Types of Garage Door Openers
Did you know the average American garage door opens and shuts about 1,500 times per year? That’s an average of over four times per day, meaning the smooth functioning and well-being of your garage door opener are crucial to the running of your home. If this mechanism fails or stutters, it could throw your whole routine out of order, with cars trapped in or out of the garage and heavy equipment unable to move in and out.
Because this garage door opener is so critical to the continued functioning of your home, it’s worth taking the time to learn about how it works. The first thing you should know is that not all door openers are the same, and there are multiple different garage door opener types in use today. By learning about these different types, you can gain a better understanding of which one you have, what that entails and what you might want to upgrade to when you’re ready to replace your opener.
To help you achieve a new understanding of how your garage door works, we’ve compiled this guide to door openers, including what they are, how they differ from one another and how to decide which variety might be best for your garage.
What Are the Different Types of Garage Door Opening Systems?
All the different garage door openers achieve the same basic goal — opening your garage door so you can move your car or other possessions in or out. Despite all performing the same function, however, these varied mechanisms all have vastly different methods of achieving the same ends. Some use chains and some use belts, but all work a little bit differently. To get a better understanding of what sets these opening systems apart, let’s take a look at each one separately.
1. Chain Drive Garage Door Opener
Chain drives are the oldest technology available for garage door openers. They’ve been around awhile, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this technology is obsolete or no longer viable. Plenty of houses are still equipped with chain drive garage door openers, and while they might not be the flashiest or the fanciest, they still get the job done. Today’s chain drives still include the traditional chain, but can now integrate with internet technology for a more modern approach.
As the name suggests, these drives operate via a chain similar to the one on a bicycle that stretches taut when the door is shut and gains slack as the door opens. This chain pushes — or pulls, depending on the direction of movement — a trolley that then moves the door up and down. Even though these chain drives have been around for so many years, they are still one of the most popular and common styles out there, with many people continuing to choose this model.
Not sure if you have one of these? It’s easy to tell with a quick glance at the opening mechanism of your garage door. If you see a chain connecting the parts, you have a chain drive.
- The pros: It isn’t hard to see why so many people still choose these chain drives over some of the more updated models currently available. Chain drives have a reputation for being highly reliable, with less chance of breaking down than other models. On top of this, because the technology is older, these models are also the most affordable option on the market. For those looking to save a bit of money, a chain drive door opener is an excellent choice.
- The cons: The primary drawback of the chain drive is how noisy it is. These chains create a racket as the trolley moves up and down, often causing huge sections of the garage to vibrate from the force of the movement. While the noise may not bother some people, others find it distracting and even irritating. For this reason, chain drives are often a better choice for detached garages, where the noise will be less obtrusive to those inside the house.
2. Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
Belt drives work similarly to chain drives, except in these mechanisms, a wide rubber belt replaces the metal chain. A switch activates the belt, which then pushes and pulls the trolley up and down the track to raise and lower the garage door.
These belt drives are slightly newer technology than the old chain drives, and they represent multiple improvements over the chain drives. There is a smaller number of moving parts involved in the operations, so there is less chance of something breaking. Over time, this leads to less maintenance, meaning fewer headaches for you and less strain on your budget.
Checking if your opening mechanism is a belt drive is easy. Look for the trolley that operates the door and see what it’s connected to. If it’s a wide rubber belt, you can feel sure you have a belt drive.
- The pros: The biggest advantage belt drives have to offer over their older brother, the chain drive, is that they’re much quieter. That makes them excellent choices for attached garages, particularly if the garage is right next to a bedroom or living room where the noise would be especially disturbing. Additionally, they’re very low-maintenance and won’t often break down.
- The cons: Because these belts are so quiet and efficient, they tend to run at the top of the price scale. This higher price can present an obstacle for those hoping to keep costs down, but it’s important to remember there’s more to pricing than the up-front cost. Because belt drives don’t need much maintenance, owners may end up saving money in the long run when they don’t incur repair or replacement bills further down the road.
3. Jackshaft (Sidemount) Garage Door Opener
The jackshaft is the most unlike all the other openers we’ve looked at. The other two types — chain and belt drives — all operate via a trolley that moves up and down the rail to open and close the door. The jackshaft is in a category of its own, however, without a lot in common with the other two types.
Jackshaft openers are most noteworthy because they do not rely on any external belt or chain rail. Instead, the motor mounts directly to the torsion tube on the side of the overhead sectional door. When you hit the switch for the garage door opener, this motor activates and torsion tube and lifts/closed the door.
- The pros: Because the jackshaft is so uncomplicated and connected to so few moving parts, there is little to no maintenance required. Additionally, the opener works quickly and quietly, making it a terrific option for attached garages where silence is an important factor. For someone who is also concerned about the aesthetic of their garage and looking to minimize chains and belts looping along the ceiling, the jackshaft presents a much more streamlined presence.
- The cons: There are very few cons to the jackshaft, as it represents the very maximum in quietness, efficiency and minimal maintenance. One potential con is the cost, which is certainly more expensive than a basic chain drive. Buyers can feel confident that even with this higher price tag, however, they’ll likely save money in the future due to the lack of maintenance costs. Another con is that this opener is not compatible with all types of doors. The door must have a standard torsion tube and 15″ radius track, or higher, works best with this opener. It will not work with low headroom track.
Choosing a Type of Garage Door Opener
With three different primary garage door opener types to choose from, you may feel overwhelmed when it comes to deciding which is best for your home. Should you go with the simplicity of the chain drive? Are you looking for the efficiency and minimalism of the direct drive? Or, maybe it’s best to go with the quiet motion of the belt drive. To figure out which type of garage door opener is right for you, you’ll first need to ask yourself a series of questions and let your answers steer you toward the appropriate type of opener.
1. What Does Your Budget Look Like?
In a perfect world, we could all buy whatever we wanted, without any concern for the amount of money involved in the transaction. In the real world, however, everybody has a budget they can’t or shouldn’t exceed.
To start shopping for garage door openers, figure out what you can afford to spend. Do some research into garage door opener prices, see what the standard price tags look like, then ask yourself what your personal limit will be. Once you’ve decided this figure, use it to narrow your search.
2. How Important Is Noise Level?
Is your garage attached or detached? Does it directly adjoin to someone’s bedroom, or perhaps the living room? Is everyone in your family a light sleeper who will get annoyed when the garage door wakes them up? Do you typically park your car in the garage, or use it for other storage that wouldn’t require you to open the door as much?
All of these questions will dictate how important the relative noise level of the garage door opener is. If the garage is attached and directly adjacent to your living space, we recommend you look into quieter options. Unless you’re confident the noise won’t bother you, the odds are good the noise level will soon start to get on your nerves or even start disturbing your sleep.
3. Are You Adept at DIY Handiwork?
Are you the type of person who enjoys tinkering about in your home, fixing problems where they arise and updating your home’s appliances, wiring and plumbing? If so, you may not mind a type of garage door opener that occasionally needs a bit of maintenance or updating. You may even look forward to these tasks. If, on the other hand, you don’t enjoy this work and feel completely at sea with a tool kit, a door opener that doesn’t require frequent maintenance will give you far greater peace of mind.
CA Law States: Garage Doors Have to Work During a Power Outage
As a result of the garage door accidents during 2017 California Wildfires and again during the 2018 CA wildfires, CA requires all garage door openers to come with a battery backup. This bill is aimed at preventing the possibility of a garage door not opening during a power outage.
If you’re looking for a new garage door opener in San Diego County, CA, make sure that the opener you’re getting installed is equipped with a battery backup.
Easy Open Door recommends getting your garage door serviced on an annual basis so that you can be sure that your opener is ready to go in case of an emergency.
Our team can recommend and install a new garage door opener with a battery backup for your home in San Diego County if your current opener is not equipped with a garage opener battery backup.
Find the Right Garage Door Opener for Your San Diego Home
Are you in the market for a new garage door opener? Looking to upgrade your existing model? Many factors will play into choosing your next door drive, but we want to be there with you for every step of your journey. Here at Easy Open Door, all our employees have a minimum of 15 years of experience in the field, making us your ideal companions for walking you through a potentially confusing process.
We’re a small family-owned company, so you can be sure you’ll never feel like “just another customer” lost in the shuffle of an enormous corporation. We care about all our customers and make it our business to ensure everyone who walks through our doors has the best experience we can provide.
To get started with your shopping experience, contact us today for your free estimate.
Why Insulate Your Garage Door
Why Insulate Your Garage Door?
Your garage door is one of the first details that people see when they look at your house, providing curb appeal and an additional entryway into your home. Since your garage door opening is usually the biggest in your home, it can also be an area of extreme heat and energy loss. This results in drafty rooms in the winter, hot and humid living areas in the summer and a lot of money wasted on heating and cooling. Many homeowners, especially those located in areas with temperature or weather extremes, may wonder if they should insulate their garage door to help alleviate these issues. Insulating your garage door provides many benefits in addition to saving you money by increasing energy efficiency.
There are several ways to insulate garage doors including installing it yourself with a DIY insulation kit, having it done by a professional or choosing a new insulated garage door that can not only increase your home’s comfort and energy efficiency but also add to its beauty. Learning about garage door insulation’s R-value along with the differences between polystyrene and polyurethane insulation, the two most commonly used garage door insulation types, can help you make an informed decision about the best way to insulate your garage door.
The Benefits of Insulating a Garage Door
Depending on the type and location of your garage space, an insulated garage door can provide many benefits. Homes with attached garages may see the most benefit from insulating the door, but even detached garage spaces can benefit from being insulated, especially in areas with extreme climates. Benefits of insulating your garage door include:
1. Increased Energy Efficiency
An insulated garage door keeps heat from escaping in the winter and prevents hot air from entering your garage in warmer temperatures. A moderate temperature inside the garage reduces the amount of energy needed to heat and cool your home. The result can be reduced heating and cooling costs since less conditioned air will escape from your home and be needed to maintain a comfortable climate. If you have an attached garage, an insulated garage door can help with hot and cold air entering areas of your homes such as hallways, high-traffic areas and rooms above the garage. Insulated garage doors minimize the heat loss that happens even while they are closed.
2. Quieter Operation
Insulated garage doors operate much quieter than non-insulated doors. The insulation adds to the strength of the door and reduces creaks and rattles. While an insulated door can absorb much of the sound and vibration caused by the operation, it’s essential to have the track mechanism — including chains, rollers, hinges and springs — inspected by a professional if they are making noise. A quieter operation is especially beneficial if you usually use your garage door as an entryway or if there are living areas above or next to the garage. Insulated doors also act as a sound barrier, muffling the sounds from outside.
3. Increased Door Strength
An insulated garage door has more overall strength than a non-insulated door. It can stand up to constant opening and closing and is more resistant to damage and dents from vehicles, kids, weather and everyday use. Insulated garage doors are also resistant to the rusting that occurs in many non-insulated, single layer doors. Today’s insulated garage doors are typically made with steel frames filled with solid insulation in between, making them both sturdy and lightweight. They are made to be long-lasting and resist the elements such as heat, sun and wind that can shorten the lifespan of non-insulated doors.
4. More Comfortable Garage and Home
An insulated garage door makes for a more comfortable environment in both your home and garage. It will minimize cold drafts that come through the house from the garage and keep hot air out in the warmer seasons. Garage doors with a higher level of insulation can even allow you to use your garage throughout all of the seasons. Although to be able to truly use your garage as an additional living area, you will need to insulate the walls and ceiling and install drywall, having an insulated door makes a better environment for storage, vehicles, crafts and hobbies or just getting in and out of the house.
Do Insulated Garage Doors Make a Difference?
Having an insulated garage door can make a positive difference in both your garage and indoor living spaces. Insulated garage doors make the most difference in homes with attached garages, especially those with bedrooms above or next to the garage. They can also make a difference in detached garages since they make the indoor temperature more comfortable. The term “thermal boundary” refers to the line between unconditioned outside air and conditioned indoor air. A garage with an insulated door provides a better thermal boundary, preventing a blast of cold air from entering the adjacent rooms and rooms over the garage.
Insulated garage doors can also make a difference with:
1. Energy Costs
You may see a significant energy cost savings after insulating your garage door or purchasing one that is already insulated. The amount of energy savings you will see depends upon where you live, and how hot or cold you keep your home. Homeowners in areas with extreme temperatures often see the most difference. Although insulated garage doors are usually more costly than non-insulated doors, the money will be well spent between the savings on energy bills and the fact that a garage door replacement yields an 85 percent return on investment when selling your home.
2. Utility of Garage Space
Insulated garage doors can provide a warmer garage space. In fact, an insulated garage door can make the temperature inside the garage over 20 degrees warmer than the outside air. While the degree difference varies according to the door’s R-value, this can sometimes mean the difference of a garage at freezing and above freezing temperatures. For many homeowners who live in frigid climates, a freezing garage means frozen pipes and a car that won’t start. Since many homeowners use their garage space for storage, an insulated door can provide a more appropriate environment for storing items that need to be kept from excessive moisture and temperature extremes such as paint, oils, photos and food products.
3. Noise Issues
Insulated garage doors can actually be about three times quieter than non-insulated garage doors and can reduce noise by up to 16 decibels. This is helpful for home occupants who reside in rooms above or next to the garage. Not only does insulating the garage door result in less rattling, but there is also more sound absorption from outside noise.
4. Your Home’s Curb Appeal
Insulated garage doors are available in a wide variety of colors, materials and styles that can add significantly to the beauty of your home. They are available both with and without insulated windows and with a number of options including window placement, number and type of panels and texture options.
Types of Insulated Garage Doors
There are several different types of insulated garage doors. The most common types include:
1. Steel Insulated Garage Doors
Steel is durable, affordable and made to resist warping, cracking and weather exposure. It can be made with a texture that looks like wood and painted in a color of your choice. Insulated steel garage doors consist of a double layer of steel with insulation sandwiched between. These doors are frequently constructed with additional composite materials such as faux wood cladding.
2. Wood Insulated Garage Doors
Insulated wood doors give your home a natural, warm and rich look. Made of woods such as cedar, hemlock and redwood, insulated wood garage doors consist of two layers of wood, or a layer of wood with a layer of wood veneer, and a layer of insulation between.
3. Aluminum Insulated Garage Doors
Aluminum is a lightweight material that is long-lasting and resistant to rust and corrosion, but easy to dent. An insulated aluminum garage door consists of a double layer of aluminum with a layer of insulation between, adding some protection against dents.
4. Fiberglass Insulated Garage Doors
Fiberglass is also a lightweight material that does not corrode although it can be easily damaged. Fiberglass garage doors can be molded to look like wood. Insulated fiberglass doors consist of two layers of fiberglass sheeting over a steel frame, with a layer of insulation between.
When looking at the different types of garage door insulation, it’s helpful to know what the numbers that measure the insulation’s effectiveness mean. You will typically hear the term R-value used when referring to the level of energy efficiency, but many people wonder what that term actually means.
Features of an Insulated Garage Door To Know
What is R-Value?
R-value is the most widely used measurement of insulation and refers to a barrier’s ability to slow the transmission of heat. The higher the R-value the better, as a higher number means a slower transmission of heat. As the R-value goes up, so does the degree of energy efficiency. This range goes from R-8 to R-32, with many homeowners opting for garage doors around R-16.
What is U-Factor?
U-factor is less commonly used and refers to the flow of heat through a material. When considering a garage door’s U-factor, a lower number is better.
Garage Door Insulation: Polystyrene v. Polyurethane
Polystyrene and polyurethane are the two main insulation materials available in insulated garage doors. When considering polystyrene vs. polyurethane garage door insulation, it’s important to know the difference between the two:
This material, which comes in the form of rigid panels with a vinyl back, is commonly used in many garage doors. Polystyrene is the material that is used in aftermarket garage door insulation kits. The panels are placed behind single-layer garage doors or in between the layers of a two-layer garage door. While the addition of polystyrene garage door insulation will quiet the door’s operation and add some energy efficiency, it is not as energy efficient as polyurethane. It can also come apart over time due to being repeatedly bent and folded with door operation.
Polyurethane garage door insulation, used in Clopay’s Intellicore Insulation Technology, is a foam injected between the layers of the door. The polyurethane foam expands into every area of the door and also bonds to the door’s frame. This results in an extremely strong door that is less susceptible to dents. Polyurethane foam provides the highest level of sound isolation and energy efficiency and is ideal for homeowners who live in very hot or cold climates or use their garage door as a primary home entrance.
Most modern garage doors come with single-, double- or triple-layer construction:
- Single-layer garage doors: This type of door is non-insulated and, as its name suggests, made of a single panel. They are sturdy and affordable and provide basic protection for storing your car in the garage.
- Double-layer garage doors: Double-layer garage doors add a layer of polystyrene or polyurethane foam against a thin backing material. They provide more energy efficiency and soundproofing than single layer doors, along with more structural integrity. As the level of construction and durability goes up, so does the price.
- Triple-layer garage doors: Triple-layer doors are the best quality. They feature a layer of thick polystyrene or polyurethane foam insulation between two layers of steel, wood or other material. They also have an additional galvanized skin that protects the insulation. These doors do have a higher price, but they also provide the highest energy efficiency, sturdiness and sound buffering.
While an insulated garage door helps to moderate the temperature inside the garage space, it also needs to have appropriate weatherstripping and vinyl weather seal that runs along the bottom of the door to further keep out insects, small animals, air, moisture and weather. You can insulate a garage further by finishing the walls and ceiling with insulation and drywall and caulking around windows. If you’re considering insulating your garage, keep in mind important factors such as the climate in which you live and the elements such as sun or wind to which your door will be exposed, to determine the best type of insulation to use.
Should You Install Garage Door Insulation or Hire a Professional?
Since there are a variety of self-install garage door insulation kits on the market today, many homeowners wonder if they should install their own or hire a professional. While the do-it-yourself kits are inexpensive, they should not be used by anyone who is inexperienced with this kind of project. The process of insulating a garage door must be precise, and a shoddy DIY job can result in a multitude of other problems including:
- Mismeasured or misaligned panels compromising the door’s safety and operation.
- Needing to redo the job shortly after the initial install, costing additional time and money.
- Adding additional weight that can wear out your springs and make the door unsafe.
It’s essential that measurements are accurate as incorrect measurements can cause the insulation panels to flake, shift and even get in the way of the door’s normal operation. DIY insulation kits applied to the back of the door tend to flake and break off over time. On a door that is used several times a day, the insulation will wear off quicker, requiring you spend the money and time all over again.
Adding insulation to your garage door also adds weight that your springs and opener may not be able to handle. This can be extremely dangerous and cause a risk of the door unexpectedly giving way when people, pets or vehicles are nearby. For this reason, it’s recommended to have your door looked at by a professional who can adjust the spring tension if needed.
If you’re unsure about how to insulate your garage door, it’s always best to call a professional who will properly get the job done. Not only will the job be done right, but it alleviates the hassle of having to do it yourself. Garage door professionals can also suggest different ways to insulate your door such as applying a weather seal.
Of course, if you’re replacing your current garage door with a new one that is insulated, you’ll need a professional to install it.
Choosing the Perfect Insulated Garage Door
When you’ve decided to replace your current garage door with a beautiful and energy-efficient insulated door, let Easy Open Door Company help. We can install your beautiful new garage door quickly and efficiently. We are proud to be a Premier Clopay dealer, family-owned and serving the San Diego area for nearly 40 years. Choose from our large selection of beautiful Clopay garage doors and LiftMaster openers. Whether you’re looking to keep out the winter chill or just want to add to the beauty of your home, we have the perfect insulated garage door for you. Contact us today for a free estimate.
Wood Garage Doors
The garage door you choose has a significant impact on the appearance and value of your home. Some would even argue it’s the focal point of your home’s exterior. So, if you want to make a good impression, few materials stand out quite like wood — it’s timeless, elegant and customizable to perfectly complement the style of your home.
Read our informational guide below to learn about the unique styles of wood garage doors, their pros and cons and the upkeep they require.
Read More About Wood Garage Doors:
Styles of Wood Garage Doors
The style of your wood garage door determines the design, layout and other factors that affect your curb appeal. Here are some popular wood garage door styles to consider:
- Solid Panel: One of the more economical options, solid panel garages consist of flat panels with no other details.
- Raised Panel: These doors are more expensive than solid panel doors, but they also create more visual interest. Raised panel doors feature shapes carved into the wood and add more character to the exterior of your home.
- Carriage Style: This is a timeless, attractive style that is not often in urban areas. Carriage style doors are different from most others in that they look like they open outwards even though most of the time, they actually open upwards. They’re also highly durable.
- Wood With Windows: Adding windows to your garage door is one way to make a great impression on guests. Although pricey to install, most homeowners who opt for this style believe the beautiful results were well worth the cost.
Types of Wood Garage Doors
In addition to a style, you must also choose a type of wood. The wood used to make garage doors varies in thickness, quality and weight. Here are a few commonly used materials:
- Plywood: This is the least expensive and most basic wood door type. For a more attractive outward appearance, it may be covered by an exterior hardwood skin. Because plywood is so thin, it may come with some foam insulation.
- Red Oak: This wood is the next most affordable option after plywood. Red oak is hard, heavy and highly resistant to impact and shock. Its grain pattern is also appealing, and it easily accepts wood stains.
- White Oak: Like red oak, white oak is also hard, durable and easily accepts wood stains. Its coloring ranges from white to light brown.
- Alder: Although not well known, this wood is characterized by its abundant knots and uniform color. Alder offers a rustic look that goes well with a log cabin-style home.
- Mahogany: This is a popular wooden garage door material because it is both beautiful and durable. This wood is easy to work with and has a rich, attractive grain that can be finished easily. It’s also strong and rigid, so large panels can be made that won’t warp, split or sag. It also has a natural resistance to pests and moisture. Although many homeowners prefer the wood’s natural red tones, it can also be lightened with bleaching.
- Cedar: Like mahogany, cedar is also a popular choice for wooden garage doors and is resistant to pest and moisture damage. It’s also unlikely to warp or crack in any weather, humidity or temperature conditions. Cedar is a porous wood, which makes it lighter and less work for your garage door opener. It also provides excellent insulation and soundproofing. You have lots of flexibility with cedar — you can finish it with a variety of stains and paints or leave it unfinished, which gives it a natural, weathered look.
- Spanish Cedar: This wood has a high resistance to rot, decay and pests. It looks similar to mahogany and has an appealing scent.
- Redwood: Redwood is one of the most expensive materials for garage doors. It comes with several layers of wood to minimize the risk of warping from water and heat. You may either paint or stain it.
- Reclaimed Wood: This material has recently been gaining popularity and is a great way to give your door a distinctive look. Reclaimed wood has two unique benefits: no trees have to be cut down to obtain it, and it has already been well-seasoned from past use.
Benefits of Wood Garage Doors
Wood garage doors come with a variety of benefits, including the following:
- They’re Beautiful: Wood garage doors feature attractive textures, designs and finishes no other material can offer. If you’re giving your home a makeover and want something that will pop, go with a wood garage door.
- They Can Be Customized: The number of customization options is virtually endless for wood garage doors. You can choose from a variety of timber types, windows, decorative hardware and accents. Panels also come with several dozen design options. When using wood, you can have your door exactly as you want it.
- They’re Functional: Some spaces are unconventional, and traditional garage doors may not fit. If your garage floor isn’t level or the opening is not a normal size, you may need a custom wood garage door to match the particular specifications of your space.
- They’re Eco-friendly: Because wood is renewable, it’s more environmentally friendly than most other materials.
- They’re Timeless: Wood is unrivaled in its timeless appeal. There are also many styles you can choose from based on your home type and personal tastes, including rustic, classic and luxurious.
- They’re Strong: While metal and vinyl garage doors are easy to crack or dent, wood’s tough surface makes it much more resistant to this type of damage.
- They’re Updatable: If needed, you can remove and replace panels. For example, you can easily replace the top panels with windows. Wood also provides a perfect surface to refinish with new stains or paint colors.
- They Provide Insulation: Wood is a natural insulator, and replacing a vinyl or aluminum door with a wood one will lead to much lower electric bills. They also serve as a natural sound barrier, which can be useful if you live in a noisy neighborhood or on a busy road.
- They Can Be Affordable: Although pricey if highly customized, wood doors can become relatively affordable when certain styles and materials are chosen.
- They Increase Your Home’s Value: Because wood doors can be elegant, modern and attractive, they can boost your home’s value and curb appeal.
Drawbacks of Wood Garage Doors
Unfortunately, wood garage doors have a few disadvantages, as well:
- They Require Regular Maintenance: If you are not willing or able to put in the time to maintain your wood garage door, then it may not be the best material for you. You need to periodically check your door for rot and damage and weatherproof it by applying a protective coating. Neglecting these maintenance tasks may lead to rotting, warping or chipping.
- They’re Not the Most Energy-Efficient Option: If your garage is attached to your home, then energy efficiency may be a concern. While wood does have insulation properties, other materials such as steel tend to insulate better. You can find wood doors that contain insulation, but this will increase the price.
- They’re Generally Expensive: Although they can be made more affordable by limiting customization options, wood doors are relatively expensive in general.
- They’re Heavy: Wood doors are solid and weigh a lot, which means you will have to buy heavy-duty springs to keep your garage door balance. If you’d like to be able to open and close your wood door automatically, you’ll also have to purchase a more expensive heavy-duty door opener.
- They Take Time to Make: While wood doors come in a wide variety of styles, it also takes considerable time for a professional to design, build and install them.
- They Can Rot, Warp and Swell: If you live in an area where snow and rain are frequent during certain months of the year, wood garage doors may cause problems. If your door is exposed to rain or snow, this will slowly weaken the wood and eventually lead to rotting. If there are significant changes in temperature or contact with moisture, wood may start to swell up. This may result in the garage door no longer fitting into its rails, which will affect how smoothly it can go up and down. This may even cause the rails to snap because they cannot hold the bowed door, which could injure someone nearby.
- They Can Decay: Unlike most other types of garage door materials, wood runs the risk of decay. Even when not exposed to wet weather, wood can still begin to decay.
Wood Garage Door Maintenance
If you’ve installed a wood garage door or bought a home that has one, you’ll need to maintain it once a year. Pick a day with nice weather and perform the following tasks:
- Look for Rot: Bacteria and fungus will eat away at the wood, often in places that remain moist for extended periods of time. Inspect the bottom of the door and the trim work, as well. You can check the trim work by prodding it with a long-handled screwdriver. If it goes through the wood surface, this means your door needs repairs, which are best to leave to a professional.
- Search for Pests: While prodding your door, look out for pests, as well. Termites can attack anything made of wood, as can boring beetles and other wood-consuming insects. If you notice any insects around rotting areas, try to identify the pests before treating the door. If you can’t figure out what they are, call a pest control company to help.
- Remove Chipping Finishes and Peeling: Even the highest-quality finishes will peel or crack if they aren’t applied to surfaces that were prepared correctly. If a previous owner painted your door, remove any loose paint chips with a scraper. Then, smooth out areas of uneven wood, fill holes with wood putty and let them dry.
- Add a New Coat of Finish: To continue looking good, your door is going to need a new finish, whether it’s painted, water sealed or polyurethaned. After the damaged wood is repaired and the surfaces are adequately prepped, add a fresh coat in accordance with the directions on the package and let it thoroughly dry. If your door has windows, you may want to tape them to make clean-up easier.
- Examine the Hardware: After the door is refinished and dried, open it and listen for harsh sounds as it goes up. If you hear any scraping or screeching, this isn’t normal — investigate further. You should also tighten all screws, see if the rollers are worn and apply a lightweight grease to the springs to lubricate them.
- Inspect the Deals: Close your door and see if there is light shining into the garage between the door and the seals. If you can, this means your seals need to be replaced. Remove the seals, take them to your local hardware store and look for an appropriate replacement. If your door lacks a bottom weather seal, make sure to purchase one.
How Much Is a Wood Garage Door?
We’ve mentioned that wood garage doors are generally expensive, but the costs vary widely. The main expenses are as follows:
- Materials: Materials account for the bulk of the costs.
- Labor: Varies by Garage Door Company
In addition to the above expenses, various customization options are available. The more things you choose to customize, the higher the price:
- Size: Homes typically come with two-car, three-car or even bigger garages
- Method of Manufacturing: You can buy standard, mass-produced or custom-built doors
- Painting: Painting your door will set you back a few hundred dollars
- Insulation: This typically costs between $100 and $300
- Garage Door Opener: Installing this useful feature for a wood door usually cost close to $500
Below is a breakdown of the expenses for wood garage doors:
- Single Wood Garage Door: $1,700 to $4,300
- Double Wood Garage Doors: $2,600 to $7,000
- Installation of Garage Door Opener: $500
Explore our Wood Garage Doors Online
If you live in San Diego County, come to Easy Open Garage Door Company, Inc. for the highest-quality garage doors and services.
We are a family owned business that has been proudly serving the community for 39 years. Our employees are highly qualified and all have at least 15 years of experience in the garage door field.
We have Wood Door options from Clopay, Carriage House Door, and Ranch House Doors. We also sell LiftMaster electric operators. At Easy Open Door Company, we always follow the manufacturer’s warranty for all our products and will take care of your claims. All of our doors come with a one-year warranty, as well.
Contact us today to get an estimate on a custom wood garage door for your home in San Diego County
Guide to Buying a Garage Door in San Diego
Often overlooked and undervalued, today’s garage doors now average a third of a home’s front-facing facade. That means your new garage door does way more than serve as a shelter for your car. Your home’s garage door draws in the eyes, complements your house’s exterior, adds curb appeal and makes a statement on the care and attention you place on your entire home. But where do you start when you’re ready to buy a new garage door for your home in San Diego, CA or anywhere else? Homeowners throughout the US can benefit from some tips and how-tos for buying a garage door. If you live in San Diego, however, you’re facing Southern California’s distinct climate, humidity, geography and market, and may consider some additional variables. Once you’ve settled on a few features of a new garage door, call us at Easy Open Door, and we’ll help you with any additional questions you may have. Let us help you bring your dreams to life from design to installation.
We’ve got you covered with a complete insider’s guide to buying garage doors, whether you’re in San Diego, or anywhere in the US. Here’s what you’ll find in our guide:
11 Tips to Consider First When Buying a Garage Door in San Diego
Garage doors are as much about form as they are function. While we often forget about them until damage strikes or a problem arises, buying a new garage door is a great opportunity to lend a functional facelift to your home.
There are many questions and details to sift through when making the right purchase in the right area. Consider the following as the starting points as you begin the process of finding a new garage door.
- Look for a reliable, family-owned company. Finding a garage-door service you trust and respect is key to a smooth experience. Many companies boast quality products and top customer service, yet use these as buzzwords to attract buyers without much follow-through. Companies that see their business as an extension of their family will treat you as such. It’s likely small to midsized contractors will be easier and more reliable to communicate with at every step of your garage purchase.
- Ask for an itemized estimate. Some companies look great up front, offering low project numbers by skimping on important services down the road. Ask for a complete itemized estimate in writing, and be wary of those that aren’t transparent.
- Determine how you use your garage. Is your garage only a place to dock cars, or is it large and multifunctional? Is it a workshop where you spend uninterrupted hours, or does it double as a storage place for a range of household items? Answering these questions aligns your door with your spatial needs.
- Consider the elements. San Diego’s arid summer heat, combined with its variable rain and common fog waves, are a stable climate for most garage door materials. It’s important to still review temperatures and weather conditions with your garage door service, especially if your home sits close to the ocean.
- Go beyond looks. Of course, you want your new garage door to look pristine. Yet don’t lose sight of its functional details, such as longevity, warranty, desired maintenance schedules and upkeep expectations. Set a comfortable budget and stick to it.
- Test styles with a garage door preview tool. Work with a company that lets you use a visual preview tool to mix and match garage door styles, types, colors and detailing. Play around with that tool, using a few pictures of your garage at various angles and lighting.
- Don’t skimp on the details. A garage door is only as good as its parts. Some companies keep costs low by buying cheaper bulk door components and installing mismatched pieces. A garage door system is a mechanical dance of torsion springs, cables, fixtures, brackets, tracks and more that should be durable, efficient and made to match from the start.
- Sign up for an annual maintenance plan. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Have a maintenance schedule included in your service contract so your installation company takes care of your garage door from the beginning.
- Include an opener. Not all companies cover a door opener and matching sensory system at the time of purchase. Make sure your itemized estimate includes both.
- Factor in installation. Again, some companies sneak in charges down the road through installation fees, ones they lowballed or didn’t quote at all in early estimates.
- Keep aesthetics in mind. Use the garage preview tool to add paint varieties, colors and finishes to your new door. These aesthetic details make or break the feel of your facade and ensure its cohesion with your home’s overall look.
Step-by-Step Garage Door Buying Guide in San Diego
So you have some ideas of what you’re looking for- now where do you actually start? New garage doors are an investment, so it’s important that you find the right door and get it installed correctly so that it can last a long time. Below is a step-by-step purchasing guide for new garage doors in San Diego.
- Measure your garage door. Properly measuring your garage door is easier than you think. You’ll want to make sure to measure the (a) height and width of the frame for your garage door, (b) the left and right side room where the assembly track system will go, (c) headroom and (d) backroom, the unobstructed spaces where your door will slide up and rest when opened.
- Determine your budget. Several elements factor into the final price of your garage door. There are a lot of options for garage door materials from inexpensive aluminum, to elegant wood, and there are many customizations that can be made to garage doors that you may not think about. Having a figure in mind beforehand sets you up for a more confident purchase. The size of your door, combined with its material base, will be the two most significant price factors.
In general, rust-resistant aluminum and steels doors will run the lowest price, averaging $750 to the mid-$3,000s. The more expensive wood garage doors can go from $1,000 to $4,000, depending on wood type and treatment. A trustworthy company should take you through each of your options, answering any questions or concerns you might have.
- Explore garage styles. The most thoughtful garage aesthetics go hand-in-hand with the style of the house. In San Diego, the most common house styles reveal a history and geography lesson about the region. Walk around and you’ll see plenty of Spanish-style homes, followed closely by ranches and split-levels. It’s also not uncommon to see combinations of the three, with many neighborhoods fusing design features and elements for more pronounced curb appeal.
Garage doors typically come in three popular styles: the traditional raised panel, the carriage house and the contemporary. Explore each option with your prospective San Diego garage door dealer, and inquire about their respective material makeup and maintenance. Test the style you’re thinking directly on your home using a Door Imagination System. Garage doors directly impact a home’s look and feel, so put in the time to ensure yours is an enhancement, not an eyesore.
- Match function with design. How are you going to use your garage? Are you going to use it to park your car? Or are you going to use it for a functional living space? Applying how you use the space in your garage will mean you can select the best door suited to its purpose. Matching garage-door form with function will also help answer other installation questions, such as deciding on garage insulation or choosing the base material.
- Find a reliable garage door dealer. A company’s experience and reputation will provide the backbone to your new garage door. In San Diego, garage door dealers and operations are competitive. Many might appear to carry the same services and promises, but ensure you’re choosing a reliable company that will carry out all of those promises.
Don’t be afraid to ask prospective contractors about their “resumes.” The state of California has specialty contractor licenses, which you can inquire about during your estimate. Additionally, look into a company’s Better Business Bureau rating, plus recent customer testimonies and references can help you make the right choice.
- Choose a garage door material. The thought and technology put into garage materials have undergone a lot of strides in the past decade. You have more choices than ever when it comes to picking your new garage door in the San Diego area — each with unique pros and cons.
Common garage door materials include:
- Wood or wood composite: Wood garage doors offer elegance and customization unmatched by other materials. Yet they’re often the most expensive, made from moisture-resistant treated cedar, redwood or cypress that will require more maintenance and upkeep. Wood also works better with certain kinds of garage door motions, such as traditional doubles or swing-out doors.
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass is a flexible and cost-effective solution for garage doors. It’s also a contemporary pick, with available colors and finishes to match virtually any home’s existing style.
- Aluminum: Aluminum remains a time-tested and popular choice for the base material of garage doors. While it doesn’t have the same insulation or dent resistance as the other bases, it’s an excellent choice if you intend to use your garage for storage and parking cars.
- Steel: Steel garage doors are low-maintenance and adaptable to most renovation budgets. They’re more durable than other metal doors, but are prone to weather and rust. Steel is a frequent choice for doors’ main and accent frames in contemporary-style garages.
- Test your door for your home.
Use the Door Imagination System or a similar garage-door preview tool to see how your design looks in real life. You can play around with a variety of images and door designs at your leisure. Whether you build a garage door template from the ground up, or upload pictures of your house and use the tool to mix and match previews, these images are the way to see exactly what you want from your garage door.
- Find a reliable garage door expert. Consult with San Diego-area garage experts to get a project estimate. The best way is to simply call them to set up an estimate. By calling, you can get a better idea of how you’ll be taken care of throughout the garage door buying process. Are you sent to an automated system or are you taken care of by a real person who cares about your home just as much as you. When you get an estimate, make sure to get a complete, itemized quote from your list of prospective dealers. Some dealers may have lower prices, but may not take care of as many things as the local expert. Shop around and compare quotes, and don’t be afraid to follow up with questions or concerns.
- Review maintenance and warranty. Ensure your new door is covered under a warranty that protects and instills confidence in your purchase. Everyone’s warranty needs will be a little different, and a garage-door dealer should have no problem walking you through the manufacturer’s warranty technicalities or their modifications. You also want to understand the maintenance that your new garage door will require. For example, wood doors may need some additional maintenance than aluminum, but all doors will need annual maintenance to ensure all of the parts you don’t think about are still functioning properly. Like any machine, it will need inspections, tune-ups and occasional new parts to run in prime condition.
- Set delivery and installation dates. Set the time and date for installation experts to remove your old door and install the new one. Most professionals can complete the entire process in a matter of a few hours after receiving the door from your manufacturer. Afterward, make sure your installation service takes your old door with them so it isn’t your responsibility to haul it off!
Styles of Garage Doors
The style of your garage door can change the entire appeal of your home. You’ll need to determine the base material for your new door, as well as the ideal build and style.
Garage door materials include:
- Wood or wood composite garage doors — Take into account the upkeep wood doors will need, as well as grains, stains and other detailing for your garage door.
- Fiberglass garage doors — Whether fiberglass surface panels or a complete fiberglass door, consider the different paints and sheens needed for this material.
- Metals like aluminum and steel garage doors —Metal surfaces can be treated to look like more expensive wood grains or painted and polished to stand out on their own.
- Glass garage panels — Glass panels can give contemporary doors an appealing midcentury look, or add dimension and depth to your door.
Garage door styles & what homes they work best with:
- Raised panels — These symmetrical, rectangular garage panels are the most common garage-door design on the market. They match virtually any home, regardless of age, home type or location. From the ranches and split levels that populate San Diego to the townhouses and craftsman-style homes dotting many neighborhoods, raised paneling can be built from any material type as well. Treated wood panels pair particularly well with Spanish or Mediterranean-style homes, while metal and aluminum paneling offers a clean and crisp exterior complement anywhere.
- Carriage house — Carriage-house garage doors, or “barn style,” get their name from the carriage-house designs they mirror. Carriage house doors usually come with garage accent windows and vertical boards. They pop against bungalows, capes, beach houses and mission or craftsman-style homes.
- Contemporary — Mid-century modern or postmodern homes are relatively common in San Diego. These houses reach their full potential when adorned with a contemporary-styled garage door, one where clean lines and tempered glass panels come enclosed in strong, solid-colored painted frames.
Additional Garage Door Considerations
The finishing touch to your garage door buying experience will ensure you get the most bang for your buck. Remember the following to round out your purchase and complete your step-by-step garage door installation.
- Insulation levels. The daily functions of your garage will determine what kind of insulation your door needs. Most garages won’t require heating or cooling, but if you intend to use your garage beyond storage purposes, insulation within the door will keep the space energy-efficient. If you have an attached garage, insulation also serves as a noise barrier for rooms that are adjacent and directly above.
- Garage door motions.
- Roll up — Most garages are conveniently automatic using your remote opener. They roll back and up to rest on the headroom near your garage ceiling.
- Swing out — Some carriage doors swing out on hinges to maintain their rustic character. These can be manual or remote-opener controlled.
- Swing up — Similar to swing-out, swing-up garage doors use automatic or traditional hinges to draw the door vertically upward. When open, they jut out between the interior and exterior of your garage.
- Sliding — Sliding doors are unexpected and innovative, great for large doors in the contemporary or carriage-house styles.
- Garage door technology. More and more, you’ll see garage doors with complementary smartphone apps that allow you to open and close them with your phone. Other door technologies — such as code access, lighting systems and security alarms — are increasingly standard with garage installations. Look into the accompanying technology for your garage door to enhance both its convenience and security.
- Garage Door Opener It’s common, and often recommended for homeowners to replace their garage door opener at the same time as their garage door. The reason for this is mainly to ensure that your garage door runs smoothly, efficiently, and safely. A broken opener could malfunction and damage your new garage door. Many garage door companies will recommend a garage door opener that will work best with your new garage door.
Call Easy Open Door to Get Started
Now that you know what you need to do to find your perfect new garage door, Easy Open Door is here to help you with every step. Easy Open Door Company has been in business for over almost 40 years, helping homeowners in San Diego county find a garage door that fits their needs, budget and style. We can help you with everything from the planning, to the installation, to the maintenance and repairs. We care about your home like it’s our own and work to make each client a part of our family-owned story.
Check out our free Garage Door Imagination Tool, where you can preview hundreds of garage door styles, colors and materials to see what works best for your home. Call us today to speak with one of our garage door specialists about your next project or request an estimate from our team.