FAQ's - Garage Doors, Garage Door Openers, Entry Doors

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Choosing your garage door and understanding the options:

  • What are the standard sizes of Bridgewater Overhead Door’s residential garage doors?
    Most doors range from 8' wide to 20' wide (in 1 ft. increments). Standard heights are 7' and 8' tall. Odd-heights and odd-widths are also available and vary by individual door series and manufacturer.
  • Can I replace a Section of my door only?
    It is possible to replace only a section, however, if too much damage is involved the entire door may need to be replaced. Feel free to contact our friendly staff or visit our showroom and we will work with you to evaluate your situation and guide you with the best solution and available options.
  • What is R-value and what do I need to know about it?
    R-Value is a measure of thermal efficiency, the higher the R-value the greater the insulating properties of the door. Bridgewater Overhead Doors has many different choices that can meet your insulation needs for both residential and commercial applications.

    The higher the R-value number, the better the insulating properties of the material. However, an R-16 value is not twice as good as an R-8 Value. R-16 does not offer twice as much thermal resistance or twice the energy savings of an R-8 value. A value of R-16 offers a 5% reduction in heat flow and a 5% improvement energy efficiency than a value of R-8, not 50%.

    No matter the R-Value, an insulated garage door will reduce the amount of heat flow and improve energy efficiency of a home.
  • How much does a new garage door system cost?
    There are many factors that play into the price of a garage door such as: design, material, level of thermal efficiency, decorative options, and site conditions.

    For the most up to date pricing, please contact us or stop by our showroom today. We will provide you with an “Installed Price” as the installation is included in estimates for replacement.

    According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value study, purchasing a new garage door is a great remodeling investment. To get a quote on a specific product, contact us or visit our showroom.
  • What Maintenance will my garage door require?
    Your garage door is the largest moving part of your home as well as the hardest working, with an average of six times per day being utilized; it needs regular maintenance and tune-ups.

    Although all of our product lines are built for long-lasting performance and daily usage, the industry standard is to inspect your garage door annually. If you suspect a problem, contact our office or stop by our showroom to set-up a Service Call.
  • What is headroom and will a door and opener work in my space?
    Headroom is the space measured above you in the garage specific to the amount of room required to hang the opener, angle iron and other necessary hardware in addition to the door itself.

    A residential garage door requires a minimum of 4 1/2” of headroom space. Your garage door system may need a low-headroom track system or a low-headroom-torsion rear-track system. For a garage door opener, you will need slightly more headroom (about 6 1/2” minimum).

    Other special track applications include:

        1) Vertical lift track, for use in situations where the ceiling is extremely high and the garage door has room to lift straight up.

        2) Follow-the-roofline track, which is used when the ceiling of the garage is pitched at the angle of the roof, making it desirable for the door to follow the same angle, thus providing additional overhead room.

        3) Hi-lift track, which is used when the ceiling is unusually high, but the door must still retract to a horizontal position.
  • When should I replace a garage door with a new one?
    If your garage door does not operate, the door is a potential hazard. Do not try to fix on your own, instead contact us to set up a free estimate. Another reason to replace a garage door is to enhance your home’s curb appeal. According to the 2010 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, garage door replacement is the #2 remodeling project in regards to return on investment. The report states that replacing your garage door will return 84% of the cost at the time of home sale. Lastly, your current garage door may be fading, sagging and just in need of a replacement. If you have a wood garage door that needs re-painting, replacing it with a new pre-painted steel garage door may be a better value.
  • How do I choose my garage door?
    Every homeowner has unique and individual needs based on their desired style, level of care, and efficiency as well as the location of the garage itself. Here are some helpful things to think about when making your decision.

        1) Determine the material which most closely suits the care and maintenance you are seeking. We have a wide selection to choose from which includes steel, wood composite, wood, and aluminum.

        2) Choose the design and style that compliments you and your home’s architecture, including window, color, and decorative hardware choices.

        3) Determine the level of energy efficiency and noise reduction that best suits your needs depending on if you have a room above or adjacent to your garage or have children that play in front of the garage. Most doors are available with insulation or no insulation options.
  • What is a Carriage House Door?
    A Carriage House door is a type of door that imitates the design and look of doors found on carriage houses at the turn of the century. We have many beautiful options in different materials; available in steel, wood, and wood composite. These garage doors look like they swing open, but they actually move up and over your car.
  • I am interested in windows but do they have to be at the top?
    Windows can technically be placed in any section of the door layout. We recommend placement at the top or second to the top section for the best natural light and security.
  • I’d like windows in my garage door, but what about security?
    A few of our manufacturers provide specialized glass, which is tempered, along with translucent windows that feature beautiful designs to match your home.
  • Is the glass or insert replaceable?
    The glass in the window frame of your steel garage door can be replaced. Please contact us or visit our showroom to make an appointment for a Service Call.
  • Do I need a lock on my garage door?
    If an electric garage door opener has been installed on your door, it may not be necessary to have a lock. Properly installed, electric openers can function as the lock, making it improbable that an intruder would be able to lift your door from the outside. If you have an older opener, check to see if your door can be lifted from the outside. DASMA, the trade association for the garage door industry, discourages homeowners from attaching a lock when an opener has been installed, because too frequently, a child or other family member will accidentally lock the door. If someone then tries to open the door using the electric opener, the opener will pull against the lock causing the door to be damaged.

    If no opener is installed on your garage door, a lock is highly recommended. A standard residential steel door is sold without locks since most garage doors are used with garage door openers.
  • Springs – what type is better…extension or torsion?
    There are two types of springs currently used on garage doors; they are extension and torsion springs.

        1) Extension springs are attached on either side of the door and stretch along the horizontal track when the door is closed.

        2) 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.

    Torsion springs are better because they balance the weight of the door better than extension springs for smoother operation and greater safety.

Garage Door Safety

  • I want garage doors that are safe for my family. What doors are safer?
    A garage door is the largest moving part of your home, safety should be a concern when selecting a garage door. Almost all offered doors are built with safe guards and/or safety systems to enhance overall safety for homeowners. Some come with pinch protection sections and tamper resistant components.

    To further promote safety, please follow the garage door safety guidelines as outlined by the Door and Access Systems Manufacturer’s Association (DASMA).
  • Why choose an insulated door?
    A garage door opening is very large. Insulated doors will help to reduce the transfer of heat or cold air into your garage. This is important for a number of reasons:
        1) If your garage is attached to your home, air in the garage can travel through the doorway to your living area. An insulated garage door will reduce the transfer of air from the outside to the inside.

        2) If you use your garage as a workshop, your comfort will be a top priority. An insulated garage door will help keep the temperature in the garage within a narrower temperature range as compared to the extreme range of the outside temperature.

        3) If your garage is below another room in your home, air can travel through the ceiling of the garage into the floor of the room above. An insulated door will keep temperatures in the garage fairly stable to reduce the temperature fluctuation in the room above.

        4) An insulated garage door is generally quieter and has a more attractive interior than a non-insulated door.

Steel Garage Doors

  • Why would I choose a steel garage door?
    Steel garage doors offer strength, security, energy efficiency and the best value. Due to advanced manufacturing, steel garage doors are less costly than other types of garage doors and are offered in a variety of designs and colors to enhance your home’s curb appeal. Steel garage doors can be painted in a variety of colors.
  • Is 25 gauge steel thicker than 24 gauge steel?
    No, the lower the gauge number, the thicker (and stronger) the steel is.
  • Steel Door vs. Wood Door
    Steel doors may require less maintenance than a wood door. Steel doors can be pre-painted with a factory-applied baked-on coating. The manufacturer recommends an annual cleaning of the exterior of the door with a common household detergent and warm water at least one time per year. Wood doors are unfinished and need to be primed and painted or stained on all six sides of the door before installation. Manufacturers recommend visual inspection of the paint or stain finish on wood doors one time per year to confirm if another finish application is necessary.
  • Carriage House Doors
    With garage doors taking up approximately 1/3 of a home’s front elevation, the desire to have more design in the garage door has become more important to homeowners, builders, remodelers and architects. The result is the increasing popularity of carriage house garage doors and the garage door becoming a design element of the home, rather than just a commodity.
  • Wood Garage Doors
    Since garage doors were first built, garage doors have been made out of wood because they offer the most personalized and decorative options. Wood doors provide security and insulation, but tend to be higher priced due to its individual customization in manufacturing. Wood doors can be painted or stained to match the exact look you desire. The challenge with wood doors is their tendency to expand and contract with changes in temperature. Wood garage doors are an excellent choice when you want the natural, warmth and beauty of wood to match your entry door and home.
  • How do I know if my door is properly balanced?
    There are several tests you can perform to tell if your door is balanced. Before testing your door, disengage your electronic opener.
        1) Raise your door in 1' increments, and the door should stay in place.

        2) When you lower the door, the door lowers in a controlled manner and doesn't slam down.

        3) When you raise the door, the door rises at a controlled pace.

        4) 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.
  • How do I know if my garage door can be repaired with a service call or if I just need to replace it?
    Depending on the issues, a door may just need servicing (example – tune-up, adjustment, etc.), a few parts, a new section or a door replacement. Many times, the issue is not the garage door, but the garage door opener.
  • Can I replace just one section?
    Yes, you can replace just one section for most garage doors, depending if the model of door you are replacing is still in production and is not custom-design. Also, paint matching may be an issue as color variations can occur over time.
  • Why would my garage door need service?
    A garage door raises and lowers with the assistance of springs. Broken and or worn springs will cause the door to be heavy and thus cause an extra load on the garage door opener. The extra load can be dangerous for reversing mechanisms and cause premature failure of the garage door opener. Having a technician check the garage door springs, rollers and garage door opener is good preventative maintenance for your garage door.
  • When I replace my existing door, can I keep my old track?
    We recommend replacing your 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.
  • How long does installation of a garage door take?
    We can typically install a door in a few hours and are careful to make sure safety requirements are met. Installations by most homeowners typically span several days and cause much frustration. In addition, incorrect installation can void certain warranties, so manufacturers recommend a trained garage door installer to handle the job for you. One of the other services we can provide is the disposal of your old garage door if you are replacing a door.
  • Should I purchase a new garage door opener or repair my old one?
    Many garage door openers can be repaired and may be a less expensive option. However, there are times when opener replacement is recommended. According to LiftMaster, one of the leading manufacturers of garage doors openers, all garage door openers manufactured prior to 1993 should be replaced, rather than fixed. This is to ensure the highest degree of customer safety and satisfaction due to a Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) law. Many garage door openers prior to 1993 are not equipped with infrared sensors or other external entrapment protections devices and do not meet today’s standards for garage door opener safety.
  • What horsepower garage door opener do I need for my garage door?
    Generally, a 1/3 horsepower opener is sufficient for a single-car garage door. A 1/3 or 1/2 horsepower opener is recommended for some of the heavier two-car garage doors. A minimum 1/2 horsepower is required for all Clopay Reserve Collection carriage house style wood garage doors. Remember to reinforce the garage door prior to attaching the garage door opener.
  • What is the difference between a chain drive, belt drive, screw drive and direct drive?
    Garage door openers have different systems that open a garage door. A chain drive uses a chain as the mechanism to help open/close a door; a belt drive a belt mechanism; a screw drive a corkscrew rod; and a direct drive attached directly to the torsion bar to help open/close a garage door. Belt drive openers tend to be quieter than chain drive openers. Screw drive openers are known to require less adjustment over time. Direct drives take up less space in your garage.
  • What is a DC garage door and why should I consider one?
    DC stands for direct current. This allows the opener to only run when it is in use opening and closing a garage door, resulting in additional energy efficiency for the home. Additionally, DC openers have soft start and stop features to help smooth the travel of the door and cut down on noise.
  • I have a one-piece door, can I replace this with a sectional door?
    Typically, yes. We 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 for a free estimate to evaluate the job prior to installation, so that any required modifications can be noted and performed.
  • How can I lock my garage door when I’m away on vacation?
    You can manually lock your garage door with slide bolt locks. However, be aware that you must not operate your garage door opener when the slide bolts are engaged, as this will damage your garage door. Manufacturers recommend to unplug your garage door opener, if you engage your slide bolt locks. Many garage door openers have a vacation switch that can be engaged when you are away.
  • What type of spring system comes with my new door?
    Garage doors are generally supplied with standard extension springs on single car garage doors (10' wide and under) and EZ Set torsion springs on two-car doors (garage doors over 10' wide). We will always install the spring that is best suited for the site conditions.