Columbia City (260) 691-3822

366 E 600 N  Columbia City, IN 46725

Servicing all of Whitley County!

  • Insider Secrets6:21

  • Insider Secrets6:21

Insider Secrets They Don't Want You to Know

At Express Garage Door Services we like educating potential customers. Why? Because informed consumers make smart buying decisions.  With over 35 years of experience in the garage door business we know the ins and outs and there isn’t much we haven’t seen. We use our knowledge to help you save money instead of using it against you to maximize short-term profits.  Bottom line is we want your trust and to be the company you recommend to your friends and family. 

Now we’re going to share insider secrets and the dirty little tricks used against you.

 Every day our phone rings with somebody on the other end asking, “How much is a 16’ x 7’ insulated garage door?”  Some will even add in “I’m calling around getting the cheapest price, so sharpen up your pencil buddy!” You can just picture them sitting at their kitchen table with a pad of paper and the big box store newspaper flyers in front of them. With pen in hand they start calling every local garage door company on the Internet.

These people think they are doing their homework and are getting the best deal for their hard earned money. Hey, nothing wrong with saving money but more times than not they are costing themselves money and more headaches then they were bargaining for.

Welcome to the real world.  

First understand that garage doors come in different qualities.  Some will last 20 to 30 years or even longer. Then there are flimsy doors that we’ve seen falling apart after 2 or 3 years.  Most people don’t save money replacing their garage doors every few years. 

 The majority of garage doors manufactured today are made of steel. The sections are steel, the tracks are steel, the springs are steel and so are the reinforcement struts and hardware. You get it? “Steel.”  Almost everything on a garage door is made of it.  Think of yourself as a steel buyer and you’re going down the right road.

Your goal is to get the most steel for your money. As a general rule the thicker the steel the longer your new door will last. Steel thickness is rated in gauges. Below is a chart of steel gauges and their thickness.

 So you just go shopping for steel thickness right? Well… Yes, but not so fast partner. It’s not going to be as easy as you think. Let the games begin. Seems like everything these days is all about perception and marketing. Always remember that you are dealing with pros. Manufacturers spend millions on research and marketing. They know all the tricks. You’ll see ads and salesman pitching something like a 26 gauge steel sandwich door panels. What they don’t tell you is the inner panel has 29 gauge steel. The tracks can hardly support their own weight and the hardware will fail after a few short years. For the most part it’s all smoke and mirrors. Give the consumer the least amount of steel and still convince them its quality with their limited knowledge.

So spend the time and effort to get the steel gauge of everything.  Oh, and don’t forget this key word (insert ironic tone here) “NOMINAL” The Definition of nominal is “In name only.”  A good example is a standard 2x4 stud used in wall construction of your home. It’s actual dimension is 1 ½” x 3 1/2 “ but some manufactures think it should apply to steel gauge also. So 26-gauge steel doesn’t necessarily mean 26-gauge steel Don’t leave any stone unturned. Trust me, just because one or two items are quality doesn’t mean everything is. Just grab any newspaper insert or most product literature. See how many times they mention track metal gauge, hardware metal gauge and so on. Not listed?  (Wink, Wink) You should be wondering why.

Next look to see if they’re including everything. Are new perimeter seals being included? Come on, everybody is going to want new seals with their new door. Right? Well evidentially a lot of companies don’t think so because they’re not included in the price. How about hangers? Here again a lot of companies don’t include hangers to support the rear tracks (Starting to feel like buying an airline ticket isn’t it?)

Next, look at the warranty.

“Read “ the entire warranty and take the time to understand it. Did you know that most manufactures require an extra reinforcement strut on their top section if you install an automatic operator?  The majority of manufactures will void the warranty if not installed. Come on who doesn’t have an operator anymore. Why don’t they just include it? Remember that steel thing? So you have a strut on your top section so you’re ok right? Not so fast! Some dealers simply take the one included strut that came with the door and mount it on the top section. This is not what the manufacture means. Now you’ve voided the warranty on the door because you didn’t install the provided strut properly.

Seems like everybody has a 15 year or lifetime warranty anymore. They’re not all the same. Some include every defect or failure in the panels. Others only include rust thru. Then some only warranty rust thru if it’s caused by the paint falling off. Some even define “rust thru” as the ability to see thru the panel.

Which leads to the question: If the steel rusts from both sides you still wouldn’t be able to see thru the door because the insulation board would still be there. Yeah, they Gotcha again! Read carefully some may only be warranted if a raccoon is riding a bike and hits the outside of the door damaging the inside surface only (Meant to be funny of course but it almost gets that crazy and yes that could be your lifetime warranty.)

Also beware of homeowner version torsion systems. These spring assembles are designed to be homeowner friendly but will be very expensive to repair down the road when the springs break. These unusual parts are not readily available to garage door repair companies. Most companies will end up converting them to professional assembles at additional costs.   

In summary there are no free lunches in life.  Shopping for a new door isn’t as easy as calling around for the lowest price. You will get what you pay for. We have been in the garage door business for over 35 years and can tell you with no doubt that the lowest price is absolutely the worst and most expensive way to go in the long run. Yes it’s very confusing shopping apples for apples in this business. There’s a good reason for that; It’s designed that way. Armed with this information go out and shop for value. Then consider giving us a call at Express Garage Door Services. We have been in business for years and have sold various brands thru out the years. We offer the brands we carry for a reason. This isn’t our first rodeo. We have taken our experience to pick out not only the best product lines but manufacturers that stand behind their products.

 We will always be a company looking out for your best interest. In short, a company that will earn your trust.