Monthly Archives: January 2010

Tax Credit for Buying Energy Efficient Garage Doors

According to a report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 40 percent of the current housing stock was built prior to the availability of energy-efficient options.

The Energy Tax Credit for Replacement Windows and Doors (Section 25C of the International Energy Conservation Code) offers a tax credit to homeowners who remodel their home to make it more energy-efficient. The tax credit is given for such improvements as vinyl replacement windows, solar powered water heaters, and energy efficient garage doors. The tax credit covers 30 percent of the first $5,000 spent on qualified home improvements. That’s $1,500 back into your pocket. You can only claim it once in a two year period, so spend your money wisely in 2010 you can claim your tax credit on your federal income tax return.

When selecting your garage doors, you need to be sure that they are qualified for the tax credit. There are many varieties of garage door that qualify so you can shop around and select the one that best suits your needs. The tax credit generated by the stimulus legislation expires on Dec. 31, 2010.

In your selection process, there are some things you need to know about deciding on your new garage door. The R-value or U-factor, are measurements of the thermal efficiency of a door’s insulation. The higher the R-value or the lower the U-factor which means the more energy efficient the insulation. The tax credit is only available for garage doors with a minimum factor of 0.30 installed on a homeowner’s primary residence. You’ll get the most out of your insulated door by purchasing a garage door with a high R-value and low U-factor.

The garage door must also be attached to your primary home residence, be expected to remain in service for at least five years, the door perimeter must be able to control air infiltration, the door must be an insulated residential garage door installed on an insulated garage, and the door must be purchased and installed between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010. The manufacturer of the garage door will be able to provide you with a copy of the Manufacturer’s Certification, which is a certificate qualifying your door for the tax credit.

Replacing your garage door with an insulated door can reduce significant energy loss. Attached garages share one or two walls with the house, so in the winter it could be unnecessarily increasing your heating cost, and in the summer it could be increasing your air conditioning cost. An insulated garage door helps stabilize temperatures and avoid fluctuations from sharing common walls.

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Garage Doors In Modern Times

The garage is the shelter for your car. That is its main function. Hence, most people then think about their garage doors as strictly functional. They protect the contents of the garage. Now, more and more people care about how they look. The garage doors have to look good and welcoming. Garage doors after all make a huge personal statement about one’s taste and style.

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 becoming a major design element as they say. 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.

Today, several manufacturers have created different styles of garage doors with various exceptional features to choose from. The appearances of garage doors have improved dramatically over the past few years adding to the aesthetic value of your home. The erstwhile wooden doors are being replaced in favor of modern day materials like steel, which can be customized to suit your preferred look and color.

Garage doors are built to be durable and long-lasting. The average life of a garage door can be extended if you take care of it. Thus, it is imperative to pay extra attention to its specifications and features. Rain, snow, wind and other assaults by the nature can be kept at bay with the use of the tongue and groove feature. It is also important to settle always for low-maintenance garage doors. It will save considerable amount of money and time.

Garage doors also have many options such as decorative windows that allow the natural light to trickle in and can often match the window package on your home. You may also want to consider adding decorative hardware, handles and hinges, to your door selection. Whatever you do decide on, make sure you enlist the expertise of a professional to install or service garage doors.

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Replacing Your Garage Door is a Valuable Home Repair

If you have an older home one of the first things you may consider changing are the garage doors. Garage doors are used regularly and go through a lot of wear and tear. The good news, manufacturers of garage doors are offering numerous novel features that were not available in the past. Many of the garage doors available today are insulated, providing warmth as well as barring out noise for both temperature and sound. You might find this handy if your son has started a rock group in the garage.

Today’s garage doors are also more secure than older ones and since we keep a lot more “stuff” in our garages than just cars, this is an important consideration. You can park your valuable automobile safely, without having to lose sleep over the fear of theft or vandalism. Moreover, garage spaces are sometimes used for storage, and enhanced security enables home owners to stow even costly item in this area. Technologically enhanced garage door openers send out different signals every time the doors are opened, so that even techno-savvy thieves fail to steal your codes.

Many of the new garage doors available have distinctive designs and add to the aesthetic value of your home. The erstwhile wooden doors are discarded in favor of these modern day materials like steel or fiberglass, which can be gel stained or faux-painted to suit your preferred look and color.

Rain, snow, wind and other assaults by the nature can be kept at bay with the use of the tongue and groove feature available with the modern models. Also, most of the doors will not close if they come across any object in their path while they are sliding down. This prevents accidental crushing of any article under their weight. Some may even push obstacles away while the panels of the door come together at the time of shutting down.

Garage doors even provide windows that allow the natural light to trickle in. Some doors come equipped with lighting arrangements to keep the driveway well lit while you drive away or lock your car in for the day and go inside your home. This is also an important safety measure.

However, you should not try to install these garage doors yourself. The help of a professional garage door installer should be enlisted at all costs. The doors are large and so heavy that a person can crush under the weight in case they slip and fall. The springs that are used to open the doors release such immense force that can even get a person killed instantaneously. Even servicing of such doors should be carried out by trained garage door professionals. You should restrict your maintenance actions to oiling the hinges and the tracks and wheels.

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Cheap Garage Doors

With the economy affecting nearly everyone today, it’s easy to see where you may want to try and save money anyway you possibly can. However, when it comes to buying garage doors, is cheaper always better?

Obviously, the answer is no. Are there less expensive garage doors that are still high quality products? You bet!

There are some basic factors that you need to consider before choosing the one that would fit your specifications. These are the qualities of materials used, design and of course the garage door prices. The first thing that you need to do is to determine the design and style that you want and then allocate your budget. Once you have pictured something in your mind it will be easier for you to narrow down your search and focus on how much the door of your choice would cost.  

It is normal to be worried about garage door prices because you want to get your money’s worth, right? If you are not careful you might end in getting a door with substandard quality or materials yet with a high price, the best technique here is to survey everything on offer and be selective. You should shop around and look at the various options and prices available.

Get quotes on your garage door prices from different sources and use the web as it allows you to carry out major research. It is always advisable to have as many choices as possible; all you need to have is enough patience for you to find a door design which would be a perfect fit for your garage.

Don’t waste your money on cheap garage doors that will only last a year or two. There are many styles, sizes, and manufacturers available and you can find a great deal when you spend some time looking.

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Beware: Garage Door Rip Off

Homeowners around the country have been swindled, conned or tricked by  dishonest garage door installers or companies. There are a variety of tactics that these unscrupulous individuals use to rip off customers. So what do you do?

You can check out a company before doing business with them by simply doing a Google search, including the city or state. If a company has been charging exorbitant prices or performing shoddy work, comments about them will often show up. You can also check sites like

DASMA, the garage door industry trade organization, also exposes unscrupulous door companies at times. You can search door companies in their search engine.

Another excellent way to check out a company is to check with the Better Business Bureau.

The best thing to to is to educated yourself and watch for these warning signs of a possible scam: 

  • No Price Quote Before Work Is Done. DO NOT agree to any work (except the initial diagnostic fee) until you have received a firm bid in writing, have signed it to give authorization and you have received a copy.
  • Phones Answered By A Distant Call Center Or A Recording. Call centers located in distant states or foreign countries may signal problems. Phone recorders are another way Bad Bob tries to stay anonymous.
  • No Name, No Caller ID. Do they answer the phone with their advertised business name? If they operate under several business names, they often answer the phone with a generic response, such as, “Garage door service.”
  • Years in Business Unknown. This is a possible indication of instability and lack of experience in the industry.
  • No Local Showroom and Office. Companies with no local office or showroom may be trying to stay anonymous or hard to track down in the event of a problem.
  • No Contractor License # Listed In The Ad. This is the law. Do not trust any garage door company that doesn’t show its license #.
  • No Professional Memberships, Accreditations or Certifications. Reliable companies are generally affiliated with one or more professional organizations with standards and codes of conduct such as IDA (International Door Association), DASMA (Door & Access Systems Manufacturer’s Association International), BBB (Better Business Bureau), ISO (International Organization for Standardization), UL (Underwriter’s Laboratories Registered Firm) and others. You can more likely trust a technician who has been certified and a company that has been accredited by IDEA (Institute for Door Education and Accreditation).
  • High Pressure. Do not succumb to high pressure sales tactics. Does the technician pressure you to make a quick decision? Does the technician claim that your family or property is in danger if the proposed repair or replacement isn’t done immediately?
  • Surprise Visit. Be wary if a company knocks on your door, claiming to have a special deal.
  • Pre-Payment. Do they demand payment in full before the project is complete? Never pay for an entire job in advance. Avoid paying in cash whenever possible.

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Is That an Earthquake or is Your Garage Door Opening?

Every time the garage door opens and closes, a loud rumble comes right through your bedroom floor making things particularly unpleasant for you or friends, relatives occupying your guest bedroom that is probably just above the garage. Can’t stand it? Here’s some advice to help you reduce noise generated by the up and down movement of your garage door. 

1. An insulated garage door can significantly reduce the intrusion of street noise into the home – especially important when there are bedroom or other living areas above or adjacent to the garage. If your door isn’t already insulated, the insulation can be installed by professional installers for a minimal charge, but it is not difficult to mount the insulation yourself and kits are available at your local home improvement retailer. It is important to consider having your springs recalculated because of additional weight to the door. 

2. Have the steel rollers on your garage door changed to nylon. With nylon rollers, you will obtain almost silent running on the tracks and there is no need for lubrication. 

3. Another point to look at is your electric operator. Any belt-driven model is best because the motor of this model is insulated from the metal case and will cut vibrations. The rubber belt is also quieter than the steel chain. 

4. A noise isolator system (semi-rigid rubber 6 mm) can be effective. The supports that hold up the horizontal tracks can be insulated with a piece of rubber to cut the vibrations. On a wood frame, do not fix directly under the beams, place a piece of wood perpendicular under which you will have installed a rubber insulator. If you have a bedroom or living space above your garage and intend to add hardwood flooring, it is recommended to sound proof it by installing carpet and under carpet.

5. A good lifting system (springs) can also contribute to noise reduction. ”Torsion” type springs (instead of ”Extension” springs) is ideal because they allow precise balancing of the door and avoid friction of cables and springs on the horizontal tracks.

6. Concerning the tracks, it is best to choose tracks with the largest radius possible. In fact, the larger the radius the smoother the door action will be. The standard radius is 10 inches (”extension” spring) and 12 or 15 inches (”torsion” spring). Opt for the largest radius possible if you have a big clear space above the door.

7. Finally, regular lubrication (twice a year) of rollers and track is important.

With the above advice, it should easier to reduce noise problems from your garage door. Do not hesitate to call a garage door dealer. They are trained to offer you top quality work and service and in the end, peace of mind.

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Garage Doors: Much Ado About Much

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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Garage Door Cold Weather Tip

The Farmer Almanac says Old Man Winter doesn’t want to give up his frigid hold just yet. According to the 2010 Farmers’ Almanac, this winter will see more days of shivery conditions. A winter during which temperatures will average below normal for about three-quarters of the nation.

So don’t let winter’s freeze to be the cause of your garage door seal freezing to the concrete floor. Whether it’s wind piling snow up against the door to your garage or a dripping eave that is splashing around the front of the garage and then freezing overnight, chances are you’ve encountered a garage door that’s frozen itself to the concrete floor.

The simplest remedy is to use ordinary table salt. Sprinkling a generous amount along where the rubber seal meets up with the concrete will minimize the chance of it freezing by keeping the salt in place. You just might want to keep a large container of table salt near the garage door, so it will be handy and you’ll remember to use it.

Keep the area beneath the garage door seal swept clear of snow and reapply salt as necessary. It sounds like a hassle, but chipping ice away from the bottom of the garage door and chewing up the rubber seal in the process is no fun, and parking outside the garage defeats the purpose of having a garage in the first place.

Use this cold weather tip to help keep your garage door operating smoothly throughout the winter.

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Keeping Your Garage Door Protected: A Must

There are various types of garage doors to choose from. The type you choose will all depend on a variety of factors: ease of use, security, cost, durability and aesthetics. An overhead door is one of the more popular choices for both home and commercial garages. It consists of a door that is opened by pulling up from the bottom, and remains over the top of the vehicle when open. Overhead garage doors are space-efficient, making them a good choice for garages with limited space. They come in an assortment of designs and materials. Steel overhead doors are a maintenance free option and heavy duty.

Overhead garage door is a popular style because of its advantages. It takes up very little room, which makes it appropriate for smaller spaces. The roller type door runs on a streamline track, which does not take up much room. However, an overhead garage door requires enough headspace to accommodate the rolled up door. So be sure you have adequate space over the doorway of your garage if you are considering this particular type of garage door. Also, your overhead garage door should be high enough to clear your vehicle when parking in the garage. If you are planning to install an automatic garage door opener, you will also need to factor in the space that it will take up. Measure your garage space first before investing in an overhead garage door.

With overhead garage doors, you also have the option of insulation or non-insulation. If you live in a place with mild climate, a non-insulated overhead garage door can help you save up. Meanwhile, in hotter or colder climates, protecting your overhead garage door is recommended especially if your garage connects to your living space. Insulating your garage door is a good investment because it will not only make your garage more convenient; it will also make your vehicle guarded from extreme changes in temperature. More importantly, it will keep cold air from entering your room. An insulated overhead garage door may cost more but the benefits will certainly be worth the price.

When it comes to security, you should treat an overhead garage door as an access door that may be most accessible to burglars. Make sure that your overhead garage door is of solid construction with a strong frame that is in good condition. More importantly, make sure that you invest in a good lock for the door. Your garage door should be as safe as all the other external doors in your home for obvious reasons.

To assure full protection for your overhead garage door, you can opt to invest in the latest generation of garage door openers that use rolling code technology burglars will find very difficult to hack. Maintain your garage door’s protection by regularly checking the condition of the door and frame for signs of root and corrosion. Remember that your garage door is only as secure and strong as its weakest point.

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Garage Door Tax Credits

Replacing a garage door in 2010 won’t just add style and curb appeal to your home – it can also save you money off the bottom line (up to $1500) of your income taxes.

The stimulus legislation signed by President Obama on Feb, 17, 2009 provides tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements, including qualifying insulated garage doors. That means that adding a new garage door in 2009 or 2010 can save you money by helping to lower home energy consumption and costs, AND it will help pay for itself this year through the tax credit incentive.

The Time to Buy is Now

Homeowners now have another significant reason to buy qualifying insulated residential garage doors – a tax credit. Tax credits are more valuable than an equivalent tax deduction because a tax credit reduces tax dollar-for-dollar, while a deduction only decreases the amount of income that is taxed.

How to Identify an Eligible Garage Door

To be eligible for the tax credit, the purchased garage door must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The tax credits are available for garage door purchases “placed in service” from Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2010.
  • Your tax credit is based on the total material cost of the purchase (the cost of installation does not qualify). The tax credit is equal to the sum of 30 percent of all qualified energy-saving improvements installed in an existing home in the calendar years of 2009 and 2010.
  • The maximum amount a taxpayer may claim is $1500 over the lifetime of the tax credit.
  • The door must have a U-factor (rate of heat loss) equal to or less than 0.30. Ask your professional dealer/installer if your door qualifies. You will need a manufacturer’s certification statement and a breakdown of the material and labor costs.
  • The door must be an insulated residential garage door.
  • It must be installed on an insulated garage. The envelope of the space must be insulated including walls and ceiling space.
  • The door perimeter must have a means to control air infiltration (hot/cold mechanical ventilation).
  • The door must be expected to remain in service for at least five years.
  • The garage must be part of the taxpayer’s principal U.S. residence.

Insulated garage doors can make a noticeable difference in the temperature of your home. If your home has an attached garage, chances are the room next to your garage is one of the coldest rooms in the winter. Cold air in the winter (and warm air in the summer) can sneak in through the garage and into your home, increasing the amount of energy your home needs for heating and air conditioning. In addition to saving homeowners money and energy, new garage doors can be a stylish way to improve a home’s appearance and value.

For more online information on the garage door tax credit, check out:

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 –

Energy Star’s Comments about the Tax Credit & Garage Doors –

First United Door Technologies Home Page –

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