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Picking the Right Automatic Gate System for You

picking-the-right-automatic-gate-system-for-you

Are you in the market for an automatic gate system for your home or business? Oh, the places you’ll go. What seems like such a straightforward process can wind up being fairly confusing if you don’t reign in the selection process.

Ideally, the first automatic gate you choose should be the last automatic gate you choose. That’s because high-quality gates, built and installed by professionals, should last a lifetime. The more detailed you are in your current selection, the more likely you are to select a one-hit wonder that you are as happy with in 30 years as you are now.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Automatic Gate System

Here are some of the things you should consider when replacing an existing gate or building an automatic gate system for the first time.

Work with an experienced installer. It’s always best to go out and get two or three quotes for your automatic gate system. However, make sure you get those quotes from a licensed, insured and experienced garage door and gate installer. You can check business licenses with your local building department or state websites using the company’s license number. That number should be provided on their website, business cards or over the phone. When comparing bids, make sure you compare apples to apples so you don’t go with the lowest bid, only to find it wasn’t as comprehensive as the honest, middle-tier bid from a more experienced fabricator and installer.

What does your HOA have to say about it? When you buy a lot or a new home in a subdivision, you are well-versed on the HOAs. Over time, however, some HOAs can seem almost non-existent – – until you do something you aren’t supposed to. The first thing we do when working with residential or commercial clients is to verify whether or not they are beholden to an HOA. If so, learning the ins-and-outs of what is allowed, and what is not, is worth it. In many cases, your gate plans, colors, materials and so on will need to be approved by the HOA or their established improvements committee, so plan for that. Take the time to figure out what the rules and restrictions are now so you aren’t surprised later. Keep in mind that most installed gates will not fall under warranty if the only reason for replacement is an unhappy HOA. You’ll have to start from scratch, and wind up paying double. That’s no fun.

Choose materials for quality as well as aesthetics. There are plenty of pretty products out there on the market, but that doesn’t mean they are durable. Choosing less durable products will result in maintenance issues, more frequent repairs and – potentially – costly replacement costs down the road. Work with your installer to find an automatic gate system that works aesthetically with your architecture and the surrounding environment, and that will stand the test of time.

What level of security makes sense? It’s easy to think you need the highest level of security available, but that comes with a price and it isn’t always necessary. For almost all residential applications, we recommend a simple access entry system with a single pass code, or perhaps two (one for family, one for guests) and remote controls. The gate itself will help to keep children and pets safe from road traffic and will prevent the average lookie-loo or solicitor from approaching your front door. A simple 4-digit passcode combined with a security alarm is all that’s needed to ensure breaking-and-entering of any kind goes instantly reported to the police. However, if you prefer a higher-level of security, you run a home business or you prefer to know exactly who is entering when, you may opt for a higher-level system that provides individual codes for better security tracking.

Think about long-term maintenance requirements. It’s a good idea to have your automatic gate inspected and serviced every year to keep it running efficiently and to proactively repair or replace parts that look worn before they break down on you. One thing worth remembering: the more moveable parts there are, the more opportunities there are for maintenance issues. Consider what you are interested in when it comes to long-term maintenance responsibilities and choose a gate that fits that vision. It is also worth it to invest in the best-quality mechanical components on the market, which will increase gate efficiency and decrease the amount of time you spend dealing with malfunctions.

The more time you take now in selecting the right design, mechanical systems and access system for your property, the more you will enjoy a lifetime of lowered maintenance as well as reliable security and operation.

Schedule a consultation with R&S and we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of automatic gate selection – no upsells, false promises or hype. We want our customers to choose a gate that makes sense for them, and we make that happen at a competitive price.

The Dangers of DIY Garage Door Repair

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A few of the most common garage door issues are easy to fix on your own – things like misaligned garage door photo eyes or sweeping the track free of debris. Others are not so simple. Anytime your garage door repair requires disassembly, manipulation of the door, or more in-depth parts replacement/repair we strongly advice calling a professional. We aren’t saying that to get your business, we’re saying that because we have seen more than our fair share of horror stories.

DIY garage door repair can be dangerous and the team at R&S always shudders when we get a call from a client who was injured after trying to repair their own door.

Avoid These Dangers By Using a Professional Garage Door Repair Company

Here are some of the fix-it items that can result in dangers to both you and your garage door.

A malfunctioning garage door opener. If it’s not something simple like the photo eyes causing your opener to malfunction, be very, very wary of trying to fix a malfunctioning opener. The garage door can be incredibly unpredictable, and this is dangerous. If the door happens to get off track, you can be thrown off balance from your stepping stool or ladder, or the sheer weight of the door can cause injury.

The spring of a torsion spring. There are still many reliable garage doors that open using a torsion spring system, rather than an extension system. To operate, the torsion spring is mounted horizontally above the garage door. The spring it wound up with the door is pulled down and that wound up energy is powerful. It’s used on the other side when you open the door, to help energize the door’s lift. If you wind up on the wrong side of a wound up torsion spring when it breaks, the force is violent and serious injury can occur.

Using the wrong tools. Garage doors have very specific mechanical parts and some of them require professional tools. These tools are not typically found in the average homeowner’s toolbox. This can lead to you running to the hardware store to purchase a tool you’ll never use again, or it can lead to you trying to manipulate the part to the best of your ability using the tools you have. This is a bad idea because not only can it lead to potential injury, it can also lead to a broken or damaged part, which puts you right back where you started.

A collapsed replacement garage door. Watch a YouTube video about replacing or installing a new garage door and it all looks so straightforward. The reality is quite different. First, it is at least a two person job, and both parties need to know what to do when. Second, garage doors are very heavy and modern residential garage doors – with their multi-layered construction – are cumbersome. One wrong move and the entire door can come crashing down, injuring yourself as well as the door. Assuming you remain unscathed, that damaged door will no longer fall under warranty because you violate the manufacturer’s recommendations by not using a professional installer. Now you’re injured, have a trashed garage door, and still have to fork out money for a new one and professional installation.

Replacing garage door panels. Here’s one that seems pretty simple at the outset; how hard is it to replace a garage door panel anyway? Well, first you may have problems getting your hands on the correct panel if you door is several years old. A professional garage door repair and installation company, on the other hand, can typically order one with a single call to a vendor. If you are able to get the correct panel, you still run into potential issues like door panels that break while you’re trying to install them, or cracking or chipping adjacent panels when you’re trying to remove/replace the damaged one. Worst of all, if the door manually malfunctions while you are in the midst of the repair, you risk the door opening and/or closing while you are in its path or near the tracks.

A painful fall. The number one leading cause of injury and deaths on the home front is falls. In almost all cases, a garage door repair will require standing on a ladder or elevated platform of some kind. If you get in over your head (pun intended) or make one wrong move, your fall can be life changing. No reasonable labor charge is worth that risk.

Don’t get too carried away in the DIY world. Dedicate those commendable intentions to the more risk-free home repairs – gosh knows there’s plenty of them – and honor your door’s manufacturer’s instructions. Contact a licensed garage door company. You’ll benefit from quick, accurate diagnosis and a timely repair.

Detached or Attached Garage? Which is Safer?

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Until relatively recently, almost all garages were detached garages. This was leftover from the era when the garages used to be “carriage houses.” When cars began replacing horses, it took a handful of decades before everyone realized that cars didn’t have the same needs as a horse, and therefore didn’t need extra room for hay, tack and manure disposal. At that point, garages were moved closer and closer to the home, until they began attaching themselves to the house itself.

Is a Detached or Attached Garage Safer? Or Better?

If you are deciding between an attached or detached garage based purely on safety and/or energy efficiency reasons, a detached garage would be the way to go. This is because, unless they’re designed with energy efficiency in mind, attached garages can be a significant source of indoor air pollution in the home and they almost always have a negative effect on energy efficiency.

Attached Garages Contribute to Poor Indoor Air Quality

After researching the effects of attached garages on indoor air quality, National Institute of Standards and Technology found, “substantial evidence that transport of contaminants from garages has the potential to negatively impact residential IAQ in either an acute (e.g., carbon monoxide from automobiles) or chronic manner (e.g., storage of chemical products).”

In other words, the carbon monoxide from cars and the off-gassing of the chemical products stored in your garage (paints, solvents, extra gasoline for the lawn equipment, etc.) are seeping into American homes and creating toxic air pollution. The EPA has found that air quality in the average American home is actually worse than the air outdoors – and that includes homes located in cities known to have poor air quality.

Improve ventilation in your attached garage

You can improve ventilation in your attached garage by:

  • Never warm your car up inside the garage. Even with the garage door open and a well-sealed interior door, pollutants can get into your home. If you want to warm up your car, back it out of the garage completely and warm it on the driveway.
  • Store toxic, chemical products elsewhere. Keep your garage for the storage of camping gear, non-mechanical toys and seasonal items. Anything that releases toxic fumes and requires a well-ventilated area should be stored in a shed or barn that is detached from your home.
  • Install a ventilation system. Did you know your car continues to release toxic fumes even after the ignition is turned off? As long as the engine is warm, your car is off-gassing. Installing an isolated ventilation system that pulls fresh air into the garage, and lets interior air recirculate, is a good solution for those who prefer to have an attached garage. Have the system installed by a licensed HVAC technician, and observe a regular maintenance schedule to keep the system working efficiently.

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Attached Garages Can Diminish Whole-Home Energy Efficiency

Unless you’ve converted your garage into a livable space, rather than a house for your car and mechanical equipment, odds are its finished much differently than the rest of your home. The walls and ceilings aren’t as insulated and the garage door itself may be poorly insulated and sealed.

However, attached garages share a sizable wall with the portion of the home they’re attached to – often a kitchen or living room. This means that portion of the home is directly influenced by the interior temperature of the garage – which can be very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. Similarly, if the door from the garage to the house isn’t sealed properly, your home will pull in warm air during the summer and will lose warm air to the garage during the colder months. As a result, the attached garage winds up being a drain on your homes forced air system.

To combat this problem, consider upgrading the insulation in walls and the ceiling to equal that of the exterior walls in your home. Spray foam insulation is a quick and easy solution for this. We also recommend upgrading the garage door and windows so their insulation reflects the level of efficiency you’re looking for. Sealing the door and windows is also important. However, remember that a well-sealed garage requires adequate ventilation to maintain healthy indoor air quality.

In terms of safety and energy efficiency, detached garages are considered the best choice. However, you can design a safe and healthy garage door if you pay attention to a few simple details. Contact R&S to design and install the best garage door for your attached or detached garage.

Maintaining Your Box Truck Roll Up Doors

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Box truck roll up doors experience some of the heaviest wear and tear of any commercial doors on the market. Unlike the roll up doors in warehouses or delivery bays – that often remain open or closed for long periods of time – box truck roll up doors are used continuously through the day. Plus, they’re prone to continuous vibrations caused by a life on the road.

Truck doors are opened and closed with every delivery they make, and are prone to the banging and clanging of whatever objects pass their way. They may have an occasional ding here and there from having been “backed up” for just a second or two longer than necessary – and then there is the threat of vandalism, which adds another host of paint coats, intentional dents and other damage to the mix.

Increase the Lifespan of Box Truck Roll Up Doors

Regular maintenance is the key to increasing the lifespan of your box truck roll up doors. By giving them the once over on a regular basis, and then scheduling them for professional maintenance every year or six-months, you’ll find your repair and/or replacement bills will decrease from year to year.

Regular maintenance will ensure your truck’s rolling doors:

  • Operate quietly, which is important for early morning deliveries in mixed-use communities
  • Reduces wear and tear on the door’s mechanical parts
  • Increases worker safety, reducing the risk of rolling door-related accidents
  • Keeps your truck looking more professional and presentable, which is good for your brand
  • Lowers costs spent on unnecessary repairs and replacements

Here are some of the things you can do to keep your truck’s roll up doors operating smoothly and efficiently on a daily basis.

  1. Keep it clean. The more you can keep your rolling door, it’s tracks and the mechanical parts free of dust and debris, the smoother and more consistently they will work. Make it a practice to keep the area around the door clean, and sweep it regularly to prevent dust, leaves, twigs and cardboard/plastic/wrapper scraps and other small items out of the bed of your truck.
  2. Never force it. A well-maintained rolling truck door should not require excessive force to open or close. If it does, it’s a sign that something needs to be looked at ASAP. If you continue to force a “tricky door”, you risk increasing the severity of the existing damage, which can increase the total costs for repair. You also put yourself, customers and other employees at risk for injury.
  3. Keep mechanical parts lubricated. The hinges and rollers must be greased, or lubricated, to work as they were designed. This helps to free them of inescapable dust and airborne particulates and also protects them from moisture and the elements. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding how often to grease the rollers and hinges, as well as to verify which products are recommended. Failure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations could cause you to void the warranty.
  4. Bring it in for a check-up. Rolling door installers are happy to provide regular “check ups,” giving your truck’s doors the once-over. Consider scheduling a service appointment every six months or so. Combine it with maintenance inspections for your fire doors, other commercial doors and/or loading dock area so you don’t forget. The maintenance company will be happy to calendar these visits for you so you don’t have to remember. Regular maintenance is the best way to prevent smaller, insignificant adjustments or repairs from becoming larger and more expensive versions.
  5. Repair or replace a door if there are obvious signs of a problem. For a small and medium-sized business, the bottom line is pretty darn thin. Even so, holding off on a necessary repair or replacement part can wind up costing you way more if the door gives out at an inopportune time or – worse – winds up injuring a worker or customer. Always call rolling door repair company at the first sign of trouble.

Is one of your fleet’s rolling doors giving you trouble? Contact us here at R&S so we can take a look. We’re happy to replace broken springs, cables, sections, and other box truck rolling door parts to help keep your truck on the road. (925) 671-7606.

Stretching Your Garage Space to the Max

stretching-your-garage-space-to-the-maxWhether you have a small garage or just a whole lotta stuff, the more you can stretch your garage space to the max, the more organized, neat and spacious your garage will be. After decades in the garage door business, we can’t tell you how many homeowners wind up parking their cars outside because their garage is too full of other toys and belongings.

5 Tricks to Make the Most of Your Garage Space

Here are 5 tricks for getting the most out of your garage space so you have room to store everything you need to – and park your car inside, which was why the garage was designed in the first place. When your garage “expansion without construction” project is complete, your garage will look better than it ever has.

  1. Get rid of what you don’t use. The first item of business is to go through everything and get rid of what you don’t need. In the case of your garage, we recommend making it a family affair. Take everything out of the garage space and then evaluate it with an objective eye. If it hasn’t been used in a year or more, you can safely donate or sell it. Should you need it again in the future, you can probably rent or borrow it – or find it cheap again on craigslist.
  2. Stick a piece of plywood up in the rafters. If your garage has exposed rafters, you can make a safe, pseudo-attic by throwing a piece or two of plywood up there. Make sure the wood covers the spaces between the rafters adequately and layer it if necessary to safely support the weight of what you store up there, as well as your own weight when you access the new “attic”. This is a great space to store the bulkier and/or seasonal items that don’t need to be in the common area year-round.
  3. Utilize hooks. Moving things from the ground or perimeter space to the upper-levels of the garage is a smart way to gain floor space. Bikes, scooters and big wheels are all good candidates for the hooks. This can save you almost ¼ of your garage floor space, depending on the size of the garage. It also keeps them safe from those front or rear tires of the car when a bike is laying down in the middle of the garage, rather than tucked neatly along the sides.
  4. Install shelving to the ceiling. Garage shelving systems are not uncommon, but they are often inadequate to do the job they were designed for. The higher you build them, the better off you are. Take your shelving up to the ceiling – or at least 8-feet – to optimize the storage space. Use upper-sections for the things you utilize the least. Then, think about who uses the shelves and for what to determine which shelves make the most sense. For example, kids craft items and outdoor or water toys may be on lower shelves while tools or hobby and crafting items can live in the middle- and middle-upper reaches. Make sure your shelves are sufficiently supported for safe storage and access.
  5. Install an automatic rolling door. Automatic rolling doors roll up and down on tracks along the sides of the entrance and then along the ceiling edges. This is a major space saver when compared with doors that operate using a swing-system, requiring more air space to clear the upper-end of the garage. If you have an older garage door that swings, maybe it’s time to replace it so you can gain more space for storage.

Are you in the process of upgrading or remodeling your garage? Make storage a priority so you can stretch your garage space to the max. If you need to replace your current garage door or are interested in designing a new one, give us a call here at R&S.

5 Reasons to Install a Strip Door ASAP!

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Drat those flies! Darn that heat! Curses to the cold! Cough; Gasp; can someone say, “carbon monoxide poisoning? Good Grief – have you taken a look at that energy bill lately?

If you work in a warehouse or industrial park, odds are your building has a rolling or sectional door for easy access and deliver- or ship-ability. The problem? That huge gaping hole is letting out all your air-conditioned air in the summer. It allows cold wind and rain to gust in during the winter months. In addition to employee and customer comfort, your energy bills are through the roof!

Strip doors are a shockingly simple solution to a range of problems experienced by business owners who have to open large expanses of their business to the outdoors, or who have refrigerated spaces accessed regularly by employees – which creates energy-waste and safety concerns when it comes to the quality of your product.

Just to be clear, strip doors are thick sheets of plastic, PVC or vinyl that are cut into pliable strips and customized to fit an opening. Typically, they are used to eliminate drafts, noise, dust, rain, and fumes. They can also save you significant money on annual energy bills.

Here are a handful of examples of when to use strip doors in your commercial building:

  1. These energy bills are killing us. Lowering energy consumption, and thereby energy spending, is one of the largest driving forces behind most of our clients’ interest in strip doors. These are one of the cheapest ways to minimize energy waste, acting as a barrier between areas with two different climates, be that indoor/outdoor space, refrigerated spaces/non-refrigerated spaces or to separate hot, humid, greenhouse space from the rest of the interior. When measured and installed properly, a strip door is always closed – yet it allows easy entry/exit to people and equipment, without anyone having to open or close “the door.” It can prevent up to 80% to 90% of air loss that occurs when that same, conventional doorway is left open or ajar.
  2. We’re throwing out spoiled food again? If you’re a restaurant or grocery store owner, strip doors are a must for your refrigerated units. You’ll be amazed at how constant the interior temperature gauge remains once your strip door is in place. Your employees will enjoy being able to walk back and forth easily when it’s time to restock or clean – not having to feel guilty about “propping the door open.”
  3. It’s too noisy in here! Is noise an issue? Would you like to find a way to isolate exterior noise from the interior? Or perhaps even isolate the noise from one area of your warehouse from another? There are all kinds of ways we can implement strip doors to provide a little noise insulation. The highest-quality products have been shown to minimize sound by as much as 17 decibels in certain applications, which can make a big difference.
  4. Feeling light headed again? Air pollutants can feel like the norm when you work in an industrial park. Even if you aren’t the ones creating the pollutants, fumes can drift in from the neighbor’s delivery bay to yours, dust is a constant presence, and birds and/or flying pests can be a nuisance. After your strip doors are installed, you’ll be able to maintain a cleaner and more efficient work environment by preventing the movement of fumes, pests, dust and other contaminants from one area to another.
  5. You feel like you work in a cave. Humans are sun lovers. We are designed to work and play under the rays of the sun. Unfortunately, warehouses aren’t always able to offer natural light in abundance. In addition to affecting worker performance and emotional well-being, it also means having to fork out extra money for lighting costs. With strip doors, you can leave your rolling door wide open, and enjoy a little extra sunlight while you’re at it.

Interested in obtaining a FREE estimate for strip doors at your Bay Area business? Contact the pros at R&S and we’ll make it happen.

4 Common Loading Dock Hazards

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The loading dock is a busy hub, which is why it can also be one of the most dangerous places to work. From inattentive truck drivers, to poorly lit or slippery areas, there is plenty of opportunity for accidents and injuries – and who wants that?

Your goal as a business or warehouse owner or manager is to keep your employees safe and free from harm. This requires continued education on your part, as well as the sharing of that information with your employees and anyone who spends time in the loading dock and bay.

Accidents are bound to happen, the more you maintain a proactive stance, the less often they will occur – and the less severe the accidents or personal injuries will be.

Here are 4 of the most common loading dock hazards as well as tips on how to prevent them:

  1. Failure to Use Required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PPE was invented for a reason, it provides extra protection to vulnerable body parts. There is nothing more frustrating than losing a valuable employee – for a day or a few weeks – for the simple reason that he or she wasn’t wearing the required PPE for their job. Typical PPE for warehouse and loading dock employees include things like:
    –Gloves
    –Hard Hats
    –Non-Slip Shoes
    –Eye protection
    –Support belts and braces when necessary
    Even something as simple as wearing a seatbelt when driving the forklift can make the difference between a minor and major accident-related injury. Institute a mandatory policy when it comes to employees and PPE. There should be a zero-tolerance plan in place for employees who fail to wear and implement PPE as advised.
  2. The Docks. The docks are a dangerous place for several reasons. Some of the most typical OSHA citations are handed out for unsafe dock conditions. Some of the most common hazards are associated with forklifts running over the dock edges, unsecured dock plates, employees jumping off the docks, or when products or equipment strike employees while they are on the dock. Make sure dock signage and barriers are clearly visible and keep your loading dock equipment in good working order, observing the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.
  3. Improper Lifting & Loading Techniques. Sometimes, it’s the little things that go wrong. In the case of warehouse and dock workers, day after day of lifting and moving heavy boxes can take a permanent toll on the body. If your workers aren’t trained in regards to safe lifting practices, they can wind up with lower back and/or joint injuries that lead to costly missed workdays, workers compensation claims and even disability – not to mention chronic pain issues. Provide general ergonomics training and specific task training to mitigate these risks. Training is not a one-and-done activity, but should be an ongoing focus of safety meetings and worker training refreshers. Also, encourage teamwork so employees never feel uncomfortable asking for assistance when they need it.
  4. Slips, Trips & Falls. The minute your dock or warehouse floors get wet, they get slippery. Slippery floors can lead to serious slip and fall accidents. Similarly, poor housekeeping can lead to debris on the floor, which poses both tripping hazards as well as forklift hazards. Train employees to clean up messes immediately and make a tidy warehouse and loading dock the norm. Perform routine sweeps of the areas and remove potential hazards. If and when spills occur, clean them up immediately and post adequate signage until the surface is completely dry.

A safe loading dock is a happier loading dock. Is your loading dock equipment in need of repair? Contact R&S and we’ll be happy to schedule an inspection and consultation to get your doors, lifts and other equipment in proper working order.

The Ultimate Guide to Garage Door Sizes

It’s virtually impossible to imagine the life of a modern man without a car. When you own a car (or are just thinking of getting one), you need to take care of the place you’re going to keep it in.

Sure thing, we talk about garages, but what about the door? You have to think not only about the inner space, but about the garage door size as well.

Americans use the garage more than any other entry to the house, including the front door.

Read further to find out how to choose the best size for your future garage door. This article will also help you to measure garage doors properly and avoid common mistakes people make.

How To Measure Your Garage Door

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To get the perfect garage door, you need to make the proper measurements. What exactly do you need to measure?

1. The width and height of existing garage door opening.

These are the most important measurements. The room for drive through depends on the width and height of the opening, so pay attention to it. This also determines the size of the door you’ll need. Keep an eye on possible defects, such as an uneven opening or un-level floor.

2. Internal headroom.

This is the space between the ceiling and the top of the door opening. It’s important for fitting sectional garage door tracks or placing a curtain roll for a roller shutter garage door.

3. The width of the side room on both sides of the door.

You need this measurement to fit the door frame and the door mechanism properly. This measure requires up to 3.75” on each side. If you’re dealing with a double garage door, make a 10” wide center post.

4. The depth of the garage.

This is a necessary measurement for an up and over, sectional or side hinged door that opens inside. You need to have enough room for the door to open properly.

5. Consider all the obstructions when measuring.

What can be an obstruction? Pipes, lighting and nearly anything that interferes with the door track.

Sizes of The Garage Doors

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When you’ve done all the needed measurements, it’s time to choose the door size to fit your car (or cars).

Standard Garage Door Sizes

Speaking of standard sizes of the residential garage doors, we can roughly divide them into 3 categories. The size of the door depends on what purpose it will serve. So, here are those categories:

  • Single Garage Door Size

The typical sizes for single garage doors are 8’ x 7’, 9’ x 7’ and 10’ x 7’. These are the most standard garage door sizes, and they are a perfect fit for standard homes. This size is good for one car, small truck or a van. It’s a great choice if you don’t plan to store a lot of items in your garage or switch to a bigger vehicle.

  • Double Garage Door Size

Double garage doors usually have sizes of 12’ x 7’, 14’ x 7’ and 16’ x 7’. If you own a big vehicle or just have two of them, this garage door size will satisfy your needs.

  • RV Garage Door Size

This one slightly differs from the other two door sizes. To be able to fit a recreational vehicle, the standard RV garage door height is 8’ and the standard width is 16’. Still, you need to be aware of your exact RV size to be able to choose the right door size for it.

Types Of Garage Doors

There’s a wide range of garage doors to choose from. They differ not only in sizes, but also in materials and styles. To make the choice easier for you, let’s have a look at 4 main garage door types. Knowing these types will help you to decide which garage door works best for you.

When deciding on which type of garage door to chose, be aware of the standard sizes available for the particular type of doors as well. The size of your garage door depends on the size of the garage itself and on how you’re going to use it.

With the right garage door size, you can make the most of your garage and its free space.

Garage door type

Category

Height

Width

Side Hinged Single 8’ 10’
 Sectional  Single;
Double;
RV
Up to 9.8’ Up to 24.6’
 Roller Shutter   Single;
Double;
RV
 Custom.
Up to 9.8’
Custom.
Up to 16.4’
  Up and Over  Single  7’ 8’

Sectional Type Door

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Sectional Type Door: Benefits

  • This door type gains more and more popularity because of its practicality and reliability. The main benefit is that this door doesn’t swing out when opening or closing. The whole door splits horizontally into 4 or more panels and follows the garage roofline.
  • This door type provides a full use of the garage space. A sectional door type also opens higher and you can easily convert it to remote control operation.
  • Wide variety of size options makes this door a perfect choice as a single, double and RV door.

Here you can find out about the advantages and disadvantages of sectional garage doors.

Typical Sizes

Sectional garage doors allow for a wide range of size choices. There are 3 reasons for this.

First. It folds and moves into the garage instead of just hanging in the opening. This gives a maximum drive through height.

Second. The strength of the sectional door panels allow for large widths. It’s possible to install the sectional door to a smaller or bigger opening. It’ll still function normally.

Third. Given that the sizes of sectional garage doors are very flexible, the only limit is the maximum available size. Today, the largest available domestic sectional doors are 9.8’ high and 24.6’ wide. How awesome is that?

How To Measure Sectional Doors

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Apart from standard measurements, you need to keep in mind a few more things.

  • Sectional garage doors require 90 mm on each side of the opening to install. To function properly, it also needs around 100–210 mm of headroom above the top door’s panel.
  • As it goes further into the garage on the horizontal rails, you need to have enough free space inside the garage (on the ceiling, of course). It’s the height of the door plus approximately 350–600 mm.

Roller Shutter Door

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Roller Shutter Door: Benefits

  • Here’s another mechanism that doesn’t swing out during operation. When open, it provides maximum width and height.
  • This door type usually uses a motorised mechanism, which makes it much easier to use. It leaves more room and allows you to park very close to the door… and still be able to fully operate it.
  • The roller shutter door is an outstanding RV door, as well as a single or double garage door.

Read this to decide whether you need a manual or electric roller shutter.

Typical Sizes

The curious thing about roller shutter garage doors is that there are usually no stock sizes for it.

How can you tell if it will fit or not?

Easy!  They’re all designed to fit the opening perfectly.

Basically, the determining factor here is measurement (continue reading to find out how to measure a roller shutter door properly). In general, the sizes of roller shutter doors can go up to 9.8’ high and 16.4’ wide.

How To Measure Roller Shutter Doors

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When making measures, you need to be aware of the curtain roll size too. It’s usually mounted above the opening and ranges in sizes between 300–450 mm.

There may be smaller, more compact roller curtain sizes, but they usually don’t go below 205 mm.

Side Hinged Door

side

Side Hinged Door: Benefits

  • This is another classic type of garage door. It has proven to be reliable and now gains popularity once again. It’s practical and exceptionally simple.
  • The doors usually hinge outwards and don’t take any space in the garage itself. This door type makes it possible to open only one leaf to access your garage. Side hinged doors last longer because they have the minimum of moving mechanical parts.
  • It’s a perfect option for those who often need quick access to the garage. It makes a good single garage door. And it works even better for vehicles other than the car.

Typical Sizes

  • Keep in mind that side hinged doors usually go in between the opening and have their own frame. What does that mean?
  • It means that the ordering size usually references the actual opening of the doors (inside sub frame), not the overall size.
  • Side hinged doors have a very simple and practical construction. Opening sizes can normally go up to 8’ high and 10’ wide.
  • Still, it’s possible to have a larger size. In this case, though, a side hinged door acts more like a gate. This is because leaves and frame are larger and there’s more weight to it.

How To Measure Side Hinged Doors

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  • Measurements for side hinged doors are similar to those of up and over doors.
  • All you need to know is the width and height of the opening. It’s that simple and straightforward.
  • Remember, though, that there’ll also be an inner frame, so the actual opening of the door is going to be slightly smaller.

Up and Over Type Door

upandover

Up and Over Type Door: Benefits

  • This type is one of the most popular ones. Why? Because this garage door is easy to install. The simple construction consists of a one-piece panel, so it’s easy to use too.
  • The canopy mechanism provides a full drive through width when open. You can also convert it to use with the remote control.
  • The up and over type serves best as a single garage door for one car.

You may find these tips useful when installing an up and over garage door.

Typical Sizes

  • When deciding on the size of your up and over garage door, always remember that it requires a fixed sub frame for installation. So, when you mention the size of your up and over garage door, it’s the size of the actual frame opening.
  • You also need to consider that when the door opens, the door panel hangs down in the opening. Why is this important? Because it reduces the drive through height.
  • The optimal width for an up and over garage door is 8’00”. This size allows easy access of a vehicle. The height depends on building restrictions or the height of a vehicle. It usually stays close to 7’00”.

How To Measure Up and Over Doors

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Measurements for up and over garage doors are quite simple. In most cases, all you need to know is the height and width of the garage opening. Although, there’s one thing to keep in mind.

Measurements do differ depending on how exactly you want to install the door. An up and over garage door has an inner frame and operating gear. It will take up extra space, so the actual opening will be smaller. Frame legs are usually around 60 mm wide.

Installing the door behind the opening gives you more freedom. It lets you use all of the opening width.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the garage door prices?

Garage door prices vary depending on the size, strength, used materials and design. An average 16’ x 7’ door starts at between $800 and $1500. An automatic door opener adds an extra $200–$500.

2. What are the commercial garage door sizes?

The most common commercial garage door sizes have 24’1” height and 32’2” width. The size largely depends on the truck sizes that will go into the garage (it’s better to take measures of the largest possible truck). The number of trucks is also important.

3. What are the standard garage door sizes?

Standard garage doors usually have the sizes of 8’ x 7’, 9’ x 7’ and 10’ x 7’. These sizes are perfectly suitable for normal homes with a typical car parked inside the garage. If you want to store a lot of your belongings in the bigger garage, you might want to have a bigger door too.

4. What is the minimum headroom size?

The minimum size of headroom required for proper door operation is 12”. A garage door opener will take up an extra 3”. The required size depends on what type of spring system your garage door will have.

5. Do I need an insulated garage door?

An insulated garage door reduces the cold temperature inside the garage. If you need to maintain a warm and comfortable temperature, you’ll probably need an insulated door. You should also install an insulated door if you don’t want cold air to travel from your garage to your home. Usually, an insulated door is also more quiet and has more varied designs.

6. What are the advantages of a steel garage door?

A steel garage door is more energy efficient, offers better value, security and strength. Modern steel garage doors cost less because of advanced manufacturing. They’re available in numerous designs and colors.

7. Can I paint a steel garage door?

You can paint a steel garage door using latex paint. Don’t use oil based paint as it causes the original color finish to peel off. You also need to make sure that your garage door is dry and clean before starting to paint it. Also, remember that painting adds much weight to a garage door. It can affect garage door springs, its performance and performance of the garage door opener.

8. How to choose the best garage door?

Apart from choosing a door type, you need to decide what material you want, choose a design and energy efficiency level. The garage door takes up a large chunk of your house’s front facade, so it’s better when it suits the overall exterior. And, of course, make the right measurements.

9. Do I need a lock on the garage door?

If you have a garage door with an installed electric door opener, then the lock is unnecessary. You should make sure if the door is impossible to open from the outside if you have an old electric door opener. If there’s no electric door opener installed, you’d better buy a lock.

10. Should I use torsion or extension spring?

Torsion springs offer better balance to the door and provide more safety to those who use the door. They also operate much smoother and last longer.

11. When is it time to replace the garage door?

Obviously, when your garage door doesn’t operate right – it’s potentially hazardous. Instead of fixing it on your own, it’s better to call professionals. Sometimes buying a new garage door brings more value than trying to repair an old one.

12. The garage door is too noisy. Is it a reason for concern?

Usually, it’s the rubbing of old spring coils against one another that causes the excessive noise. It doesn’t mean that the door is unsafe. And you can get rid of this noise. Use a spray-on lubricant or run a thin bead of motor oil from the top to the bottom of each spring.

13. How long can a door opener last?

An average electric garage door opener can last from 10 to 20 years. It depends on its model and how often you use it. If maintained properly, some garage door openers can last up to 25 years and even more. When an opener breaks down, you should consider its age to decide whether it’s worth repairing it. It may be better to buy a new one.

14. What cycle of torsion springs should I choose?

Torsion springs for garage doors usually have 4 different cycles: 25.000 cycles, 50.000 cycles, 75.000 cycles and 100.000 cycles. To decide which one is better for you, you need to do the counting. Take the number of how many times you open and close the garage door during the day. Multiply this number by 250 days. Then multiply again by 10 years (an average life cycle of a garage door). The number you’ll get is the cycle of a torsion spring you need.

15. What maintenance is required for the garage door?

A garage door is a large, heavy and moving part. It’s bound to fall out of its adjustment during daily use. The most common problem is that it’s harder to open and close the door over time. You can do visual inspections and check all the moving parts and mechanisms. If the door has an electric door opener, disconnect it and try to open the door manually. It should operate smoothly and with a little bit of resistance. Also don’t forget to lube up the springs, hinges, rollers and tracks.
Did we cover all questions about garage door sizes? Is there anything that should be added? Share with us in the comments below!

Is it Time to Repair or Replace that Garage Door?

is-it-time-to-repair-or-replace-that-garage-door

In a perfect world, garage doors would be a once in a lifetime purchase. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. If you’ve moved into a home with an ancient garage door, or one that was cheaply made, you may have a hard time deciding whether to repair or replace it.

Here are a few signs that it’s time to replace, rather than repair, your garage door. Still not sure? Feel free to contact us here at R&S. We will always give your our honest recommendations, starting with the most affordable options first.

  1. It’s a Manual Garage Door. Do you have one of those old, heavy, wooden garage doors? The kind with the spring-loaded action but no automated parts to speak of? If so, it’s time to upgrade. First, getting in and out of your car each time you have to open your own garage door is a pain and while you should be proud for holding out all these years, you’ll feel even better when you simply push a button and the door opens for you. Even more importantly, those garage doors are dangerous. There are no safety mechanisms in place to protect the people, pets and toys you love from the trauma of a slammed garage door. It’s time to upgrade to an automated garage door. We’re confident you’ll never regret it.
  2. It Suffered Serious Damage. Sure, your garage door might operate alright since you accidentally backed into it – but that probably won’t last for long. Once a door has been significantly dented, cracked and/or punctured – the days of reliable, smooth and quiet opening/closing are numbered. Exterior damage will begin to take an irreversible toll on the door’s automatic functions, and any perforations in the metal will cause door parts to deteriorate.
  3. Your Automatic Door is More Than 15 Years Old. Odds are a garage door that is 15-years old or older lacks important safety and efficiency features. Does your door automatically lift if it senses an object or person in its direct path? Does it automatically retract if it makes contact with a person or object? If not, you should replace it. Is your water heater housed in the garage? What about your HVAC system? Modern garage doors have efficient insulation and sealing options that can save you on your utility bills and create a more comfortable garage space.
  4. Repeat Garage Door Service and Repair Costs Are Adding Up. No garage door is perfect. They are mechanical systems and they are exposed to the elements. Therefore, a little annual maintenance and attention will be required for any garage door. However, if your garage door acts up on a regular basis, and/or you’ve had to call the service technician more than once in the last several months, it may mean you’re ready for a replacement.
  5. You’ve Converted Your Garage Into a Living Space. Many homeowners opt to convert their garage into a more livable space – be it a man cave or a hobby shop. If that’s in your future plan, it’s time to begin shopping for garage doors that offer the sound and weatherproofing you’ll need to be comfortable.
  6. Your Home Just Got a Facelift. Have you recently renovated or added on to your home? Often, that means the exterior gets a facelift as well and your current garage door may no longer cut the muster. You’d be amazed at the different styles of residential garage doors available, from steel-core doors that look just like real wood to high-end, solid wood carriage house garage doors, choosing the right door for your home’s architecture yields greater curb appeal.

Suspect your garage door needs to be replaced? Contact us here at R&S and we’ll be happy to stop by and provide a free estimate. (925) 671-7606.

Fire Door Maintenance

fire-door-maintenance

Maintenance of your commercial, industrial and personnel doors is always important. It is required for the doors to work safely, reliably and efficiently on a daily basis. Fire doors, however, take extra-special priority when it comes to door maintenance.

Regular Fire Door Maintenance is a Must

Fire doors are designed specifically to keep fires and smoke from spreading from one area of a building to another. They are made from highly-specialized materials and their equipment and hardware are designed to automatically close, prevent the spread or exacerbation of fire.

Obviously, failure on your part to maintain, repair and/or replace fire doors and parts as needed can result in serious damage to your building and/or its occupants. Additionally, it can result in steep fines and other penalties if ill-maintained fire doors are not repaired immediately, or are the cause of harm to people or property.

Here are tips for busy business and building owners should keep in mind, to ensure their fire doors are up to par the next time the Fire Marshall comes around for an inspection…

Download the NFPA 80 Handbook. While it doesn’t make for the most exciting reading material, it’s a good idea to run through the National Fire Protection Associations handbook (NFPA 80), which outlines the safety standards for fire doors.

Work With a Licensed Fire Door Installer. One of the smartest things you can do is work with a licensed commercial door installer who specializes in fire doors. The same people who install the doors will also be qualified to provide scheduled, routine inspections. Call around to various door vendors in your area to find one who offers annual or semi-annual inspections.

They will calendar your inspections so you don’t have to remember them. During their fire door inspection, the technician will perform routine maintenance services, including lubricating of moving parts, tightening up of any loose screws or attachments, etc. Any additional parts and replacement issues will be discussed with you and an estimate will be given. Basic repairs can take place right then and there, more complicated repairs or replacements that require special parts orders will be calendared ASAP.

Perform Your Own Inspections. A door that works fine today can stop working fine tomorrow. For this reason, we recommend that building owners and/or maintenance personnel do weekly or monthly inspections on their own – depending on what makes sense for the door’s use and location.

Things to look for, as per the NFPA 80 guidelines include:

  • Door surfaces and frames do not have holes, breaks, cracks or notable issues.
  • Glazing, vision light frames, and glazing beads are intact.
  • Doors, frames, hinges, hardware, and thresholds are aligned and are adequately tightened.
  • There are no missing or broken parts.
  • Door clearances around frames and at thresholds are appropriate.
  • Self-closure devices operate as designed, without a delay.
  • Coordinators are installed with an inactive leaf closing before active leaf.
  • Latching hardware operates and secures the door when closed. The door should not push open without operating the appropriate lever, handle or push-bar.
  • Auxiliary hardware does not interfere with operation of the door assembly.
  • Modifications do not void the label.
  • Gasket and edge seals are verified for presence and integrity.

Keep a map on hand that has all fire doors clearly indicated. Building personnel can use this to check that all mapped fire doors are working properly and do not show any signs of abuse, excess wear-and-tear or other signs that repairs are required.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to make sure that the doors are inspected and maintained as per NFPA recommendations and your local fire safety code. These inspections and repairs should be carefully documented and stored in case they are need for future reference. Always note the specific inspector’s name, the date, time and findings in as much detail as possible since a fire door’s conditions can change very quickly.

Would you like assistance with fire door maintenance, installation or inspection? Give us a call here at R&S, (925) 671-7606. We’ve provided reliable fire door installation, repair and maintenance for Bay Area clients for more than 50 years.

R&S Erection of Concord, CA

2424 Bates Ave. Concord , CA 94520
(925) 671-7606 Fax: (925) 671-7621
License # 667038

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925-671-7606

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