Buying a new Garage Door

Here’s the typical scenario… you get in your car first thing in the morning to head to work and when you push the remote control your door opens about 2 feet then you hear a crashing sound and everything just stops. Now you start to wonder if it has anything to do with the screeching sound you’ve been hearing from you’re hinges for the last year and a half, so you get out of your car to analyze  the situation, and see that indeed…your 45yr old, half rotted, waterlogged 400lb wooden monstrosity that’s been bringing down property values in the neighborhood for the last ten years that you call a garage door has finally come crashing down and is now up against your car bumper!!  It doesn’t take long before the sinking feeling that you are not going to work today hits you, then you think back to that time last year when you were going to get a new garage door but other more important things came up like that fancy pool table for your game room or the limo you rented for the maroon 5 concert, after all who wants to spend their hard earned money on a garage door that in all actuality still works? Doesn’t it make more sense to wait until something breaks before fixing it?

Let’s talk garage doors…and maybe I can attempt to answer some of the questions you might ask, based on the questions I get over the phone everyday. Now first off, is it going to cost you anymore to wait until a problem arises before getting a new door? Answer=…YES…in the fact that #1-you just missed work that day because your car is stuck in the garage. #2- If you think you are going to find a “legitimate” garage door company to come out and repair or replace it within the hour its just not going to happen…(most legit companies are usually booked out atleast a day, simply because they have a good reputation, and alot of repeat customers. Bad companies are waiting by the phone for the next sucker!!) what will happen though is the path most people take when they are in a panic is the wrong one, when you’re in a panic, bad decisions will flow one after another. So the final answer is YES if you wait until something breaks it could cost you substantially more.

The first mistake you will make is using the phonebook, the second is calling the biggest ad in the phonebook, not noticing that they have four full page ads  in a row (just to make sure you don’t go elsewhere) and show a picture in the ad of a half dozen or so trucks just waiting to help you out, yet they usually have nothing more than a p.o box listed as their address and you should plan on them charging you more just to get your old clunker back up and running than you would have spent last year on a whole new door! so yes if you wait until something happens then it could cost you up to twice as much when all is said and done.

The second mistake is how and what you ask for over the phone when shopping for a new door, I get the call everyday asking whats the cost of our cheapest door? I answer that with a question of my own “The cheapest now or the cheapest later?” meaning if you buy a cheap door now it will cost you plenty when it falls apart, on the other hand if you spend a little more now on a decent door, it shouldn’t cost you anything more for years to come (thus being cheaper in the long run) Don’t go cheap!!! it doesn’t pay off.

The third mistake is where, or I should say who… you buy your door from. I get to a lot of jobs where…as I’m looking over their problem I find myself thinking where in the world did you get this stuff, the customer claims that their door is only a few years old yet the door or opener they have up there is from a mfg that’s been out of business for 12-15 yrs and they don’t remember who that company was, now don’t get me wrong…I wouldn’t expect the consumer to know that but had they gone with a solid, long standing company with a good reputation the chances are good that this would not have happened.

Stick with a company that knows their business, don’t think your going to get a good deal or even good service from the big box retailers out there either I have plenty of experience with that as well, here’s how they operate…you go into the big box retailer and decide you want a garage door so you fill out all the forms, pick out the door and opener you want while talking with a guy who was working in the plumbing department just last week and now your expecting legitimate and knowledgeable answers regarding your situation for a garage door???? and then here’s the kicker, now you have to pay IN FULL in advance before they even send someone out to measure you’re opening. Its a mind-boggling chain of mis-communication even dealing with them, (1) first you deal with the guy working the department that day, (2)then they contact the mfg of the brand of garage door you picked out, (3)then the mfg contacts one of their dealers,(4) then the dealer contacts you in order to come out and measure, (5) then he submits the measurements to the mfg who forwards them to the retailer (6) then the retailer gives the go-ahead to the mfg, (7) the mfg then contacts the dealer again (8) the dealer then contacts you again to set up the install.

That’s just to get the ball rolling, then in three months when the garage door is squealing like a pig or if you have any other problems, (be it minor or not) you have to start all over again at #(1), you are not under any circumstances to deal directly with the installing company, therefore problems must start at the guy working the dept where you ordered the garage door.

Here’s how it should work…you call us and from then on there’s only one number and one line of communication, we deal with you and we deal with the mfg and there are no middlemen, simple is just that…simple.     

Now that we’ve covered some common mistakes that could cost you a fortune in time and frustration lets go over how to actually choose a garage door, if your looking at some web pages and you notice that every one of the companies you’ve visited sell “Wayne-Dalton” or say…”Amarr” brand of doors that tells you two things #1 if I have a problem down the road I’ve got choices as to who I can have fix my door if one of the Amarr dealers is booked for the next few days I can easily find another one, which is not the case if you buy a lesser known Martin or a Raynor door. If you own one of these mfg’s doors you very well could be limited to one or maybe two companies in all of San Diego that carry them, that in turn means…”less competition equals higher prices and less choice” stick with the brands most dealers carry.

If you’re still not clear on which door is for you then find a multi-line dealer and ask them some questions, the reason I say “multi-line” is because if a dealer or garage door company only sells one brand then they will always tell you that its the best…the best for what?? the best for every application? NO, no single mfg makes a perfect line of garage door models, each mfg has something the other doesn’t and who’s to say that one particular brand is perfect for you’re application! Once again it goes back to choice, the more brands available to you the more choices you have. Once your at the point where you are discussing prices, colors, styles and sizes with a reputable, multi-line dealer with a local address, that doesn’t use “subcontractors” to do the installs then you are on your way to getting the best garage door for your home, the best doesn’t always mean the most expensive, it could just mean the best for your budget and for your house!!

Hopefully if you’ve read and understand this article then you should be pointed in the right direction, if you choose to go it on your own…good luck!! You are about to meet a cast of characters you thought were only in the movies….horror movies!!!!