Intro to College Moving: 101 »
We've put together a small list to get you started on your journey -- and the first step starts with a single box.
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We've put together a small list to get you started on your journey -- and the first step starts with a single box.
There's still one month of summer left. Before those lazy, hazy days come to an end, use our get-things-done list to make the most of this fleeting season in the sun.
To find affordable self storage, people need to consider many factors. Learn which ones are most important and how to compare opti…
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Some people use their garages to keep their cars safe. Others use them to store boxes of books and home decorations. No matter how a garage is used, there is one key factor they all must have in common to protect the precious items within: A functional garage door.
There is no shortage of variety when it comes to choosing a garage door. Options include different materials, styles and lifting or opening methods, each with its own unique pros and cons.
When deciding on the right garage door, the first thing to consider is the style.
Garage Door Styles
The two most common styles of garage door include:
The benefits of swing-out doors are their classic look and the ability to keep the garage ceiling clear for added storage space. The major downside of this style is the amount of time it takes to manually lock, unlock, open, and close them. They can be manual or operated by a remote control.
Perhaps the most common and recognizable style is the roll-up garage door. These features are much easier to automate than their swinging counterparts, making them a preferred choice for many homeowners. However, ceiling space must be sacrificed to make room for the door when open. These are typically automatic, but manual models are also available.
Aside from these popular models, homeowners can choose between:
Once you've determined the style of garage door, you can move on to choosing the material. Some considerations you might keep in mind include:
If you're looking for something that will withstand the test of errant basketballs and driver's education students, a vinyl door might be your best bet. These doors are hard to dent or break and don't need much maintenance to keep up their appearance. They are usually built on steel frames with polyurethane insulation and come in a limited variety of colors.
Wood can stand up to plenty of the abuse a garage door may be subject to from time to time. They are also attractive doors with many color options. They can be painted or stained at the factory or on site. One of the biggest downsides to wood garage doors is the upkeep - they may need to be repainted or restained regularly to maintain the color.
Fiberglass doors can break with a strong impact but in general are pretty sturdy. Like vinyl doors, they are built on steel frames and insulated with polyurethane.
Wood composite doors have the same aesthetic advantages of wood doors but are less expensive. They usually have a wood frame and are filled with polyurethane insulation. Some may have fiberboard skins and are designed to closely mimic wood.
It doesn't take much to dent these doors, but they aren't very expensive and require little maintenance. However, they are subject to rust, especially in damper climates.
These doors can also easily dent but don't rust. They are also lightweight, which is ideal for larger garage doors, as more weight on such a large frame could put added stress on the lifting or opening mechanism.
Five basic designs of garage door openers are available to homeowners. Two are relatively recent developments, while the other three are fairly standard and have been around for decades.
One of the biggest advantages of the direct-drive opener is how silent it is. With the motor being the only moving part of this machine, it's said to be the quietest model available. This is one of the newest designs and was developed in Germany.
Another relatively recent design, this model is ideal for a homeowner who wants to keep the ceiling clear for storage. It is set up on the wall closest to the garage door as opposed to on the ceiling, like most garage door openers.
This opener is powered by a motor that rotates a threaded-steel rod on which a trolley rides. It is a relatively quick garage door opener, though most garage doors close at the same rate for safety reasons. Additionally, they are said to be the easiest to maintain, given that they don't involve many moving parts. However, these doors have a history of problems when the temperature quickly changes, and they are noisy. If there is an apartment or office above a garage, screw-driven openers may not be the best option.
These use a chain similar to that of a bicycle. The chain pulls a trolley connected to a bar that lifts the garage door. It can be noisy and cause vibrations, given the metal-to-metal contact, though more recent models are said to be a little bit better about this.
The function of belt-driven openers is the same as chain-driven openers. The only major difference is that instead of metal chains, these door openers are built with a belt made of fiberglass, steel-reinforced rubber, or polyurethane. This brings down the noise level but increases the price.
As with most things mechanical, garage doors may begin to develop problems after a few years of use. Many typical problems are easily identified and, with the right knowledge or help from a professional, aren't too difficult to fix.
Transmitter or Remote Won't Work
The first thing you should check in this instance is the transmitter battery. Dead batteries are often the culprit, though there are other causes seen as well. If the batteries are in good shape, take a look at the cables and tracks to make sure they are clear, clean, and sturdy.
Door Doesn't Close All the Way
If you notice a gap at the bottom of your garage door after closing it, try resetting the close limit. Your door might be set to close at a higher point than the ground. It might also be set too low, and when the door reaches the ground, the sensor reacts in the same way it would if an object was obstructing its path: by retreating upward.
Door Shakes When Opening
This could be caused by debris on the tracks or wheels. Clean these first to see if this is the problem. If not, the springs might be stretched unevenly or worn out.
Door Squeaks When Opening
The rollers are most likely dry and need to be lubricated.
Door Closes Faster Than Usual
A quickly closing garage door could easily become a safety hazard. The problem is usually springs that are too stretched out. They should be replaced by a professional. Working with these large springs can be difficult, and they can quickly turn into dangerous, fast-moving metal whips.
Door Makes a Strange Sound at the Same Point Every Time It's Used
This might mean your tracks are either dented, falling, or otherwise misaligned. This is not just annoying; it's dangerous. Misaligned or damaged tracks can cause the door to cease working or to fall off its tracks. If your door seems to be working fine overall, feel free to inspect the issue further. But if your door is stuck, slanted, or looks unstable, call a professional who will have the right tools to fix the problem.
Door Sticks When Opening or Closing
If you begin to notice this around a change in seasons, check the lubricant on the tracks. Weather patterns will affect lubricant's effectiveness. Dirt or debris on the tracks could also be the cause; make sure they're clear and clean. If the tracks look fine, make sure the doors are hung evenly.
It's not uncommon for a garage door to have a problem or two every once in awhile. But, if the same issue keeps coming up or one cause has led to a variety of problems, it might be time to consider replacing your door altogether.
For someone who's familiar with tackling tough home improvement projects, installing a garage door might be a viable do-it-yourself project. It'll likely take the better part of a Saturday, and it's not a bad idea to ask for help, especially when taking off the old door.
But if you're even a little bit wary of taking on such a large task, reaching out to a professional would probably be a smart move. On average, a new garage door installation will cost around $1,000. Most homeowners end up paying somewhere between $740 and $1,400, including the installation and the door itself.
Likewise, a custom garage door could be a project that an experienced wood or metal worker can take on with the right materials, tools, and knowledge. However, for the amateur DIY-er, contacting a professional might be the best way to go. If you are unfamiliar with the project, the weight alone could prove to be an issue. Depending on the size, it could weigh as much as 200 pounds, though some smaller or uninsulated ones could be less than 100 pounds.
To keep your garage door functional for as long as possible, try to inspect it every so often to ensure everything is working properly. A problem that goes too long without attention can only get worse and wind up costing you more to repair or replace the door.
About once a month, carefully observe the door as you open and close it. If you hear or see anything unusual, take a closer look at it. The regular motion could easily loosen up some of the hardware, so take a few minutes to tighten everything up. Also, be sure that tracks, tires, and other moving parts are properly lubricated.
If your door is painted, make sure it isn't chipped or peeling. Deteriorating paint on a wooden door could let moisture in, which leads to warped doors, while a steel door could rust if water gets in.