What You Need to Know Before You Purchase a Retractable Awning
A retractable awning is a huge investment for many homeowners. When you do your research before making a large purchase, you’re more likely to save money and avoid headaches down the road. Prior to investing in Pittsburgh awnings for your home, there are a few important things you should know regarding retractable awnings.
Who Are You Purchasing From?
When making a large purchase, research is the key to success. Start by asking for recommendations from friends and family, and reading reviews online to make sure the company you work with is reputable.
Who Does the Installation?
Does the prospective dealer do their own installations or do they contract out to a third-party? Do they offer a warranty on the installation? Does their warranty include any service work or future adjustments that you might need? Finding a dealer who stands behind their installation is an important aspect of the buying process to consider.
What Kind of Fasteners are Used for Installation?
Retractable awnings can weigh anywhere from 200 to 400 pounds. Because they are so heavy, it is imperative that when they are installed, the installers use a minimum of a 3/8-inch wide shaft lag screw. Depending on the material the installer is mounting to, the length of the lag screws is going to be an important factor as well. When retractable awnings are installed, the goal is to reach the center of the house’s framework after removing all exterior materials that can be compressed—i.e., foam board under vinyl siding.
Is the Fabric 100% Acrylic?
Because retractable awnings are made using a fabric material, it is important to have a material that will last. Most acrylic fabrics will not rot, mildew, or quickly fade due to sun exposure. Typically, most acrylic material is also the same color/pattern on both sides. An acrylic fabric that is sewn with UV stable thread should last anywhere from 8 to 12 years with maintenance and cleaning.
Is it a Full or Prorated Warranty?
It is important to know if the warranty is prorated or full. This will prove to be useful information if you ever need to file a warranty claim. Awnings that come with a full warranty will save you a lot of money in out-of-pocket expenses.
How Does the Awning Operate?
With retractable awnings, there are different ways the awning can be operated—manually, by hand crank, or motorized. The motorized option is more expensive when compared to manual options. But although they may have a higher price tag, research has found those with a motorized unit are ten times more likely to use their awning than those without. A motorized awning can easily be operated using either a handheld remote or a switch located on the wall of your home.
Does the Location of Awning Assembly Matter?
The majority of quality awnings are assembled in the United States. Because most awnings are custom made, they generally take a week or two to produce. Be aware that some companies will try to save money on production by importing lower quality units and components from other countries. When this happens, the components aren’t capable of withstanding the diverse climates found across the United States, causing peeling paint, faded fabrics, and rusted fasteners.
What Applies the Spring Force in the Retractable Arms?
All models of retractable awnings rely on a spring-loaded folding arm that exerts outward pressure in order to keep the fabric tight. The real work comes when you retract your awning. It is a lot harder to retract an awning than it is to extend one. This is true for both manually operated styles and motorized units. This is harder to do because you are not stretching the internal arm springs. In most units, the springs apply tension using one of three methods—cables, chains, or belts. Regardless of the tension method, most claim to have a lifespan between 20,000 and 100,000 arm cycle durability.
Knowing the facts about retractable awnings can help you to make an informed decision, ultimately aiding you in purchasing an awning that you will be happy with for years to come. At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, we offer quality Pittsburgh awnings that are not only beautiful, but durable as well. You can rest assured that when you make your awning purchase from Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, you are getting a high-quality awning that will enhance the appearance of your home.
What’s the Difference Between Torsion and Extension Springs?
A garage door is made up of many parts that all work together so the garage door can work properly. Torsion and extension springs are responsible for managing your garage door’s counterbalance system. It is the counterbalance system that uses force to offset the weight of the door, enabling it to safely and reliably open and close. There are several types of springs that can be used, but torsion and extension springs are the most common. Because both torsion and extension springs perform the same function, you might be wondering what the difference is. Garage door installation Pittsburgh PA guarantees that springs be professionally installed to help keep the door in working order for years to come.
The most common type of spring found in modern garage doors is the torsion spring. Torsion springs are available in several sizes and lengths. They are calculated based on the weight of your garage door and the height and track radius. Torsion springs are installed on the top of the garage door. When the door is operated, the spring slides into a channel where lifting cables are attached, allowing the springs to wind and unwind in a controlled motion. Some of the benefits of torsion springs include:
- Sturdy and Long Lasting: Although torsion springs are more expensive upfront, they are more durable and can last upwards of 15,000 to 20,000 cycles.
- Less Wear: When a garage door is opening or closing, the torsion springs provide steadier movement that keeps the door balanced, creating less strain on other parts. Torsion springs make it so your garage door doesn’t have to work as hard to open and close.
- Safer: If your torsion springs break, they will make a loud sound but remain encased in the shaft. But if extension springs break off, the result can include property damage or injury.
Extension springs are an older technology, but they are still common because they are more affordable and ideal for smaller garages. Instead of being installed overhead, extension springs are installed on the side of the door and extend when the door is operated.
Although extension springs are a popular option, many professionals don’t tend to recommend them because they only last upwards of 10,000 cycles. Not only do they not last as long as torsion springs, but they also require more maintenance, operate with jerking motions that cause more wear and tear, and can be a safety hazard if they break.
Whether you’re looking for torsion or extension springs, Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors can provide you with reliable and reputable garage door Pittsburgh PA installation and services. If you need expert garage door advice, Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors can help you discover which garage door springs, openers, etc. are right for you.
How to Find a Reputable Garage Door Dealer
Replacing a Pittsburgh garage door is not something you have to do often. So you likely don’t have someone in mind when the situation arises. For many, the first step to hiring a garage door technician is getting recommendations for garage door dealers from friends and family members. Another great resource is to search for reviews online and learn more about prospective dealers. Ultimately, you will need to contact the company directly. When talking to a dealer, you can learn more about their skill level and trustworthiness when you ask the right questions. Here are a few things you should ask to ensure you find a reputable garage door dealer.
Learn About the Company
Researching the company should give you a good indication of their experience and qualifications. It is a good idea to learn about their history. How long have they been in business? If they are a new business, what experience and knowledge do the owners have? Are they a legal business? Do they have all the necessary licenses and permits required to perform work in your area? What kind of insurance do they have? It is going to be imperative that they be fully insured. Do they have a showroom where you can see and touch the products they offer? What brands do they carry? Knowing this type of information will help you know if you’re interested in doing business with them.
Learn About Past Customers
The most reputable companies will gladly provide a list of previous customers who were satisfied with their services. These customers will provide their feedback and opinions about their experience with the company. Ideally, these customers will be in or near your neighborhood. You can also ask companies to provide details, including pictures of past completed projects.
How Well do They Communicate?
If you are going to be working with a company, knowing how they communicate before the process will be a good indication of how they communicate throughout the process. In their correspondence with you, they should gather information to accurately advise you on how to choose a door that meets your needs.
Information that they will need to provide you with an expert opinion should include:
- Size requirements
- Design and style of your home
- Functions, features, and traits you can’t live without
- Other unique requirements
With the answers to these questions, they will be able to provide you with different options that fit within your established budget. Additionally, knowing your budget will enable them to provide you with a detailed quote that includes labor and equipment. They can also provide a written warranty in detail that includes the opener, the labor, and all other aspects of the garage door.
You want a company that will communicate openly with you during the initial planning phases of bidding and selecting a new garage door. You also want a garage door dealer that will be there for you after the installation is complete and will continue to communicate with you if warranty issues arise.
Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors is the premier Pittsburgh garage door dealer, with years of experience and knowledge. Whether you are looking for a new garage door or garage door repairs, Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors is the best garage door expert serving the greater Pittsburgh area.