Frequently Asked Questions

Common garage door questions and answers

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.

For more information, check out our Garage Door Buying Guide or contact our garage door sales team.

Why does my garage door stop and go back up?

damaged garage doorThis 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. “

~Erika Contreras

Yelp Reviews

  •   Seamless service with keen garage door, five star experience. I recently had the pleasure of upgrading my garage door with Keen garage door, and I couldn't be more satisfied with... read more

    thumb Chris S.

      If you are ever in need of a garage door company that does it all KEEN is the only business you need to call!! I called the office on a... read more

    thumb Mike K.

      Skyler did a great job. I would recommend Skyler and Keen garage door. Very professional!

    thumb Kevin C.
  •   Customer service is awesome here. Leslie will take care of you like family and the brothers know their stuff.

    thumb Renee F.

      Service on my automatic gate.  The team was great to work with, very responsive.  There was a call-back on another issue and they came out on a Saturday, fixed it,... read more

    thumb Tom G.

      I've used Keen for both my personal and professional projects and have consistently had seamless experiences with them. I appreciate their fast communication, pricing (which is lower than the other... read more

    thumb Carissa D.
  •   Keen Garage Doors is the absolute best. The owner Jeramie is a true professional. He answered any question we had, at any time of day and the install was perfect.... read more

    thumb Daniel B.

      I can't say enough how helpful this company is! The owner himself came to help me out on the Sunday of a 3 day holiday weekend and was here in... read more

    thumb K H.

      I recently had a garage door bummer. Unfortunately it happened in the evening around 545pm. When most businesses close up shop or possibly to busy to get to your problem.... read more

    thumb Eric S.

Google Reviews

Jennifer Ruo
Jennifer Ruo
Leslie was able to get me an appointment quickly to get a new garage door knowing I had a tight deadline. Thanks Leslie!
Barbara Meyer
Barbara Meyer
Vincent was fabulous. Patient knowledgeable and respectful. He’s a keeper.
Robert Kelly
Robert Kelly
Spring replacement and new rollers. As always, Jeremy and his team were on time, and took care of the job at a reasonable price. I always have a good experience with this business.
Donna Cook
Donna Cook
Jeramie Keen of Keen Garage Doors arrived at my home within one hour of my distress call. He got my mangled garage door open so I could drive my car out of the garage and onto my driveway. He proceeded to quote a replacement door, new California code opener with emergency battery all ready to install within 2 weeks. In this business climate who would have thought all of this would be possible within one hour? Just amazing! Thank you Jeramie. Your company is my new go to garage door source. I couldn’t be more pleased. Thank you.
Mary lynne Richardson
Mary lynne Richardson
From our 1st phone call until the job was expertly finished, Keen Garage door service was perfect! Leslie, Jeremy and Vince were friendly, knowledgeable and got the repairs done efficiently. 5 Stars for excellence!
Mike Grace
Mike Grace
Great experience with Jeramie and his crew Skyler and Seth. I appreciate that Jeramie helped me upgrade the hardware for my 2 garage doors as I made the mistake of purchasing the doors elsewhere with hardware that was not advisable with heavier glass doors. With a speedy and efficient installation, I’m very happy with the finished product. Would definitely recommend Keen and would hire again in the future - Mike in Forestville
Katherine Johnson
Katherine Johnson
Keen was friendly, helpful and communicative from the start. My old house didn't have room for a regular sized garage door and I wanted a specific look. They delivered a custom built wooden door (with windows) that is just beautiful. It took awhile for it to be built, but they were accurately communicative about how long it would take. They installed it as expected and even sent a painter back to touch up a few areas to make it perfect. Thank you Keen! I highly recommend them.
Christine Schdemmel
Christine Schdemmel
Seamless service with keen garage door five star experience I recently had The pleasure of upgrading my garage door with keen garage door, and I couldn’t be more satisfied with the process from start to finish. Leslie, the office manager, set the tone with her outstanding organizational skills and attention to detail during the initial conversation. She was not only a pleasure to speak with, but also made sure that my press questions were answered, Josh Their knowledgeable rep was prompt in stopping by to review the various options available. He provided a comprehensive quote that was straightforward and competitively priced no hidden and fees or surprises. When it came time for installation, Van and Jodi were the technicians who handled everything they arrived on schedule they were professional, took time to walk me through the use and maintenance of my new garage door. The level of customer service. The quality of the installation in the value of the price paid were all top-notch. I would highly recommend keen garage door to anyone in need of their services services. They truly stand out in a sea of competitors for professionalism and customer care.
Pamela Marks
Pamela Marks
What a fantastic experience from the moment my garage door broke. They immediately came and did a quick repair. And then came back and replace my 35 year old door with a brand new door and it looks fantastic. They were on time they were courteous they were neat clean, quiet, and exceptionally professional. I would recommend them any day of the week.
Catalina Quiroz
Catalina Quiroz
I called after hours and did not expect a person to answer after 6 p.m. I was assisted by a lovely lady named Leslie. She was wonderful to work with and answered all of my questions. Very polite and professional. I recommend Keen Garage Doors!
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