The Biggest Impact on a Home

For something that has been so prominent in the design of new homes over recent years, the garage door has generally been seen as a Plain Jane. But who cared, really? It was just a

two-, three- or four-car structure to house the occupants’ vehicles. No one expected anything so utilitarian in nature to be a thing of beauty. But that has been steadily changing as an amazing trend has started to regain traction in the garage door industry.

That trend? Curb appeal.First United Door Technologies

In the garage door industry, people like to refer to the garage door as the largest moving object in the home. In today’s home, it’s become the focal point. The garage door has become more prevalent, particularly when it faces the street. The garage door makes up from 50 percent to 80 percent of a home’s front elevation. Viewed from the street, that’s a big part of the home.

Builders haven’t traditionally spent much money on the garage door, despite its prominence or its 25- to 30-year lifespan. But that, too, is changing because builders are realizing that a handsome garage door has a huge impact on a home’s salability.

Like great front-yard landscaping, a well designed garage door enriches the appearance of the home and generate tremendous value.

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The Original All Steel Carriage House Garage Door

Steelhouse-Carriage-House-Garage-DoorHow about a garage door that looks like a carriage house door from the past but manufactured entirely of steel?

The Original STEELHOUSE™ garage doors have two-sided steel insulated facing boards that are textured, roll formed and laminated to steel backers and then mechanically fastened and bonded to a 23 gauge steel section. Four-inch wide, two-sided steel insulated boards are bonded with epoxy cement and mechanically fastened to ensure positive attachment to the face of the door. All Original STEELHOUSE™ Doors come standard with CFC-free polystyrene insulation.

A “Reinforced Integral Truss System” (RITS™) gives the Original STEELHOUSE™ doors strength and rigidity that is unmatched by similar products. In addition to their distinctive style and curb appeal, the Original STEELHOUSE™ patented doors are half the weight and cost of wooden doors. Virtually maintenance-free, the Original STEELHOUSE doors will not warp, crack, or split. Quite simply, it doesn’t get better than that.

From a base of nine models and over 15 designer top sections, Original STEELHOUSE™ Doors offer more than 200 unique configurations to ensure diversity from one home to the next and from one subdivision to the next. Homeowners, builders, architects and municipalities alike, are using Original STEELHOUSE™ Doors to bring a fresh, handsome appearance to neighborhoods across the country.

The Original STEELHOUSE Door combines rich traditional styling with three key benefits not found in wooden doors: half the weight, half the cost, and half the maintenance. True to Carriage House style, these doors can be detailed with classically finished handles, pulls, hinge straps, and windows.

Download the Steelhouse Brochure here!

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Garage Doors: To Insulate or Not to Insulate

Insulate Garage DoorsDeciding if you really need insulation in your garage door depends on where you live, so the benefits of an insulated garage door and how to select the right degree of insulation to best suit your needs will differ quite a bit.

The amount of insulation you need in your garage door depends on if your climate is typically cold, hot, or somewhere in-between. With the garage usually being the primary entrance to the home and with living space often above or beside it, it’s best to keep the temperature in the garage as comfortable as possible. This is especially true in very cold or very hot regions. You can choose garage doors with varying degrees of insulation to best suit your needs.

The effectiveness of the insulation is expressed as an R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation in the door.

Another point to consider is that an insulated door is generally quieter and has a more attractive interior than a non-insulated door.

Lastly, pests and insects enjoy nesting in the back of uninsulated garage doors. An insulated door doesn’t give them a place to call their own.

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Painting Your Garage Door Means Getting the Right Stuff

garage door brush-n-cansSelecting the garage door paint depends upon so many considerations.

The first consideration is the color of the house and whether the garage door is exposed to sunlight or not. Whenever you decide to paint garage doors, you must think about the color of your house and the garage door paint colors will largely depend on that.

If your house is of bright color you may use some color which will match with other exteriors of the house or you may decide to go for a contrast selection. If the garage door is exposed to sun rays during the day then you may not go for a bright color as bright colors tend to fade away very quickly in sun and the door will require very frequent repainting.

For selecting the type of paint that should be applied, in cases when you are repainting garage doors, it is important to know the type of paint which is already there on the doors. If you have oil based paint, you can apply latex paint or oil based paint but if you have latex paint then you can apply only latex paint over it. In case when you cannot confirm the type of paint which is already there, it is advisable to opt for the best quality latex paint for repainting the garage doors.

Once the type of paint and color is decided the question that arises is how to paint garage doors. You can very easily assign the task to professionals but if you love to do it yourself you will find that it is a very easy and tireless job.

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A good time for cleaning and some preventative garage door maintenance

On a busy day your garage door may open and close 20 times, fiirst united door preventitive careso routine maintenance is a must to keep it in good working order. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regular garage door cleaning and maintenance will guarantee a great look and longer life of your door.

Appearance

Clean your garage door regularly with mild soap (like dishwashing detergent) and a soft bristle brush. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and very strong liquid cleaners which could damage the paint or cause delaminating. If you have a steel garage door, you can revive its luster by applying a car wax as it will protect against acid rain and dust. It is best to avoid waxing in direct sunlight to achieve better results. If there’s exposed wood, be sure to paint it.

Exterior Weather-Stripping

Clean the weather stripping around the frame and bottom edge with a good all-purpose cleaner. Lubricate it every 2 or 3 months with a Silicone-based lubricant to keep the stripping pliable. Never use a petroleum-based lubricant on weather-stripping as it will dry up and crack. It is important to let your weather-strip hang 1/2″ below the door base when you readjust your perimeter weather-stripping. If the weather-stripping is too tight, the door will not function properly. So if your weather-stripping has lost its flexibility, it is best to replace it.

Final Advice
Consider your garage door as an important part of your home. With appropriate annual maintenance, it will door will provide carefree convenience for many years to come. Ask a qualified garage door installer, to lubricate and adjust your garage door at least yearly. A check-up will insure he will lubricate all the above mentioned parts and perform any required repairs.

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Home buyers want accessible features they can age with

firstunitedgaragedoorAccording to U.S. Census data, the number of Americans 65 and older is expected to rise 35 percent from 2010 to 2020. This plays a big part in the upswing of universal design and aging-in-place home features the past few years, accompanying the increase of multigenerational homes. A recent article from The Washington Post cites AARP findings on the subject:

According to AARP, the majority of older Americans want to stay in their homes permanently and live independently. This demographic change translates into demand for residential designs that anticipate changes in health, vision or mobility, and ensures that homes stay safe, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

The National Association of Home Builders’ What Home Buyers Really Want report released in 2013 surveyed new and prospective home buyers nationwide to identify which features they want (and don’t want) when looking to purchase a home, one of the most desirable purchases home buyers are making with aging in mind is selecting a garage door 9 ft. or higher to accommodate a raised roof van with wheelchair lift. Besides the accommodation, it’s a good investment as well adding more value to the house itself.

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Stop Thief! Garage Door Security

garage door burglary - first united doorThe garage is an easy entry for unwanted people in our homes making garage security essential to protect yourself and your belongings.

They are a popular target for criminals to get into your home and for obvious reasons. Some of our most expensive belongings are placed in there besides your car including bikes, lawnmower and power tools.

There are a few tips that you can use to ensure the safety of your family and home. Make sure that you invest in a good garage door and door opener. Some new openers, like the Liftmaster brand, have automatic locking feature on some models that make it much more difficult for any stranger to open. On a side note, when you have a new garage door opener installed, make sure the combination is reset, as the factory set combination is a familiar one to criminals.

It is important to understand the different security features that garage doors have. Most people aren’t aware how easy it is to simply open up a garage door. If you don’t have a proper garage door lock in place, for example, you will find that most doors are very easy to open.

Always try and look for a good system that will help to give you the best results possible. Finding the right door lock for you is important because it will help you secure your garage. Having a garage door that isn’t properly secured can be an easy opportunity for potential thieves.

Criminals already know that many of us overlook securing the garage door in the same way we bolt our front door. As the door that leads to the house from your garage is an interior door this misleads to thinking that it is secure. This is not the case. If the garage door can be broken into easily then it is equally easy for burglars to get into the house.

A common mistake made by people is to leave the garage door open during the day especially if they think that they will be back in a few minutes. This leaves everything in the garage to be seen by intruders who now know what they can get from there. In some cases, they can even attempt to hide in the normal clutter of a garage and wait for the right moment to run away with your valuables.

Home security is a comprehensive thing that you should take time to analyze. Securing your garage door should be a big part of that.

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