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Instant Curb Appeal for your Home

What is your first impression when you drive up to your home?  Is it inviting and pleasing to the eye?  We are talking about what real estate professionals and architects call “Curb Appeal”.  If you are thinking of selling your home sometime in the next few years you should be very aware of your homes curb appeal.

There are a number of things you can do to improve your home’s first impression such as landscaping, new paint, remodeled entryway, new driveway, hard surface walk ways, etc.   Most of these projects require a rather large budget and can take quite a lot of time.

A New Garage Door Upgrade

If your home is like so many others with the garage facing the street it commands a large part of your homes first impression.  A new garage door can be the most cost effective upgrade you can do to increase your home’s curb appeal.  Another advantage to replacing your garage door verses the other options mentioned is that it can be done in one afternoon.  Instant curb appeal!

coplay coachman

Give us a call and let us give you some ideas for your home’s instant curb appeal.

ADA and Pedestrian Access Garage Door

Did you know that American Rocker Jon Bon Jovi has a resturant  in New Jersey with community in mind.  The Soul Kitchen is a Community Restaurant, a non-profit  program run by the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.  There are no prices on the menu; customers donate to pay for their meal. If you are unable to donate you may do volunteer work in exchange for your family’s meal. Here’s a little blurb from their website:

“It’s about the older lady who pulls into the handicap spot. She takes ten minutes to get out of her car. With a look of pain she comes to the door and says she is glad to be here because she needs to get out of the house. Yes, she is willing to fold napkins, polish silverware or write thank you notes to be here to do her part. She is seated at a table with people she has never met. Awhile later you can hear laughter from the back of the room. She is smiling, laughing and enjoying the company and her meal. She leaves later, walking a little straighter, with a smile on her face. She says, “Glad I came; it’s the best medicine. See you Thursday”.

The access to this resturant is provided by Arm-R-Lite doors, a Titan model ADA pass door.  Arm-R-Lite is one of our top Garage Door suppliers.  Take a look at this innovative door in this video.  Give us a call if you have a commercial access need.  We can help you solve your problem.

Garage Door Safety

One in fifteen residential garages may lack the latest garage door safety features or may not be operating properly.  Many more garage doors and openers could be showing sins of wear and tear, indications of a need for service.

One of our most trusted garage door opener suppliers is Liftmaster.  LiftMaster® has always been a leader in safety, quality and innovation and  has recently created “Don’t Chance It – Check It”, a national campaign designed to boost awareness of garage safety and encourage you to check your garage door and opener to make sure it is operating properly.


Give Your Garage Door and Opener a Checkup

You may not be able to see or hear it, but your garage door may not be operating properly, or even safely. Don’t Chance It. Check It. with these 3 easy steps.


  1. Check the sides of the garage door for properly installed Photo Eyes (black sensors) mounted no higher than 6 inches off the floor.
  2. Block the Photo Eye with an object over 6 inches tall and press the garage door opener’s close button. The door should not close.
  3. Lay a 1.5 inch-high object on the ground in the door’s path and press the close button. The door should reverse off this object.

Steich Overhead Doors, Your LiftMaster Dealer, Can Help

Once you complete the 3-Step Safety Check, if you find that your garage door is not operating properly or are unsure, contact us immediately and we will work with you to determine the most efficient and economical solution.

Jason Steich Garage Doors Doylestown Pa

Here at Steich Overhead Doors, we love our Garages.  We thought we would share a few things about garages that you might enjoy.  All of us at Steich want to wish you a properous New Year.

Garages Create Innovation

Everybody has a place where their mind works best. For whatever reason, there’s always that little nook in the world where you can put on your thinking cap and get our brain into hyper drive. This place could be your office, workplace, bedroom, or even the shower. But for many of the great minds before us, this place was the garage.

The Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Apple, Microsoft, YouTube and the Ramones, all called their garages home to their creative juices. The conception of the biggest companies, most significant inventions and greatest rock bands came in that large port intended for your cars.

garage door

Garage Where Apple Computers Began

It was a garage where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak put together the boards of their first computer. It was a garage where Tommy Ramone wrote Blitzkrieg Bop. And it was a garage where the Wright Brothers began their work on motor-driven flight.

There must be something about the cold concrete floor, the smell of exhaust, tires, oil and paint (because all garages smell like that), that activates the creative nodes of the brain. How else could one explain the concoction of so many brilliant ideas in a single place? Well, believe it or not, there are reasons beyond the smell.

A Great Place to Escape?

The biggest enemy to your creative mojo is distractions. Detached from the house, garages are a place of solitaire. It’s a place where one can work in peace without any one bothering him or her, and, more importantly, without him or her bothering anyone else. You can make noise in a garage without fear of retribution. Do you think the Ramones would have practiced in Johnny’s apartment? Well, even if they tried, I guarantee it didn’t last long.

Garages are large, open places. When the area one works in is small and tight, it can have a negative effect on how the brain functions. A wide open space gives the brain air to think and do its magic. Ideas often times match the location they were concocted. Small ideas come in small places, big ideas, big places. There is no hard science behind this statement, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

Choose the Right Garage Door

Garages are also great for work because they offer the greatest ventilation system in the entire house, the garage door. That’s right, without the garage door a garage would just be a big room. But add in that large, fiberglass, rolling door and it becomes a creative workshop. The garage door also gives your light into the real world that a small window cannot accomplish, alleviating any feeling of isolation. Of course, if you work best in isolation, you can close the garage door.

Garages are where ideas take shape and dreams become reality. If your garage serves as the stepping board for your next great idea, you’ll want to make sure everything is working as it should. I’d love to help out because, afterall, a garage is far more than a car port.

Give us a call.  We would love to talk about you and what you do with your garage.

Painting Your Garage Floor

If you have installed a brand new garage door, it might get you to thinking about painting your garage floor.  You can see by doing a quick search on the internet that there are quite a few products available to get the job done.  There is also a large variation in cost of materials.  You can find garage floor paint for around $40 a gallon that promises coverage of 500 sq. ft. up to two part epoxy paint systems for coverages of 250 sq. ft. for over $300.  What’s the difference?

floor paint

Wide Range of Costs

Well, the old saying, “you get what you pay for” seems to apply here.  In order to get results that you will be happy with, you will need to properly prepare the surface of your garage floor prior to painting.  On bare concrete, this will involve cleaning and in most instances, etching the floor.  The more expensive kits will contain the cleaning and etching solutions, as well as a clear finish top coat you apply after the color coat has been applied.   The inexpensive one part paint will give you a very thin coat and you most likely will need to apply additional coats to get any lasting results.  Some kits contain color chips you can add that will provide a different look, or you can buy these separately and add them to most compounds.

New Materials Do a Great Job

Some new materials, like the resin Polyurea, claims to provide up to 4x the durability of commercial epoxy floor paints.  It’s also much more flexible than epoxy paint and allows for any natural concrete movement.  It is widely used in industrial applications and will give you good results, but does cost a bit more than most epoxies.

With the cost of the preparation materials and a quality coating, you should be prepared to spend around $80 per bay to get a professional quality job that will last.  You can save money by purchasing the cleaning and etching solution separately.  Kits normally use trisodium phosphate (TSP) as a cleaning agent and muriatic acid for the etching solution.

Preparation is the Key

Coating your garage floor not a complicated job but does take time.  Preparation is the key to a long lasting finish.  You will need to get the surface free of all grease and oils.  The concrete should be slightly porous so it will accept the coating.  This is the job of the etching material.  If your floor has been previously painted, you will just need to rough up the surface.  A floor maintainer – a power floor surfacing machine – can be rented to do this job fairly easily.  You can also use this to treat bare concrete as well.  Just be diligent in removing all dust and  rinsing all cleaners completely away before you apply your coating.

Clean and Dry

One of the most important things to be aware of is the need for the floor to be absolutely clean and dry before you begin applying paint.  Be sure to allow enough time for the floor to dry.  This time will vary depending on the climate.  In humid conditions, you may need to use a fan or heat lamps to speed up the process.  The same goes for waiting for each coat to dry before applying another.

In some cases, your garage floor may not be properly sealed against moisture.  Any moisture that is wicked up from the ground under the garage floor will ruin your finish, no matter how diligently you follow preparation and application directions.  If you think you might have this problem, tape a piece of clear plastic to an area of the floor and see if any moisture is trapped under the plastic after a few days.

If you buy a quality product and follow the manufacturers’ directions carefully, you should be satisfied with the results.  It’s a pretty easy job for a do-it-yourselfer and, if you are like a lot of us, the hardest part of the task will be getting everything out of your garage so you can get started.




Do-It-Yourself Garage Door Insulation

If you are considering purchasing a new garage door, we recommend you give some thought to having a door with built in insulation installed on your garage.  There are various levels of insulation including radiant barriers offered by major garage door manufacturers and, depending on your climate, you can gain considerable energy savings by buying a well insulated garage door.  It will also make the time spent in your garage much more pleasant in the hot and cold seasons.

Remember a 16 x 8 foot garage door represents 128 square feet of area allowing thermal transmittance or heat loss (known as the U-factor).  This unit of measure is the inverse or reciprocal of the R value which most folks are familiar with.  U-factor represents heat loss, and the R-value represents resistance to heat loss.  Before we get too technical here, just be aware that a hundred square feet of single pane glass in your house during a zero degree outside temperature can produce around 7,000 BTU’s per hour of heat loss.  Using an average cost of energy, that’s around $50 a month you could be paying for those 100 square feet of windows.  One layer of steel in a garage door isn’t going to give you much more insulating properties than single pane glass.  Of course your garage isn’t normally a climate controlled space, so your cost savings would not be comparable.  It will, at the least, make your garage a much more comfortable space to work in and provide noise dampening when opening and closing your garage door.

What about a Garage Door Insulation Kit?

What if you already have an uninsulated garage door that looks and works fine?  There are ways you can insulate your existing garage door yourself.  A number of garage door insulation kits are available locally as well as online.  These kits usually consist of a radiant barrier material (very helpful in hot climates) coupled with an insulating material.  The cost will average between $125.00 to $85.00 for a double garage door.  Be sure to check out the reviews, if you can, to see what previous do-it-yourselfers have to say about these particular products.  You can purchase polyurethane foam board with radiant facing material in 4’ x 8’ sheets and cut and fit them yourself to your garage door panels.  This will save you some money, but it will take more of your time.  If you decide on this option, it is advisable to have an expert on insulating materials to help you with your selection and installation procedures.

Most of the kits advertise a time to install of around 1 to 3 hours.  Just remember that an insulation kit will never provide the same insulating values and performance of a factory insulated door.   Many of the kits are made up of materials that can add a lot of weight to your door as well, putting a load on your door opening components.  Some consist of loose materials, and the fastening systems don’t always work they way they were intended.  Always be sure to check out the kits before you buy them and read the customer reviews where available.

How to Choose A Garage Door Company

Here are a few tips on how to select a Garage Door Company when you decide it’s time to repair or replace the garage or overhead door on your home or business.

Find a local company.  It is always best to deal with a local Garage Door Company.  They will know the climate and the conditions the door will be subjected to and can select a product based on insulation and wind load needs.

Determine how long they have been in business.  Just because a company has been around for years does not guarantee you will get a great product and service, but it does normally guarantee they will be there later if and when you need them.

Ask for local references.  Check out local review sites such as the Better Business Bureau, Yelp or Angie’s List for comments on the company.  Just be aware that one or two negative comments should not rule out a company, but be wary of those with many complaints.

It’s a good idea to make sure the company has a state registration number.  This lets you know that they are registered to conduct business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Also being a member of professional industry associations can also provide additional trust.

Ask about product and service warranties.  Find out the manufacturer of the door you will be getting and what they warranty.  Check for additional or special options and safety features, insulation, etc.  that may be available.

Compare prices.  Don’t think that the lowest price will always provide the best solution to your garage door needs.  Be sure you compare quality along with the final price.

Get an estimate in writing.  An estimate should detail the work to be done, the materials needed, the labor required, and the length of time the job will take.

Once you make a decision, get a contract signed with all the products and service spelled out.  If you don’t understand something be sure to ask for clarification.  A reputable company will not mind explaining what they do and the services they provide.

And lastly, beware of high pressure sales tactics.  Steich Overhead Doors has been in business in the Bedminster PA. area for over 30 years and we rely on our satisfied customers and not pressure sales tactics to sell our products.  We will be happy to provide you with a list of customers we have done business with in your area.  Just give us a call at 215-795-2500.

Liftmaster Garage Door Openers Bucks County PA

Steich Overhead Doors is a proud dealer for LiftMaster garage door openers. LiftMaster® residential garage door openers offer a broad selection in performance, features, and durability. All of their models offer the ultimate in safety and security features, and are available with a variety of horsepower levels and drive systems for all types of homes and applications. They are also proven to withstand even the harshest of elements and years of extended use, and are available with innovative accessories designed to make home access even more convenient.

Older garage door openers were not designed with the safety features of today’s models. The following information is from Liftmaster’s website:

Position on Garage Door Openers Pre 1993

We are committed to the highest standards of product safety. Over the years, the LiftMaster® brand has led the industry in introducing innovative product safety features. As a company, we have manufactured garage door openers for 50 years with a safety record that ranks as one of the best in the industry.

In the early 1990s, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) enacted into law new rules ensuring that all garage door openers manufactured after 1992 had external entrapment protection devices, such as infrared sensors or sensing edges, in addition to the internal contact reverse mechanism. Garage door openers made prior to 1993 are safe and reliable if installed, tested, and maintained properly. However, the vast majority of these older units are not equipped with infrared sensors or other external entrapment protection devices, and thus do not meet today’s standards for garage door opener safety. To insure the highest degree of safety and customer satisfaction, we believe it is important that pre-1993 garage door openers are replaced, as opposed to being repaired.

Steich Overhead Doors does not recommend the repair of any pre-1993 LiftMaster garage door openers. We believe this decision will provide you with the latest in technology and more safety, security, and convenience features. We believe this decision is in the best interest of our customers, as safety always comes first.

Please visit us in Bedminister Pa. or call us at 215-795-2500 when you need to upgrade your garage door opener.


Garage Doors and Wind Load – Part A

winter and garage doors

Eastern Pennsylvania has experienced some major storms with high winds.  Wind load properties should be one of the considerations when replacing your garage door.  Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about garage doors and wind load from our friends at Wayne Dalton Overhead Doors.  We at Steich Overhead Doors are a proud supplier of Wayne Dalton premium products.  We will post additional questions on this topic in our next blog.

Garage Doors and Wind Load

 Does the design of my house affect the design wind pressures on my garage door?

Yes. The least overall horizontal plan dimension of the structure as well as the mean roof height affect the design wind pressures on the structure.
How can I determine the wind speed requirements for my location?
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has developed standards covering wind loads on buildings and other structures. This is the base standard for most wind provisions used in U.S. building codes. The basic wind speed maps from ASCE 7-05 or ASCE 7-10 can help an individual to determine the proper wind speed delineation zones for their area. In addition, some states such as Florida provide a listing of wind speed maps by county. For the specific requirements for your area, contact your local building official.
How do I know if my door is compliant with the wind requirements of the Florida Building Code?
The Florida Building Code has specific design pressure requirement for garage doors (table 1606.2E). Wayne-Dalton goes through the Florida Building Commission Product Approval system for many of its doors. Additional information about the Florida code can be found through the Florida Building Commission.
I am installing a new wind loaded garage door in an older home. How do I know if the building frame can support the wind loads from the garage door?
A qualified design professional such as an architect, structural engineer, or contractor should be consulted to determine if the building frame is adequate to support the loads.
I live in a 120mph wind speed region. How do I determine what wind pressures I need?
Wayne Dalton has developed the WindSafe Safety Level to aid you in determining the wind pressure needed. These tables are based on typical applications. While these are a guideline, they are not intended to cover all situations. Please contact your local building official or a registered architect or structural engineer for the specific requirements in your area. Ultimately, the engineer on record for the structure should provide the wind pressure requirements for all openings.
What effect do windows in a garage door have on design wind pressures?
Windows have no effect on the design wind pressures except in wind-borne debris regions. In wind-borne debris regions, all windows (including windows in a garage door) must be impact resistant or protected with an impact resistant covering unless the structure is designed as a partially enclosed structure.




Garage Door Safety Tips


Thousands of accidents are caused each year by garage doors.  Here are a few garage door safety tips that can protect you against this type of accident.   This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of every safety precaution. Always consult your manufacturer’s installation or instruction manual for safety information about your specific model.

These tips are brought to you by the Door and Access System Manufacturers Assoc.  www.dasma.com.

 Garage Door Safety Tips

1. Replace Old Springs. Your garage door’s springs are arguably the most important and most dangerous part of your door. Springs wear out. When they break, injury can result. If you have an older garage door, have your springs inspected by a professional technician and replaced if needed. If your door has two springs, replace both, even if one is not broken. This will not only prevent any damage caused by the breaking of the second spring, but also keep your door working efficiently.

2. Check Your Cables. Visually inspect the cables that attach the spring system to the bottom brackets on both sides of the door. If these cables are frayed or worn, they are in danger of breaking, which can cause injury. Due to the dangers associated with high spring tension, these cables should be replaced only by a trained technician.
3. Squeaky Springs? Springs can squeak and be noisy. This is caused by normal use and does not necessarily indicate a problem. Before calling a professional service technician, use a spray-on lubricant (recommended especially for garage doors). If the noise persists, call a professional garage door installer for service.
4. A Do-It-Yourselfer, Eh? Installing a garage door can be very dangerous and is not recommended for a novice. DASMA recommends that trained door systems technicians install garage doors. If you attempt the installation by yourself, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully.
5. Safety Cables. If your garage door has extension springs, you need a safety cable that runs through the spring and secures to the wall or ceiling at each end. When your garage door is down, extension springs are under high tension. If the spring breaks, it may cause injury. A safety cable can keep that broken spring contained. If you have extension springs but do not have a safety cable, call your local dealer for a safety inspection.
6. Struggling Door? If your door does not go up and down smoothly, you may have an unsafe condition. Even older door systems should operate smoothly. If the awkward operation continues when the door is manually operated, you may have a spring system that is out of balance. This can cause premature wear and tear on other important door components. Spring systems are dangerous and should be repaired only by trained professionals.
7. Watch Your Fingers! Every year, many unsuspecting homeowners injure their fingers by placing them between the door sections to pull down on the door. According to DASMA Standard 116, if your door lacks pinch-resistant joints, you should have lift handles or suitable gripping points on the inside and outside of the door. Even if your door has an opener, the door must occasionally be operated manually. Never place your fingers between the door sections. If you manually open or close the door, use the handles or the safe gripping points!
8. Tamper Resistant Brackets. Since the bottom brackets on a garage door are connected to the door’s springs, these brackets are under extreme tension. They should be adjusted or loosened only by a trained door systems technician. Many manufacturers now include tamper resistant hardware that prevents loosening of the brackets by a novice.
9. Use the Old Track? When buying a replacement garage door, some homeowners are tempted to save a few dollars by putting the new door on the old track. However, your old track may not fit with your new door, depending on the thickness of your sections, the weight of the door, the headroom required, the location of the garage door opener, and other considerations. The track and sections work together as a system. For maximum performance and long life, you should use the track that is designed for your specific door.
10. Regular Service. Your garage door is probably the largest moving part in your home and is typically used every day. Over time, parts can wear out and break, creating potential safety problems. Although you should provide monthly safety checks and maintenance to your garage door system, an annual visit from a trained door systems technician can keep your door operating safely and smoothly for a long time.
11. Man the Manual. Keep the owner’s manuals for your door and opener hanging near the door for easy reference. Every model of door and opener has specific safety instructions unique to that model. Where is your manual?