These are just my observations as a consumer; I am not on a crusade to change the garage door industry. But I will observe that the Web is the innovation that can finally give intelligent consumers the advantage in these commercial games. Trade restraints work only when all sellers in the market collude in and agree to the scheme. If anyone, anywhere is selling freely, then the Web can help you find them. In the years since I have first published this information, a number of reputable Web-based merchants have appeared to supply the parts you need to repair your garage door as a do-it-yourselfer (and I have linked many of them below).
A spring design manual, also called a rate book, gives tables that relate the torque constant ("rate") and maximum turns for springs of given wire size, diameter, and length. For example, a typical page in a rate book would show a table for a given wire size and inside diameter, the maximum inch-pounds (MIP) of torque available for a standard lifetime of 10,000 cycles in that size, the weight of the spring per linear inch, and the rates of the spring (as IPPT, inch-pounds per turn) for each of various lengths. From these figures one can calculate the lifting capacity, substitutions, conversions, and cycle life upgrades for a door of given weight and drum geometry. The weight-lifting capacity of a given spring is calculated based on its torque constant (IPPT, or inch-pounds per turn), which is the rotational version of the spring constant that characterizes the spring. The IPPT constant is found from tables giving IPPT for given spring dimensions (wire-size/diameter/length). The same tables may indicate the maximum number of turns for various expected lifetimes in cycles. The torque required to balance a given door can be calculated from the weight of the door times the moment arm of the drums (as we do below under "Calculating the Forces We Will Be Handling"). The ultimate torque of the spring in the fully-wound condition is the number of turns (when fully-wound) times the IPPT constant. Choosing a spring to balance the door then simply requires matching the ultimate torque of the spring to the balancing torque.
My garage door broke on a Saturday night as I was getting ready to leave for a holiday party. Kelvin was here within 30 minutes. He reviewed everything with me that was happening with my door. He gave me the estimates of what was immediately needed to be done in order for my door to raise and then what I will need to have done very soon. I could see all the problems he pointed out to me and I decided to have everything done. He completed everything that night. I was very satisfied with Kelvin’s professionalism and the work he did. Thank you again.
The classic telephone bait-and-switch: This time-honored swindle, also called "false advertising", can show up in the garage door business. Here's how this scam works: When you call and say you have a broken spring, and ask for a repair price, you are told over the phone that the price is X dollars, which typically might seem a little better than the competition. When the repairman shows up, after looking at your broken door, he will casually and matter-of-factly tell you it will cost 2X. If they told you over the phone that it would cost X, well, that was only for one spring, and he must (he must, mind you) install not just one, but two. He will act surprised if you object, as if you should have known that from what you were told over the phone. If you expected to really pay just X, it was your fault for misunderstanding because you don't know anything about how garage doors should be repaired. (You will feel intimidated at this, since you honestly don't know anything, else why would you have called a repairman? Intimidation is a powerful tool against customer resistance.) If your door used only one spring to start with, he will insist on converting yours to two, telling you it is safer the next time a spring breaks. If you originally had two springs, he will tell you that he must replace both springs, and you must therefore pay double what was quoted. While it is true that converting or replacing both springs is a good idea, the bait-and-switch pricing is not. The "bait" is the low price quoted to you over the phone, which they never intended to honor, and the "switch" is switching the price to something higher on a pretense. This method of selling is literally criminal (for example, see Florida Statutes 817.44, all states have similar laws), but a service business can usually avoid detection or prosecution because there are no printed advertisements or other tangible evidence, just one-on-one phone calls. If you find yourself in the middle of this trap, then the proper response is to dismiss the repairman without paying a nickel. Don't expect that you will be able to negotiate a fair price with someone who is using criminal business methods. Certainly don't expect that he will accept a lower price because you accuse him of false advertising. If you absolutely cannot wait for another service call, then you'll have to accept the fraud, in which case you should do so quietly. People that use these methods typically have ways to mentally justify their behavior to themselves as a reasonable business practice, and won't react well to your suggesting otherwise, even though they are in fact small-time criminals, not shrewd businessmen.
Horsepower is another key factor when it comes to garage door openers. Look into ½ horsepower garage openers if you have standard aluminum doors. Oversized doors and one-piece doors may require 3/4, 1 or 1¼ horsepower garage door openers. Garage openers with higher horsepower use less effort to operate and minimize wear and tear on the motor. This is ideal if your garage doors act as the main entrance to your home.
Another moment of truth arrives as the winding-up of the springs begins. (I am just posing here with the camera held out in my left hand. Except for lifting the door onto the scale, this was a one-man job, including the photography.) The position of the bars in this photo was necessary to take the photo, and does not show a correct winding technique, You should not have to swing the bar up as high over the top as shown. The lower bar during winding should swing from pointing down to pointing a little past horizontal. Then you hold that bar horizontal while socketing the other bar pointing down, apply force to that (now) lower bar, then remove the (now) upper bar, wind one-quarter turn, and repeat.
In 1993, U.S. law dictated that all garage doors must have a reverse mechanism to prevent the door closing on persons or property. In most models, an infrared beam running across the garage opening acts like a tripwire. Break the beam and the door rises again. This is a legal requirement that ensures the garage door cannot trap people or animals. It's also useful in avoiding accidental damage to your car, bikes left in the way, or other property.
Garage Door Installation – This includes the installation of a new garage door. Includes the door itself, the track, cables, springs, hinges, handles, locks and rollers. It is the complete service and installation of a new door. We inspect all the parts, make adjustments to fit your garage opening, and service all elements during the installation process. Plus, we check to ensure all parts are in proper working order after installed.