• What You Need to Know Before You Purchase a Retractable Awning

    pittsburgh awnings

    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.

  • 4 Reasons You Shouldn’t DIY a Garage Door Installation

    Garage doors are designed to increase the level of security on a property. Over time, the products can begin to deteriorate, and the door will need to be replaced. Although you may want to save money, there a few reasons you should avoid installing the garage door without the help of a professional.

    Risk of Injury

    Without the proper tools and experience, it can be easy to put yourself or others at risk of an injury while installing a garage door. Professionals have the knowledge and training needed to perform the task. It’s important to remember that the installation process is physically strenuous and can be dangerous due to the parts that are involved. If you get injured during the install, your medical will certainly offset the potential DIY savings.

    A Complicated Process

    Although you may be handy when it comes to performing minor repairs around the house, a garage door installation can be difficult for anyone who isn’t a specialist. There are many different parts involved, and this can make it easy to spend a lot of time on the job.

    Mistakes

    Many homeowners who attempt to perform garage door installation Pittsburgh PA make mistakes due to the number of steps involved. Mistakes can be costly to repair and cause you to spend more money in the long run. Many errors lead to the garage door not being able to close. If the garage is left open for many days, this can put your personal belongings and family members at risk.

    Special Tools Required

    It’s important to hire a professional to perform a garage door installation Pittsburgh PA because special tools are required to complete everything correctly. Since you probably won’t have the necessary tools or equipment available in your home, you may have to spend a significant amount of money attempting to purchase them at a local home improvement store. If you attempt to perform the task without the right tools, there’s likely to be damage to the parts and your home. You’ll end up saving more money by hiring a professional to handle the project.

    Although you may feel confident enough to install a new garage door, there are many reasons that the task should be left to an expert who is skilled and trained. You can avoid mistakes and save more money by hiring a professional. When you’re ready to start your installation, reach out to the specialists at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors .

  • Repair or Replace your Garage Door Checklist

    Getting a new garage door is awesome! It opens quietly, provides light to your garage, and makes your house look spectacular. Despite that, over time your garage door will become sluggish, start to be louder, and may make you house look worse!

    We don’t want you to worry about all of that so we created a checklist so you know when it is time to get your garage door repaired, serviced , or completely replaced. This checklist will work with residential and commercial garage doors.

    Here is a picture of the checklist and a link to download below.

    Save this checklist and go through it every three months to make sure your door is running the best that it can. If you have any of the symptoms on the list, please give us a call! Our best deal is the Annual Residential Maintenance Program which services your doors once a year for 3 years and its only $198!

    Download the Checklist Now!

    Giel Garage doors serves the greater Pittsburgh area for all things garage doors. We do commercial and residential services.