• Home and Garage Door Security Tips

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    As a homeowner, you do everything you can to protect your home, family, and belongings. You also know that your residential garage doors Pittsburgh are one, if not the main point of entry into your home. If a garage door is left open or unsecured, it can be an open invitation for burglars to enter your home without opposition. Here are a few security tips for your garage door that you can implement to protect your home and discourage burglars from entering your home unwelcomed.

    Set Up a Home Security System

    One of the easiest and more convenient ways to secure your home is to monitor every entrance, including the garage door, by having a complete home security system installed. Homes that are equipped with a security system deter crooks from trying to enter. High-quality alarm systems are designed to not only alert you of an intrusion but also emergency personnel. Most alarms are not silent, scaring off crooks and preventing them from entering or lingering in your home. The one drawback to having a home security system is that depending on how many doors and windows you have and how comprehensive your security system is, it can be quite costly.

    Cover Garage Windows

    Windows in garage doors can be both good and bad. Windows allow natural light to flow into your garage, cutting down your need for lighting. On the other hand, these same windows can provide would-be burglars the ability to easily see what is stored in your garage and how easy it is to enter your home via your garage. One of the easiest ways to protect yourself is to cover these windows to prevent people from seeing inside. You can achieve this by placing a decorative film or tint over the glass. Both of these options allow natural light to shine in while making it more difficult for someone to see inside.

    Add Movement Detector Lights

    If you’re concerned about nighttime break-ins, having a well-lit home will make you less of a target. A good way to protect your home is to install motion-active lights around the exterior of your home. A good location for a motion detected light is above your garage door, so when someone walks or drives up the light kicks on. These lights serve a dual purpose, not only do they deter people from approaching your home unwanted, but they are also helpful for when you return late at night.

    Close and Lock Your Garage Door

    This tip might seem like an obvious one, but you would be surprised to learn how many people forget to shut and lock their garage door at the end of the day. Be sure to shut your garage door every day to prevent easy access to your home. While not every residential garage door Pittsburgh is equipped with a lock, those that are should be locked daily. If your garage door doesn’t have a lock on it, you might want to consider looking into having a locking system installed on it for added protection.

    If you have questions about your garage door or need a repair to provide your home with optimal security, contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today! We can help you repair or replace your existing garage door to provide your home with added security and you with peace of mind. At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, we can help with all your residential and commercial garage door needs.

  • A Guide to Buying a Garage Door Opener

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    If you need to purchase a new garage door opener because your current one is too old or broken for garage door opener repair Pittsburgh PA, there are a few things you should know. You have many options when shopping for a new garage door opener, so how do you know you are getting the right one? Here are a few features that the best garage door openers will have:

    • Low Noise Levels: Garage doors are inherently noisy, which is why if you are sensitive to sound or have living spaces located directly above or adjacent to your garage, you’re going to want to invest in either a belt-drive, direct-drive, or screw-drive model door opener.
    • RemoteControl Reliability: For those who live in densely populated areas, your garage door signal can become mixed with those of your neighbors’ garage door openers. The best way to combat this is to invest in a garage door opener that offers dual-frequency. What this feature does is automatically switch between two different frequencies to minimize the chance of interference from your neighbors.
    • RollingCode Security Technology: As an added level of security and protection, rolling-code security technology selects a new, non-repeating access code from billions of possibilities every time you use your remote control. This technology prevents would-be burglars from figuring out your access code and it also prevents your neighbor’s remote from accidentally opening your garage door.
    • Keypad or Touchpad for Remote Entry: This feature is standard with some models, but not all. If your unit doesn’t come standard with a keypad or touchpad, generally you can add it on.
    • Battery Backup: During power outages, you won’t be able to use your garage door opener unless it is equipped with a battery backup option. This feature, which is typically only included on a few, higher-end models, allows you to keep using your garage door opener during power outages. A battery-backup door should still be equipped with a manual release that allows you to manually open and close your garage door by hand.
    • Overhead Lights: Lights are a standard feature on all garage door openers. Specifically, look for lights that you can control independently of the door’s opening and closing.

    There are plenty of options available when you need to replace your garage door opener. As with most garage door opener repairs in Pittsburgh PA, you shouldn’t attempt to make the repairs yourself. Hire professionals, like those from Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors to make the repairs or install replacements.

  • 3 Questions to Ask When Purchasing a New Entry Door

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    Entry doors are an important component of any home, not only as it pertains to curb appeal, but also when it comes to security. Sifting through the many entry doors Pittsburgh and ultimately deciding on one that best represents your style and protects your family and possessions is a big decision. Before you make the purchase, here are a few questions you should be asking to ensure you get the right door for your home.

    What Kind of Door Should I Purchase?

    If this is your first time purchasing a new entry door, you may feel a bit overwhelmed with all the options and decisions that go into making this purchase. An entry door is an investment that will last you for many years and is not something you exchange often. There are a few important factors that you should keep in mind throughout the decision-making process, including style, energy efficiency, and security.

    • Style: There are many different styles you can select from—traditional colonial, craftsman, glass or no glass, etc. Do you want your new entry door to make a bold statement or do you prefer something subtle?
    • Energy Efficiency: Purchasing a new, quality door can dramatically reduce your home’s heating and cooling bills. Because homes lose the majority of their air through the doors and windows, having a door that is high-quality and energy efficient can help prevent cooled or heated air from escaping your home.
    • Security: Because entry doors are the main entry point into your home, it is imperative you have a door that provides optimal security to protect your home, family, and possessions.

    What Type of Material Should I Chose?

    You have options when it comes to the material you want your entry door to be constructed from. The material you select will set the tone for how visitors perceive your home and property. The three most common types of materials available include wood, fiberglass, and steel.

    • Wood: Wood doors provide a classic look that many homeowners are drawn to because of the natural, beautiful look they offer. This classic look does, however, generally come with a higher price tag than other materials. In addition to their increased upfront cost, they also require periodic maintenance to help them retain their refined look and feel.
    • Fiberglass: Fiberglass doors generally cost less than wood doors and also do not require much maintenance. These doors are extremely durable and energy efficient, providing homeowners with security and overall lower energy bills. As an added bonus, fiberglass doors can mimic the look of a wood door, for a fraction of the price.
    • Steel: Steel doors are extremely strong and durable, making them the best choice for homeowners most concerned about security and longevity. They can also be painted any color, allowing you to get a door that complements the rest of your home. Similar to fiberglass doors, steel doors also provide excellent energy efficiency.

    Will the Door Swing Inward or Outward?

    The most common way for exterior doors to swing is inward. This is because entry doors that swing inside provide better security. Although, climate can play a role in determining whether the exterior door swings inward or outward. For example, homes located in areas of the country that are prone to hurricanes or tropical storms may have outward swinging doors because they are less likely to be blown in by high winds. On the other hand, those who live in areas that are prone to high amounts of snowfall, are more inclined to have a door that swings inward so that don’t get trapped inside their home as a result of snowfall.

    When you are ready to invest in a new entry door Pittsburgh for your home, contact the experts at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors to help you find the right style, material, and swing of your door to complement your home. At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, we can help you replace your existing door with one that will provide you with optimal security, energy efficiency, and style.

  • How to Protect Your Garage in Winter

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    Cold weather is fast approaching, bringing in the winter months with it. When the weather starts to turn cold, it is a good indication that it is now time for you to begin winterizing your home. One way that you can help cut down on your home’s heating costs during the winter is with a well-insulated garage. If your garage is too cold, you risk damage to your vehicles and anything else that you store inside your garage. The best way to prevent expensive repairs from accruing later on, is to winterize your garage ahead of time. Here are a few things you can do to protect your garage before winter sets in which will prevent you from needing to invest in a new garage door installation Pittsburgh come spring.

    Replace Weather Stripping

    One of the easiest things you can do is to start by replacing the weather stripping on your garage door. This will create a seal between the garage door and the garage door opening, keeping cold air from coming in. When cold air is allowed to find its way inside your garage, it will create cold drafts that cause the temperature inside your garage to drop dramatically.

    To install new weather stripping, start by removing the old weather stripping and remaining sealant. Use a putty knife or scraper of some sort to remove as much of the old weather stripping as possible. Cleaning the surface as much as possible will make it easier for the new weather stripping to be installed. Once you have the surface cleaned and prepared for the new weather stripping, be sure to measure before you begin to install anything. You’ll want to make sure that you don’t have too much rubber sticking to the sides, where it could possibly interfere with the garage door track. Close the garage door and align the weather stripping so the rubber flap flattens slightly against the door. A good seal on your door allows the garage door to operate easier.

    Insulate the Garage Walls

    Another way to insulate your garage to prepare it for winter is to insulate your exterior garage walls. You can purchase fiberglass batt insulation fairly cheaply at any home improvement store. You can simply tack it into place on the walls of your garage. You’ll want to check to see that you have the right insulation thickness to ensure that you provide your garage with plenty of insulation against the cold. Failure to install the insulation securely to the wall or forgetting to provide extra support for the insulation can result in problems. In order for insulation to work properly, you’ll need to ensure that it has a snug fit and completely covers your wall.

    Repair Garage Door

    If your garage door is old or broken and is the source for the cold air getting into your garage, you might want to consider replacing it before the really cold weather arrives. At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, we provide garage door installation Pittsburgh, along with repairing and replacing broken panels and other parts. A garage door that is properly repaired or replaced can work to eliminate cold air from finding its way inside. Often, replacing an old or broken door with a new, insulated door is the best option for homeowners.

    Heat the Garage

    Another great way to ensure that your garage stays warm throughout the winter is to install a heater unit after you’ve completed all the other necessary precautions. Heaters will not only protect your garage from getting too cold, but they will also protect your vehicle and other belongings from the low temperatures. Keep in mind, it is important to be careful when using a heater, as heaters pose a risk of personal injury or potential house fires if not handled properly.

    As you can see, your garage plays an important role in keeping your home warm during the cold winter months. If you are considering replacing or repairing your garage door before the cold sets in, contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today!

  • What Does Your Front Door Say About You?

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    Your front door Pittsburgh is one of the first things that people see when they come to your home. That being the case, it’s also creating the first impression that people will have of your home. Do you know what your front door is saying about you? Here is a guide to help you decipher what message your front door is sending.

    Front Door Color

    The color of your front door says a lot about you and your personality. While you might personally like the look of the traditional, stark white door, visitors coming to your home might think you are kind of boring, or just don’t care about first impressions. Add some color and tell your visitors a little more about the people inside.

    • Red: A red front door is a good indication that those inside are full of energy and passion.
    • Brown: Brown doors are typically associated with a desire for privacy and a message of warmth. Therefore, a brown door typically sends a confusing message to visitors about what message homeowners are trying to convey.
    • Blue: Blue is the most popular color choice for a front door, as it conveys a message that the home is a serene sanctuary.
    • Green: Green is a peaceful color that is often associated with earthiness.
    • Black: A black door symbolizes strength and sophistication.


    The Condition of the Door

    The overall condition of your door will also send a message to visitors. Doors that are in disrepair, breaking and need to be replaced, may be inviting burglars. Doors that are well kept, and in good condition will send the message that you take pride in your home and you care about protecting what is inside.

    Style

    Finally, the style and decorative features on your front door Pittsburgh will send a message saying something about the occupants who live there. Ornate decorations are seen as being a connection to a busy personality of those who live there. Whereas, a simple door, painted a solid, traditional color, will demonstrate that occupants are traditional in their style and décor.

    As you can see there are many subtle messages that your front door is sending about you, your home, and your family. If you are in need of an upgrade or if you need to replace a broken door, contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today.

  • 3 Interesting Facts About Garage Door Openers

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    Nearly every new home has a garage door opener Pittsburgh and many older homes have been remodeled to include one. This seemingly simple piece of technology is actually a device that is equipped with several different abilities, all designed to make your life easier. Garage door openers are capable of handling different sizes and weights of garage doors. Newer models are equipped with safety features that provide optimal safety and convenience. Here are three interesting facts about garage door openers that you might not know about.

    Increase the Value of Your Home

    When it comes to adding value to your home, many don’t think about installing a garage door opener. When homes are equipped with the right garage door and garage door opener, it can make a huge difference to the value of your home. One of the biggest reasons why this is true is that they provide your home with added security. Automatic garage door openers not only keep your family, home, and belongings safe; some models are even equipped with built-in safety features, such as rolling codes and vacation mode protecting your home while you’re away. Along with built-in security features, many garage door openers are quiet, energy-efficient, low-maintenance, and affordable.

    Garage Door Openers Have Improved

    Over time, garage door openers become outdated, worn down, or misaligned. As a result, the vast majority of garage door accidents result from faulty openers. The garage door industry is working hard at constantly improving the technology found in garage door openers and sensors. When considering a new garage door opener, it is important to get the opinion of a garage door expert. While openers that are equipped with all the bells and whistles might be attractive, it isn’t necessarily the right fit for your garage door.

    New Openers are Safer Than Ever Before

    To prevent children, vehicles, and pets from getting trapped beneath a garage door, safety sensors should be built into every garage door opener. If your sensors are damaged, broken, or not working properly, you don’t necessarily need to invest in a whole new unit. Often, this type of damage can be repaired or replaced. But, if you live in a home with an older model it might be in your best interest to invest in a newer one. Especially if your unit is missing any safety sensors, it could potentially be putting your family, pets, and vehicles in unnecessary danger. Even if your model is in working condition, it still might be worth looking into an upgrade for the safety features.

    Whether you are looking for a new garage door opener Pittsburgh, or are in need of some repairs on your current model, contact the experts at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today. With years of experience, trained technicians, and professional knowledge, you won’t find a better garage door supplier than those at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors.

  • 4 Benefits of Installing a Storm Door

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    As a homeowner, you only want to make additions to your home that will increase its energy efficiency and provide a return on your investment. One of the simpler changes that you can make is installing storm doors Pittsburgh to the exterior of your home. With a relatively low up-front cost, installing a storm door is a generally inexpensive option that can provide homeowners with a number of benefits.  

    Storm doors are typically made out of either aluminum, fiberglass, or wood. As an added feature, many are equipped with interchangeable glass and screen inserts. When a storm door is newly installed, it can be expected to last anywhere from 25 to 50 years, depending on the material it is made out of and the quality.

    Here are four ways a storm door can enhance your home.

    Protect Exterior Door

    For most homes, the exterior door is more expensive than a storm door. This is because most exterior doors have special stains or paints on them and include decorative glass. These doors can benefit from having additional protection against the elements and wind-blown debris. Storm doors provide extra protection, ultimately saving homeowners money on maintenance costs and prolonging the life of the exterior door.

    Increase Energy Efficiency

    Even though you might have an energy-efficient exterior door on your home, adding a storm door will provide your home with an additional layer of protection and energy efficiency. This added layer of protection places an extra buffer between you and the summer heat or winter cold. Storm doors that are equipped with low-emissivity glass, known as Low-E, can cost an additional 15 percent up front. This additional up-front cost can result in reduced energy loss by up to 50 percent. However, the U.S. Department of Energy doesn’t recommend a storm door with glass, if your exterior door receives several hours of direct sunlight throughout the day. This is discouraged because the glass can trap heat between the storm door and the exterior door, resulting in damage to the entry door.

    Keep Bugs and Insects Out

    Storm doors provide a barrier, keeping what lurks outside from getting inside your home. On days when you want to let in a breeze from outside, you can safely and confidently open your exterior door to get a breath of fresh air without letting outside bugs and insects enter your home.

    Provides Additional Home Security

    A good way to discourage burglars from entering your home is to place an additional barrier between them and your precious belongings inside. Adding a storm door between you and those unlawfully attempting to enter your home can provide you with an added sense of security.

    If you live in an HOA neighborhood or condo, be sure to find out what rules they have concerning storm doors Pittsburgh. Some neighborhoods require approval before you can have a storm door installed. Once you have the approval and the door picked out, Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors can professionally install your new storm door.

  • How to Prepare for a Garage Door Installation

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    Congratulations, you have ordered a new garage door to be installed. But there are a few things that you can do to help ensure your door installation Pittsburgh goes as smoothly as possible. Many of these steps are simple and can make the experience easier for you and the professionals who you’ve hired to install your new door. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your garage door installation.

    Clear Out Garage

    The first thing you can do before having a new garage door installed is to make sure your garage is clear. This means parking all vehicles outside before installation. As a courtesy, try to park your vehicles in such a way that allows the installation professionals to park their vehicle with the necessary tools and materials as close as possible to the garage.

    In addition to removing vehicles from the garage, be aware of any yard equipment, sports equipment, garbage cans, and any other items that might be located near the garage door and tracks. Any items that are located near the opening should be moved to the back of the garage prior to the installer’s arrival. A good rule of thumb is to have a minimum of one-foot on each side of the track and fourteen-feet back into the garage; this will allow the installer to set up ladders, removing the existing door, and set up a new door system easily.

    Keep Track of Pets and Kids

    If you have pets at home, be sure that your pet is kept in a safe place away from the garage throughout the duration of the installation. Far too often, homeowners allow their pets to roam freely during an installation, which is dangerous not only for your pet but for the installer as well. Even if pets are friendly, it is best to keep them away, as it is easy for installers to trip over pets and drop something. Pets may even end up chewing on something they shouldn’t.

    Along with pets, children should be kept away from the garage while installers are working. It is natural for children to be curious and want to watch, but children need to be kept away for their own safety as well as the safety of the installer. The installation process requires working with heavy items, overhead items, and items that are under spring tension. Because of this, only those who are trained to work on garage doors should be allowed in the garage during installation.

    Consider Location of Wall Consoles or Keyless Entry Pads

    Spend some time thinking about where you want to have your wall console or keyless entry pad located. As a general rule, most wall consoles are located next to the personnel door that enters the garage from the house, on the garage side of the wall. Most keyless entry pads are located on the left side exterior jamb of the garage door, roughly five feet off the ground. If you would like either one to be located somewhere different, be sure to talk to your installer before they begin working.

    If you need residential or commercial door installation Pittsburgh, Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors can meet and exceed all your garage door needs. Whether it be repairs or a new installation, Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors can do it all!

  • 4 Things to Consider Before Buying a New Entry Door

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    There are numerous reasons why you might be looking into replacing your current entry door. Your reasoning can range from necessity, to updating your home’s exterior and curb appeal.

    Regardless of your reasoning, there are countless entry door options available that cater to nearly every style and preference. But before you head out to find the next perfect entry door for your home, read on to learn a few tips that will help make the shopping experience an enjoyable one.

    Is now the right time to replace your door?

    One of the biggest indications that your entry door needs to be replaced is signs of physical damage—cracks, warping, rotting, holes, and scratches. A simple inspection of both the interior and exterior of your door will give you a good indication of any physical damage that your door might have sustained. Once you have detected physical damage, you may want to determine if the damage is severe enough to warrant a replacement. Indications of rotting or warping can almost guarantee that you’ll need to seriously consider replacing your door in the near future.

    Another important factor that you are going to want to check isn’t as easy to see. You’ll want to check your door for drafts. One of the easiest way to do this is by performing a simple flame test. Hold either a lit candle, match, or lighter close to your door. Move your flame around, watching the flame closely. If the flame starts to flicker at any point, this is a good indication that you’ve found a draft.

    Drafts cause your home’s heating and air conditioning units to work harder to achieve a comfortable and desirable temperature. When your system is forced to work overtime, it can cost you hundreds of extra dollars every year. This is where the investment in a new door can actually save you money in the long run. New, energy efficient exterior doors will not only help to lower your home’s utility bills but you’ll also notice that your home will be comfortable year round.

    Understand Door Terminology

    Once you have determined that now is the right time to purchase a new entry door for your home, you’ll want to know and understand the basics of door terminology. Knowing the different terms will ensure that you purchase the right door. Here are a few terms that you should know and understand for when you go shopping for a new entry door.

    • Lite: glass found in the door
    • Caming: strips of metal that are used to join segmented glass
    • Casing/Trim: molding that surrounds the door frame
    • Stop: strip of wood located around the entire inside of the door that prevents the door from swinging too far
    • Panels: rectangular patterns located on the door, used for show
    • Inswing: a door that opens inward
    • Outswing: a door that opens outward
    • Left Handed: hinges that are located on the right side of the door
    • Right Handed: hinges that are located on the left side of the door

    Make a Great First Impression

    Your entry door is the first impression that people will have of your home. It is also the last thing visitors see when leaving your home. As a result, you may want to find a door that protects your home, while making a lasting impression.

    There are different styles and colors that you can choose from to make a statement, but also consider how the material your door’s made with can create an impact. Each material offers different features that you’ll need to wade through to find the perfect statement piece for your home. Whether you are looking for a door that looks elegant, has superior durability, or is energy efficient, there is a door out there for you.

    Wooden Doors Equal Elegance: Wooden exterior doors provide your home with an elegant and traditional look. These types of doors are guaranteed to improve the overall curb appeal of your home. In addition to being beautiful, wooden doors are sturdy and secure.

    But they come at a hefty price. Wooden doors are expensive to buy and costly to maintain. In order to preserve and maintain their elegant look, you’ll need to regularly stain your door. Other common  problems with wooden doors include warping and rotting.

    Steel Doors Provide Strength: Homeowners looking for an entry door with superior security and durability will want to consider a steel door. The majority of steel doors are made with 24-gauge steel, making them difficult to dent or bend. Another great feature of a steel door, is that they are resistant to fire, warping, and cracking.

    Another great feature of a steel door is its energy efficiency. Steel doors can be filled with foam, which will save you money on your utilities every month.

    Fiberglass is the Perfect Combination of Both Worlds: Homeowners who want the look of a wooden door without the expensive price tag, can purchase a fiberglass door with a wood grain option. These doors look like wood, but without the extensive maintenance. This will save you time and money on maintenance every year.

    In addition to being available in different styles, fiberglass doors are energy efficient. They’re filled with foam insulation, keeping your home at a comfortable temperature year-round.

    Enhance Your Door with Additional Features

    Once you have found the perfect door to complement your home, you can dress it up by adding additional features. Whether you elect to add decorative glass or hardware, you can customize your entry door to complement your home’s overall style. A great way to let more natural light into your home is by adding decorative glass to your entry door. For those who don’t want to have glass installed in their door, consider installing sidelights or a transom above your door for additional light.

    As you can see, there are many decisions to be made when purchasing a new entry door Pittsburgh. Take some time to explore your options.

     

  • What You Need to Know Before Speaking with a Commercial Garage Door Salesman

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    As a business owner, you are probably looking for ways to make your business run more efficiently. The more efficient your business runs, the more your business profits. Whether you are looking to purchase your first set of Pittsburgh commercial garage doors or are looking to replace your existing ones, here are a few things you should know before you start talking to a garage door salesman.

    Application

    Before deciding on a new commercial garage door, you’ll want to think about how the doors will be used. While this might seem like a no-brainer, commercial doors can be used to fulfill a wide variety of applications. Also, commercial doors need to be able to stand up to the rigors of businesses that rely on them to open and close with no problems for an extended period of time. You’ll also want to consider how you’ll be using your door and what features are going to be important for you and your situation. Knowing how you’ll be using your door should play an important role in the type of door and system you choose.

    Material

    Once you have determined the application in which your door will be best utilized, you’ll want to consider what type of door material is going to work best for your needs. Commercial garage doors are available in different materials, the most common being steel or aluminum. Steel is a durable and low-maintenance option for business owners. Aluminum is also a low-maintenance, as well as resist to corrosion. Steel doors are ideal for businesses needing a door that can withstand high-volume cycles. On the other hand, aluminum doors work great in areas where there is high humidity.

    Size

    One of the biggest differences between commercial and residential garage doors is that commercial doors are available in nearly any size, while residential doors generally come in either one- or two-car options. When you first talk to a commercial garage door salesman, one of the first things they’ll need to know is what size of door you’re looking for. So, you’ll want to measure your openings before you start talking with them.

    Features

    There are numerous commercial garage door features available. A few of the most common features include:

    • Insulation
    • Automation
    • Safety
    • Motor
    • Cycle Speed
    • Aesthetics
    • Price
    • Maintenance
    • Security

    When you are ready to talk to someone about which Pittsburgh commercial garage doors are right for your business, contact the experts at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors!