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FAQ: Garages

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What could you possibly tell me about a garage, other than it’s the place where I park my car?

Well, hopefully you’re parking your car there and not just your moving boxes, but yes, there are some things to mention about your garage.

When you move into one of our age restricted communities, you’ll notice right away that our garages not only have plenty of room but are also finished and painted.

While this alone is usually an upgrade for most builders, we offer it standard, but even as good as that is, there are a few things more you need to know about your garage.

Garage Keeping 101

Garage door

Nine times out of ten, if I get a warranty call on a door, it’s an easy fix. Usually, the problem has nothing to do with the install or quality of the door. Most often what happens is that someone bumped the lasers on either side of the door.

This can happen when you’re moving a garbage can inside, or if you have a lot of traffic, like when you’re moving in.

Those lasers are there to protect anyone from getting hurt when the garage door comes down. If the lasers don’t line up perfectly, then the door will not shut. You’ll know that this is the case, because the light on the motor will often blink on and off when you try to close it.

This is an easy fix. Just grab the laser with your hand and try to bend it back to where it lines up on both sides. You may need to try this once or twice to get it perfectly aligned.

Also, don’t forget, your garage door is a mechanical device. If you have a chain driven door, you should probably be lubricating that chain every year or two.

I also get asked, a lot, if homeowners are allowed to put a remote keypad on the outside for their garage doors. The answer is yes, you are allowed to. We don’t provide or install these keypads, but they are widely available at most hardware stores or online.

Heat tape

There are usually two switches in the garage that seem to do nothing. On our homes, these are meant to turn on the heat tape (or Christmas lights if you prefer). One switch will control the heat tape over your garage, while the other one will turn on power to the box under your soffit by your back patio.

For more information on heat tape, please read my article here.

Freezer outlet

Does it seem like Utah is the capital of Costco? If you need half a gallon of milk, why not go to Costco and buy 3. Perhaps Brother Charlie went hunting and got an elk and now he’s giving away the meat. Where ever you get your food, it seems like we often like to have extra fridges or freezers in our garages.

We expect this.

The code requirements have flip-flopped a little in this area, at times requiring us to put GFCI outlets where our freezers go. This is a stupid rule, and it has not been uniformly enforced from city to city and from year to year.

We try to get away from GFCI outlets for garage freezers wherever possible, but for those of you who’ve bought homes where this has been required, we’re sorry. It means that your freezer stands a greater chance of tripping that internal breaker. If that happens, you’re not very likely to notice until your garage starts smelling like spoiled meat.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep the outlet accessible, so that even if it does trip, you can reset it easily without having to push a 500 pound freezer away from the wall.

Water Softener

Big bags of salt can be heavy, especially if you have one of our bonus rooms. You don’t want to carry that softening salt all the way upstairs to the mechanical room. Instead, we’ve made this easier for you.

In your garage, you might find a small flexible pipe protruding from your wall. If this is the case, it is a discharge line for your water softener. That means that you can have your water softening unit installed in your mechanical room, but you can keep the salt tank in your garage, where you can just back your car up to it and unload all that heavy salt.

Other options

I hope this has been helpful. There’s more in your garage than you might at first expect. As I mentioned earlier, we do finish and paint your garages, something most builders would charge extra for.

The finish is a little rougher than your interior and we use a flat paint to help you hide all the times that the wall gets banged up from your tools and boxes, so we don’t suggest using the same paint in your garage that you would use on the inside of your house. The sheen will not match perfectly, even though the color is the same.

You can also do other things to improve your garage space. We don’t provide them, but we know a few people who might be able to help after you close, if you’re so inclined. Mainly, I’m referring to epoxy or painted floors. They make cleanups a breeze. If you have the budget, I highly recommend them. I’ve never met anyone who regretted putting one down.

Hopefully I haven’t forgotten anything. If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our representatives on site.


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