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Get Over Up and Over with Side Hinged Garage Doors

Two violet, purple, amethyst, or lavendar garage doorsHave you ever fancied giving your garage the look of an old-style coaching house? Would you like to come and go from your garage without waiting for the door opener to go up and down? Are you simply tired of lifting a manual up and over garage door? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, a pair of side hinged garage doors might be on your home improvement shopping list.

Despite the modern trend towards up and over, sectional and roller garage doors, their older cousin, the side hinged door refuses to lie down and fade into history. This is not without good reason. Side hinged doors have features, which depending on your needs, might make them the perfect choice for garage access. Here are a few of the benefits that might swing your decision to purchase side hinged doors.

Easy Garage Access

Perhaps the biggest advantage of a pair of side hinged garage doors is the ease of access they provide. For one thing, there’s no lifting required to open them. No lifting means no effort. No effort means that there’s no need for a mechanized garage door opener. Side hinged doors swing open and closed effortlessly as long as the hinges are well maintained and lubricated.

When access to your garage is required as much by pedestrians as by automobiles, side hinged doors really come into their own. Because they are hung in pairs, you can gain pedestrian access to your garage by opening just one door. Not only is this quick and easy, if the weather is inclement you can work in your garage with just one door propped a little way open for ventilation.

Side hinged doors are often chosen by people who use their garage predominantly as a workshop with storeroom. The double doors provide a lot more versatility than a single door that opens upwards. When you want to run in and out of the garage with your lawnmower, just open the one door. When you need to move a vehicle or get large things in and out, open them both.

If your garage entrance is very large, or you need frequent pedestrian access, you can even have a third door within one of the main doors. Alternatively, you can have unequal sized doors, with the main door being small and the other door large for the rare occasions you need the whole entrance space.

Modern Versatility with Old World Charm

Sometimes called Carriage doors, side hinged garage doors can be made to look very beautiful and to match the other doors and frames at the front of your home. Many people who choose side hinged doors do so for their aesthetic appeal. These doors can be clean and functional, or styled to make your garage look like an old-world coaching house. They are also the best garage doors if you want to have some glazed panels. Glazing not only looks attractive, but also allows more daylight in if you like to use your garage for working or hobbies.

So if you’re over up and over, or you just want to give your home some old style class and curb appeal, side hinged garage doors open a world of possibilities.


How to Choose and Program a New Garage Door Remote Control

bigstock-Garage-Door-Opener-20287970Remote control garage door openers are great until you lose the remote, or your kids flush it down the toilet. Fortunately you can easily purchase a replacement remote controller. There are a few things to consider when purchasing a new garage door remote and once purchased, you will need to program it to work with your door opener. If you have found yourself in a bit of a predicament and need to buy a new remote, this guide will explain the fundamentals of selecting and programming the replacement.

How Garage Door Remote Controllers Work

Older style remote controllers have code switches that you can turn off and on. A matching set of switches will be present in the base controller for your garage door. This older method of operating garage doors is today being replaced by controllers with what’s known as “rolling code” technology. Each time you use the remote, the code is changed. Rolling code controllers have the advantage of being more secure against garage break-ins. Your remote controller uses a radio frequency signal to activate the garage door opener via the base control unit.

Choose the Right Garage Door Remote

There are two things to consider when buying a replacement remote for your garage door. Firstly, you should purchase a remote control by the same manufacturer as your garage door opener. Secondly, you need to make sure you choose the right radio control frequency. Commonly used frequencies are 300 megahertz (MHz), 310 MHz, 315 MHz, 318 MHz and 390 MHz. You should find the frequency used for your door opener printed on the motor. Make sure you buy a controller of the same frequency.

Programming Your Garage Door Controller

The process for programming a garage door remote varies slightly depending on the manufacturer, but as a general guide you can follow these 5 simple steps.

  1. Somewhere on your garage door opener (Overhead unit) you will find a button marked “Learn” or “Learn code”. This button may be found on the bottom of the unit, or on one side.
  2. Press and release the learn button. You should either hear a beep or see a flashing LED indicating that the unit’s learn mode is activated.
  3. While the Led is flashing, or within 30 seconds of hearing the beep, press the button on your remote control.
  4. At this point the LED should stop flashing on the door opener or you will hear another beep to signify that the garage door opener has paired itself with your replacement remote control.
  5. Test your remote by pressing the button and your garage door should respond by opening or closing.

If your garage door opener and replacement remote control have code switches, you must make sure that the switches in the opener and the remote are in the same position.

That’s pretty much all you need to know, in order to buy and set-up your replacement garage door remote control. So now all you need to do is raid your errant child’s piggy bank and get down to your local DIY store or garage door supplier. You will be back to effortless garage door opening in no time.

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6 Advantages of a Roller Garage Door

double_garage_door_1If you’re thinking about shopping for a new garage door, you might be undecided on which type of door you require. All the common types of garage door have their unique advantages and disadvantages and everybody has their own reasons for choosing a particular type. If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive solution and especially if space is an issue in your garage or drive, you might consider a roller door. Here are 6 key advantages to this particular type of door, which is becoming a popular alternative to sectional garage doors for space saving situations.

#1 Easy to Open and Close

Roller garage doors have an opening and closing mechanism that provides a smooth, fluid action, making them easy to open manually. To make it even easier, non-automated roller doors are generally fitted with a spring mechanism to aid manual raising and lowering.

#2 Compatible with Automation

Roller garage doors lend themselves well to the addition of automated garage door openers. The relatively low resistance of the opening and closing mechanism means they don’t require a particularly heavy-duty opener. If you prefer not to have to open your garage door by hand, you can have an electrically powered, automated opener installed.

#3 Overhead Space Saving

Because roller doors literally “roll-up” into a tight space above your garage door opening, you don’t have any tracks running along your internal roof space. The rolled-up door fits right above the door aperture, so you also have the advantage of a few extra centimeters headroom. This is particularly welcome if you have a taller vehicle such as a van that you wish to keep in your garage.

#4 No Kick-Out

If you’ve ever had your shins smacked by the bottom of an up and over door while you or someone else was opening it, you’ll appreciate this particular benefit of a roller garage door. This door type opens vertically, so your shins don’t need to take any punishment.

#5 Save Space in Your driveway

Another benefit of a roller door’s vertical action is that you can park a vehicle very close to the door. Even if the nose of your vehicle is almost kissing the door, you can still raise and lower the door on its roller. This makes a roller garage door very advantageous if you have a short driveway, or if your drive space is regularly taken up by multiple parked vehicles.

#6 Good against the Weather

If maintaining a certain temperature in your garage is important, you can purchase a double-skinned roller garage door with insulating material between the skins. Double-skinned roller doors are very good at isolating a garage interior from external temperature fluctuations. Additionally, roller doors usually come with a rubber seal on the bottom, which forms a tight closure and resists water ingress.


If you need a garage door which provides good weatherproofing, doesn’t take up space and is easy to open, a roller door could be your best solution. In addition to the 6 advantages listed above, roller garage doors also look good and can be supplied in just about any color. If these benefits match your needs, why not take advantage and get your garage door on a roll?

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Why It Pays to Add a Threshold to Your Garage Door

garage 1In our recent article on weather stripping for a garage door, we mentioned that you can add a threshold strip to the bottom of the door as a further barrier against the winter cold. It actually makes a lot of sense to do this if you’ve taken the time and trouble to seal the sides and top of your garage doorframe. If you use your garage as a workshop or for other activities, you can reduce your heating bill further and make the space cozier by sealing up any gap at the foot of the door.

Apart from keeping the cold from your garage interior during winter, there are a number of other advantages provided by a garage door threshold.

Nothing Comes Under Your Garage Door

A threshold strip installation is very simple and for the short time that it takes, delivers a worthwhile pay off. Once installed, your garage cleaning effort will be reduced. It’s frustrating when you have to open your garage door to the elements and sweep out all the leaves, dirt, and snow, which blow in under it. What’s even more frustrating is when you have to do the same again a while later. A threshold strip will defeat Mother Nature’s best efforts to invade your garage.

Installing a threshold is even more important if you suffer a lot of water ingress under your garage door. Most threshold strips create a barrier of around a half inch from the floor up. If your drive slopes toward your garage, this barrier will resist running water from flowing under the door. Rodents, snakes and other small critters will also be thwarted in their attempts to set up home in your car or workshop space.

Take the “in” Out of Winter

Even if you only use your garage for what it’s intended (to store your car), keeping the winter out is desirable. With weather stripping around your garage doorframe and a threshold under the door, your garage will stay warmer inside. This in turn acts as an insulator for your home interior. A warmer home means lower heating bills.

Ice can be another winter garage door frustration. If you live in an area with very cold winters, any moisture that makes it between the floor and the bottom of the door is going to turn to ice. This can have the annoying side effect of sticking your garage door to the ground. A threshold strip will prevent this from happening.

For the Finishing Touch

Who would have thought a simple rubber strip could have so many benefits? Insulation, pest protection, water resistance and if you thought that was all, there’s one more thing. A garage door threshold strip adds a neat and stylish finishing touch to your garage entrance. For the price of a tank of gasoline and a bit of trimming and gluing, you add energy efficiency, comfort, and curb appeal to your home. If you don’t want to fit one yourself, you can always ask your garage door installer to add a threshold for you.

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Why Choose a Single Panel Garage Door?

IMG_311Probably the oldest style of garage door, aside from side hinged doors, is the single panel “up and over” model. Although waning in popularity, this type of garage door is still widely available and does have a number of benefits. So in this post, we’ll look at the reasons why you might choose to install a single panel garage door in preference to the more common sectional type.

The Most Affordable Garage Door

Perhaps the most compelling reason for choosing a single panel garage door is a matter of budget. This type of door is inexpensive to buy and, due to its simplicity, to install. There are two types of single panel door, the canopy type, and the retractable type. Of these, the canopy style of garage door is the most affordable.

The Most Reliable Garage Door

In terms of reliability, the single panel, up and over door wins again. The simple mechanism and construction means there isn’t too much that can go wrong and if you should have any problems, replacement parts are relatively inexpensive.

Visual Appeal

The nice thing about single panel doors, especially when they are closed, is their aesthetic appeal. Choice of available materials is extensive and these garage doors can come with a paneled or textured appearance. They also lend themselves to the installation of glazed panels for a homely look.


Availability in a range of standard heights and widths, single panel garage doors can be fitted to most garages, although they don’t lend themselves to unusually shaped Garage entrances. The slightly more expensive retractable doors can easily be fitted with automatic openers. This can often be a good idea, as these doors do tend to be harder to manually open and close than sectional or roller doors.

Most Secure Garage Door

When it comes to home security, your garage is a potential entry point for intruders. Thieves like to break into garages because they can close the door and then work on your home’s interior door while remaining out of view. A single panel garage door has a design, which makes life difficult for burglars. These doors are hard to get past when securely locked. Most single panel doors have multiple locking points for added protection.

Extra Advantages of Retractable Doors

The retractable type of up and over door adds a few more benefits while still being affordable. This type of door doesn’t extend so far past the garage entrance aperture when opening, so vehicles can be parked a little closer to the garage. The door retracts completely into the garage roof space, which makes for a less obtrusive look when the door is open. Finally, it lends itself to automation, which can’t be said of the canopy type.

Still a Popular Garage Door

Although a little clunky to open and close, single panel, up and over garage doors are still a popular choice, particularly for homeowners on a budget. Available in wood, steel, ABS plastic and GRP, there is a single panel door to suit most styles. A vast range of decorative designs is offered by suppliers, making these garage doors a low cost way to beautify your home’s exterior.

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How to Weather Strip Your Garage Door in 7 Easy Steps

weather stripIf you use your garage as a workshop or hobby room, you won’t need anyone to tell you what a cold space it can be during winter. Of course you can always get a space heater to keep you warm while you’re working. Whether you use a heater or not though, one way to keep some of that winter air out is to apply a weather strip to your garage door frame. It will make a surprising difference and reduce your heating costs too.

Installing a garage door weather strip is ideal for a quick DIY project. You shouldn’t need much more than an hour outside in the winter chill. Here’s an easy 7-step guide to weather stripping your garage door.

Materials and Tools for Applying a Garage Door Weather Strip

You’ll need the following items:

  • A garage door top and side seal kit (consists of neoprene sealing strips and some nails)
  • Hammer
  • Scissors

You can go with nails all the way for fixing your garage door weather strip. If so, the three items listed above are all you need. If you want to spend less time out in the cold, you can add a brad nailer, U-shaped staples and an air compressor to the list. Don’t forget your safety glasses and ear defenders too. The following instructions assume the use of a nailer.

7 Easy Steps to Apply a Garage Door Weather Strip

1. Starting on one side of the door frame (outside), pull the end of the weather strip up to the top of the frame. The strip is right angled with a long side and a short side. You need to have the short side against the door frame and the long side should press lightly against the closed garage door.

2. Fix the strip in place by hammering a single nail through it, into the frame just below the top end of the strip.

3. Switch to the brad nailer. While making sure the strip stays flush against the garage door, start driving staples into the strip, one every few inches. After every fourth staple, hammer a nail in. Continue to the bottom of the door frame and use a nail for the final fixing at the bottom.

4. Trim the weather strip at the bottom of the door frame. Be sure to trim the short side of the strip at a downward angle to leave a slight tail. This will seal any gap at the bottom of the actual frame.

5. Repeat steps one to five above, on the opposite side of the door frame.

6. Now fix a length of strip along the top of the door frame, again using the sequence of one nail, then four staples, then a nail and so on.

7. When you get to the sides with your top strip, trim the strip tight against the side strips. Don’t allow any overlap, as this would create a gap that lets air through.

Now you have a garage door that’s snugly sealed against the elements. For perfect weather-proofing, you can always install a threshold strip along the bottom of the door as well. Then you can retire to your workshop, turn on that space heater and bask in the warm glow of satisfaction.


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5 Reasons to Choose a Sectional Garage Door

bigstock-Garage-Door-47918504When you’re buying a new garage door, there are a few types of doors from to choose from. If you want a garage door that opens upwards, rather than opening in or out like a stable door, you can eliminate all but three types. That leaves you with a choice between a sectional garage door, a roller door, or a single panel up-and-over. As with most things, each type has its advantages and of course, personal preference is often as good a reason as any to select one particular type of garage door.

It always helps though, to know some facts about each of your options, so here are 5 reasons you might choose to install a sectional garage door.

Sectional Garage Doors are Great for Short Driveways

Because a sectional garage door is made up of multiple hinged panels, which all run on a track, the door doesn’t pass through the aperture of the doorway. That means you can drive your car really close to the garage door without obstructing it. Even if the fender of your car is just an inch away, you can still open the door to your garage. So if you need to get your car up close and personal to your garage, just to clear the sidewalk, a sectional door is ideal.

Lots of Drive-in Clearance with a Sectional Garage Door

The method by which a sectional garage door is installed takes up very little space at either side of the door aperture. That makes this type of garage door advantageous if you need to maximize clearance for the width of your vehicle. If you are challenged with a combination of wide automobile, narrow garage, a sectional door will save you a precious centimeter of clearance. It may not sound like much, but your door mirrors will appreciate it.

Sectional Garage Doors are Secure

The mechanism and structure of a sectional door makes it extremely strong and secure. The multiple rollers on running in tracks at each side of the door resist any lateral movement. This kind of garage door is not going to be easy for anyone trying to force it open.

Squares or Rectangles not Required

If you’ve got a fancy shaped doorway to your garage, a sectional door is going to be your best choice. The design of these doors is such that the shape of the aperture is not very important.

Sectional Garage Doors are Beautiful

Since most garages are at the front of a property, they attract attention. A nice new sectional door on your garage is going to attract positive attention. The fact is – sectional doors look good. They come in a wide variety of materials, colors, and finishes to improve the curb appeal of your home.

A new garage door is an investment, protecting your home and vehicle from intruders. Once you’ve installed it, you should be in no doubt that, you’ve made the right choice. Space saving and secure, attractive and unobtrusive, sectional garage doors are popular for at least five good reasons.


5 Crucial Things That You Should Know When Shopping For Garage Door Springs

garageGarage door springs are some of the door’s components that need to be kept in good working order since they determine how smoothly a door closes and opens. More importantly, they need to be inspected frequently because the breakage of a garage door can cause the door to come crashing down. This is not only expensive because it can cause irreparable damage to the door necessitating that a new one is installed but can also cause injury to a person if he or she is standing under the door. If you find that your garage door springs have broken or are weak and need replacing, there are five things that you must know when you get to the home depot store.

The Number of Springs

When shopping for garage door springs, you should know how many springs you will need to buy. The number of springs on a door is largely determined by the type of garage door and manufacturer. While it is not common for all springs on a garage door to break on one occasion, it is recommended that you replace springs in pairs. What this means is that if the spring on one side breaks, the best way to keep that garage door working well by being properly balanced is to replace the broken spring and its identical spring on the other side of the door. This allows for the forces to be distributed equally which prolongs the life of the springs.

The Garage Door Height

The door height determines the size of spring that a door uses. If you have an 8 foot door, you should specifically buy springs for an 8 foot door. Using a spring for a 7 foot door on an 8 foot door will cause the springs to stretch more than they are supposed to. This increases the risk for breakage of the springs.

Spring Length

The length of a garage door spring determines how long it can stretch. The size that is quoted on the spring is its size when compressed. Picking out the right spring size can be quite confusing since it is possible to have several spring sizes for a specific garage door. If you find yourself in a situation like this, just keep in mind that the larger springs are for the taller doors.

Garage Door Weight

The weight of the garage door also affects the choice of springs. A heavy door will need springs that are closely wound since it will stretch them more than a lighter door. The weight of the door depends on the material with which the door has been made.

The Spring Ends

Many people don’t realize that garage door springs are color coded. The color coding is used to determine the stretch and tension associated with the spring. To determine what color code to buy, look at your old springs.

With these five pointers, you should be able to you pick the fitting springs for your garage door with ease.

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5 Important Things to Have Ready before Installing a New Garage Door

bigstock-Carpenter-Drilling-Hole-47760583There comes a time when the garage door is too old and no amount of repair, regardless how good your repair technicians are, can salvage it. When it gets there, the only option you have available is getting a new garage door. Another instance that may result in the installation of a new garage door is when you decide to remodel the house and opt to find a garage door that fits your new style. Whatever the reason, there are a few important things that you should have ready before installing a new garage door.

A Helping Hand

Assuming that you will be doing the installation by yourself, you will need a helping hand. Garage doors typically weigh anywhere from 100 to 500 pounds. As a result, lifting the door up into position will require quite some effort. The best helping hand is an adult relative or close friend. This is because garage door installations are physical affairs where injury can happen unexpectedly. The last thing you want is someone suing you over an injury sustained at your garage door’s installation.

All Parts for the New Door

Check to ensure that you have all the parts of the new door before taking down the old one. Go through the garage door installation guide that comes with a new door and tick every single part before you start removing the old door. You don’t want to take down the old door only to realize that you don’t have everything necessary to put up a new one. Unless you are thorough about verifying that all pieces to the new door are there, your garage might remain opened and exposed as you wait to get the forgotten piece.

Tools to Help with the Installation

There are two categories of tools that you will need to successfully install a garage door; the professional tools and light additional materials. For the professional tools, you will need a hammer, screw driver, clamp, level, tape measure, pliers, drill, step ladder, hack saw, T-square, tools for working the springs, saw horses, wood saw and a socket wrench kit. For the additional materials you will require oil, rope, a wood block and nails among others.

Enough Overhead Space

The overhead space where the new door will rest when it is opened needs to be sufficient. This is especially important if you are changing from a sliding garage door to an overhead rolling door. The garage door manufacturer will tell you how much space you need overhead.

Safety Equipment

The last thing on our check list for a successful garage door installation is safety gear. We recommend that you have a first aid kit within reach to help take care of the minor injuries that might occur. You will also need to have other safety equipment like gloves and construction helmets to protect your head.

If all this is too much work for you, the best thing to do is call a garage installation company and they will take care of everything.

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2 Things That Can Damage Your Garage Door and What You Can Do About It

shutterstock_75410818The garage door needs to be in top working condition at all times. However, like with many other things, garage door suffer all sorts of damage. Below we look at some of the common things that can damage your garage door. We also look at the different ways you can prevent these things from destroying your door.

Rats and mice

It is said that there is rat for every human being on earth. That means that there are over 1.5 billion rats and mice roaming the Earth. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how a rat can find its way into your garage. These tiny rodents eat everything, from chewing on wooden garage door panels to electrical cable insulation. The damage to chewing the door is that they make the door weak and eventually make holes in it. They then use these holes as transit routes as they go about their destruction. If they chew at your electrical cabling, the damage can be very severe. Exposed cable not only pits you and your family members in danger of electrocution but can also cause the garage door to fail, especially if it operates on a full electrical automation.

The biggest danger from a rat chewing on your electrical cables is that the rat gets electrocuted and dies while still in contact with the wires. This is because this can set the poor rat, along with you garage, on fire. Electrical fires have been known to reduce homes into ashes, sometimes with casualties.

What you can do

If you want to keep the rats out, keep the trash out. Rats will only survive in areas where they can find heaps of trash to hide under. Keeping the trash out also denies the rat a place to breed.

The second thing you can do is get a cat. Your cat might be all friendly and purring but rats have a way of arousing the animal hunting instinct of cats. Cats not only eat the rats but also scare them away.

The third way to keep rats out is by getting traps. If you don’t want to trap them yourself, call pest control and they will give a hand.

Getting hit

The second way that a garage door can be damaged is being hit by a big force. This can be either your car or any other big force. People who use their garages like workshops face the risk of causing damage their doors as they go about their activities.

What you can do

The easiest way to keep from hitting your garage door is by ensuring that the garage area is well lit. You also need to make sure that you don’t let your kids drive the cars into or out of the garage if they have not learned how to drive properly.

If you use the garage as a workshop, consider having an inner reinforcement to protect the main door from being hit as you work.

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