What to Look for When Buying a Garage Door

What to Look for When Buying a Garage Door

what to look for when buying a garage door

You may need or want to buy a garage door because your current one has broken or you’re looking to give your home a facelift. Buying a new garage door is an important decision. Garage doors provide essential functionality and can be a crucial design statement for your home. Because of their necessity, you want to make sure you choose a new garage door that suits your wants and needs.

If you’re wondering what type of garage door is best for your house and what kind you should buy, you’ve come to the right place. When choosing a new door, there are a few things to be aware of to make the best decision for your home. Whether you’re considering your budget, design or home structure, some useful tips can help you learn what to look for when buying a garage door. Here are 10 things to know before buying a garage door.

10 Tips to Know Before Buying a Garage Door

By following these 10 tips, you’ll learn the essentials of what to keep in mind when shopping for a new garage door. This list can help the process become much easier.

1. Know What You’re Looking For

A great place to start when buying a garage door is to look at the door you currently have. Ask yourself what you like and dislike about it, what you wish it had, how you would improve it and other relevant questions. These questions can help you precisely pinpoint what things you’re interested in having in a new garage door. 

If your current door has some specific issues, keep those at the front of your mind. You don’t want to spend money on a new garage door only to deal with the same issues again. When you begin working with your garage door manufacturer, you can inform them of your concerns and work to avoid these in the future.

There are several other things to know before you start your garage door search:

  • Budget: Having a budget will help keep your decisions in check. With an established budget, you’ll know what doors and other options you can afford. Home renovations and improvements can quickly become more expensive than planned, so creating and keeping a budget will benefit you long term.
  • Door size: Having your door measurements before you begin choosing your new garage door will save you a lot of headaches. Keep your door’s measurements on hand to assist your garage door professional in helping you select and design your door. Knowing your door size can also help you stay within your budget.
  • Design styles: There are many door styles to choose from. Some design styles include Classic™, Canyon Ridge® with traditional carriage-house doors and raised panel. Raised panel doors can be combined with other styles. Choose a garage door that best suits your home’s architectural design and aesthetic. Keeping the same style throughout your home’s exterior will create a cohesive look.
  • Door materials: There are just as many garage door materials to pick from as there are designs. You can choose fiberglass, vinyl, steel, aluminum, plastic, wood or composite wood. Each type has its pros and cons. Steel is usually the industry’s go-to door material. Wood was once the industry favorite but has become less desirable recently due to its lack of durability and need for regular maintenance. 
  • Available features: Buying a garage door involves more than just considering the door itself. Account for features like springs, tracks, nylon rollers and keypads when purchasing a new door. 
  • Available accessories: What accessories will look and work best for your new door? Keypads, windows and knobs are just a few accessories to choose from when selecting your door.

2. Be Prepared to Shop With the Right Information

Gathering ideas about what type of garage door you’re looking for is a great way to prepare yourself to shop. One way to organize your thoughts is to start a mood board with the color, style, finish and any features and accessories you want to purchase with your door. When you go into a store with an idea of what you want, you can save yourself precious time and money.

Before you leave home, make sure you know what size door you’re buying. Having this essential measurement will help make the garage door buying process much more effective. Additionally, not all options or features may be available for all door sizes, which is another reason why it’s crucial to have this measurement. You don’t want to fall in love with a specific garage door only to find out it isn’t available for your size garage.

If you plan to work with a specific garage door manufacturer, it will benefit you to look at their selection of door styles, features and accessories before visiting their store.

know what size door you're buying

3. Understand Your Available Customization Options

The design options are nearly endless when buying a new garage door — several door styles and numerous features and accessories are available for your choosing. Understanding the different options available before you begin shopping will allow you to start the process with a clear vision of what you want for your home. 

A great place to start when exploring your options includes the garage door hardware. Garage doors can be loud when they open and close, and the noise can be particularly disruptive to others sleeping in your home, primarily if you use your door early in the morning or late at night. If you’re looking to have a quieter door, consider purchasing nylon rollers. Nylon rollers are ideal for quiet operation because they tend to make less noise than traditional metal rollers. 

4. Learn About Different Features

Features for your new garage door can include keypads, knobs and handles and windows. It’s usually within your best interest to choose features that complement your existing home exterior, like certain finishes or colors. Working with a well-versed designer can help you choose the best design choices for your new garage door. 

Your keypads can be the same color as your door, or you can get them in another complementary color. Like keypads, the doorknobs can coordinate with any metal already present in your home design to create cohesion. 

Windows are not always standard in garage doors. However, they can blend in with almost any design and add a unique design element to your door. The location of your garage door’s windows can vary from the entire length of the door to just the top part of it. Think about the level of privacy you want or need when deciding what size windows you’d like for your door.

5. Don’t Skimp on the Accessories

Quality over quantity is a common phrase, and buying a new garage door is no exception. If you’re on a tight budget, buying premium features may not be an option for you. However, if you have extra money to spend, investing in quality features can actually save you more money in the future. For example, handles and knobs consisting of durable, weatherproof materials will last longer and won’t need replacement as often. Some can last over a decade. 

Electronic systems like keypads and garage door openers offer another opportunity to invest a little more money. Purchasing a system with excellent reviews and more features can make your life with your new garage door easier.

If you decide to include windows on your door, strongly consider purchasing insulated windows. Insulated windows help protect the inside of your garage from fluctuating temperatures, which can also save you money on your electric bill and make your garage more energy efficient. Insulated windows may have a higher price tag, but they will safeguard items inside your garage from extreme cold or heat, which is well worth the money.

consider purchasing insulated windows

6. Buy a New Garage Door Opener

When searching for a new garage door, look at your current garage door opener. The door opener you are currently using may be just as outdated as your garage door. Your garage door opener won’t last forever, so buying a new one can save you in labor costs when you purchase your door. You may also be able to combine the garage door and door opener costs when making your purchase, saving yourself even more money. 

Garage door technology has improved with time, and some garage door openers now have smart technology that allows you to check your door’s status while away from your house. Remotely checking your door is an excellent feature if you’re going to be away from your home for some time and want to be sure it remains protected.

If you aren’t interested in buying a smart garage door opener, it can still be an excellent investment to purchase an entirely new opener. Having a new garage door opener can ensure that you have the best product available at the time to go with your brand new door!

7. Check and Upgrade Your Garage Insulation

Insulation is essential for garages because these spaces aren’t typically insulated like your home’s walls. As a result, they experience fluctuating temperatures throughout the seasons. These temperatures can damage anything you have stored in the garage, including your vehicle. By properly insulating this space, you can avoid unnecessary damage to your belongings and also save on utility bills. 

However, you may not have plans to re-insulate your garage. If you decide to buy a steel door, make sure you select the correct steel gauge to make up for not re-insulating the garage itself. To have adequate insulation, choose at least a 24-gauge steel door. The steel will be thinner if you choose a higher gauge, such as 25 or more. The lower the number, the thicker the door, and the better the insulation.

8. Choose the Correct Springs

There are two types of garage door springs: torsion and extension springs. Torsion springs are more difficult to install, as they go over the door’s opening. Because of how they work, they are better for heavier or wider doors — they distribute weight more effectively. However, they will also need more headroom. 

Extension springs offer a more straightforward installation. They come in pairs and extend across the ceiling, parallel to the door, and require less headroom than torsion springs. Regardless of what spring type you choose, always have a professional install the springs in your new garage door. They have the expertise and skill required to help you choose the right spring type and ensure it’s installed correctly.

9. Work With a Manufacturer

Working with a manufacturer can make the garage door buying process more manageable. They often have software that can show you a virtual design of your new door. If you’re unsure how some colors, finishes or features will look on your chosen door, the manufacturer can show you how each would appear by using this software. The software may also show you how a new garage door would look on your home. You can create this preview by uploading a photograph of your home and overlaying the new garage door design on it.

discuss any costs you don't understand

10. Ask for Clarity on the Quote Process If Necessary

While working with a manufacturer, you can ask them to create a quote or estimate for you. Your quote will range in price depending on the options you choose, including the door size, style, features and accessories. Your manufacturer or installer can adjust the quote before finalizing it. It’s important to speak with your garage door representative about any costs you don’t understand — make sure those costs are explained before the final installation is complete.

How to Choose the Right Garage Door for Your Needs

Conducting your own research and working with a manufacturer are the best ways to choose the right garage door for your needs. The garage door manufacturer can help you decide what door model will work best for your home, but only you know what specifics you’ll require. By conducting your own research, you can know ahead of time what you want and speak confidently to the manufacturer, who can then direct you to the right door to suit your home’s needs.

By keeping the above checklist in mind throughout the process, you can have an easier time deciding what kind of door you want and understanding how it will benefit your home the most.

Contact RCS Garage Doors Today

If you’re local to Charlotte, NC, and are looking for a new garage door, RCS Garage Doors is the best place to have your needs met. As a leading fixture in the Charlotte community for over 30 years, we have the knowledge necessary to guide you to find the perfect garage door for your home or business.

Our showroom provides numerous garage door options for you to explore, experts who can answer whatever questions you have about design or installation and resources to help you transform your current garage door setup from drab to fab. 

Contact us today to request an estimate for your new garage door, or visit our showroom in Charlotte to see how we can help you select a new door to fit your ideal style.

choose your door from RCS Garage Doors

When Should You Replace Your Garage Door?

When-should-you-replace-your-garage-door

Your garage door should be strong enough to guard your home against the weather and keep thieves out. Upgrading this part of your house can increase your home’s curb appeal and even raise its resale value.

It may be time to invest in a new garage door if your door is not as durable and attractive as it used to be. To save money, you could repair a part of the door to make it work more efficiently. Whatever the situation you find yourself in, there are many options to improve or upgrade your garage door. Use this guide to determine when to replace the garage door.

Contact Us for a New Garage Door

How Do You Know If You Need a New Garage Door?

If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your garage door, you might want to consider a new one. A brand-new unit is a wise home improvement investment for your property, especially if you’ve had problems with your garage door system in the last couple of years. Consider upgrading your garage door if you’re experiencing any of these conditions.

1. Your Garage Door Is Noisy

A garage door should be reasonably quiet as it opens and closes. Older doors tend to make noise due to dirt or debris. While some of these sounds are harmless, they could be a sign that you need a garage door replacement. Ignoring these issues for too long could damage your garage door beyond repair and may even damage the door opening.

Besides your door, the garage door opener could also be noisy, especially if there’s debris or rust around the chain. Upgrade the opener to one that has a smoother operation, like a belt-drive system with an AC motor.

2. Your Garage Door Is Sagging

Due to moisture and UV damage, wood garage door panels could rot, decompose or lose their color if you haven’t properly maintained them. The sagging panels may reduce the aesthetic appeal of your house, and they typically need to be replaced. If the door isn’t made of wood, sagging could be a more severe issue.

Open the garage door manually to check the balance of your door. If it’s off-balance, it could have a broken torsion spring. If you notice these issues, you may want to replace your garage door before it shuts down and you have to request emergency service.

 Your Garage Door Isn't Safe or Secure

3. Your Garage Door Isn’t Safe or Secure

A garage door comes with safety features like the automatic reversal system, which prevents the door from closing when a person or object is in its path. If this system doesn’t work, you should upgrade to new hardware to protect your loved ones from injury.

You should also replace your garage door if you’ve had a break-in recently. Old garage doors can be a weak point in your home, especially if thieves figure out the opener keypad access code. If you upgrade to a smart garage door opener, you may have the option to receive a randomly generated access code on your phone every time you need to unlock the door.

4. Your Garage Door Is Out of Style

You may want to change your garage door style or color to update its appearance. A brand-new door increases the value of your home and makes it stand out from other houses on your block, especially if your current door has chipped paint or rot on the panels. 

You should consider how your garage door looks in tandem with the rest of your house. A garage door makes up a significant portion of your home’s exterior and can even be a focal point of the house. You can use the garage door design tool to upload a picture of your house and try out different styles while you shop. If you choose to upgrade your garage door, increase its technological features with a smart garage door opener that connects to a smartphone app.

5. Your Garage Door Is Costing You Money

Wear and tear on your garage door could affect how smoothly it opens and closes. While you can change out garage door parts or accessories when they break, if your door needs constant maintenance, the replacement cost of a whole system may end up being less than accessory garage door costs.

Along with money on repairs, you may pay more in energy costs with a worn-out garage door. Older doors may have gaps in the panels or around the sides that could leak in cold air during the winter. Insulated doors help regulate the temperature of your garage, putting less strain on your HVAC system. Check the energy efficiency of your garage door if you notice an increase in your energy bills.

6. Your Garage Door Doesn’t Work

A garage door should open and close when you press the remote on the opener. If it moves slowly or doesn’t move at all, you should consider replacing it. Over the years, a slow garage door may get slower and eventually stick on the track.

Any of the heavy moving parts on your garage door could cause it not to work anymore, and sometimes it’s easier to replace the whole system than to figure out why it isn’t working. This is especially true if the door is damaged from harsh weather or impact.

You're Selling Your House

7. You’re Selling Your House

If you’re putting your house on the market, keep in mind that a garage door replacement yields the second-highest return on investment (ROI) for a home improvement remodeling project in North Carolina. While most homeowners focus on renovating the bathroom or kitchen, a new garage door has great curb appeal and can increase your home value and get you more money for your house. Invest in this remodeling project to give potential home buyers an excellent first impression of your house.

How Often Should You Replace Your Garage Door?

Do you need a new garage door? It depends on the age and reliability of the door. A sturdy garage door will last for decades in moderate weather conditions and with proper maintenance. Consult with a garage door professional for recommendations based on your specific situation.

Generally, if you need a new garage door, you should get it installed in the spring while you’re doing your spring cleaning. Consider these reasons why you should replace your garage door between March and June:

  • If harsh winds, snow or hail from the winter beat against your garage door, you can replace your damaged garage door after the snow melts.
  • Instead of taking on a renovation project in the summer, when the weather is warm and you have activities planned, you can get your house ready for this season by installing a new garage door in the spring.
  • The weather is pleasant in the spring, allowing the garage door technician to work in moderate conditions while keeping your home at a reasonable temperature.
  • Garage door companies tend to have promotions on their garage doors in the spring.

If you need to replace your garage door, you should do it before the cold winter or the hot summer. An attached garage often shares a wall with one of the rooms in your interior, so the temperature in your garage can affect the whole house. Installing in the spring may also help you prevent the need to call a technician in the middle of winter because of an emergency.

Can You Replace Just a Section of Garage Door?

Can You Replace Just a Section of Garage Door?

You can repair a part of the garage door instead of replacing the whole system. If you have a stable door, you may be able to save money by having a professional fix a broken spring or a cracked panel.

Learn More About Repairing Dented Panels

If your door doesn’t open or close, try replacing the batteries in the opener remote before calling a technician. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for information on how to replace the batteries if you need assistance. If this doesn’t work, inspect the door and call a professional. They can complete the following repairs safely and effectively: 

  • Adjust or replace the torsion springs: If your garage door feels heavy or it’s off-balance, the springs are probably worn-out. Be sure to call a professional to install new springs because garage door springs can snap without warning and cause severe injury if not handled properly.
  • Replace a cracked panel: Wooden garage doors are vulnerable to moisture damage, and vinyl panels could lose their color after exposure to the sun. In some situations, you may be able to change out a cracked or warped piece instead of replacing the whole door to enhance your home’s curb appeal.
  • Replace the garage door sensor: If you’re having issues with the safety sensor — the component that activates the automatic reversal system — try cleaning it first. Any obstruction, even an accumulation of dust, can affect its functionality. After cleaning it, try opening and closing the door. Call for a photo eye inspection if it’s still not working.
  • Upgrade the garage door opener: You can order a new garage door opener without getting a garage door. Wi-Fi-enabled openers are compatible with older garage doors as well. Consider upgrading your garage door opener for a quieter and smoother operation.
  • Replace the broken cables: Your garage door comes with torsion springs, extension springs and safety cables that hold it in place. If any of these cables break, the door may stop moving or the metal parts could rust. Contact a garage door technician to repair broken cables before they cause further damage.
  • Put the garage door back on the track: If your garage door is off the track, you may need to tighten loose hardware to get it to move again. You could also get a damaged track replaced if it’s not working correctly. If this is the case, close the garage door manually and schedule an inspection with a professional.

How Long Do Garage Doors Last?

Garage doors could last up to 30 years if you properly maintain them. Here are some tips for prolonging the integrity of your door that you should do at least once a year:

  • Lubricate all moving parts: The moving parts in your garage door are metal. To prevent rust and allow the garage door to move freely, spray lubricant on the springs, track, chains and handles.
  • Tighten up the hardware: If you keep your garage door tracks and hinges tight, you can prevent debris and damage to your door from loose parts. Use a screwdriver or a socket wrench to tighten up the loose bolts you notice on the moving parts.
  • Test the door’s balance: A garage door that’s off-balance can damage the rest of your property. To test the balance of your door, disconnect it from the opener and move it manually. If you discover an issue as you open and close it, contact a professional to inspect it.
  • Inspect the rollers: Check your garage door rollers about twice a year for damage. These parts should last for several years, but if they’re damaged, they could affect the operation of your door. Get damaged rollers replaced so you won’t have to replace the whole garage door.
  • Install new weatherstripping: Your garage door seal and insulation are essential for protecting the inside of your garage from snow, rain and air leaks. Seal any gaps you notice under the door to keep your garage comfortable throughout the year. You might have to get the weatherstripping (rubber seal) replaced under the door if it’s broken or worn.
  • Test the auto-reverse feature: To ensure your garage door is reliable for years to come, test the auto-reversal system. Place a piece of wood or a brick in the way of the photo eye sensor. When you close the garage door automatically, it should reverse once it notices the block. If it keeps going, contact a technician to have it serviced.
  • Clean out the tracks: In the winter and spring, use a broom to sweep out debris, cobwebs or animal nests in the way of the tracks. Avoid using water or cleaning chemicals that could damage your metal tracks.
  • Inspect the garage door: Try operating your garage door both manually and automatically. Listen for any unpleasant noises coming from the door, and check that it isn’t getting stuck as it moves. Contact a professional if you have any concerns about the door.
  • Care for the panels: Once you know your garage door is functioning correctly, you should check its appearance for worn-out or chipped pieces. Reseal or paint wooden door panels, and wash metal or vinyl with mild soap and warm water. You should also inspect the door for dents or rust stains after a harsh storm and replace door panels if necessary.

While you can complete most of these maintenance tasks on your own, you can schedule an appointment with a garage door company to have them inspect the door if you have specific maintenance concerns:

Contact Us for a New Garage Door in Charlotte, NC

Contact Us for a New Garage Door in Charlotte, NC

If you need a new garage door in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, schedule an inspection with RCS Garage Doors. We can help you decide whether you need to repair a broken part of your unit or replace the whole system. We have a large selection of residential garage doors and garage door openers to enhance your home’s curb appeal. For more information, contact us online or call us at 704-523-8066.

Call (704) 523-8063 for a New Garage Door Today

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.

Call (704) 523-8063 for Opener Repairs Now

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. 

What Garage Door Material & Insulation Options Are Available?

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.

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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.

What are the 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 Door Designs

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 house style garage doors are an easy way to add elegance and visual curb 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 carriage house designs. 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 garage 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 window designs or glass options that allow extra light into the garage. Carriage 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 house 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 house style 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 house garage 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 door design options 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 color options, 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 wood carriage house 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 carriage 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 the style of 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, Red 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 garage 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 carriage house 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 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.

What are the 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.

Pegboards

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.

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