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Garage Door FAQ's

Garage Door Frequently Asked Questions

q: How much do garage doors cost?

a: The cost of a garage door depends on a number of factors such as: the model, size, material, decorative options and site conditions. Give us a call for the most up-to-date prices.

q: I am getting ready to remove my old garage door, which has standard torsion springs. How can I get the tension off the springs?

a: Unwinding standard torsion springs requires specific tools and training. Due to the dangerous nature of this process, we highly recommend that have a door professional remove the tension from the springs.

q: I do not have standard size door openings. Can custom garage doors be made to fit my needs?

a: The standard sizes of garage doors are 16’x 7’ or 8’ x 7’, if your opening is smaller or larger, then cuts can be made to the door or additions to the frame can also be done.

q: Does my garage door require maintenance?

a: The garage door is the biggest moving part on your home, and perhaps the hardest working, being raised and lowered numerous time a day. Like any other area of the home, it needs regular inspections and maintenance. We suggest that you perform the recommended garage door maintenance as listed in your installation manual on an annual basis.

q: Are replacement sections available for my garage door?

a: Yes, replacement sections for steel and wood garage doors are available provided that they are still manufactured. However, in some cases, it is more cost-effective to purchase a new door rather than a special order section.

q: Why should I choose an insulated door if my garage is not insulated?

a: A garage door opening is very large. Insulated doors will help to reduce the transfer of heat or cold air into your garage.

q: What type of spring is better...extension or torsion?

a: The two types of springs used on garage doors today are extension and torsion springs. Extension springs are attached on either side of the door and stretch along the horizontal track when the door is closed. Torsion springs are typically located just above the top section of the door and are mounted to the header. They are wound springs and do not expand or contract when the door is moved. Some homeowners prefer torsion springs because these springs offer more safety and provide better balance to the door for smoother operation.

q: How do I know if my door is properly balanced?

a: There are several tests you can perform to tell if your door is balanced. Before testing your door, disengage you electronic opener. You can start by raising your door in 1' increments, and the door should stay in place. When you lower the door, the door lowers in a controlled manner and doesn't slam down. Finally, when the door is fully-raised in the open position, the bottom of the door should be aligned with the bottom of the header of the door opening.

q: When I replace my existing door, can I keep my old track?

a: It is recommended that you replace the track when you replace your door because each brand of garage door has been specifically designed to work with a specific type of track. In addition, replacing your track is an inexpensive way to insure that your entire garage door system is as safe as possible. By replacing your track you also ensure that your door warranty will apply, in the event that you have a problem.

q: I have a one-piece door now. Can I replace it with a sectional door?

a: Yes. Your professional garage door dealer/installer can install a sectional door for you by installing track and springs to accommodate a sectional door. Depending on the construction of your garage, other modifications might be necessary. We would advise you to ask your dealer to evaluate the job prior to installation, so that any required modifications can be performed.

GATE FAQ

q: What type of operator do I need?

a: One operator does not usually handle every type of gate. The longer and heavier the gate, the stronger the operator needs to be. On a swing style gate, we offer an operator that will handle a 1,000 lb. gate up to 25' long

q: Is a swing gate or a slide gate better?

a: It depends on the space available at the entry. On concrete or asphalt entries, slide gates work great; however, on gravel or dirt drives the dependability of a smooth slide diminishes.

q: What type of hinges should I use?

a: We recommend maintenance free hinges. The hinges has a 3/4" stainless steel shaft with ball bearings on top and bottom encased with a bronze bushing.

q: Should I use a swinging or sliding gate?

a: The common preference is a swing gate because they look better while opening, are easier to install,
and are less expensive than a sliding gate. They are also generally safer than a sliding gate. A sliding (or rolling) gate is necessary where there is a steep grade uphill in the direction the gate must swing, or there is limited maneuvering room inside the property for vehicles.

q: What is a left-handed and a right-handed gate? How do I know which one I need?

a: Left and right "handing" refers to placement of the gate hinges and the hinge post. Whether you choose a swing or a sliding gate, it is important to know the "handing" for ordering and installation purposes. Keep in mind that a swing gate normally should open into the property. To determine which "handing" you need for your application, stand outside the gate area facing the gate, or if there is no gate, face the direction where the gate will be installed. Now determine whether the hinges and hinge post should be on the left-hand side or the right-hand side of the gate opening. For a sliding gate, do the same thing, but determine whether the gate should slide left of the opening or right of the opening.

q: What is "push to open" and "pull to open"?

a: It is always best to have the gate operator on the inside of the gate pulling the gate open for an inward swing. But occasionally, due to either an existing brick column or an uphill slope, it is better to have the
gate operator on the inside of the gate pushing the gate open for an outward swing. The "push/ pull" option
is only available on the Patriot operators.

q: I have a home that is isolated. Can I install an automatic gate without the expense of running electricity to the gate site?

a: Yes, solar power is the perfect solution! Low voltage linear gate operators have 12 volt D.C. motors, and are a very practical application for solar power in instances where running power to the gate site is difficult or expensive. Solar Powered Gates are not run directly from a solar panel, but by a automobile battery recharged on a daily basis by a solar panel.

q: What is the difference between steel and aluminum?

a: A steel gate is more traditional, especially when scroll work is incorporated to give it an "old world" wrought iron look. Steel is strong and will hold up to the rigors of daily use very well. We powder coat all of our steel gates to better protect the metal, and offer a 3-step powder coat for areas where the causes of metal corrosion are stronger (i.e. close to the ocean). We can also fabricate our gates from aluminum for locations that are particularly susceptible to corrosion. Please call us for a quote if you wish to explore using aluminum instead of steel.

q: Can I mount my automatic gate on an existing brick column?

a: A brick (cinder block, stone, adobe, and/ or stucco included) column should be thought of as a decorative facade and not as a gate post. It is easier to install and service a gate if it is hung on its own steel post in a stand alone fashion. If the aesthetic appeal you are after is of the gate hung on a brick column, it is important to incorporate a steel post into the construction of the column.


To learn more about  the installation, repairs, and maintenance of garage doors offered by Chicago Garage Door, or to schedule a free estimate, please feel free to call us anytime at (888) 482-5761!


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