We get asked a lot of garage door questions. Garage doors are a critical element of your home in terms of curb appeal, safety and convenience. As such, if you have questions that aren’t on this list, feel free to reach out using our contact form and we’ll be happy to help!
What options should I consider for a new garage door?
A new garage door is a significant expense and will typically last for 20 years or more with proper maintenance. So it’s a long term investment in your home for both convenience and home value. It’s a good idea to take the time to consider all the available options available. Here are some things to get you started:
The first consideration should be the style. There are many choices in style but most fall into 3 categories: traditional, carriage house and modern. The style you choose should match the architecture of your home. A traditional door typically features square or rectangular raised panels and will work with just about any house architecture. Carriage house presents a more rustic look, often resembling barn doors and is a great choice in a rural setting. Modern doors can be very stylish and go well with a modern or contemporary home architecture. Of course, all these styles come in a range of costs so take the time to explore what fits your situation and budget.
Adding insulation is an upgrade worth considering, especially if you use your garage as a workshop or hobby room. Adding insulation can make the garage space more comfortable during hot or cold weather. It will also help reduce your heating and cooling bills. Insulation is available in various “R” values so ask your garage door sales pro for more info.
Garage door windows are often overlooked as a design option, but they can really make a garage door pop for a modest upgrade cost. They are available in a ton of window styles and glass treatments allowing light in while maintaining privacy. Windows are a great opportunity to add your own sense of style to the garage door and add value to your investment.
Why does my garage door stop and go back up?
This is one of the most common garage door questions we get. Under federal law, your garage door must be equipped with auto reverse safety feature to prevent a door closing on people, pets or other obstructions. A garage door opener has a sensor that detects resistance when it’s closing and automatically reverses when it does.
There are several things that can trigger the auto reverse. The obvious reasons include an object blocking the door like a bicycle or a box. People or pets would also cause the door to reverse (thankfully). In addition to that, if there are problems with your doors track alignment or other door system faults that cause resistance when closing, the opener may interpret that as an obstruction and initiate an auto reverse. Finally, a faulty opener controller board could also cause unpredictable behavior. If there are no obvious obstructions and your door reverses for unknown reasons, even sporadically, it’s best to call for service to avoid any safety risks.
Why should a garage door be repaired by experts?
A properly functioning garage door looks simple enough, panels, rollers, springs, tracks. No problem. But the reality is that garage doors are heavy and as such involve a lot of forces, particularly the torsion springs. These springs, which are often in need of repair, are under a tremendous amount of tension and if the force is released unexpectedly, bad things can happen. In addition to the springs, the other components of your garage door system routinely see plenty of weight and pressure and can easily crush fingers if not handled correctly. So the number one reason to have your door serviced by a professional is safety.
The other consideration is the value of your garage door. A garage door that is not serviced properly can lead to complete garage door failure resulting in damage to vehicles and property inside the garage. It could also require a whole new garage door installation which will be much more expensive than any service call.
Our advice: don’t mess around with your garage door. For safety’s sake alone, always call a garage door repair professional for service.
Is replacing a garage door spring dangerous?
Yes. Garage door springs are used to provide assist in opening the garage door by storing potential force in the spring when the door is closed. When a garage door spring fails, it can unleash a tremendous amount of force causing harm to property or people nearby. Installing or replacing a spring presents similar danger when the proper care is not used. Play it safe, always get a professional to inspect and replace your springs.
My garage door won’t close. Is there a way to close it manually?
Yes, but once again, start with caution. If your door won’t close all the way or won’t close at all using the automatic garage door opener, the first question is why? If the opener seems to be working but the door is “auto-reversing” at some point, the opener is either defective or is sensing an obstruction. Check for objects that may be blocking the garage door path. If there are no obvious obstructions, check for broken springs. A broken spring won’t provide the assist the opener needs and the opener will interpret that as an obstruction, resulting in the auto reverse.
You can try disengaging the door from the opener by pulling the manual release cord if the spring is broken or there is some other defect. Important: make sure someone is preventing the door from crashing down when the release is pulled to prevent any damage or harm. Make sure there are no children or pets in the area!
When should I replace a garage door with a new one?
As garage door questions go, this is one of the trickier ones to answer. Like many expensive items we own, a roof, a car or major appliances, we are often faced with the repair or replace decision. Garage doors are no different – a new garage door installation is not a trivial expense. There are a few considerations when it comes to replacing or repairing your garage door:
Damage to The Garage Door System
Damage to a garage door system can range from some slight paint peeling to major, structural damage than can pose safety hazards. If the damage to your door is minor, maybe a dent in one or more panels, cracks or paint issues, a repair may be a cost-effective solution. For many homes, the garage door accounts for a large percentage of what your home looks like from the road, having a direct impact on curb appeal. So repairing some dings and paint issues can be money well spent.
Major damage to structural components, which can pose safety hazards, can be more expensive and need to be weighed against the cost of replacement. A broken spring can be a routine repair, but if there is additional damage to the system, the repair cost may begin approaching replacement cost. In this case, the homeowner will want to factor in the age of the garage door in making their decision. A professional garage door repair service can evaluate your situation and provide an estimate for repair versus replacement.
Age of Garage Door
Garage doors last between 15 and 30 years on average depending on many factors including usage, climate and quality of components. If your garage door is getting on in years, you may want to consider replacing the door rather than repairing for anything other than minor repairs. Remember, a new garage door has an excellent return on investment for home upgrades.
Of course, cost is always a factor. A $200 repair versus a $2000 new door may be a no-brainer. But the cost must also be weighed against the age of the door and the cost to replace. Once again, your local garage door experts can provide pricing guidance and advice on how best to proceed.
What are the questions to ask when buying a new garage door?
Getting a new garage door is not a trivial purchase. A new garage door installed is not cheap and there are plenty of options to consider. Read our post on how to find the best garage door contractor. Here are some questions to get your thought process started:
- What manufacturers do you typically use?
- Which garage door materials do you recommend?
- What kind of garage door do I need?
- Which options should I consider?
- How long can I expect the garage door to last?
- How many employees will be working in my home?
- Do you recommend purchasing an insulated garage door?
- What is the timeline for installing my new garage door?
- What type of guarantee or warranty is available if my garage door is damaged after installation?
- Do I need a new garage door opener?
Can you just replace a garage door opener motor?
If you are replacing your existing garage door opener with an identical model, it may be possible to reuse existing parts like the rail, brackets and chain. However, even a new garage door opener from the same manufacturer may have subtle differences in parts and/or installation procedure, especially if the opener is several years old. Here are some reasons to not use old parts:
- It may seem that using the old hardware will make installation faster, but any deviation in parts or install process could set you back to the start and make the process longer
- If the installation procedure is not followed exactly, you may run into a problem that is difficult to diagnose and the manufacturer support is more challenging.
- Newer garage door openers use more nylon components which are quieter. You lose this benefit if you use older, metal components
How much does a garage door change the value of my home?
A study found that a new upscale garage door has the best return on investment (ROI) of any home improvement project including kitchen and bath remodels. In fact, the study found that in the Santa Rosa, CA area, average ROI was 176.5%! So if you were to spend $5000 dollars on a new garage door, you could expect to see an increase of $8825 on your home value. And that was in 2018. The point is that an updated garage door has a very positive impact on the value of your home. And this makes sense – a garage door is often hightly visible from the a street contributing a large amount to curb appeal.
“Hands down the best service I have ever received. Jeremy and his crew are super responsive and provide excellent customer service. “