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The Ficticious R Factor

The garage door industry association, the Door & Access Systems Manufacturing Association (DASMA ) is in the process of performing U factor testing and eliminating R rating on all garage doors.  This has been expected for some time as the major manufacturers (Clopay, Overhead Door, Wayne Dalton, CHI, Amarr/Entramatic and others) have been battling over who has the highest R-Factor.

Forty years ago a company, by the name of McKee Door, did testing on a 10′ x 10′ insulated door that didn’t have weather seals around the perimeter. They determined that they may as well have a 12 inch diameter hole in the center of the door due to air leakage. Perimeter seals are a major factor in buying an insulated garage door. Regrettably no one in our industry provides anything close to the kind of seals that the window entry door industries provide on their products.

So while consumers and door dealers get hung up on polystyrene/urethane doors with fictitiously high R-Factors, they are doing nothing less than selling the consumer a bill of goods. It’s reminiscent of the same commotion that energy tax credits and pinch-proof doors provided and flooded the industry for a number of years.

A conditioned air space and an [more]

Garage Door Replacement is among the Best Home Investments

Remodeling Magazine has released its 2016 Cost vs. Value report, which states that a garage door replacement is  among the leading remodeling investments. The report, which evaluated 30 popular home remodeling projects in 100 markets across America, is based on how much real estate experts estimate those projects will increase a home’s value at resale.

Garage doors were among the top three best investments in both mid-range and upscale home remodeling projects.  Among the 30 remodeling projects that real estate experts evaluated, garage door replacement was the number 1 remodeling project with the greatest return on value by far in the upscale project range.  Among mid range remodeling projects, only adding attic insulation and replacing vinyl siding with manufactured stone veneer had greater recoup values than garage door replacement. The 2016 recoup value of garage door replacement was higher in both mid-range and upscale remodeling projects versus the 2015 values.

Homeowners and remodelers should consider the STEELHOUSE™ Carriage House Door by First united Door Technologies. With an immediate impact on the curb appeal of any home, the available designs of the STEELHOUSE™ Door brings the traditional look and design of the old style wood carriage door without the problems that were once associated [more]

June is Garage Door Safety Month

Increasing Garage Door Safety Awareness

The International Door Association (IDA) and the Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA) have designated June as Garage Door Safety Month. Both associations and their affiliated manufacturers will be working to increase public awareness of the possible hazards of garage doors and automatic opener systems, and the need for periodic inspection and maintenance to keep them safe.

Just as your customers want their garage door system to operate properly every time they need it,  they also want it to operate safely at all times.

The garage door is typically the largest moving object in your home. Properly maintained and operated,      a garage door and its operating system allow them, their families and their vehicles convenient access to and from their home. They also provide security and protect against the elements. Newer, insulated   garage doors even help save energy.

But moving garage doors can also cause serious injury. While there are some garage door system maintenance chores that your customers can – and should – perform on a regular basis, there are other tasks (including garage door installation and garage door spring replacement) that are best left to you, the dealer.

You have a responsibility to your customers to make sure [more]

Garage Door Check-Ups

At least once a year you should examine the garage door(s) on your property. To insure for proper operation and the longevity of your investment, we recommend that you pay-attention to your garage during daily use. When you find time to do a relatively simple walkthrough, follow these steps:

1. Disengage your opener by means of the emergency release and manually open and close the door. During this time, the garage should operate smoothly without making loud noises. If you can open your garage door with one hand, make sure that it’s not flying up or slamming shut.

2. Check the cables and chain, torsion springs, rollers, and track. As you look at those, also go over the hinges and mounting brackets because sometimes screws come loose.

3. Perform preventative maintenance by having a good lubricant that is made for garage doors. Remember that WD-40 is not a lubricant. With your garage door closed, place a tiny amount at each point on the door where there’s a moving part. When you’re finished, manually open and close the door to work the lubricant in. Don’t forget the bearings on a torsion spring (which is located above the door when closed).

Garage door systems will last [more]

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.

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 [more]

Home buyers want accessible features they can age with

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.

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 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 [more]

Garage Doors Open Up Homes to Curb Appeal and Value

Garage doors just aren’t what they used to be. The garage door is a fundamental part of the blueprint, structural design and sanctuary of a home. The garage door is one of the most important visual features of a home, representing up to a third or even more of the front. They are now eye-catching, beautiful and — dare we say it? — even “cool.” In a marketplace where enhanced curb appeal, residential diversity, and neotraditional architecture are in demand by municipalities, we’re seeing an onslaught of more unique garage door styles, especially steel, three-section, carriage house-style garage doors.

Carriage house garage doors help us recall the charm of that turn-of-the-century swinging barn-door style, behind which hid a jaunty horse-drawn carriage. Today’s doors may look attractively retro, but they are also durable and they open overhead like any other modern sectional garage door.

Original carriage house doors were made of wood. Garage doors today are made from various materials including wood, composite and steel. Each type offers its own benefits, characteristics and costs.

Most homeowners want affordable beauty with low maintenance. That means a moderately priced, steel, carriage house garage door. Because they are all steel, all the parts expand and contract at [more]

June is Garage Door Safety Month

The International Door Association and the Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association have designated June as Garage Door Safety Month.

Garage door manufacturers, like First United Door Technologies,  and garage door dealers throughout the U.S. and other countries are working to increase awareness of the possible hazards of garage doors and automatic opener systems, and the need for periodic inspection and maintenance to keep them safe.

It’s important that the public is aware of garage door safety and that safety checks should be done to insure it’s in proper working order by using these ten garage door safety and security tips.

1. Make sure garage door opener control button is out of the reach of small children.

2. Do not let children play with garage door remote controls.

3. Consult the owner’s manual and learn how to use the garage door’s emergency release feature.

4. Visually inspect the garage door each month. Look at springs, cables, rollers and pulleys for signs of wear. Do not attempt to remove, adjust or repair these parts or anything attached to them. A trained door repairman must make adjustments to these parts, which are under high tension.

5. Test the garage door opener’s reversing mechanism monthly by placing a 2 x 4 board or a [more]

Garage Door Spring Tips

An important component in the mechanical make-up of garage doors is the spring system.

Without springs the doors would not rise and fall. These components should be in good, strong working condition at all times for the doors to function properly. The counterbalance springs do the actual lifting and closing.

When the doors rise the springs unwind. This provides the necessary power to do the lifting. When the door closes, the weight of the door winds the springs back up until the door is entirely shut. At this stage the springs are fully tensed again.

The springs need to be adjusted periodically.

When the typical door weighs about three hundred pounds and involves the co-ordination of pulleys, cables and springs, this is inevitable. It is not difficult to do a cursory check up. With safety glasses on one can pull on the red emergency release cord so that the doors are opened manually. By lifting it halfway and observing if it stays in place or falls, one can determine if it is out of balance. If it falls, then it is not in balance.

There are other assessment suggestions described on the site for testing the poor performance of the doors. When the doors need [more]