These days, everyone is looking for more space in their homes. With so many more people working from home, some homes can start to feel a bit crowded. And there’s a space you may not consider as a usable living area, the garage. If your home has a decently maintained garage the conversion can be somewhat simple.
Measure and Design your Space
The first thing you’ll want to decide upon is the layout of your workspace. Think about how much space your garage can offer by rearranging clutter or storage that may be there. And if you want to keep a space for your car as well. Take measurements of your garage and draw out an outline of what you’ll need. Don’t forget to think about placement of desks or shelves to put in your drawing. This will help decide if you need additional power outlets for your computer, printer, and other devices you may need power for at your desk.
If you do decide to maintain space for your car, you will need to construct new walls to divide the space. If you’re adding walls and you have some extra space, maybe an office closet would do nicely for office supplies.
You’re going to need an insulated garage door to keep warm or cool in your office space. If you have to upgrade, then consider getting a door with windows. You can frost the glass if you want privacy.
You’re going to need heating and cooling in your new space. If your garage is not already insulated, you’ll want to do that before you get to finishing your office space. This will keep your office comfortable to work in through the seasons. There are small heating units and cooling units to use in smaller spaces, or you can just open your garage door in nicer weather.
Your garage should already have some outlets, but you may want to consider adding some more power for your office needs. And you may want to run wiring for wall mounted lighting as well.
The easiest option would be to polish the concrete that exists for a nice finish. You could also do a laminate or tile option for the finished office area. A durable option is installing natural stone and epoxy. Throw a rug down under your desk for a little protection for the cold floor.
Bright Paint and Lighting
With no windows in the garage, you want to make it as bright as you can through other means. With your new walls, you’ll want to pick a lighter, brighter color to help lighten the space up. Add floor or desk lamps if you can’t install wall or overhead lighting.
Depending on the work your garage to office conversion needs, this can all be overwhelming to those that might not know the difference between a nail gun and a drill. If you aren’t handy or knowledgable about some aspects of a remodel, like electrical wiring, hire a contractor. Get recommendations and read reviews to find reliable contractors for all your conversion needs, big or small.
Working in a garage can leave you feeling a little more exposed than inside the home, so think about some security options that would work for your new office space. You could add a camera to see what’s happening outside the garage door. Or add a security keypad for easier access to the garage without a garage door opener. If you have an outside access door to the garage, make sure all the locks are in proper working order. And there are multiple alarm systems available that you could have installed as well.
Call Minnesota Locks today with your questions about garage security.
When we think of security risks, we typically think about our own actions. But have you thought about the actions of those in your home? Specifically, we’re talking about those seemingly innocent, moon-faced little creatures living under your roof… your kids. It may not seem like it, but they can cause serious harm to your home security or themselves.
Today, most people with kids grew up in an era where they were raised to be latch-key kids. Their parents instructed them on what to say if a stranger was at the door or called on the phone (you know, pre-caller ID), so you had no idea who was calling, Mom? Dad? Stranger? It was like a roll of the dice who you would get). With instructions of things to say like “My mom can’t come to the door because she is in the bathroom”, or whatever excuse your parents coached you to say. Nowadays, it might be less likely kids are at home alone (cue Macaulay Calkin scream 😱), but we still have to think about coaching our kids about telling strangers personal information or when you will be home. Of course, that’s what burglars want to know, when no one will be home. Kids don’t realize there is danger to telling people certain information, and we all know some kids can be quite talkative about all kinds of things. Take the time to give them a few instructions on the information that they shouldn’t be telling to people they don’t know.
Which leads us to other ways kids can give out information... on the internet. Giving out information in real life is pretty bad, but it’s even worse online. Teach your kids to post things about the places you’ve visited, like restaurants or vacations, after the fact. When you are back in your home, post away about the day’s adventures, or that recent vacation. I know they are eager to share their experiences, but it’s wise to not let them post online while your home is currently unoccupied (this is also good advice to grown ups too). When they are posting online, they are sending a press release to everyone online what your schedule is, giving a lot of people access to this information. Make sure your kids understand that by allowing people to see these aspects of your life, opens up the opportunity for people to steal from you, or maybe worse. Pay close attention to your kids’ accounts to ensure they are not putting anyone at home in danger by sharing private information or about the families schedules detailing when they aren’t home. In short, continuing to educate them about stranger danger online is key.
Another item for your kids to be aware of is your home security alarm (if you have one). These are great for aiding in burglary prevention, but they don’t do much good if your kids forget to re-arm the device when they come home from school or are out playing with friends. Notes or signs that can be hung next to the security keypad are great reminders for them to remember to reset an alarm. Especially if they happen to be home alone after school. And soon it may become second nature to them, as they get into a routine of resetting the alarm. And don’t forget to go over all the buttons and their functions, just in case there happens to be a hiccup with the alarm system. If it’s hooked to a phone service that calls if there is a problem, also brief them on the proper phone numbers that identify as the security system company and practice the questions that they may ask when they call, so your kids aren’t nervous or confused. And while we’re on the subject, simply getting them to remember to lock the door is a benefit too. Help them turn it into a habit, when you close an outside door, turn the lock. Make it into a step process. Turn the doorknob to close the door, and then turn the lock.
We know life is full of stress, so hopefully following some of these tips can help relieve a little bit of that anxiety. Just knowing your kids are educated in keeping your family safe can bring a little peace of mind.
When it comes to home security, we’re always concerned with an intruder that might get inside. But did you ever think about what might get out? If you have pets, then I’m sure this would be your concern. But have you really put any thought into it? Some of our little furry friends can be quite sneaky. I know there has been a night here and there, that our little creature has awoken us in the night from the *outside* of the house. She probably snaked by our feet as we opened the door to the outside and didn’t even know it, like a little cat ninja.
Dogs are also excellent at getting out of fences, cages, and houses. From digging under fences, to climbing over them, they seem to manage to figure out the best way out. Their curiosity can seem to aid in getting them out of anywhere. Just look at this video of the Great Dog and Cat Escape.
Or sometimes they just want to help each other out:
And getting down to some of the smallest of our pets, hamsters are excellent at getting out of their cages. There are so many clever ways these little fuzz balls can escape, like wedging their bowl under their running wheel, so it will stay stable as they climb up it, and push the lid off the cage. For such small animals, they really can figure out lots of ways to escape and cause problems around your home. They love to gnaw on things and can damage wood work and even chew through your cables! Check out this video.
Not that you would want an octopus as a pet, or maybe you do, let’s talk about one of the most fascinating creatures out there. High on the list of nature’s escape artists is the Octopus. Octopuses are incredibly smart and are excellent problem solvers. They have no bones or shell, so they can squeeze through the tiniest of openings. They can change colors to camouflage themselves to hide from enemies. They can squeeze into a small jar, then figure out how to unscrew the lid to get out. Octopi could probably pick a lock if they got their tentacles on one. They truly are some of the most alien looking creatures on this planet. For some truly creepy thoughts, check out how smart these creatures are.
So next time you are battling with keeping your pets from breaking out of your home, you can have the piece of mind that you don’t have to figure out how to keep an octopus from escaping!
The definition of locksmith is a person who designs, makes and repairs locks. The majority of us have had the need to employ someone with these skills at one point or another, during our sometimes forgetful life. But have you ever stopped to wonder where this trade originated from?
The word Locksmith comes from Old English meaning “one who works with metal”, but it has been around for 4000 years, originating in Babylon and Ancient Egypt. The first locks were large, crude, and made of wood. They consisted of pin tumblers that could only be moved using a large wooden key that would be in the shape of a modern toothbrush. Moving forward to 200 A.D., the Romans evolved on the idea of the Egyptian locks, by using metal pin tumbler locks. These locks were often skillfully constructed, with keys that were usually made of bronze and iron, and sometimes made of precious metals. These Roman locks were eventually made so small, that they could provide keys that could be worn as rings on the lock owner’s fingers. This not only ensured the loss of their keys, but wealthy Romans had the added benefit of showing off their status and wealth to others, as wearing a key ring showed that they had valuables to protect. The Romans are also credited with the invention of the portable padlock with a U-shaped bolt, which is also believed to be independently developed by the Chinese.
In 18th century Europe, the design of locks changed. With the aid of advanced metallurgy locksmiths were able to create much more durable locks and keys. Improving on the designs, the locksmith focus was on making locks more elaborate, which developed locksmithing into a skilled trade. While these medieval locks focused on lavish embellishments, they were lacking on actually being secure from skilled thieves that could easily pick and open these locks.
Improvements on locks continued in 1778 with the invention of a double-acting tumbler lock providing much needed advancement in lock security. Six years later, a safety lock that was patented by Joseph Bramah, was so secure that it was unpickable for nearly 67 years.
Today, locksmiths continue this lock designing tradition into the modern world. Often using the same principle of pin tumbler locks, while also utilizing new technologies of program chip keys and remotes. Continuing to design locks to keep you safe.
“History of Locksmithing” HistoryofKeys.com
“History of Locks” LifestyleLounge.com
“An Ancient Profession: The History of Locksmithing” HistoryCooperative.org
For those of us with the misfortune of getting locked out of our car, we know how awful that can feel. Misplacing your keys, or even worse, seeing your keys sitting, seemingly smiling at you from the interior of your car, as you jiggle the locked door handle. When you find yourself in this situation, the solution is simple. Call a locksmith. Unless you find yourself in a horror movie, then there’s no time for that phone call, so just run away… quickly.
Of course, our lists will vary with multiple reasons that we can get locked out of our cars. Lost keys, the key breaks off in the lock, a broken ignition lock, or your purse (including your keys) was stolen, etc. The value of a high quality and reliable locksmith is key. One that will ensure your car security and your safety by getting to you quickly when you are stranded. Rescuing you from waiting outside your vehicle, and unable to get to your next destination.
Locksmiths can offer emergency round the clock service. No matter when you find yourself in need, someone can be there to help. A talented locksmith can solve your problem quickly, professionally, and successfully without inflicting damage to your automobile. And for the times you don’t find yourself in an emergency situation, locksmiths can provide a number of other services to keep you moving. They provide replacement car keys, program chip keys, duplicate car keys, and help you when your keys won't turn in the ignition.
With modern cars being manufactured with advanced locking systems, copying or replacing keys and locks might seem confusing to some of us. What is the best way to deal with this situation? One option is to call your car dealer. With the new technology making it more difficult to repair these kinds of locks, your car dealer might suggest you replace the lock. These car dealers will then hire a locksmith to do the job, and charge you a third party fee for the repairs. Skip the dealer and go right to the locksmith to save some cash. Locksmiths are highly skilled in their trade, and can work with all the latest vehicles, as well as older cars
These well-trained technicians can help you get on your way again quickly, and onto the more important things in your day. Consider researching a good, reliable locksmith to have on hand before an emergency strikes. Then you know you have a quality service to call upon, when that stressful time may strike.
Let’s face it, 2020 was a pretty rough year. A lot of last year’s events have probably gotten you thinking about some things that you may never have thought about before. Some of us may have conjured up images of Mad Max and The Walking Dead as we have watched some of the events unfold on the news, but we don't want to focus on that. So, let’s have some fun and let’s think about how best to prepare for a Doom’s Day scenario.
Bonus: These can also be good tips if you’re thinking about new lifestyle activities, so either way, we hope you enjoyed this fun post.
Owning your own business can be stressful with keeping up with daily routines and everything that you have to remember to do. Add to the top of it all, thinking about security risks. One thing that can help alleviate this anxiety is to be prepared and take preventative measures toward theft.
If you are just starting your business or have moved to a new location, call a locksmith to install new locks. Ask them if they can recommend the proper ones you would need for the best security. Simple things like adding signage that alerts criminals to the security measures you have in place. Place stickers on the door where customers enter that state the name of a security company system, or that your business has 24 hour surveillance (even if it doesn’t). These can help deter criminals if they know they are being recorded. You can also organize your store so that there are no blind spots for criminals to hide in, and shove merchandise into their pockets. Move shelving and displays around to avoid giving them hiding spots. Consider lowering tall displays, so you can see everyone in the store. Keeping visual sight lines to all parts of your establishment can help deter theft. With no place to hide, criminals are less likely to be bold and won’t try to steal something. Now that visual sight lines are improved, talk to your employees about how to spot suspicious behavior; like loitering or people who group together in an attempt to hide each other while they shoplift. You can also schedule a course in robbery training for your employees to teach them how to react during a robbery and what to do immediately afterwards.
You can also consider some professional security measures, like installing security doors or gates. We recommend consulting with a security company about what types of doors make sense for your business.
Think about adding a safe if you have valuables or cash that are left at the business overnight. Get a high quality safe designed for security, and while you’re at it, make sure it guards against fire too. You can also contact a professional service that installs safes as well, they can give you recommendations for what best suits your company’s needs. We discussed displaying signage for an alarm system to deter thieves. Go one step further and actually have an alarm system installed. Choose an alarm that connects directly with your local police department and not through a monitoring service. Talk to your alarm service company about also installing a silent alarm or panic button for your employees if a robbery were to take place.
We know every small business has different needs, including different security needs. Not all of these items may fit your business or your needs, so consider what is best suited for your business.
We're always here for your business locksmith needs! Just give us a call.
How often does a person grab their keys in a month? How about in a week, maybe even in a day? It’s crazy to consider how many times we’ve dug through our pockets or bags to find a key that locks our possessions up safely, but we do it every day. This small action was once something only the wealthiest of people could afford, and is something we take for granted in our daily lives. When we take a moment to think about it, how much do we really even know about a lock or a key? Here are some of the most fascinating facts we could find about both:
The need for locks goes back thousands of years, humans have spent large quantities of time trying to keep their secrets a secret. There have been all kinds of things locked away, behind various complicated contraptions all aiming to achieve the same goal; security. Having extra locks on hand can be incredibly helpful if you need to lock something up to keep it undisturbed. Whether it is securing your bike so that it doesn’t get stolen, locking up your shed so your tools are safe, or even just locking a very secret diary, some things are better left private.
There are many different types of locks on the market, all of them helpful tools to have in the home to assist the quest for privacy. In most American homes, you will typically see a deadbolt - the larger bolt that is used on your outside doors. This deadbolt can be a single, double, or lockable thumbturns. A single deadbolt requires a key from one side of the door, and can be locked by turning a lever on the other, while a double deadbolt requires a key on both sides. A lockable thumbturn can be locked by lever or by key on one side, and only by key on the other.
Padlocks are a different subset of locks because they can be removed from whatever they are locking up. A padlock typically comes as either a combination lock, or a keyed lock. Combination locks are great because they eliminate the need for a key. You can easily reset a combination lock to a new code if someone guesses your birth date, as opposed to needing to get a new key made if you lose it. Both have their pros and cons, and can be purchased at most hardware stores for a nominal price.
In the interior of most homes, you will see either knob locks or lever locks on doors. These are small locks that are used to lock the bedroom or bathroom doors for privacy, and are very easily broken with brute force. It is important to accompany these locks with deadbolts or other locks on external doors for optimal safety.
Mortise locks are often seen in commercial buildings, as they are advanced versions of deadbolts that require more skill to pick. These locks feature a non-locking latch controlled by a lever, with a deadbolt underneath. Meaning, even if the deadbolt is compromised, the latch will remain locked until someone flips the lever.
Electronic or smart locks are new on the market, and there will likely be awhile before we see them become mainstream. These feature electric combinations, or apps on your smartphone to control. They can be great additions when used with traditional locks, as electrical outages will prevent you from entering your home.
Keeping your property safe is an important part of being a homeowner. You didn’t spend your time and money purchasing the things in your home to lose them to a thief that didn’t try very hard, did you? The goal with these locks is to keep your possessions safe, so at the very least, upgrade your locks and put up a fight for your security!
It’s never fun to be in a rush out the door, get to your car and not be able to get inside. When you’ve used the FOB, manually used the key, and still can’t get inside, what do you do? The first step in any car door locking issue is to try and identify the cause of the problem. Is it because the door is damaged, the lock is broken, or is the door stuck? There are a variety of reasons a stubborn car door lock can refuse to open.
The most common reason a door gets stuck in the locked position is due to broken connections inside the door itself. If the lock is stuck, there could be a broken or loose connection to one or all of the parts that attach to the door latch due to use over time. If this is the problem, replacement parts and expertise are needed to fix the lock.
Sometimes, things will build up inside the car door lock. This could be dirt, or pocket lint from inserting your keys, which seems insignificant but can actually jam the lock assembly making the door difficult to unlock. If you need to use your key to unlock your vehicle, and the key won’t insert fully into the lock, there could be something blocking its path. However, if you’ve tried using your key FOB and can’t get into the vehicle, the issue is something else.
If your key FOB is simply not unlocking your car, there could be multiple things wrong. It could be the battery, or some electrical issue within the FOB. It may need to be reprogrammed to your vehicle, which we can assist with. We can diagnose whatever malfunction is occurring and provide a new key for most vehicles.
While it may seem silly to mention here, another reason a door can be stuck in the lock position is due to structural damage to the vehicle. If you’ve come out to your vehicle parked on the street, and are having issues unlocking the door, check and make sure no other parts of the vehicle have damage. This ensures that you don’t miss a slight rear-end or something that could have shifted the door and jammed it.
The second step with car door issues, is calling your local locksmith at Minnesota Locks. It’s a great idea to try and identify what issues you’re having with your car door, but not always an easy task. You don’t need to try and fix the problem, because we are here to take care of it for you. If you’re having issues with your vehicles locking function, need a spare or a new set of keys, or have any other locksmith needs, let us know!
We offer automotive, commercial and residential locksmith services in the Twin Cities.