Monthly Archives: August 2008

Garage Door Gorgeous

Faux Painting and Gel Staining to the Rescue!


Most garages are readily visible from the street. A garage door has great potential either to add or detract from a property’s beauty. Many garage doors share an architectural partnership with their houses. The garage door should harmonize with its house. Garage doors express the structure’s function more than any other element. It should incorporate or compliment decorative features that will enhance the front elevation of the home. 

Then why settle for a Plain Jane, white on white, garage door every time you pull up to the house? Want the rich look and feel of a thick wooden door, but don’t have the spare $10,000-$12,000 it would cost for the real thing. The idea is simple, take a boring, static garage door, and create something appealing and interesting that will make your garage, and home a statement of your own.


Steelhouse Gel Stained Garage Door at Shea Homes-Encantera


Taking garage doors and either faux painting or using a gel staining process, can give them the dramatic effect of a rich, beautifully hued wood door. The most common types of garage doors today, have a wood grain texture imprinted on them that runs across the entire door inviting the look of a real wood door. Faux painting or gel staining achieves a deep rich look and insures durability and protection against elements, not fading as regular painted garage doors do.



Transform your steel garage door into a luxurious “wooden” door that will make the garage dominate the curb appeal of the home.


CLICK HERE for some instructions on how to do your own “Steel Staining” Project.

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Steel Cost Increases Continue to Hit the Garage Door Industry

Steel costs continue to escalate at a rapid and substantial pace. Some types of steel have increased by more than 50 percent since Jan. 1, 2008. For garage door manufacturers, it’s never easy to pass on or absorb an increase but it’s more difficult in a troublesome economy.

Unfortunately, escalating material costs stem from global issues of cost, supply, and demand. These enormous cost increases are passed on to U.S. companies in the form of surcharges or price increases. 







Door Component Increases

Here’s a glance at some typical garage door-related cost increases experienced since Jan. 1, 2008.

·         Pre-painted Steel Coils +45-55%

·         Struts +30-40%

·         Track Sets +25-35%

·         Hardware Cartons +20-30%

·         Torsion Tube +25-35%

·         Springs Coned & Painted +25-30%

·         Other Steel Components +20-25%

A Global Issue

During the last six months, the global steel market has experienced large cost increases for iron ore, coke, energy, transportation, and scrap. These input costs are expected to continue to rise.

The cost impact is compounded due to the demand of steel consumed by Asia and other emerging countries. The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries will consume much more of the world’s steel supply than they have in past years.

Growth in each of these countries is estimated to be about 10 percent while the U.S. growth projection is estimated to be less than 1 percent. Our country produces and consumes less than 9 percent of the world’s steel.

Raw Material Increases

Here’s an idea of recent cost increases faced by steel mills as of April 2008.

·         Scrap +92%

·         Iron Ore +150%

·         Coking Coal +160%

·         Energy Costs +25%

The weak U.S. currency has led to fewer imports being available. Foreign mills are selling their steel to other countries where they can get a more favorable currency exchange rate.  At the same time, domestic mills are exporting steel to other countries that need more steel and are taking advantage of the weak U.S. dollar.

Aftershocks of the China Earthquake

Manufacturers are cautious. Anything can happen to put pressure back on an already tight supply market. The May 12, 2008 earthquake in China is a good example.

The earthquake disrupted steel production and logistics in several areas and brought two major steel making operations to a halt. As reconstruction begins, steel market prices could go up again because of the surge in demand. 

The Bottom Line


The bottom line is that garage door manufacturers, their suppliers, and their dealers don’t have much choice but to absorb these increases. It is important for builders, architects, and homeowners must understand the dynamics of the situation as they will ultimately bear the impact of these cost increases.

Based upon raw material costs, value of the dollar and availability of domestic steel, there is no short term relief to these tremendous cost increases. Stay tuned.

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Death by Garage Door

Yesterday I almost killed myself by painting my garage door.

Now, normally, painting your garage door isn’t considered a life threatening activity, unless, for example, your garage door is in Fallujah. Or, as in my case, your in Arizona and you’re painting a white garage door (using a nice latex semi-gloss) in 105 degree weather with the sun beating down directly on the door in front of you. In that case, you might as well be sunning yourself on the surface of Mercury during the warmer months using coconut oil and a liberal amount of aluminum foil.


After I was about one quarter done, I was starting to wonder if this was such a great idea. Half way through I was naked from the waste down in a desperate attempt to cool my head with my sweat soaked underwear and shorts. By the end, barely alive, I was almost wishing I were at work instead of home.




This project now joins the long list of seemingly innocuous home improvement projects that I’ve undertaken through the years that have darned near killed, maimed or otherwise permanently incapacitated me. These include closing my garage door (I’m starting to think that door hates me) and assembling a swing set (big thanks again to my local fire department for saving my chestnuts on that one).


Home ownership. You gotta love it!


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Garage Doors: Much Ado About A Lot

The garage is considered the threshold of a home. First thing that we come faced up with when we enter a house is usually the garage door. Garage doors are a major design element. Most homeowners use the garage as the primary entrance to the house and are subject to much wear and tear. It is only fitting that the garages must be impressive and attractive, as it is durable and secured. The style and the condition of the garage door is influential on the appearance and impression that the house projects. The garage doors have to look good and welcoming. Garage doors after all make a huge personal statement about one’s taste and style.

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