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Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-20-2006, 11:09 AM   #1
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Garage Door Replacement



Hello All,

Going to be replacing old failing door and associated
opener with new model, likely steel, maybe insulated.

Would like to hear of customer satisfaction stories,
with particiular brands, of both doors and openers.

For those located in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle area),
dealer/contractor recommendations would be appreciated.

Thanks,

gwix
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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-20-2006, 11:32 AM   #2
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwix98
Going to be replacing old failing door and associated opener with new model, likely steel, maybe insulated.
I don't know if you have kids, but our garage door attracts more than its fair share of basketballs and baseballs. I wouldn't buy glass or aluminum or even light-guage steel.

A local garage-door repair guy has been working his way through a 200-unit condo association replacing the broken torque springs on the garage doors. The builder was using 300-pound-rated springs for garage doors that originally weighed 300 pounds, but the designer changed the spec to a door that happened to weigh 320 pounds and no one caught the weight issue.

If a garage door has insulation, how is cold air kept out of the cracks between the door and its frame? In other words does insulation really make a difference when it's next to a cold breeze blowing through a gap? I'm glad I'm living in a climate where the answer to this discussion is academic and the back of our wooden door is insulated to keep the heat out.

I wonder how the remote control's RF signal gets through a metal garage door... presumably some bright engineer has already answered this question.
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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-20-2006, 12:10 PM   #3
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

Where I live and the summer days run to 100+ degrees, the insulated doors do hold off the heat buildup in the garage until later in the day. Otherwise, if the sun beating on the door in the morning or evening (depending on how the house faces) heats up the metal...it gets to about 120 in there by noon.

On the other hand, it gets to 120 in there eventually.

And you have to care if its hot in your garage.

RF signals go through the wood/stucco around the door frame, or in my case, through the plastic windows.

Funny I was just talking to my dad about "garage door security". His homeowners association doesnt allow you to leave your GD open a couple of inches at night to let it cool as "someone could come along and pull it open!".

Apparently they've never seen someone put the front bumper of a car to a garage door, give it a little tiny bit of gas and watch the door bend and pop its wheels out of the tracks...with about the same amount of noise as 'pulling it open'. Apparently they're also unaware of the availabilityof a new high tech device called a "pry bar".
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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-20-2006, 12:26 PM   #4
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

Off the top of my head (not always a reliable source!! : ) Clopay brand installed by local professional overhead door company. Get insulated, fiberglass and get extra remotes (an exterior touchpad is nice too), glass (called "lights") are optional, too. Cost runs about $800-1200 installed in our area (east coast). Husband was a builder for 25 + years and always paid someone else to do this - he is very much a DIYer, so if he wouldn't touch a job like that, I wouldn't recommend it as a homeowner project, just FYI, not trying to be snobby! Probably would do best to order directly from the Overhead Door company, not a contractor. However, if you have a contact who is a local builder or contractor, they should be glad to give you the name of a reputable dealer.

Hope this helps!

Jane
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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-20-2006, 12:53 PM   #5
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Where I live and the summer days run to 100+ degrees, the insulated doors do hold off the heat buildup in the garage until later in the day. Otherwise, if the sun beating on the door in the morning or evening (depending on how the house faces) heats up the metal...it gets to about 120 in there by noon.
Our late afternoon sunshine used to raise our west-facing wooden garage door up to 115 degrees on the outside and to 110 degrees inside. This happened even when it was only 85 degrees with tradewinds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
On the other hand, it gets to 120 in there eventually.
Then we painted the outside with a ceramic reflective compound (you mix it into your chosen paint color) which dropped the outside to 110 degrees and the inside to 105 degrees. (Not too impressive but cheap for $15 and a teenager's labor.) We stapled a layer of reflective foil insulation on the inside which dropped the temperature to... 85 degrees.

We also put a solar exhaust fan in the garage's enclosed attic and stapled reflective insulation to the attic's ceiling. So now the only things heating up our garage are our cars and our water heater. I spent an hour wrapping pipe insulation around various bits & pieces of the water heater to get that back down to almost ambient temperature. A few of the valve handles and one side of the pump casing are still hot but now you don't feel the warmth when you walk by it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
And you have to care if its hot in your garage.
I don't know if we're having an unusually cool & rainy 2006 or if all the solar equipment on the roof is shading our southern exposure. But it's almost June and we haven't turned on a single ceiling fan yet!
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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-20-2006, 03:28 PM   #6
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

gwix,

An important consideration might be...where is your GD located? Mine is near the front door and probably the biggest thing to see from the street. People have described our house as "the one with the nice garage door". : Its old but unique. Frankly if the damn thing was out of sight, I'd get a Lowe's special and call it a day. I've maintained this one time and again just because its a focal point.



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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-20-2006, 04:50 PM   #7
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

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We also put a solar exhaust fan in the garage's enclosed attic
Heres a question for ya, mr. solar man.

I looked at a couple of solar gable fans (I'd like to move a little air through the attic when its 100+ and the suns beating down)...but they're looking like $400-500+ for a unit, and I'm not liking the idea that much. I'd wire in a cheap wired one, but they run 14-18 hours a day here even if you set the thermo on them to 90. Lots o' electricity.

When I used a plug in one in my old house, it definitely delayed the time before the house warmed up enough for the a/c to kick in. I'm not sure it was enough of a delay to warrant running that fan at a bazillion rpm for 18 hours straight though. Threw a little bit of vibration noise into the house frame too, but I think I'd solve that with some rubber isolating washers.

I see in todays home depot circular a "10 watt solar boost panel for gable or roof fan" for $168. It doesnt say if it comes WITH the fan, and I doubt it does, but the gable fan is only $52. For $200 I might give it a whirl. Thing is I note the words "boost" and the 10 watt vs other more expensive standalone solar units coming with a 20 watt panel.

You think a 10 watt panel is enough to run a gable fan fast enough to do any good?

I also have a little 12"x12" panel left over that charged a big honkin battery that went with a motion spotlight thats now broken. Not sure how much juice that turns out or if it could be hooked in with the 10 watt panel to throw in an extra watt or two.
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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-20-2006, 05:57 PM   #8
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
I looked at a couple of solar gable fans (I'd like to move a little air through the attic when its 100+ and the suns beating down)...but they're looking like $400-500+ for a unit, and I'm not liking the idea that much.
Listen, before I talk solar geek, let me pre-empt the incoming scrum made up of the rest of the board.

You've spent how much on cars this year, and you're complaining about a $500 solar fan?!?

OK, I'm done.* Let's talk specs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
I see in todays home depot circular a "10 watt solar boost panel for gable or roof fan" for $168.* It doesnt say if it comes WITH the fan, and I doubt it does, but the gable fan is only $52.* For $200 I might give it a whirl.* Thing is I note the words "boost" and the 10 watt vs other more expensive standalone solar units coming with a 20 watt panel.
You think a 10 watt panel is enough to run a gable fan fast enough to do any good?
I also have a little 12"x12" panel left over that charged a big honkin battery that went with a motion spotlight thats now broken.* Not sure how much juice that turns out or if it could be hooked in with the 10 watt panel to throw in an extra watt or two.
Here's the specs on the 850 cfm fans that we purchased in Nov 2000.* Note that we paid roughly $550 per fan back then plus another $200 installation labor, so it looks like CPI hedonics are working for you again.* With what I know now, I'd haul out my own reciprocating saw and a tube of roof caulk and skip the labor charges.*

Electricity cost 15 cents/KWHr when our fans were installed.* Our 10-watt panels ran for at least 10 hours per day for 0.1 KWHr/day, or a minimum of 1.5 cents per day of free electricity per fan.* I'm not sure how much a similar-capacity AC-powered house fan costs or how much juice it consumes but if you have numbers we could crunch them.*

The fan works best when it's sucking hot air out the top of a roof.* (On really hot days the air is probably rising fast enough to do most of the work anyway.)* A gable is easier to install than jackhammering through your roof tiles, but if the gable isn't at the very peaky peak of the roof then you're going to have a thermal layer that never goes away.

From my linked website specs I'm guessing that the 850 cfm fan was designed to be driven by a 10-watt panel, so you should be able to buy the booster and hook it to a DC motor for the smaller-capacity fan.* (That gable fan is designed to run on DC and not AC, right?)* If the fan is over 850 cfm then you'd probably want to step up to 20 watts.* If you connect the fan and it's not running in the correct direction you only have to switch the wires.

The Cyclone fan motors that we got in Nov 2000 have bad bearings and eventually sound clanky.* I don't know how widespread that problem was, but the DC motors used after 2003 have been fine (we replaced one then).* So you'll want to know how old their stock is.

Personally I'd go with the more expensive fan with the 20-watt panel.* It's probably the 1275 cfm version that'll suck a golf ball through a garden hose.* We have one 850 cfm fan in the enclosed attic above a 30'x20' garage to cool the attic down below 100 degrees, and that's with the reflective foil insulation turning away a lot of the sunlight on a composition roof.* We have a second 850 cfm fan sucking hot air at the top of a stairwell by a cathedral ceiling (uninsulated) over a 20'x20' room, and when our south-facing composition roof above that room wasn't shaded by a bunch of panels the fan couldn't keep up.* We even have a passive (venturi) vent over the void above our kitchen, and depending on this summer's weather I may go into that void, insulate it, and replace the passive vent with another 850 cfm fan.* With your tile roof (depending on whether there's reflective insulation under your tiles) you're looking at two or maybe even three of those big suckers.

I don't know what your gable fan & booster panel configuration is, but hopefully the wiring connecting the panel to the fan is as short as possible and insulated with cross-linked polyethylene (XLP).* Other wiring insulation will only last through one or two years of UV & heat.*

If you go with the integrated 20w panel/1275 cfm fan unit, there's no exposed wiring and the panel frame covers the fan exhaust to keep out the rain (and the critters).* But then you have to mount it on top of the roof, preferably facing south, and that raises the cutting-through-the-tiles issue.
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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-20-2006, 06:09 PM   #9
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

One suggestion: Don't do it yourself. The damned springs can really hurt you if they get away from you. It is a two-man job and they should know what they are doing.
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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-20-2006, 06:14 PM   #10
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

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One suggestion:* Don't do it yourself.* The damned springs can really hurt you if they get away from you.* It is a two-man job and they should know what they are doing.
I've learned all about how to do those garage springs by myself.

That's why I hire a contractor!

Most suppliers no longer sell the torsion-bar springs to homeowners-- only to the trade.
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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-20-2006, 06:17 PM   #11
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
One suggestion:* Don't do it yourself.
Heh. *I was just going to say if it's only the opener that failed, it's easy to replace it yourself. *

So, what failed? * And why are you considering an insulated door?

We're in the PacNW, use a plain old hinged wooden door, and it works fine. * *The climate is very mild here, so no need for insulation that I can see. * If you're worried about moisture, you're still going to get it from the slab even with an insulated door.
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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-20-2006, 09:10 PM   #12
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

I'm in the PNW and just put in a Martin garage door through Home Depot. I got the steel insulated version. If I recall correctly Martin requires one of their dealers put it in, but after watching the guy do it I would never try it myself. The first one had a little scratch on it and so he replaced it. I had an outside pad installed at the same time which I have found I like a lot. The door is very quiet and works fine.
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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-20-2006, 09:33 PM   #13
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

Here's what I have learned, Overhead Door makes a great product. An insulated door, while insulating may not be a factor, the added insulation adds rigidity to the door, that is something you'll come to appreciate a few years down the road. When I installed my own doors, it took about 6 hours to get the first one in and adjusted. Then it only took about 2 hours to do the second one.

Good luck
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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-21-2006, 06:57 AM   #14
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

I installed Clopay doors myself a few years ago. The first one took 1.5 days, the second 4 hours. Steep learning curve.

I got insulated, with windows, steel on both sides. About $400 a door I think for 8x9'.

My cellar stays MUCH warmer, since I replaced the old wood non insulated doors.
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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-21-2006, 07:39 AM   #15
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

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You've spent how much on cars this year, and you're complaining about a $500 solar fan?!?
Nords - my thought, exactly* : .

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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-21-2006, 08:14 AM   #16
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

We got our garage door through Lowes. My mechanical engineer husband got of course the one which was the heaviest steel he could find. Lowes was cheaper than the garage door dealers. We had a fairly high level of insulation. Our garage remains at a very nice temperature but that is because we had all the wall and ceiling insulated with the same R-value as the rest of the house. Themain house gets much hotter than the garage because of all the windows. Before you invest in insulation for the garage door, you may want to check whether the garage walls/ceiling are well insulated, otherwise you just throw money away.

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Re: Garage Door Replacement
Old 05-21-2006, 12:33 PM   #17
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Re: Garage Door Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Listen, before I talk solar geek, let me pre-empt the incoming scrum made up of the rest of the board.

You've spent how much on cars this year, and you're complaining about a $500 solar fan?!?
Well, after driving my former cars 6 and 7 years, I got $8k and $5K plus off of two replacements. I think that answers your question. I keep stuff a long time and dont pay much for the replacements.

So yeah, $500 to knock $25 a month off of my electric bill for four months a year is not yet washing with me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Most suppliers no longer sell the torsion-bar springs to homeowners-- only to the trade.
I attempted to replace a torsion bar in my '69 valiant. Later, a little welding and some asphalt patch fixed the resulting minor disaster, and less than a week later the nervous tic went away.
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