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Garage Door Cable Thickness

As you can see below, garage door cables come in all different sizes. There is of course a logical reason for this. Every garage door is a different size and weight, and needs a cable that suits the particular garage door.

Unfortunately, many repair jobs that we do are caused by garage door cables that snap, or cables that break.

How to garage door cables work?

Cables help to reduce the tension garage extension and torsion springs. A properly sized cable will help to extend the life of your springs. Cables also help your door open and close more smoothly.

A common garage door problem and repair call is a broken spring. When a spring breaks, your cable plays a vital roll in making sure your garage door doesn’t fall down once the spring breaks.

Types of Garage Door Cables

  1. Torsion spring cables.
  2. Safety cables.
  3. Extension spring cables.

How thick should your garage door cable be?

Thicker isn’t always better when it comes to garage door cables. Thinner cables can wear down more quickly, and therefore break or snap faster than a thicker cable. But it really is all about finding the right balance with the size and weight of your door. Thicker cables can obviously support more weight and tension, so the heavier and bigger your garage door is, the thicker your cable will be.

In the picture above of the two cables, you see the spot where cables most often will snap. The new cable is the one on the left and you can see it’s thicker. But again, thicker doesn’t equal better. It’s best to have a professional garage door tech inspect your door and determine what thickness fits your specific door.

It is possible that a cable can be too thick. In this case, your door will be harder to open since it won’t glide over your pulley and drums easily.

The goal is to find a cable thickness that works in sync with the size of your garage door springs, and the weight of your door. When sizing the cable, remember that the gauge of your cable is the thickness, so a higher gauge is a thicker cable.

Amarr Oak Summit 1000 Walnut Garage Door

Nic and Malinda recently purchased their first home together. As part of a long list of projects they wanted to tackle, they took to upgrading the outside of their home. This included minor jobs like new paint, minor repairs, and of course, a brand new garage door.

The garage door that came with the house was in OK condition but lacked character and just wasn’t their style. And with such a bold exterior paint color and style to their home, they needed a garage door that could stand up to the rest of the house.

They called Perfect Solutions to help them land on a garage door that would meet their needs!

After looking at many garage door options on the market, and figuring out what style of door they loved most, Nic and Malinda went with a gorgeous Walnut finish door. They chose the Oak Summit 1000 model by Amarr. The door they chose include a recessed design, Thames windows, with a walnut finish.

Part of the garage door update also included a new garage door opener as well. They chose a LiftMaster Screw Drive 1/2HP opener, which is quiet and a perfect compliment to their beautiful door.

Amarr Oak Summit 1000 Garage Door Features

Amarr’s Oak Summit doors are also insulated, a great feature when in the market for any new garage door. Not only does this help in temperature regulation, but coupled with Nic and Malinda’s new LiftMaster opener, makes for a much quieter door as well!

The Amarr Oak Summit door is a great choice for the budget conscious garage door shopper! They are known to be one of the most affordable carriage house garage doors on the market. This model is a metal carriage house garage door. Metal is a great alternative to it’s more expensive counterpart material, wood. Metal is also low-maintenance compared to wood.

This Amarr door is not only affordable, it comes with over 70 design options, so style, options, and affordability can all be achieved!

Hardware Update!

A few weeks later, we headed back out to this home to install the hardware they ordered to accompany their new look! We think it looked great without, but it looks amazing with these accents!

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Off-Track Garage Door Project

Our latest project included saving a beautiful classic car from destruction! Ok, so it was really about fixing an off track garage door that a beautiful classic car happened to be parked in, but we like to think of ourselves as heroes! 

Mike and Suzy called and said their main garage door went off it’s tracks and some rollers and cables had fallen off the door. 

   off track garage door

When we arrived we found even more problems. The opener needed adjusting, the size of the springs were wrong and the cables were bad.

The challenge was completing these repairs and getting the door back on track without disturbing their amazing car! The garage wasn’t huge, so working around the car was tricky. 

Steps for Repair

The first thing we did was level the door. We then put the rollers back in the hinges. Once that was done, we were able to remove the tension from the old springs.

With those tasks checked off, we replaced the cables with heavier gauge cables that are the right thickness for this door. Then we installed 2 properly fitted springs, that will carry the weight of the door correctly and support the opener.

The door also had a cracked upper panel. Since this door had been discontinued and we couldn’t order a replacement panel, we installed a 16′ strut for reinforcement, as well as a center style mount to mount the opener “J” arm.

The last fix was adjusting the opener. We noticed during the initial inspection that the opener installer had adjusted the force to the maximum. This isn’t good since it opens and closes too forcefully and can cause the door to come crashing down. This was a good reminder to get a professional to set your force properly. The setting will depend on the weight of your door as well as the type of door you have. 

And now, Mike and Suzy are ready to rock and roll!

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Installing a Center Mount Opener for Your Garage Door

These homeowners were finally ready to address some lingering issues in their garage after purchasing their home last year. As they were cleaning up and just generally inspecting areas they needed to work on, they noticed that the door wasn’t straight and tilting away from the house.

Uh-oh. Before attempting to fix it, they called Perfect Solutions right away to figure out what was going on.

We discovered that the upper panel was damaged, and needed to be replaced.

damaged upper panel

After brainstorming all the ways in which this upper panel could have been damaged, it became clear that the garage door opener was to blame. The previous owners installed it themselves, so it wasn’t done properly. The bad installation resulted in the upper panel being damaged.

What was wrong with the opener installation?

The garage door opener the previous owners installed was mounted to the garage itself with a piece of wood. This isn’t how to mount an an opener! You should always use proper mounting materials and a proper mount meant for garage doors.

Mounting it to the wood is what damaged the panel, which you can see below.

improper garage door mount

What’s the fix?

We simply remounted the garage door opener properly, with a center mount. We also found a replacement panel for their door, ordered and installed it!

After we installed the new upper panel, we re-balanced the door and made sure the opener, springs, censors, etc were all set properly.

Now that this part is done, they can keep up the great work on putting their own stamp on their new, and first, home!

center mount garage door opener

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What to Do When Your Garage Door Doesn’t Open All the Way

We got a call from a customer last month that their garage door wasn’t opening all the way. Naturally, they were very annoyed and wanted to resolve the issue. Perfect Solutions to the rescue! We were able to get out to their house same day and fix the problem!

Below you can see what they meant by not opening all the way…

 

Solution: The Right Size Torsion Springs + Dual Spring System

When we arrived at our customer’s house we began the process of troubleshooting all the potential issues. The problem ended up being the heaviness of the door and the opener. The door was too heavy for the opener to properly open and close the door.

The door was too heavy because the torsion springs that were installed are too small for the garage door. Sizing your springs properly really do make a difference in the proper functioning of all of your garage door parts!

In the video below, you can see the results of installing the right size torsion springs. Now the door opens and closes all the way!

 

You can see in the video, we not only replaced the small torsion spring, but we installed a new dual spring system as well. Not only is the dual spring system more durable and stronger than 1 spring, it will increase the longevity of your springs, your opener and all the other working parts of your garage door.

There aren’t many cases that we don’t recommend installing a two spring system for your garage door. It costs a little more upfront, but is worth it in the long run. Springs are important, not just the right size, but the number as well!

Now our customer is happy since his garage doors are opening and closing as they should. Another satisfied customer!

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Benefits of Garage Door Insulation

We recently added this insulation to a customer’s garage door. Isn’t it shiny!?

garage door insulation

Why should you insulate your garage door?

This is a pretty straight forward DIY homeowner project, but there are some things to keep in mind if you take it on yourself.

  1. You are adding weight to your garage door when you add insulation. Your opener, springs, etc are all working to support the weight of your door. By adding weight you could add strain and tension to those parts. Depending on your insulation, weight of your door and opener, you might have to make adjustments to your springs or other operating mechanisms to compensate for the added weight. When you add weight you are also putting more strain on your opener, which can make it break down faster.
  2. You can also mess with the balance of your garage door when you add insulation. Make sure you re-balance your door when you are done.

If you still want to DIY your insulation vs having a garage door tech do it for you, you can still save money by doing this and having a garage door company come out and inspect once you are done. They can make any adjustments to your springs, ensure your opener can handle the weight, and re-balance your door.

Benefits to Insulating Your Garage Door

  • Temperature control is the main reason people choose to insulate their garage door. If you are thinking about working in your garage, setting up a home gym or whatever ideas you have, making sure you are warm in winter and cooler in summer is key. Insulation really helps this!
  • Insulation helps to make your garage door stronger! If you use steel backed insulation, this is even more true!
  • Insulation also is a great noise reducer. If you live on a busy street, insulation can really help cut down on the noise in your garage, and in your home!

Give us a call today if you want to learn more about garage door insulation!

 

 

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Installing Custom Wood Carriage House Garage Doors

Our latest project for clients in El Dorado Hills, CA was installing custom wood carriage house doors as a way to make over their exterior.

Carriage House doors are very popular, not only for their looks, but for their quality. Upgrading to Carriage House doors can help increase the value of your home!

The doors were just fine before the switch, as you can see. They definitely needed some fresh paint after the sun pounded on them for years and weathered the doors. But otherwise, not bad.

The Carriage House doors that these clients installed are steel-backed wood garage doors. People love the old-world style and look they bring to their home.

The doors we installed are from the Carriage House Company. They do a great job of blending the style with function and updated technology. You get to have beautiful wood doors that don’t compromise on safety or quality.

You can see the difference in this side by side – one set of doors have been installed.

Remember how we said the existing doors weren’t that bad. You can really tell the difference here!

The darker wood of the new carriage house doors really compliments the house’s exterior paint and really updates the look.

In addition to the beautiful doors, the decorative hardware and customization options available on these custom carriage house doors elevate the look even further.

The metal details really help define a specific look. Other custom options include more metal accents, as well as decorative windows. The options are almost endless when you go for custom doors. Some popular styles include: Cambridge, Virginia, Carolina, Barcelona, Tuscan, Park City and Santiago. You can see what these look like here.

Below is the completed project, with both sets of carriage house doors installed. Looks amazing! And most importantly, our clients were more than satisfied!

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Project: Replacing a Rotten Wood Garage Door

We recently completed this awesome project in Midtown, Sacramento. Our customer’s old stand alone garage door had a rotten wood garage door that only opened manually, and barely opened at that.

He wanted to use his garage for it’s intended function. That meant he wanted to remove those old wood doors and install a brand new garage door and garage door opener. He also wanted to add a walk through door so he could access the garage without having to open the big door.

Here is what his door looked like before we got started:

rotten wood garage door

Project: Remove Rotten Wood Garage Door

The project began with demo! We removed the old rotten wood garage door. All of the framing around the old door was in a bad shape and rotting as well. So we got to work removing that and just generally cleaning up the space to prep it for the construction.

Once that was done, we were able to re-frame the opening to properly fit the garage door we chose, as well as frame out the walk through door.

Here is the project after the initial framing:

rotten wood garage door

Once we completed the framing, we were able to install the brand new walk through door! Looks great, right?

rotten wood garage door

The last part of the project is of course the most dramatic, the installation of the brand new door! The door he chose is a great door, and we also insulated it to help with temperature control in his garage.

After!

rotten wood garage door

Once the door was installed and looking good, last step was all the finishing! We textured and painted the exterior.

Lastly, we installed the garage door opener to make this baby go up and down with ease! Our customer chose the LiftMaster 8550W opener. The opener has some great features including WiFi connectivity so you can control it with your tablet or smartphone.

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Garage Door Spring Repair Projects

Below is a collection of a few spring repair projects we’ve completed lately. Spring repair is one of the most common repairs we perform.

The most common issue is springs that are not the right size to support the weight of the door. This can cause problems, including the opener not functioning properly. It can also shorten the life of your springs and opener.

We generally recommend a dual spring system for all garage doors. This helps your springs function properly. Your entire garage door system will also last longer.

While there is a higher upfront cost with a dual spring system, it’s worth it over the life of your springs. Plus, it helps your door function safely.

Spring Repair #1

Here you can see a broken spring. When we arrived, we upgraded to a 2 spring system. We also reinforced the garage door.

The springs should last longer in a dual spring system. It will support the weight of the door better, and allow the garage door opener to function longer.

Customers tend to be scared to upgrade to a dual spring system at first since it is more expensive upfront. The time you will get out of your system returns your investment.

The harder impact on your garage door opener with 1 spring versus 2 makes a dual spring system more affordable in the long run, since you will get more life out of your opener.

We also installed braces, as you can see in the picture above, to reinforce the garage door. Reinforcing the door helps to prevent cracks.

Spring Repair #2

This house was built by a big builder. These builders generally take the easy and cheap route when building homes. That means that garage doors generally only have 1 heavy duty torsion spring installed. While it saves them money upfront, like we talked about above, it doesn’t give as much life as a dual spring system.

A double size garage door, like the one in this picture, will function better and last longer with a dual spring system. The double springs will also balance the door more effectively. This helps the garage door opener work better.

The spring works by carrying the weight of the door. Doors are heavy! If you think you have a broken spring, or if the spring looks like it does above, or in any of the before pictures in this post, call us! We can check it before it snaps, which can cause damage.

Spring Repair #3

The videos below show a spring that is too small for this garage door. The customer called saying he could only open his garage door part of the way. You can see what we mean in the video:

After troubleshooting for a while, we realized the door is too heavy for the springs, which are too small for the door.

We changed the springs to properly fitting ones, and adjusted the motor. The door is working like new now!

Spring Repair #4

A standard spring repair. Broken spring before…

Newly installed springs, after…

Spring Repair #5

This spring broke in TWO places!

We quickly swapped it out for new springs, and good as new!

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Garage Door Cracked Panel Replacement

If you notice that your garage door is making loud popping sounds. Or if you are having problems closing your garage door. If you see some dents on your garage door that weren’t there before, then you might have a cracked panel.

A cracked panel is a common problem, especially if a door was hit by an object in the past. It can crack one or more panels as part of the overall damage.

Visual of a garage door with a cracked panel:

In many cases, if you don’t take care of your entire garage door, it can collapse. If you have a cracked panel, or a panel that completely collapses, there are 3 options to repair it.

Cracked Panel Repair Options

  1. Install braces to support the damaged panel or panels. This is a temporary fix. It will last maybe a year before you need to repair it permanently. Below are 2 options.
  2. You can replace the damaged panel or panels. The catch here is that your door needs to be in production still, in order to order the right panels. This isn’t usually a problem if your door isn’t newer. But for many older doors, this isn’t possible, so you have only option #3.
  3. You must replace the entire door. If your door was older, this can be a blessing in disguise. You can get a new style you want, add some value to your home, and get a better quality door that will last years. Better quality doors include doors with better insulation, which directly benefits your home and utilities. And increases your home’s security.

A cracked garage door panel is a serious issue. Call a garage door company with experience in identifying cracked panels, and a company skilled in replacing panels or installing new garage doors. You can call Perfect Solutions 24/7 for a free evaluation and estimate.

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