Garage Doors 4 Less Logo

Garage Doors F.A.Q

At present this is something we are currently working on. If you do require a service on your garage door we can book you in for a one off appointment which we will charge you for accordingly to your area.

This depends on what brand, size, color and any special requirements you have asked for on your door. Another thing to consider is if there are already any form of production delays already in place as this can also delay the delivery/install of your door. On average some doors can take as little as 3 or 4 weeks from ordering to delivery or install. Other doors can take anywhere up to 12 or 14 weeks as they are either specially being made, there are current production delays or your door is having to be sent to the UK from overseas (Silvelox and Rundum Meir only) Your sales adviser will tell you your average waiting time and when roughly to expect a phone call from us to arrange your delivery and/or install.

In most cases the answer is yes but there are some doors that simply sill not work properly or safely.If you have a garage door that was manufactured in the last 2 years and is an up and over, sectional or side hinged mechanism then you can almost guarantee it can be made into a remote control operated door. Older than 2 years then you will have to be careful what the manufacturer and model is as there are some doors that simply won't operate properly whatever accessories are used.

If you have a Hormann, Garador or Novoferm up and over door and it has the 'retractable' operating gear with tracks running horizontally into the garage then you can buy any number of simple 'boom' type electric operators and they simply bolt on and will pull and push the door open and closed all day long.

If the door is one of the 'canopy' types then you can still achieve electric operation but will require what is known as a 'bow arm converter' which is a metal device that fits to the back of the garage door panel and helps to simulate the twisting action required with a canopy door to operate properly, all the way up and down. You still need to buy the 'boom' type operator part but also need this device to achieve full opening and a secure closing position.

For any sectional type garage door the addition of an electric operator is very simple, by adding a 'boom' type operator above the door you will be able to operate this door type with ease.

Of course as with any of the doors types additional headroom is required to accommodate the electric operator 'boom' and also the motor head section at the back end.

Generally to have a modern European manufactured electric operator you will need about 50mm above the highest point of the top section of the door panel when half opened.

For swing type garage doors you need a 'swing door conversion kit' to be installed with the electric operator and what this does is pushes and pulls the 2 door panels for opening and closing and has the built in safety feature of the obstacle obstruction detection present in all modern electric operators sold in the UK. Of course some operators are far better than others and when using these additional items to make a garage door electric we always recommend you get the sturdiest door opener possible to alleviate any issues with sensors and excessive movement in the operator during operation which may trigger the safety cut out as it thinks it has hit something.

Roller garage doors are not quite so easily made into electric operation as the very popular double skinned aluminium roller door always has a 'barrel' motor drove hidden within the centre of the curtain barrel. If you order a roller door of this kind as a manual door then making it electric operated at a later date will be very tricky indeed as the whole think will require unassembling to reassemble with the motor and other parts. For a steel single skin roller door the motor can be added easily as it is fitted externally.

For ANY garage door that is currently a manual operation you must never assume that because the door may be difficult to open or close that an electric operator will be the answer. For an electric operator to work correctly and safely the garage door must be balanced as near to perfect as possible in order for the safety mechanisms to work properly. If the door is very heavy it is certainly possible to get an electric motor to hoist the door up by overriding the safety cut out but of course the safety will be non existent and the motor will be under undue stress and not last very long at all. An electric operator is not a substitute for a badly fitted or balanced garage door!!

There are really only a few 'standard' ordering sizes for garage doors and these are purely historic in their origins from not that long ago when there were only a few sizes offered in the UK.When we are asked for a standard garage door nowadays the temptation to throw back the traditional sizes offered ever since the 80's has to be avoided as they are quite simply not really wide enough for modern vehicles, so although they still exist and are still sold in volumes to replace older garage doors of the same size they are not a very good size to use on a new garage build.

The older standard sizes used to be 7' x 6'6" and 7' x 7' for one piece up and over doors and for double sizes it was nearly always a 14' x 7' order size, and that was it! These were the biggest sellers years ago and still order in imperial references! These references are to the nearest size of a metric equivalent and this is how it has always been with up and over and more recently sectional garage doors so if every millimetre counts it is worth checking the actual metric sizes with the fixing sub frame included so a mistake is not made.

Nowadays if you fit a 7' wide (2134mm) up and over garage door you will find many cars simply won't fit through the opening, especially if retractable operating gear is used. Most people should attempt to get at least 7'6' wide and 7'0" high or larger and the most common standard double door is getting to be 16'0" (4877mm) x 7'0". These sizes refer to the 'ordering sizes' and these are nearly always the measurements between the sub frame which has to be accounted for, so always be aware of this.

With the popularity now of roller and sectional garage doors the sizes have increased and many of these doors are installed to the inside face of the garage opening and as they rise vertically it is possible to be a bit out on the sizes and it shouldn't matter too much. For example, if you have a garage opening width of say 7'5" wide and 7'2" high a standard 'off the shelf' 7'6' x 7'0" sectional garage door will fit nicely onto the inside face without any further work required. This assumes of course there is sufficient internal clearance to take the operating mechanism.

The infra red photocell safety you may see banded around on various door types can be misleading Infra red safety beams are a device used to put a single beam across a door way which when broken by an obstruction prevents any electric operator from working. They have been around for years and are used in many different types of doors, especially commercially in public places. However for garage doors, particularly roller garage doors they are NOT devices that are suitable to be used on their own as the safety feature!! Any remote control electric operated garage door must have a 'leading edge safety device' that functions throughout the entire movement of the door. These devices on roller doors are usually bottom edge rubber seals with various methods of detection inside, sometimes even an infra red beam! The rubber seal is designed to detect any obstruction when the door is closing and immediately stop the motor drive and even reverse a little.

For a roller garage door where extra safety might be required, for example if it is near a busy public path, or if you have a small children, then an infra red beam, correctly positioned, adds an extra element of safety in prevention of door closure when the beam is obstructed. The beam on it own is not sufficient as it only detects an obstruction assuming the obstruction cannot straddle or go under the beam, maybe on a large 4 x 4 vehicle for example where the vehicle body height may be higher than the beam position.

Whenever we survey and specify for a remote control electric door we ensure there is a correct safety system being used.

The motor drive units used in most up and over and sectional garage doors have an inbuilt detection system that detects a current surge when the door is obstructed and most of these are very sensitive and effective when set up correctly but again an infra red beam can be ADDED as an additional safety function. For any sliding garage doors such as the round the corner type and for more complex doors with multiple hinges we don't think you can add too many safety devices especially when the door is very large as the forces required to move the door are greater and therefore so is the force required to stop it and initiate a detection of an obstruction and this is where a safety beam does make sense.

It really depends on the type of door in question and some other factors with the electric operator used Specified correctly an electric garage door can be very secure indeed. Of course if the basic garage door panel is not very secure in the first place the motor drive may make very little difference if the break in involves breaking through the for panel itself. Electric or manually operated it doesn't matter if you can smash through the actual door!

A correctly specified electric garage door operator fitted to a good strong garage door panel with good strength can be a very secure system as long as the motor drive unit and attachment to the door is strong and the operator has been tested and approved with the door in question.

Many garage doors like the roller shutter doors have the motor built into the overall package rather than an add on later and this means if they have been designed well with mechanical additions to assist in holding the roller door curtain down they too will be very resistant to a burglary attempt. Lesser designed roller garage doors have the unfortunate down side of being able to be lifted up surprisingly easily when not designed with proper mechanics in the curtain to barrel connection or with no mechanics holding the curtain down on the floor.

Adding a remote control operator to an existing door such as an up and over one piece door or a sectional type door means the motor drive has to attach somewhere onto the door and this can be a weak spot with You Tube videos freely showing how to unattached the carriage arm fro the door when a cheap operator is used combined with a door with weaknesses from a poor fitting sub frame. Take a descent garage door installation however and add a good quality electric operator combined with a de latch mechanism (only on up and over doors) and you will have a door with 3 point locking active via the door operator mechanism. Use an electric operator like the Hormann Supramatic or Promatic and you have the added benefit of patented steel latch to help further hold the door panel down and solid resisting upwards motion by force. This mechanism can also be used with hinged 'swing' type doors with the addition of a swing arm conversion kit. With the further advances now in encryption technology it is also possible to have "Bi Secur' 2 way technology in the radio transmission for electric operators and the added benefits of 128 bit encryption!!

The Hormann Promatic and Supramatic when fitted to any of the LPU40 double skinned sectional doors now offers the 'Secured by Design' rating such is the security without even using a lock of any description in the set up. There are some specialised doors such as the Silvelox and Domina Overlap with security options offering additional motor driven bolts from the door panel and reinforcement in the door sections to prevent attacking with tools. The same applies to round the corner type doors where the mechanism and the door panel strength combined with a motor drive you cannot get near to from outside means a very solid door when closed with little chance of a casual and forced entry.

There are many garage doors that do not need much headroom but you can also think a bit laterally about it too.When you have limited headroom inside your garage or even maybe a sloping down roof which gets lower towards the back then of course you have to think about the garage door carefully. Most decent garage door manufacturers these days will produce a purpose made range for their door models so the width and height need not be a problem to maximise the dimensions. Choose your preferred door type and then work backwards to see what you may end up with in your drive through height and width which is probably the most important dimensions if you intend to use the garage for a vehicle.

The average one piece up and over garage door doesn't need much headroom at all, maybe 2-3 inches at the most (50-75 mm) nut if a remote control electric operator is required then the real problem as it is with many tracked doors is the length of the electric operator boom. Most electric motors for tracked garage doors will be at least 3 metres long as a minimum and of course are the highest point above the door so if you do have any internal lintels or other obstructions you do need to make sure you get your measurements correct.

Many people want roller garage doors, manual or electric operated, and if you look at most roller doors the average headroom required is stated as about 300 mm, and what is important here is not to get obsessed with this dimension. There are roller garage doors with less headroom requirements, but be aware this is always a bit of a compromise as the smaller roll is achieved by using thinner door slats, less strength, security and insulation. For the industry standard is about 300 mm bear in mind if you don't have this headroom all that it will mean is the total height available will leave you a drive through height of this measurement less the 300 mm and a bit more for the bottom slat hang down. So, in effect, you can have a roller door whatever the headroom is available and all you have to be aware of is the final drive through height when open, and maybe a fascia or full hood cover to cloak off the roll that may show beneath the lintel. All not a problem though unless your height is a critical required measurement.

For sectional garage doors the same principal applies and although you can get low headroom options for most models which simply gives a tighter curve to the tracking, it will mean some headroom is lost when open fully as the physics of it kicks in.

The best garage doors for almost no headroom requirement are side hinged 'swing' type doors or the round the corner models available.

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