Frequently Asked Questions

Before You Buy

Why should I use a professional garage door dealer/installer?

A garage door is the largest moving object in your home, and because of the large number of parts, installation of a garage door is highly technical. Connecting the springs can be particularly dangerous, and proper installation is critical to the performance of your door.


Our professional garage door installers can typically install a door in a few hours and are careful to make sure safety requirements are met. Installations by most homeowners typically span several days and cause much frustration. In addition, incorrect installation can void certain warranties. One of the other services we can provide is the disposal of your old garage door if you are replacing a door.

When should I replace a garage door with a new one?

If your garage door does not operate, the door is a potential hazard. Do not try to fix on your own, instead contact a professionally trained garage door dealer. Another reason to replace a garage door is to enhance your home’s curb appeal. According to the 2010 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, garage door replacement is the #2 remodeling project in regards to return on investment. The report states that replacing your garage door will return 84% of the cost at the time of home sale. Lastly, your current garage door may be fading, sagging and just in need of a replacement. If you have a wood garage door that needs re-painting, replacing it with a new pre-painted steel garage door may be a better value. Painting a garage door adds significant weight to a door which may affect the spring and the performance of the garage door and opener.

What is the best garage door for me?

Each homeowner has unique needs for a new garage door based on the desired styling, the level of care & maintenance required, the energy efficiency and the location of the garage in one’s home. Steps to determine which garage door best suits you are:

1. Determine the material that best suits the care & maintenance that you desire. We offer garage doors made from steel, wood composite, wood and aluminum.

2. Choose the door design that best complements your home, including window, color and decorative hardware options.

3. Determine the level of energy efficiency and noise reduction that best suits your needs depending on if you have a room above or adjacent to your garage or have children that play in front of the garage. Most doors are available with insulation or no insulation options.

What is a carriage house door?

A Carriage House door is a type of garage door that replicates the look of doors found on carriage houses in the early 19th and 20th Century. We offer a variety of striking carriage house designs made from steel and  wood. These garage doors look like they swing open, but they actually move up and over your car.

We offer stamped-steel carriage house doors in the Classica collection and Oak Summit collection that eliminate a homeowner's concern of misaligned trim overlays. In addition, the By Design collection offers beautiful, natural wood carriage house doors.

Are special size doors available? I have a custom-built garage that features an unusual size door.

Yes. We offer residential doors in widths between 6' and 20' in two inch increments and in heights between 6'6" and 12'.*


*Not all door models are available in this range of widths.

My garage has very little space (headroom) above the door. What is the minimum headroom required to operate a sectional door?

Standard headroom applications require 12" to 18" of space between the bottom of the opening header and the unobstructed ceiling. However, a variety of special track options are available and it is possible for many unusual garages to be fitted with doors. By using low-headroom track, it is possible to install a door with a garage door opener in an area that has as little as 9-1/2" of headroom.

Other special track applications include:

1) Vertical lift track, for use in situations where the ceiling is extremely high and the garage door has room to lift straight up.

2) Follow-the-roofline track, which is used when the ceiling of the garage is pitched at the angle of the roof, making it desirable for the door to follow the same angle, thus providing additional overhead room.

3) Hi-lift track, which is used when the ceiling is unusually high, but the door must still retract to a horizontal position.

Do I need to have the windows at the top of the door?

Windows can be placed in any section of the door layout. Window placement in the top or second to the top door section is recommended for the most natural lighting and security.

I'd like windows in my garage door, but I'm concerned about security.

We offer tempered and translucent DecraGlass windows that are designed to be safe and secure with beautiful designs to compliment the style of your home.

Do I need a lock on my garage door?

If an electric garage door opener has been installed on your door, it may not be necessary to have a lock. Properly installed, electric openers can function as the lock, making it improbable that an intruder would be able to lift your door from the outside. If you have an older opener, check to see if your door can be lifted from the outside.
DASMA, the trade association for the garage door industry, discourages homeowners from attaching a lock when an opener has been installed, because too frequently, a child or other family member will accidentally lock the door. If someone then tries to open the door using the electric opener, the opener will pull against the lock causing the door to be damaged.If no opener is installed on your garage door, a lock is highly recommended. A standard residential steel door is sold without locks since most garage doors are used with garage door openers. Optional locks may be purchased.

What type of spring is better...extension or torsion?

The two types of springs used on garage doors today are extension and torsion springs. Extension springs are attached on either side of the door and stretch along the horizontal track when the door is closed. Torsion springs are typically located just above the top section of the door and are mounted to the header. They are wound springs and do not expand or contract when the door is moved. Torsion springs are a better choice because they balance the weight of the door better than extension springs for smoother operation and safety. 


I have a one-piece door now. Can I replace it with a sectional door?

Typically, yes. We can install a sectional door for you by installing track and springs to accommodate a sectional door. Depending on the construction of your garage, other modifications might be necessary. We would advise you to contact us to evaluate the job prior to installation, so that any required modifications can be performed.


Energy Efficiency

Why should I choose an insulated door?

A garage door opening is very large. Insulated doors will help to reduce the transfer of heat or cold air into your garage. This is important for a number of reasons:


1) If your garage is attached to your home, air in the garage can travel through the doorway to your living area. An insulated garage door will reduce the transfer of air from the outside to the inside.


2) If you use your garage as a workshop, your comfort will be a top priority. An insulated garage door will help keep the temperature in the garage within a narrower temperature range as compared to the extreme range of the outside temperature.


3) If your garage is below another room in your home, air can travel through the ceiling of the garage into the floor of the room above. An insulated door will keep temperatures in the garage fairly stable to reduce the temperature fluctuation in the room above.


4) An insulated garage door is generally quieter and has a more attractive interior than a non-insulated door.

I've been comparing R-values of various doors and am surprised at the variance among them. Can you explain this?

 R-value is a measure of thermal resistance used in the building and construction  industry. Specifically, R-value is thermal resistance to heat flow.

The higher the R-value number, the better the insulating properties of the material. However, an R-16 value is not twice as good as an R-8 Value. R-16 does not offer twice as much thermal resistance or twice the energy savings of an R-8 value. A value of R-16 offers a 5% reduction in heat flow and a 5% improvement  energy efficiency than a value of R-8, not 50%.

No matter the R-Value, an insulated garage door will reduce the amount of heat flow and improve energy efficiency of a home.

Steel Garage Doors

Why would I choose a steel garage door?

Steel garage doors offer strength, security, energy efficiency and the best value. Due to advanced manufacturing, steel garage doors are less costly than other types of garage doors and are offered in a variety of designs and colors to enhance your home’s curb appeal. Our steel garage doors are pre-painted in a variety of colors, providing homeowners peace of mind protection with multi-year to lifetime paint finish warranties.


What are the benefits of a steel door versus a wood door?

Steel doors may require less maintenance than a wood door. Our steel doors are pre-painted with a factory-applied baked-on coating. We recommend an annual cleaning of the exterior of the door with a common household detergent and warm water at least one time per year. Wood doors are unfinished and need to be primed and painted or stained on all six sides of the door before installation. We recommend visual inspection of the paint or stain finish on wood doors one time per year to confirm if another finish application is necessary.


What colors are available in the steel garage doors you offer?

Each collection of steel garage doors has its unique color palette. Each collection has different color options depending on construction type. The overall color offering is: True White, Almond, Wicker Tan, Sandtone, Terratone, Dark Brown, Gray, Hunter Green, Golden Oak woodgrain, Walnut woodgrain, and Mahogany woodgrain. A price upcharge applies to the woodgrain colors.


I'd like to purchase a steel door, but need a color other than those you offer. Can I paint the door once it's installed?

Yes. Steel doors are pre-painted with a factory-applied baked-on coating that is suitable to be repainted. Doors will accept a wide variety of commercially available latex exterior paints, when applied in accordance with the paint manufacturer's recommendations. Do not use oil-based paints. Painting of our steel doors will void the Paint Finish Warranty.


Classica Collection

Why are carriage house garage doors so popular?

With garage doors taking up approximately 1/3 of a home’s front elevation, the desire to have more design in the garage door has become more important to homeowners, builders, remodelers and architects. The result is the increasing popularity of carriage house garage doors and the garage door becoming a design element of the home, rather than just a commodity.


What is so unique about the Classica Collection?

First to market with this innovative garage door, Amarr introduced the Classica Carriage House garage door in 1995. Made with 3-sections, rather than the traditional 4-section garage door, Classica garage doors convey a more vertical, authentic carriage house look with larger windows. Also, the 100+ Classica door designs are all priced the same unlike competitors' carriage house doors made with plastic or composite overlays. Additionally, there’s no worry of the overlays shifting, warping or falling off with a Classica design. Available in a variety of colors, door designs and window options, there is a Classica door design to match your home's architecture and enhance your home’s curb appeal.


How many different carriage house designs are available in Classica?

Classica offers over 100 unique carriage house garage door designs that are all made with 3 sections for a standard 7’ or 8’ tall door, creating a more vertical, authentic carriage house look with larger windows.


Wind Load Garage Doors

What is Wind Load? And how do I know if my garage door needs to be a Wind Load door?

Wind affects all homes. If you live in an area that is prone to strong winds and windstorms, you will need a garage door that is engineered to meet building code requirements.

There are Wind Load approved garage doors for practically every door that we offer. A Wind Load door is simply an upgraded version of a door that has been structurally reinforced to meet the specific building codes in your area.

Garage Door Service and Repair

How do I know if my door is properly balanced?

There are several tests you can perform to tell if your door is balanced. Before testing your door, disengage you electronic opener.

1) Raise your door in 1' increments, and the door should stay in place.
2) When you lower the door, the door lowers in a controlled manner and doesn't slam down.
3) When you raise the door, the door rises at a controlled pace.
4) When the door is fully-raised in the open position, the bottom of the door should be aligned with the bottom of the header of the door opening.

How do I know if my garage door can be repaired with a service call or if I just need to replace the garage door?

The best way to determine if a garage door can be repaired through service or needs replacement is to schedule an inspection of your door. Depending on the issues, a door may just need servicing (like a 3,000 mile car oil service), a few new parts, a new section or a door replacement. Many times, the issue is not the garage door, but the garage door opener needs replacement or servicing. 

My children have dented my garage door. Can I replace just one of the sections, rather than the entire door?

Yes, you can replace just one section for most garage doors, depending if the model of garage door that you are replacing is still in production and is not a custom-design. Also, paint matching may be an issue as color variations can occur over time.


Why would my garage door need service?

A garage door raises and lowers with the assistance of springs. Broken and or worn springs will cause the door to be heavy and thus cause an extra load on the garage door opener. The extra load can be dangerous for reversing mechanisms and cause premature failure of the garage door opener. Having a technician check the garage door springs, rollers and garage door opener is good preventative maintenance for your garage door.


What type of care and maintenance is necessary for my steel door and hardware?

We recommend that you wash your steel door a minimum of one (1) time per year with: (a) One cup of laundry detergent (or other common detergents which contain less than 0.5% phosphate), dissolved into five gallons of warm water. NEVER BLEND CLEANSERS OR DETERGENTS WITH BLEACH.The use of a well-soaked cloth, sponge, brush (with very soft bristles) or low pressure spray washer is recommended. Once the door is washed, thoroughly rinse with clean water to eliminate the possibility of residue.


In addition, lubrication of springs, rollers and hinges is recommended on a yearly basis with a non-silicone based lubricant. Visually inspect springs and cable for wear and binding once each year and contact a professional garage door dealer/installer if damage is suspected. Do not attempt to remove, repair or adjust springs. Do not attempt to remove or loosen any red fasteners found in high torsion areas, such as bottom brackets or spring plates.




What type of care and maintenance is necessary for my wood carriage house door?

Re-finishing of a wood door may be required each year to maintain its natural beauty.


Garage Door Openers

Should I purchase a new garage door opener or repair my old one?

Many garage door openers can be repaired and may be a less expensive option. However, there are times when opener replacement is recommended. According to LiftMaster, one of the leading manufacturers of garage doors openers, all garage door openers manufactured prior to 1993 should be replaced, rather than fixed. This is to ensure the highest degree of customer safety and satisfaction due to a Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) law. Many garage door openers prior to 1993 are not equipped with infrared sensors or other external entrapment protections devices and do not meet today’s standards for garage door opener safety.


Do I need to reinforce my garage door if I am installing my own electric garage door operator/opener?

When installing an electric garage door opener, the top section of the garage must be reinforced with a strut or angle iron spanning the length of the top section.


What is the difference between a chain drive, belt drive, screw drive and direct drive?

Garage door openers have different systems that open a garage door. A chain drive uses a chain as the mechanism to help open/close a door; a belt drive a belt mechanism; a screw drive a corkscrew rod; and a direct drive attached directly to the torsion bar to help open/close a garage door.


Belt drive openers tend to be quieter than chain drive openers. Screw drive openers are known to require less adjustment over time. Direct drives take up less space in your garage.


What is the so unique about a DC garage door opener?

DC stands for direct current. This allows the opener to only run when it is in use opening and closing a garage door, resulting in additional energy efficiency for the home. Additionally, DC openers have soft start and stop features to help smooth the travel of the door and cut down on noise.


I’ve lost a remote for my garage door opener. How do I purchase a new one?

Contact your us to purchase a new remote that will be compatible with your particular opener.


Can I purchase a wireless keypad entry to my existing garage door opener?

Depending on the type of garage door opener and the year purchased, a keypad entry should be available for your garage door opener. 


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