Many homeowners try to save a few bucks wherever they can by implementing DIY repairs around the house. For most common home repairs, this method works quite well. Generally a trip to the local hardware store and some time spent on YouTube or other internet sites will give you the information that you need to perform the repair. Garage door repairs , on the other hand, are a completely different matter, one that should be left to garage door repair experts and not a DIY homeowner.
Here are four reasons why is it imperative that you hire a professional, certified garage door technician to perform all repairs on your garage door:
Garage doors are dangerous
There are a variety of components that make up a garage door with many of them working together. If the garage door is not working properly, it can be dangerous to try and fix it yourself. Garage doors are heavy and large, which makes working on them awkward and dangerous if you do not know what you are doing. The door itself is not the only concern when repairing a garage door; there are tightly wound springs, electrical components, and moving parts. Faulty garage door springs can be especially dangerous if they unexpectedly fail.
You can make the problem worse
Often times when homeowners attempt their own garage door repairs, they don’t know what they are doing. Attempting to fix the problem on your own can lead to more problems (some of which are irreversible), or working on a part that doesn’t need to be fixed, in an attempt to correct the initial problem. Either way,attempting to repair your garage door yourself is not a good idea for the DIY homeowner.
Garage doors are heavy, weighing more than 150 pounds on average (depending on the size and material). That is a lot of weight to be messing around with. If you accidently pull the wrong part off, the garage door could come crashing down on you, your car, a pet, or anything between the door and the floor. Another concern with a falling door is they often times cause damage to the floor as well, which is another expensethat you as the homeowner will have to cover.
If none of the other reasons have deterred you from attempting to DIY garage door repairs, maybe the thought of having to spend more money will. Every garage door has very specific requirements when it comes to replacement parts and materials. As a DIY homeowner,it’s likely that you don’t know the correct parts to buy, but may purchase what you think will work in an attempt to avoid the cost of professional labor. Using the wrong parts for your door could potentially lead to more damage, continued lack of functionality, or physical harm. When the functionality fails, you’ll have no choice but to call a garage door technician,and the entire ordeal will end up costing you more than if you had called them initially.
Contact your local garage door technician
For all your garage door repair Pittsburgh, contact Giel Garage Doors . We will be able to repair any garage door, saving you money and possible injury.
In part one of this two-part series, we talked about how experience, security, and insurance are important things to consider which choosing a company to install your garage door, entry/storm door, awning, or screen. Choosing the right company is just as big of a decision as picking which type of door and color you want on the outside of your home. In part two we will be looking at workmanship, warranties, and code compliance.
Workmanship is a measure of the quality of a company’s work. It relates to experience in a way. This is where a visit to a past job is helpful. As mentioned in the last post, call references! Ask them about the quality of the work and what they thought of the installers. Ask specific questions about whether the installers arrived in a timely manner, if they were courteous and focused, and if they cleaned up after themselves.
Look at the company’s trucks. Do the name and phone number appear on the vehicle? Company vehicles are one of the first outward signs of how the company is run and how your job will be treated. The trucks don’t have to be brand new, just well maintained, clean, and neat. This is often a reflection of the kind of treatment you will receive when the installers arrive at your home.
Ask about the average length of time employees have been with the company. This speaks volumes about the way the employees are treated. They generally don’t stay with a company that doesn’t treat their customers well. It takes more than a year or two to become a competent technician and installer, therefore, it is a good idea to ask about the training programs utilized for new employees and how veterans are kept up to date on their skills and industry changes. Companies with long term employees have an environment to allow for skills to be passed down from generation to generation.
The real test of how much faith a contractor has in his own ability is reflected in the warranty he offers. A reputable contractor will generally offer some form of a “Written Labor Warranty.” Not one that is handwritten in the comment section of the bid, but one that is printed on the contractor’s estimate or proposal form as well as their literature.
In addition, the paperwork should list the manufacturers of the products they install along with the manufacturer’s warranty. Reputable manufacturers will have a printed warranty to accompany the product. Demand a copy of it before you pay for the work and read it! Don’t wait until you have a problem before you read it. Lastly, make sure you understand what you get and what you don’t get. Your contractor should be able to explain it clearly and give references of customers who used their warranty and will share their experiences.
Code and Regulatory Compliance
Building codes and safety regulations have been legislated to protect the installers and the homeowners. Find out how knowledgeable your contractor is about local building codes, industry safety practices, and government regulations. The best way to do this is by asking people you know who know about these matters. You are not trying to be an expert, but just be aware of some of the major concepts. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask them about the content of their training programs, it should be documented.
When selecting an installation company for your garage door, entry/storm door, awning, or screen, it is important that you examine the company itself and not just the product you are buying. The six areas you should consider are experience, workmanship, code compliance, security, warranties, and insurance. This post will cover experience, security, and insurance.
Experience means that the company and its employees can tackle your job efficiently and do it correctly. If something is novel about your job, they will have the knowledge to solve it quickly. Look at the company with longevity.
Beware of national franchise operations because franchises will normally have short ownership cycles. When you need to call for service (three to five years from installation) they are no longer in business and the next franchise owner is not responsible for helping you. Companies that have been around a long time usually have satisfied customers because they would not stay in business without them.
Find out how long the company has been installing its products and the range of models within each product. Is the job standard or will it require special work? Don’t be afraid to ask for references and call them.
Don’t forget; no contractor will give you a bad reference. However, after you have talked to a few, you should get a good sense of this contractor’s habits. Ask if they belong to the Better Business Bureau. If they do, you can contact the BBB to see if there have been any recent complaints and how they were handled. A company that asks you questions to understand your wants and needs and takes the time to give a full presentation has usually taken the time to relate their experience through the presentation they give.
Finally, do they offer educational information on their website? Take advantage of it so you are informed on the major issues prior to speaking to a representative.
Having strange men in your home can make you apprehensive or uncomfortable. You can reduce this feeling by finding a contractor who screens his employees. Ask about the screening process and how often follow-up screens are done. You’re about to have strangers come into your homes and they may be there for a day or two. Don’t be shy about your family’s safety! Demand that your contractor performs semi-annual background checks and that all new employees or hires are checked before their first day.
A contractor who is not properly insured can put you at substantial financial risk! For example, if a worker gets hurt on your property and the contractor does not carry workman’s compensation insurance, that injured worker can look to you to pay all of his medical bills related to that injury. Make sure the company has workman’s compensation and liability insurance through a well-known and Best’s rated firm. Insist on seeing a copy of the insurance policy binder. Don’t be impressed by someone who says he is self-insured. Often this means NOT insured. Maybe even not insurable!
Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors serves a 50-mile radius around Pittsburgh with all things garage doors, entry doors, awnings, and screens. We are the local experts with over 65 years of industry experience.