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Earliest of Garage Door Openers

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‘Welcome Home, Cars’

When the car became the dominant means of transport in this country, every new house of any size had to have a garage.

Many if not most of these garages were given a prominent front-row spot – they faced the street. The phrase “attached garage” was a price booster. To be able to walk straight to it from the kitchen without braving the elements was a sign of arriviste luxury.

Often necessitated by lot size, a garage door dominates. Even when it’s not protruding, but set flush in the structure’s front, it manages to draw the eye, to make you look at – because they are closed most of the time – blank walls. The house becomes a backdrop.

“Welcome home, cars,” seems to be the greeting. Here’s the problem: Our cars are bigger and our garages are bigger. Most of our garages face the street so you can’t miss them. Bulky, boring garages make houses look bad and cheap. In certain neighborhoods, the homes look so much alike that the only way to find your house is to use the garage-door opener and see which one goes up.

There is a need to make the front elevation of the home inviting, and not a moment too soon, for communities that could fairly be described as a vast wasteland of ugly garages. Architects and builders alike, responding to demand from home buyers and home renovators, are designing garages that complement house styles. Adding distinctive architectural styling to the garage, simply, can add “curbside drama”.

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Blast from the Past

How about a “BLAST form the Past” from the 50’s? How great are these 1955 Crawford garage doors?

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Consider This!

When you are purchasing a new garage door for your garage, you need to take careful consideration before you make your decision.

The garage door that you choose may have a great impact on the way your home looks, and can either complement it or decrease the value of your property. You’ll find nothing better than a good garage door that makes your house look more attractive. There are lots of functions for a garage, from housing your motor vehicle to being an extra workroom or even an extended living area.

This is why it is also important to look into garage doors that provide good insulation. If you are planning to be utilizing your garage for something other than housing your car, then you’ll want it to be as temperature regulated as possible. Even if you’re only likely to be keeping your motor car inside the garage, you must keep it a good temperature so that the engine does not freeze up on cold winters’ mornings!

There are a number of different styles you are able to choose for your garage door that may vary greatly. Each one of these will add its own different appearance and feel. The first style of garage door you can get is one with a flush panel. This means that the paneling of the door is slightly flat and can fit in well with the surrounding wall. You can even choose several types of panel blocks for your garage door. You may choose long raised panels that will give a good sense of depth to the garage door. It is possible to get shorter panels for your garage door, to add even more depth. Different types of raised paneling on the garage door will suit a variety of different styles of home.

Now it will come time to select the material for your garage door. The two most widely used materials are wood and steel, with wooden garage doors coming in first for popularity. There is something so lovely about a wooden garage door, and it is also a very versatile material to make use of. Firstly, you can paint or varnish wood to any stain you need, to enable you to match your home accordingly. Wood is also excellently insulated, and is much more affordable to buy than many other materials. Galvanized steel is becoming a popular choice for garage doors though, as it is less likely to weather over the years, unlike wood. Steel will show up dents and scratches more easily than wood though, whereas wood seems to have more character with a bit of damage!

There are plenty of different garage doors to select from; you simply need to examine the brochure belonging to the garage door company that you are looking at obtaining a quote from. There are also many stores that will have showrooms with examples of the garage door you can buy. Whichever style, pattern and material you choose, your home will certainly look far better with your new garage door!

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It’s Getting Colder Out There! Tune-Up Your Garage Door

With the cooling 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 :
– the sturdiness and adjustment of the hinges;
– the rollers for worn-out ball bearings, flattened rollers, and crooked rods;
– the tracks for premature wear and tear, loose bolts, and loose supports;
– 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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Garage Door: “Just the Facts Mam, Just the Facts”

Choosing garage doors can be complicated, which is why dealers often recommend some for their clients after they hear their preferences and the description of the area in which it is to be used. The different kinds of units have similar functions, but some are better off for bigger places while others are for those with some limitations to space.

Small Areas

Small areas will benefit from garage doors which are suited for them. Roll up and roll down units are usually used for areas where a sliding or swinging door cannot function properly. Suppliers might also recommend other kinds of entryways that are suitable for the space, such as an overhead door. These are two of the more suitable entrances that can be used for smaller areas. These automatic openers are convenient and efficient as well. They do not use up much energy and they do not cost so much.

 Garage door openers are an option that many people choose for their garage doors. They make opening and closing the garage door much more convenient. However, there is more to utility room openers than you might think. There are several different types of electric opener to be aware of when selecting the best opener for the front of your utility room.

There are also ones that are manually operated which do the same thing as the automatic ones, but they may be inconvenient since one has to manually open and close the entrances.

Large Areas

For the larger areas, many different kinds of garage doors can be used. In fact, there are custom-made ones which suppliers make according to the preferences and specifications of the client. These can be made from steel, composite, and wood. Many of the suppliers also have ready-made units which are usually measured to standard specifications. They usually have swing up, slide and roll up and down units which can cover any kind of entrance way. Industrial units often utilize the ones that slide to the side along a sturdy or solidly built wall. Residential homes often have the ones that swing up and are stored at the ceiling of the garage while others have the ones that fold up and are also stored above the carport.

Maintaining garage doors can be easy, either with the manually operated ones or the automatic ones. One of the things that need to be done if to make sure that the tracks on which the unit travels is clear of debris, dust, and other obstacles which may derail it. The wires and cables that are used for certain kinds of carport entrances should also be free from dents and other defects in order for it to function well. Many are tempted to oil the tracks and cables to facilitate better function but most suppliers recommend a Teflon coating instead of oil because this does not accumulate as much dust and debris.

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Helpful Tips for Replacing a Garage Door

What Kind of Garage Door should I buy?

When looking for a garage door, you notice that there are two major designs: tilt-up doors and sectional roll-up doors. Sectional roll-up doors are more expensive than tilt-up doors, but the extra cost is well worth it.

Tilt-up doors consist of a single panel of material. To open the door, you have to pull it out and pivot it up to slide it along the roof of your garage. Sectional roll-up doors, on the other hand, are made of a number of horizontal sections. Each section is hinged to the next section, allowing the door a certain degree of flexibility. Because the door is mounted on rollers, to open a sectional roll-up door you just have to lift the door and it will roll into place along the roof of your garage.

Sectional roll-up doors are superior to tilt-up doors. From a purely practical point they take up less room. Because you don’t have to pull the door out, there will be more room in front of your garage door for things like your car. The door will also take up less room in the garage, since it can be placed higher up than a tilt-up door.

What should my Garage Door be made of?

Garage doors, both tilt-ups and sectional roll-ups, are primarily made from wood or steel. Of these two materials, wood is the cheaper and – arguably – more attraction option. If you decided to get a wooden door please keep in mind that just like your deck, a wooden garage door will be more easily damaged by the weather than a steel door. If you live in a particularly hot or cold climate, you may find yourself with a warped or damaged garage door.

Steel garage doors are more expensive, but you will not face the same problems that you would encounter with a wood door. If you decide to get a steel door the main thing to check is that it has been properly prepared to prevent rust.

Garage doors are also occasionally made with aluminum or fiberglass. While both of these materials are less expensive than steel doors, you should be careful when using them. Neither material is as strong as steel so they will not hold up to the usual wear and tear of a garage door. And once again depending on your climate, they will not be as energy efficient as a steel door if that is a concern to you.

How do I look after my Garage Door?

Just like any other exterior surface on your house, your garage door will need periodic maintenance to keep it working smoothly and looking as good as the rest of your house. You’d be surprised how the look of your garage door not only affects the overall look of your house, but the perceived value of your house too.

No matter what material your garage door is made of, it should be washed regularly. If you have a wood door, you should repaint the door every other year to ensure that the wood stays protected. If you have a steel door, you can give it a yearly shine with car wax

To prolong the life of the mechanical parts, you should lubricate all moving parts with motor oil whenever the door starts to feel sluggish.

Safety Concerns with Garage Doors

Every year, children are seriously injured from accidents involving garage doors. To avoid these preventable accidents, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that you should only use automatic garage door openers if they have an automatic reverse function. This will reverse the closing of the garage door if an obstacle is encountered.

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The Crib® and a Garage Door

You have to love the idea of using garage doors for various reasons.

However, having this feature on this project is unique. Not only because it instantly opens up the inside of a house to the outdoors but also due to the uniqueness of the project.

So this is architect Jeffery Broadhurst’s off the grid project in West Virginia called The Crib®.  It was designed in response to the popularity of another small building, the award-winning Shack at Hinkle Farm by Broadhurst Architects, Inc., that was completed a few years ago. It became apparent that many people identified with and were interested in a small shelter that could serve as a weekend retreat, as a home yoga studio, as a backyard home office, or in multiples as cabins at an eco-resort.

This new building takes its basic form from traditional American corn cribs which were common farm buildings that served to store and dry corn as well as protect it from rodents. Here the form is realized by the use of a shop-fabricated galvanized steel bent structural system as a nod to traditional wood timber framing and with the structural simplicity of a common scaffolding system. Manufactured wood beams connect the bents. Structural insulated panel (SIP) floor and roof systems, wall panels of unpainted heat-treated native (and fast growing) poplar and recyclable translucent insulating multi-layer polycarbonate sheets make up the structure’s skin. The prefabricated wall panels are weather-stripped and clipped into the framework. The simple structural concept of The Crib allows considerable flexibility in the length of the building and degree and type of outfitting.

The simple structural concept of The Crib allows considerable flexibility in the length of the building and degree and type of outfitting. The Full Crib is a 250 square foot habitable space suitable for weekend recreational use, backyard home office, studio, or guest cottage. The two outdoor decks increase the livable area to about 370 square feet. The building can be elevated on an enclosed foundation to house a bathroom and mechanical and storage spaces, or guest room (increasing the total area to about 500 square feet), or may be supported by four simple concrete piers in other locations and circumstances. The building can be heated with a small propane-fired stainless steel fireplace and/or an electric or hydronic radiant floor system. Solar hot water and photovoltaic’s can be integrated into the structure.

The option of a small well-outfitted “kitchen in a box” allows for many of the comforts of home. The building is designed to resist rodents, bears, and undesirable visitors by securely closing down when not in use. Wood shutters secure any ground-level openings; an awning swings down to form a storm door to cover the glass door/wall, and the aluminum stair system hinges up off of the ground and locks in an inaccessible position.

The Crib includes a small entry deck and a larger deck space on the opposite side that extends the habitable space in favorable weather. This deck is accessed through an insulated glass garage door that allows a connection between the interior of The Crib and the landscape.

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The Story of a Non-Licensed Garage Door Installation

 This is a true story and the names of the individuals have been changed to protect the innocent.

  XYZ Garage Door Service isn’t a store or office-based business. It’s really just a man trying to earn his living via service, repair, and installation of garage doors.

I believe he works out of his home with his wife. When the homeowner hired Mr. Johnson, they knew there was an element of risk involved. He wasn’t licensed, but he had the price they wanted. When he came out to do measurements, answer questions, and give them options, he was extremely nice.

He seemed just like a really good guy. The homeowners hired him and he installed their garage door. He did an okay job, though probably not as good as a licensed contractor would have done.

Their issues with XYZ Garage Door Service, however, were with the follow-up. Part of their agreement with him was that he would haul away the old door and its remnants. He also said he’d be coming back to do a check after a week, to make sure everything was fine. Unfortunately, there was no follow-up.

Numerous, and I do mean numerous, calls were never returned. He did not come and pick up the door and its remnants as promised, and he never showed up to do this check that “he” volunteered that he’d do. They also had an issue with the installation. Again, no calls were returned.

They did manage to get him one time, and still sounding as nice as can be, he gave them a sing song about helping his wife with their children, blah, blah, blah. More promises were made, and they were never kept.

In the end, they chose not to pursue it further. But the problems remain.

No follow-up, unmet promises and failing to honor obligations… worth the price of dealing with an unlicensed garage door installer? Before choosing someone, make sure they’re a licensed contracted and have a good rating in your local Better Business Bureau or be listed as a member of the International Door Association (www.doors.org).

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Conserve Energy with Insulated Garage Doors

Insulated garage doors are the perfect method to lower your electrical bill.

An insulated door comes in different dimensions, types and kits so there is no issue when it comes to matching the door to your home’s architectural style. When seeking out insulated doors, make sure to do the necessary research as well as the R-value of each door. The R-value is the measurement of the resistance of the door’s material to changes in temperatures.

To understand how R-value and heat flow are related, think of your garage not as a single entity but as a part of a system with the external environment. As with most everything in nature, heat will want to redistribute itself in an effort to reach a state of equilibrium, or equal temperatures, on the inside and the outside of your garage. To do this, heat must pass through the garage door to reach the other part of the system.

Door insulation quality impacts your utility bills because your garage door is typically the largest opening in your home. Many people also like to spend time in their garages working or even entertaining guests. For those reasons, a well insulated garage door is important even if the garage is not connected to the house.

In the summer, it is naturally hotter outside of your garage than inside most of the time and heat will try to “get in” to even out the system. If a garage door has an R-value of 3, 1/3 of the heat will get through the door and into your garage. This does not mean though that the internal temperature will be 1/3 of the external temperature. It just means that as more heat is produced externally, 1/3 of it will enter your garage. Insulating your garage door can help keep the heat out.

The opposite is true in winter. Heat is produced inside your garage in winter, either by direct heating, connection to your house, or by effects of the sun. As it is cooler on the outside of the door, heat will try to escape through the door to even out the system. If keeping your garage warm in winter is a priority, or even to just lessen the overall effects of cold temperatures, then choose a door with a higher R-value.

Every year people everywhere lose thousands of dollars because they don’t have garage door insulation. This is very important. Especially as energy prices climb higher, it is important to seal up every possible interface with the outside cold and heat.

The number one (but not only) reason to insulate garage doors is simply because if you don’t then untold amounts of extra energy will be expended in both heating and cooling your house. Think about it: the garage is the single biggest area in most anyone’s home which is not insulated. This presents a major problem. What happens, in effect, is that during the winter this “room” will take on all the cold that swirls outside, and it will effectively act like a refrigerator or even freezer butting right up against your kitchen or your living room, etc. In the summer the same thing will happen with heat.

Meanwhile, you’ve got your heating and cooling systems, such as your air conditioning, working overtime to make up for this vulnerability. Where you could’ve just done the right thing and installed garage door insulation, now you’re noticing a greater rise in energy and electric bills than you should otherwise have to be paying. It’s not a good situation. In fact, it could’ve been prevented quite readily with just a little forethought. But don’t kick yourself too hard. Instead, it would be a better use of your time if you’d just patch up the “hole” now.

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