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DOES A NEW GARAGE DOOR REQUIRE A WHOLE NEW OPENER?

Although the process of replacing your garage door may seem daunting at the outset, if you’ve done any research at all you already know that finding a new garage door is easy. A variety of brands, styles, and models are available for purchase at your typical commercial home repair store, and a variety of companies can take care of the entire installation for you, start to finish. However, if you have the DIY spirit or you’re a bargain hunter, it’s also not hard to install a new garage door yourself. And if that’s your plan, it’s likely you’re struggling with this one lingering question: If I install a new garage door, do I need to replace the garage door opener too?

The short answer is that if your garage door opener was working just fine before you decided it was time to replace the door, then there’s probably no reason to think about changing it. You can use the same garage door opener that you were using previously in the new garage door — except under very particular circumstances. For a new garage door that is considerably heavier than your old one, it’s imperative to make sure that the new garage door opener can handle the increased load. Most of the standard openers for 2-car garages or smaller are 1/2 horsepower; heavier doors, like carriage doors, require a larger motor for the heavy lifting, with 3/4 horsepower. Check your manufacturer’s book for your opener’s specifications if you aren’t sure about its horsepower. You could also avoid this problem altogether by purchasing a lightweight replacement door that won’t strain your current garage door opener, whatever its horsepower.

However, if your current garage door opener is causing problems, a new door may be just the excuse you need to repair or replace it.

Portland Garage Doors | Why Repair Your Garage Door?

Some people think it makes the most sense to just wait for their garage door to completely break down before they repair it. Actually, they will just replace the whole door. But in the meantime they will just live with a creaky old garage door that doesn’t work well.

Their are a few problems with this. The biggest issue is that you could run into safety issues. When you don’t keep up on repairs the safety mechanisms that are in place might stop working and the door could suddenly fall on you. This is by far the most important reason to keep up on maintenance and repairs.

The next thing that is a problem with this is that it could end up costing you a lot of extra money. When you take care of the issues as they arise it will keep the door running well at minimal cost and will keep the door in good shape for decades. Otherwise you might have to replace the whole door every 5 years or sooner.

The last thing we see with this is that it will affect the entire appearance of your home. The garage door is such a huge part of the exterior of the home that it will make people think your entire house looks old and run down.

If you are in need of garage door repairs please give us a call today!

Top 5 Things to Consider in a Garage Door Company

Many people out there forget about the last garage door company they used.  Not our customers, of course–  We make such an impression that they make sure we’re on speed dial on their phone just in case anything should go wrong–  No.  We’re talking about all of those other people that have had forgettable experiences with garage door companies.  That’s why we’ve created this handy list of the top 5 things to consider when picking a garage door company to work with:

  1. Are they licensed?  This can easily be verified through the local chamber of commerce.
  2. Are they actually a garage door company?  There are a lot of people out there who pose as a specific company, when really, they’re actually just a handyman that does all sorts of things.  We don’t necessarily have anything against handymen, it’s just that the person you want working on your garage door should specialize in garage doors.
  3. What is their level of communication?  Can you understand them clearly when speaking to them on the phone?  If not, you might run into some issues when they come out to fix your problem.
  4. Similar to the previous point, how do they conduct business over the phone (or in person)?  Are they polite?  Do they listen to your issues and your needs?  Are they trying to rush you, or do they genuinely care about you and your problems?  These are things to consider.\
  5. Do they offer any sort of guarantee?  This is important as there are many companies out there who just want your money, and as soon as they finish with your garage door they are out of there.  Don’t get stuck with one of them when there are plenty of companies out there that “stick around” long after with a satisfaction guarantee.

Hopefully we’ve helped give you some ideas of what to look for when searching for your next company when you’re having trouble.

Portland Garage Doors | Which Opener?

Are you looking to install a new garage door opener on your home or business? This is not something you should attempt to do yourself, we just want to start by saying that to keep all of our readers safe. A garage door is very heavy and must be installed exactly right in order to function correctly. That is why you should always hire a professional garage door technician to install the opener and door for you.

If you are needing a new garage door opener though you might be wondering which one you should get. You can go here for more specific information on openers but we’ll give you a quick description here.

Jack shaft: this is only used rarely and will most likely not be the one for you unless you have a very short garage

Belt Drive: this is typically best for residential homes because it is by far the opener that creates the least amount of noise

Chain Drive: this opener operates in the same way as the belt drive but makes more noise, it is usually a bit less expensive as well

We think it is always best to have a professional come out and go over all the different options with you to make sure you install the perfect opener for your specific situation. If you need a new garage door opener please give us a call today!

 

Portland Garage Doors | What You Should Consider Before A Garage Conversion

Whether it’s a need for a guest room, home office, or just more space for entertaining, many people are seeing potential in their garages. A garage conversion is a fun project, generally more manageable and less costly than building a home addition.  A garage full of junk and stuff is a headache; a newly cleaned out garage is a blank canvas, ready and waiting for reinvention. Yet not all garages are conversion-ready, and neither are all homeowners. Before you begin your garage conversion project, there are a few things worth considering.
First, the new space has to blend in — both inside and out. You don’t want your guests to step down into their guest suite and instantly feel they’ve been relegated to a dungeon. Instead, the former garage should feel like a natural extension of your home. One big way to achieve that effect is by getting rid of your garage door and replacing it with a design or architectural feature that will better suit the space’s new function. Popular ways to approach this include installing a patio door where the garage door once was, or framing a new wall and installing a large window. From the outside, the new features should look like they were part of the home’s original design. When planning your garage conversion, insure that you can match the siding, window, and door styles that are already in place.
Other things that need to be considered before your garage conversion begins are related to utilities available to the space. Will your home’s existing heating and cooling system work in the new space, or will you need to install an independent system?  Are you planning to substantially increase the use of electricity in the new space? If so, you may need to add a new electrical circuit. Plumbing may also present a challenge. It may be easy to have water run into the new space during the conversion, but then you might face challenges with drainage. A qualified professional plumber can provide an assessment before the garage conversion is underway.

Operating your garage door opener during power outages

Every community at some point during the year will lose power.  Most home garage door openers are electric so here are some tips on how to open your garage door manually safely:
1. Pull the red emergency cord to disconnect the garage door from the garage door opener. The emergency cord will usually has a red handle and will hang down from the center rail of the garage door mechanism.  Remember to only disconnect the garage door opener when the garage door is in the closed position, not when it’s open.
2. Carefully lift the garage door straight up until the door is fully open. Ensure the garage door will safely remain fully open before leaving it unattended.
3. If the springs are properly balanced, maintained, and in good working order, the door will open easily and remain open. If your garage door is heavy, hard to open or will not safely remain open, call Portland Garage Doors to check the door as soon as possible to avoid further damage or safety risks.
4. When closing your garage door, always remember to lock the garage door as well. When the automatic opener is disconnected, the door is not securely lock unless you manually slide the lock bar into position.
5. When the power comes back on, reconnect your garage door opener to your garage door, making sure the garage door is unlocked by unlocking the manual lock bar (in tip #4) when the opener is reconnected. Attempting to electrically open your garage door with the lock bar in place may cause major damage.
One way to avoid the inconvenience of manually operating your garage door in the event of a power outage is to invest in an automatic garage door opener that includes a battery backup feature. With a garage door opener with batter backup, your garage door will function normally with our without power to your home.

Portland Garage Doors | Air Out That Garage

Summer is winding down which makes it the perfect time to air out your garage. Over the summer with the heat and the humidity it can make things pretty musty in your garage. So open it up! Let it air out. If you have any windows on your garage leave them open as long as possible. You never want to put yourself at risk of robbery so only keep the door open when you are going to be home for a while, and preferably when you can keep an eye on the door. It might be a great reason to sneak in one last family picnic before school starts back up.

Another great way of keeping your garage full of fresh cool air is to install fans. You can put them into the side of the garage and they will actually collect the hot old air from inside your garage and push it out while cooling the fresh air from outside and funneling it into the garage. We highly recommend these sidewall ventilation systems because they keep your garage fresh and cool year round. It is worth the initial investment.

If you are thinking of making any changes to your garage cooling system or any other change we are happy to talk with you about those changes to see if we can make the process that much easier for you. Give us a call now and we’ll set up a time to talk with you!

4 STEPS FOR CREATING MORE GARAGE STORAGE SPACE

If you have items inside your home that aren’t constantly in use but you have nowhere to store them, you probably want to turn to your garage for some extra storage space. But if your garage is itself full of disorganized junk and clutter, you may need a plan for creating garage storage. With a plan, this seemingly overwhelming project is made easy, and you’ll be storing your stuff in no time.
1. OUT WITH THE OLD.
 
Clear out all the junk and stuff that you don’t need or haven’t used. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last year. Keep only what you use, and the rest you can donate, or sell in a yard sale. Anything that’s broken is only taking up space (if you haven’t gotten around to repairing it by now, you must not need it much). Throw broken things away.
2. TAKE THE TIME TO MAKE A STORAGE PLAN.
Don’t think that just because it’s a garage, it doesn’t require the same careful planning that you would do for any other room of the house that needs a makeover. It helps to draw a floor plan to help you visualize where everything will go. Then take measurements to make sure everything you’re envisioning will actually fit.
3. PRIORITIZE, CATEGORIZE, AND ORGANIZE ACCORDINGLY
Make a plan that suits your everyday needs. The items you’ll use most often (like cleaning supplies) should be kept close to the door for easy access from the house. Invest in a rack for things that can be hung on the wall, like garden tools or any power supplies. Seasonal equipment like lawn mowers and weed trimmers should be stored where they wont take up valuable space, like under a shelf unit. Other equipment can be hung from the ceiling.
4. HAVE A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING, PUT EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE.
You’ll always know where things are and your items will be kept clean if everything is organized in storage containers. Transparent, stackable containers work great for allowing you to see what’s inside while taking advantage of available vertical space.

No rolling code, no problem? Wrong!

Is there something that stands out above other things in the garage door system as a truly magnificent piece of modern engineering that is the single most important part of garage door security?  That was a mouthful, and you likely won’t be able to answer that because you’re not an expert in garage doors, but we can answer it for you:  Yes.  Yes there is.  And that thing is rolling code technology, which is an important part of your garage door remote / opener system.

Your garage door opener and remote work in tandem to operate your garage door, and a simple code system is utilized to make it so that only your remote operates your garage door opener.  However, if someone hacks the system and gets that code, now they’ve gained access to your garage door opener, and transitively, to your home.

Of course, if you were a savvy garage door owner, you would have rolling code installed in your opener / remote system, which would mean that that code changes every time it’s used.  This means that a hacker could get your code, but when they try and use it, there’s a different code already.

(There’s a scene from the new Gone in 60 Seconds in which a garage door without rolling code is taken advantage of so they can steal a car.)

Now rolling code is a big thing on newer garage door openers, but if you’re living in the past a bit with an older opener, it might be time for you to call out a pro to tell you whether or not you have it; and / or to upgrade to a newer style of garage door opener that would be more secure.

Portland Garage Doors | Wild Animals?

You might be wondering why we would be writing a blog about wild animals on a garage door site. Well, we are here to tell you!

This is the time of year when people are having bbq’s and family get functions which usually means more food in the trash. If you have your garbage bins in or around your garage and you put the old food in there then you might run into the issue of animals coming to get that food. Especially if you leave your garage door open.

If you go into your garage and find yourself face to face with some wild animal, run! No, actually calmly try to get back inside your home and then open the garage door to see if you can get it to leave of its own volition. If not, you will want to go ahead and call animal services. They will be able to handle the situation better than you are I could.

To prevent this from happening, keep your garage door closed at all time except when absolutely necessary. Also, try to dispose of the left over food in a garbage disposal or wrap it up tightly in plastic bags that seal so it isn’t as easy for the animals to catch the scent.

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