How to Find a Reliable Contractor?

You decided that this was it! The house must be renovated. The kitchen has long been lost on its ‘magic’, the rooms are not planned according to your family composition, and you want to rebuild your home according to your needs. Time to find a reliable contractor.

It is important that you know who you deal with before you enter the renovation phase because when you are already there, you can not regret it. Renovations are a long story, complex, dirty, tedious, and not simple at all both for the tenants at home and for all the neighbors and people living nearby. A lot of noise, dust, and dirt. So how come everyone renovates? We will try to help you through the process to be easy and with minimal distress.

So, do I need a contractor?

find-contractorSome people renovate without a contractor; they bring in the craftsmen themselves and try to schedule them on their own. The result could be long and tedious work that goes well beyond what is desirable because when you manage alone on the job, you should pay attention to the order of work in terms of professionalism, standards, scheduling, and time-frame. E.g. an electrician must be commissioned accordingly with the work of the renovator, as well as the plumber must be coordinated when his work is supposed to be integrated into the construction process. Then, the sequence continues with a door installer that is supposed to come before the painter, and the carpenter also has the exact time he or she should arrive. Long story short, trying to manage it all by yourself can become tedious, confusing, and poorly managed.

You’ve decided to look for a contractor

So, you understood that without this contractor it would not work. Now you have the task of finding the contractor. How will you find the contractor that you can trust in all the construction processes? To do this you must learn how to choose a contractor.

As in everything, here, too, we will find the best indication of the contractor’s professionalism, the inquiries about his professionalism and his work, from a social standpoint as well. Ask people who have recently renovated and tried to get an impression of whether they were satisfied with the work, whether the contractor met the schedule he had committed to, and whether the work was done professionally with high-quality, durable materials.

Visit a construction site – If you have a possibility, you should go visit the houses or buildings that the contractor has renovated so that you will get the impression of his work by the work style, quality, finish and the overall look.reliable-contractor

You are happy and decided to go with the contractor

After you have found a professional who seems to suit you and meets all your requirements it is important to clearly summarize all the project’s details, such as a detailed quote that includes a realistic deadline, materials, costs, order, etc.

 

You can start looking for contractors on reputable websites such as Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor

Garage Door Springs

Types of (Common) Garage Door Spring Mechanisms

Did you know that there are two (main) different types of spring mechanisms you can install in your garage door? One can either choose to have torsion or extension springs on their garage door, each of which boasts its own benefits. But how does one determine which type of spring mechanism is the most efficient or, at the least, is the most fitting for them? In order to answer this, you must ask yourse

garage door springs madison wi

lf whether efficiency or cost-effectiveness is paramount to you. Below you will find an in-depth comparison of the different types of garage door spring mechanisms.

Extension Springs

Extension springs are somewhat ubiquitous in the commercial garage door industry; they are remarkably cheap and provide ample tension for lifting a typical residential garage door. As the name of these springs implies, they create the tension to lift the door by extending along the horizontal tracks above the door (typically). Extension springs must be paired with safety cables in order to prevent them from being launched in any direction when they finally break. Although these springs are cheaper and will suffice for a residential garage, they are significantly more dangerous than torsion springs, bearing more exposed parts, and will not last nearly as long. Extension springs will last an average of 10,000 cycles (open and close motions).

Torsion Springs

Torsion springs are installed above the garage door as extension springs are, although the method of raising and closing the door varies.tosrion springs madison wi Torsion springs implement torque to move the door by slowly coiling along the shaft. The use of torsion springs ensures that your garage will open and close with a controlled motion, as opposed to the potential jerking motion extension springs will provide. Additionally, since torsion springs do not extend, they are able to last much longer than extension springs, enduring between 15,000 and 20,000 cycles on average. They are also able to lift significantly more weight than an extension spring, which is more practical for users with more cumbersome doors. Torsion springs present little danger when they break, whereas extension springs present the potential to shoot in any direction and cause harm to anyone standing in their path. They are available in a myriad of different sizes to fit your individual door. The only drawback to torsion springs is their higher price, although you are getting what you pay for in regards to overall quality and efficiency.

 

 

 

Garage Door Weather Stripping

Weather Stripping: What is it and Why is it Important?

            If you are unfamiliar with weather stripping, it is a strip comprised of a material of your choosing which blocks any gaps between a specific door and adjacent wall. Although this may seem trivial at first, it absolutely is not. When your garage is an extension of your house, it must be temperature regulated just as the rest of the house. If your garage door has gaps around it, you begin spending exorbitant amounts on monthly bills to either keep the house heated or cooled down. In order to remain cost-efficient and keep your garage and house at a cozy temperature, it’s not a bad idea to invest in some weather stripping. Before you can do this, however, you must ask yourself a couple questions: what material should the stripping be made of and do I know how to install it?

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Types of Weather Stripping and How the Installation Process

            Depending on your rationale for purchasing weather stripping, there are a plethora of materials for stripping to consider. Typical materials include:

  • Felt: If you prefer more traditional methods, then felt may be ideal for you. It is cost-effective and is available in a myriad of different sizes and colors to fit your individual door. These strips are typically nailed in place, although they are available in adhesive alternatives for easy installation. Simply make sure that the strips are cut to the proper length in order to extend across the entirety of the door on all sides and nail in place or stick on.
  • Serrated Metal: Serrated metal strips are backed by either vinyl or felt. They integrate the reliability and sturdy nature of metal with the easy application of felt. These are either nailed down or applied with adhesive.
  • Rubber Seals: In order to ensure there is not a gap between the bottom of your garage door and the floor of the garage, a bottom weather seal will do the trick. Rubber weather seals work efficiently by sealing the gap and helping to retain heat. They are remarkably cheap and installation is as simple as it gets. Once you determine the proper length of the strip, you can simply slide it on the bottom of the door!
  • Tubular Gasket: Comprised of flexible but durable vinyl, tubular gasket stripping is ideal for outdoor use. Its flexibility allows it to conform to uneven surfaces with ease. An adhesive can be used to ensure the stripping stays in place. Although it is reasonably priced and efficient when used, it does not come in a variety of colors beyond white or gray and cannot be painted. If you apply paint to the stripping, it will lose its flexibility and defeat the purpose!
  • Interlocking Metal Stripping: With two interlocking rabbeted metal pieces, this type of stripping will provide industrial strength. Unfortunately, it will most likely require a professional for installation unless you are savvy with this type of work.

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Advantages of Using Weather Stripping

Now that you know a few common variations of weather stripping, why should you use it? If you’re like most people, you are probably not elated by the concept of paying bills. It’s inevitable, but the goal is to pay as little as necessary to provide you with the optimal level of comfort. Without weather stripping applied to your garage, you’re allowing heat or cold to escape from you garage constantly. Even if your garage isn’t attached to your house, it is still advantageous to prevent the inside from cooling down too much (to protect the contents of the garage. For example, bike tires don’t do too well in sub-zero temperatures). Most types of weather stripping are easy to install with little more than a few nails or some adhesive which is sometimes already on the strips, although hiring a professional is always an option.

Garage Door Won’t Close

madison wi garage door

If every time you attempt to shut your garage door it immediately begins opening back up, you have a pretty agitating problem on your hands. Fortunately enough, it’s an easy fix! We’ve compiled a few typical causes for a garage door that won’t close along with the solution to each:

The Disconnect Switch is Activated

If you try to close your garage door and the opener is incessantly running but the door doesn’t budge, you’ve probably activated the disconnect switch on accident. The disconnect switch is a rope or knob on the garage door opener which does exactly what it says- disconnects the door from the opener. If this happens to be the problem, please refer to our previous post about what to do when you lose power to your garage door opener. You will have to reattach the door to the opener, which is not as difficult as it may sound!

The Sensor are Improperly Aligned

The two sensors at the base of the garage door send a beam to one another to determine whether it is safe to fully close the door or not. If said beam is interrupted, the door will begin to open back up. If the sensors are not aligned properly, however, they perceive this as an obstruction and will open the door anyways. If needed, adjust the brackets connecting the sensors to the garage so they are aligned all the way. If they are aligned all the way and the path of the door is clear but you are still encountering issues, pay attention to when the issues occur. Is it particularly sunny outside? If the sun is glaring down directly onto the sensors, this can be interpreted as an obstruction and they will continue to open the door. If this is the problem, you may just have to set something up by the garage to put some shade on the sensors.

Improper Garage Door Limits

If your garage door closes all the way before deciding to re-open, your garage door travel limits may be set wrong. Refer back to our previous post all about adjusting your garage door limits for an in-depth explanation on how to assuage this.

Broken Cables or Springs

Every garage door is equipped with a set of tension cables and springs which allow it to function quickly and effortlessly each and every time you press the button. If the door refuses to shut all the way, check your cables and springs to make sure they’re all intact. If not, you may want to consider contacting your Garage Door Repair Madison WI for an efficient and cost-effective fix!
If none of the above problems are affecting your door but it still won’t close, feel free to contact us by phone or email for friendly and proficient help.

How to Reconnect a Garage Door Opener After an Outage

madison garage doors

In a society which thrives on electricity-dependent technological advancements, it should come as no surprise that power outages have become the bane of our existence. Nearly every aspect of modern life relies on a source of electricity. How many times per day do you simply turn on a light or use a computer? Or perhaps plug your phone into charge? One aspect of daily life which is not difficult to neglect in the event of a power outage, however, is your garage door opener. Suppose a lightning storm tears through your small suburban area and destroys a transformer down the block. Depending on whether you left the door open or closed prior to the resulting power outage, your car and possessions are now either trapped in the garage or exposed to the elements and anyone passing by. We sympathize with this and understand that it is simply unacceptable. Here’s how to fix just such a problem:

How to Reconnect Your Garage Door Opener

1. First you must disconnect the garage door opener from the door itself. It’s best to unplug the opener from its power source beforehand.

2. Pull the emergency disconnect cord hanging from the opener. This is the only way to disconnect the opener and allows you to fully open the door. This is especially important if you’re trapped in the garage.

3. Manually close the door all the way. The opener will not reconnect properly if the door isn’t completely shut.

4. After the power has been restored, press the button you typically use to close the door. Give the opener ample time to connect on its own. The chain of the opener will move the corresponding trolley to its correct position until it connects with the arm of the garage door.

5. If the trolley of your garage door opener is not automatic, you will have to manually attach the trolley to the garage door’s arms after pulling the emergency release.

6. Your opener and door should be connected and functioning as good as ever!

To prevent further issues, consider investing in a surge protector for the outlet your garage door opener is plugged into. If you continue to have issues with re-connecting your garage door and opener, do not hesitate to contact us!

Adjust Opener Limits

Having a new garage door opener installed is an important venture. It guarantees that your garage door will open and close smoothly and safely every time as long as it is properly maintained. You are given the freedom of choosing whether you want a chain, belt, or screw opener, whether you would prefer a name brand such as Genie or LiftMaster, and multiple other aspects of what opener you would prefer. It’s not just an opener, it’s your opener. However, it is easy to overlook the limits set on the garage door opener. Did you know how far up or down your garage door opener takes the door?

Adjust Opener Limits

If you notice that every time you attempt to open or close your garage door it’s either not performing a full cycle (i.e. opening/closing halfway) or reverses its motion mid-cycle, you may have to adjust the limits of your garage door opener. In order to adjust the limits, first locate the limit adjustment screws on the opener and retrieve a corresponding flathead or Phillips head screwdriver for them. Cycle your door one time by opening and closing it. If the door does not open completely and stops at about 5 feet (typically the halfway mark), turn the “Up” adjustment screw clockwise one full turn. Every complete turn of the screw corresponds to two inches of movement. Continue to turn the screw until you are able to fully open the door.

garage door repair madison wi

If the door will not close completely, turn the “Down” adjustment screw counterclockwise one full turn. Again, each full turn will add two inches of movement to the door, so continue to turn the screw until the door fully closes. If the door closes fully but reverses its motion after touching the ground, turn the “Down” adjustment screw clockwise until you are able to close the door without it attempting to open up on its own. For any of the above methodologies, be certain to open and close the door after each full turn of an adjustment screw. If you are still having issues with your opener’s limits after trying all of the above, be sure to contact your local garage door company.

Torquemaster to Torsion Springs Conversion

Today I have decided to create a short video that quickly displays a before-and-after Torquemaster to torsion springs system conversion on a customer’s garage door.

Torquemaster is Wayne Dalton’s exclusive spring system and is operated by an iDrive operator. The springs are positioned in a hollow tube and are “invisible” to the naked eye. Hence, you can only assume that a spring is broken when the door malfunctions (usually will go up partially).

garage door repair madison blogmadison garage door repair blogThe main issue with Torquemaster spring system is that the Wayne Dalton no longer manufacturers the iDrive operator. Wayne Dalton was purchased by Genie Operators and stopped making the iDrives.

When a spring brakes on a Wayne Dalton garage door the best alternative, in my opinion, is to convert the system to a torsion spring system. Torsion springs are the best alternative since they are readily available everywhere, most (if not all) garage door technicians use them, they tend to last longer, and you can easily tell if they break.

Just to clarify, Wayne Dalton produces great quality doors, that work perfectly fine with torsion springs.

In the following weeks, I will be posting a Do-it-Yourself guide for Torquemaster to torsion spring conversion setup.

Grage door repair madison wi

How to Replace a Broken Cable

Before you begin replacing a garage door cable on your garage door, make sure you have the necessary tools. It is not possible to predict all repair circumstances.

The following steps must be followed in order to prevent any damage to a door and a person. We highly recommend hiring a professional technician to do this job and do not take any responsibility for any outcome of someone implementing the following steps.

Take it Apart

The garage door size determines the cable size. For the most common residential 7 feet tall door, you will need an 8’6” cable. Sizes of tools used for cable replacement may vary in size, too, so have a combination of sizes available.

You will need locking pliers or a vice grip, a set of cables, wrenches, winding bars, sockets, stepping ladder, ratchet, safety glasses, and gloves. A proper outfit (e.g. gloves, work boots, and safety glasses) is needed, too.

Be cautious of pointed edges on cables to avoid injury.

To begin with, unplug and disengage the garage door opener by pulling on the emergency release cord. There should be a red rope with a handle that is positioned on the top rail (depending on your opener). Doing so will allow you to manually open and close the garage door.

Close the door and make sure it touches the ground evenly. Walk toward the center of the garage door and slacken the set screws on the springs with 1/4 turns. Don’t forget to fully insert the winding bars as well as use both bars at the same time to prevent injury. Do not get in the bars way!

Unwind the spring until all of the tension has been removed. If the door has two springs, do the same with the second spring.

After springs’ tension is removed, take a wrench and slacken the set screws on the cable’s drum at the top left corner of the garage door. Then, remove the cable from its drum. By the bottom of the door, release the cable where it connects to the bottom bracket.

Installing the Cable

Install the new cable onto the bottom bracket. Then, thread the cable up toward the cable’s drum. Make sure the cable is running behind the rollers (between the tracks and rollers). Do this for each side of the door.

Insert the cable into the slots of the drum. Validate that the cable is set properly and is not overlapping. Wind the cable onto the drum, and then slide the drum over toward the bearing plate. Then, turn the drum counterclockwise (right drum-clockwise) until the cable sits tight. Now, tighten the set screws, but do not overdo so.

While holding the cable, use your vice grip pliers on the metal shaft that goes across the entire door (along the wall) to hold it tightly in place. Then, go to the other side of the door and follow the same instructions. After completion, increase the springs’ tension using your winding bars. Remember to only increase the tension at a ¼ turn at a time.

Remove the locking pliers from the metal shaft and check that the garage door is balanced (i.e. stays at the same place where you leave it). Before plugging the opener back in, make sure to manually lift the door all the way up, while checking that there is an even tension between the drums and cables. In case there is no tension on one side, repeat the process again, until you get an equal tension. Engage the door by pulling the emergency release, and then plug the opener back in. Again, make sure there is tension between the drums and cables while the door is fully open.