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.
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.
Deciding 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.
Selecting 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.
On a busy day your garage door may open and close 20 times, so 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.
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.
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.
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.
According 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.
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 like 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.
Well you probably don’t think about the electricity cutting out in your home. If it happens to you, how can you get your garage door open?
No need to worry, there’s a solution to your problem.
Garage Door Openers have an “emergency release latch” mechanism that allows you to operate the garage door manually in the event you lose power.
The carriage is the part of the opener to which the door arm connects. The carriage locks around the opener trolley during normal operation. Once the power comes back on it is necessary to reengage a garage door opener to the door. The process is generally the same among all the garage door opener manufacturers.
To do this:
- Locate the release mechanism. Somewhere along the track between the motor and the door should be the drive carriage and a release mechanism with a cord hanging down. Usually it will be closer to the door assuming it is closed. If the power is out and your garage is dark, you may need to use a flashlight to help you see.
- Pull the handle to release the carriage. It may take a little force especially on an older opener that might be stuck. Pull all the way until it stops to be sure it is completely released. If not fully released, attempting to manually open the door could damage the opener.
- Manually open the garage door. Now the garage door should be able to freely open and close. Be aware that anyone will be able to open the door from outside. You might want to use a latch if this is not a temporary solution.
- Re-engage the automatic door opener. Once the power has been restored or the opener has been repaired, pull the release cord again to make sure it is fully open. Manually raise or lower the door until the carriage locks into place. Verify that the opener works as expected.
Lifting up a garage door is a trivial action for the majority of us; nonetheless, utilizing the emergency release latch can turn out to be a daunting task for the elderly or the young. There is an alternative. A battery-operated power backup is a proven and effective solution; although, it does come at a price. Essentially, the battery backup is powered by the mains when not in use and kicks in automatically when required. Due to the fact that it is battery operated, it has a limited number of uses before recharging is required – an important note for those prolonged power outages.