Your Guide to Adding Value to Your Home by Getting a New Garage Door
There are very few home features that have as big an impact as your garage door. You might be in a subdivision neighborhood where row after row of garage doors feature prominently on façades. Or, your home may sit on a larger lot where your garage is set back and more subtle. No matter where you live, your garage door makes a statement. Curb appeal says a lot about your home’s value.
A new garage door speaks volumes about your home’s attractiveness. It also speaks to potential buyers when your home is for sale on the real estate market. Experienced realtors know well how their clients react when viewing properties. First impressions are crucial. They can immediately convince potential buyers to drop in and walk through or to drive past and look elsewhere
The importance of garage doors for resale value can’t be overstated. A new garage door is one of the top ways to improve curb appeal. Changing your tired and dull old garage door for a chic new look adds value to your home. A new garage door will also make help you sell your home quicker. A faster sale translates to value.
If you were to ask any realtor what home improvements add the most value, invariably they’ll say your garage door. But don’t just take a real estate agent’s word for it. Stand back and look at your home from the street. Does your garage door send the “buy me” message? If not, you should replace it.
But why does your garage door play such an important role in the look of your house and your ability to sell it? It’s because of the amount of visual space your garage door occupies. Think about the ratio of garage door area compared to that other vital architectural component—your front entry door.
A typical front entry unit is 36” by 80”. That’s 20 square feet. A standard double-sized garage door is 192” by 84” or 112 square feet. Your garage door is five and a half times larger than your entryway. Compound that massive visual space with proximity to the street, and it creates an even greater impression. That’s why you’ll hear home designers, builders and realtors speak about how vital “garage door architecture” is.
So many home designs have their garage door as the largest architectural detail, usually for practical reasons. Large, up-front garage doors enable easy access for vehicles of any size. Setting garages back from the façade takes more space and increases construction costs. That’s why when you drive through America’s newer neighborhoods you’ll be greeted by large garage doors. And all of them give a first impression – some better than others.
Does a Garage Door Increase Home Value?
When you ask a realtor if a new garage door increases home value, you’ll get a resounding “yes.” They’re not just saying that as part of a sales pitch. They can back it up with multiple studies done on how much value a new garage door adds to your home. Every single study reports the same thing. Replacing an old garage door with a fresh, modern looking model provides one of the highest returns on home remodeling investments you can get.
The Cost and Value Report is a trusted and credible publication. They’re now in their 28th year. In studies done in collaboration with the National Association of Realtors, the Cost and Value Report consistently states that replacing your garage door is the single best home improvement project you can undertake. That’s for both upscale and mid-range projects.
These studies look at national averages where return on investment value is rated. These figures vary depending on the reporting area, but every one consistently supports the idea that garage door replacement increases home value. They also report shorter selling times for homes with new garage doors.
Expected investment returns vary by city and region. Returns from the Pacific Northwest, Middle Atlantic and California regions reported return ranges from as low as 78 percent on investment to as high as 146 percent. That works out to an average of 115.6 percent or $1,156.00 back on a $1,000.00 investment. Nowhere else can you get that big return on your remodeling money than a new garage door. That includes spending on big-ticket items like kitchen, bath and flooring upgrades.
There’s no doubt a new garage door gets you the best bang for your buck. It costs far less than most other home improvements and has the highest return value. That includes increasing that all-important curb appeal, which makes for a quicker sale. How could you go wrong with that?
Changes in Garage Door Designs
Modern garage doors are far superior to what was available even ten years ago. Back then, most garage door designs were the plain and simple sectional overhead models. Many were flat steel, but you could upgrade to raised-panels with wood grain embossing. Most were white with painted enamel finishes baked-on for durability.
There were limited options for older garage doors. Upper windows were a favorite upgrade. Some windows even displayed mullions like traditional grids or the now-dated sunbursts. But most older garage doors were designed for a practical job. Little thought was given to architectural aesthetics.
Garage doors built in the past 20 years also used a limited range of materials. Light-gauge steel was the most popular material because of its light weight and relatively high durability. Manufacturers tried aluminum as well, but the material simply couldn’t stand up to the rigors of daily ups and downs. Medium density fiberboard (MDF) was another option. MDF took nicely to paint, but these garage doors were excessively heavy. They also didn’t do well in wet conditions.
Today, the range of designs, materials and options available in garage doors is extensive. In fact, choices can be almost overwhelming for the average homeowner. Current garage door designs are sometimes so aesthetic and sophisticated that it’s hard to tell if you’re looking at a garage door or a carefully crafted architectural wall feature.
Garage doors that are selected to complement your home’s original architecture can be stunning. You can make an enormous difference to a home’s curb appeal by changing just one feature – the garage door. In less than one day you can go from being another Plain-Jane on the block to a head-turner. That’s what the right garage door can do.
A Wide Range of New Garage Doors
Now you have a range of garage door designs to choose from that may not have been dreamed up yet when your home was built. You can choose from traditional designs with tried and proven raised panels. Today, you can also customize the color of your garage door to match your home. You can upgrade to old-fashioned carriage house designs that appear to swing from side to side but, in reality, roll up. Or, you can stick with classic designs.
The clean lines of a modern garage door might be all that’s necessary to create a crisp, horizontal effect while remaining understated. You can turn to real wood for a rustic or country look. Many lightweight and durable materials are available in today’s designs. Nowadays, painting and staining are easy as well as long-lasting.
There’s an endless array of garage door designs on today’s market. You can work with your garage door supplier to have any style or combination of options installed on your new garage door. But occasionally, that perfect design isn’t quite there. In that case, you can have a garage door custom-made to fit your taste.
Customization doesn’t just mean a unique design that doesn’t exist elsewhere. You can take a stock design that you like and have it custom suited to a particular size. You can also choose your own colors and textures. You can even customize accessories like hardware, fittings and exterior accents.
Custom windows are also an option for your new garage door. Windows play an important part in architectural appeal. They add that perfect touch that compliments your garage door and matches your other windows to give your façade a uniform appearance that gives your home its own unique look.
Garage Door Safety, Security and Energy Efficiency
Garage door windows do more than add curb appeal. They play a crucial role in safety, security and energy-efficiency. Windows let light into your garage, so you can safely move about during the day. Appropriately placed and treated garage door windows provide security from prying eyes. And garage door windows designed not let heat escape help conserve energy in colder climates.
Energy-efficiency is important to many homeowners. Although your biggest return on investing in a new garage door comes from the impressive curb appeal you’ll get, don’t overlook another value found in the right garage door – energy-efficiency.
Once you’ve piqued prospective buyers interest with your house’s looks, they’re sure to check if your new garage door is energy efficient. Older insulated garage doors were poor performers. Usually, they had bare Styrofoam glued onto the inside metal panels. This did little more than prevent condensation. It didn’t offer much in the way of preventing heat loss and preventing air leakage.
By choosing an energy efficient new garage door, you’re adding one more positive aspect to your home that prospective buyers will take note of. Today’s top-quality energy efficient garage doors do what they’re advertised to do. They have exceptional R-value, a measurement of their ability to restrict heat flow, and are designed to control air leaks on all sides. Highly efficient garage doors are well worth the minimal extra expense.
Select a High-Quality Clopay New Garage Door
Clopay is one of America’s leading garage door manufacturers. When you hear the name Clopay, you know the brand represents the finest materials and craftsmanship available in today’s garage doors. Your prospective buyers will recognize the Clopay brand. Even if they don’t see the Clopay name from the street, they’ll know it from the design and attention to detail that goes into every Clopay garage door.
Brand recognition does more than reassure you that you’ve installed a quality product that looks exceptional. It subtly suggests you’ve paid attention to every aspect of your home. That starts with choosing from Clopay’s extensive selection of designs. Here are the leading collections of high-quality new garage doors that Clopay offers.
The Avante Collection transforms your home’s appearance with a modern look. The horizontal Avante lines use aluminum and glass features that allow natural light through the day to filter through your garage and return to a warm glow at night. The Avante collection also has useful privacy features and a stylish look.
You can also customize colors with Avante garage doors. With the right color, right windows and the right amount of aluminum accents, you’ll be sure to improve your home’s curb appeal immensely.
Canyon Ridge is another Clopay collection that adds beauty to your home with its insulated carriage house doors and faux wood overlays. They’re unique, beautiful and constructed with energy-efficient Intellicore© insulated steel bases.
You get the appearance of traditional swing-out carriage house doors with this collection. The doors look fantastic from the street but have every convenience of modern, roll-up operation. A wide choice of composite exterior finishes is available.
The Classic Collection offers traditional raised-panel appearances in a wide range of design and construction options. They give you the classic look of time-tested door looks made with the best materials. Classic garage doors are made of durable steel and come in insulated and non-insulated models.
Classic garage doors are ideal for areas with strong winds. They’re made with Windcode® reinforcement that meets building codes in hurricane and tornado zones.
Possibly the Clopay Coachman Collection is another perfect option for increasing curb appeal. Coachman doors also feature a carriage house design but are constructed of high-quality steel instead of wood or composites. These garage doors are low-maintenance and long-lasting.
Coachman garage doors have the same charming appeal as the Canyon Ridge collection. They also have a swing out appearance but roll-up convenience. You can also get them with energy-efficient insulation..
For a truly custom application, the Reserve Wood Collection is for you. Clopay can work from a professional architectural drawing or even a sketch to produce the garage doors you can only imagine. Choose from exotic woods like Spanish Cedar, Ironwood, African Mahogany, White Oak or Knotty Alder.
Or, you can step up to Clopay’s Reserve Wood Limited Edition Series for designs that are exceptionally beautiful with high energy efficiency and strength.
Choose Stapley Action Garage Door as Your Clopay Installer
Clopay brand garage doors are your best return on investment for adding value to your home. Clopay garage doors give you stunning curb appeal for a reasonable price. But choosing Clopay as your new garage door brand isn’t enough. You need to make sure your Clopay supplier also installs your new garage door.
Stapley Action Garage Door has been serving the Phoenix Metropolitan area since 1986. Over the years, we’ve installed thousands of new garage doors in homes and businesses. We’re proud to supply and install all of Clopay’s excellent products and to help your home stand out.
At Stapley Action Garage Door, we’re only as good as our people. We’ve assembled a first-class team of installers, sales and service people. Our experienced technicians provide trouble-free installation and quickly transform your façade from plain to outstanding.
Contact Stapley Action Garage Door today to buy your next garage door. We look forward to helping you take your home’s curb appeal to the next level.
How to Choose the Right Garage Door Opener
When it comes to new home construction in America, a garage is relatively standard.
Consider these 2015 statistics from the National Association of Home Builders:
- 61% of new home constructions featured a two-car garage.
- 24% had a garage large enough for three or more cars.
- 6% had a single-car garage — most which were found in smaller townhouses.
While the number of homes with a garage of some kind is increasing, there are still some considerations for homeowners. What is the best type of garage door? What sort of security features should I include? And, for the purpose of this guide, how to I pick a garage door opener?
Garage door openers are extremely important, and, recently, they have undergone some technological innovations, especially by integrating smart technology.
To help you make choosing the right garage door opener a snap, we have created a complete, expert guide to the opener selection process.
Think About Noise
Thinking about the noise impact is a smart first step in choosing the best garage door opener for your home. Do you have a room — especially a bedroom — located above your garage? Is there a study or den directly next to your garage? If this is the case, noise could become a problem.
Imagine coming home late at night from a long business trip only to wake up your whole family because you open the garage door. Or, consider a day spent in the home office, under the gun on a big project, only to be constantly startled as your partner takes the kids to school or runs errands.
Many homes today are designed to isolate the garage from more sound-sensitive parts of the house. Some garages are even detached from the rest of the house for just this reason. If this is the case, noise won’t may not be crucial to you — but it might be for your neighbors.
Choose the Best Garage Opener Style
Once you determine your noise requirements, select the garage door opener that best meets those needs. There are three common styles of garage door opener, each one offering different advantages and drawbacks regarding noise, reliability, and cost.
Consider these options for openers:
- Chain drive. This is the most common garage door opener. It is reliable and affordable. Using what is essentially a bike chain to lift the door, it works in most garages and can be adjusted to properly lift both light and heavy doors. Its biggest drawback is the noise it generates. The act of rolling the chain to lift the door creates a good deal of vibration and thus sound. Innovative manufacturers have done well to reduce the amount of noise produced by even the standard chain drive model, so these aren’t the loud machines of a generation ago.
- Screw drive. Rather than lifting the door with a chain, a threaded shaft connects the lift with the door and spins to generate lift. The biggest advantage of a screw drive is the diminished vibration when compared with traditional chain-driven lifts. It’s a reliable style and isn’t overly expensive, although they are generally a little costlier than chain drives.
- Belt drive. This is the quietest garage door lift available. However, it’s also the most expensive. Rather than using a chain, a Kevlar polymer belt with textured teeth pulls up the door as it’s rolled by a gear system, drastically reducing vibration. Also, the Kevlar does not make nearly as much noise when it makes contact with the lifting mechanism.
In some exceptional cases, there are a couple of other garage door styles that homeowners can choose from. A direct drive system avoids using a pulling mechanism altogether. This makes the system extremely quiet, but they are rare in the United States. Jackshaft openers are placed next to the door rather than on the ceiling. They are expensive, but they make sense for some garages with tight spaces or insufficient head room.
Check Your Power Source
Your next concern is power. You want your garage door opener to be strong enough to lift your door without causing too much wear and tear on the opener mechanism. However, you don’t want your opener to be overpowered, as it will use more energy than necessary, thus sapping efficiency.
On average, garage door openers come with one of three power ratings, ranging from 1/2 horsepower to 1 horsepower. Here’s a breakdown of each:
- 1/2 horsepower. This is the standard option for most residential garage doors, especially in newer constructions. Today, garage door manufacturers have done well to design doors with strength and durability that are simultaneously light and well-insulated. If you have a newer, standard width garage door, this will most likely be your best bet.
- 3/4 horsepower. If you have an oversized door, you will likely want to upgrade the power to 3/4 horsepower. Some homeowners prefer a faster door and increasing the power to 3/4 horsepower will accomplish this.
- 1 horsepower. These powerful lifts are usually reserved for special doors that are extra heavy. Sometimes, older garage doors made of solid wood will require this kind of lift. Other homeowners who have an extra-large door may need to upgrade to this power level.
Assessing your exact horsepower needs can be difficult. We recommend partnering with a professional who has the experience to identify where a higher horsepower motor might be beneficial and where it might be overkill.
Understand Remote Control Security
Remote controls are a huge convenience and one of the most used aspects of a garage door lift system. They are also pretty simple devices. Simplicity is good — there are fewer things that can go wrong. But, simple means easy to access, and some garage remotes don’t offer sophisticated protections from outside interference.
There are essentially two issues to keep in mind when thinking about remote control security technology:
- Protect against outside interference. If you live in a more densely populated residential area, it’s likely that you won’t be the only person with a garage in the vicinity.
Your remote — along with the remotes of your neighbors — can interfere with each other, especially if they are the same brand. Without standard protections, your neighbor might be accidentally opening your garage door at the same time that they are opening their door.
To protect against this kind of interference, manufacturers have begun to implement dual-frequency technology, which causes your remote to automatically switch between frequencies to ensure your remote is uniquely connected to your garage door opener.
- Protect against security breaches. While accidental interference is an inconvenience, it’s not the worst thing that could happen. You also need to be on guard against intentional security breaches, and hacking a garage door opener isn’t that hard for the tech-savvy burglar.
Consider this story from Wired. In 2015, a security technology professional demonstrated how, by using a simple child’s toy, burglars created a device that could unlock any garage door with a “fixed” security code.
Fixed security code systems are the simplest remote-controlled lifts available. They have a unique code — not unlike the combination on a padlock — that pairs the opener with the remote. This toy was hacked to transmit every possible numerical code in seconds, essentially turning the toy into a universal remote for “fixed” systems.
However, aware of this security flaw, newer remotes use “rolling” security codes. This would be like having a padlock that changes the code from over a billion possibilities every time it is opened.
According to the Wired article, Liftmaster garage door openers made “rolling” codes standard on all models after 1992. Therefore, if you have a garage door opener that is older than that, your garage may be at risk. If you are unsure if your garage door uses “fixed” or “rolling” code technology, a quick consultation with a professional should offer an answer.
Install Battery Back-Up for Convenience and Safety
Garage door openers are electrical tools. Like your refrigerator or television, they aren’t going to be much use if you don’t have power. Many newer models feature battery back-up, however. That means, at least for a period of time, you will still be able to use your garage door even if your home is without power.
Even without it, you can always open your garage door by hand using the manual release. The manual release is the pull cord that typically hangs from the opener. By pulling this cord, you will be disconnecting the door from the lift mechanism. Because garage doors have ultra-strong springs installed to minimize the amount of motor power needed, you can also lift a detached door by hand.
There are certain emergency situations when even this additional step could become a safety issue. There are times when you need to exit your home, and do it quickly. While every family should have an emergency exit plan, the truth is, under pressure, exiting your home should be as easy as possible. This is especially true if you need to take your car with you as you exit. Batteries are an easy remedy to this eventuality.
Make Sure Your Garage Light Is Versatile
The vast majority of garage door openers come with lights installed. That way, any time you are pulling your car in your garage, you will have a light, even if you haven’t turned one on by hand.
Not all garage door lights operate the same way. The oldest versions only turned on when you activated the garage door opener. While this is convenient in most instances, there are cases when you may need light but aren’t activating the opener.
To compensate, many newer models come with a motion-activated light. With these, if you happen to be entering your home and the garage door is already up, the motion of your car will turn on the light. Similarly, if you enter your garage to get a tool and never open the door, the light will turn on regardless. If you happen to leave your garage door open, the light will eventually turn off.
Because of the kinds of things most people store in their garages — mowers, yard equipment, snow blowers and power tools — having a responsive light is an excellent safety feature. You don’t want to suffer an injury fumbling around for a light switch.
Safety Features Are Essential
There are other safety features to keep in mind, and, if you have a family, safety is likely your top priority. Though it isn’t clear why, there was a huge jump in the number of garage door injuries between 2014 — where the stats had been holding steady for over a decade — to 2015. In 2014, the nation saw 9,094 injuries. In 2015, that number jumped to 17,782.
Because of the power of a garage door opener and the weight of a garage door, many of these injuries are serious.
Garage door manufacturers and installers care about the safety of you and your family, so they have developed highly sophisticated technology to avoid these types of injuries.
There are three types of garage door safety technologies that will help prevent injury:
- Entrapment Sensors
These types of sensors come in a number of different forms, but regardless of the form, they are designed to make sure nothing is obstructing the threshold of your garage when you close it. Often, they’re a laser sight beamed between two lenses on either end of the garage door threshold. If that laser is obstructed, even for a second, the garage door will automatically stop closing.
A sensor like this is especially important if you have children or pets. Say your kids are playing basketball in the driveway, and someone closes the garage door. If that basketball then crosses into the garage, there’s a good chance a kid is right behind it. Luckily, once that ball crosses the security beam, the door will stop in its tracks.
- Door Reversal
While entrapment sensors are a great way to make sure doors never come into contact with an obstacle or person, on the off chance that a door does, it is essential that it also features door reversal.
This sensor will activate if anything is obstructing a garage door as it lowers. If it feels an obstruction, the door will automatically reverse and open again. These features are sensitive enough that many will activate when hitting a sports ball without popping it.
Beyond protecting loved ones, door reversal can prevent damage to your car. Entrapment sensors are usually placed close to the floor of your garage.
If your car is parked halfway into your garage — to unload groceries, for example — it is possible the entrapment sensor will be unobstructed between the front and rear tires of your car. If you then forget the car is there and attempt to shut the garage door, nothing would stop the motor from continuing to push the door downward, causing catastrophic damage to both your car and the door.
While a door with reversal technology may still cause a small ding on the roof of your car, the cost of repairs will pale in comparison to what damage could be done without such technology.
- Constant Contact Control Buttons
A constant contact button isn’t standard on every door because they can be an inconvenience some homeowners would rather do without, but it’s an important feature if you have a young family.
Rather than pushing the wall-mounted button once, a constant contact button requires you to hold the button down the entire time your door is opening or closing. When constant contact control buttons, people are looking at the door while it closes, thus helping to avoid accidents.
This feature can easily be added to a preexisting garage door opener system or removed, meaning it is easy to change if you suddenly find you need it or are ready to return to a standard style button.
Smart Homes Require Smart Garage Doors
Smart garage door openers with internet connectivity are the latest trend, and, for many, they are the ultimate security and convenience feature.
Imagine leaving for a vacation overseas. You’ve set the thermostat. Your mail is being held at the post office. You have set the security code on your front door. As you leave your car in the long-term lot at the airport, you suddenly get the feeling you forgot to close your garage door as you left.
With an Internet connected garage door opener, you can check on your smartphone or device to see if the door is open or closed. If it is open, with the touch of a button, you can close it remotely. Even if you don’t remember to check until you’ve arrived at your exotic location, you still have the power to open or close your garage door.
The best part is, even though this kind of smart technology is powerful, it is simple to install and use. Take MyQ® technology from Liftmaster, for example. Simply connect your opener to your home’s Wi-Fi, and then download the app. You will receive email and text alerts while having complete control over the door and lights in your garage right at your fingertips.
You can even integrate your garage door into your larger security and home lighting system. That way, you can check the security of your home on vacation, even turning on the lights at night to help deter burglars.
A Garage Door Opener in Mesa or Phoenix, AZ
If you live in the Phoenix or Mesa, Arizona areas, and you are ready to start exploring a new garage door opener or you are building a new home and still need to make a selection for your garage, look no further than Stapley Action Garage Door.
Since 1986, we have been committed to being the best garage door company serving Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale Chandler and other Phoenix, Arizona communities. We’ve done this by committing to unrivaled service, professionalism, and the highest quality garage door products.
We work in both the commercial and residential garage door sectors, meaning we have a wide range of experience. With such a diverse background, we have the know-how to tackle each and every garage door issue we come across. We provide the same attention to detail whether you are looking for a budget-friendly garage door system or you want the top of the line luxury option.
We partner with Liftmaster garage door openers because we believe in their product, and we never want our customers to settle for second best. We can stand by their products because they stand by them. Take some time and explore the residential opener options we offer to find the product best suited for your needs.
Our service team is available for advice or questions, even if you aren’t looking to purchase a new garage door opener at this time. We take professional, courteous service seriously, and we are always looking for new partners.
If you are ready to work on a new garage door opener installation, whether in a new home construction project or as a replacement for an aging opener, contact us today for an estimate. One of our professional sales representatives will be more than happy to guide you through the installation process while helping you decide which garage door style and features are best suited for your home.
You, your family and your home deserve the best in quality, safety, and convenience. Let us help you choose the perfect garage door opener in the Phoenix, AZ area today!
Everything You Need to Know About Garage Door Repair & Insurance Companies
Garage doors play an integral role in the security of your home. When a garage door gets damaged, it can leave your house vulnerable to break–ins, coldness and property damage due to weather exposure. However, when a garage door does get damaged, it’s often wondered if the damage is covered by insurance and, if so, what policy, especially when there’s a car involved. Consequently, Google is flanked with inquiries such as “will homeowners insurance cover broken garage door,” “what to do when backed car into garage door,” and “hit garage door with car insurance. Now what?” Truth is, the answers differ according to various factors.
What if Someone Crashes Into Your Garage Door?
Auto insurance policies vary from state to state, but most states require motorists to be insured with liability coverage, which covers the expenses that motorists inflict on the vehicles and property of others. As such, garage door damage is usually covered in full or in part under most auto insurance policies. However, there are cases where someone could hit your garage door with car insurance, but not be fully accountable for the cost of your repairs. Therefore, the question should be broken down into what to do in various situations, depending on whether the driver does or doesn’t have insurance.
Will Their Car Insurance Cover the Damage? If a drunk or otherwise negligent driver veers off the road and crashes into your garage door, the damage should largely be covered under his or her auto insurance policy. However, said driver will need to have auto insurance in order for you to collect any money. If your home is hit by an undocumented driver, you’ll need to rely on different insurance for coverage.
Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover the Damage? When the cost of garage door damage exceeds the coverage of the negligent party’s insurance, your homeowners insurance should cover the remaining amount. If the negligent party is uninsured, your homeowners insurance should cover most or all of the damage to your garage door. Do bear in mind that insurance doesn’t always cover the full amount, regardless of whether you draw upon car insurance, homeowners insurance or both
Under What Circumstances Is it Best to File a Claim? In the majority of situations, you should claim as much as possible to cover a damaged garage door. However, there are limits to how much a given policy will cover when it comes to garage door damage. In some cases, such as when you have to rely solely on homeowners insurance, the deductibles might exceed the amount of coverage that you’d actually receive for door repairs. Therefore, it’s best to weigh the benefits of any claim that doesn’t promise to fully cover the damage to your garage door, especially if the claim is on your homeowners insurance.
When Is it Best to Pay Out of Pocket? If the damage to your door is minor, it might be best to pay for repairs upfront and forgo the option of getting insurance companies involved. Likewise, if you’d end up paying deductibles that account for more than half of the garage door repair costs, you might be better off not making any claim, especially if doing so will only cause the premiums on your homeowners insurance to go up. Filing a claim could also be unwise in
- The garage door was already in poor condition.
- You’ve already filed one or more claims on property damage within the past year.
- You’re behind on your insurance premiums.
How Do I File a Claim? When your garage door is hit by a motorist, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Before you call, however, you’ll want to take notes and photos of the damage. That way, you’ll be better equipped to describe the extent and nature of the damage over the phone to your insurance representative. The types of details to note could include:
- How many square feet were affected by the impact of the vehicle?
- Is the door intact yet knocked slight ajar, or is it smashed right through?
- Is the door salvageable, or must it be replaced outright?
- Aside from the door itself, was any damage caused to your property, such as other vehicles or stored belongings?
- Did the impact compromise the integrity of the surrounding structure to your house?
What if YOU Crash Into Your Garage Door?
Most people agree that when a stranger leaves you with a damaged garage door, he or she should pay for the cost of repairs. However, when garage door damage is caused instead by the homeowner, confusion about coverage ensues. Consequently, insurance representatives are commonly flanked with the inquiry: does homeowners insurance cover garage door repairs when the homeowner is responsible?
The answer is yes and no. Depending on the extent of your insurance policy, you might be entitled to a sizable or insignificant sum of coverage for self–inflicted garage door damage, whether you’ve backed your car into your garage door or hit it straight on. Therefore, each variable of a “backed into garage door insurance claim”–type scenario should be looked at individually.
Will My Car Insurance Cover Damage I Cause to My Own Property? If you happen to crash your car or truck into your garage door, your own auto insurance won’t cover any of the damage unless you have a comprehensive policy. Most states only require liability coverage, which covers any damage that you might inflict on other drivers and their vehicles or property. Consequently, most drivers don’t have comprehensive coverage, because the premiums are higher. If you do have comprehensive coverage, you might opt to file a claim on that instead of your homeowners insurance, especially if your vehicle was also damaged in the incident.
Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Damage Where I’m at Fault? A Section II homeowners insurance policy with liability coverage will cover most types of damage to a residential property. As such, homeowners insurance will offer partial and sometimes full coverage for damaged garage door repairs. However, the cause of said damage could affect the amount of money you’d receive. If you are the driver responsible for the damage to your garage door, you might get less off your homeowners insurance than you would in a case where a third party is at fault. Furthermore, your own negligence in the matter could cause your premiums to go up.
When Is it Wise to File an Insurance Claim on Damage I Cause? If you damage your garage door to the point where it cannot be salvaged, you’re probably best off seeking as much coverage for a new door as your insurance will allow. However, your own negligence in the accident will likely affect your insurance premiums, and this could impact the usefulness of a claim. Additionally, the deductibles could outweigh the coverage, which could render a claim financially unwise when the rise in premiums are taken into account.
When Is it Best to Swallow the Cost of Garage Door Repairs? If your insurance policy will only cover a small portion of the overall cost for a garage door replacement, it might be best to abstain from making an insurance claim. Due to your own fault in the matter, your premiums would likely increase after filing such a claim. If the annual difference to your premiums outweigh the amount that you’d be able to collect, it could be in your best interest to pay out of pocket and save your insurance for situations in which you’re not at fault.
What Evidence Must I Present When Filing a Claim? If you accidentally back into your garage door or fail to put the brakes on when pulling into the driveway, you’ll need to document the damage. Photos could be your best piece of evidence when filing a claim, but you’ll also want to take notes of any and all damage to your garage door and the belongings inside. If you are filing a claim with your comprehensive auto insurance to cover vehicular damage sustained in the impact, you’ll also need to take visual and descriptive record of the damage to your car or truck.
What if Your Teenage Son or Daughter Crashes Into Your Garage Door?
One of the biggest events in a teenager’s life is when he or she first takes the wheel of an automobile. In most states, the age at which a minor can obtain a driver’s license is sixteen. While the topic has long been a source of controversy, social scientists generally agree that people are most adept at learning new skills at young ages. Therefore, it’s considered appropriate that teens be given the opportunity to drive as soon as they’re tall enough to handle the head–to–foot controls of a driver’s seat.
Nonetheless, the relative inexperience of teen drivers makes them risky in the eyes of insurance companies. For that reason, premiums are higher, and hikes are steeper, when you include your teen on an auto insurance policy. Consequently, garage door damage caused by your teenaged offspring could ultimately be costlier than anything done by you or some negligent third party.
Would Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover the Damage? If your son or daughter crashes into your garage door, and the teen is included on your comprehensive auto insurance policy, the same rules would apply as if you crashed into the door yourself. Basically, you could collect some or all of the repair costs, depending on the extent of damages. However, your premiums would go up due to the in–house negligence of the incident. In fact, the hike in premiums could even be higher than it would be if you were the driver at fault, because auto insurance rates are generally higher with any policy that involves teenagers.
Would My Homeowners Insurance Cover Damage Caused by Family? Homeowners insurance is generally a more viable option when it comes to damage caused by family–driven vehicles. If your son crashes head on through your garage door, a homeowners policy should cover a significant portion of repair costs. Still, the fact of the damage being caused by a household member could negatively impact your insurance, despite the incident being at the hands of your teenage offspring and not you, the policyholder.
How Would His/Her Negligence Affect Your Insurance? When a parent includes a teenaged offspring on an auto insurance policy, the policyholder — i.e. the parent — is held liable when costly mishaps occur behind the wheel, regardless of who was actually driving at the time of a given incident. Therefore, your insurance premiums will go up, despite your own personal innocence in the situation. After all, allowing teenagers to drive is a dicey proposition. It’s one of the risks that you take as a parent while letting your children mature into adulthood. Nonetheless, if your garage door is damaged due to reckless driving on the part of your teenager, you should probably strip him or her of driving privileges.
Should I File an Insurance Claim, or Pay for a Garage Door Replacement Through Other Means? If the damage is major, you should definitely examine the pros of filing a claim on your homeowners insurance. However, the negligence of your teenage offspring in the situation could negatively impact your premiums. Therefore, if the damage is minor and the coverage is low, but the potential consequences are high, you’d be wiser to buy a garage door replacement with money in your bank. You could even have your offspring bear part or all of the cost, depending on the teenager’s level of negligence in the incident.
What if Someone Vandalizes Your Garage Door?
When people think of homeowners insurance, they usually think of circumstances involving fire or theft, as those are completely undesired yet very plausible. Vandalism, on the other hand, doesn’t cross the minds of many homeowners who live in peaceful communities where crime rates are low. After all, what would be the motive behind causing garage door damage on purpose? Nonetheless, garage door vandalism sometimes does occur. Which leads to the question: does homeowners insurance cover garage door repairs for damage caused by vandals? If so, how does one go about the process of filing a claim?
Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Vandalism? If your house is vandalized, homeowners insurance will cover the damage. However, you’ll first need to file a police report on the incident of vandalism in question. If you know the party responsible for the vandalism at hand, you’ll want to report that information as well. While insurance companies understand that it’s the vandal and not the homeowner who’s at fault in such incidents, some form of proof is needed to show that the damage in question is the result of a vandal and not the fraudulent act a homeowner seeking to cash in on a policy.
How Much Should I Expect to Collect for Vandalism to My Garage Door? A homeowners insurance policy should cover most of the damage that your garage door incurs during an incident of vandalism. However, if you have a very basic form of coverage, the amount that you’d receive would be insignificant in comparison to the deductibles. If the damage is minor and easily fixable — such as graffiti or pelting — you might be better off saving your insurance for more serious situations, especially if you’ve already filed more than one claim within the past half–decade. After all, insurers lose sympathy when numerous claims are filed by the same policyholder.
Where Do I Report Garage Door Vandalism When Filing a Claim? The moment you discover vandalism to your garage door, phone your local police. Present photos and descriptions of the damage, along with names and details of the suspects. If you have no idea who might have been responsible, just provide as much information as you can. There might be a pattern of similar incidents in your area, and any info you provide could help police catch the party responsible. Authorities might even come to your property to examine the damage for evidence that could help them break the case.
How Do I Prevent Garage Door Vandalism? Homeowners never ask to have their property vandalized, but some homes are easier targets than others. If vandals sense that your home is a sitting duck, they might act on their impulses if it’s late at night or you appear not to be at home. One way to inhibit vandals is with an alarm system that could sound off if they get too close to your house. For isolated homes, property arms are a must. If you live in a populated community, a neighborhood watch warning sign on your mail box or garage door could serve as a deterrent to anyone who thinks of throwing rocks or pulling out spray paint.
What if Your Garage Door Gets Damaged By Fire or Storms?
Garage doors are damaged first and foremost by automobiles, which aren’t one of the foremost perils to houses in general. Fire, on the other hand, is often the first thing that a homeowner will think about when taking out an insurance policy. Fires, of course, are a very real threat. Between 2010 and 2014, fire losses ranked highest among homeowner policyholders, with an average of $39,791 per claim according to the Insurance Information Institute. Another basic peril is wind/hail storms, which is the most common category under which damage claims are made. In that same four–year period, 3.13 percent of policyholders filed claims on damages caused by wind and hail. Overall, however, homeowners insurance varies in terms of what it will cover when it comes to garage door damage caused by natural forces and elements.
Will Homeowners Insurance Cover a Burned Garage Door? As one of the foremost perils covered under basic homeowners insurance, fire damage to any part of your home will indeed be covered by your policy. Granted, fire damage is rarely isolated to just one part of a home. While fires can start anywhere, they’re most likely to start in areas where heating appliances are located. Therefore, fires don’t generally originate in garages, and are rarely contained to just garage doors. Consequently, one of the likelier causes of fire burn to a garage door could involve a mishap with a blowtorch, which would turn the matter into a personal liability issue and therefore require Section II coverage.
Can I File a Claim on Garage Door Damage Caused by Flooding or Hurricanes? Natural disasters generally fall outside the basic perils covered under standard insurance policies. Admittedly, this is largely due to the high costs that insurers must field when disasters strike within a community. Unlike theft and fires, which generally affect select homes and buildings within a given time span, natural disasters can devastate entire cities and townships. Therefore, if a flood, hurricane or earthquake damages your home, you’d need special–form disaster insurance to cover the repairs to your garage door or any other part of your property.
In What Circumstances Will Homeowners Insurance Not Cover a Damaged Garage Door? If your garage is not attached to your home, it might not be covered under your homeowners insurance policy because the garage isn’t technically part of your home. Specifically, a Coverage A policy under Section I will not cover a detached garage because it’s not part of your physical dwelling, per say. For the other structures on your property, including the garage, you’d need a Coverage B policy or higher.
Garage Door Service and Maintenance from Stapley Action Garage Door
When your garage door gets damaged, the problem should be rectified as soon as possible. Don’t let damage to your garage door jeopardize your home for any passage of days or weeks. If you need maintenance on your garage door, contact Stapley Action Garage Door today for a free estimate on service and repair.
When a Garage Door System Needs to be Replaced
If you have automatic garage doors in your home, you rarely think about them and the convenience they provide until they become noisy, damaged or stop working altogether. Knowing when to replace garage door openers can be tricky, as sometimes a simple repair might just fix the issue. However, some garage door problems require a replacement opener, door or both. Which is why we’ve outlined what issues are repairable and which will require replacement, to take the guesswork out of replacing versus repairing garage doors.
When to Replace Garage Doors and Openers
While there may be times that a simple repair is all that’s needed to fix an issue with your garage door, issues that are more serious can require that the door and opener be replaced. Often, if you’re replacing your garage door, your whole garage door system will need to go along with it. Garage doors are meant to work with a specific garage door opener and track, so unless your whole garage system is new, it’s best to replace the entire thing at once, to ensure your door will work properly. In addition, by replacing the entire system, you guarantee that your warranty will still apply if another issue should arise. Here are some scenarios where it’s better to replace your garage door system rather than repairing:
- Scratches — If your garage door becomes severely scratched, it might be time to replace the door. If the scratches are deep, the door can start to rust. Once a door rusts, it will definitely need replacing, as rust will make the door flimsy and prone to breakage. If it’s just a small surface scratch, you’ll likely be able to continue to use the door without issue for some time, as long as the scratches aren’t that noticeable and don’t affect the aesthetics of the door.
- Dents — If the door is majorly dented, it’s time to replace it. While the door may open and close fine, it could be doing irreversible damage to other parts of your garage door system. These dents could throw off the balance of the door and place extra pressure on the tracks, causing them to eventually break as well. If a car caused large dents by hitting your garage door, we recommend not opening the door until a professional has been out to inspect and track for damage. This type of damage will probably require replacement.
- Warping — A wooden garage door can become warped or cracked over time. Once this happens, it’s irreparable and needs replacing. In order to avoid warping, make sure your wooden door is stained or treated on all sides before installation. You may have to re-stain every few years to keep the wood protected from water and humidity,
- Physical Damage — If the door is physically damaged due to high winds or extreme weather, you’ll likely need to replace the door. Extreme weather can dent a door or even knock it off its tracks. These issues can lead to further problems like breaking springs, tracks or the actual opener.
- Curb Appeal — Eventually, your garage door will begin to look old, outdated, faded or saggy. In order to update the exterior of your home and add curb appeal to your house, replacing that old garage door is a must. A new garage door will add excellent value to your home and has good ROI, especially if you’re looking to sell in the near future.
- Age — If your opener was installed before 1993, it should be replaced. After 1993, it was mandated that all garage doors have an additional safety measure added to ensure that the door will not close on someone or something that may be in its path. The garage door opener works in conjunction with two photo eye sensors at the bottom of the garage entrance to sense if anything is blocking the garage door path. If the sensors detect anything, the garage door will automatically go back up, so it doesn’t crush whatever is below. Moreover, if your garage door was installed before 1993, chances are it’s looking pretty worn out by now anyway!
When to Make Repairs to a Garage Door System
Sometimes, the issues you’re experiencing with your garage door may just require a visit from a technician to make a few repairs. The following garage door issues require a repairman, rather than a complete garage door replacement:
- There’s an issue with your transmitters. Transmitters are an integral part of your garage door system, and when they’re not working properly, you’ll definitely notice! Sometimes issues arise with your transmitters that prevent the signal from reaching the opener. Be sure to check and replace the batteries if needed, as this is usually the number one reason why a transmitter stops working. In addition, check the frequency your garage door opener is running on. Sometimes, a neighbor may be using the same frequency for their garage doors as you are for yours, and when they drive by and attempt to open their garage door, it opens yours as well. You may think your garage door is acting up by opening and closing randomly, but really, it’s just opening when prompted by someone else’s signal. If all else fails for your transmitters, you can reset them by pressing and holding the ‘learn’ button on each transmitter. You may need to consult your garage door owner’s manual for additional instructions on how to reset.
- Damage has occurred to a single panel. If only one panel on your garage door is scratched or damaged, it can often be repaired by simply replacing that panel. However, if the damage is extensive and covers more surface area, it might make more financial sense to go ahead and replace the whole garage door, as replacing multiple panels can get pricey.
- The photo eye sensors are dirty or misaligned. Two photo eye sensors are located at the bottom of the garage door entrance on either side of the door. They’re pointed directly at each other and shoot an invisible laser across the door entrance to identify if something is in the path of the closing garage door. Sometimes, one or both of these eyes become dirty or blocked by something like mud from your car or a spider web that’s growing over it. If this is the case, gently wipe away any dirt or debris with a soft, damp towel. If the garage door still won’t close, they photo eyes are probably out of alignment, and will need to be readjusted so they’re pointing directly at each other again.
- The track is out of alignment. Over time, the track that your garage door runs on can move slightly, causing the track to become misaligned. You may hear a rubbing noise at a particular spot in the opening and closing cycle, or you could notice the door slowing down slightly once it moves past a certain point. This issue isn’t detrimental to the functioning of your garage door, but you certainly don’t want to be running it like that for a prolonged period. If left unfixed, this misalignment could worsen and cause more serious issues that end up ruining your entire system. So, if you think your track is having an alignment issue, fix it or call your garage door technician for help right away. If you’re in need of repair in Phoenix, AZ, call Stapley Action Garage Door to handle garage door issues for all makes and models.
- The cables or springs are broken. While this is a serious and potentially dangerous issue, it likely won’t require you to replace your entire garage door system. However, this is not a DIY project. If there is an issue with the springs or cables, you should definitely hand the project over to a professional. You’ll know your springs or cables are broken because you’ll hear a loud bang coming from your garage if you’re inside your house. Alternatively, if you’re closing your garage door, it will shut really fast and slam down onto the pavement. At this point, don’t attempt to open or close your garage door again until you’ve had a technician come out and repair it. The cables and springs will definitely need replaced, but you should be able to avoid replacing the entire system unless damage also occurred to the door, track or opener.
- The disconnect switch is enabled. All automatic garage door openers come with a disconnect switch that allows you to safely open your garage door in the event of a power outage. Once this switch or rope is pulled, the garage door is disconnected from the mechanical opener and can be opened manually. Sometimes this switch can accidentally be pulled or become unhooked by a large object that you’re carrying in through the garage. In order for the garage door opener to open the door again, you’ll need to reattach the hook on the opener to the garage door.
Types of Garage Door Materials
If the time has come for you to replace your garage door, there are many options and materials available to choose from on the market today. Here are five material types frequently used for garage doors and why they may be a good choice for you:
- Steel — Steel is a good heavy-duty garage door material. It requires less maintenance than a wood door, but it dents more easily than a composite or vinyl door. If something dents the door, this could expose it to rusting. And once the door rusts, it will need to be replaced. We recommend that you clean steel doors at least once per year with a household detergent and warm water, to remove any build up that may damage the surface area. Steel garage doors are relatively inexpensive, low maintenance and come in a variety of cosmetic options. They can even imitate the look of a wooden garage door, making them an all-around good choice.
- Wood — If you’re looking for curb appeal, then wood may be the material for you. Wooden garage doors are highly customizable, and come in different designs and decorative styles, including the popular carriage house style. Wooden doors will need to be stained on all 6 sides before installation, in order to prevent warping and discoloration of the wood. It may be necessary to reapply the finish periodically to ensure the wood stays sealed and no water damage occurs. Wood tends to be higher priced than other materials, as it requires individual customization and manufacturing for each door.
- Composite — Composite garage doors typically have a wood frame covered with pieces of composite. The composite is molded to look like real wood, but it’s made of sturdy fiberboard that won’t warp or crack. Composite is an excellent substitute for a wood door, giving it a similar look at a less expensive cost.
- Aluminum — Aluminum garage doors usually consist of an aluminum frame with fiberglass inserts. Both are lightweight materials and have a good resistance to corrosion from salt water, making them an excellent choice for someone who lives near the ocean. However, they don’t have great insulating properties, so these materials aren’t typically used inland. Also, since these are both such lightweight materials, aluminum can easily become dented, and fiberglass can break upon impact by a car or even a baseball.
- Vinyl — Vinyl is a popular material choice for garage doors. It’s difficult to dent or break vinyl, and it doesn’t require much maintenance. Vinyl is typically built onto a steel frame, making it a durable choice. There aren’t as many decorative options for vinyl doors as there are for other materials, but the cost is typically less than other types of garage doors.
Extra Accents for Garage Doors
Whether you’re looking to stand out from the other houses on your block, or you simply want to love the look and function of your new garage door, there are plenty of extra accents that make your garage door attractive and functional.
- Carriage house doors replicate the look of doors found on barns and carriage houses in the 1800’s. These doors were much more elaborate and decorative than the functional garage doors we’re used to seeing today. Back then, these doors were made mostly from wood, but now they can also be made from steel and composite. This style is more expensive than a basic garage door because of the customization and extra paneling required, but that extra cost will go miles when you’re looking to add beautiful curb appeal to your home.
- You can also customize your door by adding some choice hardware. Adding a handle or hinge set to the door can give it extra visual appeal. You can even attach decorative studs to the perimeter of a few panels to make it feel like you’re entering a medieval castle. Obviously, this hardware won’t serve any functional purpose, but it will add unique details to your garage door. Adding just a few ornamental elements can take your garage door from plain to stunning!
- You could put windows in garage doors to give extra visual appeal on the outside, and let natural light shine in on the inside. They can be placed in any section of the door, but typically they’re placed at the top or second row of panels to allow the most natural light into the garage. If you’re concerned about safety for your garage doors but still like the look of the windows, rest assured. Garage door windows made from tempered glass are stronger than traditional glass windows, and resists breaking. You can also add beautiful etched designs into the window panels to add extra décor, or add frosted glass to the entire panel so no one can see directly into your garage.
- Custom sizes are available for garage doors if you want something other than the standard door. Standard single garage doors measure between 8 and 10 feet wide by 7 feet high. Standard double garage doors measure between 12 and 16 feet wide and 7 feet high. Having a garage door made to fit one of these sizes will be the cheapest option as there will be many readily available doors to choose from. However, other sizes can be made to accommodate your needs, whether they be a taller or wider. Just plan on spending a bit more for a custom size garage door than you would for a standard size.
- Energy efficient garage doors are insulated to add a layer of protection from the outside weather from entering your home through your garage. Most garages are uninsulated, since the garage isn’t a place where you typically spend a lot of time. An insulated garage and garage door will help reduce the amount of heat or cold that enters into your garage, and ultimately your home. If your garage is attached to your home or if there is living space above your garage, this may be something to consider in order to reduce your heating and cooling bills. If you use your garage as a workspace and generally spend a lot of time in there, adding insulated doors will make your time in the garage more enjoyable. An insulated garage door is also quieter than a regular garage door as the insulation will act as a buffer to reduce the frequency of noise from the outside.
Are Garage Door Locks Necessary?
It may seem like a no-brainer that you want to add a lock to your garage door. However, if you have a motorized garage door opener, it may not be necessary at all. These electronic doors and motors function as the lock, and the door is virtually impossible to open and close manually. The only time someone will be able to open the door without the motor is when the disconnect cord is pulled to release the garage door from the opener. Many garage door technicians advise against installing locks on motorized garage doors, because it can be easy for a child or friend to accidentally engage the lock. Once engaged, they may try to open the door with the opener, causing irreversible damage to your door. The lock prevents the door from opening, while the motorized opener is trying as hard as it can to pull the door up. This could end up severely damaging the doors or breaking the tracks.
If you don’t have a motorized opener installed on your garage doors, then it’s very necessary to install a locking mechanism on the door. Otherwise, the doors could be an easy entryway for an outside intruder.
Call Stapley Action for Your Garage Door Needs!
At Stapley Action Garage Door we know the ins and outs of everything garage related. Since 1986, we’ve been performing superior garage door service in Phoenix, AZ and beyond, so you can trust us to handle all of your garage door repair and replacement needs. Call us today to schedule your garage door replacement or contact us with any questions or concerns about your current garage door situation.
Stapley Action’s first blog post is coming soon!