By admin | January 26, 2013
So very often we are asked to make a judgement on whether the roller or sectional garage door is the best for a replacement garage door. The trouble is now with huge advances in technology, especially in the colours and finishes of both doors the decision gets even more difficult.
Certainly the roller garage door will fit into many more garage openings than the sectional as it just has the roll to accommodate where the sectional door has the tracking system internally quite often spoiled by the presence of internal beams or brick piers making the installation impractical.
What about price? Well the real truth is it seems that a descent quality aluminium roller door pitched against a sectional door will more often than not be a very similar price so no easy decision to be made there then.
Of course we bang on about the perils of cheap electric aluminium roller garage all over our website because the fact is you really do not want to go there! So many roller garage doors are presented on the internet and other places as the best you can buy at some ridiculous headline price but if you really do your research you will almost definitely find the door to be totally non compliant with UK regulations and usually assembled from some very low quality internal components making it a door very likely to simple give up after a very short period of time.
So what about the sectional door? Well actually with a sectional door you can get away with a lot more and in the main the sectional doors sold in the UK are all fairly good to excellent. The best manufacturers by a mile are Hormann, Garador (the same), Carteck and SWS all offering a range of doors usually sold in the 42mm double skinned version in a range of styles, colours and sizes more then enough to cater for nearly all garages out there.
The sectional garage door is a manual door with electric as an option where as the insulated aluminium roller door is primarily built only as an electric door system so that might make a difference.
If you want windows for light in the garage then the sectional door will offer so much more light with an average door only having 4 panels in height where as the roller door will have around 22 individual slats.
For insulation purposes the sectional door wins hands down with some incredible U values offered where the roller door is slightly flawed by the fact it is essentially split into 22 sections.
For security? Both are good with the roller door having ‘secure buy design’ tested options at present and the sectional door does not.
We think the sectional door will catch up shortly with this certification but in reality both are extremely difficult to casually break into. This is of course assuming you compare a decent aluminium roller door as very few have a good locking system as standard.
What do you do? Take some advise from us after we have all the facts about your garage dimensions. many times it will be aobvious which garage door is better for the purpose but if not then some finer points need discussing to help make the judgement.
Topics: Aluminium Roller Shutter Garage Doors, Roller Garage Doors, Sectional Garage Doors
By admin | January 26, 2013
How would you like to control your electric garage door from your mobile phone?
As from February 1st this will be possible and will open up control to may other items too.
SWS UK are launching their latest upgrade to their world renowned Seceuroglide roller garage door with a new control system, a new safety edge sensor, a new improved locking system, new transmitters with a choice when ordering and the option of high quality low voltage LED lighting to the outside or inside of your brand new roller garage door.
Hormann also have released an LED lighting system into the UK but their smartphone control system is not available until the Autumn of 2013.
What does this mean in reality? Well it means the very best insulated aluminium roller garage door in the UK has just launched itself firmly into the new age of smart phone, tablet and laptop controlled applications for your home giving you more control without having dozens of remote control transmitters laying around your home and car.
The Seceurosense internal control board has the ability to switch lighting, control your door and even text back to you with the optional GSM system also available enabling remote control of your door via text with feedback from the system informing you of the current position of your door whilst performing a systems check too.
Is this all too much you ask? Not really if you consider as soon as 4G is available and fibre optic broadband arrives in most parts of the UK we will have super fast access to all kinds of possibilities and the one item we all tend to have on us or nearby is our mobile phone.
We think this really is the way forward in electric garage door control as well as lighting, patio awnings, electric gates, blinds and other automated home products.
Think carefully about how you would like to operate your new electric garage door or electric gate from now as there are so many possibilities available even without smart phone control but the trouble is most people don’t give it enough thought and with a reasonable sized family household the ability to maintain control and security throughout the home quite often will depend on some simple and reliable access control accessories all tried and tested for years for peace of mind in daily use.
Call the experts now on (01933) 229135
Topics: Aluminium Roller Shutter Garage Doors, Electric Garage Door Operation, Roller Garage Doors
By admin | March 23, 2012
Garage door openers have been produced for many years now and like all things mechanical and electronic the technology has leapt forward the last few years. The older electric garage door operators were always 240 volt motors with a heavy duty exposed chain and very basic remote controls using handsets the size of a brick! In fairness many had a ‘belt and braces’ type approach and would lift most doors albeit with a very aggressive tug and then slamming the door shut in the other direction.
Most early electric operators sold in the UK were from the USA as they have a far greater amount of electrically operated garage doors than we do in the UK, mainly due to the doors all being very big so more a necessity.
Fast forward to the 21st century and technology now means we have as standard in any quality European manufactured operator the following features:
- 24 volt DC motors for quiet and reliable operation
- Soft start & soft stop during operation to reduce wear & tear on the door mechanism.
- Sturdy, semi-covered towing booms with nylon, kevlar or quality steel chain drives.
- Electronic surge sensor technology to detect obstacles and reverse if hit
- Built in courtesy lighting for lighting the garage on entry
- Rolling code technology for the radio systems for security
- Very slim designs requiring only 25-40mm above the door height to install
- Built in hook latches for added security in the towing arm (Hormann only)
Beyond this basic specification the list of optional extras also available on many of the higher end models is more than most people would ever require including:
- Digital keypads
- Electric Keyswitches
- Security de latch kits for internal locking
- Card reader systems
- Finger reader systems
- Auto timers for closing
So who manufactures these kind of operators? Well there are many european manufacturers and many do offer some or all of the specification mentioned above, however be wary of openers not tried and tested for at least a few years from companies simply trying to copy exisitng manufacturers.
Over the last 25 years we have found the following to be by far the most reliable and best value for money:
All these 5 companies produce operators designed, manufactured and sold by their own facilities with long standing experience in development. They all use the latest technology and safety facilities available and have high quality components.
We are currently assessing many others but it is early days yet to comment too much on reliability and after all reliability is the key to bothering to have a remote control electric opener in the first place.
When you have paid good money for the luxury and convenience of opening your garage door from your car or inside your home the last thing you expect is to have to detach it and lift the door manually because there is a problem with the operator.
Topics: Electric Garage Door Operation
By admin | March 23, 2012
The thought of simple pressing a small button on a hand held transmiter to open and close your garage door can be very appealing, especially if you have a larger than normal single width or a double width garage door of the older one piece up and over type. You do need to genuinely be Geoff Capes to open many older garage doors and quite often need to run away fast when the door closes as it slams down to the closed position. We started our business in 1985 by simply automating existing garage doors and soon learned you cannot just make any old garage door remote control by installing an operator and you have to consider serious upgrades to the operating gear in many cases in order to make the geometry work. Nowadays of course with enormous advances in technology and manufacturing processes it is quite often easier to just rip old doors out and start again from scratch, however we would never argue with the benefits of automating a perfectly serviceable existing garage door and here are some tips to make sure it is taken seriously:
Automating any existing garage door should be perfectly possible with a few exceptions on older one piece garage door models with very odd spring and gearing arrangements.
What you should be careful of however is not to assume the electric operator is going to help with either a worn out or badly fitted garage door, both of which will be heavy to operate as they are usually not balanced correctly. An electric garage door operator should offer standard safety features which ensure the garage door will stop if an obstruction is met during its operation and reverse to prevent damage to the obstacle or door itself. This safety feature is built into all CE compliant modern electric operators and relies upon the garage door being properly balanced as a manual door so the safety reverse feature does not receive false readings due to ‘heavy’ or ‘sticky’ spots in the doors operation. This will give you a remote control door that keeps stopping for no apparent reason and defeat the object of door automation – convenience. For roller shutter doors the regulations are even clearer with a bottom edge safety sensor required to stop the roller shutter at any point during closing.
Beware of any electric operator that does not have an auto reverse facility and ideally it should reverse if it meets an obstruction when opening as well, such as a car parked in front of the closed door.
A simple rule of thumb with a lot of garage doors is to stand inside and pull from the top of the door (once the door has balanced springs) and and see if you can open the door fully without too much resistance. On a canopy door for example you will get about two thirds open and find it sticks solid as the door panel requires a push from the bottom of the panel to complete the movement and this is what a ‘canopy door bow arm converter’ will do. For sectional garage doors they can all be automated by the very nature of their simple and consistent operation method. For roller garage doors most can be automated but some types do require some serious amendments which can be costly.
The Garage Door Centre has automated thousands of garage doors since 1985 most of which will still be working today, so if you want to make your existing garage door into a remote control dream machine give us a call today.
Topics: Electric Garage Door Operation
By admin | March 23, 2012
Roller Garage Doors Explained
Roller garage doors are one of the most popular types of garage doors being sold in the U.K. right now and it’s easy to see why:
> Vertical opening and closing saving space on your driveway
> Very little intrusion into your garage internally
> All doors made to order maximising width and height
> Quiet during operation
> Large choice of finished colours and woodgrain finishes
> Can be fitted inside, inbetween or outside the garage opening
> Very secure (with the right specification)
> Universally appealing with clean, unfussy design
> Wide choice of access control methods for electric operated models
We could go on but I think the basic points speak for themselves.
What are the main differences between steel and aluminium roller shutters?
Do any research at all and you will soon discover that roller garage doors in the UK are only available in steel and aluminium (referred to as double skinned or insulated roller shutters by most manufacturers) but what are the main differences?
Steel Roller Garage Doors. (Continuous Curtain Roller Doors)
At present it is quite easy to identify the steel roller garage doors in the UK as there are only 2 main manufacturers – Gliderol and Garage Door Systems (Ireland). The steel roller garage doors are constructed from large sections of single skin sheet steel which are jointed together about every 750mm to form one complete continuous curtain which is then attached to and rolled around a skeleton drum to produce a roller garage door.
Inside the skeleton drum is a steel tube section which has a spring attached around it and they are all connected together in order that tension may be applied to the spring to act as a balance for the door adjustable depending on the size and weight of the door curtain. The steel tube extends out each end of the roll and is used to secure the entire roller door onto steel brackets that are fixed to the inside face of the garage structure. The whole roller door is simple in design and fairly light weight to operate and when the door is required to be electrically operated a simple motor system is easily bolted onto one end of the roller door and controlled by a control box and remote control handsets as required. There are a few variations in electric motors used but they all fit externally at one end of the roll are always 24V and use the same kind of sensing used in normal garage door operators where the motor unit will sense a voltage surge if the door is obstructed and stop immediately and reverse. A wall mounted control panel with built in light, pushbutton control and a receiver for the radio control signal from the transmitters is all fairly standard specification
Aluminium Roller Doors (Insulated Roller Doors)
Nearly all aluminium roller garage doors in the UK are constructed from individual double skinned slats usually with a foam filled core and are about 19mm thick as an average. Each aluminium slat is usually about 75mm deep and they all vary slightly in the front face design, some have totally smooth surface, some have a thin line or two as a feature in the design. The slat always has a curved shape and this enables the curtain to roll efficiently.
The differences between this door and the steel roller garage door are quite apparent but there are so many manufacturers now in the UK it is difficult to generalise. One of the biggest differences is that aluminium roller doors nearly always use a tube motor system for electric operation and nearly all doors are electric as it is quite difficult to produce a satisfactory manual version. There are 2 exceptions and these are the Hormann Rollmatic and the Garador Gararoll which are effectively exactly the same door and they both use an external mounted motor system. With a barrel type motor system on any roller door there is a minimum level of safety required as the motors simply drive up or down under power and need other external devices to control the movement. The full details on safety requirements on insulated aluminium roller doors using tube motor can be found in our ‘Are you prepared to gamble’ article and we suggest you do read it as unfortunately there are so many roller door manufacturers completely ignoring the current legal requirements on safety and also claiming the doors to be CE compliant. A remote control electric roller door is in the eyes of the law a ‘machine’ and comes under regulations relating to this simple fact.
Aluminium roller garage doors offer a much higher level of insulation, security, practicality and style than the more basic steel doors and have far greater variations in application as there are so many different sized slats to choose from with almost any colour ultimately available in paint finishes as well as a huge choice of woodgrain finished laminate coatings.
The guides for the door curtain are usually between 60 to 100mm wide and offer greater resistance to forced entry attempts and high winds.
The curtain roll size is smaller than a steel roller door as the individual slats roll up tighter – an important factor for maximising drive through height when open if internal headroom is restricted.
The curtain is stronger as the slats are double skinned and foam filled.
The operation is quieter as the motor is inside the roll and DC operated as well as the tolerances between the curtain and the guides being smaller reducing the chance of rattling in windy conditions.
The electric motor is controlled as standard using a wall mounted control box with built in lighting, pushbutton controls and a receiver for the radio hand transmitters supplied with rolling code technology used on higher specification models.
With superior aluminium roller garage doors the sealing is far superior as the curtain is rolled off the barrel completely when closed and then pushes against the inside of the lintel. Basic roller doors have a large gap appear at the top when closed as the curtain roll shrinks in size when closed exposing a gap between the back of the lintel and the front of the door curtain.
The sealing at the bottom is always better as aluminium roller doors have a greater degree of flexibility in closing up gaps on out of level floor surfaces as the slats have a small movement between each one and on an average height door of 21 slats this gives a lot of available movement.
Generally the strength, stability and security of aluminium double skinned roller doors is higher than any single skin constructed door offering extra benefits all round.
Which Roller Doors Should I look to buy?
This is easy, simply make sure you only consider roller garage doors manufactured by reputable, established manufacturers complying with all the relevant CE requirements for the UK market.
Most prices are very similar at the front end and discounts you can obtain will vary enormously but the one thing you must make sure is that the sizing, specification and installation is correct. Roller doors may seem simple but installed incorrectly they will fail quickly as there are many stresses and moving parts and some doors can be over 5 metres wide, a large moving object by any standard!
Beware of a recent flood of much cheaper aluminium roller doors onto the UK market all constructed with little regard to quality and regulations. A general rule of thumb to use is to be very wary of any insulated aluminium single width roller door that has an installed price of less than about £900 inc. VAT. Our advice would be to go for the steel continuous curtain roller door instead which will be compliant with regulations, safe and a whole lot better in terms of warranty generally.
Also make sure you have the eventuality of a power supply failure covered – the minimum cover is a manual override system enabling a winding system to be used internally to open and close the door without power. This can be extended to operate from outside the garage if you do not have a side door. Improvements in technology and pricing enables the use of a battery back up system to ensure several operations after the mains power has failed and this is a good system to consider.
Manufacturers to Consider:
Topics: Roller Garage Doors
By admin | March 23, 2012
The increase in requests and sales for insulated garage doors has increased in the last few years and it’s not hard to see why. Now that garage doors with very real weather sealing and insulation properties are readily available the older one piece type up and over garage doors look pretty poor in comparison letting dust, leaves, rain and of course cold air in on all sides in many cases making your garage cold and dirty. But which ones are best for insulation?
Sectional Garage Doors
These vertically rising style doors split into several sections and are constructed in 20 or 42mm thick insulated steel panels. They are about the best insulated doors for normal domestic type garage doors. The U values achieved can be very good if installed BEHIND the garage aperture and also installed correctly with consideration given to the floor levels for the best seal possible and a complete overlap at the sides and head to act as a thermal break. Far too often small compromises in the width and more often the height will mean that you have a door fitted with 42mm panels doing their job up to say 7 feet high and then a single skin layer of steel fascia fitted to make up the gap to the lintel. While this works fine for sealing the opening it does not give the maximum benefits for insulation, so always consider this if insulation is your primary objective. Hormann, Carteck, Garador and Novoferm all offer either purpose made sizes or additional insulated fascia panels where required.
Roller Garage Doors
The term ‘insulated roller garage door’ is widely used but is a bit misleading as it is almost impossible to get a descent and accurate U value rating on a roller shutter garage door constructed from an average of 24 horizontal double skinned slats all technically with a small gap inbetween them.
Whilst there is a definite benefit from having these insulated slats, not only for strength but also for some insulation, as they are on average 19mm thick , the installed door will have very different insulation values depending on many varying factors. Rubber or brush type weatherseals in the guides or on the head fascia, a full hood cover for the roll and how much overlap the door slats have to the side and the head will all contribute to how good the insulation will be but do not expect an accurate U value. Also some roller doors do use considerably thinner slats than others so do be aware of what you are being quoted for with this type of door as many features are definitely ‘brushed over’ in the promotional material.
Side Hinged Doors
Traditional timber side hinged doors with all the right frame work stops and a good tight fit will actually give quite a good insulation value as timber itself is a good insulator, depending again of course on the type and thickness of the timber used. GRP (fibreglass) is also relatively good as well with the same criteria. Recently however Carteck Doors released a range of side hinged garage doors all made to order as standard with a factory fitted aluminium fixing sub frame and with double rebated edges all round with built in rubber seals. The actual door leaves are constructed using their high quality sectional garage door panels which are 42mm thick, foam filled steel. The overall result is a pair of strong, insulated side hinged doors of high quality, available in a variety of designs, colours and sizes with many double glazed window options. These doors are definitely a very good option for any garage where the use is mainly for a workshop, office, gym, playroom or similar.
Up and Over Garage Doors
Up and over garage doors have one basic flaw when it comes to insulation and that is the whole door panel has to move through the sub frame when opening and closing and therefore has a gap all around the perimeter. Generally most up and over doors do not offer very good insulation but some effort can be made with optional insulation packs to add insulation boards to the rear of the panel for example. Again some of the timber doors by their very nature will also give insulation although it helps if the door is fitted with a steel sub frame with built in weather stripping and a descent door stop on the head frame. Underneath the door can be catered for with any number of weather seals available for the door or the floor. They will never be as good as the above options but can be made to be OK for use in the relatively temperate climate in the UK.
To conclude if you really do want to make your garage as insulated as possible then look at the double skinned sectional doors. LPU40, GSW40, ISO45 and others all with the 40-45mm thick panels and make 100% sure the door is fitted completely behind the garage opening and now laos consider the ‘thermal insulation’ kit available from Hormann which gives extra insulation around the door perimeter to give one of the lowest U values for a domestic sectional door.
Call or email us for all the latest prices and technical information on insulated garage doors.
Topics: Insulated Garage Doors
By admin | March 23, 2012
When we are asked or talk about insulated roller garage doors we are talking about the generic term applied to a roller door constructed from double skinned, foam filled, aluminium slats usually about 70-75mm in depth and around 18-25mm thick with a concave shape to follow the shape of the roll when rolled up and around the barrel section.
The slat is strong and stylish and available in many different paint or laminate woodgrain finishes, but what about the insulation value?
We are often asked by architects for the specific ‘U’ value provided by these roller doors – the measure of how insulated the door actually is. The simple fact is there is generally no accurate measure available as the roller door on a standard height garage is made up of about 23 slats and there is a small gap between each slat and this gap is what makes measuring the ‘U’ value for an installed roller door impossible. So in summary the insulated roller door will offer a good level of insulation but it is not actually measureable as each door will have a slightly different level of sealing once closed. Some roller doors have higher quality profile sections than others and the total effect can be dramatic in a complete door.
We recommend the Seceuroglide, Hormann, Garador, Novoferm and Samson range of aluminium roller doors as they have continuity in quality and good guarantee periods.
They are all made to order for a perfect fit and give excellent value for money.
Also, consider the ‘sectional’ garage door if your insulation value is very important.
Topics: Insulated Garage Doors
By admin | March 23, 2012
Garage door prices are fairly difficult to obtain online if you want accurate prices and on The Garage Door Centre website we do try to give an idea of prices for standard single and double width garage doors of various types fully installed and with the necessary fixing sub frame. Most headline or online shop prices shown on websites are only showing the actual door panel and gear but none of the necessary installation items such as the sub frame and the problem is worse with side hinged swing type garage doors as they have so many hinges, locks, stays, bolts and other hardware items that the basic door panel price can almost be meaningless. Always make sure you have everything you require in order to compare prices like for like and nothing is missed out that may be required later and cost much more if purchased separately.
Roller garage doors are about the worst type of garage door for getting in a real muddle with prices as there seems to be so many the same visually and by description but all at very different prices. The difference with a roller garage door is most of the real important mechanics and moving parts cannot be seen so cannot be compared. There are so many roller doors in the UK where not only parts have been compromised to save money but in fact essential safety features are not used in a blatant disregard for the current regulations regarding remote control electric roller doors. The leading edge on a remote control operated roller door should have a safety sensor system that stops when obstructed at ANY point during closing and many roller doors are supplied with infra red beams instead and these are not compliant. Regulations do go further when the door may be near to a public highway or path for example or if the door is not particularly high and the moving roll can be easily reached by a person but these cases are dealt with on an individual basis. However all this adds to the price and it is all too easy to miss them out for the sake of cost saving.
When comparing prices also be aware of the installation costs and expertise of the company or person carrying out the work. Higher quality garage doors and electric operators nowadays have good guarantees but they are not worth a thing if the installation is not carried out correctly or worse still if the company installing the door is not about after a few months or years. You could end up with unexpected large bills if you have a problem as your contract is with the person or company you purchased the door from originally and this is all too easily brushed over.
For accurate prices on any type of garage door we invite you to either call us directly with some rough sizes and requirements and we can recommend and guide you through the options or alternatively you can fill in one of our online forms and preferably attach a photo or two and we can get you price options within a day or so.
Whatever you choose to do just remember you are best to only do this once so check out the company and products carefully if you value your investment in a new garage door.
See our Garage Door Price examples page for a bit more information >
Topics: Garage Door Prices
By admin | March 23, 2012
So you need a new garage door and some ideas on prices so where do you start? First of all before making any enquiries it is essential to get measurements of the existing garage door and preferably some names and part numbers from the door panel and handle to help us. If the fixing sub frame the existing garage door is fixed to has also seen better days then it is best to get the structural brickwork opening measurements as well. When you replace a garage door with a new sub frame many manufacturers have different sub frame sizes depending on different factors and gear types so we can only advise if we know the brickwork opening sizes.
If you are just looking for a basic garage door replacement then do not assume to say ‘It is just a standard size’ as although this may be the case the door quoted as say £400 installed can soon rocket to much a higher price if it is not one of the standard sizes and needs to be 3″ smaller or bigger. Of course the most important thing may well be if you can get your vehicle in or not so always discuss the possibility of a larger door if possible as you want to only do this door replacement once.
Many garage doors such as the roller or sectonal doors can be made to any size so standard or purpose made is not an issue, it generally only is the up and over or side hinged type of doors that can save a lot of money by using factory stock sizes.
Many companies promote headline prices of doors supplied and fitted FROM but as with any of this kind of marketing the from price is the lowest possible price for the door with no extras at all. You will inevitably always require a new fixing sub frame and if you do not want the standard white colour that all factories produce then that also is extra. It is easy to double the original headline price with a frame and a different colour let alone a different handle, weatherstripping, additional locking and maybe a remote control operator so always be very attentive as to what the prices are actually giving you in the end.
We pride ourselves at The Garage Door Centre in making sure we get the door that is right for your requirements rather than just to a price. We are sure we offer value for money but truly believe that when you do decide to buy a garage door that you dont end up needing to by another one within a year or so. Most of our doors have a 10 year guarantee and we want that to be the minimum time you have the door not the maximum.
Call us on (0800) 525442 for advice and pricing details.
Topics: Garage Door Prices
By admin | March 23, 2012
Different garage door types are ordered by varying size references.
For example most roller garage doors are ordered using the OVERALL width including the side guides and then the height is the top of the guides and does not include the roll and support plates above this. This is fine except each manufacturer of roller doors will have different widths of side guides for different models and size of door as well as upgrades for wind resistance and security. Therefore if you are installing the roller door inbetween a brick opening the drive through width will vary and if you are ordering a Hormann Rollmatic for example then the opening width is the order reference so it is very easy to get in a mess unless you talk to an expert who can guide you though the various options.
The same goes for side hinged doors, overall width including a fixing frame or inbetween the frame size? Up and over and sectional doors tend to be the opening width and height of the sub frame for ordering but there are exceptions so nothing is straightforward.
The measurements required purely for ordering and installation are all too often the main focus in conversation and then the actual drive through width and height are mostly ignored and it must be several times a week we have to point out that a vehicle may struggle to get through the gap left when the door is open only to be responded to with ‘Ah, I had not thought about that’!!
Always check the actual drive through dimensions before committing to a new garage door, it may look nice but not allow you to get your car in!
To make sure you order the right size garage door and also ensure the opening size will actually allow a vehicle to drive through please speak to one of our expert sales team and discuss your requirements carefully.
Call on (0800) 525 442 and press option 1
Topics: Garage Door Sizes
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