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November 17, 2017

Garage Door Types and Styles

Garage Door Types and Styles Boulder Garage DoorsToday, this handy guide to garage door types and styles by Boulder Garage Door will help you make an informed decision when that time finally rolls around. So, if your garage door is tired and worn, clanking in its tracks, or you’re simply thinking about replacing it for an updated design, our experts will help you make the best decision for your taste, home style and budget.

Garage doors are an essential part of your home. Not only are they important for keeping your valuables safe from burglars but also they make up a considerable part of the curb appeal of your home. A garage door accounts for about 20% of the front of most homes. With a garage door taking up so much space you can imagine how a faded, beat up old garage door can make the wrong impression and even detract from your resale value.

Replacing them with the right garage door types and styles is a popular home improvement project. The reason for this is that it looks great, offers a good return on the investment, and usually isn’t too expensive up front in the whole scheme of things. Of course, the price depends on what kind you choose, but in general, you can expect a good return.

Get ready to learn everything you ever wanted to know about garage door types and styles!

Garage Door Types

First, let’s talk about four different types of garage doors. Garage doors can swing out, swing up, slide to the side or roll up. Which model will work best for you depends on the style of your home and how your garage is built.

The most common choice is a roll-up sectional. However, these types do require about 14 inches of headroom. If you don’t have enough space, there are specially built tracks that cost more but require less headroom. If your garage is the opposite, (it has a high ceiling), there are also specially-built tracks for that.

If the roll-up door doesn’t work for your situation, in the case that you need to keep the ceiling clear, then swing out or sliding doors make great options too.

Garage Door Styles

There are a variety of garage door styles to choose from these days. They are all great options, and the right one for you mainly depends on what you want it to look like and what will work with the style of your home. For example, you won’t want to choose a traditional style garage door to put on a contemporary style home. That will just end up looking out of place.

There is an excellent option for those that want the look of the old style swing doors but the convenience of a roll up. Many manufacturers are making roll-ups that are made to look like the old style, complete with fake hinges on the sides and handles in the center.

Garage Door Materials

Beyond choosing from different garage door types and styles, is selecting the material. Each type has pros and cons. Again, it depends on what you are looking for and what will work for your home in regards to the type of material.

Wood

Wood is very hardy and stands up well to the type of abuse that garage doors usually see, such as balls bouncing off it and the like. The look is very traditional and charming and very difficult to achieve in other types of materials.

However, wood garage doors require a fair amount of maintenance and are more susceptible to warping and cracking because of humidity and temperature changes. To keep them looking great, you have to repaint or refinish them often. They also tend to fall closer to the more expensive end of the price spectrum, especially if you want a real, solid wood door. Plus, the warranties typically don’t extend beyond the first year.

Steel

Steel is an excellent choice if you like the idea of low maintenance. It’s strong and secure but yet still close to the inexpensive side of the spectrum. It does dent easier than wood and any scratches will rust so they should be repaired quickly.

You can choose a thicker gauge steel which will be harder to dent and scratch, or you can even get a steel door that comes with a fiberglass front. It’s handy to have the strength of steel but not have to worry about the dents and rust. You will have to repaint the exterior once in a while because fiberglass paint fades over time. These garage doors often come with lifetime warranties, which is a distinct advantage to the consumer.

Aluminum

Aluminum doors are inexpensive but not very sturdy. In fact, most folks are now turning to sturdier versions that have fancy extras. Unfortunately, you have to pay for all those extras, so the price tag on this door makes it cost prohibitive for some. Aluminum is a very light material so it is favored for use as an extra wide double door so the opening mechanism won’t have to work so hard to haul it up.

Garage Door Insulation and Energy Savings

Common sense dictates that an insulated garage door is a better choice for energy savings. However, this isn’t true in all cases. If your garage is unheated, there isn’t that much to insulate against!

It’s better to insulate whatever wall is shared with the home. The reason for this is that many items that people keep in garages are toxic and give off toxic fumes. It’s better for those fumes to be able to escape freely and not be trapped in your garage.

We hope that reading about these different garage door types and styles have inspired you to choose the right look for your home. If you’re still wondering about what you should choose, give us a call at Boulder Garage Door. We have over 40 years of experience working with garage doors in the Boulder area so trust us when we say we have the expertise to help you choose the right garage door types and styles. Plus, once you pick out your perfect door, our expert installation team will have it fully installed in no time!

October 12, 2017

More Reasons Why Your Garage Door Isn't Working

more reasons why your garage door isn’t working Boulder Garage DoorsToday, Boulder Garage Door gives you more reasons why your garage door isn’t working. Perhaps you checked out the last blog that offered common reasons why your garage door isn’t working, but none of the suggestions turned out to be what was wrong with your door. Maybe you will find the answer in today’s list of more reasons why your garage door isn’t working.

  1. The springs are broken

Garage doors are incredibly heavy. If you’ve ever tried to lift one manually, you know this to be true. The mechanism that is powerful enough to lift all that weight are those heavy duty springs you see. There may be 1 or 2 depending on the type of system that you have. Those springs only last for a certain number of cycles and then they can all of a sudden just snap.

If you happen to be home at the moment a spring snaps you will hear a loud noise, similar to a firecracker going off inside your garage. If you are not home, you will notice that the garage door suddenly stops working, yet the transmitter seems to be working just fine. On a 2 spring door, if only one spring breaks, the door may try to work but will probably fail.

Messing with the springs is a tricky business and can be downright dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. If you can see or suspect that one or both of the springs are broken, call in a professional and please don’t try to open the door on your own.

  1. The limit settings are incorrect

The garage door has limit settings that tell the system how far the door needs to go down. If the setting is incorrect, the door can touch the ground before the system thinks it is supposed to. This will result in an automatic reversal, the safety feature that causes the door to go back up when it touches an object, to not crush anybody or anything under the heavy garage door.

So if your door is going down and then going right back up the limit setting may be the issue. This is also the case if the door goes down and doesn’t close all the way. The limit setting is too low, and the system thinks the door is closed, even though it hasn’t reached the ground. Using the owner’s manual for your garage door opener, you may be able to reprogram the limit settings on your own. If you don’t have any luck, it’s time to call in a professional technician.

  1. The disconnect switch is enabled

Every garage door comes with a disconnect switch so that you can disconnect the door from the motor in order to operate the door manually. This is useful in power outages otherwise your garage door would have to remain in whatever position when the power went out.

If you try to open the door and hear the motor working for what seems to be the right amount of time to open the door, but the door doesn’t budge, the disconnect switch may be the problem. There is usually a string hanging from the disconnect switch that you can use to engage or disengage the switch. If there is no string, or if it still too high, you’ll need a stepladder to engage the switch on your garage door opener.

  1. The door is locked manually

What if the motor comes on and the door doesn’t move, but the motor only runs a few seconds, not what would be the full cycle? If you’ve checked the tracks and the door springs and they are not blocked, it may be that the door accidentally got locked manually.

Some garage doors come with this as an extra security feature. Check the middle of your door for a knob or handle with a bar extending out to each side. It is common to bump the handle when maneuvering large objects out of your trunk etc. and unintentionally lock the door. If the bars are touching the sides, that’s an indication the door is locked. Turn the handle until you hear a click and the bars retract a bit. Now you should be able to open the door.

  1. The tension springs or cables are broken

We’ve already mentioned the symptoms that are present when the torsion springs for opening the door have broken. There is another set of springs, called tension springs, that come into play when closing the door along with the door cables. The purpose is to ensure that the door lowers slowly and safely.

If your door closes especially fast or finishes its descent with a loud bang, it could be that one or more of these springs or cables has broken. This is a serious issue and can be very dangerous as there is nothing to stop the door from slamming down onto a person or object in the way.

If the springs have broken, the cables are very likely to snap, as they are not made to handle the entire weight of the door. If one of those cables snaps, it could cause serious injury to a person standing nearby or significant damage to an object. We suggest not parking your car in the garage while the door is in this state and calling for garage door repair immediately. We also recommend not continuing to use the door until it is repaired to avoid any mishaps.

If you’ve gone through this list of more reasons why your garage door isn’t working, and still haven’t found the cause of your garage door problems (or can’t fix it on your own), it’s time to give us a call. Here at Boulder Garage Door, we have more than 40 years of experience installing and repairing garage doors. Our staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and we can help you get your door moving again as quickly as possible. We know the importance of a functioning garage door and can provide you with peace of mind.

September 14, 2017

Why Your Garage Door Isn't Working

why your garage door isn’t working Boulder Garage DoorsThere are a few common reasons why your garage door isn’t working. Boulder Garage Door in Boulder, Colorado offers this list to help figure out what may be wrong. If you can pinpoint the issue, it may be something you can take care of on your own without having to call in the professionals. However, some repairs on garage doors can be downright dangerous, so use good judgment and know when to let us handle it instead.

Okay, let’s get to it and take a look at 5 common reasons why your garage door isn’t working: 

  1. The batteries in your transmitter are dead

This one is a no-brainer and probably the first thing you should check if your garage door ceases to respond when you push the button. Transmitters won’t work without power, so if the battery has died, you can go to town on your transmitter but your garage door will not budge. 

Luckily, it’s easy to check and fix if this is the issue. Try to open your garage door from the transmitter on the wall. If it works, that’s a good sign that the transmitter batteries are the culprit. Simply pop open the little door on the back of your transmitter, (some models may have a little screw holding the door in place and require a screwdriver to open), swap out the batteries for fresh ones (be sure to line up the pluses and minuses right), and give it a try. If your garage door opens, you’ve fixed it! If not, give us a ring for further investigation. 

  1. The photo eye is dirty or knocked out of alignment

This one is another pretty easy issue to fix. If you find that your door opens just fine but refuses to close, the problem could lie with the photo eyes. You may be wondering what these mysterious photo eyes are, but it’s not that complicated. Any garage door that was made after 1993 has photo eyes on either side of the door. They transmit a beam between each other that if broken, (as in a person or animal or other object is blocking the path) the door will not close. The point is not to crush anybody or anything under the heavy garage door. 

It’s a handy little system until one or both of them get too dirty to “see” the beam or knocked out of alignment. First try cleaning the lens with a streak-free cleaner and a soft cloth, taking care not to scratch the surface of the glass. If that doesn’t do the trick, check the alignment. The eyes have to be perfectly lined up, or they won’t “see” each other and the system won’t work. You can even use a level for absolute accuracy. If the door is still not functioning properly after the eyes have been cleaned and aligned it’s time to call in the professionals. 

  1. The track is out of alignment

Also on the list of common reasons why your garage door isn’t working, is track alignment. You can tell if there’s an issue by inspecting the rollers and rails. If you see gaps in the rollers or bends in the rails of your garage doors, there’s a good chance this is your issue. If the door is still opening and closing, you may hear a rubbing or squealing sound when the door reaches a misaligned spot on the track, or it may slow down as it has to work harder. 

You may be able to remedy this by loosening the screws holding the track in place and gently tapping with a rubber mallet until the track is properly lined up again. To ensure accuracy, it’s a good idea to use a level. Inspect the entire track in case there are other trouble spots and when you’re finished tighten the screws firmly to keep the track from vibrating out of alignment again.

If the door is refusing to open at all because the track is so far out of whack, don’t try to tackle this yourself. Now is the time to bring in the garage door repair professionals as trying to do this kind of repair yourself could be dangerous. 

  1. There’s a problem with the transmitter

If your garage door is opening and closing randomly, the culprit may lie with the transmitter. It’s certainly one of the common reasons why your garage door isn’t working. Check to see if one is lodged somewhere where the button is getting accidentally pushed. Sometimes this can happen if one falls under your car seat or in another similar tight space.

Another possible reason is that one of your neighbors is using the same transmitter frequency. They may be opening and closing your garage door along with theirs and not even know it. Consult the owner’s manual to find out how to change the frequency. If this doesn’t work, you’ll probably have to reprogram the system.

  1. Something’s in the way

If your garage door begins its descent but then reverses direction and goes back up, there could be something in the way of its path. Check for anything obvious breaking the photo eyes beam on the ground, like a garbage can or a toy.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be very big. The culprit may even just be a small rock or dirt buildup on the track. It doesn’t take much for the door to go back up to ensure that the heavy door doesn’t crush anyone, or anything, underneath it. You may have to pull out a step ladder to check the top part of the tracks as it can be something too small to see easily from the ground.

These are just a few of the common reasons why your garage door isn’t working so if you’ve checked all of these and still haven’t found what’s wrong, don’t despair, it still might be an easy fix. If you’re not sure what else to look for, simply give us a call here at Boulder Garage Door. With over 40 years of experience, we will most certainly be able to help you figure out what the trouble is with your garage door.

August 23, 2017

Why Keep Your Garage Door Shut at All Times

Why Keep Your Garage Door Shut at All TimesToday, the experts at Boulder Garage Door in Boulder, Colorado share reasons why keep your garage door shut at all times. You might not think that it's a problem to leave the door open during the day or even at night, but there are potential dangers you may not have thought about.

At Boulder Garage Door, we sometimes install garage doors after a customer has endured one of the issues listed below. And it’s often due to a repair that’s been put off, such as the garage door opener being wonky or the door itself rattling loudly in its tracks. These are both garage door repairs that can be addressed by our experts, so don’t leave yourself vulnerable!

Now, let’s get to why keep your garage door shut at all times. 

Theft

This one should be obvious. If you leave your garage door open, it’s like leaving out a welcome mat for thieves. Even if you believe that you live in a safe neighborhood, it's not a good idea. Trolling thieves will target your house, simply because the access is so easy. Most people at least have tools and potentially expensive equipment, perfect for thieves looking to make a quick buck. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable. 

Home Invasion

If you have an attached garage, thieves may take it one step further and enter your home. Often the door leading to your house from your garage is not necessarily that sturdy for the reason that the garage door is considered the first line of defense. Don’t tempt the unscrupulous to break into your home by leaving the garage door open when no one is around to keep an eye on things. 

Infestations

This might not be something you would generally think of, but infestations can become a big issue. If your garage has poor ventilation, or you just enjoy working in fresh air, you probably like to leave your garage door open while puttering around, but you should close it if you’re not going to be around.

Small animals like mice, raccoons, rats, squirrels or even stray cats may decide that your garage looks like an inviting place to set up a little home. They can end up doing a ton of damage to your stored items before you even realize they are there.

Weather Damage

Another consideration is the weather. Depending on how your garage is situated, water may be able to get into your garage when it rains. Even if it usually doesn’t, there may come a day when the wind is right and drives the rain right into your garage, wetting your stored items. It might be difficult to get everything properly dried out--particularly if your garage doesn’t have the greatest ventilation--and you could even end up with a mold problem. That can become a health hazard and simply isn’t worth the risk when all you have to do to avoid it is close the garage door.

We hope this article has shed some light on why keep your garage door shut at all times. If you tend to leave it open because it’s not working, be sure to give us a call at Boulder Garage Door, and we will be happy to troubleshoot the issue. Contact us today for friendly and expert service.

August 9, 2017

Tips for Choosing a Garage Door

Tips for Choosing a Garage DoorThese tips for choosing a garage door from our friendly staff here at Boulder Garage Door in Boulder, Colorado will come in handy if you are in the market for a replacement. Whether you’re looking to switch out a worn-out garage door, or just upgrading the one you have, new garage doors are ideal for adding value to your home and upping its curb appeal. 

Materials

The first thing to think about it what kind of material you want to use. There are multiple options out there including wood, wood composites, steel, fiberglass, aluminum, and vinyl. Each comes with a set of pluses and minuses and costs vary widely. Wood and steel garage doors are the most popular among consumers. The reason for this is that steel doors are extremely durable, not too expensive, and very versatile. People tend to choose wood for the traditional look, even though wood requires a lot more maintenance than other materials. 

Weather

When you are selecting a material, think carefully about the type of weather your door may be subjected to. You might love the look of wood, but if your garage door is positioned in such a way that it takes a beating when it rains, or it is in intense sun for several hours a day, the wood is not going to stay looking beautiful for long. Steel doors are much more suited to harsh environments, and you can even get some styles that do a great job at imitating wood if you have your heart set on that look. 

Insulation

Insulated garage doors are obviously more expensive than uninsulated ones. How you use your garage plays a role in justifying the extra expense of insulation. If you just need a place to house your vehicles and tools, an insulated garage door may not be necessary. However, if there is a room above your garage, or you use the garage itself as an extra room or workspace, you will greatly appreciate an insulated garage door to help keep the space warm in the winter. 

Windows

Also, consider whether you want windows in the door. Of course, windows drive up the price a little, but the added natural light might be worth it to you--particularly if you use your garage as a workspace or art studio. Many people don’t want windows for privacy and security, but a great compromise is to use frosted glass that still lets in light without putting your wares on display for would-be thieves.

Of course, these tips for choosing a garage door are very basic and just barely scratch the surface of what modern garage doors have to offer. Feel free to ask for advice from one of our experts here at Boulder Garage Door. We would love to help pick out the perfect solution for your needs. Then, of course, our expert team will install your new garage door quickly and efficiently, meeting all safety standards. Give us a call today to get started.

 

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