November 22nd 2010

What To Expect When Your Expecting A Garage Door Estimate And Proof Of Insurance

Last week, I installed a new garage door for the daughter of a long-time friend. I knew she was a smart girl, but she blew me away with the savvy way she went about finding the most reliable company.  I may be one of her father’s best friends, but she wasn’t going to hire my company if she could find  another company who could cut her a better deal.

She picked five other garage door companies from their ads in the yellow pages and on the internet. She requested estimates from each, then asked each to bring copies of their insurance documents when they returned to discuss the estimates.

Here are her results:

  • Company 1 brought in the lowest estimate and an auto insurance form.
  • Company 2 gave a higher estimate and a liability insurance form.
  • Company 3 had a moderate estimate — no insurance forms. Company 3 said it would show her the forms after she signed the contract.
  • Company 4’s estimate was the highest. The salesman stated the company had auto insurance and liability insurance, yet brought no forms.
  • Company 5 presented a moderate estimate. The salesman maintained his company held auto insurance, liability insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance. He said he had left the forms behind, but would email copies as soon as he returned to the office.

Which of these companies followed through when she asked them to produce copies of insurance forms? None! She told me,  “I didn’t care if they left a message on my cell phone, emailed, mailed a copy, pushed them under the front door, or sent a carrier pigeon,  but they didn’t send documents at all. ”

My guess is  they didn’t have them. The State of New Jersey requires garage door companies to be ‘fully insured’, which means:

  1. Auto insurance on each truck.
  2. Liability insurance that covers any damage to the home.
  3. Up-to-date worker’s compensation insurance.

The problem is that the state doesn’t regulate the garage door industry closely.  Just about every company has auto insurance, and most carry liability insurance. But worker’s compensation insurance is very expensive, especially for a garage door company, so many companies take a chance and never purchase it at all.

If one of its workers is hurt on the job, the company simply folds and starts doing business again under another name.

How does this affect the home owner?

The worker who is out of work and recovering from his injury has to find a way to pay his medical expenses, so he’s going to sue the home owner. After all, the accident happened on the home owner’s property.

This very intelligent young woman handled the situation perfectly. She asked up front to see the insurance documents.

I’m proud that all Precision Door  workers carry proof of all three insurances and showed them to her before she even asked.

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December 10th 2009

How To Change The Codes On Your Garage Door Opener – New Homeowner Alert!

A common garage door problem that we get called about all the time is when someone needs to erase the garage door codes in their garage door opener.
Frequently this occurs when homeowners move into a new house and want to deny acccess to the garage door opener by the past occupants.

Solving this problem is a simple thing if you know what to do. Watch this video and in less than 2 minutes you’ll know how to do this. We put this video together in conjunction with a number of real estate companies to make this process simple. If you still have problems after watching the video call us and we’ll try to help.

Best Wishes,

Doug Bencsko

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This video is brought to you by:

Precision Overhead Garage Door Service Realty Executives Preakness Realty

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December 12th 2008

Liftmaster Vs Genie Garage Door Opener

LiftMaster vs. Genie

Liftmaster Vs Genie

Liftmaster Vs Genie

There are a few different garage opener makes and models on the market today. The two main companies are Chamberlain Group, manufacturer of the LiftMaster brand and The Overhead Door Company, owner of The Genie Company. It’s estimated that LiftMaster and Genie brands are in 90 percent of the some 50 million garages in the United States. So which brand is better, and how do you choose?

In order to compare the two brands you must consider certain standard factors of each: safety, security, warranty, price, reliability and features.

Safety: Genie has a Safe-T-Beam®System built into the garage door opener to prevent the door from closing when an obstruction is in the door’s path. Similarly, LiftMaster has The Protector System®, which is also an infared safety reversing system that protects an obstruction from the path of a closing door. LiftMaster also has automatic safety reverse/automatic door stop, which provides a second and third from type of protection from a moving garage door. It reverses automatically if obstruction is encountered when being closed or being opened. The door can also be stopped or locked at any height for ventilation purposes.

Security: Genie has Intellicode® rolling code technology which automatically changes your access code every time you push the remote control button. This stops an unauthorized person from stealing the code to your garage door and gaining entry to your home. LiftMaster has a similar Patented Security+® rolling code technology, which offers the exact same security. Plus, LiftMaster has PosiLock®, which electronically secures a closed door and monitors against the door ever being manually forced opened. Also, LiftMaster has temporary password options for the Keyless Entry System so you can provide a temporary password for family, friends or service people without revealing your private password. The password can be programmed for limited number of activation and time.

Warranty/Price: Both Genie and LiftMaster openers have similar warranties and prices. Many openers manufactured by both companies offer lifetime warranties on motors and 1-5 years on parts. The prices for both brands are about the same for similar models of each.

Reliability: Both Genie and LiftMaster are known for their high quality and reliability. However, LiftMaster models are more commonly used, recommended and regarded as the better choice for reliability. When it comes to customer satisfaction, and the better opener for durability, speed, noise and reliability, most garage door companies choose LiftMaster brand openers. Consumer Reports has listed LiftMaster openers higher than Genie brands for the past five years.

Features: As for standard features, both Genie and LiftMaster brands offer similar types of remote controls and wall control panels. Genie and LiftMaster carry chain, belt and screw drives. However, the added features that LiftMaster offer outweigh those of Genie. LiftMaster offers models that have an EverCharge Battery Backup System. This system is designed to operate your garage door opener for up to 40 cycles when the power is off. So when the power is out, you will be able to safely get in and out of your garage. Also, LiftMaster offers their Smart Control Panel that displays the time and temperature. Plus, a motion sensor in the control panel has a hands-free, 200-watt light that shuts off automatically after you leave the garage. In addition, LiftMaster offers a completely different kind of opener – the Residential Jackshaft Opener. Instead of being mounted on the ceiling, this opener is mounted to the wall beside the garage door, so that your ceiling space is free for maximum storage. It’s an ideal opener if you have an oversized door or high ceilings, because the door opens straight up, instead of along your ceiling.

So, LiftMaster or Genie? LiftMaster offers more conveniences, features and is proven to be a more reliable opener. With similar warranties and prices as Genie, a LiftMaster brand opener is the better buy.

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December 2nd 2008

The First Solar Panel Garage Door?

The new plug-in Hybrids (PHEV) will revolutionize the way we think about fuel efficiency. Chevy has one called the Volt and Toyota has a new version of the Prius. Currently, neither one is available for purchase to the masses, but there are 3rd party conversions that you can get to transform your current Prius into a plug-in right now.

The idea is that the PHEVs charge overnight and then run off the electric battery until the power is depleted, at which point, it switches to the standard Hybrid method of fuel consumption.

CalCars.org and OEMtek agree that the initial charge should last between 50 to 70 miles. Which means if you drive less than 25 miles to work each day you could conceivably get there and back each day without using a drop of gasoline. Now, that’s what I call reducing dependency on foreign oil. But can we do even better? Let’s at least give it a try, shall we?

The car will need at least 9 kWh of energy each evening and that can easily be achieved by plugging it into a standard wall outlet. But emissions from electricity generation account for a higher portion of world greenhouse gas emissions than transportation. Clearly, a better way is needed. We can imagine a way that is totally clean and will produce sufficient energy to fully power the car’s battery at $0 cost… A solar panel garage door.

Solar panels are able to produce about 1 kWh of total energy for every square meter of surface area. A standard double-wide garage door measuring 16’x 7′ provides about 10.4 square meters of surface space. That should produce the amount of energy needed.

Solar panels have advanced to the point where they can be anywhere. There are marine solar panels and Karma has the world’s first curved solar panel. So, why not on the garage door? We are going to begin testing this as we believe it makes a tremendous amount of sense.

Think about it… the technology exists right now – right now. That we could drive back and forth to work every day and never use a drop of gas (as long as it’s less than 25 or 30 miles from home).

Start by jumping over to OEMtek and learn how to convert your hybrid into a plug-in, we’ll get started on the garage door.

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November 17th 2008

Garage Door Prices – How Much Does A New Garage Door Cost?

The price of a garage door can range from $600 to more than $6,000; since that price range is too large to be at all helpful, this post will help you “ballpark” the price of a garage door. We will break it down according to the type of material used, providing a summary and price range for each type of garage door; so this post should be really helpful as a first step in deciding which garage door is right for you.

The size of the door effects the price, so you should begin by measuring your garage door. Standard garage door sizes are 8×7, 9×7,16X7, 8×8, 9×8, 16×8. For each type of door, I will quote the 8×7 garage doors. Prices for a 16×7 door will naturally be nearly twice the price, a 9×7 door to be about 10% more and then add 20%-25% for doors that are 8 foot high.

The material of the door will also have a big impact on the price you pay. However, whichever door you pick you can expect to have it for a long time. So, consider your needs at least as much as you consider the price. How much you paid is long forgotten 8 to 10 years down the road. You want to make sure it is something you will be happy with; so I will provide a summary of each door type as well as the price.

Steel Garage Door – Steel is the most common material used in garage doors and also the least expensive. When purchasing a steel garage door you will need to consider how much insulation to purchase, your best bet is to match the R value of your home. A typical home is R-12. The downside to steel is that it dents the nice thing about steel is the price.

Steel Garage Price: $800-$1200

8x7 Steel Garage Door Price: $800-$1200.

Vinyl Garage Door – Vinyl garage doors are becoming popular even though they are a little more expensive for 2 mains reasons. The first is they look nicer than steel because of a more realistic wood grain pattern. The second is vinyl’s ability to resist denting, which means they are going to look nicer for a long time.

Vinyl Garage Doors

8x7 Vinyl Garage Door Price: $1100-$1500

Wood Composite – The Green Garage Door, so said because they are made primarily from recycled material. Most people buy this door because it needs to be painted and that allows one to easily match the door to the home’s exterior. This is an excellent choice when you want to paint the door but retain a modest price tag.

8x7 Wood Garage Door Price: $1,000-$1,200

8x7 Wood-Composite Garage Door Price: $1,000-$1,300

Custom Wood & Carriage House Doors – There is no arguing with the natural beauty of wood. Hemlock, Cedar & Mahogany are the most common. Hemlock is often stained and Cedar & Mahogany are absolutely gorgeous as is. These types of doors will significantly enhance the beauty of a home’s exterior. So much in fact, they will often raise the value of the home. Expect to pay significantly more for these doors than the more common styles shown above.

Stain Grade Hemlock, Cedar & African Mahogany. 8x7 Wood Garage Doors Price:$2,000-$7,000

Stain Grade Hemlock, Cedar & African Mahogany. 8x7 Wood Garage Doors Price:$2,000-$7,000

Carriage House Garage Door Price: $2,000 -$7,000

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November 3rd 2008

Garage Door Window Options – The Ultimate Resource

Want to add style to your garage door? A simple solution is to add windows. Garage door windows are typically small and located at the highest section of the door. That way these windows can allow a natural lighting to the inside of your garage without allowing anyone to see inside. Most importantly, adding windows can make your garage door unique. Garage door windows can add to the decorative appeal of the entire front of your home. Enhancing your home’s curb appeal will have the neighbors staring and can even increase your home’s overall value. You can even find custom windows that harmonize with the rest of the window and door styles of your home. There are so many varieties available… you should be able to find exactly what you want for your home.

We’ve compiled the ultimate list of garage door window pages on the web and put them in one spot to make it easier for you to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Clopay Window Options

Raynor Window Options

Overhead Door USA Window Options

AJ Garage Windows

Pro Door Supply Window Options

Design your own door! Find out what windows will look best on your door:

Design Your Own Garage Doors

Get a good look at some garage door galleries to help you visualize your new garage door windows:

Designer Door Window Galleries

Garage Doors Inc

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October 6th 2008

Garage Door Openers: Chain Drive Vs Belt Drive

There are three main types of garage door openers: chain drives, screw drives and belt drives. Many times customers will ask our opinion on which one works best. Well, the absolute truth is that they all work fine for different types of lifestyles. It is really up to you to decide which one will be the best fit for you. We’ll tell you all the insides on each type and let you decide.

Chain drives use a metal chain to run the garage door on its track. Chain drives are the most common used drive, and they are typically the least expensive… but they are also the noisiest. If you have a detached garage far from the house (where the noise doesn’t matter), a chain drive is probably the best fit for you. If you like to be able to hear when the garage door is being opened or closed, so for instance you will know what time your kids are getting in throughout the night, then this may be a good choice for you. But if you’d rather no noise, say because there are bedrooms above the garage, the chain-drive might not be for you.

Belt drives are thought to be the best opener available. Belt drive openers run on a rubber belt and are as reliable as chain drives. But they are virtually silent! So if your garage is attached to the house, and you hate the noise involved with garage doors, this is definitely a good choice. However, belt drives cost more then chain drives. So for a little less noise, you’ll be paying a little more money.

Screw drives are the third type of opener. They use a lifting device that runs along a threaded steel rod. Basically there are fewer moving parts in the screw drive then in the other openers, so it’s less maintenance. These openers work well in constant climate, so they’ll be a great choice if you live in an area that has a typically constant temperature all year round. But if you live in an area that has hot summers and cold winters, a screw drive opener will not stand up to drastic temperature change. They are also slower moving and noisy. However, newer screw drives models offer a plastic lined track, which helps to reduce some of the noise and allow the door to open and close faster.

Whether someone chooses a belt drive or chain drive opener generally comes down to noise and money. Chain drive motors make a little more noise and cost a little less.

Update10/28: We have created a video so that you can hear the difference between a chain-drive, belt-drive, and screw-drive opener.

This video, filmed in our Morris County showroom, features 3 popular types of garage door openers.

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