Jan 06 2014

New Year’s Resolution: Enjoy the Great Outdoors – The Garage Plan Shop

Post By: Curtis Cadenhead

Category: Activities,Seasonal

Mount Rainier National Park 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!

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Dec 17 2013

Prepare Your Home for the Holidays – The Garage Plan Shop

Post By: M.K. Tenney

Category: Safety,Seasonal

Flashlight and NightlightThe 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!

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Dec 02 2013

Rustic Garage Apartment Adds Value to Your Home – The Garage Plan Shop

Garaeg Apartment Plan 039G-0001Not 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.

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Nov 20 2013

Road Trip Tips for the Upcoming Holiday Season – The Garage Plan Shop

Post By: Curtis Cadenhead

Category: Driving Safety,Road Trips

Road Trip TipsWhether you’re hitting the road for Thanksgiving weekend or taking an extended road trip over your kids’ Christmas break our road trip and travel tips will help you get to your destination safely and easily.

 

Make sure your car is road trip ready. Before you even set out, make sure your car is ready for the trip. Have it thoroughly serviced. Get an oil change, check the breaks and fill all fluids. If you’re not sure what else to have checked or serviced, look on line for car maintenance checklists. If you don’t know how to change a flat or jumpstart your car, learn before you leave town. When you’re on the road, keep an eye on the dash. If any warning lights come on, take your care to a professional to have it checked out.

 

Download helpful apps. Before loading the car, download helpful apps that will assist you along the way. Consider Breakdown Lane which will instantly show you a map of the closest mechanics and their customer ratings no matter where you might breakdown in the country. GasBuddy is another helpful app which will help you find the cheapest gas at gas stations along your route. Also, download traffic and weather apps.

 

Bring plenty of music, but turn the radio on, too. With today’s technology, it is easy to create your own playlists of your favorite tunes. Be sure to bring plenty that you can jam too when the road ahead seems especially long and boring. Also, take time to turn on the radio. The radio will offer local news. The traffic and weather updates will be especially helpful. But the local radio stations are also a window to the world around you whether you’re passing through a small town or a big city. You might even learn a thing or two about your surroundings as you pass through.

 

Check the weather. Depending on where you are traveling, the winter weather season may be in full swing between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Dangerous winter weather might influence what route you take. Check the weather forecast along your route before you hit the road, and then tune your radio to local stations for weather updates as you travel.

 

Have a driving plan. Once you’re on the road it is helpful to have a plan. Switch off with another licensed driver traveling with you so you don’t get too tired behind the wheel. Also, plan frequent stretch, snack and restroom breaks. Finally, think about your car. Don’t drive at a sustained high speed all day long. In some parts of the country the speed limit increases dramatically in the middle of nowhere. The wind resistance increases significantly with speed, so when you’re driving at a higher speed than normal it places a huge demand on your engine. Stick to 55-65 mph and you’ll prolong the life of your engine.

 

Back off the throttle in the mountains. If you’re taking a long road trip, chances are you’ll cross a mountain range somewhere along the way. Back off the throttle when you’re going up a mountain. There is no law that says you must maintain the same speed traveling through the Rockies as you did across the plains of Kansas. Your engine has to work a lot harder to get you up the mountain. Slowing down a bit will save wear and tear on your car and engine. It will reduce damage caused by overheating and improve your gas mileage. And if that isn’t a good enough reason, there are plenty of tight curves and steep hills in the mountains that do not have guard rails.

 

Don’t drink and drive. It may be the holiday season, but drinking and driving don’t mix. You’ll have plenty of time to celebrate the holidays when you arrive at your destination, so get there safely.

 

Have fun. No matter what might happen along the way, remember to relax, have fun and enjoy the holidays with family and friends.

 

 

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Nov 08 2013

Featured Garage Workshop Plan Perfect for Dad – The Garage Plan Shop

Garage Workshop Plan 010G-0005Once the car is parked, Dad may never leave the garage. Attached to the one-car bay, is his own man cave getaway. Easily accessed from a covered porch, there is also a convenient back door entry for rolling in the lawnmower, bicycle or garden tiller that needs to be tinkered with. A wrap-around work bench organizes tools or pending projects. Three windows provide natural light for tying flies, sanding bookends, or rewiring a lamp. Whatever his interests, Dad will find plenty of space to explore them in the 186 square foot workshop. The garage itself has a high ceiling that could be utilized for parking, storage or to accommodate that really big project. Can you say, “entertainment center” or ”’57 Chevy?” View more details about this one-car garage workshop plan.

Please feel free to browse additional Garage Workshop Plans.

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