Before you take your next vacation, road trip or getaway, do a little research and download a few travel apps that will help you along the way. We’ve listed some handy apps below, but there many more out there related to maps, travel time, things to do in specific cities, gas prices, places to shop and eat, flight arrival times, hotels, and countless more. Below are a few that we like to use:
City Maps 2Go
MapQuest Gas Prices
My Max Speed
TripGo Real Time Trip Planner
With a simple and conservative design, this two-car carport satisfies not only parking needs, but it can be utilized for a variety of other uses. Being supported by six 6’’ posts, this carport is sturdy enough to protect vehicles from the elements, eliminating that voice in the back of your head asking if you remembered to roll up your windows. In addition to cars, the shelter can also be used to protect other motorized vehicles or machinery, such as farm equipment, which are often subjected to nasty weather conditions because of limited garage or storage space. Going beyond vehicles, this carport is capable of serving as a pavilion, providing an environment in which barbeques, celebrations, and gatherings can continue despite what Mother Nature has planned. To view more designs like this one, please browse our collection of carport plans.
The Garage Plan Shop is making a New Year’s resolution to enjoy the great outdoors in 2014, and we invite you to join us. Whether you never go outside for fun and enjoyment, or you take an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors every chance you get, we are certain you can find a few things on our list that you’ll enjoy doing outside throughout 2014. Our world is full of exciting places to see and fun things to do that are centered on outdoor activity. You can find them anywhere from your own backyard and neighborhood to neighboring states and all the way across the country. Below is just a sampling of the things we hope your do this year to enjoy the great outdoors:
- Plant a garden this spring/summer (flower or vegetable) and cultivate it throughout the growing season.
- Teach a child to play baseball, soccer, freeze tag or another childhood game in your backyard.
- Visit a state park.
- Visit a national park.
- Plan a road trip to another climate zone or geographic region and explore how it is different from where you live.
- Take a float trip down one of our country’s scenic rivers.
- Go camping with your kids and show them how to roast marshmallows or make S’mores.
- Ride your bike on a bike path you’ve never been to before.
- Enjoy more outdoor meals. Grill and dine outside with your family on the porch or deck.
- Take up outdoor photography.
- Try going birding at a nearby park, wetland, nature area or conservation center.
- Go boating with friends and/or family.
- Share your knowledge about hunting or fishing with a child and take him or her on an outing to experience your love of the sport.
- Try something you’ve never done like backpacking, wind surfing, or snow skiing.
- Visit another state and learn to identify unfamiliar wildlife, trees, flowers and other natural elements.
- Spend a weekend afternoon at a winery.
- On workdays, pack your lunch and eat outside instead of going to the lunch room/cafeteria.
- Spend an afternoon walking around a historic or quiet country town.
- Host a backyard barbecue for family, friends and neighbors.
- Volunteer to help at an organized event to clean up local streams, lakes or hiking trails.
This list is just the beginning of all the fun activities you can do outdoors by yourself or with your kids, neighbors, friends and co-workers. We are sure you’ll think of many more things you might like to do outside. So join us in 2014 and make an effort to spend more time outside and enjoy the great outdoors!
The holidays are an exciting but hectic time of year. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the season override the safety of your family and guests. Prepare your home ahead of time and embrace the holiday cheer. Below are some tips to help you:
- Light the Way - Welcome your guests and reduce the risk of falls with bright outdoor lighting on steps and walkways. Help overnight visitors find their way around your house with ample use of nightlights or flashlights if need be. Avoid the use of candles especially around children. The addition of holiday lights and decorations bring the hazard of extension cords. Make sure that they do not cross the floor where anyone might be walking and do not cover them with rugs.
- Watch the Pot - Unattended cooking is one of the leading causes of home fires. Entertaining can pull you away from the kitchen, so designate a pot watcher who can also keep the little ones from underfoot and away from the heat.
- Mind the Fire - Of course it is so cozy to fire up the fireplace, but do so only if someone can stay in that room to mind it. Of course you will want to follow all the rules of fireplace safety, like having the chimney cleaned and inspected. Don’t allow anyone to throw paper plates or wrapping paper on the fire. Make sure your fire and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
- Childproof - Even if you already have children in the house, prepare for visiting children who may not know or follow your rules. Lock up any potential poisons like cleaners and medications and don’t forget that some plants can be poisonous also. Be mindful that toddlers are fascinated by holiday decorations that could hurt or burn them. Keep an eye out for choking hazards like small toy parts, leftover foods, alcohol, and cigarette butts.
- Senior-proof – Eliminate tripping hazards like throw rugs and hallway runners. Be wary of what an older person might touch to steady themselves, and remove items that teeter or roll. Use nonslip mats in the bathtub and consider installing grab bars in the shower if they will have an extended stay.
- Pet-proof – You may already know what not to feed your pets, but your guests may not. To be safe, remind them to avoid feeding pets any “people food,” including coffee, alcohol, and candy. Be aware of new hazards like glass ornaments, ribbons, tinsel, plants, and chemicals in the tree water. Pets may need to be isolated in another part of the house, if the excitement of company is too much for them.
Keeping these tips in mind, we wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!
Not just limiting itself to providing additional parking, this unique three-car garage apartment plan avails itself of a variety of other uses adding extra value to your already existing home. With two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, and a dining room located above the garage, the possibilities of how to utilize this space are quite extensive. Serving as a guesthouse, it allows visiting friends and family not only their own privacy, but also gives you, as host, the chance to relax without feeling like you’re running a bed and breakfast. A more permanent occupant may appreciate the living quarters as they may be utilized as residence for a nanny or other home-based employee. If the kids have their nanny years behind them, this garage apartment plan works wonderfully as a home for returning college students or even the post college student who is still hanging around. Beyond serving living needs, the finished living space could function as the setting for a home-based office by providing a meeting area for clients in a rustic, welcoming, and professional setting. For those with storage needs, there is plenty of room for parking and storage in the three-car garage. To view even more garage plans with living quarters like this one, please browse our collection of garage apartment plans.