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Posted by & filed under Garage Door Education .

This guest post is by Ryan Grant from A-1 Door Company.

When choosing a company to entrust with your garage doors – which take up about a third of your home’s façade and offer invaluable function – it’s important to be informed. As a homeowner, you should do research before hiring any contractor. Some things to look for in a reputable garage door company are IDA accreditation, business and employee insurance, and a showroom or physical address.

Unfortunately, there are companies out there who do not provide quality service and instead, aim to take advantage of homeowners. While no one is completely safe from becoming a victim of an attempted scam, there are ways to become less vulnerable. It all starts with heightening your awareness of scammer tactics. To better understand what a garage door scam looks like, we’re illustrating the tactics commonly used by “Bad Bobs” to mislead consumers.

Various news outlets have reported on recent real-world incidences that occurred at the hands of a fraudulent company called Precision Door of Phoenix. One specific case occurred at a home in Goodyear, AZ, where a homeowner was quoted $2,200 for a spring repair. The owner of the company told the homeowner that the door was “damaged irreparably” as a result of a lack of maintenance. When another local, reputable company came out to provide a quote, the honest price ended up being only $168. Luckily, that particular homeowner was able to identify the scam and stop it in its tracks, but others have not been so lucky.

“Bad Bobs” like the one in this scenario have unfortunately been continuing to pop up and their presence continues to grow in the garage door industry. Here are two signs to look out for to avoid wasting your hard-earned money on their services:

  • Unbelievable online reviews. When actual customers of Precision Door of Phoenix were interviewed, they had nothing but negative remarks. However, Google, Yelp, and Facebook reviews reflected a nearly perfect 5-star rating across the board. At a closer look, this high rating was the result of a mass amount of 5-star reviews that had been submitted over the span of just a couple days by employees and users who weren’t even located in North America. While efforts are in place to try to crack down on these types of falsified reviews on the web, misleading reports and reviews are unfortunately still out there. It’s important to be aware of these possibilities and always do your research – especially when something appears to be too good to be true.
  • Manipulating parts costs. According to an ex-employee of Precision Door of Phoenix, “flat rip-off money is where the profit is.” Bad Bobs will overcharge for parts and labor, and may even suggest a “full overhaul” of your system when it’s clearly not necessary. They will also set the pricing for all items depending on the perceived gullibility of the customer. If you receive a quote that is much higher than expected, ask for a price breakdown and do some outside research to determine if your suspicions are warranted.

Click here to read more on the Precision Door of Phoenix investigation. For additional general information on avoiding garage door scammers and Bad Bobs, check out the Consumer Alert videos here.

To try to help homeowners identify and avoid these types of scammers, Google has several checks in place designed to prevent illegitimate door dealers from promoting themselves online. Google has rolled out two measures: the Google Guarantee program and advanced verification. The Google Guaranteed badge means the company passed a background check and is backed by a money-back guarantee. Advanced verification requires garage door dealers to pass a background check in order to show ads on Google.

Ryan Grant is the owner of A-1 Door Company – a leading garage door dealer in Richmond, Virginia. A-1 Door Company specializes in residential and commercial garage door repair and replacement and has been in business for over 15 years. As an active member of IDA, the company keeps up-to-date with industry trends and continues ongoing education.

Posted by & filed under garage door installation .

If you are going for a modern look on the exterior of your home, there is nothing more striking than a full view garage door. This style is made up of several clear or opaque panes that make up the garage door rather than panels of steel or wood. However, there is more to choosing a garage door than picking something that looks beautiful. You also need to be aware of the pros and cons before going in.

Pros of a Full View Garage Door
When choosing a glass garage door, the biggest benefit is how it looks. You choose a glass garage door because its looks great and you will reap the benefits in curb appeal if you ever decide to sell your home. However, while living there, you will also get the benefit of having a garage flush with natural light. This means you could use it as a workspace without ever having to open the door to see what you were doing. This makes it especially nice for mixed use garages.

Cons of a Full View Garage Door
The biggest concern with a garage door made fully out of windows is that is can be less durable. Unlike steel that may dent when hit with an impact, the glass panes may break. They are tempered so they won’t shatter, but instead will crack similar to a car window.

You also need to be aware that the initial cost will be high due to the materials used, manufacturing process, and even the extra care needed to deliver and install it.

Finally, a garage door made out of windows means you will need to clean those windows regularly. They tend to collect dust quickly and become an eyesore when they do. As these doors actually do have more cons, this is why it is pretty crucial to decide if they are worth it before purchasing.

If you are in the market for a new garage door, full view or otherwise, contact us today to see what options we can offer you.

Posted by & filed under Broken Garage Door Springs .

Your garage door’s springs play a vital role in your garage door’s operation by supporting the weight of the door as it opens and closes. However, over time, wear and tear can cause the springs to wear out, and eventually, they may fail.

When garage door springs fail, it poses a serious hazard, as the springs could injure someone as they come undone. It is then important that you are aware of the signs which can indicate that your garage door’s springs are aging so that you can have them replaced before they fail. Here are a few of the signs that you can look out for indicating that your garage door’s springs need to be replaced.

Your Garage Door Doesn’t Open Right
A clear sign that something is wrong with your springs is if your garage door does not open properly. If your springs are beginning to fail, your garage door may only open partway and then stop as a safety measure. Alternatively, if one spring is beginning to fail, or has already failed, one side of your garage door may lift quicker than the other as your springs struggle to raise the door. Either of these signs indicates a problem with your garage door, and you will want to have it repaired immediately.

Your Garage Door Closes Quicker Than Normal
If your garage door’s springs are wearing out, they may also have a hard time supporting the weight of your garage door as it is closing. You should then pay attention to the speed at which your garage door comes down. If your garage door closes faster than normal, your garage springs likely need to be replaced. You should not ignore this obvious sign of trouble, as it could become a safety hazard if your springs let go suddenly.

You Hear a Loud Bang
You should also check your garage door’s springs if you hear a loud bang come from your garage. When garage door springs break, this releases a lot of energy that can create a loud banging sound. This noise can be loud enough to make people believe that something has collided with their house. Hearing such a sound coming from your garage is likely an indicator that one or more of your springs has broken and will need to be replaced.

Feel free to contact us to learn more about how you will know when it is time to have your garage door’s springs replaced.

Posted by & filed under garage door repair .

If you’re trying to get in or out of your garage and the door won’t budge, there are several different ways you might be able to solve this problem. Follow these steps until the equipment begins to work normally again:

  1. Does your garage door have a handheld remote control? If so, you might need to buy new batteries or replace the entire remote. Test the door with a wall button or another remote if possible.
  2. Something could be preventing the door from moving. Make sure any locks or latches are disengaged. The bottom surface could be frozen to the floor, especially if it has a decaying weather seal. You can free it with heat, salt and/or hot water.
  3. If you use an automatic opener, it could’ve tripped the garage’s circuit breaker or blown its fuse (only some models have these). This is more likely to be the problem when an opener’s built-in light stays dark.
  4. Most electric openers have round sensor eyes; yours could need cleaning. Try to remove any dust or dirt with a piece of soft fabric. A grimy sensor often causes this equipment to falsely detect an obstruction.
  5. If an automatic unit still refuses to work, you can pull its emergency release handle to disengage the opener. This allows you to open and shut the door by hand until repairs are completed.
  6. When step #6 doesn’t solve the problem or you can’t move a door that doesn’t have an automatic opener, there’s probably something wrong with the mechanism. You might need new springs, rollers, cables or other components.

If you don’t succeed in finding a simple solution, it’s wise to call a qualified technician. This type of repair work can be hazardous without the appropriate tools, parts and expertise. Please contact our helpful staff for professional assistance.

Posted by & filed under Garage Door Education .

Being that there are so many garage door service repair providers available in the country today, choosing a trustworthy one to work with can be a challenging task. With that in mind, we at Smokey’s Garage Door take the time to guide you on how to make an informed choice:

  1. Ask For Recommendations

Some of your family members, friends, co-workers or neighbors may have already worked with a reputable garage door service provider. Ask them for recommendations and listen to what they have to say first before making a decision. Their warnings and positive referrals can help you take the right direction.

  1. Online Reputation

After getting one or two recommendations, it’s time for you to go online and check out their ratings and reviews. A company that has positive feedback from satisfied clients and a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau will certainly be an excellent choice for you.

  1. Compare Rates

It is a fact that garage door companies offer the same services at different prices. Getting multiple bids will give you a clear idea of the standard rates and enable you to settle for the best possible deal. Apart from the price, you should also make sure that you compare the warranties offered by the companies.

  1. Evaluate Total Experience

The last thing you want is to work with a novice garage door service provider who hasn’t been in the industry long enough. Instead of fixing the problem, he/she may end up aggravating it. A company that’s been repairing garage doors for many years will most certainly have the knowledge and expertise needed to deliver quality services.

Having been operational for more than 40 years, we pride ourselves in having highly trained technicians who are equipped with state-of-the-art tools that enable them to handle both small and complicated garage door repair projects in a timely and effective fashion. Contact us today for more information or to get a free estimate.

Posted by & filed under garage door installation .

A garage is not only extremely useful for a homeowner, but it can bring a lot of beauty, functionality, and security to any house. Garage doors can last decades and therefore need some thought before you decide on purchasing and installing a new garage door. However, with some research, not only can you make sure that your garage door will last and work great for many years, but you will even be able to save some money in the process. Here are three things to consider before you install your next garage door.

Upgrade Your Garage Door Springs

Before you install your new garage door, it would be a smart investment to spend a little more and install more robust springs. Better springs will not only help your garage door go up and down more smoothly and easily, but better quality springs often last much longer as well.

Update Your Garage Opener and Save

Replacing the garage door opener when you install your new door can not only save you money on labor, but you may also be able to receive a package deal when you purchase both the door and the opener. Your garage door opener will eventually need replacement due to age, wear and tear, or maybe you just want one with additional features. Therefore, the time to consider upgrading is when you are installing your new garage door.

Beware of Installing Your Own Garage Door

A good DIY homeowner project not only brings a feeling of accomplishment, but it may also save you a lot of money. However, when it comes to installing your own garage door, this is one project you should leave to the professionals. Not only are there a lot of parts that come with the installation, but you will need special tools for winding the springs. The process is not only tedious and will take many hours, but it can be dangerous as well. Hiring a professional may cost you more but the time you save and the peace of mind that you get knowing that your garage door was installed properly will save you a lot of stress down the road. Plus, most professionals will not only install your new door, but haul the old one away as well.

Garage doors not only make life easier but they add a lot of value to your home. From improving your energy efficiency to even reducing outside noise, the benefits are endless. At Smokey’s Garage Door we provide a wide variety of stylish garage doors along with professionals that can help with questions, repairs, and installation. Contact us for further information or to speak to one of our experts today.

Posted by & filed under garage door safety .

Garage doors are something you use every day, and likely taken for granted. That doesn’t mean you should become too relaxed when it comes to safety. Garage doors can cause injury, but fortunately there are a few things you can do to mitigate the risks.

Check the Automatic Reverse

Your garage door contains auto-reverse sensors on either side of its rails. Their purpose is to reverse the direction of your garage door if an animal or person walks underneath it while closing. Check these sensors by lowering your garage door and then placing an object in front of one sensor. If the door does not immediately reverse direction, have us look at it right away.

Safeguard your Garage Door Opener

Injuries can also happen if your garage door opener is used improperly. As such, you should safeguard your garage door opener by:

  • Keeping it out of the reach of children.
  • Unplugging the opener unit when you are on vacation.
  • Using a keychain remote rather than leaving the opener in your vehicle where it is likely to be stolen.
  • Choosing an opener with rolling-code technology, which will prevent unauthorized parties from performing “code grabbing.”

Of course, you should also check your garage door opener on a regular basis to ensure it is functioning properly. Consider replacing your unit if it already has some age on it.

Watch your Fingers

You can easily get your fingers pinched in between sections of your garage door. Keep your hands off of the door while it is opening and closing and see that any children in your household do the same.

Maintaining garage door safety does not have to be difficult. Inspect your door on a regular basis, and then contact us if you discover any issues. The sooner you have us look at them, the safer you and your family will be.

Posted by & filed under garage door maintenance .

The fact is that a garage door is an unsung hero in many homes as it allows homeowners to easily enter and exit their home through their garage at the touch of a button. However, while garage doors often work for years without a problem, regular use can cause wear and tear on your garage door’s components, which can cause them to fail. In order to prevent your garage door from failing unexpectedly, you should consider having your garage door periodically inspected and serviced so that issues can be fixed before a problem occurs. If you do not have your garage door serviced regularly, here are just a few reasons why this should be added to your home maintenance schedule.

Avoid Unexpected Repairs

The most important reason to have your garage door serviced regularly is that this can help to minimize the expenses that can accompany unexpected breakdowns and repairs. When you have your garage door serviced, a skilled technician will inspect all its components and make sure everything is in working order. This allows them to detect and fix minor problems before they turn into costly ones down-the-road. They will also perform preventative maintenance that can prevent the need for such repairs in the first place, saving you time and money.

Improve Home Security

By having your garage door inspected regularly to ensure everything is in working order, this can help to ensure the security of your garage door. If you are like many homeowners, then you may store valuable items such as bicycles, tools, and recreational equipment in your garage, making it important that your garage is secure. Regular inspections of your garage door can help to prevent failure of its security systems, helping to prevent a break-in.

Ensure Your Door’s Safety

Regular inspections and repairs will also help to ensure that your garage door is safe and does not pose a threat to you and your family. If your door’s safety sensors are not working properly, or if your springs let loose, this can cause your door to injure someone passing underneath it. Regular maintenance will help to ensure that your garage door is working properly and does not pose a threat.

Contact us to learn more about the reasons why it is important that you have your garage door inspected regularly.

Posted by & filed under Garage Door Service .

If your garage door opener has stopped working correctly, you’ll need to fix or replace it. A basic repair might save time and cost less, but replacement could add new features. Be sure to consider these factors:

Security

If you buy a new machine, it might help secure your garage more thoroughly. Burglars find it more difficult to hack into modern equipment using “code grabbers” or multiple remotes.

Controls

Some remote controls cost over $454 to replace. You’ll probably receive two of them when you install a new opener. If you fix the existing system, you’ll have to keep using the same controls. This gives you an incentive to choose replacement if your remotes are wearing out.

Options

Your old opener may only allow you to operate it with wall-mounted buttons and/or short-range remotes. A new model could enable you to use controls in your car, a cellphone or a separate long-range remote.

Safety

Another advantage of replacement is that a modern unit will probably offer more safety features. After 1992, all new openers began using sensors to identify obstructions and prevent damage or injury.

Lighting

Some of the latest models have brighter, more efficient lights. Motion-activated lighting is available as well. If you replace your existing opener with one of these machines, it will improve safety, security and convenience.

Battery

Replacement gives you the option to purchase a model with a backup battery. This prevents the system from failing in power outages. However, you might be able to add this feature or replace a worn-out backup battery when a technician fixes an existing opener.

If any of these upgrades appeal to you, consider buying a new model. On the other hand, repair may be preferable when your equipment remains under warranty or you already have the above-mentioned features. Please contact us for professional service or installation.

Posted by & filed under Garage Door Replacement .

Whether you want to raise your home’s sale value or simply want to admire its appearance, a garage door replacement may be just the investment you need. Your garage door can help your home make a visual statement that wows potential buyers. Even if you’re not selling, you can show your personal pride in your home with this simple upgrade to your home’s exterior.

Smokey’s Garage Door has garage doors in a variety of designs and materials. You have options to fit your aesthetic needs and your budget. For example, you may want to keep your traditional style but, in a material, or color that better coordinates your home’s appearance. You might instead choose a modern design or custom and specialty doors that enhance your home in a way. You can be as creative or as functional as you want. Your new garage door can boost curb appeal and at the same time reflect your personal style.

You see your garage door almost every day. If you’re not coming home to a garage door that reflects your home’s beauty, this is one investment you may want to make now. When it comes to increasing your home’s value, almost everyone agrees that curb appeal should be at the top of your list. New garage doors add both curb appeal and value. You’ll appreciate the new look and get a great return on your investment.

We make garage door installation an easy process too. You can schedule a new door installation estimate through our website or by calling us at the phone number posted on our website. You can also start by visiting our showroom and let us help you choose from our wide variety of garage door brands, colors and styles. Either way we’ll help you throughout the process of choosing the right garage door and scheduling our experienced and accredited technicians for your new garage door installation.

Smokey’s Garage Door is here to help. We’ve been proudly serving the Phoenix AZ Metro Area since 1982. We’re family-owned and operated and we use only the highest-quality products and hardware. If you’re ready to boost your home’s curb appeal with a new garage door, contact us today to get started!