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Where do you even start when you need garage doors?  Honestly, my first thought was a big box store [like Home Depot or Lowes’].  A little research produced results showing there are other companies that specialize in garage doors and all the needed accessories.  We actually are familiar with a small business that services garage doors and their openers because we had our openers replaced a few years ago by that company.  I didn’t realize that they also offered new doors too but once I realized that, we had them come out to give a quote to replace our two doors.   To compare, we received two quotes. The second one was done by Aaron Overhead Doors.

Our garage doors were original to the house, meaning they were 30 years old and made up of a composite of some sort of MDF type of board and wood.   The doors were not insulated and the tracks and springs, while serviced over the years, were also 30 years old.   They had pretty much reached the end of their lifespan. During this process, I learned that garage doors need to be serviced when the weather changes. They should be oiled (not WD-40, with a garage door lubricant) and if they are properly maintained they can last 20 to 30 years.  If they are not properly maintained, the lifespan shortens by half.  I’m glad ours lasted as long as they did! They were still functioning but they were beginning to rot at the bottom near the concrete.

garage doors before

I was pretty impressed with the knowledge John, from Aaron Overhead Doors, shared on the initial visit. John came out and presented a thorough education on the types of construction for garage doors. The visit included taking pictures of our current situation and simulating a mock up  picture of doors so we could see how our choice would look before installation. The visit lasted about thirty minutes and ended with a quote for replacing our 2 doors including all brackets, rollers, and springs.

Basically, you have four types of construction with garage doors:

  • Single layer/Non Insulated/Pan DoorPan style garage door
  • Two layer/insulated/vinyl back door

Insulated vinyl back door

  • Three layer/insulated/sandwich door with polystyrene  (On wider doors, it’s best to have a sandwich door because it’s double reinforced and less likely to crack)
  • Three layer/insulated/sandwich door with polyurethane (this is sprayed in to fill the door)

Garage door samples

Then there are the accessories necessary for the door to function properly.  Operator brackets should be on all garage door openers with a motor connected because they help prevent cracking on steel doors.  There are typically three types of springs: 10K cycles, 15K, and 20K cycles.  Most doors come with 10K cycles although you can pay extra for more cycles.  Aaron Overhead Doors offers springs with additional cycles because the cost is very low compared to a spring change of $250 in 8 to 10 years.  Upgraded nylon rollers are good because they can have ball bearings in them. Most standard rollers are meant to last a long time but they can be noisy and not roll as well. Here’s a shot of our old setup [back from when we cleaned out the garage]:
Garage door tracks
Another thing to consider when shopping for garage doors is the R-value.   The R-value is a measurement of the resistance to heat flow. If one side of a door is cold and the other warm, the warm air will try to flow to the other side and equalize the temperature. Insulation materials are designed to stop the flow of that warm air.  The R-value is a measurement of how well the materials are working. In garage doors, the higher the R-value the better the door will be at stopping heat loss.   This information was pretty exciting to us since our garage doors were not insulated at all and did nothing to prevent heat loss.   The kitchen is right above the garage and I’m super excited to see if there is a difference with heat loss during the winter.
Insulated steel garage doors
Of course, styles vary from contemporary/modern to carriage and traditional.  While we only considered metal (steel) doors, all wood and all glass doors are an option as well.   Aaron Overhead Doors can customize doors to your specifications.
We chose to keep our current openers as they were only about a year old. In the end, we selected a simple three layer, insulated sandwich [8 x 6.9 ft] door with polystyrene. The manufacturer is Amarr.   The door sections are formed from 27-gauge galvanized draw quality steel.  Section joints are roll-formed into a tongue-and-groove design which produces an excellent weather seal.   The doors are double sided and 2″ thick.   The R-value is 9.65. We chose to add a touch of decorative glass to the top panel.  I chose the paned glass to coordinate with the bay window in the kitchen above the garage.   I kept it simple and went with white since our house trim is also all white.
Insulated steel garage doors
Installation was scheduled for a week after the first visit and I received both an email reminder and phone call confirming timing.   Chuck, our installer, arrived at 10:30 am and was finished with removing the old doors and installing the new around 3:30 pm the same day.
Garage door installation
 The doors are installed in paneled sections.
Garage door installation
I really appreciated the fact that they also hauled away the old doors as well!
Wood door panels
Ryan, the owner, followed up with us throughout the entire process and is very focused on customer satisfaction.  While I went through this process, a coworker told me about the time his aluminum garage door FELL ON TOP OF HIS CAR!  What an ordeal that would be!  The garage door is basically the heaviest appliance in your home so it is important to focus on safety over design. Aaron Overhead Doors helped us do just that and we are pleased that everything works and looks as expected.
-J

 

 

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We recently replaced the outlets on both sides of the bed in our master bedroom and now they are my favorite outlets in the entire house.

In addition to the convenience, and luxe, modern feeling – it makes the room feel a little hotel-like, these USB outlets charge quickly!

I ordered this one from Amazon and installed it myself in about 15 minutes following the instructions that came with it. Changing it out was pretty straightforward, the key is shutting off the electricity at the breaker.  My bedroom breaker wasn’t labeled so it took some testing to find the right one and that took the most time! I took a picture of the way the old outlet was connected before disconnecting it but I ended up not even needing to reference the picture.

It’s definitely nice to have direct connect high speed charging stations and not worry about adapters.  We just keep our USB cables plugged in here all the time.   Naturally, because I’m prone to obsess, I want to put these everywhere!  Of course, I don’t really need them everywhere, but maybe one per room would be nice!   For the home office, I went with a USB power strip instead of a wall outlet in order to plug in more than two devices. This might be an easy option for your home as well!
-J

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