Home Security

Making Your Home Safer – 5 Simple Step

There is nothing more important than feeling safe in your own home. Personal safety and the security of valuable possessions is the main concern of most people. Yet most people don’t take home security as seriously as they should, which is surprising as the FBI estimates that there is a burglary every 15.4 seconds in the US. So, how can you secure your home? And why should you spend on security?

Why Spend on Security?

Secures

The main reason for spending on security is just that; to secure your property. Imagine the cost of repairing damaged doors/windows, replacing stolen items, increased insurance costs and the damage to you and your family’s mental health. Then imagine the cost of improving your home security. There’s one clear winner.

Deterrent

The harder it looks to break in, the less likely it is that someone will try. Making your security measures visible and evident will minimise the likelihood of burglary.

Insurance

The better your security, the less you will have to spend on insurance. Many security products are approved and recognised by insurance institutions which means you will make a significant saving.

Adds Value

Home security systems add value to your home. Even a few basic measures such as alarms and locks will make increase the worth of your home.

Peace of mind

Knowing that you have a comprehensive home security system in palace gives you ultimate peace of mind. Your property is safe and, more importantly, so is your family.

So now you know why you need security, what can you do?

5 Steps to Home Security

Locks

Window and doors are the most obvious access points for intruders. Securing them with proper locks is a simple and inexpensive way of greatly increasing your home security. Ground floor windows and doors are the bare minimum when it comes to installing AND actually using strong locks. Front and back doors require at least two locks with the addition of a dead bolt.

Alarms/CCTV

Along with locks, alarms are the staple of home security. They tell you and others when an unwanted guest has arrived. Moreover, when clearly displayed on the exterior of your property, they are a clear warning sign to burglars that the home is protected. CCTV will also tell burglars that you take security seriously. And if they still go for it you stand a much greater chance of convicting them.

Security Grilles

Installing security grilles is a great addition to your home security. They act as a physical and psychological barrier between intruders and your possessions. Ground floor window are the most important place to install robust security grilles and external glass doors should also be enforced with a grille. Not only do they make criminals think twice about attempting to break in, but if the criminal is stupid enough to attempt it they will most likely fail and give up or get caught in the act.

Fences/Gates

When it comes to deterring criminals nothing is more effective than fences and gates around your property. They make getting in and out much harder. Like grilles, they put a physical barrier between your property and would-be criminals. Even small fences make intruders think twice as they will hamper a quick getaway.

Secure Garage/Outdoor Lights

Around 10% of intruders enter through a garage. One major reason that garages are a major target for burglars is that it’s more than likely there is a vehicle inside. Garages also lead directly into you home and your valuables. They are often left open and unlocked which invites opportunists into your home to take what they want. A proper garage door is a must have and ensuring that it’s locked when you are out and at night could save your property. Outdoor lighting, both in front of your garage and at the back of your property, will also deter intruders.

Safeguard Security provide home security products including CCTV & domestic security grills.

Urban Garages

This is a guest post by Mike the Pole Barn Guru of Hansen Pole Buildings. Thanks Mike!

After I sold my business in Oregon in 1990, I moved back to Spokane. My only brother, Mark, was soon to follow. He and I went into business constructing pole buildings in the Spokane area.

Like one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure, one man’s curse is another man’s blessing….not long after we went into business, came a winter with lots of snow.

Spokane had been a fairly affluent town in the pre-depression era. Mr. Ford’s plants cranked out many a Model T and Model A, and Spokanites invested in many of them. In order to protect these fine vehicles, literally hundreds, if not thousands of garages were built in backyards and alley ways all around town.

There were no building codes, back in the day. The general guiding principal was…put up whatever looked like it might stay standing. The quality of the average Ford garage was not quite what the average crackerbox house had – and given some massive snow a few generations later – many of them became flattened.

Typically over insured, the replacement of them afforded a major boon to our fledgling business. Homeowner after homeowner called asking for us to build one or one-and-a-half car garages. In some instances, the lots were even large enough for two car garages.  Yes, the lots were tiny, sometimes only 25 feet wide!

For city dwellers, it doesn’t take a huge snow storm or other major disaster to partake in the joy of having one’s own garage.

The first stop is the city Planning Department. These are the folks who determine what can or cannot be built on any given parcel of land. They know the required setbacks from property lines and other structures, as well as from streets, easements and alley ways. Height restrictions – they have this information as well.

I’ve been surprised, in the past, to find cases where garages could be built nearly right up to a property line or alley, as long as the water from the roof did not run off into the neighboring yard!

In some cases, attaching an otherwise freestanding garage to an existing home with a roof only “breezeway”, allows for more favorable setback conditions.

Going to the Planning Department “hat in hand” and asking a planner what exceptions exist can result in allowances which otherwise might not have been given. An example – within the City of Spokane, the limitation for detached residential accessory buildings (aka garages) was 1000 square feet, however by requesting an exemption, this could be increased by 10% right at the counter! And there were no fees or waiting period.

Always ask – the worst answer which can be given is no. The last thing I would ever advise someone to do is to go ahead with building a garage without planning department approval, hoping either to not “get caught” or to beg forgiveness later.

And with the advent of fire wall testing, pole buildings can be designed for up to three hour fire resistance. This often allows for reductions in setbacks from property lines and other structures.

The most important thing to remember is – there is only one opportunity to build it right or wrong.  Always put up the largest footprint and tallest height building allowed and your pocketbook will handle.  After over three decades, I still await the first client calling to tell me their new pole building garage is, “just too big”.

Mike Momb is technical director for Hansen Pole Buildings. Hansen Buildings is providers of pole building and pole barn kits nationwide.

Organizing Your Garage

If you have reached a stage where brute force and strategic planning is necessary each time you need to put something in or take something out of your garage, it’s time to organize! Believe it or not, your garage is not a household hiding place for broken, unused and neglected equipment you couldn’t bear to throw out, but a useful and valuable part of any home. Today we will go through some ways that you can organize your garage to make sure you are getting the most out of it.

1.) Empty the garage

Step one to organizing you garage is to remove everything from inside and lay it on your driveway or front garden to have a good look at. Be honest with yourself: when was the last time you played that board game? Are you really going to fix that broken screwdriver? Are the kids ever coming back for that tent? Once you have had a look at the contents of your garage, remove everything that you have not touched for the last two years – these items either need to be housed elsewhere, sold at a car boot sale or else binned completely.

2.) Clean and possibly decorate

In order to start organizing your garage in the most effective way, it’s important that you restore your garage to a blank canvass ad get rid of dust, cobwebs and other debris that will have collected over time. Use a jet spray to give the walls and floors a very good wash, and then once it is dry – try painting your garage in a color of your choice: it will shift your perspective so you can see the garage as a room rather than a dumping ground. If the door is old consider fitting a new garage door.

3.) Use furniture

A well organized garage will only stay organized if there is a designated place for the items it is going to store. Simple tricks like hanging areas for tools, shelves, and plastic draw cabinets will give your items the space they need, and allow you to use them regularly without the hassle of looking for them and digging them out. For long term storage items, consider a storage solution that can be added to the garage, so that unvisited equipment does not interfere with regularly used equipment.

4.) Prioritize the items you use the most

A common mistake with garages is that people start to think of their newly organized garage as a type of showroom, carefully hanging all of the tools they are most proud of in high visibility areas, whilst the cans of drink and tins get hidden behind the board games from 1990. Don’t do this! If you only use your power drill once every five years, don’t give it a priority space. Instead, put the items you use the most in easy access parts of your garage near doors, and put any items you rarely use down your priority list, and further away from accessible areas.

5.) Have the guts to bin things

It’s sometimes difficult to let go of items we have kept for years, but you will never have a well organized garage if you are a hoarder. Have the courage to bin items that you don’t use or need, and do this regularly so that you can have a well organized garage that is well used and enjoyed for years and years to come.

Ben writes about home improvements and currently works for an equipment hire company.

Five Advantages of Roller Garage Doors

Whether you are building a new home, adding a garage to an existing property or your current garage door is in need of replacement, you will be overwhelmed with the selection of garage doors available to you.

There are the traditional doors which require you get out of your vehicle, open the door towards the vehicle and then drive in. It wastes time, energy and is a dangerous option, often opening the garage door into the vehicle and not pleasant when arriving home late at night.

Roller garage doors offer a choice of superior benefits; I’m only going to list the top five to help you make an informed decision as to which garage door you need for your home.

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Make Better Use of Your Garage By Converting It

Most homeowners that are looking to extend or convert turn to their garage as a possible candidate. This is because of many reasons, mainly due to the fact that garages are becoming increasingly smaller and therefore the purpose of a garage is gradually becoming obsolete. Instead, more often than not they are used as dumping grounds for bikes, unused clothes and tools rendering a valuable space as wasted space.

However, as the demand for extra space increases, a large amount of homeowners turn to the garage as a viable option for conversion to add that extra bedroom, playroom or reception. Not only does this save on the costs that a full extension would occur, it takes much less time and a large amount of it can be done by you and not the contractors.

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evansvillegaragedoorwarehouse

Garage Doors Prevent Crime

Secure your home with a garage door

There are some scary statistics all over the country that indicate that nearly half of all home theft and robberies occur because of a garage door that was left open or was damaged or unsecured. It’s very easy for burglars to enter the home through an unlocked garage door, and much easier if the door is left open, and walk right into the home through the connecting door, which is almost never locked. Valuables, heirlooms and personal safety are all at risk when the garage door is left open as it practically invites crime into the home. If you leave your garage door open because it’s broken or doesn’t function smoothly it will be in your best interest to have a professional fix it immediately. Continue reading

Overhead garage doors are convenient, durable and designed to save space.

Selecting Your Overhead Garage Door

A new overhead garage door

Easily the most popular and most common type of garage door for residential homes is the overhead garage door. Since the overhead door has replaced the swing-out garage door, homeowners everywhere are realizing the benefits and conveniences that come with the upgrade. Homeowners turn to overhead garage doors now for a wide range of reasons, including convenience, looks and cost efficiency. Talk with a professional garage door technician about how installing an overhead garage door can improve the curb appeal of your home and contribute to energy savings and costs associated with swing-out garage doors. There’s an overhead garage door style that’s bound to be perfect for your home. Continue reading

A new garage door can add style, curb appeal and class to your home

How To Buy A New Garage Door

New garage door styles and features

It’s no secret that the garage door is  the largest feature on the front of your home, taking up as much as two thirds of the facade of the house, and it’s also no secret that a new garage door can make your home look updated and new. But knowing how to buy a new garage door isn’t common knowledge, especially since the garage door industry has expanded so much in the last several years. Garage door manufacturers’ websites can take a little navigating, but finding the right garage door for your home will pay off big time. Continue reading

chalkboard

Chalk Board Garage Door

It’s always nice seeing homeowners with a sense of humor! This house in the San Francisco area painted their twin single car garage doors with chalk board paint and put out a couple of buckets of chalk for neighbors and passers by to have a little fun. Large sticks of colored chalk encourage others to be creative (if you look closely at the picture there are several different things which “rule”), make drawings, or express an opinion. The unique garage door design offers a creative way for the homeowners to interact with their neighbors and provides a new look for their garage door as often as every day, keeping the rest of the home (and by extension the neighborhood) current, up to date and in a state of constant evolution.

The great thing about the chalk board is that it allows anyone to use it and provides a silly platform for freedom of speech, but it naturally discourages negativity because of how easy it would be to cover up or erase inappropriateness, like profanity or insults. In fact, the photos show a large heart shape on the left side of one door and most of the proclamations are of things neighbors love (bacon, the Giants, phagocytosis, etc.). Having a giant chalk board on a neighbor’s garage door brings out the kid in everyone, even the adults (most of whom are apparently budding artists), and has the potential to make the block a little sillier and a little younger.

The chalk board garage door is unique and creative.The homeowners tried this as a small experiment and only had one bad review from a neighbor. However, the time came around where even that one negative neighbor was using the garage door as an outlet for his thoughts (which they say is mostly new found love for a puppy). The neighbors all know where the hose is and can easily wipe anything off (or just use more chalk to rewrite something), but for the most part they just contribute or watch passively. As for the owners? They seem happy to come home to a different garage door every day.

Garage door accidents can be prevented with care and maintenance.

Accident-Proof Garage Doors and Garage Door Lawyers

Every year there are around 20,000 garage door related accidents across the country, mostly because homeowners aren’t aware of the dangers or let their kids play around the garage door unsupervised. Outrage over garage door safety led to legislation that all automatic garage door openers be fitted with security and safety features designed to prevent injury back in 1993, and now all garage door openers have automatic reversal devices in two locations. However, there’s no such thing as an “accident-proof” garage door, and any garage door company trying to sell you one is just looking to make more money by selling a false sense of security.

With expert installation, proper maintenance, professional repairs and a healthy respect for the largest moving object in your home (as well as regularly discussing garage door safety with all children) your garage door and garage door opener can last a lifetime and be mostly free from major hassle or danger. However, nothing is accident-proof, especially nothing that relies on electricity, like an automatic garage door opener. No-fault mishaps are uncontrollable and happen without warning; you should always be prepared, but don’t waste time and money on an “accident-proof” garage door because the false sense of security will encourage you to be lax on the maintenance and more prone to damage or accidents. Don’t fall victim to these scams, offering expensive garage doors with the promise that you and your family will have guaranteed safety.

Another garage door related scam is garage door accident lawyers who encourage you to fight for compensation in the event of a garage door mishap or malfunction. Garage doors typically come with strict maintenance policies and if it can’t be proved that the garage door was properly maintained, repaired by a professional garage door technician or a range of other limitations, you could be out lawyer fees and have no compensation from the garage door company. Few cases qualify for financial compensation from the major garage door companies, so you would likely be wasting your time and a lot of money for nothing.

The best line of defense for any garage door and automatic garage door opener is to take good care of all of the garage door parts and hire a certified professional to take care of any repairs. Attempting your own garage door repairs, letting your garage door go for years without maintenance, letting children play with the garage door remotes like toys and putting in garage door parts that don’t belong or aren’t warrantied is a recipe for disaster, but the right remedy is not to buy an “accident-proof” garage door or consult a lawyer who promises financial return. The bottom line is to avoid garage door related accidents and keep your home and family safe in the first place, and that can be accomplished by diligent garage door ownership.

Install a real carriage garage door with a swing out garage door opener.

Real Carriage Style Garage Doors with Openers

Coachman Carriage DoorCarriage style garage doors are incredibly popular because they have an Old World look and provide any style of home with added charm. However, almost no one wants to deal with a carriage style garage door that doesn’t automatically open, which is why many of the major manufacturers of garage doors offer garage doors that look like a carriage door but open in the standard overhead fashion with a typical garage door opener and remote system. But if you’d rather take a step beyond that and install a real carriage garage door with a real automatic swing out garage door opener you won’t have to settle for getting in and out of your car every time you want to open and close the garage door.

A real carriage garage door opener works in a different way than a traditional garage door opener in that it can be mounted directly above the door and doesn’t require a long overhead track, which frees up space and allows you to be creative with the design of your garage. However, there are also swing-out garage door openers that can be mounted on a track and open with a rod for a more traditional opening. A carriage garage door opener works well for unusually sized or shaped garage because of the flexibility of the opener requirements. There are openers that swing out as well as openers that slide to the side, which are ideal for homes with limited clearance.

The openers for carriage doors are designed to be ultra-quiet and operate on a low-voltage system for the best in quality and smooth operation. Everything can be real about your carriage garage door, from the wood used to the hardware applied to the way it opens automatically from your car. Give your home a unique look with a real, fully functioning automatic carriage garage door and watch the curb appeal and value of your home dramatically skyrocket with professional installation and care and maintenance packages.

A custom wood garage door offers many benefits for your home.

Wood Garage Door

People have an attachment to wood products that dates back to when wood was the only available resource for building and protection. Wood still looks better and is stronger than most synthetic materials and today it’s considered a premium material in many applications, especially garage doors. Despite the fact that the majority of residential garage doors are made from aluminum, you can still get a great-looking wood garage door for your home from one of the leading manufacturers of garage doors.

Clopay is one of the largest and most extensive manufacturer and distributor of garage doors of all styles, including an impressive selection of wood garage doors. Clopay wood garage doors are offered between three categories: Classic Wood, Reserve Semi-Custom and Reserve Limited Edition garage doors. Clopay garage doors are the best of both worlds: they use high quality, strong and beautiful wood but can be designed to provide the convenience of an overhead garage door or a swing out or even fully functioning carriage style door. Wood garage doors have up to five layers and are excellent insulators which make them energy efficient (some cities offer rebates for this quality) and come in a variety of styles for a semi-custom look. Of course, if you want a complete custom wood garage door a Clopay wood garage door makes an excellent base design. Windows, fixtures and panel design can be individually selected based on your preferences and won’t interfere with the functionality of your garage door; select from one of four woods and seven stains and more than ten decorative hardware designs for a customized look.

Putting in a Clopay Limited or Custom Edition wood garage door can add significant value to your home, and some homeowners even recover much of the cost of their premium wood garage doors after selling the home. Making an addition to your home that looks great from the street, adds curb appeal, increases security and provides energy savings is always a smart investment. Talk to your garage door technician or the professionals with Clopay about how their semi-custom and Limited Reserve wood garage doors can change the look of your whole house.

Make Your Garage Door Suit Your Home

Garage door style variations make it easy to create your perfect garage door look.Believe it or not the looks of your garage door have a lot more influence on the curb appeal and overall appearance of your home, and homeowners significantly underestimate the effects of an updated and well-designed garage door. The garage door industry has really taken off and improved in the last several years and it would benefit your home greatly to take advantage of some of the new offerings available.

Modern garage door styles suit a wide range of homes and can bring your house into the 21st century. Your choices aren’t limited to aluminum or wood anymore: steel, fiberglass and even copper are now materials that are used for garage doors as well as a huge range of window styles and faux fixtures to add a bit of class and charm to your home. Plus, any type of garage door can be styled using a base model from a major manufacturer to add value to your home; you can even disguise your garage door to keep the attention on the front of the house. Work with a garage door professional to come up with ideas or pitch your design to and see how great your home can look with your ideas.

Almost any garage door material can be painted just about any color under the sun, which means color matching can make your brand new garage door look like it belongs on your house and your house alone. Additionally, if you have your home’s exterior painted you can be sure your garage door will match, too. One new trick homeowners are using to color coordinate their homes is to paint the garage door the same color as the front door, especially if both are visible from the street. This works with just about any color, from neutral brown to bold red and works in the same way that matching the color of your shoes and your belt does. Either way, make sure the color is a complementary color to your home’s stucco to help it look natural.

The wide variety of panel design, fixtures, materials and glass types make it incredibly easy to create your own unique garage door design that suits your home. Whether you want an overhead garage door that looks like a solid wood swing-out door or a modern garage door with tempered glass that looks like the entrance to a sun room or your own creation, the availability of materials and readiness of garage door technicians to help you almost make you wonder why you still have that old, outdated cookie-cutter garage door.

Best and Worst Case Garage Door Scenarios

Garage door accidents are the common result from doing your own garage door repairs.A quick Google search will tell any ambitious homeowner that do-it-yourself garage door repairs are a hot topic, but it will also tell you that there’s a significant danger involved, whether that comes through in personal blog posts from those who’ve done it and live to tell about it (usually scoffing at the dangers), personal injury lawyers offering free advice for those injured by garage doors or insurance and safety organizations writing their lists of garage door safety topics. The choice to DIY or call a professional becomes the homeowner’s, and weighing the risks and likely outcomes is crucial in order to be able to make this decision correctly.

First of all, most homeowners are automatically assuming the best outcome. The thought “it won’t happen to me” is still very prevalent even once we grow out of our teenage years. Best case scenario? You grab your tools, lose a few hours of your Saturday, and fix your own garage door repair, potentially saving yourself a couple hundred bucks and giving you a nice sense of satisfaction. But what about the worst case scenario? You grab your tools, lose a few hours of your Saturday, break the part you were trying to fix, injure your hand, leave the still broken garage door to go to the hospital where you spend the hundreds you would have saved from a professional repair, and come back to find the door has crashed, potentially causing thousands in further damage, and you still have to call an expert for a proper garage door repair.

While that second scenario might seem a little far fetched, if you really think about it, doesn’t the first scenario seem a little far fetched, too? A homeowner with no real training or practice on garage door repairs expects the best possible outcome on a dangerous situation, especially for a first time repair? Seems unlikely. Here’s a more likely scenario for the DIY garage door repair: you grab your tools, you lose a few hours of your Saturday, succeed in repairing (or rigging) the garage door part you were trying to fix, but because it’s not done properly or meant to be temporary, you experience the exact same repair again in a couple of months and you repeat the cycle until something bad happens or you call a professional who would have had it taken care of the right way the first time in a matter of hours. And maybe you pinch your fingers in the process.

There are many things a homeowner can do with their garage door and garage door parts that don’t require a professional, such as testing the safety mechanisms, cleaning the tracks, troubleshooting and basic garage door maintenance, and these are things you should be doing regularly to prevent garage door accidents. But think twice before attempting your own garage door repairs because the risks most often outweigh the benefits, and the potential for something to go very wrong is too real.

Hangar Garage Door

Don't limit your garage door design possibilities to anything other than your imagination.Getting around that typical look of a garage door has come a long way in recent years, an advancement many homeowners are happy for. You can get (or design) a garage door that looks like an old carriage or barn door, a garage door made from tempered glass windows for an edgy, modern look or an artsy garage door cover to look like just about anything. The days of plain or standard garage doors can be over if you want, and no longer is your creativity limited by the mechanics of your garage door.

Take, for example, the house pictured this post. It looks like a typical house, in a barn-house style, out in Florida somewhere. They look like they might live comfortably. This is actually the back of the house, with the front door around the other side. But that porch isn’t a typical porch: it’s a garage door! It’s a garage door with room for seating, a working entry door and two windows with shutter detail. If you watch the video here you can see the planning and details that went into this, but you can also see the huge benefits of having this style home and garage door.

First, there’s the obvious my-home-looks-more-awesome-than-your-home factor, plus it completely removes the requirement that your home be a cookie cutter, standard garage door it’s-there-because-it-has-to-be look. Second, if you watch the video you’ll see the insane storage space inside. What this comes down to is a room addition that’s a garage and the roof is attached to a number of garage door openers (or maybe one monstrously strong 3 HP motor?), providing a room that is described as cavernous. There’s space for multiple cars (and not small ones, either), plenty of storage, and a generous work space. The garage is essentially the entire width of the house.

This just goes to show you how you don’t have to limit your home’s possibility. Anything you can think of is possible with the right planning and design.

Dream Home and Garage Door Design

A unique garage door will complete your dream home design.

Your dream home design doesn’t have to come from new construction, and it doesn’t even have to involve  a new-to-you house. You can get your ideal dream home from the exact location you currently have, no matter how long you’ve been there. In fact, sprucing up your long time residence could be just the thing you need to make it feel refreshed and special again. Curb appeal is a huge part of home worth, attractiveness and speed at which a house will sell (an incredibly important factor if selling your home might ever be an option). Needless to say, it makes a lot of sense that a garage door is a major contributor to curb appeal, especially when you consider that most garage doors are the biggest eye-catcher of a house.

A luxury garage door adds class and charm to your dream home design.The first step towards having your dream home is to select your ideal design. It’s a lot easier than you might think, and it doesn’t have to be expensive to design your dream home. Once you have a design or color theme that you like, take a good look at your garage door. Is it old? Outdated? Worn? Damaged? If your garage door is not in top condition you might consider replacing it and selecting a style that matches with your dream home design. If your garage door is newer or in great condition you can easily make it match the style of your new garage door with a few simple adjustments. Garage doors can be painted and stained and faux hardware can be added to give it a more rustic look. There’s a garage door style that will match any look you want for your home, and you can ask the experts to show you which styles would be best for your home.

If you can’t decide on a style for your home, you could start by looking at garage door styles. From garage door panel design to window types and garage door decor, there’s an unlimited number of style combinations to choose from. There are also many modern garage door styles that can be used with both contemporary and traditionally styled homes to keep with a certain look or bridge the gap between old and new. In almost all cases a garage door style can take on a wide range of colors and window styles which help make your selection process easier, and it can also help you decide on a color scheme for the rest of your home.

Design your own custom wood garage door for a great look for your home.No matter which route you take to your dream home design or what style you select, a custom garage door is an excellent way to create your perfect home. A custom garage door can be made from a wide range of materials (including wood, aluminum, steel and even copper), any color, and be made to fit the most unusual garage sizes. Talking with a professional garage door technician can help you  narrow down your selection and provide you with a few ideas to get your creativity flowing.

Designing and building your dream home, complete with an elegant and updated garage door, can be very fulfilling and go as far as increasing your curb appeal and the value of your house. A certified technician will walk you through the whole process, from your garage door selection (or custom garage door design), stucco color matching, trim colors, and even landscaping, all of which will contribute to a unified home and a place you’ll be proud to walk into every day.

Holiday Discounts – Get a new garage door for the holidays!

[box type="info"] Free estimates on new installations and 25% Holiday discount on all Openers, Springs & New Garage Doors.[/box]

With the holidays coming up, why not treat yourself to that home improvement project you’ve been thinking about? Just in time for Christmas, we’re offering 25% off any garage door and garage door opener repair or installation service. What better way to say “Merry Christmas” and get your new year off to a positive start by keeping your home in good shape?
We repair and install garage doors and garage door openers from every leading industry manufacturer including Clopay, Genie, Amarr, Liftmaster, Raynor and Linear. Call us today to receive 25% off any service including spring replacement and new garage door or garage door opener installation. Get the professional service you deserve at a price just right for the holidays!

The Real Cost of Garage Doors

Consider the long term cost of your new garage door before your purchase.If you’ve been in the market for a new garage door recently you might have noticed the wide range of prices for garage doors. Some places advertise a new garage door for less than $700, while others boast of great value at more than $2,000. With a gap this wide, how is the average consumer supposed to know what is really a good deal for a new garage door?

When you’re just looking at the advertised cost of a new garage door you might want to believe it’s silly to spend more than $2,000 for just the door when you can get a garage door installed for less than half that, sometimes including a new garage door opener! But it’s not always as straightforward as that (or the more expensive garage doors would never be bought!). There are many aspects to consider when looking for a new garage door and you could end up paying a lot more than the advertised price for features you want or need by going with a base model. For example, if you have a home owner’s association you don’t have much of a choice in selecting a new garage door. Your garage door style will have to be the same color, have the same style windows, and have the same level of insulation as everyone else in your neighborhood, which can be liberating if you find the number of choices overwhelming.

Change the look of your home with a new quality garage door.If you don’t have a home owner’s association and you’re free to choose the make and style of your garage door you’ll find a wide range of options. There’s a nearly endless list of styles, ranging from contemporary to traditional to transitional and there’s sure to be one that suits the look and feel of your home perfectly. It’s also a good idea to consider that the garage door typically takes up about 2/3 of the front view of your home, which means it’s a giant eye catcher. This can be great because a well maintained, well constructed garage door can increase your curb appeal and even add value to your home. But a poorly maintained, cheap or damaged garage door can detract from both of these, making your home look older and more worn than it is. Be sure you know what you’re getting when you buy your new garage door and don’t settle for less if it will take from the attractiveness of your house.

Typically, a garage door that’s advertised for less than $700-800 will be the bare bones of the garage door world. They’re aluminum roll up garage doors with no windows, insulation or decorative features added on and don’t include a garage door opener. Each additional feature can cost as much as $200-300 to add on, bringing your “bare bones” garage door well over a thousand dollars when all is said and done. You can make your house stand out from the rest in your neighborhood with an elegant garage door made with high quality materials and construction which could really save in the long run. Of course there are premium garage door manufacturers that custom build every single door, but there are also many garage door styles that have a similar look from some of the top brands in the country that are warrantied much longer than many of the base models. If there’s a possibility you might sell your home in the next few years a high quality custom made garage door (or one that looks custom made) can help potential buyers fall in love at the driveway, encouraging a faster sale.

One of the most forgotten or ignored aspects of garage doors is the cost of ownership and maintenance over the years. While most garage doors will last 10 years or more (and some of the hand crafted premium doors have lifetime warranties) you’ll still need to spend money to replace parts and hardware and keep your garage door looking like new. Garage door springs, though they come with every new garage door and last 5-10 years, will eventually need to be replaced (especially if your garage door is heavy), and depending on the size of the springs can end up costing a couple hundred dollars each time. Replacing a broken window in a garage door can often involve replacing the whole panel, which is costly, as is repainting a steel or aluminum garage door every couple of years. So although the temptation might be there to purchase a cheaper, lower quality garage door now, remember that you’ll likely be spending hundreds more over the next several years in order to keep it looking and working like it should.

There are plenty of things to consider before you buy your next garage door, so look around and don’t be fooled by promises of low costs right away. Remember that the appearance of your home is just as important as the costs it will take to maintain a poorly constructed garage door. Once you have all the facts you’ll be able to make the perfect decision on your new garage door.

Creative Garage Doors

Find a creative solution to any garage door situationMost homeowners have the typical garage door: paneled, made from aluminum or wood, rolls up, rolls down, somewhat reliable, nothing to rave about. Some homeowners have more unique garage door styles, like traditional carriage styles or faux hardware to make a garage door look extra fancy. Even fewer homeowners have garage doors that look cool and open in a unique way, such as a garage and door that’s big enough to house a boat, or traditional carriage style doors that actually open like a carriage house. And then there are these homeowners: two homeowners have discovered unusual solutions to their very real garage door problems, and thinking outside the box has certainly come in handy.

Take the first homeowner: This house is an investment property in San Francisco, and anyone who’s ever been to San Francisco can understand how much you might want a garage to park your car. Parking is notoriously difficult, and getting a good spot can be cause for a small celebration. And if you live there and have to deal with that sort of thing every day? Downright frustrating. However, it’s not as simple as just popping in a garage door. Most San Francisco homeowners wanting a garage and garage door want to transform their big, classic bay windows into a garage door and use that space to park the car. But the city of San Francisco is limiting the amount of changes that can be made to the historic facades of these buildings, which means those big beautiful bay windows are there to stay. So what’s a homeowner to do? Get creative.

Check out the video on this blog. They came up with a plan that converts the inside space into a parking spot while maintaining the archetypal San Francisco bay window look. The facade is broken into segments which fold inwards, creating a space for a car to move in and out, preserving the front. If you were passing by this and didn’t know what you were looking at you’d never be the wiser, and that’s exactly what the city planning department in San Francisco wants. Now the tenants can escape the nightmare that is parking on the streets of San Francisco, the city preserves its historical design and passers-by are none the wiser.

The second homeowner to discover a creative solution to his garage door woes hails from what seems like Britain. In this video (which I highly recommend watching before continuing reading this), the homeowner laments not having a garage door opener for his BMW motorcycle. He complains about having to pull up to the garage, get off the bike, manually open the garage door, get back on the bike, back the bike into the garage, get off the bike, and manually close the garage door. It would be so much easier if he could just drive into the open garage door! A breakthrough happened when he discovered a neat trick through the horn on the bike: two honks causes his young daughter to race from the front door, open the garage door and race back inside. A second set of honks causes her to race back out, close the garage door, and race right back inside the house.

This second solution to difficult garage door problems may not have been real, but it is creative and it does get a good laugh. Watch the videos and consider it a few minutes well spent!

Coodrinate Your Home Security with HomeLink

Garage Door Opener

Home security is an ever changing industry and there are dozens of ways to keep your family safe and intruders out, from gates to garage doors to home protection systems. HomeLink is a safe and convenient way to access your home without losing track of multiple remotes or having to remember different codes for each system. HomeLink works with garage door openers, gates, home security systems, and even lighting and appliances inside the home, to eliminate the need to walk into a dark house. Once HomeLink is installed and programmed with all of the security features you wish to operate, going home will be easier than ever.

Since 1995 homeowners have used HomeLink to safely and easily access their homes from their cars wirelessly using the radio frequency transmitter, and now nearly every car manufacturer participates. No longer will you have to remember a code for the gate, use a garage door remote, and disable the security code inside your home; with HomeLink all of these functions can be controlled in one place. Although several different systems and applications can be controlled through HomeLink, the set up and programming process is very easy, and can be done in just a few minutes. However, if you prefer to have some help programming your HomeLink system a garage door or gate repair company should be able to help you out.

HomeLink is compatible with virtually all garage door openers, as well as a wide range of automatic gates and security systems so you’ll be able to access your home with one convenient remote. In fact, HomeLink can be programmed to work with just about anything that works within the right range of radio frequency. Whether you have different brands for each system or continuity throughout your home, HomeLink can coordinate every home security system to make it easy to access your home. From the safety, comfort and convenience of your car, one remote can operate a wide number of compatible systems, including appliances and lighting inside your home. The days of entering a dark home can be a thing of the past, and with HomeLink you can feel like your whole house is welcoming you home.

Smartphone Garage Door Remote Control

It seems that our smartphones can do just about everything now. We get instant sports updates, make and watch videos in incredible quality, and navigate unknown lands with built in GPS. Now, you can even control your garage door with your smartphone using an app for your iPhone or Android.

Have you ever left your home and gotten a few minutes down the road before you started to question whether you closed your garage door? You either have to trust that you did it automatically or turn back to check… neither option really being ideal. How convenient would it be to check your garage door status from your phone (unless you forgot that, too) and then close it remotely if it is indeed open? Pretty convenient. With the MyDoorOpener iPhone app and a little hardware on your garage door opener you can have that peace of mind. For Android or other smartphone users, a wifi connection and Android software are all you need to remotely access your garage door from anywhere in the world.

The convenience is obvious: no longer will that gnawing suspicion turn into fear, no longer will you wonder if everything was stolen as you anxiously drive home, and no longer will you have to make the trip back once you realize you just can’t remember if you hit the button on the remote. Further, you’ll find it incredibly useful to not have to take your keys with you on a walk, or leave an obvious hide-a-key for the kids, or deal with batteries in the remote or programming your car’s built in opener. Almost no one leaves the house without their phone, so what better tool can there be for accessing your home?

The only set back is this technology hasn’t been perfected or made widely available yet. But if certain car companies can make it so that you can remotely start your car’s engine from your smartphone from anywhere in the world, it’s only a matter of time until using your iPhone or Android to check on or open and close your garage door is the norm. Now you’ll just have to remember to keep your battery-hungry smartphone charged, don’t forget it on the kitchen counter and don’t keep it in your pocket where it’s difficult to fish out when you need it to get in your garage.

Deadly Accidents

In order to highlight how dangerous garage doors can be (and because this is being posted on Halloween), I’m going to share a story of how a trained professional was fatally injured working on a garage door, and hopefully discourage those of you who are the handy-type of homeowner from attempting to fix your own garage door.

The maintenance mechanic worked for a maintenance company, which was hired by a shipping company back in 2004 to install a 1,000 pound commercial roller (overhead) garage door. A week later, when the door wasn’t working properly, the mechanic and a coworker returned to fix the top panel and install additional springs. During the repair, the garage door got stuck with the bottom 3 feet from the ground, so the mechanic used a scissors lift to attend to the top of the door. He used a screwdriver to disengage the emergency release from the chain-drive motor because the manual release cord wasn’t working. Both the mechanic and his coworker believed the door would roll the 3 feet downwards, but instead the door sprang upwards, knocking the scissors lift in the process. The scissors lift, and the mechanic, fell to the floor, a fatal 15-foot fall.

An investigation revealed that the few required safety measures were taken, that the mechanic had worked on overhead garage doors in the past and was employed with the maintenance firm for more than 2 years, with the shipping company as a frequent client. However, it was also discovered that several parts were initially installed incorrectly, which caused the door to jamb in the first place. In addition, it was thought that the garage door had 6 inch drums so two additional springs were installed to help with the weight of the garage door, when in reality it had 8 inch drums, and the additional springs might have contributed to the door springing upwards, rather than closing downwards as expected.

Before you begin making excuses for why this wouldn’t happen to you (you don’t have a very heavy commercial garage door, you’re not using a scissors lift, it’s just a simple fix…), the point of sharing this sad story is to show how quickly mistakes can happen to even the most careful of individuals. This mechanic had many years of experience working on commercial garage doors and confirmed his prediction with his (equally trained) co-worker before making the adjustment. Mistakes can happen even to professionals, which puts an untrained person at a much greater risk; an untrained and inexperienced homeowner attempting what appears to be a quick fix can wind up in the emergency room or worse. All it takes is one slip, one instance of “I didn’t know it would react that way,” one unexpected surprise to become a statistic. Before you risk your health or your life, call the professionals for your best chance at a safe, reliable and effective garage door repair.

Latchkeypad Kids

Way back when, when old fashioned locks and keys were all we had to secure our homes, there were latchkey kids. Wearing their house keys on a chain around their necks (so it wouldn’t get lost), latchkey kids had a token of responsibility other kids didn’t have. Today, especially with the increasing use of garage doors as a main entrance to the home, it’s a little less practical for a kid to wear a garage door opener around his neck. Fortunately, almost any garage door opener can be programmed with a keypad to eliminate the need to carry a key or have access to a remote, making access to your home quick and safe while keeping unauthorized individuals out. New keypad technology is going mainstream all

the time, which means keeping your home secure is a top priority for manufacturers.

Advanced keypad features

Some newer garage door opener keypads have more advanced features that can allow access for specific individuals while keeping others out. Certain models can be temporarily programmed to allow technicians and other service people access for a period of time while keeping the regular code intact. One of the newest and most exciting features of garage door opener keypads is fingerprint recognition. These models are the ultimate in home security because they’re quickly programmable, effective, and highly accurate. This feature also eliminates the need to carry a key or remote or to remember a code, ensuring there’s nothing to lose and nothing to forget. This is also a great alternative to hide-a-key rocks, which have become so common they’re easily recognizable. Fingerprints are 100% unique to individuals, ensuring unauthorized individuals will not be able to gain access to your home. Latchkey kids will no longer be chastised for forgetting a key and homeowners won’t have to worry about leaving open access to the house.

Sears Craftsman Fingerprint Keypad

The particular Sears brand of fingerprint keypad is able to store up to 10 different fingerprints, which means your whole family will be securely stored in the unit’s memory, with room to spare for frequent visitors and common guests. Programming this fingerprint keypad with additional fingerprints is as safe and easy as an authorized user swiping a finger to program the new user in. This makes it impossible for thieves to enroll their own fingerprints but easy for you to enroll friends and family. Like most fingerprint keypads, the Sears brand has a “smart button,” and its color coincides with the garage door opener models it is compatible with. Keeping your home safe has never been easier or more convenient with a Sears Craftsman Fingerprint Keypad, and they’re simple to install. Either follow the instructions on the manual or call a representative with GS Doors.

DIY Garage Door Mistakes

A quick Internet search will show a wide variety of websites devoted to DIY (or do-it-yourself) garage door repairs, most of which will advise caution at best and scoff at the dangers at worst. Our technicians are frequently called to fix DIY-gone-wrong garage door repair jobs, which can sometimes cause the homeowner even more money in the end, and we’ve noticed the most common cause of garage door related “oops” are garage door springs. With their simple design and familiar appearance, too many homeowners think garage door springs are easy to handle and replace, which leads to lax safety measures and misplaced overconfidence. Despite garage door springs having a basic coil shape, they’re actually responsible for holding up to 400 pounds of pressure (sometimes more, depending on the features your garage door has), and disengaging a loaded garage door spring is tricky business.

Garage door springs, when professionally installed, are placed around the support beam, which keeps them from moving if they snap. An inexperienced individual might not realize this important step, or forget to install a safety cable, and a snapped garage door spring suddenly released from 400 pounds of force can fly through the garage causing severe damage or injury. It’s impossible to predict when a garage door spring is going to snap, and if an unsuspecting family member happens to be in the garage at the time they could be in for a shock. Dismantling a garage door spring is another way homeowners encounter garage door accidents. Garage door springs work together, which means that one spring is doing the job of two when one breaks. This places an enormous amount of pressure on the intact garage door spring and it requires professional expertise to be able to handle a garage door spring with such force.

There’s another important aspect of garage door spring repair and replacement to consider: your springs are the parts that keep your garage door from free-falling onto whatever is beneath the door. Making sure their tension is at the proper level and that they’re secured to the support beam is something you should do regularly or whenever your garage door is a little off. You should be able to pull the red release cord on the garage door opener (putting your garage door on manual) and your garage door will roll up half way and stay there. If it doesn’t roll up, or rolls up all the way or doesn’t hold at halfway you should have your springs checked out by a professional.

It’s important to keep in mind, especially when attempting your own garage door spring repairs, that there are more than 20,000 garage door related accidents every year, and that many fingers are lost from inexperienced DIY garage door repairs. There’s a reason it takes years of professional training and experience in order to become a certified garage door service technician. Keep your family, your belongings and your fingers safe and call an expert garage door repair technician (such as the friendly professionals with GS Doors) for all of your garage door repair services, especially garage door spring repair and replacements, and rest assured in high quality, safe and effective repairs.

Know When To Call A Professional

Inspect and tighten your garage door brackets.

There are tons of things you can do around the home to keep it running smoothly, keep parts and appliances lasting as long as possible, and prevent unexpected accidents or major problems. However, there are also some aspects of home ownership – especially garage ownership -  that should always be attended to by a trained professional, no matter how handy you might be. There are certain obvious projects best left to a professional, like anything you have no experience with, especially if it’s dangerous (you can’t just wing it with electricity or plumbing or you might end up shelling out thousands to clean up a mistake), but there are other seemingly easy tasks that are a lot more tricky or dangerous than you might think.

For example, garage door springs are the number one garage door part that looks easy enough to handle but comes with certain risks that many homeowners aren’t aware of (garage door springs are also the number 1 cause of garage door related emergency room visits). A broken garage door spring looks harmless enough, but most springs come in pairs and the other, intact spring is very dangerous to replace without specialized training. Also, garage door opener motors require a unique skill to repair or you could end up needing to replace the whole thing. Feel free to inspect the garage door unit, but any time you get that inkling of “maybe I should call someone” it’s better to be safe than sorry and out of a few fingers and a lot of money.

Don't end up like this guy.

Just about any homeowner, regardless of home improvement handiness or experience, can do things like garage door maintenance procedures and should do so regularly to make sure you’re not wearing down your garage door parts. If this is something you’ve never done before or are uncomfortable doing, call a professional garage door repair company to perform your maintenance procedures and check your garage door for wear. You can follow the technician and ask questions in order to familiarize yourself with the procedure and then tackle it yourself the next time with more confidence. Any certified garage door technician should be happy to help you and answer any questions you have.

 

LiftMaster 3240 1/2 HP Screw Drive Opener

Screw drive garage door openers are a great alternative to the traditional chain drive garage door openers and expensive belt drive garage door openers because they operate smoothly under extreme circumstances and require very little maintenance. The LiftMaster 3240 1/2 HP Screw Drive Garage Door Opener meets standard safety operating requirements, has long been trusted for its dogged manner of service year round and it’s quiet motor is a relief for families everywhere.

All screw drive garage door openers operate differently than chain and belt drive garage door openers. While chain and belt drive garage door openers use a pulley system (in the form of a chain or the quieter belt), the screw drive garage door opener uses a turning screw to open and close the garage door, which is activated when the motor is turned on with a remote or by pushing a button on the wall unit. Screw drive garage door openers were designed for garages that experience extreme weather (very hot or very cold) as well as for garages in coastal communities because they’re less subject to rust. Homes in areas that see snow (or even frosty temperatures) will appreciate a screw drive garage door opener as well as homes where temperatures exceed 100° F because typical garage door parts can jam and cause problems.

Like its chain and belt drive counterparts, screw drive garage door openers have an emergency release cord that can be pulled to release the garage door from the opener (in the event of a malfunction or power outage), and pressure-sensitive and photo-electric sensors to prevent accidents. These features have prevented many accidents from resulting in deaths, and many near accidents from becoming real accidents. There are still 20,000 garage door related accidents every year, but thanks to garage door manufacturer innovation few of these result in death.

The professionals with GS Doors trust LiftMaster products and always recommend them to new homeowners and as replacements for other brands. Our technicians are certified to perform installations, maintenance services and opener repairs for all LiftMaster garage door openers, and our more than 15 years of experience makes us your local trusted leader in garage door openers. In addition, the LiftMaster 3240 1/2 HP Screw Drive Garage Door Opener bears the Good Housekeeping seal of approval, which comes with a 2-year limited warranty in which Good Housekeeping will replace or refund the price of the garage door opener should anything go wrong. This, along with the LiftMaster lifetime motor warranty, will give you peace of mind and the full security of two reputable companies.

Keep Your Garage Door On Track

Different sizes of garage door tracks

Most homeowners and repair technicians automatically assume any garage door problem stems from the garage door springs or the garage door opener, and while that’s usually true, it’s important to not forget about the garage door tracks. Most homes today use overhead garage doors, which roll straight up on rollers and a set of tracks; overhead garage doors are lightweight and designed to save space, making them highly convenient for most homeowners. The tracks are securely attached to the sides of the garage during installation and are nearly forgotten by most people. The downside to forgetting or ignoring your garage door tracks is that you could be missing a very simple fix for a garage door opener problem, and shortening the lifespan of your garage door opener and other garage door parts by overlooking this part of your garage door.

Check your rollers for wear.

Garage door tracks are made of galvanized steel to protect against rust but can still be dented, bent or worn down and should be periodically checked. Your garage door opener could be struggling to open over a damaged section of track and working much harder than it needs to be, which will wear it out quickly. However, chances are you’ll never realize this if you don’t check the tracks and you’ll be surprised and confused when a newer garage door opener suddenly stops working. Some homeowners will even replace part after part or machine after machine without thinking of checking the tracks which only addresses a symptom, not the cause of the problem. A professional garage door service technician should be checking every aspect of your garage door during a repair, but the tracks are so easily accessible that there’s really no excuse for not checking them yourself every so often, and especially during maintenance procedures.

Check your tracks if you’ve experienced frequent garage door opener repairs or parts replacement, if you find roller damage or if your garage door looks uneven. Should you find track damage, such as a dent, you should be able to hammer the track back into place to return your garage door to normal working condition. If there’s a tear, or the galvanized steel has worn due to ocean breezes (salt is corroding to galvanized steel), you might need to have them replaced or professionally maintained.

Check to make sure there isn't a cat on your tracks.

In order to prevent garage door track damage and wear, you should be checking, cleaning and maintaining your tracks regularly. Clean the tracks regularly to prevent grease build up and lubricate the rollers when necessary with a good lubricant (you can buy these in any home improvement store). Check track alignment with a level to make sure they’re perfectly straight and also check the screws and mounting brackets of the tracks and make sure the tracks are securely attached to the walls of your garage. This will help prevent track damage from a heavy garage door moving along tracks that are not attached to anything and prevent damage to the door itself (which can be costly to replace). All of these procedures can be done with household tools, but if you’re uncomfortable performing garage door track maintenance or checks yourself you can always call a professional to take care of it for you.

Garage Door Decor for the Holidays

If you’re like most households you enjoy getting ready for various holidays, and that includes decorating the outside of your house for others to enjoy. Part of the reason we like decorating the outsides of our homes, even though we usually only see those decorations briefly each day, is because we’re communicating to our neighbors that we enjoy the holiday and hope others feel the same way. We decorate for a wide range of holidays, from the Fourth of July to Halloween to Christmas and making our homes festive is all part of the fun.

The holiday decoration market has long been dominated by lawn ornaments, lights and window decorations, and now it’s time to let your garage door get in on the fun. Garage doors make up a significant portion of the front of any home, sometimes even as much as 2/3 of the view of a home is the garage door. So why not take the opportunity to decorate this large segment of your home? Garage Door Decor Covers are a great way to create a holiday scene in your front yard and they’re quick and easy to install. Garage Door Decor Covers can make it appear that there is a holiday scene going on in what would appear to be an open garage, and really take your house from a basic “string of lights” type of decoration to full-on holiday festive. A Garage Door Decor Cover can set the tone of your house and complement the other decorations you already have, making your home stand out in the neighborhood and bring a fresh look to the season.

The real beauty of Garage Door Decor Covers is they’re so easy to install and store; you’ll undoubtedly spend more time on your other decorative features than you will on your garage door. Plus, Garage Door Decor Covers work on single-car garage doors and double-car garage doors as well as both flat, single-panel garage doors and roll-up overhead garage doors, so no matter what type of garage door you have you can have a great looking holiday decoration for your home. You will be able to use your garage door normally without interfering with the display, and because there’s nothing attaching the cover to the door directly, easy removal makes for a pain-less end to the holiday season. Just grab a friend or family member and you can install your Garage Door Decor Cover in less than 10 minutes with an innovative hook and tension cord system.

Make your home stand out from the rest and show your neighbors how much you love the holidays with a creative and fun Garage Door Decor Cover to celebrate any season.

Garage Door Remote Interferences Near Military Bases

A frustrating scenario for garage door owners is when a perfectly good remote will suddenly stop working. This is an especially frustrating problem to solve when the wall mounted unit still works and you’ve changed the batteries in all of the remotes. The good news is that if you live within a few miles of a military base, the problem could likely be their radio frequencies, not your garage door opener. The bad news is that this problem has the potential to be recurring, with few solutions.

The explanation is simple: the military has been licensed to use these radio frequencies since World War II, but because the military has so infrequently used them unlicensed garage door opener remotes are legally allowed to operate on the same frequencies. However, the last decade has seen an increased demand for communications channels within the military so they’re starting to use these frequencies more often, and because they’re licensed to use them they have priority over unlicensed uses, like garage door openers.

This issue has such far-reaching effects, with problems being reported from California to Rhode Island, that the FCC has issued a statement explaining the issue and offering advice. Residents in coastal areas of San Diego, as well as those living near the Miramar Air Force Base, will periodically experience issues similar to these, and have been for more than a decade. These frequency interferences can also affect car alarms and frequency operated button entry devices (what most car owners use to lock their cars), which can cause security risks and open cars and homes up to theft.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done to fix the problem. It’s impossible for the military to predict when these interferences might occur and issue a statement for both practical and security reasons, so many residents will just have to deal with this recurring problem. For others, you may be able to get a replacement remote, one that works on a different radio frequency. Contact a garage door service technician or the manufacturer of your garage door opener to see about replacing your opener with one that uses a different frequency and hopefully that will alleviate the problem.

The silver lining is that these problems, while inconvenient, are usually few and far between and don’t last very long, often disappearing within a couple of weeks. If replacing your garage door opener isn’t an option, or you’re also concerned about other radio frequency devices such as a car lock, double check your locks and understand how to do everything manually. Cars can be locked and opened with a key and all garage doors can be taken off the automatic opener and manually opened and closed. Knowing how to operate your garage door manually will come in handy not just for radio frequency interferences, but in the case of power outages and opener malfunctions, too.

YouTube and Your Garage Door

Dramatization.

Technology has helped the garage door industry in a huge way in the last few years, making it easier, safer and more convenient to keep the whole house protected and accessible. There are new ways to secure the house after you leave, advanced remote technology and even a way to get inside your home with just a thumbprint, to name a few. However, it also seems that technology might be making it more appealing to have “accidents” that can be filmed and posted to the Internet. The rise of YouTube has made it a hilarious pastime to gather around the computer and watch videos of people getting hurt, and there are more than a few garage door related videos like this. The unfortunate thing, however, is that kids and teens can think it’s fun to make a YouTube video of garage door accidents or near misses and end up getting seriously injured in the process. Even if no injuries occur, it’s a dangerous game to play and could encourage similar behavior in others who might not be so lucky.

Not a dramatization.

Fortunately, all garage doors manufactured since 1993 have standard safety features to prevent these types of accidents. The photo-electric sensor will reverse the garage door if anything moves in its path even for a second and the pressure-sensitive sensor will automatically reverse the door if it detects an object (or a body) before it’s fully closed, making any attempts at a YouTube video less than exciting. But imagine if the safety sensors fail while kids are trying to be funny and risky? A real accident could occur, trapping a child or teen under the garage door and breaking bones or worse. Garage doors weigh 400 pounds and the torque used to close it is more than enough to send an adult to the emergency room; imagine what that force could do to younger bones?

Also not a dramatization.

It’s important to stay one step ahead of reckless kids and teens when it comes to safety. Start by setting a good example about garage door safety and don’t go playing “beat the door” yourself. Make sure to test the effectiveness of your garage door safety features every month and call a professional technician if you find any problems. And most importantly, teach your kids and teens about garage door safety and how important it is to not play around the garage door or with garage door remotes and parts. Have a conversation with them regularly about the dangers of garage doors and explain the consequences of fooling around with the garage door or its parts.

Lastly, and this is good advice for everyone from seasoned adult drivers to teens learning to drive, pay attention when pulling into and backing out of the garage. Don’t just hit the button on the remote and assume the door actually opened, don’t mistake the accelerator for the brake when pulling into the driveway, and don’t play around with fancy and expensive cars you aren’t familiar with because you might end up with a busted Porche and an expensive mistake.

Genie TriloG 1500

Fans of Genie garage door openers will be pleased to know they’ve finally released the Genie TriloG 1500 Direct Drive Screw Garage Door Opener. The latest model in a long line of high quality Genie products, the TriloG 1500 is well suited for busy lifestyles and comes fully compatible with Genie’s extensive variety of additional security and convenience accessories.

The Genie TriloG 1500 comes with the most inclusive warranty in the business, guaranteeing the motor for lifetime ownership. Its other beneficial features include the strength of a 1 horsepower comparable garage door opener for those extra-heavy doors, the opening speed of about a foot every second, and a Direct Drive motor for enhanced reliability and maximum lifting force. The Genie TriloG 1500 also comes with a variety of safety and convenience features, and it’s compatible with other Genie brand home products, including Car2U and HomeLink.

You can trust the security of your home with the Genie TriloG 1500 and compatible Genie products. The TriloG 1500 uses a rolling code system to guarantee the same code will never be used twice to gain access to the garage, safeguarding against intrusions, and its Car2U feature is compatible with most built-in car transmitters, which means you’ll never have to worry about losing your remote. You can also operate automatic gates and home lighting systems through the Car2U feature, simplifying your life.

Like all garage door openers, the Genie TriloG 1500 comes standard with two automatic reversal safety features: the photo-electric sensor and the pressure-sensitive sensor, both of which detect objects beneath the path of a garage door as it closes. Featuring the latest in safety, security and convenience features in the industry, you can trust the TriloG 1500 screw drive garage door opener for the most advanced intelligence in garage door openers. Finally, like most Genie garage door openers, the TriloG 1500 can be installed by one person, but Genie recommends installation by a professional dealer for maximum safety and reliability.

Garage Door Opener Temper Tantrums

One of the most frustrating problems homeowners encounter with their garage door openers is when the garage door will start to close and stop midway, or close and immediately open again, or just refuse to close at all. People find themselves standing in their garages pushing the button over and over again, hoping something will change and the garage door will suddenly work the way it’s supposed to. Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results?

Enter GS Doors. We’ve seen this too many times over the last 15 years and we know nothing will change without a little work. Fortunately, these types of repairs are pretty straightforward and don’t usually require expensive parts or intensive labor on our part. This type of issue is almost always the close limit switch, which is the part that tells your garage door how far it should go to be properly closed. All garage door openers manufactured since 1993 have two safety features to prevent the garage door from closing on a person: a photo-electric sensor, which is a laser that runs along the length of the garage underneath the door to detect an object in the path, and a pressure-sensitive sensor, which detects an object in the path of the closing garage door. Both safety features cause automatic reversal and are heralded with saving potentially thousands of lives. The close limit switch works with these sensors: if the garage door opener detects an object in the path of the garage door it will cause it to automatically reverse. Your garage door closing and opening immediately is the result of the close limit switch deciding that the garage door had further to go before it could be considered properly closed. A professionally trained technician can adjust the close limit switch to make sure it is fully closed at the right time. This sort of adjustment is quick, painless, and will get you back to a working and non-frustrating garage door in no time.

But before you call us, check to make sure there’s nothing in the way of your garage door that’s causing the safety sensors (either the photo-electric laser or the pressure sensitive sensor) to go off. It would be a little embarrassing to call us out only to discover a child’s bike wheel is tripping the sensor, wouldn’t it? Even if there isn’t anything in the way of either sensor and the garage door opener is having a real problem, it’s at least nice to know that your garage door opener safety features are functioning as they should be.

Drawbridge Garage Door

You’re looking for something different, something exciting, something to give you a few extra moments of pleasure in your daily routine. What better than to have these crucial moments as you’re leaving your home to begin the day and when you’re returning to your castle? The addition of a drawbridge garage door can be just the thing you need to give you and your whole family a few extra smiles every day. GSM Garage Doors is the only company equipped to transform your cookie-cutter home into a legitimate castle, worthy of admiration from your neighbors.
What exactly is a drawbridge garage door?
In Medieval times, castles required a drawbridge to allow access over a protective moat. The moat prevented the castle from coming under siege by enemies and the drawbridge protected the entrance when it was up. Although modern day family residences have driveways rather than moats, a drawbridge garage door will work in the same way: opening like a drawbridge to allow your car to enter and leave the garage and then closing securely behind your vehicle.

How does a drawbridge garage door work?
Like a typical garage door, a drawbridge garage door opens and closes to allow access to your garage. Unlike a typical garage door, a drawbridge opens from the top of your garage downward exactly like a medieval drawbridge would. We outfit the top and bottom with industrial rubber ramps to provide your car with a smooth drive, and use solid steel that won’t crack or wear under the weight of your car. Plus, a standard garage door opener can be modified and affixed with two support beams (one on either side of the garage) to allow the same ease of access you’d expect from a traditional garage door.

What will my drawbridge garage door look like?
Our drawbridge garage doors come in two styles: traditional garage door or Medieval style garage door. The first is designed to look like any other garage door on the block, which makes it perfect for fitting into the style of the neighborhood, but opens in a way that no other garage door opens. The second is designed Medieval-style for those who want their homes to stand out among the rest, to suit a particular type of home and to give the full effect of the drawbridge. Whichever option you select you can be sure of solid construction and a look that matches the style of your home and personality.

What are the benefits of a drawbridge garage door?
Just because you might not need a sturdy drawbridge to protect your home and family from enemy attack in this day and age, a drawbridge garage door can offer enhanced security for your valuables inside the garage. We use solid steel for the garage door, which is nearly immune to damages and dents (unlike a typical aluminum garage door). Our solid steel garage doors are strong, durable and built to last.

Can my home support a drawbridge garage door?
Almost any home can have a drawbridge garage door, but some homes are better suited than others. The ideal home would have a long or curved driveway and be off of a busy road to allow the garage door time to open. Because of the essential nature of the drawbridge garage door nothing can be in the driveway in the path of the door, which means you won’t be able to idle in the driveway while the door opens. Finally, the drawbridge garage door is only for a single garage door (a double garage door would be too heavy and too inconvenient), so your home must have either a one-car garage door or a three-car garage door.

How To Not Use A Garage Door

The garage door, when fully functioning and used correctly, is one of the easiest tools in the home: with the simple push of a button your garage door conveniently goes up and with another push of a button it safely closes. However, sometimes garage door accidents happen, and sometimes there’s incriminating video evidence. Take a look at this video of a person driving through a garage door and chances are you’ll feel better about any garage door related mishaps you might have had. The great thing about this video is the woman visibly stopped for the garage door but then either forgot, had a foot slip or was given the OK by the security agent.

Videos like this are a great reminder that garage doors aren’t a match for most cars (especially SUVs). Many residential garage doors are made of aluminum, which is a very soft metal , and even a steel-backed garage door would never be able to stand up against the weight and force a car going even a few miles per hour. This is why you should always be cautious around your garage door. Despite obviously having to replace your garage door after an accident like this, aluminum can also do significant damage to a car.

Most garage door related accidents, however, aren’t as severe as this. Oftentimes a driver will accidentally pull in or back up too far and dent a panel, or sometimes forget a trailer hitch is in place and put a hole in the door. Also, if your garage door safety features aren’t properly working, namely the photo-electric and pressure-sensitive sensors that cause automatic reversal, you could inadvertently close the garage door on a part of your car and damage both car and garage door. Unfortunately, even minor garage door accidents often result in replacing the whole garage door because of the way modern garage doors are manufactured. Most residential garage doors are paneled overhead garage doors, which means that only one or two panels might be damaged, leading homeowners to think it would be simple and cheap enough to just replace the damaged parts, rather than the whole garage door. This almost always is ineffective because garage doors are manufactured and sold as a whole, rather than individual parts, and it can be just as expensive to replace one or two panels as it would to replace the entire door, which would also come with all new hardware.

Moral of the story? Be careful with your garage door, get it serviced by a qualified technician, check the safety features regularly, and (most importantly) don’t drive  your car through it.

Garage Door Repair Costs

garage door serviceFiguring out cost effective garage door repair costs

As with any home repair or home improvement project, the cost of your garage door repair is something every homeowner is going to need to take into consideration before making big decisions. There are dozens of different aspects of your garage door that can affect the cost of the repair, and it’s usually very difficult to have a good idea of how much something will cost until a professional has a look at it. Naturally, if garage door repair costs are an issue this can be frustrating for many homeowners. This guide will give you an idea about the kinds of things that will affect how much your garage door repair or garage door replacement costs.

Garage Door Repair Costs

If you’ve ever looked at all of the parts that make up your garage door you’ve surely noticed just how many parts there are. Each of these parts can cause your garage door to need repair and the untrained eye might have a hard time pinpointing which part is causing the problem. A professional garage door repair technician can make a rapid diagnosis, but knowing the most common causes for a garage door repair will help you out a lot. Garage door springs are the number 1 cause of all garage door problems, and these are easy to spot from the ground. Many garage doors have two springs but only one will break; believe it or not, it’s actually more cost effective to replace both springs because one worn spring combined with one new spring will cause your whole garage door to come off its tracks, which can be an expensive repair. Other common repairs include garage door cables and garage door track adjustments, both of which can vary based on size and the extent of the damage.

Garage Door Replacement Costs

Sometimes it’s more cost effective to replace the garage door or the garage door opener rather than spending several hundred replacing individual parts that could break again in the future. There is a wide selection of new and modern garage doors and garage door openers on the market and the different features dictate how much money you’ll likely spend. A garage door with extra insulation, decorative windows, a paint job and a decorative facade will obviously cost a lot more than a basic panel garage door with no insulation and no windows, so it will take some deciding on personal style on your end. At the same time, different options on garage door openers have different costs. For example, a garage door opener complete with a keyless entry, enhanced safety features, and a silent operation (or a motor designed to handle super-heavy custom garage doors) are going to cost more than your basic operation garage door opener.

With any garage door repair or garage door replacement, talking your options over with a professional who knows what he’s talking about can open up your eyes to solutions you may not have thought about on your own. There are many situations where replacing a garage door opener is better than repairing an old machine, and likewise if a new garage door helps to increase the value of your home it might be worth more than a coat of paint over a chipped or dented door. The trick is to find a garage door repair company who will listen to your needs, which include your budget needs, and don’t force you to stray too much from your plan.

18 Years of Safety

Garage doors manufactured or installed prior to 1993 have zero safety features, which is why no garage door repair company will perform repairs on them. Federal law mandates that all garage door openers manufactures since 1993 must have certain safety features installed in order to prevent accidents, which can cause serious damage, injury or even death. The last 18 years have seen a boom in garage door safety, and the 20,000 garage door related accidents that still occur every year rarely result in death because of the strides taken in the industry.

The safety features on modern day garage doors are valuable back-ups and should be checked regularly to make sure they’re effective. All garage door openers manufactured since 1993 have two standard safety features which have been proven effective at preventing injury. The first is a pressure-sensitive sensor along the bottom of the garage door, which can detect an object in the path of the garage door before it’s completely closed and cause the door to automatically reverse. It takes very little pressure to trigger the sensor, so no injuries or damages are caused. The second safety feature is a photo-electric sensor that runs a laser across the length of the garage door, 6 inches from the ground. If any object trips the laser the garage door will automatically reverse. This feature is important because it prevents kids from hitting the garage door close button and trying to run out of the garage underneath the closing door.

Many garage doors and garage door openers have additional safety and security features, including keyless entry pads, rolling code remotes and the option to monitor your garage door status from anywhere in the world from your smartphone or computer. However, all garage door safety features must be regularly checked to ensure they’re in working order. You can’t rely on your garage door safety features and throw caution to the wind if you aren’t sure they work, right? Every month do a test of your garage door safety features and if something goes wrong call a professional garage door repair technician right away.

The most important safety feature, however, has always been caution. Teach your children that the garage door is dangerous and should not be played with. Having regular garage door safety conversations with the whole family is the most effective way to ensure the garage door will be treated like it should be: as the largest and heaviest moving part of your home. Built-in safety features are great, but they’re still just a back-up and nothing should ever take the place of caution with your garage door.

LiftMaster Elite Series 8550

This month LiftMaster introduces the latest in a line of superior garage door products designed to make entering and exiting your home easier and safer. The LiftMaster Elite Series 8550 comes with every new garage door feature you can imagine: you don’t even have to be anywhere near your home to remotely close your garage door!

Revolutionary MyQ technology is incorporated into the LiftMaster Elite Series 8550 which allows you to control your garage door no matter where you are through your smartphone or computer. Thanks to LiftMaster innovation, no longer will you be away from  home and wondering if you closed the garage door when you left. A quick check on your smartphone or online will let you see if the door is open and let you close it wherever you are. MyQ also gives you the ability to control light switches and small appliances remotely so you’ll never need to walk into a dark, unwelcoming house again.

LiftMaster has been a leader in garage door opener security and convenience, and keeping with this title they’ve designed the features on the Elite Series 8550 to be easy to install and use; most features can be installed in 3 minutes or less and are designed to save time, reduce worrying and make accessing your home safer and easier. Remote openers can be placed in any room of your home to allow you to see when the garage door is open or closed and close it without getting up to go to the garage.

The LiftMaster Elite Series 8550 is a belt-drive garage door opener, offering the quietest motor available. This is perfect for homes that have bedrooms above or adjacent to the garage and require quiet at all hours. LiftMaster belt-drive garage door openers are the most popular among all models, and this new Elite Series 8550 has the best of everything. It even comes with a Battery Backup System so you’ll never be left locked in or locked out in the event of a power outage, and Timer-To-Close which automatically closes your garage door after a predetermined time so you’ll never have to worry whether you closed your door.

Contact your LiftMaster representative at GS Doors to ask about the new LiftMaster Elite Series 8550 Belt Drive Opener, or the Premium Series 8360 DC Chain Drive Opener, and to schedule a complementary consultation.

Check-Ups for your Garage Door

Don't let this happen to you.

Most homeowners forget that their garage doors are more than just a big wall that keeps your stuff in and strangers out, but you don’t have to be one of them. If you think of your garage door as the largest moving part of your home you’re more likely to realize your garage door needs regular maintenance in order to function smoothly for years on end without needing costly repairs. Many homeowners ignore their garage door’s need for maintenance and lubrication and just pay the fees for repairs every couple of years, but this can get expensive and can cause greater wear on your garage door parts.

Instead, every year you should be giving your garage door a sort of check-up to make sure it’s in good condition, like you would your car and your children. You and your household depend on your garage door and garage door opener to be in working condition every day, so why risk a sudden and unexpected repair, especially when garage door maintenance is typically simple and straightforward? First, walk around your garage to each part of your garage door and visually inspect the individual parts. Make sure there are no broken, worn or rusted parts that could cause damage. Then, take some garage door lubrication oil and go through the parts that move with a spigot. This will help reduce the noise associated with older garage door openers as well as decrease the strain on already worn parts.

Well here's your problem.

If performing your own garage door maintenance procedures seems too complicated or risky, call a professional garage door repair company. Professional garage door maintenance services go above and beyond the typical check-and-see method homeowners use, and a professional will have a more in-tune understanding of what the various garage door parts should look like as well as what’s acceptable wear and what is potentially dangerous. You can usually find a good deal for standard garage door maintenance services and get peace of mind for your garage door parts for up to a year. Plus, a professional will have the ability to notice tiny problems a typical homeowner probably wouldn’t catch. No matter which option you choose, garage door maintenance services should never be forgotten or ignored.

Garage Doors In The Living Room

The days are over when garage doors were relegated to just the garage! We’ve all gotten used to the drab styles of garage doors in the front of our houses, but a little creativity can transform the front and the back of your home using a trusty garage door. Thanks to the spur in new garage door styles there are many that will make a stylish statement in your home. With the need for creative, affordable and fashionable home styling options, a glass-windowed garage door can be just the thing to give your home an extra something special.

For many homes, using a garage door instead of a sliding glass or extravagant French wood doors can be more than just a fashion statement, it can be a highly practical choice. San Diego residents are blessed with uniquely styled homes, wonderful weather mostly year round and the availability of designers and contractors to make any dream come true in the home. These elements combine to make San Diego homes the perfect place for putting in garage doors instead of more traditional home doors. A windowed garage door will provide an abundance of natural light, a clear view into the garden and a focal point to your living room. It also lends a modern-industrial feel to a home, taking it out of suburbia and into a new era of combination home decor.

Plus, with the addition of a belt-drive garage door opener you can open and close your door silently so your home won’t have the feeling of outdoor living. Your garage door in the living room can be sealed and insulated to help with your energy costs and the typical garage door safety features you’ll find on any modern model to keep the whole family safe. The right style of garage door can set a unique mood to your home: garage doors can be made to match any style of room while the abundant windows allow a transparent characteristic that will let your home blend in with your garden.

Ask your garage door or home improvement contractors how you can incorporate this design into your home and prepare to be amazed.

Types of Garage Door Opener

The right garage door opener can make all the difference for your home and lifestyle

Garage door opener repair

Garage door openers are the type of thing you generally don’t have to think too much about, and chances are it’s been at least a decade since the last time you had to have yours replaced. Believe it or not, the garage door industry is constantly evolving, and there are many different styles of garage door opener available on the market today that weren’t necessarily around the last time you might have looked into garage door openers.  There are several different garage door opener brands and all should carry at least one model that belongs in each category so you can pick the right model from your favorite brand (or just avoid a particular brand).

Chain Drive Garage Door Openers

The oldest type of garage door opener is the chain drive. Chain drive garage door openers are the strongest and work by using a chain across the length of the garage to pull the door up. A chain drive is a smart option if you have a custom built garage door as they tend to be much heavier; anything over 400 pounds should probably have a chain drive, and remember that any additional features, like windows, insulation or a decorative wood paneling, might look nice but they add weight. The downside to a chain drive is it’s the loudest type of garage door opener on the market, which is sometimes a problem in homes that have bedrooms adjacent to or above the garage.

Belt Drive Garage Door Openers

Belt drive garage door openers operate in the exact same way as a chain drive, only the belt is much, much quieter, with some brands even advertising silent operation. Belt drive garage door openers are a popular choice for homes with young children who would otherwise be woken up by a garage door at odd hours, and they’re just about as strong as a chain drive so they can support any type of garage door you might have. However, belt drive garage door openers tend to cost significantly more than chain drive garage door openers, which is discouraging for some.

Screw Drive Garage Door Openers

Screw drive garage door openers are a sort of middle ground between chain drive and belt drives. Screw drive garage door openers are a good choice if you want quiet but don’t want to pay as much as you would for a belt drive. Screw drive garage door openers have the added benefit of requiring very little maintenance due to their few moving parts which could end up saving you money in the long run.

Custom Garage Doors

Custom Wood Garage DoorYou can have one of San Diego’s finest custom garage doors quicker than you imagine!

You might not be able to define it, but you’ll know a good looking garage door when you see it. When you take pride in the appearance of your home and you’re unfettered by HOA restrictions, a custom garage door will transform your home’s facade to make it look updated and fresh. A custom garage door says a lot about your home and your values and even shows off your creative side. There are many ways you can incorporate your garage door into your home’s style, and you can even change the theme of your home with a new custom garage door.

Themed custom garage door:

San Diego has the luxury of being able to adopt several architectural themes from around the world. From Spanish revival architecture to New England Colonial styled garage doors to a classical Mediterranean look, your custom garage door can bring the world to your home. You’ll have the option of selecting from a variety of specialized styles and themes, which will be custom fit to your garage, or working with a designer to create a unique custom garage door you’re sure no one else will have.

Wooden custom garage door:

The most popular material for custom garage doors is wood. Wooden custom garage doors can be styles nearly any way you want and can match whatever look your home has or any theme you want. The addition of wrought iron attachments and ornamental hardware further improves your home’s look and gives the impression of a carriage door. Wood can also be used in a custom garage door that opens outward, rather than one that rolls up, for the true traditional style garage door. No matter what you imagine with your home, you can design a custom wooden garage door to fit.

Custom garage door repairs:

Some homeowners believe that putting in a custom garage door is getting involved in a big ordeal should it ever need basic repairs or maintenance, but that’s not the case at all. Custom garage doors are built to last and don’t need repairs as often as standard factory garage doors. In most cases, custom garage doors come with extended warranties which cover many repairs, not to mention GS Garage Doors is fully equipped to perform any custom garage door repair you might come across, so you’ll always have a trusted garage door repair technician a phone call away.

Wood Garage Doors

Custom Garage DoorWood garage doors are widely acclaimed as some of the best looking garage doors.

Even to the extent of some steel or aluminum garage doors using decorative wood as an addition to the facade of the garage door, using actual wood has a lasting appeal. Wood garage doors can be made to match almost any style of home, and can even be custom built and designed to your unique specifications. Wood garage doors come in a wide variety of finishes and looks, from traditional carriage style doors to modern cherry or walnut grain finishes with intricate designs, each of which are sure to make your home stand out from the rest on the block. Wood garage doors can have windows, faux hardware, insulation and can operate on a range of typical garage door openers.

Call now for a free estimate. San Diego’s best looking garage doors!!!

Many homeowners select wood garage doors for their enhanced security features. Many wood garage doors can weigh upwards of 400 pounds (sometimes even more depending on extra features) which make them very difficult to break through, even with a car. Wood garage doors are also very hard to trespass, making them a valuable option for homeowners looking for privacy. The beauty and versatility of wood garage doors makes them invaluable to residences, and it’s no wonder they’ve remained so popular throughout the years. With the right maintenance, your wood garage door can last for many years and can keep your whole home looking fresh and well-maintained.

Decorative Garage Door Features

Using your garage door to add style and personality to your whole home

Part of the fun of putting in a new garage door (or updating your existing garage door) is selecting decorative features to make your garage door stand out. From windows to hardware to finishes and colors, you can spruce up everything from a basic garage door to a custom designed garage door to make it feel more like your home.

Garage Door Window Styles

Garage door windows add plenty of style to what could possibly be a bland and blank slate, and windows offset the monotone color of many of the more basic garage doors. If it’s time to put in a new garage door, check out some styles with windows. There are dozens of window styles available from all the major garage door manufacturers and there’s bound to be one that suits your home and your style. There are window options that mimic the look of a rising (or setting) sun, diamond shapes, cathedral styles and many more. Each window style is designed to go with a specific garage door style, so discuss your ideas with a professional garage door company to make sure you’ll get coordinating styles. For example, putting in a traditional wood carriage style garage door with flashy cathedral style windows will cause a clash of themes. There are ways to keep your garage private even with windows with the use of decorative glass finishes. These looks add even more beauty and style to your garage door since they aren’t plain see-through glass, and it’s impossible to see anything inside your garage, keeping those items you want hidden from view safe.

However, there’s another option if you’re not interested in putting in a whole new garage door but you still want the look of garage door windows. Faux garage door windows add a bit of flair or style to your existing door without the cost of replacing the whole door, and there are many faux window options available to give your current garage door that just-purchased look. A faux window will give you all the benefits of windows without the concerns of security or privacy and they’re simple to install on any garage door. The best part about faux garage door windows is that they can be installed yourself, saving you even more money.

Decorative Garage Door Hardware

No matter what style of garage door you have, there are many different looks you can achieve with garage door hardware. From magnetic faux door handles for your traditional carriage style garage door to exotic hinges, there’s a wide variety of decorative garage door hardware available to give you the look you want for your garage door. Decorative hardware can also come in a variety of colors, ranging from the typical black to many Earth-colored tones. Your decorative hardware can be just the accent you need to make your basic style garage door look fresh and new, or it can be the finishing touch to your custom build garage door.

No matter what style of garage door you have, there’s a decorative garage door feature that’s right for your home and personality. If you don’t find what you’re looking for on your own, get the advice of a professional garage door company and you’ll be guaranteed the right decorative look for your new or existing garage door.

Death By Garage Door

Knowing the dangers of your garage door to keep your family safe

Seems unlikely, right? Unfortunately it’s not as unlikely as you might think. Garage doors are giant moving walls made of heavy wood or even steel. They have moving parts, sharp pieces and tightly coiled springs waiting to pop. Like a well-oiled machine, a garage door with proper maintenance offers all the convenience and safety a homeowner can imagine, but when neglected or used improperly a garage door can cause serious damage. And yes, even death.

Staying safe with your 400 pound garage door

To begin with, the typical garage door can weigh up to 400 pounds once you add up the weight of the door, the insulation, the windows and the decorative features. Not many of us can stand up to 400 pounds, and our kids and cars are at even greater risk. While insulation in your garage door is a great way to reduce heating costs for the whole home (a cost effective and environmentally friendly feature), that extra weight can really add up. Also, that decorative wood carriage-style facade you added to the garage door? That can push your garage door over the 400 pound threshold. Now, imagine something going wrong in the mechanics of your garage door opener and your 400+ pound door is free falling to the ground. If there’s anything in the way, say a wandering toddler or a car parked just too far back, it can be crushed instantly. It only takes 15 pounds of force to break bones and a falling garage door will have much more force than that.

Garage door springs are a dangerous force

Another potentially deadly feature of garage doors is the spring. Garage door openers function with the help of a simple spring, like one you see in mattresses and car engines. However, garage door springs are responsible for holding that 400+ pound door every day for 10 years, and when it snaps (and eventually they all snap) you could be in trouble. But that’s not the only scary part of garage door springs: when they’re installed incorrectly a garage door spring can break and fly off its post with such force it can rip through a car. Imagine, then, what it could do to a person standing in the way? A loaded spring with 400 pounds of pressure is no force to be taken lightly, and that’s one reason why a professionally installed and properly maintained garage door and garage door opener can be a lifesaver.

No one wants their epitaph to read “Death by Garage Door.” Take the dangers of your garage door seriously and keep it maintained, regularly test the safety features of your garage door opener, call a professional for any garage door repair, and teach kids (even adults that act like kids) that the garage door isn’t a toy.

Garage Door Styles

Instantly improve your home’s curb appeal with a new garage door style

Your garage door takes up a lot of space of the front of your house, so naturally it’s important that your garage door makes the rest of the house look good. There is a wide variety of garage door styles available from the main manufacturers today, making it simple to select a garage door that sets your home apart from the rest. A great looking garage door will actually increase the value of your home, not to mention cause your neighbors to give you jealous looks.

Stylish overhead garage doors for any home

Most homes with garage doors installed within the last decade have steel or aluminum roll-up garage doors, making it very easy for garage door repairs but a little more difficult to incorporate certain styles. The most popular garage door style is the traditional steel (or aluminum) door with windows, and this option is favored among home owner’s associations. These doors come in a range of colors from white to cream to brown, but they’re mostly designed to be uniform from house to house and to facilitate repair or replacement. More elaborate garage doors includes styles such as steel or wood carriage and French porte designs. These garage doors can be ordered from manufacturers such as Clopay, but they can also be custom modified or even completely custom built to your specifications by a certified garage door repair company. Finally, some homes still have solid wood garage doors that swing up and these are easy to add decorative displays to the front, reducing the need to completely replace a functional yet outdated garage door.

Find a unique and attractive style with carriage garage doors

Almost all garage doors open upwards, but it’s possible (and very attractive) to get garage doors that open out. These garage doors are much less convenient than traditional garage doors because they require several feet of driveway space to be clear any time the door is to be opened. However, garage doors that open out can still have automatic garage door openers with remotes, which can make you feel like a king or queen when traveling through them. In most San Diego neighborhoods, a garage door that opens out will instantly turn heads and can be a very attractive and unique addition that increases the sale price of your home. Garage door styles say a lot about your home and your lifestyle, so have a look at garage doors in your neighborhood and then select a style that puts your home on the map.

Garage Door Spring Dangers

Garage door spring repairThe number 1 cause of garage door injuries is the garage door spring

Your garage door operates by motor, but that motor uses a very simple piece of technology: a spring. Most garage doors today have two springs, one on each side. This design helps to even out the workload and create a smoother operation. Despite the very basic design of the spring (and the fact that springs have been used in just about everything for forever), garage door springs pack quite a punch. Because they’re built to hold loads of 400 pounds or more, depending on how heavy your garage door is, a snapped spring can mean certain destruction in your garage.

Garage door spring safety

Fortunately, garage door opener brands have discovered this long ago, and now springs are built with safety wires to keep them securely attached where they should be even if they break. Where this becomes a problem is home installations when a homeowner doesn’t realize the importance of the safety wire and fails to instal it (or, industry forbid, a careless worker forgets). In these cases the spring can fly about at great speeds hitting anything, and anyone, in its path. A huge spring that’s just released hundreds of pounds of pressure can be a lethal force. This is only one reason why garage door repairs are so risky and why we NEVER recommend you doing them yourself. It’s better to be safe than sorry and to get the help of a trained professional when dealing with any type of garage door repair, especially when it involves the springs.

Never replace your garage door spring yourself- call a professional

One more reason why garage door springs are dangerous is in the replacement. A broken spring securely fastened with a safety wire isn’t a huge threat, but it’s the other spring on the other side of your garage door that’s still feisty. Replacing only one spring in a two-spring set up usually only means you’ll be replacing that new spring much sooner than usual; in fact, most garage door spring warranties only apply if both are replaced together because of the strain a new garage door spring is placed under when it’s installed alongside an old and worn spring. But this intact spring is very difficult to extract without injury. Garage door repair technicians are heavily trained in the task of replacing garage door springs, and we always use plenty of safety precautions.

Even a simple and uncomplicated design can pose serious risk when improperly attended to. For these reasons, don’t risk a garage door spring replacement on your own. It’s not worth the very potential damage and injury to you or your valuables.

Garage Door Opener Safety

Garage Door Opener SafetyReevaluate the safety of your garage door opener for the good of your home

The garage door is one of those things people take for granted around the home. You push a button and the door goes up! You push the button again and the door goes down! It’s great! Your garage door keeps your garage and all the belongings stored in it safe and secure without a second thought on your part. That is, until something goes wrong. When you push that button and it doesn’t open (or even worse, doesn’t close!) you’re stuck in an uncomfortable position.

But this can also be the perfect opportunity to reevaluate the safety of your current garage door opener. Older models, manufactured before 1993, don’t have crucial safety features that keep kids, pets and valuables from getting crushed. All newer models of garage door openers are required to have photoelectric and pressure-sensitive sensors which will automatically reverse a closing garage door when they sense an object in the path. A photoelectric sensor is an invisible line across the length of the garage door, about 6 inches from the ground. If anything crosses this line at any time during the closing process the door will immediately reverse. This is great for households with small children or animals who run the risk of being injured because they don’t know the dangers. A pressure-sensitive sensor is an additional feature that reverses the door if it touches an object in the path of the door before it knows it’s finished closing. These combined safety features help prevent your garage door from being one of the 30,000 garage door accidents every year.

Finding the perfect brand of garage door opener with the safety features you need

LiftMaster has a whole line of residential garage door openers with valuable new safety and convenience features. Genie has a list of maintenance and safety checks you can do yourself on your garage door, and they offer a six-part safety package with all of their garage door openers.

However, no garage door opener is fool-proof, no matter how new it is or which safety features it has. Regular garage door testing should be part of your monthly tasks. When the safety of your family is on the line, make sure you have the latest and safest products and test them often.

Safety

Understanding garage door safety to avoid accidents

Garage doors with extension springs would normally be installed with a restraint cable running through the center of these springs. This is necessary because the springs weaken from the fatigue and stress exerted on the steel wire from opening and closing the door

Garage door safety

. If an extension spring breaks, it can seriously injure anyone present in the garage or damage adjacent property. The cable running through the center restrains the spring in the event of a failure.

Garage door parts safety

Most overhead garage doors are equipped with torsion springs which do not need safety restraint cables since the torsion shaft running through the springs restrains the spring if it breaks. Torsion springs are superior to extension springs since they are easier to fine tune and balance the weight of the door more evenly. However, torsion springs can be life threatening to an unsuspecting homeowner trying to replace a spring or fix the center spring support bracket.

The bottom roller brackets located at the bottom corners of the door are always under extreme tension since the counterbalance cables are attached to these brackets. Therefore, one should never attempt to remove or loosen the screws that attach these brackets to the door as serious injury can result. This also applies to other spring hardware such as the set screws, cable drums, lag screws, lift cables, etc.

Garage door springs that lose tension or relax over time can pose a significant danger if the garage door is released from the opener, while in the up position—potentially leading to a free falling door.

Another key safety concern with a garage door involves the section joint and other gaps or entrapment points on a door.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are as many as 20,000 injuries a year related to garage door use in the United States.

Roller Doors

Garage Door ServiceStylish, easy to use and convenient roller garage doors make life easier

Roller doors are usually constructed of corrugated steel. Other materials can be used (such as transparent corrugated fiberglass) where strong impact resistance is not required. Corrugations give the door strength against impacts. A typical single car garage roller door will have a preloaded spring inside the rolling mechanism. The spring reduces the effort required to open the door. Larger roller doors in commercial premises are not sprung and use a manual pulley and chain system or a geared motor to raise and lower (roll up and roll down) the door.

Automatic roller garage doors save space

Moving away from the older style of garage doors that opened outward allows you to pull your car up incredibly close to your garage door, saving you valuable driveway space. Roller doors also save space inside the garage because they run on twin tracks which can be installed close to the rafters. Ask the experts at Garage Door Repair San Diego how a roller garage door can save you space and add convenience to your life.

Sectional Garage Doors

Sectional Garage DoorThe advantages of a sectional garage door

Sectional doors are usually constructed of six to eight panels and slide up and overhead. Sectional doors occupy exactly the same amount of internal garage space as a monolithic door. Sectional doors have two distinct advantages over single panel monolithic doors: – Sectional doors do not require any space outside the garage to open. A vehicle may park very close to the garage before opening the door. – Each panel of a sectional door has its own connection to the door track. This increases reliability and robustness compared to a monolithic doors which has only a couple of track connections for the whole panel.

Insulation of a Sectional Garage Door

Garage doors can be made out of many materials, but steel, aluminum, wood, and vinyl (polyethylene) are the most popular materials. A few manufactures are making energy efficient garage doors by putting foamed-in-place polyurethane insulation in monolithic panel and sectional garage doors. This helps reduce heating costs of your whole home, especially if you spend a lot of time in your garage and need it heated during the winter. Insulation also helps to strengthen your garage door to hold up against accidents as well as wear and tear, making it look good longer.