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Garage Storage Solutions

We were recently installing a new double car garage door on a client’s home in the Doylestown PA. area.  It was a nice house with the garage facing the street like most residential suburban homes.  The homeowner wanted to increase his home’s curb appeal, so he selected an upgraded composite carriage door.  While we were installing the door, we had a chance to chat concerning an issue he was struggling with.  He was suffering from the same problem most of us, including garage door professionals, namely us, have –  a lack of garage space.

Since our guys at Steich Overhead Doors spend a lot of time inside other peoples’ garages, we see all types of storage solutions.  It is possible to store your cars in your garage along with all the other stuff too.

Overhead Garage Storage

There are a lot of ingenious storage solutions available that free up floor space by hoisting or hanging things overhead.  A company called Loft-It Storage makes a 4 x 8 foot heavy duty motorized platform that can host and store up to 1200 lbs.  Think motorbike, lawnmower or maybe a snowmobile.

Photo courtesy of www.popularmechanics.com

Another ceiling storage idea you can make yourself is to create rails using 2×4 and 2×2 dimensional lumber that will support lightweight items like holiday decorations or clothing in large plastic bins.  The 2×4 rails in this photo have been painted white.  Just attach them to the beams in your garage ceiling. Be sure to measure the bins with the lids on so you will have enough clearance and set them at the proper width.

Photo courtesy of www.popularmechanics.com

There are quite a few different types of overhead storage systems available from major home improvement outlets.

Garage Storage Shelving

You can buy all types of modular shelving from hardware and lumber suppliers like Home Depot and Lowes, or specialty shops.  The cabinets shown in the illustration below is from www.carguygarage.com.  They provide a really nice looking solution but can be a bit pricey.  This 14 piece system lists at $2,600.00.

If you are on a really tight budget, you can use inexpensive metal angle brackets supporting shelving boards.  This is easy to install and can be fitted to whatever space you need.   5/4 x 6 x 8 inch Pressure-Treated Standard Decking Boards work really well for this.  You can pick these up for around $4.50 each and the brackets for under $2 each.  Two of these boards used side by side provide a great shelf.  Heavy duty brackets (shown with the additional support) are also available for a little more money.  In our opinion this is one of the least expensive but very functional garage storage solutions.

Steich Overhead Doors has been in the garage door business for over 30 years.  If you live in the northeastern Pennsylvania area and have any questions about garage door storage or the latest technology in garage door openers, or practically anything that involves your garage call or contact Jason Steich at SteichOverheadDoors.com.

 

Garage Door Buying Guide

Deciding what type of garage door to buy can be a bit of a daunting task.  Major manufacturers have a seemingly unlimited number of types and styles available.  Steich Overhead Doors installs residential garage doors from manufacturers like Artisan, Amarr, General and others.  Each one of these manufacturers has literally thousands of combinations of styles and colors in their product line.  Prices for a double car garage door can vary from around $600 for base models to custom doors with exotic materials that will set you back as much as $10,000 or more.

Your garage door is a major factor in your homes’ curb appeal, and upgrading to a custom garage door can provide a huge impact on the first impression your home makes.  If you are considering putting your house on the market, this upgrade has been shown to provide one of the best returns on investment you can make.

Choosing a Garage Door

  1. Choose a style. Do you prefer the traditional look of a garage door or do you want enhanced curb appeal with a carriage house style garage door?
  2. Choose a material. Do you prefer low-maintenance of your home? Then choose steel. Do you want the natural warmth and beauty of wood?
  3. Select a collection. Build a garage door of your liking by choosing the door design that makes the door a perfect complement to your home. Further personalize it by selecting windows, colors, insulation and/or decorative hardware.  Amarr garage doors has a garage door buying guide on their website.  If you have a picture of your home, you can see what the different styles would look on your own house.

 

Types of Construction

Garage doors can be categorized into three basic types:  Single layer, double layer and Specialty or Premium doors.

Single layer construction consists of one layer of material – steel, fiberglass or composite of varying thicknesses.  These are lightweight, low cost doors. You will give up ruggedness and insulating qualities for the affordability of this overhead door.

Double layer construction consists of the same type of materials having an inner and outer layer surrounding an insulating foam board.  This type of door is still comparatively lightweight and will put less stress on springs and opening hardware.

Specialty doors can be made of various types of materials, such as aluminum, glass and authentic wood carriage house doors with varying window treatments.  Some of these styles can also provide high insulation values of over R15.

Free Design and Pricing Consultation

If you need some help in buying a garage door you can call or contact Steich Overhead Doors and we will come out and take a look at your place and give you some help in choosing a garage door that matches your design needs as well as your budget.  We are a family owned business and have been in the Montgomery County / Bucks County Pa area for over 30 years.  Our evaluation is completely free and comes without a high pressure sales pitch.  Give us a call.

 

 

Garage Door Security

Your home’s garage door is normally the easiest point of entry for thieves.  Before you select a new garage door you should consider a few things relating to garage door security. Most overhead garage doors now incorporate multi-point locking mechanisms making it much harder to gain access.  You can also install deadbolts on garage doors. Don’t forget about the door from your garage to your house. Make sure this door is as secure as your front door.   It’s a good idea to install a high security kick plate or a quality deadbolt on this door as well.

When security is a major concern, you will need to choose a door style that offers a rugged construction such as composite clad steel doors with limited windows or no windows at all.  The most secure garage doors available tend to be roller garage doors and some even come with insurance rated levels of approval. This means you can reduce your insurance premiums at the same time as securing your property. Roller garage doors are extremely resistant to attack thanks to the doors design and the materials used in their manufacturing.

Automatic Garage Door Openers

All automatic garage door openers are required by law to have a safety release mechanism in case of an emergency that will manually release the lock and raise your garage door.  This is the small lever that is operated by a grab cord. While this is necessary for those situations that require a quick release of the door, it is also a very weak point in garage security.  Thieves, by fishing a wire through the top of the garage door, can trip this release and gain access to your garage in a matter of seconds, especially if your door is fitted with windows.  Some people recommend putting a couple of zip ties on this release which would break free with a vigorous pull on the emergency pull cord, but is strong enough to prevent activation with a wire.

Don’t Invite Thieves Into Your House

It would seem like common sense to make sure your garage door is closed, but crime statistics show that up to 50% of residential  break-ins can be attributed to open garage doors.  An open garage door is an open invitation to crime. I’m sure you can remember when your garage door was inadvertently left open overnight or during a trip to the mall or work.  You should also always keep the door from the garage to the house locked, even when you are at home.  There are devices you can purchase that will alert you if a garage door has been left open.

Garage Door Remote Controllers

The first garage door openers to hit the market were very simple and worked off of a remote device that transmitted at a certain frequency to a receiver which operated the opening mechanism. They all worked off basically the same frequency, so your remote would open all other garage doors as well.  These types of automatic openers are no longer available, but you might come across a used one for sale.  Most garage door openers are fairly affordable, and we recommend you purchase a new one for safety reasons as well as security.

The second version of a wireless system provided dip switches that the owner could adjust to create a unique code. These types of systems could provide up to 256 different codes and though they were better than the earlier models, they weren’t really that secure. This problem led to the third stage of technology which uses a frequency range between 300-400 MHZ and most rely on what is called a rolling code. Without going into the details of rolling code technology, it can be thought of as generating a unique code after each use.  According to manufacturers, because there are over a billion combinations of code, this makes it impossible for someone other than the owner of the remote device to open the garage.  You should treat your garage door remote control like your house key.  Don’t leave it in your car in plain sight or on the visor. Your best option is to get a remote that attaches to your keychain.

If you live in the northeastern Pennsylvania area and have any questions about garage door security or the latest technology in garage door openers, call or contact Jason Steich at SteichOverheadDoors.com.

 

 

 

 

Garage Door Insulation

A garage door can be the largest uninsulated space in your home.  If you are in the market for a new garage door, you should become familiar with a few of the commonly used terms surrounding commercial and residential garage door construction before you make your selection.

Garage Door R and U Value Factors

Most of us are familiar with the term R Value.  This is the standard way of describing how effective an insulating material is.  R value is a measure of heat resistance.  The higher the R value, the better the insulation.

U value is the opposite of R value.  Scientists came up with this to measure the rate at which heat flows through 1 square foot of material.  U value is a measure of transmission of heat.  It is normally used in measuring the insulating qualities of windows.  The lower the U value the less heat is lost, therefore a smaller number is better.  The formula is: U=1/R.  An R value of 8 would translate to a U value of .125

A Word of Caution

Any garage door submitted to testing per ANSI / DASMA 105 standards.  Testing is done in a controlled environment and do not normally replicate real world situations.  There can be a case made for the test to favor fiber insulators over rigid materials.  Keeping that in mind, the R value of a material or system is still the best indicator of insulating properties, if only to show relationships from one to another.

All major garage door manufacturers offer insulated and non-insulated doors.  You can find overhead and carriage garage doors of solid wood that offer very little insulating properties (R2 or R3).   Ratings of 20+ can be obtained using 2”of rigid foam insulation surrounded by steel with half-inch thick polymer composite cladding molded from actual wood which replicates natural wood texture and intricate grain patterns.   Of course your existing climate will be a big factor in determining how much insulation you will want.

Can I Insulate My Garage Door Myself?

If you have an uninsulated steel garage door you may want to consider insulating it yourself.  Many manufacturers such as Johns Manville, Owens Corning, Lowes and others, provide DIY Kits.  These kits range in price from around $130 to $150 for a residential double car garage door.  You can expect to receive advertised R values from R6 to R 17 depending on the type of material used.

Garage Door Insulation Kits are relatively easy to install, normally taking about 2 hours, and do not require any disassembly of an installed garage door.  These kits will come with pre-cut panels of insulation material, either vinyl backed fiberglass or laminated solid foam.  Since all garage doors don’t have the same type of construction, you may be required to measure and cut each panel to provide a good fit.

Of course the best way to make sure you have a well insulated garage door is to have one installed when you replace your current door.  Keep in mind all the factors involved in rating insulating properties and don’t just rely on any one number, and it goes without saying, make sure you get your new door from a reliable supplier.  You can call or contact Steich Overhead Doors for any questions you might have concerning overhead doors.