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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


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


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




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

Sectional Type Door


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


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


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


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 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


  • 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


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


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?


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


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.

How to Choose an Automatic Gate


Automatic gate systems add a luxurious appeal to your home and business, and they are also a reminder to passersby that you and your household value safety. Not all gates are created equal so it’s important that you take your time to select the right gate for your property’s needs.

You should make your automatic gate selection based on a handful of factors including:

  • Reputability and reliability of the product manufacturer and installer
  • Quality of materials
  • Aesthetics
  • Daily wear-and-tear

Things To Consider When Selecting Your Automatic Gate System

Here are some steps to guide you as you go about selecting the best automatic gate system for your property.

Who is installing it? Your first step is to figure out who you trust to install the gate. As with any contractor or vendor, you want to hire a company that is licensed and that has a good reputation in terms of quality and customer service. While your gate should be designed to work consistently and quietly for years on end, there are bound to be hiccups from time to time. Establishing a relationship with a respected automatic gate installer now will be invaluable when it’s time to perform routine maintenance, repairs and/or parts replacement.

Are there HOA regulations? If you’ve just moved into a new neighborhood, don’t forget to check your Homeowners Association CC&R handbook. Unfortunately, we’ve had plenty of clients who installed beautiful and expensive entry gates, only to find out they are in violation of the CC&Rs – meaning they had to rip them out and reinstall one that reflects the HOA’s guidelines. Don’t let that happen to you!

Sliding or Swinging? Most of the time, residential driveway gates are of the swinging variety. Sliding gates are much more expensive and require level ground in order to work well. Swinging gates come in single-leaf and double-leaf options. If you go the swinging route, you’ll have to consider the arc. These gates swing wide. If you have a steep driveway, you’ll need to ensure the gate is placed such that the leaf swings out from the property, and without obstructing oncoming traffic.

Landscape and Architecture. We always encourage our customers to select a gate system that blends with both their existing architecture as well as the landscape design and general surroundings. There are plenty of materials that can be used to “dress up” the columns on either side of the gate if you prefer to cover up the metal posts and equipment. Just make sure the column is strong enough to support your gate system for decades to come.

Which Gate Material is Best? Most automatic gates are made from either wrought iron, steel or aluminum. Wrought iron is the most heavy-duty option. Steel and aluminum are both lighter materials. Materials selection is an important consideration because the heavier the gate, the better the machine equipment and posts will have to be in order to support the automatic gate’s infrastructure and daily operations. Make sure you design a gate that takes all of these factors into consideration and that is sealed or finished with a product that matches your environment and surroundings. Failure to design and build a gate that takes the weight, dimensions, environmental factors, and daily operation into consideration will wind up becoming a maintenance nightmare.

Wood is also available for automatic gate systems. It is popular for the higher-end market because of its classic, aesthetic appeal and its versatility. Keep in mind, however, that a wooden gate will require more maintenance and upkeep in the long run than either of the metal gate options.

How Will Your Gate Be Powered? When you choose your gate, you’ll have the options to power it using an access control panel that is activated via electricity (AC), solar panels or battery backup. Most clients choose a combination of the three – or all of the above. The goal is to conserve as much electricity as possible via the solar panels, but with the reassurance the AC or battery power supply will kick in if the weather is cloudier or if the solar panels need to be cleaned or repaired.

If all goes well, you’ll only install a single automatic gate system in your lifetime. Contact R&S to make sure you make the right choice for your home and property.

Convert Your Garage Into a Craft Room


Forget about Man Caves and Hobby Shops. Maybe it’s time to clear out that garage and transform it into the perfect craft room. Perhaps you just retired and finally have the chance to spend time on the crafts and hobbies you love most. Or, maybe you’ve downsized or moved into a home that doesn’t accommodate an extra room or space for your creativity and crafting.

Convert Your Garage Into a Craft Room in 7 Steps

Whatever the case, a garage can be the perfect solution. You can turn your garage into a craft or hobby room in just 7 steps.

  1. Tackle the Dirty. If you’re reading this post, odds are your garage looks like a garage: dirt, cobwebs, mish-mash of stored goods, grease spots and all. If this is the case, tackling the dirty is definitely the first step. Clear everything out and give your garage a thorough cleaning from top to bottom. Even if you’re a renter, it’s worth it to give the walls a fresh coat of white paint (or whatever the existing paint color may be) just to spruce it up that much more (you might even find some leftover paint from previous owners or renters).

    If your budget allows, you may want to hire a professional cleaning service for this task since they have the tools and tricks to get things spic-and-span in record time. Otherwise, a little hard work will do the trick. Make sure you wear a mask and adequate clothing to protect yourself from the copious amounts of dust, rodent droppings, pollens and other allergens and irritants that may have settled in the garage over the years.

  2. Remove the Grease Stains. Most garage floors have a grease spot of some kind, which will detract from the overall appeal of your new creative zone. Remove it as thoroughly as you can. Covering it up with a rug before removing the stain can cause old grease/oils to slowly wick up into the rug’s fibers. Once you’ve absorbed the greasiest elements using kitty litter or sawdust, pick up Griot’s Oil & Grease Cleaner This product works wonders when used as per the manufacturer’s instructions, and it’s safe for animals, plants and storm sewers. Other, similar products are available from your local hardware store, but please prioritize eco-friendly options. Once the area is clean and dry, you can cover any remaining stains with an indoor/outdoor rug of your choice.
  3. Replace the Garage Door. Unless your home is new, the garage door may be under-insulated for your needs. At first, this can seem like an unnecessary expense. However, space heaters and coolers use a tremendous amount of electricity, and this adds up quickly. Odds are that replacing your current garage door with one that is better-insulated will actually save you money in the long run. You’ll also appreciate the added bonus of insulation from exterior noise.
  4. Change the Color Scheme. If you aren’t renting (or if you have a lenient landlord), go ahead and change the color palette. Repaint the walls in a color of your choice, one that is soothing or inspiring – and that makes you feel like you’re in a custom designed space – rather than a garage conversion.
  5. Install storage racks. If you’re like most crafters, your garage-turned-craft-room will still be needed to store items that are typically housed in a garage. If your garage has rafters, the simple addition of plywood can create an attic-like space where holiday decorations, camping/outdoor gear and family/children’s mementos can be stored. Paint the exposed side of the plywood sheet white or a shade of your choosing for aesthetic appeal. Stainless steel wire racks are a smart choice as they are easy to keep clean and require zero maintenance. Then, attractive Tupperware containers or baskets can be used to store your craft supplies and tools.
  6. Use an Air Purifier. There’s a chance your garage is laden with decades of chemical, gas and grease odors. It might also feel or smell a bit “stale”. If this is a case, purchase a basic air purifier to help keep the space feeling fresh and clean. Fans can also help to keep air circulating. Plug-in air fresheners will help to create a fresher, “non-garage” smell.
  7. Install a Power Strip or Two. Odds are your garage is seriously lacking in the power outlet department. Power strips are a simple solution. Think about where you’ll be doing what in your new craft space. Then, notice where the outlets are. This will help you to establish how long cords need to be in order for you to work comfortably.

To finish your new craft room, keep on the lookout for garage sales and craigslist ads so you can find used tables, chairs and other furnishings to complete your new craft room in style.

Garage Door Safety 101


For those who lived in a world before automatic garage door openers, the garage door was a scary entity. Often controlled manually, and with the use of a weapon-like torsion spring, heavy wooden doors could slam down in an instant, and woe to the person or pet in its way.

Fortunately, today’s automatic garage door technology includes a range of safety features to keep you and your home or business occupants safe. Even so, accidents can happen so paying attention to a handful of basic safety rules is the best way to make sure your garage remains an accident-free zone.

  1. Use licensed professionals for installation. Yes, R&S is a garage door company, so we admit we have a vested interest in this one. Even so, we stand by the fact that using licensed professionals to install your automatic garage door will go a long way towards preventing accidents. The garage door is the largest moving object in most homes, and it weighs hundreds of pounds. If it’s installed improperly, it can come crashing down with hundreds of pounds of force. While we recommend learning some DIY garage door maintenance tips, make sure you hire a licensed professional for bigger-ticket maintenance items for added safety.
  2. Observe routine maintenance requirements. Your garage door is opened and closed on a daily basis, often more than once a day. Don’t ignore the hard work it does. Reward it by paying attention to the recommended maintenance list provided in the manufacturer’s manual. When the tracks, door and moving parts are kept clean, lubricated and repaired/replaced as needed, you’re much less likely to experience an accident.
  3. Teach children about garage door safety. Unfortunately, children are the victims in the large majority of garage door accidents that result in serious injury or death. First, make sure the garage door opener is at least 5-feet up on the wall so it is out of reach of the littlest crowd. Then:
    –Teach children that garage doors are not toys.
    –Maintain the rule that children should not play directly under or around the garage door opener.
    –If they use the opener, insist that they stay well clear of the door while it’s in motion.
    –Never, ever play “beat the door,” under any circumstances.
    –Make sure children keep their hands and fingers free of the track, joints, hinges, springs and other door parts.
  4. Conduct monthly reversal tests. This is especially true for those who have younger children or beloved pets. The reversal feature is one that ensures the garage door stops and opens again if it makes contact with anything on its way down. Every month, test the feature by placing a 2×4 on the ground where the door makes contact with the floor. If the feature is working, the door should immediately stop and open back up when it hits the wood. If it doesn’t, contact your garage door company and have them check it out. It needs to be repaired or replaced.
  5. Conduct visual inspections. Every month or so, take a good, hard look at the garage door and its parts. Does anything look odd? Are there any parts that look loose, saggy or out of place? Is the door lopsided or opening/closing in a stop-start matter. Does it “act up” from time to time? Does the door make unusual sounds? None of these should be taken lightly. If you suspect something is wrong, contact the professionals to take a look so the door can be repaired or replaced before something more serious goes wrong.

If your automatic garage doors is professionally installed and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions, odds are your family will never become one of the statistics.

Loading Dock Etiquette for Truckers


Loading dock safety is no laughing matter. The combination of big trucks, heavy equipment, large, heavy and/or oversized loads and a whole lot of hustle and bustle make loading docks and delivery bays a potential hotbed of safety violations and serious injury.

Some of the most dangerous scenarios involve the intersection of semi-trailer trucks and wee humans – with or without their forklifts. While everyone is doing their best to work quickly, efficiently and safely – getting into a blind daily routine can be dangerous for all involved.

Loading Dock Etiquette Can Save Lives and Improve Business

Truck drivers who observe a little loading dock etiquette can go a long way towards maintaining overall safety and improving the business relationship between their company and the client.

Be Humble & Communicate. This is easier said than done, but the more humble you are – the less likely there are to be issues. If it’s your first time to make a pick-up or delivery, pay close attention to loading dock signage and lights. Then, recognize what you all have in common – a desire to get the job done, even if your methods vary.

While truckers make money according to the number of deliveries they make, shipping/receiving personnel typically make money by the amount of hours they work. Thus, while truckers have an incentive to work quickly, getting in and out of the loading bay as rapidly as possible – shipping/receiving clerks may work more slowly, in the hopes of extending their hours and getting overtime. Communicating this same-but-opposite motivation can help you strike the middle ground.

Avoid Getting Overly Angry. You are going to be angry, frustrated and discouraged – possibly on a daily basis – depending on the personality-types who greet you in the loading bay. This is a given, but it doesn’t mean that being reactive will help. Yelling, swearing or threatening physical harm will only escalate the situation. Instead, it’s best to develop the feathers of a duck, so others’ idiocy – – er, we mean – – unprofessionalism, can roll right off your back.

Get Pertinent Information Ahead of Time. Talk to the other drivers and/or managers at your freight company to find out as much as you can about various companies, facilities, and potential loading dock issues ahead of time. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to cultivate patience (or load a few more of your favorite Netflix…). If a company is known to drag its feet, or something about a particular loading dock hinders the process or negatively affects a driver’s experience, freight company personnel can pick up the phone and have a conversation with the shipping/receiving managers. Hopefully, a compromise of sorts can be made.

Honor the Loading Dock Rules. Some loading docks are much more detail-oriented than others. While one company may only employ the use of a basic red light/green light safety system, others may employ lights, signage, dock restraint systems, tire chocking – and the list goes on. The more labor intensive it is for you to do your job, the more frustrating it is. We get it. But, the reality is that these features were employed because someone, somewhere was gravely injured or possibly even killed. Remember the aforementioned rule to “Be Humble.” Railing against the establishment won’t do anything to make your job there any easier.

Stay Awake, Alert and Professionally Attentive. When truck drivers fall asleep, leave their truck or are generally MIA, it slows things down. Yes, there are long waits involved when you’re a delivery driver, but that’s just the name of the game. Pay attention, provide the required information/documentation, patiently wait your turn and follow the dock rules – and you’ll be a part of the solution, rather than the problem.

The goal is for everyone to get their job done as professionally, efficiently and safely as possible. Observing a little loading dock etiquette for truckers will help to make that happen.

A Brief History of the Garage


While it’s hard to imagine life without an automobile, you only have to go back about two or three generations to find Americans who lived on a day-to-day basis without one. That’s because cars didn’t become a regular part of the American landscape until the end of the 1890s and, even then, they were largely a coveted leisure possession, owned predominantly by the wealthy classes.

By the beginning of the 20th century, cars found their way into the middle- and working classes as well – sometimes for leisure but often as a service vehicle. However, mechanical vehicles still shared roadways with horses, carts, buggies and wagons. And, that is where the history of the garage begins.

Out With the Horse, In With the Car

For households that owned horses, buggies and wagons – and that kept them on the premises – the barns and other out buildings were used as storage containers. Often, those who lived in towns paid monthly fees to livery stables. These stables took good care of the horses and your transportation-of-choice until you needed them. Thus, the concept of a “garage” was a foreign one.

Instead, as the buggies and wagons moved out, the car moved in. In many older homes – especially in the east coast and Midwest – Carriage Houses were the norm. These structures were built specifically for the family carriage and its accoutrement – including tack. When the carriage went by the wayside, this same building was used for the automobile and its accoutrement. These buildings were almost always detached from the building and, often, the opening faced a different direction from the home so the carriage or farm equipment were easy to access from the fields and barns.

The more cars established themselves as part of our culture’s fabric, the more demand there was for car-specific storage and this resulted in a wide range of vehicle storage options, and many variations in theme.

Before the Residential Garage Door: Attempts at Hiding the Obvious

In the automobile’s earlier incarnations, mechanical and maintenance equipment varied significantly from model to model. Thus, the building’s constructed to house the family vehicle were also built to accommodate its tools, parts and accessories. These buildings were typically outbuildings, located away from the main dwelling and ran the gamut from very ramshackle to impressive, depending on the household’s budget. Because of the toxicity associated with the chemicals and fuels required by autos, homes that had both horses and autos kept them housed in two separate buildings so as not to asphyxiate valuable livestock.

Then, in May of 1917, a famous UK publication, Country Life Magazine, printed an article by John Boyd. Among other things, Mr. Boyd proposed that given the fact that auto storage buildings had none of the sanitation issues that existed in stables, there was no reason why the building couldn’t be attached to the home. In fact, in an era where automobiles needed to be stored in a heated environment (energy efficiency wasn’t even a sparkle in the collective consciousness), and required water and other utilities, it actually made more sense to connect garage buildings to the main house. Boyd adeptly pointed out that, “Chauffeurs, as we all know, rank infinitely higher than grooms in the social classification of the household, and they may naturally expect quarters near the other servants.”

From that point forward, architects have come up with a myriad of ways to balance the proportions and profile of residential houses while still keeping the garage connected, or at least close to, to the main building. In many downtowns, detached garages were built at the back of the lot, opening up to an alley, which kept the garage from negatively affecting curb appeal. This tradition was one that continued into the post war era.

For those who already owned homes that were built “pre-garage”, pre-fabricated, portable options were popular because they could be added to the existing property and, especially attractive to renters, could be moved if the tenant had to move.

Ideas and methods for including garages into residential home design continued to evolve throughout the 1920 and 30s. After WWII, attached garages increasingly became the norm. As a result, homeowners had a more vested interest in the look, style and function of their garage door since it comprised such a large area of their home’s façade.

This is where R&S comes into the picture. We’ve provided stylish and functional residential garage doors since 1963. Take advantage of our expertise and contact us the next time you’re in the market for residential or commercial garage door repair, replacement or maintenance.

Most Likely Reasons for Garage Door Failure


Ring. Ring. Ring.

R&S: “Thanks for calling R&S Garage Doors. How can we help you?”

CUSTOMER: “Gah! We need to schedule a service call because our garage door won’t open or close…”

R&S: “Before we schedule that service call, let’s see if I can help you over the phone…”

This is a replay of a conversation we have here at R&S just about every single day – and about twelve times on Monday mornings.

Your Garage Door Won’t Open Because…

While we admit we’re in the business to make money, we also admit we’re hardworking folks who appreciate good ol’ fashioned honesty and integrity. This is why we try never to waste our customers’ money on an unnecessary service call.

Some of the most common reasons a garage door won’t open are things that household occupants can take care of on their own. These include things like:

Misaligned Photo Eyes. In order to open and close, your automatic garage door depends on the communication that takes place between the control button and two photo eyes. These send an invisible beam between one eye and the next; if this beam is interrupted – the garage door won’t work. It’s a safety feature that prevents the door from closing on people, pets or precious objects. If the eyes become misaligned, the beam is automatically interrupted, and the door won’t work.

Find the photo eyes, which look like small lenses – typically located in a small black box at the bottom of each side of the garage door track. In most cases, a little gentle maneuvering of one will make the green light flash – showing you they are back in alignment.

Dirty Photo Eyes. Similarly, the photo eyes can become dirty or can become encrusted with mud, cobwebs or other debris. Keep in mind that these photo eyes are made of glass, just like the lens of a camera. Therefore, you want to use the same level of care you would when cleaning a camera lens. Remove larger, solid debris by hand and then gently dust the lens off with a very soft brush and/or cloth. Cleaning the garage on a seasonal basis will help to prevent this issue.

Change the Batteries. Whoopsie! Did you forget to change the battery in your remote garage door transmitter? To be on the safe side, we recommend changing them once a year. Put it onthe calendar along with replacing the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Unfortunately, transmitter manufacturers are incredibly inconsistent so battery types vary. Open yours to see which type of battery it uses, and buy an extra set while you’re at it.

The Garage Door Seems Possessed. Sometimes you’ll find that your garage door opens and closes randomly, and seemingly of its own accord. The first thing you want to do is make sure the buttons on the main control box, as well as the remote transmitters, aren’t stuck. If they are free and clear, it may mean one of your neighbors’ garage doors is set at a similar frequency to your own. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to reset your garage door responders’ frequency. It only take a minute or two at the most.

The Door Won’t Go All the Way Down. If the photo eyes aren’t the problem, it may be that an object (even a teetering rake or broom handle can do it) or accumulated debris along the sides or bottom of the garage walls/floor are blocking the photo eye laser path. Try to keep a good 6-inches or more of clear space along the tops, sides and bottom level of the garage door tracks.

These are some of the most common reasons for garage door failures that you can take care of on your own. However, things like misaligned tracks, broken springs, or broken cables, are all better taken care of by a professional – especially if your automatic garage door is still under warranty.

Have a question or issue with your automatic garage door? Contact the team at R&S. We’ll walk you through it if we can and, if that doesn’t work, we’ll send out service professional ASAP. 925-671-7606.

Choosing the Best Access Control System for Your Business


Your business is your livelihood, which is why it’s so important that you select the right access control system for its security and protection. However, today’s commercial access control systems offer more than just protection; they also offer a way for you to monitor who accesses the premises at any given time, they can ensure employees are arriving/leaving at their scheduled times, and can provide video surveillance that can be reviewed if any sort of issue or discrepancy arises.

Depending on your company’s size, needs and level(s) of protection required, access control systems can be:

  • Wired or wireless
  • Stand-alone or network systems
  • Free-exit systems or control exit systems
  • Keypad entry
  • Phone/buzz-in entry
  • Access card or card reader entry
  • Locked with various hardware options.

And the list continues.

Steps For Selecting the Best Access Control System For Your Business

That being said, you don’t want to “over buy” a system that offers over and above your current and future needs, since that is a waste of revenue.

Depending on your company’s size, needs and level(s) of protection required, access systems can be:

  • Wired or wireless
  • Stand-alone or network systems
  • Free-exit systems or control exit systems
  • Keypad entry
  • Phone/buzz-in entry
  • Access card or card reader entry
  • Locked with various hardware options.

And the list continues. While the following will provide a general overview, we recommend consulting with a professional access control system installer before making your final selection.

The following steps will help you determine which access control system is the best fit for your company and its employees:

  1. Review Security Needs. Conduct a security review to establish the level of security your company needs today, as well into the future – looking at potential security requirements over the next five or ten years. This review can be done in-house, but most experts recommend using a third-party source who will provide industry-savvy observations, ideas and recommendations that you might not have thought about on your own. Things to consider include:
    —The location of all entrances and exits.
    —The physical features of the building and property
    —Your employee payroll, and/or the number of people who enter the building or premises each day.
    —Potential vulnerabilities.
    —Hours of operation, including hours employees are onsite (or not permitted onsite).
    These are the considerations that determine which level of security and type of access control system will be required for optimal safety.
  2. Determine Which Type of Installation is Best. If your company is very small, and security requirements are minimal, you may be able to install an access control system on your own. However, most commercial business owners prefer to hire a professional access control system installer and alarm security company. Not only does this ensure the system is installed correctly, it will also allow things like gate and access system maintenance, system testing and security breach responses to be taken care of, without any liability on your end.
  3. Which Access System Makes the Most Sense? Do you want to keep track of which employees access which areas of your business? Are some areas of the business or job site “off limits?” Do you want your access system to serve as employee time card verification? Does it matter to you whether vendors have a general access code or need to be buzzed in? The answers to these and other questions will determine which type of access system make the most sense, ranging from gates that automatically open for anyone between normal business hours to those that require control access keypads where each individual user requires their own, trackable access code.

Other things to consider include whether or not you want to be able to control your gate and security system remotely, whether it will integrate with existing security/alarm systems, and whether you need a system with failsafe features that accommodate fire, floods, power outages or other unexpected disasters.

Schedule a FREE onsite consultation with R&S to learn more about your business’s control access system options.

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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