Garage Door Blog

8 Creative Ways to Use Your Garage

At AR-BE, we get excited about garages. You might even call us garage nerds. But that’s our job – we get excited about a space in your home that you probably don’t give much thought to, even though you probably use it just as much or more than any other room in your house. So we thought we’d compile a list of our favorite alternative uses for your garage in the hopes that they might spark your enthusiasm about the potential your garage has.

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Great American Entrepreneurs and Their Garages


What do you do use your garage for? To park your car? Maybe to store a few things? If you’re handy with tools, maybe that’s where some of them reside. But the garages of our homes aren’t just boring empty boxes, waiting to be filled by the things we can’t keep inside the house. Since garages became a standard part or accompaniment to American homes in the mid-20th century, they’ve become the incubators, the safe space, and the meeting place for some of the most inventive and influential creators of our time.

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Are Insulated Garage Doors Worth The Money?

Should You Spring for an Insulated Garage Door?

If you are building a new home or replacing an older garage door, one question you will face is whether or not to opt for an insulated garage door. You won’t be surprised to learn that an insulated garage door is going to cost a couple hundred dollars more than the non-insulated variety, but we’re here to tell you: especially in the Chicagoland area, that couple hundred bucks up front is going to save you money in the long run. Here are the three main reasons we encourage all of our customers to purchase insulated garage doors for their Chicago-area homes.

  1. 2283-steel-garage-doorsAn insulated garage door will help your energy costs in winter and summer. The exterior walls and roof of your home are insulated – so why shouldn’t your garage door be as well? After all, the garage door makes up a large portion of many homes’ facades. An insulated garage door will buffer your home from outside extreme temperatures – both hot and cold – and, as a result, will help keep your energy bills lower. As an added benefit, the vehicles you keep in the garage will be easier to warm up on those particularly icy mornings.
  2. An insulated garage door is quieter than the non-insulated option. This is especially pertinent if there are living spaces – even possibly a bedroom – over the garage. The insulation absorbs sound, making for less racket as the door goes up and down.
  3. An insulated door is sturdier than a non-insulated one. If anyone in your house might be tempted to, say, toss a tennis ball against the garage door or use it as a backdrop for goalie practice, we definitely recommend an insulated door. They stand up to dings and dents better and just aren’t as fragile as uninsulated doors.

So now that we’ve gone over the pros of an insulated garage door, the next question is whether you should go with a pan-style polystyrene, and sandwich-style polystyrene, or a sandwich-style polyurethane insulated garage door.

Pan-Style Polystyrene

Polystyrene is the same material that cheap coffee cups or disposable coolers are made from. The polystyrene is cut in blocks and secured to the interior of the garage door. It provides some insulation of both heat and sound and gives a slight bump to durability. The downside of pan-style polystyrene doors is that polystyrene itself is not the most durable substance.

Sandwich-Style Polystyrene

These garage doors are made with the same material as those in the “Pan-Style” category, but the polystyrene is “sandwiched” between two steel doors, providing greater insulation, stability, and protection for the polystyrene itself. These doors are a great middle-of-the-road choice.

Sandwich-Style Polyurethane

There’s no question about it: if you want optimal temperature and sound insulation and the sturdiest door possible, you want to go with polyurethane insulation. Polyurethane is a foam that is sprayed between the two outer layers of the garage door. The foam expands to fill the available space. It hardens, sticking to the shell of the door. Unlike the sheets of polystyrene that are cut to fit into place, the polyurethane foam fills every nook and cranny between the steel doors, providing exceptional insulation and greatly increased stability.


Whichever Option You Prefer…

We are thrilled to offer a Winter-long (2016/17) deal of $50 off your replacement or brand new garage door!

At AR-BE, we have a variety of stylish insulated garage doors of all three types: pan-style polystyrene, sandwich-style polystyrene, and sandwich-style polyurethane, as well as non-insulated pan-style doors. You can browse our style options on our website. Alternately, feel free to give us a call today and chat about how we can help you beautify your home, while also enhancing its functionality and value with a new garage door.

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Maintain a Burglar-Proof Garage

How To Keep Thieves From Breaking Into Your Garage

Keep Your Garage Burglar-Proof

A Chicago-area garage door is statically known as the most common entry point for any theft when they are trying to enter your home. By knowing this, you are now given a head start to proofing your own garage door so that these would be burglars are kept out. There are a variety of different creative ways that you can keep out criminals.

We have outlined a few here for you to apply to your own garage door, that will help you maintain a safe and secure home.

Replace Your Garage Door Remote 

Leaving your garage door remote on the visor of your vehicle is a very common and understandable practice. You have it right there for you when you enter and leave your garage to easily open or close it. But what you may not know is that it gives the burglar an opportunity. If your vehicle is the one that is left outside the garage, the burglar can break into your car and then into your garage.

The simple and easy solution to this occurrence is to replace your garage door remote with a smaller one. You can now purchase miniature sized remotes that fit perfectly in your purse or key chain. Allowing you to keep your remote on you at all times—away from potential thefts. 

Find Your Lost Remotes

As you replace your old remotes try to remember if you have ever misplaced previous remotes in the past. Most of the time you may not need to worry about this, but for those of us who may have lost some it is of the utmost importance. Sure chances are that the remote may be lost forever but why risk the chance that it might fall into the hands of a theft? 

Motion Sensor Lighting

In today’s world home security equipment has advanced enough to give us optimal safety. Motion sensing light fixtures are made available for you today giving you the same effect that a home security sticker does. With motion sensing lights installed, any movement in front of your garage door will be picked up and the lights will expose anyone who may be there.

Do not opt for any fluorescent light bulbs if you do decide to install motion sensors. These type of bulbs can take a while to light up completely, especially in the cold winter months of Chicago.


Turn Your Garage Door Manual

You can easily un-plug your garage door opener at any time. This automatically turns it into a manually operated door. This would be an ideal thing to do when you are leaving for an extended period of time for work or on vacation. By eliminating the possibility of a burglar hacking into your garage door, you can add an additional layer of security. Locking a padlock or a latch so that the door cannot be moved no matter what the theft may do. 

Install Automatic Timers

We all can make mistakes from time to time. Leaving the garage door open after get home and forgetting about it entirely is one of the most common. Thefts have adapted and become more intelligent. Noticing when this occurs they have been known to sneak into your garage and hide until they can move later on that evening or they can quickly come in a grab something and walk out immediately.

With an automatic timer, you can set your garage doors to close after a set interval of time after you pass through your laser sensors. Giving ease of mind, and securing your garage and home. 

Purchase An All New Residential Garage Door

The best and most effective way that you can keep a burglar out of your garage and home is to purchase an all new residential garage door. Updating you garage door with a dependable service gives you the latest in garage door security and performance. Consider purchasing and updating your residential garage door in Chicago today, and keep you and your family safe!

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6 Garage Door Opener Accessories To Make Your Life Easier


Having an automatic garage door opener in Chicago gives your life convenience and efficiency. But what if we told you that there are accessories out there that can enhance your simplified life even more? Simply pressing a button seems to be as easy as it gets.

But we have 6 different accessories listed here to take it to the next level for you!

Garage Door Open/Close Monitor

Have you ever gone to bed and thought “Did I close the garage door all the way?” With a Garage Door Monitor you can monitor and operate up to four different garage door openers from anywhere in your home. Eliminating the need to get up, walk down, and check in the middle of the night.

Wireless Exterior Access Keypad

Use a 4-digit interchangeable code to access your garage door with a keypad that has zero wire connections. Acting as basically a remote control that stays securely on the exterior of your garage. Allowing you to access sheds that may not have an entry door or are not able to have one installed.

Laser Sensing Parking

Never have to worry about parking your vehicle perfectly again. This exceptional accessory allows you to fit your car into your garage every day exactly how you want it. Allowing you to use your garage space for maximum capacity while avoiding having your vehicle pulled in too far or sticking out. These laser sensors indicate when you are right on the money—eliminating the need for that hanging tennis ball!

LiftMaster Internet Connection

LiftMaster garage door openers offer their customers the latest in garage door technology. By using a handy remote control app, you can access the control of your garage door to open or close it with a few simple touches on your smartphone.

This gives you the ability to control your garage doors wherever you are. Whether you are all the way upstairs or half way down the road when you are on the go.

This also will allow you to access your garage doors operations when your at work. Letting someone enter or leave a package safely in your garage. You can find these types of apps made for other tops brands such as Chamberlain and Mastercraft too.

Battery Backup System

Having your garage door opener in Chicago connected electronically can have some down sides. If on the chance that you are hit with one of the windy cities notorious storms you may lose your power temporarily. If that is the case, you want to ensure you will still have opening and closing functions with a Battery Backup System installed. Mostly compatible with top name brands like LiftMaster, Battery Backup Systems allow you to never have to worry during those stormy months.

Miniature Remote Control

Remote Controls are no new thing when it comes to garage door openers. These have been well known accessories for years. Making your life a whole lot easier when you are on the go with just a simply press of a button. But when you opt for a miniature sized remote you are not only making it less visible to would be thefts, you keep it out of your viewpoints if you want to place it in your vehicles visor.

With a compact size you can place the mini-remote inside your purse or backpack or even on your key ring. Allowing you to take it with you wherever you go, without taking up a whole lot of room.

Contact AR-BE Garage Doors today and ask about any of these user-friendly garage door opener accessories to help improve your garage door.

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