally installed.
  • The durable ceiling assembly uses thirteen pieces of hardware to attach the shelving to the ceiling.
  • The quality construction and installation of each rack eliminates movement in installed shelves.


  • Strong Racks come in depths of 2, 3 and 4-feet, to accommodate items of all sizes.
  • Multiple Strong Racks can be mounted in a variety of configurations, creating up to 99 different platforms sizes, to easily accommodate your specific storage needs.
  • Two square steel tubes are used per mounting rack, allowing the height of each rack to be adjusted between 27.5 and 41.5 inches.
  • The Super Drop system adjusts platform height between 40 and 96 inches from the ceiling, to allow racks to be hung at an accessible height, even in garages with high ceilings.

strong-racks-wall-shelvesStrong Racks can be purchased for DIY installation, or be installed by a garage renovation specialist. However, these racks are made to hold a considerable amount of weight overhead. It is crucial that they are installed correctly to ensure your family’s safety.Also, when installed professionally, Strong Racks come with a lifetime guarantee.

Garages haven’t changed much in the past few decades, but our lifestyles have. Homeowners want a garage that will accommodate their active lifestyles and provide space to park the cars. The installation of Strong Racks steel shelving is a simple way to transform your garage from a chaotic dumping ground to an organized space with designated spots to store all of the things you need. Are you ready to transform your garage with Strong Racks overhead or motorized shelving? Request your free consultation today.

Would you prefer to keep items in your garage stored out-of-sight, rather than on-display on shelves? Next time we’ll discuss how to keep your clutter under wraps, without breaking the bank, by installing laminate cabinetry.

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Prepare Your Garage Now for the Change of Season Tue, 10 Mar 2015 04:01:11 +0000 garage-storage-custom-overhead-platform-toy-storage-slatwall-camlock-hooks-bicycle-helmets-golf-clubs-stairs-bannister-central-vacuum-garden-toolsAfter months of cold weather, and still more on the horizon, we begin to look forward to the months ahead, when the temperature will slowly begin to climb. Perhaps your family is itching for warmer weather, ready to ditch heavy parkas and boots. However, your garage may not be quite ready for the coming change of season.

During the winter, the last thing you want to do is schlep out to the garage to carefully sort and put things away. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for the garage to become the family dumping ground during the cold, winter months. If your garage is piled high with bikes, tools, outdoor toys, gardening tools, lawn care equipment, off-season tires and sporting goods, you’re probably unable to park all of your intended vehicles inside of your garage. Additionally, finding the items you need in a disorganized garage can be extremely frustrating.

The impending arrival of spring signals the start of a variety of activities like softball, soccer, golf and gardening. All of these activities require specialized equipment which is likely buried in your garage. To avoid the annoyance and frustration of misplaced sporting equipment, gardening tools and lawn care equipment this spring, take the following three steps to get your garage ready for the change of season.

Step One: Out with the Old

The primary reason it’s so difficult to find anything in the garage is because the things we want and need are buried beneath items for which we no longer have a need. Think about the items currently stored in your garage. Has the garage become the designated dumping ground for broken toys, furniture and tools? Is the garage littered with bikes, wagons and sports equipment the kids have outgrown? Are duplicates tools stealing valuable storage space? If so, prepping your garage for spring begins with a thorough purge.

Sort through all of the items stored inside your garage. Be ruthless when it comes to cutting the clutter.

  • Throw out items that are damaged or broken. Perhaps you stored them in the garage with the intention of fixing them. However, if those items haven’t been repaired in a year or two, the likelihood that they ever will be is quite slim.
  • Donate or sell outdated items, those you haven’t used in years and items you’ve never used can either be donated to a local charity or sold. However, if you decide to sell unused items, set a firm deadline for getting rid of them. Otherwise, those items might still be taking up space in your garage three years from now.
  • Group similar items and look for duplicate tools and sporting equipment. Once you identify duplicates, decide which item you’ll keep and donate or discard the unnecessary items.

Purging the garage may seem like a daunting task for one person. Make the project fun by enlisting the help of family or friends. Turn on your favorite music. Once the job is completed, reward yourself with a night out or a fun activity the entire family will enjoy.

Step Two: Create Dedicated Zones

If weather permits, it’s helpful to remove all items from the garage in order to clearly see the storage space available. This will enable you to determine how to best use the space in your garage. Before you create the layout for your new, clutter-free garage, think about how you use the space. What tasks are performed in your garage? What kinds of items are stored there?

Create distinct zones for sports equipment, lawn care equipment, vehicle care accessories and gardening tools. Put away out-of-season items, like sleds and snow shovels, to make room for items you’ll need for spring. Then decide on the ideal location for each zone: back wall, sidewall or near the garage door.

Step Three: Optimize Available Storage Space

There’s a limited amount of space in a garage. Yet, the volume of things we own and need to store continues to grow. How can you find a dedicated space to store all of your family’s things? Maximize the storage space in your garage by incorporating shelving, cabinetry, baskets, hooks and stackable storage containers.

A garage wall organization system, like slatwall, is designed to maximize storage space. The complementary baskets, hooks and shelves slide and lock into place easily, creating a neat, organized system for storing items along the wall, rather than stacking them along the perimeter of the floor. Once the space has been optimized, each item can be stored in its designated space.

Shelving can be an essential component of an organized garage, particularly for those who prefer items stored where items can be easily seen and retrieved. Next time we’ll talk about how to maximize the storage space in your garage by using steel racks.

If organizing your garage feels like an overwhelming job to take on yourself, check out some of our amazing garage transformations, then contact Nuvo Garage to request your free consultation.

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Five Tips for Applying Feng Shui in Your Garage Thu, 12 Feb 2015 05:01:22 +0000 yin-yang-feng-shui-garage-interior-design-organization-storage-solutions-nuvo-garageWith the Chinese New Year approaching, many feng shui practitioners are busy cleaning and preparing their homes to get rid of bad chi (energy) and usher in good luck before the New Year arrives.

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese art and science that recognizes the impact our environment, and the objects in it, can have upon us. Often regarded the art of placement, feng shui is literally translated “wind and water.”  Feng shui strives to balance the five elements—wood, water, fire, earth and metal–and the energy (chi) that flows from all things—living and inanimate.

The goal of feng shui is to create harmonious environments that reflect one’s internal environment by improving the flow of chi throughout the space. Optimizing the flow of chi in one’s home or office can enhance happiness and one’s financial and romantic life. This is accomplished through the use of colour and the mindful placement of objects in one’s living and work spaces.

While you may be incorporating feng shui into your home, have you ever considered incorporating the principles of feng shui into your garage? This ancient art of placement can be used to create a garage that welcomes positive energy into your home, rather than blocking it. Below are five tips for using feng shui to enhance the flow of chi in your garage.

Eliminate clutter.

Have you ever tried to work in a cluttered space and found it difficult to function or think clearly? That’s because clutter represents stagnant energy, which can zap your personal energy. This is true of clutter whether it be in an office, bedroom or your garage. Eliminate energy-draining garage clutter by ridding the space of items that no longer serve a purpose.

Objects that are outdated, non-functional, redundant or rarely used harbour stalled energy and have a negative impact on your energy. Toss, repurpose or donate such items stored in your garage. It can be difficult to let go of items to which we have an emotional attachment. Knowing that donated items will benefit those less fortunate can be a powerful motivator to finally release unneeded items.

Every item must have a purpose and a designated place.

Order is an essential component of feng shui. However, it’s difficult to create order in your garage without a system for organizing your space. A garage renovation specialist can work with you to develop a garage design suited to the needs of your family. Wall organization systems that use corresponding shelves, hooks and baskets create a designated space for everything in your garage from bicycles and sporting equipment to gardening tools. Lockable storage cabinets provide a safe, concealed space to store tools, household chemicals and other items.

Park your car inside the garage—its designated space.

People often treat their garages as a sort of “junk space.” In reality, the garage is the designated space for storing your car. Keep this in mind as you clean and de-clutter your garage and then assign each remaining item a designated space. If carving out space in the garage to park your car(s) feels impossible, consult with a garage renovation specialist who will design a plan for you.

Finish the walls and/or floor with an energy-enhancing colour.

Garages tend to be a dark, uninviting spaces, but they don’t have to be. The walls are often unfinished, and the floor of an older garage may be stained, cracked or otherwise compromised. Give your garage a cheerful facelift by incorporating colour. Feng shui recognizes the strong impact colour can have on mood and physical and emotional well-being. Incorporate relevant colours connected with the five elements of the natural world, listed earlier.

Colour can be incorporated into the space through wall paint, fabric—like a colourful kite or flag—or by finishing the floor with an epoxy or polyaspartic floor coating, designed for garage and basement floors. Modular interlocking floor tiles offer a less permanent way to introduce colour into the garage floor. All three products come in a range of attractive colours. The floor coatings can be customised to achieve your desired colour.

Make your garage an uplifting and inspiring space.

If you park in the garage, it is the last thing you see when departing home and the first thing you see upon your return. It’s important to make it a space that uplifts and inspires. Post a picture or painting that stirs the soul, a motivating personal affirmation or a moving quote on the garage wall, so you’ll see it when you enter or exit the garage

Make sure to tackle all of your home and garage cleaning projects prior to New Year’s Day, as it’s considered bad luck to clean during the first few days of the New Year. Once that period has passed, you can attack any areas you weren’t able to finish prior to the start of the year.

Are you ready to incorporate the elements of feng shui into your garage? Complete the garage survey form to tell us a little about your garage and schedule a no-cost, in-home consultation to discuss your specific garage needs.


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Plan Now for a Better Garage Experience Next Winter Tue, 03 Feb 2015 05:01:21 +0000 How many times did you awake this winter to discover that your car was covered in ice and snow because there’s no room for it in the garage? Trudging out in the harsh elements to brush away snow, chip off ice and warm up your car is the last thing you want to do on a busy weekday morning. Worse, it can leave you rushing to get to work or to get the kids to school on time, making winter travel even more dangerous.

2 Car Garage Etobicoke - right parking bay with an auto liftLast year, perhaps you promised yourself that you wouldn’t spend another winter forced to park your car outside of the garage. The months seemed to fly by, and your plan to organize or renovate the garage never quite happened. Before you knew it, you were in the midst of another harsh winter. After our last blast of wintry weather, perhaps you’ve made the same promise to yourself again this year.

Next winter might feel as though it’s a lifetime away. But then again, remember how quickly last year seemed to pass? The first month of the year is already in the books, and Groundhog Day is almost here. Ontarians are eagerly awaiting Wiarton Willie’s prediction of whether spring is on the horizon. Wiarton Willie’s forecast of what’s to come is out of your hands, but the fate of your garage isn’t. Now is the time to start making plans.

Think it’s too early to start planning for a garage renovation? It isn’t. Garage organization and renovation services are in high demand and have been growing in popularity in recent years. Schedule your garage renovation consultation in February to ensure your project will be started as soon as spring arrives. Starting early allows plenty of time for consultation, design and the ordering of products.

The primary purpose of your garage renovation might be to rescue your vehicle from the harsh winter weather. However there are many benefits to getting your garage renovation completed during spring. Are you tired of tripping over bikes, bats, balls and gardening tools in your garage? Do you avoid tackling small projects around the house because finding a screwdriver or wrench is a small project in itself? Depending on the options you choose, you’ll be able to:

  • Safely store your winter tires.
  • Neatly store winter sports equipment like sleds, ice skates and skis.
  • Store family bicycles off the ground and out of the way of vehicles.
  • Organize and store tools.
  • Neatly house gardening tools and equipment.

Just as unprotected sun exposure can damage your skin, it can also damage the paint on your car. Over time, the sun can cause oxidation and premature fading. Prolonged exposure to the oppressive summer sun weakens leather seats and rubberized trim. The headlights of your vehicle are also impacted by exposure to the sun. Parking your car in the garage during summer keeps your vehicle looking newer longer. It also makes it more comfortable to get into the car on hot summer days.

Renovating your garage during spring means you’ll have a safe place to park your car next winter, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the benefits of an organized garage during spring, summer and fall. Each garage renovation is tailored to meet the unique needs of the client. So whether you need a simple wall organization system, overhead storage, garage cabinet installation or customized storage solutions, your garage renovation specialist can help your dream garage become a reality.

Complete the garage survey form to tell us a little about your garage and schedule your no-cost, in-home consultation.

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Prevent Ice on Sidewalks, Driveways and Around Your Garage Door Tue, 27 Jan 2015 05:01:41 +0000 Last time we talked about ice dams and how to prevent them. But your roof isn’t the only place snow and ice can wreak havoc. These elements can also pose a hazard on sidewalks, driveways and around your garage door.

Remove Snow and Ice from Sidewalks and Driveways

a-snowy-winter-scene-of-a-man-shoveling-snow-during-snowfallAccording to Toronto Municipal Code 719-2, property owners have twelve hours after the fall of snow, rain or hail to “clear away and completely remove snow and ice from any sidewalk on a highway in front of, alongside or at the rear of the building.” If removing the snow and ice leaves the sidewalk slippery, the owner or occupant is charged with applying ashes, sand, salt or another appropriate material to the surface to “completely cover the slippery surface.” Property owners who fail to comply with this edict are subject to fines and open to slip-and-fall lawsuits. So how can you protect yourself and others?

The best way to prevent snow and ice buildup is to shovel during the snowfall, whenever possible. While it’s true this may require shoveling a second time, your arms and back will thank you for the lighter load. A push broom can be used to remove light dustings of snow. If ice has already formed on the sidewalk, use a garden edger or metal pick to break through ice. Clear the snow down to the pavement. Then apply your ice-melt product of choice to provide traction.

Rock salt, though cost-effective, corrodes automobiles, damages concrete, contaminates waterways and is harmful to trees and plants. Ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate break down masonry materials.Ice melt products, like those containing calcium chloride require less product to get the job done. However, these products eventually make their way to waterways.

Sand is inexpensive and easily accessible. Brick sand, which is coarser, is the best option. However, it can easily be tracked into the house. Provide an area for boot and shoe removal just before or after the entryway to your home to avoid this. Ashes from a wood burning fireplace are another convenient option. Do not use ashes near gardens, as heavy metals may be present. Kitty litter, while more expensive, is an option which provides excellent traction.

Looking for the best environmental choice? EcoTraction, a green-colored, all-natural volcanic mineral that doesn’t contain salt, chlorides, chemicals or dyes, is an environmentally-friendly choice. The product is touted as completely safe for use around children, pets, plants and wildlife.

If you’re building a new home or replacing your driveway, in-ground heat mats prevent snow and ice from building on the driveway without shoveling, snow blowing, scraping or the use of ice-melting chemicals.

Prevent Ice and Snow Build Up Around Your Garage Door

The last thing you want to discover on your way out to work, or after a long day at the office, is a garage door that’s frozen shut. However, if water gets underneath the garage door seal and then freezes, this is quite likely to occur. To minimize the chances of your garage door freezing shut:

  • Keep the area around your garage door free from ice and snow to prevent the bottom seal from sticking to the ground.
  • Apply silicone spray to the rubber seal to prevent it from sticking. Cooking spray and vegetable oil will also work.
  • Open the garage door periodically during bad weather, to keep it from sticking.

What if your garage door is already frozen shut?

  • Don’t keep trying to lift the garage door with the automatic opener, as this could burn the motor out or strip the gears.
  • Pull the release cord, which allows you to manually open the garage door.
  • Don’t try to force the door open, as this could rip the bottom seal from the door.
  • From outside the garage, try breaking up the ice by using an ice scraper between the bottom of the door and the concrete.
  • Use a hair dryer or heat gun set on low to melt ice. Don’t concentrate on one spot for too long.

Managing snow and ice during winter weather can be tedious, hard work. However, the cost—in possible fines, injuries and property damage—make preventing the buildup of snow and ice on sidewalks, driveways and around your garage door worthwhile.



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Prevent Ice Dams from Damaging Your Home and Roof Tue, 13 Jan 2015 05:01:56 +0000 Snow and ice often make driving treacherous in winter. However, the danger these elements pose doesn’t end there. Snow and ice can also cause expensive damage to your home and roof. Let’s examine how ice dams form, how you can prevent them and what to do get rid of one before it causes serious damage.

The Formation of Ice Dams

During the winter, ice and snow build on the roof of your home and garage. When the layer of snow on the roof melts due to the heat rising in the attic of your home, water pools along the edge of the roof, where the temperature is much cooler. There, it refreezes, causing ice dams—a mound of ice that starts along the eaves of the roof and spreads upward.

snow-covered-roof-with-big-icicles-in-winter-day-ice-dammingThis formation of ice, which often traps pools of water underneath it, can cause substantial damage to the exterior and interior of your home. Gutters and downspouts blocked by ice prevent water from draining properly, causing icicles to form overhead, which pose a danger to people and property. The weight and expansion of the ice in gutters and downspouts can damage or dislodge them from the house. If the ice dam breaks free, shingles may be ripped off, along with the ice. Anyone or anything in its path below,including people, pets, shrubbery or fencing, may be harmed.

Meltwater trapped underneath the ice dam seeps underneath shingles, loosening them. Pooled water can penetrate the interior walls and ceilingsof your home or garage.Invading meltwater compromises insulation, stains and deteriorates drywall and causes paint to bubble and peel. If the leak is persistent, it can damage flooring, furniture and other items. Mold and mildew will form on drywall and insulation that stays damp for long periods of time. Affected wood may begin to rot, compromising the integrity of your roof.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

For a permanent solution to hazardous ice dams, address the primary cause—poorly insulated attic space. Install a ridge vent and soffit vents to circulate cold air beneath the roof.Cap the attic hatch and sealaround chimneys, exhaust fans, ducts and other spaces from which heat might leak.Insulate ducts, and use a fire-barrier sealant to caulk around vent pipes and electrical cords. In addition to preventing ice dams, proper insulation and ventilation will keep your attic warmer in winter and cooler in summer, reducing heating and cooling costs.

If your furnace is located in the attic, it may not be possible to permanently prevent ice dams. (See short-term solutions below.) Still, proper ventilation and insulation of the attic will reduce the likelihood of ice dam formation. Consult a contractor to insulate and ventilate your attic safely and according to code.

Short-term ice dam prevention begins before the first snowfall. Provide a clear pathway for melting ice in winter by clearing leaves from gutters and downspouts during autumn. After a big snowfall, use a snow removal tool with a long handle to remove snow from the safety of the ground. Removing snow from the roof will also help prevent roof collapses caused by heavy, wet snow.

Alternately, heat cables can be installed along the edge of the roof in a zigzag pattern and down the nearest downspout. From there, the heat cable must be plugged into a GFCI outlet.The heated cables melt snow and prevent ice dams. However, when snowfall is particularly heavy, heat cables can cause meltwater to pool, causing leaks. Be sure to install and operate heat cables according to manufacturer’s instructions and monitor their use carefully.

Eliminating an Ice Dam

What, though, if an ice dam has already formed on your roof?

  • Try aiming a box fan at the spot of the interior leak. This should lower the temperature of the roof and stop the leak.
  • If working from the inside doesn’t help, consider hiring an experienced contractor to remove the ice dam safely.
  • If hiring a contractor isn’t an option, be mindful that working on a ladder in icy conditions can be extremely dangerous. Wear shoes with rubber soles and proceed carefully. Make sure that people or pets are not underneath the ice dam while you’re working.
  • Melt the ice by filling the leg of an old pair of nylons with calcium chloride ice melter. (Do not use rock salt, as it will damage the metal, paint and shrubbery beneath.) Lay the nylon leg, filled with an ice-melt mixture and tied off at both ends, vertically across the dam. The snow and ice will melt, creating a channel for the water underneath.
  • Don’t use sharp tools like a pick or hatchet to chip away at the ice dam. There’s a good chance you’ll damage the shingles.

Ice dams cause millions of dollars in damages each year. Insurance can recoup some of the costs. However, prevention is the key. Insulate, seal and ventilate your attic. During fall, remove leaves from gutters and downspouts to give meltwater a clear path. Remove heavy snowfall from your roof to help prevent both ice dams and roof collapse.

Next time we’ll talk about how to prevent ice on walkways, driveways and around the door of your garage.

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Five Essential Tips for Maintaining and Organizing Your Garage Tue, 16 Dec 2014 05:01:06 +0000 As the year quickly draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to recap some of our favorite garage renovation tips from this past year.

Winterize Your Garage (and Everything in It)

If you haven’t already prepped your garage for winter, there’s no time like the present. Defend your garage, and home, against the harsh, cold weather by doing the following:

  • Replace the batteries in your garage door openers.
  • Check garage door weather stripping and replace, if needed.
  • Check all moving parts of the garage door. Get a pro to repair damaged or malfunctioning parts.
  • Lubricate garage door rollersand hinges to ensure smooth operation.
  • Test the garage door safety reverse sensor. If not functioning correctly, adjust the sensors or have them repaired.
  • Shut off water supply to exterior spigot.

Use Specialized Solutions for Your Unique Storage Needs

custom storage overhead of canoes & kayaksIf your garage is stuffed to the gills, preventing you from parking your car(s) inside, specialized storage solutions could be the answer to your problems. Bulky items, like lawn mowers, snow plows, motorcycles and canoes take up considerable room in a garage. However, there are a variety of specialized garage storage solutions that can help. Here are a few:

  • Tire racks–Specialized tire storage racks come in a variety of configurations, allowing tires to be stored vertically or horizontally, on a wall or overhead.
  • Lawn mower racks or lifts – Riding and push mowers take up substantial garage space, making it difficult to park vehicles inside. Worse, vehicles can get scratched when the door is opened, or while the lawn mower is being moved.Lawn mower racks store push mowers off the ground, so additional items can be stored underneath. For a riding mower, a motorized lift will lift and lower the riding mower with the push of a button.
  • Motorcycle lifts – Motorcycles often hijack space needed for the snow blower, or to park a second vehicle. A professionally-installed motorcycle lift can safely store the bike off the ground, reserving premium garage floor space.
  • Kayak and paddle board racks – It can be tricky to find just the right place to store these seasonal items in your garage. If not properly stored, expensive paddle boards and kayaks are easily scratched or toppled. However, specialized kayak and paddle board racks provide safe, attractive storage for these items.Overhead, wall-mounted and freestanding racks are available. Many models can hold multiple boards/kayaks.
  • Overhead pulley systems – Canoes, truck caps and other heavy items which must be lowered onto a vehicle are excellent candidates for an overhead pulley system. Such a system allows users to lift and lower heavy items with minimal effort. Pulley systems are also available for single, double or multiple bicycle storage.

Maximize Garage Storage

1.5 car garage, etobicoke - right wall, bare cement block, slatwall organization system, camlock hooks, basketsThe specialty storage solutions outlined above lift bulky items and preserve essential floor space. However, a variety of smaller items also pilfer valuable space when stored at ground level. A wall organizer system is the key to maximizing garage storage space by storing items vertically. Once installed, a professional-grade garage wall organization system, like slatwall, has infinite configurability, thanks to corresponding accessories:

  • Baskets – Store balls, sports pads, household goods and other items in baskets. Create a separate basket for each task, sport or individual.
  • Hooks – Use hooks to hang a wide range of items from gardening tools to sporting equipment, like hockey gear and bicycles.
  • Shelving – Shelves fit into the grooves in slatwall, enabling heavy items to be stored securely. High shelving provides the perfect storage space for items that should be kept out of the reach of pets and children, like automotive fluids, household chemicals or flower pots.
  • Specialty hooks – Many professional-grade garage wall organization systems offer specialty hooks for items like golf equipment, skateboards, snowboards and more.

All hooks, baskets and shelves can easily be relocated, creating endless configuration possibilities.

Find a Way to Use “Unusable” Garage Space

garage-storage-custom-overhead-platform-toy-storage-slatwall-camlock-hooks-bicycle-helmets-golf-clubs-stairs-bannister-central-vacuum-garden-toolsOne of the keys to maximizing storage space in your garage is to find clever ways to make use of “unusable” space. Look around your garage. Perhaps you have high ceilings, oddly configured corners, poorly placed appliances and other dead spaces that create storage challenges. However, a garage renovation specialist can find creative solutions for such challenges, like custom-built overhead platforms; custom-built or customizable cabinetry; custom-built slings for storing canoes and rooftop sports equipment carriers overhead; and other custom-built options.

Make Keeping the Garage Organized a Family Affair

Standing back and surveying a neat, organized garage almost makes the entire Saturday you spent cleaning it feel worthwhile. But what happens a week later, once the entire family goes back to using the garage as a dumping ground? The garage quickly returns to utter chaos. This often occurs because only one person in the family is charged with the responsibility of keeping it clean. Put an end to this cycle of chaos. Get the entire family invested in keeping the garage organized. If everyone contributes to the hard work of cleaning and organizing the garage, they are more likely to work toward keeping it that way.

Explore these and other garage renovation and organization topics to ring in the new year with a clean, organized garage that will stay that way.

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5 Garage Gifts to Give This Year Tue, 09 Dec 2014 05:01:20 +0000 With the holidays quickly approaching, you’re probably still searching for a unique Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanza gift for that special person. If he or she enjoys spending time in the garage (or would like to), you’re in luck. We’ve got five gift ideas that will make your garage lover a happy camper.

Finally Being Able to Park the Car in the Garage

1 car garage parks bmw plus 7 high end bicycles, portable workshop and all toolsIf the items stored in the garage have taken over, forcing you to park outside in the cold, give the gift of indoor parking space. Start by creating a viable plan for the space. Assess what you have stored in the garage. Decide what should be tossed (broken furniture, ruined paint, unusable items, etc.). Make a list of items than can be donated (furniture and sporting goods no longer needed, duplicate gardening tools, etc.). Then plan separate spaces for each type of item stored in your garage. For instance, create dedicated zones for automotive accessories, gardening accessories, sporting goods, etc. Determine if there is a need for additional storage space, like shelving. Make sure you have everything you’ll need on hand.

Now that your plan is in place and you have all of the necessary tools, it’s time to take action. If the job seems too big to tackle alone, make it a family affair or invite a few friends over. Bundle up, clear space for a portable heater, turn on your favorite playlist and begin executing your plan. First, eliminate or relocate as many items as you can. Once the space has been pared down, you’ll have more room to operate. Move everything to the perimeter, making use of shelving, hooks and baskets that will allow you to store items vertically. Continue until you’ve cleared enough space to park inside your garage.

A Workshop or Craft Space

Workbench for One Car GarageNeed a gift for a woodworking or gardening enthusiast? Consider creating a gardening or craft station inside your garage. A dedicated workspace for crafts and hobbies can be created relatively simply by re-purposing old furniture and cabinetry. First, determine where you want to locate the work area. Then reclaim the wall space by removing or relocating items. Next, create a flat work space. An old table or cabinet might do just the trick. If not, foldable workbenches or task desks are available at your local box store.

When planning your workspace, don’t forget to provide adequate storage for tools and other accessories. If a sturdier workspace or heavy duty storage is needed, modular cabinetry might be the best option. Modular cabinets, like European-style Contur Cabinets, offer a clean, modern aesthetic and plenty of hidden storage. Need a unique workspace solution? A garage renovation specialist can create a custom workbench.

Find Space for the Things Your Loved Ones Cherish

The amount of cherished items we own continues to expand, yet garage space remains fairly static. So how can you snag additional storage space for your loved one’s favorite things while conserving enough space to park your vehicle(s) inside the garage? Go vertical.

Don’t limit storage to the perimeter floor space. Instead, find ways to store items along the entire height of the wall. This can be accomplished with a wall organization system, like slatwall, which makes use of complementary shelves, hooks and baskets to display items neatly and attractively. Heavy-duty shelving units, available at big box or wholesale stores, can also provide vertical space.

Need even more storage space? Try looking up. Overhead space is an ideal spot for storing cherished, but rarely used items, like seasonal decorations, and large, bulky items like canoes, roof rack storage containers or leftover siding.

Give Athletes & Weekend Warriors Dedicated Space for Sporting Goods

sports equipment storage - slatwall, camlock hooks, water skis, snowboards, snowshoesActive families can easily fill a garage with all of their sporting goods. Bicycles, golf clubs, skis, hockey gear, bats, balls, kayaks, snowboards, lacrosse equipment and other items jockey for space throughout the year. When not stored properly, expensive golf clubs, skis and other equipment can easily be damaged. Smaller items, like balls, knee pads and helmets are frequently lost. Protect your investment and save precious time by creating dedicated storage space to house the sporting goods of your athletes and weekend warriors.

This can easily be accomplished with a wall organization system. Just add hooks, baskets and shelves to accommodate sporting goods. Then create dedicated baskets for each sport or family member. Many wall organization systems include storage solutions for specific sporting goods—like skateboard or kayaks.

Schedule a Consultation for a Garage Renovation

If organizing your garage seems overwhelming, or you’d rather have a professional renovate your space, consider enlisting the aid of a garage renovation specialist. Nuvo Garage specializes in garage transformations ranging from small organizational projects to major garage renovations. Contact us to discuss how you can give your favorite garage enthusiast the gift of a transformed garage space.

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Use “Wasted” Space in Your Garage to Store Seasonal Items Tue, 18 Nov 2014 05:01:25 +0000 seasonal garage storage changeover - shovel, snowblower, decorations - winterWith the holiday season in full swing, you’re likely in the midst of decorating. Perhaps you’re dealing with the frustration of not being able to locate the wreath or tree topper. Once you locate your favorite box of ornaments, you may discover chipped or broken items. Then there is the battle with tangled strings of lights and trying to remember which string of lights goes where.

Eliminate the additional stress next year by considering how and where you’ll store your holiday decorations once this season is over.

Prep Holiday Decorations for Off-Season Storage

Storage Containers on Shelf - organized basementSimplify the process with the proper tools and a little preplanning. Clear, stackable plastic bins are invaluable for storing decorations. They come in a variety of sizes and configurations—from small shoebox bins to large totes big enough to accommodate an artificial tree. Specialized containers, which make storing wreaths, ornaments and other items a breeze, are also available.Here are a few ways to ensure that your ornaments are stored safely.

Artificial Christmas trees can last for many years, if stored properly. Buy a large plastic tote or tree bag to store your artificial tree.When stored in a box or bin, the tree may first need to be “de-fluffed.”

Fragile Christmas ornaments can be tricky to store. Purchase a plastic bin divided into compartments large enough to accommodate each ornament, or invest in a container made specifically for holding holiday ornaments.

Use bubble wrap to protect fragile decorations with irregular shapes, like ceramic figurines. Once they are securely wrapped, store them in labeled plastic bins.

Strings of lights often get tangled during storage. Avoid this frustrating dilemma by labeling each string of lights. Note the length of each and where you used it. Purchase a holiday lights storage reel, or wrap each string of lights around a clean, empty cylindrical can to prevent tangling. Place reels or cylinders in a storage case or bin.

Sort ribbon, wrapping paper and small, easily-misplaced items.Stack ribbons in a plastic bin, or use a box made for storing ribbon. Sort strings of beads and other small items into small plastic bags. Group similar items in clear, plastic shoe boxes. Label each box for easy identificationto save time and frustration next year.

Store faux firgarlands in a large, clear plastic bin, winding the garland neatly inside. Faux fir or pine wreaths can be stored in a large hat box or plastic bin. Hard plastic cases designed specifically for storing wreaths are also available.

Wrap candles in cellophane. This will prevent them from melting onto each other in warmer temperatures. Don’t wrap candles with anything that will transfer unwanted colors or melt onto them when the temperature climbs.

As you sort decorations and prepare them for storage, examine each piece. Toss items that are chipped, broken or faded. Examine strings of lights for possible fraying or broken bulbs.Use plastic storage bins that seal tightly, to protect decorations from moisture and insects. Once everything is prepared, it’s time to store your decorations.

Employ “Wasted” Space to Store Holiday Decorations

Make decorating next year simple by creating a designated space in your garage for your seasonal decorations.The thought of finding room to store your seven-foot tall artificial tree might seem laughable, if your garage is already packed with items. However, most garages have a wealth of unused space that is perfect for storing seasonal items. Just look up.

If you have a high garage ceiling, you likely have lots of additional storage space. You might regard this space as unusable. Consider three ways your overhead space can be used to store holiday decorations and other seldom-used items.

  1. Have an overhead platform installed. What was once dead space now becomes functional storage. Access the overhead storage area with a step ladder to store stackable plastic bins, your artificial tree and other items.The depth of stacked items should be no more than 32”. If the space is too deep, it becomes difficult to see what you have on hand.
  2. Have a pulley-based storage platform installed. The one disadvantage of a stationary overhead platform is that it requires you to tote items up and down a ladder. A pulley-based platform eliminates the need for a ladder. Use the crank to lower the storage platform. Load it up. Then crank the platform back up to the ceiling. When you’re ready to retrieve your seasonal decorations, simply lower the platform again.
  3. Install a ceiling-mounted garage hoist or custom sling. These hoists or slings are typically used to store kayaks or canoes overhead in the garage. However, they can also be used to overhead. Another option is to install hooks overhead from which the tree can hang. If you have adequate shelving along the perimeter of your garage for storing most of your seasonal items, a hoist or sling can be a simple solution for storing your tree.

Decorating your home for holidays should be an enjoyable experience for the entire family. Invest in containers suitable for storing your ornaments, wreaths, holiday lights and other fragile decorations. Create a designated storage space for your seasonal items overhead in your garage. Have overhead platforms installed by a garage organization professional who will ensure that the platform is installed safely and fully capable of bearing the manufacturer recommended load.

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