How Do I Know if My Garage Door Sensor Is Out of Alignment? 

How Do I Know if My Garage Door Sensor Is Out of Alignment? 

Garage doors keep our lives on track as we open and close the entrance to our garage. With the click of a button or a quick combination on a keypad, the door raises or lowers, helping protect our possessions. When the garage door breaks down or will not open or close properly, it affects our daily lives. 

A common problem with a garage door is when the sensor moves out of alignment. How can you be sure your garage door sensor is the culprit of a broken door? RCS Garage Doors is here to help you understand garage door sensors and how to test their functionality. From there, you can potentially fix the problem yourself or call the professionals to handle the repair.

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How Garage Door Sensors Work

Is your garage door sensor not working? First, it’s important to understand how garage doors work before trying to fix an issue yourself. Since 1993, residential automatic garage doors have required safety sensors that prevent the door from closing on a person or object. Every garage door must have sensors that can tell if something is in the way before the door closes. 

The sensors act as a key safety feature for automatic garage doors. Sensors can reverse the direction of the closing door if they detect an object in the path of the door. The door will then return to its open position. If the sensors stop working, this creates an inconvenience as well as a serious safety hazard.

How Do You Test a Garage Door Sensor? 

Now that you know how garage door sensors work, you can test your sensor’s functionality. Determining if your garage door sensor is bad is fairly straightforward. Once you determine that the sensors are the issue, the solution is often simple enough to perform yourself. 

To test your garage door sensor, you will need a common everyday object like a cardboard box. Place the box in the line of the sensors and try to close the garage door. If the door reverses after sensing an obstruction, your door is functioning correctly. If the door closes on the box, you will want to troubleshoot and look for signs to determine what is wrong with the sensors. 

Signs to Look For

If your garage door sensors are faulty, you can troubleshoot to identity the root cause. There are a few signs that can help you determine the underlying problem with a garage door sensor. By checking these, you can decide whether to fix the problem yourself or contact a professional. Look for these three signs:

  • Light indicators: An easy way to tell if your garage door sensors are out of alignment is by checking if the exterior LED light blinks when you attempt to close the door. Green lights mean the sensors are working, while red lights indicate the sensors are not aligned. If you see red lights, try inspecting the bracket or tightening a screw on the blinking sensor. You’ll know you fixed the sensor if the light stops blinking and your garage door closes properly again. 
  • Dirty lenses: Sometimes fixing your garage door sensors requires just a clean cloth. The sensor lenses can fail to operate when dirt or spiderwebs block their view of the garage door opening. Wiping off the lenses can help your door function as normal. If your garage is especially dirty or your area is known for dust, you will want to clean your sensors regularly.
  • Damaged wires: The wires responsible for connecting the garage door sensor system can undergo wear and tear as a result of regular use, weather and even pests. Rain and wind, pest infestations and the use of tools can all affect the wires. Check to see if the wires have water damage, chew marks or other indications of tampering. If so, you may need to replace them.

After performing these remedies, recheck your garage door with another cardboard box. This test offers an easy way to see if you fixed the problem or if you should call a garage door expert.

Contact RCS Garage Doors Today

If you experience persistent problems with your garage door sensors, call the team of experts at RCS Garage Doors for residential and commercial garage door services. We put our clients first to make sure you are 100% satisfied with our services. With more than 20 years of experience, we are your local garage door professional serving the Charlotte, NC area. We have extensive training and the latest tools to service your misaligned or damaged garage door sensors.

To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, contact us today!

Buyer’s Guide to Custom Residential Garage Doors in Charlotte, NC

choosing a faux wood garage door

You’ve customized your phone, you’ve customized your car — you’ve even customized your lunch order today. Why not customize your garage door too? 

Since 63 percent of homes have a garage or carport in the United States, customizing your garage door is a great way to set your garage — and your home — apart from the rest. Customizing your garage door allows you to select the materials, colors and style that best fit your home’s architecture — and your budget. 

View Our Selection of Garage Doors

However, customizing isn’t just about making your garage door more personal. In some cases, garage door openings aren’t a standard size, so customizing your door is the only way to make sure it fits properly. Or, your home’s architecture may require a certain type of door to stay true to its design.

Whatever the reason, customizing your garage door is a great way to make sure you get exactly what you want. Before you select a door, check out our comprehensive guide to custom garage door options.

Designing Your Custom Garage Door

designing a custom garage door

You’ll first need to consider why you want a customized garage door. Why not buy a more standard option? Do you require a non-standard size? Are you looking to increase your home’s curb appeal? Do you have a vision for your home in mind?

Knowing your motivation for customizing a garage door is an important first step because it helps you focus your search. It’s also helpful because, if you opt to purchase a custom garage door, it’s a good idea to work closely with a professional garage door sales and repair company like RCS Carolinas. Our experienced sales staff can guide you through the design and selection process to help you choose the right garage door for your needs.

If you’re in the market for a new garage door, we always recommend using Clopay’s Door Imagination System. This design tool lets you see how different custom garage door designs will look on your home. We love it because it takes the guesswork out of trying to select a door. As you’re going through this system, it also helps you understand how the different aspects of customization work and what matches your specific needs and wants.

Choosing a Garage Door Style

One of the first things to decide when you’re looking at custom garage door options is what style you want for your home. The style refers to the shape and design of the door. The style you choose is typically based on your home’s architecture — modern, traditional, historic, etc.

In general, you can choose from three custom garage door styles:

1. Contemporary

A contemporary door typically has a lot of glass windows and a wood or aluminum frame. These doors go nicely with a home that’s more modern in its design because they compliment it nicely. Contemporary doors also have some great applications in commercial locations, such as restaurants, hotels and auto repair shops. 

2. Traditional

A traditional-style door typically has a series of raised panels. It’s called traditional because, if you drive around your neighborhood, it’s the most common garage door design you’ll see. It can come with or without windows and can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, steel or aluminum. These doors are a good choice for homes with more traditional architecture., such as ranch-style homes or typical two-story colonial homes.

3. Carriage House

Carriage house garage doors are designed to look like old fashioned swing-out barn or carriage house doors, but provide the modern convenience of overhead garage doors. These increasingly popular doors provide a fresh look to homes of all kinds because they manage to look elegant and rustic all at once. They look great on colonial homes, ranch-style homes, Victorian homes and just about anything in between. Custom carriage garage doors are available in wood or steel, which also makes them an affordable way to improve your home’s curb appeal. 

Garage Door Material & Insulation Options

Garage door material and insulation

Insulated garage doors are great because, when combined with other energy-saving measures, they save you money on your energy bills and help keep your home at a comfortable temperature throughout the year. They’re also important if you use your garage as a workspace, since you’ll want more moderate temperatures while you’re fixing vehicles or working on other home-improvement projects.

Insulation is placed inside your garage door, but what material goes around it is also important to your selection process. When it comes to custom garage door materials, you can choose from:

1. Wood

Custom wood garage doors continue to be popular because of their beauty. There is nothing like the natural look of a wood garage door to take your home to the next level. Wood is also durable. As long as wood garage doors are maintained properly, they can stand up to the elements in just about any climate. They can also take a beating if you have kids who like to play in the driveway and have a tendency to run their bikes into the door or throw a basketball at it. If you’re interested in a real wood garage door, remember that it will require annual maintenance to keep it looking good and to protect it from cracks or warping that can weaken the door over time.

2. Steel

Steel doors are a great option if you’re looking for a garage door that’s durable and affordable. If you’re torn between the durability of steel and the beauty of wood, there is a great compromise. By using a combination of steel layers and composite overlays, Clopay offers a steel door that looks like traditional wood. It’s strong, beautiful and less expensive than an all-wood door. Steel doors are also a great option if you’re looking for a door that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance once it’s installed. Other than periodic cleaning with a hose, steel doors don’t require regular maintenance or painting to stay beautiful.

3. Aluminum and Glass

Aluminum and glass doors are a great choice if you’re looking for a modern design. They’re also popular because they let so much natural light into your garage. This is a big bonus if your garage doubles as a workshop. Besides their appearance, these doors are durable and low maintenance. It won’t take a lot of work to keep them looking nice. And, if you’re worried about having all that glass at street-level, the glass can also be customized to ensure privacy from prying eyes.

View the AVANTE Collection Glass Garage Doors

Choosing the Right Color

Next, you’ll have to choose a stain or paint color for your new door. Customizing your garage door’s color allows it to blend nicely with the rest of your home’s exterior.

Many homeowners opt for a traditional white door. White is classy and blends in nicely with just about any home design. It can also be easier than trying to match paint colors, especially if your home’s front door and shutters are painted in a color that would be overpowering in large amounts.

If you don’t want a traditional white door, always consider the colors of your shutters and exterior doors. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re choosing a color or shade of stain, it should complement what you already have. For example, if you have a mahogany-stained front door, then consider opting for a similar stain for your garage door.

In some cases, you can select a color that pairs well with the color of your siding. But the best way to make your garage door pop is to choose one that compliments the little touches already in place.

Matching and selecting colors to compliment your home’s existing exterior details can be challenging. Let our team of experienced design professionals help. We can provide advice on the best shades and colors for your home.

When it comes to color selection, you’ll generally need to choose either a stain or paint:

1. Stain

If you’re choosing a wood garage door, then a nice stain is a great way to enhance the beauty of the wood fibers. Stains are available in a variety of light and dark shades, so you can choose one that will coordinate nicely with your home’s exterior. Certain composites and aluminum options can also be covered in a similar fashion, giving you the look of natural wood grain but the durability of another material. Although these are not technically a “stain,” they provide the look of the wood grain.

2. Paint

Paint can be used on any type of material you’ve chosen for your garage door. There are a lot of colors to choose from, so when you select a door, RCS Carolinas can help you match a paint color with your home’s existing trim, shutters and front door. We also use a high-quality latex paint that won’t need a lot of upkeep or maintenance to keep it looking fresh and new.

Window Options for Your Custom Door

Each style of garage door — traditional, contemporary or carriage house — can be purchased with or without windows. Some people like windows in their garage door because they let in natural light and add extra visual details to the design. Other people prefer to avoid windows because they don’t want people looking into their garage.

Windows are a beautiful way to customize and add special details to a garage door of any style. And, if you want the benefits of natural light without the risk of someone looking in your garage, you can customize the glass panels, so someone looking from the outside won’t be able to see what’s inside.

If you opt to have windows in your door, certain styles will also allow you to select where they’re placed. This includes placing them higher up on the door so that someone walking past wouldn’t be tall enough to look in.

Custom Hardware Selection

custom hardware selection

One final way to customize the appearance of your garage door is with hardware. Well-placed handles or decorative hinges can provide a stunning finishing touch. Although you can technically put hardware on any door, it’s important to make sure you’re selecting hardware that compliments the style of your door.

For example, if you opt for double handles, these are a great addition to a carriage house-style door because they are reminiscent of the swing-out doors that inspired today’s more modern design. If you opt for hinges or step plates, make sure they also fit the design of the door and, perhaps most importantly, make sure they match each other and are an appropriate length for the door they’re being placed on.

Do You Need a Custom Size Garage Door?

What are the sizes of garage doors? Typically, standard residential garage doors are available in the following widths: 8′, 9′, 10′, 12′, 14′, 15′, 15’6″, 16′ and 18′. If your door’s width does not fit one of these standard sizes, certain Clopay models can be customized in 2″ increments.

Variations on standard door heights — which typically range from 6′ to 8′ — are also available. Our experienced sales staff can help with measuring and identifying which doors can be customized to fit the available space.

If you aren’t sure whether you need custom-size garage doors, we can help obtain accurate measurements and guide you toward the best options for your home.

Contact RCS for Custom Garage Doors in Charlotte, NC

There’s nothing like a new garage door to increase your home’s curb appeal and value. In fact, a new garage door has a 97.5 percent return on investment. It’s a cost-effective way to improve your home’s curb appeal and increase your chances of selling at the price you want. But even if you aren’t moving anytime soon, a new garage door is a great way to spice up your home’s exterior.

If you’re looking for a custom residential garage door in Charlotte, N.C., let RCS Carolinas help. Our experienced sales team can walk you through each step of the process, from identifying the type of door you like to measuring what size door you’ll need.

Serving the Charlotte area for more than 30 years, we proudly sell a wide selection of Clopay garage doors — including Clopay custom garage doors — and Liftmaster garage door openers and accessories. Once you’ve selected the products you need, our experienced technicians are ready to provide custom garage door installation and maintenance over the lifespan of the door.

Stop by our showroom or contact us for a free estimate today.

Contact Us for a New Garage Doors

Buyer’s Guide to Choosing a Faux Wood Garage Door

choosing a faux wood garage door

Are you considering replacing your garage door? If so, you might consider installing a faux wood garage door. Many people love the aesthetic of a wood garage door, as it can give a home a natural, warm, rich look. But real wood garage doors aren’t for everyone.

Real wood garage doors tend to be quite a bit more expensive than garage doors made from fiberglass or steel and usually require more maintenance. Fortunately, with a faux wood garage door, you can enjoy the look of a wood door without the expense or the regular maintenance.

View Our Selection of Garage Doors

What Is a Faux Wood Garage Door?

what is a faux wood garage door

Faux wood garage doors look like real wood but are actually made from different materials, such as fiberglass, composite or steel. What makes a garage door look like wood is wood grain stains. These wood grain stains give steel, composite or fiberglass garage doors the appearance of a rich, warm wood door without the maintenance requirements of real wood.

The material you choose for your garage door will depend on your lifestyle, budget and location, along with the weather conditions in your area and what look best complements the aesthetic of your home. For many homeowners, a realistic faux wood garage door could be the key to making your home stand out and increasing the appeal of your home to potential buyers when the time to sell comes.

Benefits of Faux Wood Over Real Wood

benefits of faux wood garage door

Faux wood garage doors and real wood garage doors look about the same. Many people can’t tell the difference between the two at a glance. There are some key differences between faux wood and real wood, though, such as cost, required maintenance, durability and the manufacturing process.

1. Cost

A real wood garage door tends to be more expensive than other materials, such as steel, fiberglass or aluminum. For a 16 x 7 double garage door, aluminum doors cost between $3,600 and $5,600, steel doors cost between $920 and $2,200 and wood doors cost between $3,800 and $7,600.

The species of wood also influences the cost of a real wood door. Wood options can include oak, cedar, mahogany, fir, tropical hardwood and redwood. Plywood garage doors tend to be the most inexpensive, but they are also the thinnest and most basic of the wood options. Redwood, on the other hand, tends to be one of the more expensive wood garage doors, as the doors are built with several layers to be more durable and reduce warping. Species such as hemlock and spruce are considered lower-grade woods, while species like mahogany and cedar are considered higher-grade woods and are priced accordingly.

A faux wood garage door is an excellent option for homeowners who want the aesthetic appeal of a real wood door without the hefty cost.

2. Increased Curb Appeal

Since garage doors are already one of the best home renovations for their cost-to-value ratio, a faux wood garage door replacement is a worthwhile investment for many homeowners.

The cost versus value of a garage door replacement is about $3,611 versus $3,520, or 97.5%. A faux wood finish can make an otherwise plain garage door stand out and add to the curb appeal of your home. Many homeowners appreciate the look of wood, so a faux wood door can provide a similar aesthetic. You can also add on faux hardware touches, such as door handles, hinges and latches that can make your door appear even more authentic.

3. Required Maintenance

Because the doors are made from steel or fiberglass, they also require less maintenance than a real wood door. To keep a real wood garage door in its best shape, regular maintenance needs to be performed due to damages caused by weather or other factors. Without regular maintenance, a real wood door can easily fade, warp and crack.

Regular upkeep for a real wood garage door includes an annual fresh coat of stain or paint and sanding. With a faux wood garage door, you won’t have to worry about the expense of regular maintenance. Since faux wood doors are made from fiberglass, steel or composite, they are easy to care for and won’t warp, crack, fade or rot like a real wood door. To care for your faux wood garage door, you can winterize your door in as little as 30 minutes in preparation for the cold season. Inspect your garage door’s springs, examine the weather stripping, lubricate metal parts and check out the automatic reversal system. For any maintenance you don’t feel comfortable handling on your own or simply don’t have the time to tackle, you can give us a call.

4. Durability

Faux wood doors can withstand humidity and extreme temperatures. The durability of faux wood makes it a viable garage door option in several types of climates and regions. Aluminum and steel doors also can’t be chewed through by vermin, unlike wood doors. So if you’ve seen a few pests scampering around your property from time to time, you won’t have to worry about them managing to get into your property through your garage door.

As with a real wood door, you’ll need to repaint your faux wood garage door every few years. Rain, storms, sun and temperatures can get through steel, which means your faux wood garage door will be more difficult to crack or damage, and moisture won’t be able to get inside, which would otherwise cause rotting. Steel doors do tend to be more susceptible to dents, so watch out for anything that could potentially dent your faux wood door.

The average garage door will last about 30 years. As long as you schedule the proper maintenance a door needs, you can keep your faux wood garage door for many years to come.

5. Weight

Real wood garage doors tend to be heavier than other types of garage doors. Because of their significant weight, a real wood garage door often requires additional or special openers and springs to function effectively. Faux wood garage doors are made from lighter materials, making them easier to install, replace and open manually.

For the most part, faux wood garage doors have all the benefits of a real wood garage door without the disadvantages. A high-quality fiberglass door with wood graining and textures can be nearly indistinguishable from a real wood door. Ultimately, your decision to purchase a genuine or imitation wood garage door depends on:

  • Your home. What is the architectural style of your home? What garage door would best align with your home’s architecture and enhance the appeal of your home?
  • Your location’s climate. Do you live in an area with extreme temperatures or a lot of humidity? This may mean that a faux wood garage door is the better choice for you.
  • Your HOA’s rules. Know your HOA’s rules about what you can and can’t do with your garage door. Can you put on new decorative panels? You may have to fill out an application to request a change to your garage door, which could be rejected if your HOA doesn’t believe the door will align with the community’s architecture, color and style.
  • Your budget: Faux wood garage doors are the more budget-friendly option, so you may want to stick with a faux wood door if the cost is a concern.
  • Your preference for a high or low maintenance door: If you want a garage door that doesn’t require a lot of upkeep, you’ll want a faux wood door.

For many homeowners, a faux wood garage door is the right choice.

What Faux Wood Garage Doors Does RCS Offer?

Whar faux wood garage doors does RCS offer

If you’re ready to choose a faux wood door, you have many styles to choose from.

Contact Us for a New Faux Wood Door Today

1. Gallery Collection by Clopay

In our Gallery Collection by Clopay, you can select from several carriage house garage doors, with or without insulation. For these garage doors, we’ve paired a raised panel steel door with a grooved panel design for a vintage feel. For this highly customizable garage door, we also offer decorative windows, wrought iron hardware and Ultra-Grain, Clopay’s faux woodgrain paint finish.

With the Gallery Collection by Clopay, you can choose to install a faux wood carriage house garage door made of durable steel. For the construction of your Gallery Collection garage door, you can choose from:

  • One, two or three layers
  • Intellicore polyurethane insulation of 1-3/8″ or 2″, polystyrene insulation of 1-3/8″ or 2″ or vinyl-backed polystyrene insulation of 1-5/16″
  • High wind load applications
  • Removable window grilles for easy cleaning
  • Replaceable bottom weather seal to protect against weather

In our construction, we also include a rust-prevention system by including a layered, tough coating to protect the steel skin. This rust-prevention system includes a hot-dipped galvanized layer, a metal oxide pretreatment, a baked-on primer and a topcoat.

If you’re looking for a highly-customizable carriage house steel door with a wood look, then the Gallery Collection by Clopay may be the right choice for you.

2. Coachman Collection by Clopay

In our Coachman Collection by Clopay, we offer insulated steel and composite carriage house doors with an authentic look. These garage doors are the perfect blend of practicality and beauty. While they are carriage house doors made of steel, they look like wood due to the woodgrain textured composite overlay –– an excellent way to combine the low-maintenance and durability of steel with the warm, rich appearance of wood.

With our Coachman Collection, you can find a garage door that combines the charm of a swing-out, old-fashioned carriage house door with the convenience of a modern-day overhead garage door.

For the construction of your Coachman Collection garage door, you can select from:

  • Intellicore polyurethane insulation of 2″ or polystyrene insulation of 2″ or 1-3/8″
  • High wind load applications
  • Removable window grilles to make cleaning easy
  • Replaceable vinyl weather seal to protect your garage against the elements

These carriage house doors are made with four layers, including layered coating to protect the steel skin. If you’re looking for a faux wood garage door that is easy to maintain and can stand up to the elements, you may want to select a door from this collection.

Check out our many design and color options to see if the style of the Coachman Collection appeals to you.

3. Canyon Ridge Collection Ultra-Grain Series by Clopay

The Canyon Ridge Collection Ultra-Grain Series by Clopay, features insulated garage doors made of faux wood and Ultra-Grain steel. For a steel garage door with an authentic-looking woodgrain finish, take a look at this collection. These low-maintenance steel doors are covered with a composite overlay that is molded from pieces of real wood to give your door a natural look.

For the construction of your Canyon Ridge Collection Ultra-Grain Series garage door, you can include:

  • Intellicore polyurethane insulation of 2″
  • High wind load applications
  • High-performance rollers that ensure smooth, quiet and long-lasting operation
  • A vinyl bottom weather seal that can protect your garage from weather
  • Removable grilles
  • A garage door safety feature known as Clopay’s Safe-T Bracket to prevent serious injury
  • A rust-prevention system

These garage doors are constructed with four layers, including a clear Cypress faux wood composite overlay and Ultra-Grain paint finish.

You can achieve the look of real wood for your garage door with this Canyon Ridge Collection Ultra-Grain Series that features actual wood pieces and grain patterns that reflect the species of wood the door is emulating.

Browse our selection of residential garage doors for even more faux wood garage door options.

Faux Wood Garage Door Features

When you select one of our faux wood garage doors, you can also choose from several design features, including color, glass types, panel sizes and more.

  • Short panels or long panels
  • Short solid top section or long solid
  • A variety of door and window designs
  • Glass options, such as frosted, insulated, acrylic, rain, seeded, clear and obscure
  • Decorative hardware options, including clavos, handles, hinges and plates
  • Paint colors for the finish, including black, almond, chocolate, mocha brown, standard white, Ultra-Grain Oak Walnut Finish, Ultra-Grain Oak Medium Finish, Ultra-Grain Oak Dark Finish and Ultra-Gran Oak Slate Finish, Ultra-Grain Cypress Medium Finish, Ultra-Grain Cypress Slate Finish and Ultra-Grain Cypress Walnut Finish, sandtone and desert tan
  • A mix of overlay and base colors for a unique look, such as a sandtone overlay on a white base, a desert tan overlay on a sandtone base or a desert tan overlay on an almond base
  • Window grilles that are removable and easy to clean

With such a wide array of design features to choose from, you can create a faux wood garage door that is perfectly crafted to your home. Your garage door will be truly your own.

Contact RCS for Composite Wood Garage Doors in Charlotte, NC

get faux wood garage door

Whether you are installing a new garage door or you need repairs on your existing door, RCS Garage Doors is here to help. With 20 years in the industry, we possess a level of experience and expertise that makes us the best garage door installation and repair company in the Charlotte, NC area.

We focus on what our customers want and need to provide you with high-quality work and an unbeatable experience. Whether your new garage door is for your home or business, we review all your options, discuss the strengths of each selection and ensure you love the results.

Homeowners will want a garage door that is attractive, secure and functions well. When weighing your options, you will want to consider your daily routine, your budget, the architectural style of your home and more. Whether you already have a clear vision of your perfect garage door or you need assistance selecting the best option for you, we can help you every step of the way.

Ready to purchase your composite wood garage door? Contact us or call (704) 523-8063 today to ask about our services or schedule an appointment.

Choosing a Carriage House Garage Door

Did you know there are more than 70 million single-family garage doors in the United States today? That’s a lot of doors!

Garage doors are designed to last a long time. Many homeowners have never needed to purchase one, so when it becomes clear their old one won’t cut it anymore, it leaves them wondering where to begin.

View Our Selection of Garage Doors

When it comes time to select a new garage door, there’s a lot to consider — design, cost, finishes and more. There are many choices on the market today, but one of the most popular garage door styles is the carriage house garage door. Carriage-style garage doors are an easy way to add elegance and visual appeal to just about any home. They also come in a variety of styles, colors and materials, making them an excellent option for just about any budget. It’s no wonder they are so popular with homeowners.

At RCS Garage Doors, we think you can’t go wrong with the carriage style. They feature unmatched functionality and beauty, and we’ve seen firsthand how they can transform a home’s exterior. Because of this, we are proud to offer a wide selection of Clopay carriage house garage doors.

While we think bigger is better when it comes to selection, we know it can easily become overwhelming to our customers. If you’re in the market for a new garage door, but you aren’t sure where to start, let us introduce you to a door we love.

What Is a Carriage-Style Garage Door?

The design of carriage-style doors pays homage to the carriage houses of old — the buildings used to house carriages, horses and, in many cases, the servants who drove them. When cars replaced horse-drawn carriages, there was no longer a need for these buildings. While most families don’t have a carriage house on their property today, the traditional architectural details of these unique buildings have made a comeback in home design, particularly in garage doors.

You can identify carriage house garage doors by looking for several unique features, primarily their barn-like design and their distinctive hardware. Barn design can mean a variety of things, but in general, you’ll find they have a natural wood finish or perhaps crossbuck panels that make the doors look like ones you’d find on a horse stable. They may have windows that allow extra light into the garage. Carriage-house garage doors also tend to have decorative hardware, including handles — which may be exclusively decorative — in the middle of the door.

Swing-out doors are another distinctive feature of carriage houses from the past. What is the swing-out door? It’s a door that opens by pulling out rather than up, as today’s doors do. At the time people used these doors daily, the handles and hinges incorporated into the door had a purely functional purpose — the person responsible for maintaining the carriages would have to pull them out to access the space inside.

Today’s carriage-style garage doors maintain the look of these older doors — often including the hardware. However, they open upward with the help of a garage door opener, just as any other traditional garage door would.

What Options Does RCS Garage Doors Offer?

So what makes a carriage house door such an outstanding option for a garage door replacement?

Carriage-style garage doors are on-trend. They are beautiful, and they complement homes designed in many different architectural themes. Because of their popularity and versatility, these doors add instant curb appeal to just about any home. While we hope you’ll spend years in your home enjoying your beautiful garage door, we realize there may come a time when you need to sell your house. How your house looks from the outside plays a significant role in selling it. While a beautiful garage door isn’t the only factor people consider when they’re buying a home, it will go a long way in convincing a potential buyer to take a closer look.

Besides being a sought-after design feature, carriage-style garage doors can also be a practical choice. Why? We mentioned it earlier — these doors look fancy, but they operate just like any other overhead garage door. When you purchase a carriage-style door, you get one that’s enjoyable to look at, but still designed to hold up to daily use. If you are buying one of our steel options, you’ll also be signing up for a low-maintenance door, since steel garage doors don’t require regular painting and also hold up better to the elements.

RCS Garage Doors offers a wide variety of wood and steel carriage house garage doors for the Charlotte, N.C., area. If you’re interested in this style of door, we have several designs and styles for homeowners on a range of budgets.

Contact Us for a New Carriage House Garage Door

1. Gallery® Collection

The Gallery® Collection incorporates a traditional raised panel steel door with a grooved panel design for the perfect combination of functionality and beauty. When you purchase a door from this collection, it also comes with the option to add wrought-iron hardware and windows. Also available with insulation, these doors come in in a wide range of colors, including Ultra-Grain®, Clopay’s distinctive faux wood finish.

2. Canyon Ridge® Collection — Limited-Edition Series and Ultra-Grain Series

If you’re in the market for garage doors that have a traditional wood look, combined with the durability of steel, Clopay’s Canyon Ridge® Collection is a great option. Constructed with an energy-efficient Intellicore® insulated steel base, these doors look like traditional wooden doors because wood composite cladding overlays the steel base. The Canyon Ridge® Collection’s Ultra-Grain Series offers a more economical option for these doors by providing Stained Clear Cypress composite overlays to give this steel door a traditional wood look.

3. Grand Harbor® Collection

Boasting clean lines and a classic design, Grand Harbor® Collection steel doors are an excellent option for homeowners who appreciate the look of a carriage-style garage door, but need a less expensive choice. Available with or without insulation, these versatile, low-maintenance doors will give you the look you want without breaking the bank.

4. Coachman® Collection

The gorgeous doors of the Coachman® Collection look like authentic wooden doors, but their construction features layers of durable steel covered with a wood composite overlay. Available in a variety of designs — both with and without windows — these gorgeous doors provide all the functionality you need in a garage door you use every day, with the aesthetically pleasing carriage house style.

5. Reserve Collection® — Semi-Custom Series, Limited-Edition Series and Custom Series

We get it. There’s just no replacement for a traditional wood garage door. The Reserve Collection® Limited-Edition Series offers the historical character and charm of handcrafted wood garage doors, all with the modern convenience of overhead door technology. Our Clopay wood carriage-style garage doors come in a variety of woods and stains, offering homeowners plenty of options for customizing their garage door to coordinate with their home’s architectural design and exterior color scheme.

If you opt for a door from the Reserve Collection® Custom Series, we’ll work with you to design the wood garage door of your dreams. We can create a unique design with or without windows, and then you can choose from a selection of woods, including African Mahogany, White Oak, Ironwood, Spanish Cedar or Knotty Alder.

Love the idea of a custom wood garage door, but your budget won’t allow you to design it from scratch? The Reserve Collection® Semi-Custom Series might be exactly the answer you need. Once you choose from one of six design options, you can select the wood you want, as well as choose from finishes that include mahogany, natural oak or cedar.

Which Carriage-Style Garage Door Is Right for You?

Now that you’re familiar with all our options for carriage-style garage doors, you’re probably wondering how you will ever narrow it down. Carriage-style doors are all beautiful — you can’t go wrong with them — but not all of them are going to be a good fit for your home, your lifestyle or your budget. So how do you choose?

1. Wood vs. Steel Carriage House Garage Doors

The first thing to ask yourself is whether you’re in the market for a steel garage door or a wood one. What’s the difference?

Steel doors — available in insulated or non-insulated varieties — are low-maintenance. You won’t need to repaint them every couple of years, and they aren’t going to crack easily. They also hold up well to the elements, although they are susceptible to corrosion in humid coastal climates. Steel doors are also less expensive than their wood counterparts.

What’s the downside to a steel door? Well, they are susceptible to dents. That isn’t a problem for everyone, but if your kids or grandkids tend to ride bikes or play basketball in the driveway, your door may take a beating.

Steel doors have a reputation for their durability and, thanks to modern craftsmanship, they can even look like natural wood. However, sometimes there’s just no substitute for the classic wood garage door. Available in a variety of styles, as well as insulated or not insulated, wood doors are a classy, elegant way to make a statement with your home’s exterior.

However, wood doors require regular maintenance. They’re susceptible to warping and cracking, so you’ll need to paint or refinish them regularly. Upkeep can be a hassle, and it will also cost money to maintain the high-quality finish that attracted you to the door in the first place.

While cost is indeed a deciding factor in choosing a door, it’s important to keep in mind the average garage door lasts 30 years. And, if you’re like a lot of homeowners, your garage door acts as your front door — meaning you will be looking at it all the time. A door needs to do more than fit your budget — it should suit your tastes and lifestyle, too. Before you select a door based on cost, make sure you like its appearance and you’re willing to put in the work to keep it looking nice.

2. Design & Embellishments

Carriage-style garage doors complement a variety of architectural styles. However, when you’re trying to decide which door style is right for you, it’s important to consider the specific designs on the market today. Each of the Clopay series we offer has several design variations that allow you to pick the style that works for you — and your home. Short vs. long panels, various window options, arches, cross-pieces and more — all these details are essential to consider as you’re narrowing down your choices.

Carriage-style garage doors also typically come with the option to add decorative hardware. The carriage house doors of old boasted hinges and handles because the doors had to swing out. While most modern carriage house doors are designed as overhead doors and no longer require you to put the elbow grease into swinging them out, many of our customers prefer to retain the historic look of swing carriage garage doors in their Charlotte, N.C., homes.

3. Cost

As we mentioned earlier, your budget can play a significant role in choosing between a steel or wood garage door. But even after deciding between those two options, affordability will continue to dictate the style and details you will want for your garage door. Our goal is to make sure you don’t put a dent in your savings, but still walk away with a gorgeous garage door you’ll enjoy for years to come. To do this, it’s crucial to always keep your budget in the back of your mind as you’re selecting the right door for you.

Many times, our clients are surprised to realize they can get a beautiful door and stay within their financial means — all it takes is being upfront with our experienced staff about what you need. They can help match your vision and budget with the myriad of design options and add-ons offered in each collection, all designed to make sure you end up with a beautiful garage door.

Contact RCS Garage Doors

With more than 30 years serving the Charlotte, N.C., area, RCS Garage Doors has dedicated our business to offering high-quality Clopay garage doors for residential and commercial use. Our extensive showroom provides the perfect place for our clients to try before they buy — seeing the materials and the beautiful designs we offer. Our full-time, experienced sales staff is always on hand to answer questions and walk you through the process. Our goal is for our clients to walk away convinced they made the right decision — even before they get their new door installed.

Also providing garage door installation and maintenance, we offer the best brands on the market today and a professional staff committed to getting it right every time. If you’re in the market for a new garage door, let us help you pick the one that will take your home from good to great. Contact us today.

How to Avoid Emergency Garage Door Service This Winter

Winter is tough – even if you love snow! You know what else might agree? Your garage door, especially if you have a mishap and find yourself needing emergency garage door service. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to hopefully prevent a problem that disrupts your day. Here are a few tips:

  1. Call for Maintenance– Getting your garage door serviced before winter or at least before you need to call for emergency garage door service is a good way to avoid needing to make that call. A professional will test the garage door balance, lubricate the moving parts, replace the weather stripping (if needed), inspect and replace the rollers, check the cables, clear the tracks, and take a host of other preventative measures to make certain your garage doors are ready for action regardless of the weather.
  2. Have Your Vehicle’s Brakes Checked- Winter is not the time to have your brakes fail. Well, no time is really, but if you are finding it takes longer to stop than usual, that’s only going to be worse on slick, icy roads. It might surprise you how many emergency garage door service calls result from damage caused by driving into the closed door before it can rise completely.
  3. Keep Driveway Clear- Even great brakes can’t help if you hit a patch of ice on your driveway and slide into your garage doors. While you are at it, be sure to keep snow away from the garage door itself so it doesn’t interfere with the safety feature.
  4. Listen to the Door- Every time your garage door cycles, you should be listening and watching for anything unusual. If the door is moving in an uneven fashion or making odd noises, call for service, as the next time it might not open or close at all.

If you would like to get your garage door serviced to avoid a problem later or if you are in the middle of an emergency garage door service situation at your Charlotte, North Carolina home, give us a call at RCS Garage Doors. We have 24/7 availability so you won’t have to head off to work or go to sleep worried that your home isn’t protected because your garage door isn’t secure. We guarantee we will arrive on time and take care of repairing your door to your complete satisfaction.

The Different Types of Commercial Garage Doors

Purchasing a new garage door for your business is a big step toward protecting your investment. When you take the time to select a high-quality garage door, you are investing in your business’s external appearance, as well as its security and productivity. After all, time is money. Any time you spend waiting for a slow door to open and shut or wrestling with a door that isn’t equipped for its job is time you can’t be focusing on the things you need to do.

This means it’s important to take the time to consider your options when it comes to installing a commercial garage door. When it comes to picking the right garage door, you should select a door that is built with high-quality materials, designed to last for a long time and built to withstand the frequent action that is sure to come from a busy business like yours.

When it comes to selecting the door that’s best for your business, it’s easy to get online and start looking at your options. But, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, the list can quickly become overwhelming. Before you just pick a door off of a list, do your homework. Understanding the different types of commercial garage doors — both what they’re made of and how they work — will help you to choose the one that will be best for your business.

View Our Selection of Commercial Garage Doors

Choosing a Commerical Garage Door

To select the door that’s the best for your business, you first need to think about how the door will be used. You won’t be able to narrow down your options until you ask yourself these four questions:

1. How Will This Door Be Used?

In other words, what will the door’s primary function be? Consider whether it will be opening and closing several times a day to move vehicles in and out, and whether those vehicles will be bringing in equipment or shipments to be unloaded. Perhaps you just need a door to seal off a garage or shed primarily used for storage. Will clients and employees be moving in and out of this entrance on a regular basis? Developing a clear understanding of how the garage door will be used will give you an idea of what features you need in a door.

2. How Important Is the Appearance of This Door?

Consider where this door will be installed. If it will be installed on the front of your building and be the first thing potential clients see when they arrive, you probably want something that looks nicer than if it is going to be installed in the back where only your employees know it’s there. Will this door be an integral part of your building’s design? While any garage door you purchase should be durable, some are more visually pleasing than others. Knowing where your garage door will be placed, as well as its role in the design of your building, can help you narrow down your options.

3. What Features Do My Local Building Codes Require?

Your local commercial building codes will give you some direction on what is or is not permitted in your area and in the type of building your business will occupy. Building codes are a set of regulations that govern the design, construction and maintenance of your building as well as the materials included in it — such as garage doors. Their intent is to make sure that you and your employees stay safe when working inside your building. Since the garage door is such an integral part of a building, there are specific regulations about what can and should be installed, so make sure you know up front what your locality requires.

Besides local codes, you’ll also want to do your homework and know what is required by the National Fire Protection Association and the Americans With Disabilities Act. There are additional guidelines in place to protect anyone who comes into your building.

4. What Is My Budget?

While cost shouldn’t be your only consideration when purchasing a garage door, we know it’s going to play a large role in your final decision. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what you can afford so you don’t waste your time looking at doors you can’t buy. As you are doing your research, pay attention to the costs of different designs and materials. Ask questions about installation costs and any extras that might not be included with the door, such as an automatic opener. As we said before, don’t compromise on safety or durability to save a few dollars. You’ll end up spending more on maintenance if you don’t purchase a high-quality product.

Types of Commerical Garage Doors

Once you have a clear picture in your head of how your door will function and what your building codes require, then you can begin to explore your options.

1. Overhead Garage Doors

An overhead garage door is similar to what you’d find in most modern homes. Also known as “Sectional Doors,” these doors are designed to be raised to the ceiling on tracks using rollers where the door either remains in a vertical position or, more commonly, rests parallel to the ceiling. These can be made in a variety of materials, including wood or aluminum, and they can be crafted to match a variety of exteriors. They can also be designed to have windows or not, and they are available insulated as well.

2. Roll-up Sheet Doors

These doors are the type of door you would typically see at a storage facility or a small warehouse. Slats made of steel roll are attached to create a sheet of metal and guided up and down by roll-formed guides. If you’ve ever rented a storage unit, then you’ll likely be familiar with this type of door because this is usually the type that protects the front of storage units. When they go up, they roll up into a coil, where they are stored until it’s time to pull them back down. This “roll” takes up less space and leaves the ceiling of the building open and free from obstruction.

Some people like this because it takes up less space, and therefore it looks much more professional. These doors are also very secure, making them a great option for keeping your building and its contents safe.

View Our Roll-Up Garage Doors

3. Fire-Rated Doors

These kinds of doors are good in facilities where chemicals or potentially flammable materials might be present. Fire-rated doors are designed to keep a fire from spreading through a facility by breaking a building into compartments that prevent the spread of flames and smoke. They look similar to a roll-up door, but they are fire resistant, which means that when they are in place, they can keep a fire contained. This method of containment gives people time to get out of the building, and it also protects other areas of your facility that might not have been the initial source of the fire. These doors can be raised and lowered manually, or you can install an automatic option that closes them when a fire or smoke is detected.

There are commercial regulations in place regarding fire-rated garage doors. If you’re considering this option, it’s important to do your homework and know what the regulations are in your area. These building codes will also give you information about which type of door you’ll need since ratings and specs vary depending on the purpose of the building and the location they’re in.

4. High-Speed Garage Doors

High-speed garage doors offer businesses faster opening and closing times. Why is this important? It minimizes the amount of time the door is open, which means that your facility’s temperature will stay more even and won’t take on extra cold or hot air — no one wants to lose all of their air-conditioned air to the summer heat because the garage door was open too long. These doors can save you money on heating and cooling your facility, and will also protect any temperature-sensitive materials that might be housed in your facility.

5. Aluminum and Glass Doors

Aluminum and glass doors provide a unique contemporary look that maximizes the light in any commercial space. They are typically recommended as a great option for restaurants, service stations, fire stations or car dealerships, but their unique modern vibe and the way they showcase the view outside your building can make them a great option for many different kinds of businesses. They have even been used as a divider between two indoor spaces or between a building’s interior and a patio or other exterior space.

Some of these designs can be made with steel instead of aluminum. While these doors are often recommended for their stylish and modern look, they are not lacking in durability. Because they are made with aluminum and strong glass, they are sturdy and will hold up to the volume of use they’ll get in a commercial setting.

View Our Architectural Series – Aluminum & Glass Garage Doors

6. Insulated Garage Doors

Insulated garage doors are designed to keep heat inside where it belongs in the winter, and they keep the cool air in place in the summer. This option is designed to keep you comfortable, but it also to keep your company’s energy costs down. These doors are even stronger than regular commercial doors because, unlike regular doors which are a single layer of material, these doors have more than one layer. If you’re looking for a sturdy option that’s going to keep your energy costs down, this door may be the one for you.

7. Service Doors

Similar to roll-up doors, service doors are typically made from steel or aluminum and work by coiling up. You often see these types of doors used around loading docks, warehouses or storage facilities. They work by placing slats made from aluminum or steel together into a continuous curtain of metal. Unlike roll-up doors, these doors are usually operated with a chain-hoist or a motor. Also, this coil rolls inside a protective metal hood rather than simply around itself. This creates an even cleaner look compared to roll-up doors.

This type of door has many benefits. These doors can be insulated, which can be important to maintain an even temperature inside your business throughout the year. They come in a wide variety of options and work well in a multitude of openings. Finally, these doors are extremely secure, providing you with great peace of mind every step of the way.

View Our Roll-Up Service Doors

Which Door Is Right for Me?

Once you understand which doors are out there, you can start narrowing down your list. First, apply the criteria you established after answering the four questions at the beginning. Then, if you are still debating between two or more options, break it down by evaluating each door for:

1. Appearance

Consider the color and design options available. Is there a look that fits with the appearance and architecture of the building? Are there other doors or features you need to match?

2. Durability

What materials are available in the style you prefer? Consider whether they will hold up to the intended function of the door, as well as the wind and weather in the region where your business is located.

3. Operation

Do you need an automatic door? Most people would say yes, but this can be an added expense you’ll need to factor into your budget. Also, do you need a high-speed door that will open and close faster than the average door?

4. Initial Cost

Will the door you are considering fit within the parameters of your budget? Don’t forget to factor in any extra costs that might be associated with your door. Also remember that once you select a style you like, pricing can vary by size and the material you choose.

5. Cost of Maintenance

Over time you will need to service and maintain your commercial garage door to keep it operating in peak condition. What are the maintenance costs that will be associated with this particular door? Do you have the budget to maintain it appropriately?

6. Energy Efficiency

How does this door compare to the other options in terms of its ability to keep a steady temperature inside your facility? Will it prevent conditions outside from impacting indoor temperatures? Determine whether you can expect to see any savings on your monthly energy costs if you select a particular model over another.

Contact RCS Garage Doors for Commercial Installations

When it comes to selecting and installing a commercial garage door, it’s important to work with an experienced company with a reputation for excellent customer service and high-quality products. Servicing clients around Charlotte, N.C., for more than 30 years, RCS Carolinas has an experienced staff ready to work with you through the installation process, and then continue to be your go-to for repairs and maintenance for years to come. We are proud to offer a selection of LiftMaster® electric operators and accessories, as well as a variety of Clopay® garage doors for both commercial and residential purposes.

We pride ourselves in offering high-quality products as well as service. We know garage doors, and we are ready to help you find the best door for your business. If you’re in the market for a commercial garage door, look no further than RCS Carolinas. Contact us today, and be on your way to a brand new garage door.

Garage Floor Ideas

Garage Floor Ideas

Garage flooring needs to stand up to a lot of abuse from chemicals, extreme weather and wear from vehicles.  But just because it takes a beating doesn’t mean it has to be boring. There are many flooring options that will improve the look and feel of your garage, making it an unexpectedly interesting home improvement project.

Coatings – These options adhere to your existing floor

Concrete sealer

Concrete sealer is a clear or tinted coating that is applied to your existing floor. It is inexpensive and easy to apply, making it a great choice for DIY beginners or those on a tight budget. The sealer will help protect your floor against water, mild chemicals, oil, and road salts.

Concrete sealer won’t hide blemishes or disguise cracks and can’t be used over existing paints or epoxy coatings. Though it can add a slight sheen and tint, it will not make a significant aesthetic improvement to your garage.

Concrete stain

Concrete stain is applied in a thin coat, then soaks into the concrete to become part of the floor. Another budget- and beginner-friendly option, concrete stain comes in a variety of colors and can even give your floor the appearance of natural stone.

Unlike sealer, this option does not protect the concrete and will require a separate coat of a sealer to protect against chemicals and moisture. Though concrete stain won’t necessarily hide blemishes or cracks, it can sometimes help disguise these imperfections.

Epoxy paint

Epoxy is a very durable coating for floors that typically comes in a two-part formula of paint and hardener. This option completely covers cracks and stains in a properly prepared floor and resists marring, oil, gasoline, and other chemicals.

You can apply epoxy as a DIY project, but it is trickier than stains and sealers. You will need to patch, clean and possibly etch the floor, and application work needs to be done quickly so the epoxy doesn’t dry before you are done. The coating takes up to a week to cure completely and may need reapplication every three to five years.

Coverings – These options lay on top of your existing floor

Snap-together tiles

Snap-together tiles are made of rigid interlocking plastic and offer extreme durability at a low price. They are also very easy to install — all you have to do is sweep away the debris and lay down the tiles. The rigid plastic is chemical resistant and stands up to heavy loads like floor jacks.

The color options for plastic tiles tend to be limited, so you may have to settle for black, white and neutrals. While they will completely hide stained and damaged floors, their rigidity makes them difficult to install over uneven floors, cracks and buckles.

Flexible tiles

Flexible interlocking tiles are usually made of heavy-duty vinyl or rubber. They come in a variety of colors so you can create unique designs and color combinations. Installation for flexible tiles is the same as with the rigid plastic tiles, but this variety will be more forgiving over imperfect, uneven surfaces.

Flexible tiles are more susceptible to staining and damage than their rigid plastic counterparts, but it is easy to replace individual tiles.

These are just some common types of garage floors – some people also use roll-out mats, porcelain tiles, paint, sheet vinyl and even garage-specific carpeting. Work with a professional to determine the best type of floor for the way you use your garage.

Garage Door Storage Solutions

Garage Door Storage Solutions

If you’re like most American homeowners, you use your garage every day. It is an important part of you and your family’s every day lives. It provides a convenient entry and exit to and from your home and protects your vehicles from the elements. However, we tend to use our garage as an unorganized storage space, living by the motto “out of sight, out of mind.” More often than not, garages are cluttered and underused, failing to reach their full potential as an integral space in your home. These garage storage tips will help you turn disorganized chaos into orderly function.

Shoe Storage

For many Americans, the garage is the main entry point of the home. But let’s say you don’t like shoes in the house. Your garage offers a perfect storage space for all your family’s and guests’ dirty shoes. Rather than leaving them in a heaping pile on the floor, use a shoe organizer to instantly free up some needed floor space.

Multipurpose Bench

A utility bench with hooks and cubbies can serve as a great way to keep outdoor gear organized, while also providing a convenient place to sit to remove dirty shoes, hats, and coats.

Overhead/Loft Storage

If you have the extra headroom, loft storage and overhead storage are great ways to free up floor space. Whether it be suspended shelving or an attic-like set up, you can better utilize the space in your garage by taking advantage of the seldom-used space above your head. This type of storage is ideal for rarely used items, such as holiday decorations and other seasonal items.

Slat Wall

You see slat walls at retail stores all the time. The versatility of the slat wall allows stores to display a variety of products at the same time. The same versatility can be applied to your garage. With the ability to add shelves and hooks on multiple levels along the wall, you can organize everything from sporting goods, to bicycles, to lawn equipment on the same wall, with convenient access.

Commercial Cabinetry

If you aren’t one of the lucky few that have built-in storage in your garage, there is no need to worry. Cabinets, drawers and shelves from your local home goods store can do wonders in helping you declutter your garage without breaking the bank.


While pegboards may seem a little old school, their effectiveness in decluttering a garage has yet to go out of style. Similar to a slat wall, pegboard has tremendous versatility, with the ability to install hooks and shelves for nearly any tool.

Built-In Cabinetry

This is the ultimate dream in garage organization, but it comes at a price. Floor-to-ceiling wall-to-wall cabinetry is the optimal way to keep everything in your garage neat and organized. While it is the most expensive of the methods mentioned, what you receive in the end is worth it.

10 Common Questions Garage Door Dealers Get

10 Common Questions Garage Door Dealers Get

So you’re thinking about purchasing a new garage door for your home,… but where do you begin? Metal or wood, insulated or non-insulated, windows or no windows? It can be overwhelming, but there’s no need to stress. Below are the answers to these questions and some of the other most common questions garage door dealers get from people looking to buy a new garage door.

Door Material, Metal or Wood?

Each material has its pros and its cons. Metal doors are typically cheaper, lighter weight and require very little maintenance, but can lack design quality. Wooden doors are popular for their natural design and quality, but are usually more expensive than metal and require some seasonal upkeep. Overall Wooden doors are preferred by architects and home designers, but many aluminum and steel doors have similar quality levels.

Insulation or No Insulation?

This mostly depends if your garage is attached or detached and how you use it. If you have an attached garage that has living space above it, insulated is the way to go. But if your garage is simply used to park your car, there isn’t much need for it to be insulated.

Insulation Type, Polyurethane or Polystyrene?

Polyurethane is a better insulator than polystyrene, however, the latter is cheaper. If you live in an area that experience below freezing temperatures for more than 4 months out of the year, it may better serve you to insulate with polyurethane, but if you live in a relatively mild area, polystyrene will get the job done.

Double Garage Door or Two Single Doors?

This is mostly a case of personal preference. Two doors are the more practical option, giving you multiple entrance/exit points in case of malfunction, but two doors also mean double the equipment leading to higher costs. Designers and architects tend to favor two single doors as they provide a better sense of balance.

Hardware, Extension or Torsion?

Torsion hardware is preferred, if you have the necessary headroom (at least 12 inches). Torsion is preferred due to how it centers the weight of the door on the anchor plate, providing smooth operation. An extension system is preferred on garages with low head clearance using two springs working independently of one another.

How much headroom clearance is needed?

There is no correct answer for this, as all homes vary, especially older homes. 14 inches is ideal, but the absolute minimum clearance is 6 inches. Door and opener technology has greatly advanced in recent years to reduce the footprint of garage hardware and opening systems.

Does the Garage Door Frame Need to be Prepped?

You just need to make sure the exterior and interior opening match the size of the door. Typically garage door frames are framed using 2×8 or 2×10 boards.

Windows or No Windows?

This question comes down to two factors, security/privacy and natural light. If there are no other windows in your garage, adding some windows would conveniently add some natural light. But if security and privacy are of higher importance to you, choose to forgo windows.

What is the Lifespan of a Garage Door?

Depending on the quality of the door and its components, a typical garage door should last for more than 20 years. If you take preventative maintenance measures and make sure to clean the door at least twice annually, your garage door can 30 years or more.

How Much Does a New Garage Door Cost?

Finally! The most popular question. A lot of variables go into the cost of a new garage door, but for comparison purposes, a high-quality, metal, insulated, double garage door without windows would cost around $1500 – $2000. For a wooden door of the same quality, the price ranges from $1000 – $5000 depending on the type of wood.

Other Questions

If the questions you have aren’t on this list, don’t worry. Contact the experts at RCS Garage Doors with any of your garage door questions. We are eager to help!

Garage Doors 101

Garage Doors 101

The average homeowner will likely only have to purchase one, maybe two, garage doors or garage door openers in their lifetime. So, with this in mind, it’s safe to say most people are not savvy to the terminology surrounding garage doors. That’s where this guide comes in. Below is a basic introduction into the word of garage doors. A “Garage Doors 101” class if you will. It will help you understand the terminology used by garage door experts, thus helping you make an informed decision when it comes to repairing your garage door, or having a new one installed.


The Door

Most terms concerning the door are recognizable, however these garage door facts will give you some background knowledge that can greatly aid you in your repair or replacement job.

  • -Nearly all garage doors in North America are sectional doors made up of 4 sections between 18 and 24 inches tall, depending on the size of the door.
  • -For residential doors, heights range from 6 to 8 feet, while widths vary from 4 to 18 feet.
  • -Door thickness is between 1.5-2 inches.
  • -Common door materials include steel (most common), wood, fiberglass, PVC, aluminum and glass.
  • -Doors can be either insulated or non-insulated. Insulated doors are insulated with either polystyrene or polyurethane insulation.

The Hardware

The hardware terminology is where things start to become a little more difficult.

  • -The hinges: These are the joints that allow the sections of the door to fold during the opening and closing process. Double hinges are recommended for larger doors to prevent any of the sections from collapsing while in the open position.
  • -The rollers: These are the wheels that guide the door up and down. There are three types: Steel, nylon and reinforced nylon. The latter 2 are the quietest, while steel rollers are more common and more affordable. The most important thing to consider with steel rollers is bearings. The more bearings the better. Rollers with less bearings will tend to slide rather than roll, increasing the wear and tear not only on your door, but your opener as well.
  • -Tracks: Tracks guide the rollers during the opening and closing process of the door. When having a new door installed it is important to consider the thickness of the tracks. Tracks constructed of thicker steel are more resistant to twisting and bending.
  • -Reinforcement Struts: Double garage doors, due to their weight, require reinforcement struts to support the door when left open for extended periods of time.
  • -The Spring System: Sometimes referred to as the counterweight system, this what allows you to open your garage door manually without throwing out your back. The counterweight system reduces the weight of your door to roughly 10lbs. There are two types, torsion and extension. Torsion spring systems are located above the door, while extension spring systems are located over the horizontal tracks. An extension system saves you a little on space, but both systems have a 5-7 year service life.
  • -Lift Cables: These are pretty much exactly what they sound like. The most important thing to consider here is to make sure your lift cable has the adequate strength to hold your door.
  • -Steel Thickness: For all steel garage door components, the thickness is measured in gauges. The lower the value, the thicker the steel.
  • -Galvanized Steel: If you live in a humid area, you may want to consider using components made of galvanize steel for increased service life.
  • -Weatherstripping: On garage doors, weather stripping is located in 3 places: the sides of the door on the exterior, the bottom of the door, and, on some doors, between the door sections. Weatherstripping is most often manufactured using PVC or thermoplastic elastomer. It is always important to check the flexibility of your weatherstripping. If you live in areas where very cold temperatures are common, you may want to consider spending the extra money on premium weatherstripping to avoid future repairs due to cold weather.

Learn More…

If your thirst for garage door knowledge has not been thoroughly quenched, call contact your local garage door experts at RCS Garage Doors with any questions you may have. We will happily guide you to the best garage door choice to fit your style and budget.


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