Tag Archives: curb appeal

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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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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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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Read Your Garage Door Owner’s Manual!

For those of you who have moved into a new home or have just installed a new garage door, be sure to take the time to thoroughly read the garage door owner’s manual. It may seem BookStacklike a chore and take time, but one would be surprised at what they can find in most well written garage door manuals. The manual will contain safety and design information to help you insure that your garage door is safe to use and properly installed, and contain information on how to keep your garage door properly maintained.

For example, many garage door manuals will contain helpful tips for painting them. Most companies will tell you to pain BOTH the inside and outside of the garage door to keep everything even, and to never remove any parts of the garage door when painting. If you want to make sure that your garage door is completely covered in a fresh coat of paint, you need to call in a professional to dismantle it so that you can finish the paint job, and then have the garage door installed again. This usually does not happen, but again, do not try to dismantle any of the parts of the garage door. It can lead to a very dangerous situation.

Once you have your garage door installed, it is vital that you periodically lubricate most parts of it. It is often easiest to lubricate the metal parts using silicone spray that can be found at most local hardware stores. However, be sure to never lubricate plastic rollers and plastic idler bearings. It is also suggested that you check for loose nuts and bolts on a monthly basis and if you find something out of the ordinary, call in an expert to help you with your problem. Don’t try anything yourself unless you are licensed and well trained in repairing garage doors.

Also, make sure to check that the door has proper balance by slowly opening the door and making sure that when the bottom of the door is waist high, it does not sway and move in any direction. Finally, using a 2×4 block of wood, make sure that the sensors on your garage works (if it is a remote-controlled door). Place the 2×4 in the pathway of the door and when the door gets somewhat close to the top of the 2×4 it should reverse direction and go back up.

If the garage door is moving, keep your distance and never stand or walk under a moving door. It is important that you set an example for your children and you do not want them under a moving garage door. You should also try to make sure children cannot reach the wall-mounted garage door openers and be sure to hide the remotes. You do not want your children playing with the garage door at all. Finally, if you think you have a problem, call an expert. Never try to fix anything yourself as garage doors are very dangerous and you put yourself in harm’s way when you try to fix it, especially when you don’t know exactly what you are doing.

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Rub-A-Dub-Dub Your Garage Door

Your garage door is the largest door in your home, and is constantly exposed to all kinds of weather.Wash Garage Door

Set up a regular annual cleaning schedule for your garage door. Remember that garage doors are often the largest visible part of your house. A clean and well maintained Garage Door will help keep the ‘curb appeal’ of your house, as well as its value!

It’s simple. To clean steel garage doors wash both the exterior and interior twice a year using water mixed with a half cup of mild laundry detergent. If your garage door is a pre-painted steel door, you can apply a car wax to the exterior to help protect it from the elements. Avoid using abrasive cleaners since they can damage the paint. When using the brush to remove debris, use gentle action to avoid removing paint. Never use bleach full strength, and do not use acid-based products, such as vinegar.

Clean the weather stripping with an all-purpose cleaner, such as Formula 409, and lubricate the weather stripping with a silicone-based lubricant. Check the weather stripping between the door panels for cracks and replace, if needed.
Once you’ve washed your door and allowed it to dry, take the time to perform preventative maintenance to the inside of the door to ensure that it works properly and safely. Lubricate the hinges, tracks, and rollers with lubricating oil. Spray the lubricating oil on a clean cloth and wipe down the garage door springs.

Download a Qwik-Start Garage Door Maintenance Guide (pdf file)

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Evolving Door Styles for Garages

Woodie Plank
Some things do come back in style if you wait long enough. Think hip-hugger pants, shag carpeting and, yes, even wood garage doors. The wood garage doors of the 1970s are back in a big way. It’s one of many design trends that have come and gone.

The first revolution in garage door materials happened in the 1980s, when raised panel steel doors replaced wood ones. They continue to dominate the market today, mainly because they’re economical and low-maintenance. But for certain homes — especially custom homes or those with an Old World look — a big expanse of cold steel just won’t do. Frequently the garage door is a major part of the front of a home and people are finding that they can do something more interesting.
For this reason, wood has become the most popular option. But these aren’t the humble wood doors of two decades ago. For example, manufacturer of garage doors First United Door Technologies, offers wood overlay doors with a carriage-house style that has an old-fashioned craftsman look. Made of the finest cedar wood, they offer a much richer appearance and you can expect to pay four times or more what you would for steel doors.

Just as wood is back, the next wave of garage doors is already approaching. If you have a steel garage door, there are ways to ramp up its curb appeal. You can select different patterns and install a variety of different patterned windows; and there’s always the do-it-yourselfer’s best tool: paint. But if you want your garage door to be a focal point rather than something to disguise, wood may just be worth its price tag.

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garage door and snowWith the cold weather, the following can you save you a lot of time and expense!

Keeping it Clean

Clean your garage door regularly with mild soap, such as car 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.

Weather Stripping

Clean the weather stripping with a good all-purpose cleaner. Lubricate it every 2 or 3 months with a SILICONE-based lubricant. Never use a petroleum-based lubricant on weather stripping as it will dry up and crack. Don’t forget the weather strip between your door panels. 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.

Maintaining the Hardware

Lubricate the rollers, tracks and hinges and all moving hardware parts with a little motor oil (e.g.: 10W30) every three months. Wipe off excess oil with a cloth. As for the springs, use the same oil applied with a cloth. You are not only prolonging the spring’s life, but also reducing the noise the springs make when the door is operated.

At least once a year, home owners must check the following :
1. the sturdiness and adjustment of the hinges;
2. the rollers for worn-out ball bearings, flattened rollers, and crooked rods;
3. the tracks for premature wear and tear, loose bolts, and loose supports;
4. the cables for wear and tear; especially near the pulleys and the lower support (corner bracket).

Open Sesame: The Garage Door Opener

Depending on the model you own, consult the manufacturer’s guide. If you want to add some white grease on the operator track, again you must first clean the track. By oiling all the mobile parts you will reduce the noise initiated by the motor. If it is still too noisy for your liking, then nylon rollers would help reduce the noise.

Pull on the trolley release cord and operate the door manually. Is it difficult to open and close? The electric operator only replaces manual operation, therefore it must move freely. If you have trouble operating it, contact your local l qualified and licensed garage door installer. For your safety as well as your child’s, check the automatic safety reverse system of the door opener every month.

Get Your Annual Exam

Consider your garage door as an important part of your home. With appropriate annual maintenance, it will operate beautifully. Ask a qualified and licensed garage door installer to lubricate and adjust your garage door at least yearly. In a 10 step check-up, they will lubricate all the above mentioned parts and perform any required repairs.

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