• Retractable vs. Fixed Awnings: Which is Right For Your Home?

    Installing an awning at your home or business makes a lot of sense. Do you own a deck right outside your home or a dining patio at your restaurant? Don’t let the rain or sun force anyone inside. With the right awning in place, mildly inclement weather doesn’t automatically turn the exterior off limits. An awning provides decent shade while also contributing to the beautification of a home or business. But which awning should you install?

    Fixed vs. Retractable Awnings

    You can choose between two major types of awnings: fixed and retractable. Fixed awnings, also known as stationary awnings, remain in place once installed. That’s why they get the name permanent awnings. Calling them permanent wouldn’t be entirely correct though. After all, the awnings can be disassembled and removed.

    Retractable awnings require a little less effort. The retractable versions use a roller system to pull an awning back into a folded “out of sight” position. Thanks to the roller, the awning can be locked out in place or pulled back anytime you wish. Depending on the setup, rollers can be cranked by hand or turned by an automatic motor. Both fixed and retractable awnings maintain their pros and cons. Just look at the benefits and drawbacks of both prior to an installation decision.

    Fixed Awnings: Pros and Cons

    Fixed awnings generally come with sturdy construction. The awning needs to remain in place 24/7 during all kinds of weather. Steel parts help ensure the sturdiness of the awning. Another added benefit is customization. Fixed awnings can be built to order, allowing the buyer to choose a custom job from companies offering Pittsburgh awnings .

    Unfortunately, the 24/7 nature of these awnings means they remain exposed to the elements. Steel can rust, and awning fabric may fade with exposure to the sun after a few years. And custom jobs can be a bit more costly initially.

    Retractable Awnings: Pros and Cons

    Retractable Pittsburgh awnings such as the ones sold by the Thomas V. Giel Corporation can be pulled back during bad weather. This extends the life of the awning and preserves the buyer’s investment. Automatic motors can drive the price of these awnings up, but the less costly manual option still exists. Overall, retractable awnings can be a good choice.

  • Single Panel vs. Sectional Garage Doors: What’s the Difference?

    Residential garage doors generally come in many different colors, sizes, and designs. However, two of the most common styles are single panel garage doors and sectional, panel-style doors. Either option can be a welcome addition to a home, especially when properly installed and maintained. Still, it never hurts to have a good idea of how these two common styles that may end up on your Pittsburgh garage stack up when compared.

    Cost

    At one time, single panels garage doors were widely considered to be cheaper in price than sectional ones. This isn’t so much the case anymore because single panel doors are harder to find and in higher demand among historically-minded homeowners. Sectional doors, on the other hand, are widely available in many price ranges, making it easier to shop around. However, due to their simplicity, one-piece doors tend to cost less to maintain and repair.

    Appearance

    The main appeal of single panel garage doors is their vintage look. And because there’s just one piece, the panel can be conveniently stained or painted to match existing exterior features without worrying about intrusive section gaps. Modern sectional garage doors can be just as versatile. Whether your prefer carriage house styles or contemporary flush panels, sectional doors can mimic many different preferred looks.

    Insulation

    If your garage is adjacent to your home, then you’ll definitely want a door that provides a strong barrier against indoor and outdoor air. Sectional doors generally have the advantage if insulation quality is one of your top concerns.

    Ease of Use and Space

    Both styles are fairly easy to operate because of spring systems that help with lift. Because there are no tracks, and springs and levers are along the interior edges, single panel garage doors have more headspace. Sectional doors require outward clearance when opened.

    Safety

    Extension springs on each side of single panel doors serve the same function as the torsion spring does on sectional garage doors. This only becomes a serious safety concern if springs aren’t properly maintained or upgraded to be in line with current safety standards. Also, one-piece doors can only withstand so much wind and they can’t be reinforced.

    Ultimately, what’s best for your Pittsburgh garage will depend on several factors, such as how exposed your garage is to the elements, your available budget, and the overall size of your garage. When you turn to a company like Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors , you’ll benefit from additional assistance with your garage door selection. Added insights from experienced garage door technicians can help you make a confident decision when it’s time for a new installation or replacement.

  • 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 .

  • How to Know When to Replace Your Garage Door

    The garage door is one of the most important components of your home. When it is not working properly, it can keep you trapped in your home or allow others to gain unauthorized access. If you’re trying to decide whether your garage door is ready to be replaced or if a simple repair will fix the problem, ask yourself the following questions.

    How Much Damage Has It Incurred?

    If you see that your garage door has chipped paint, significant water stains, or signs of a pest infestation, it is time to replace it. In most cases, you can schedule a garage door replacement for a time that is most convenient for you. This means that you could schedule an appointment for your next day off or ask someone to repair your door as soon as possible.

    How Old Is the Door?

    Garage doors can generally last for about a decade depending on how well they are maintained. Some doors may wear out sooner if they are exposed to harsh weather or not taken care of properly. However, if your door was installed 10 or more years ago, it is often better to get a replacement. In the long run, a new door could cost less to maintain.

    Has Someone Tried to Break Into Your Home?

    A thief may attempt to get into your home by damaging your garage door. If the structure has sustained any significant dents or cracks as the result of a home invasion, you should schedule a garage door replacement from a company like Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors immediately. Even if the thief doesn’t come back, a weakened door could make it easier for pests and water to get into your garage. Furthermore, a damaged door may not open or close properly.

    Is the Door Simply Not Working Like it Should?

    If you discover that your door is consistently not working like it was designed to, you should have it replaced in a timely manner. A new door will close properly each time you hit the button on your remote sensor. A new door may also do a better job of not closing when there is an object or person in its path.

    Getting a new garage door can make your home look nicer and feel more secure at the same time. Instead of having to worry about whether something or someone will get into the house while you’re sleeping or at work, you can have the peace of mind that comes with an upgraded product.

  • Tips on Preparing Your Garage Door for Summer

    With the cold winter months behind us, it is time to start thinking about summer and getting our homes ready for the warmer weather that lies ahead. Now is the time to start on some garage repair and maintenance to ensure that your door is in good working order.

    Winter’s icy conditions and cold weather can wreak havoc on garage doors, which is why it is imperative you perform necessary repairs and maintenance now that the weather has warmed up. While you might be tempted to ignore your garage door, because at face value it looks good and so far you’ve not experienced any problems, you’ll want to inspect and repair now to save money on costly repairs later on. Here are a few general maintenance and repair tips to prepare your garage door for summer.

    Clean the Door

    Garages are often the dirtiest spot in your home. They are the place where you store your car, tools, miscellaneous boxes and yard supplies. All of these things can collect dust, dirt, and grease, and carry the grime indoors.

    Your garage door is exposed to the elements 24/7, which means that it can be extremely filthy. This means that you are going to want to wash both the inside and outside of your garage door to remove the dirt, dust and anything else that has accumulated.

    Lubrication

    With the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to lubricate all the moving parts (rollers, tracks, hinges) on your garage door, along with the weather stripping. This will help to keep your garage door operating correctly and prevent any damage that might occur.

    You’ll want to avoid using any oils like WD-40, and rather use oil and lubricants that are specifically designed for garage door use instead. You’ll also want to make sure that you do not use too much oil, as any excess oil will attract dust and dirt which can wear out the various parts of your garage door. For exterior weather stripping, you’ll want to use a lubricant that contains silicone.

    Check for Wear and Tear on Your Door

    Perform a general inspection of your door. Check for cables that might show signs of fraying or wearing. If your cables are starting to show signs of wear and need to be replaced, you’ll want to contact your local garage door company to perform the garage repair. Additionally, you’ll want to check the hinges, ball-bearings, rails, and supports of your garage door to ensure that they are in good working order as well. If anything is loose or breaking, you’ll want to address those issues sooner rather than later to avoid a hefty repair bill later on.

    Check the Bolts

    Checking to make sure that the bolts on the back of the track of your garage door are tightened and in place is not only a maintenance concern but a safety concern as well. The last thing you want is for your garage door to fall and damage your car or injure someone due to loose bolts on the track.

    Check Springs

    Garage door springs should be free of rust. Over time springs will ultimately break, no matter how well they are maintained, but keeping them free of rust will help to prolong their life.

    When a spring does break it can shoot across the garage due to the high amount of tension that it is under. Some garage springs are contained in a tube, which means you don’t have to worry about maintaining them. If your spring does need replacing, do not attempt to replace it yourself. Instead, call your local garage door expert to replace the spring for you.

    Weather Stripping and Insulation

    Inspect all weather stripping and insulation on your garage door. You should clean and replace any that are damaged. Weather-stripping and insulation work to keep your garage dry, while preventing hot or cold air from entering and damaging items that you have stored in your garage.

    If you find that your garage door needs more than basic maintenance to keep in working properly, contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today! Our team of dedicated professionals can return your garage door to working order so that you never find yourself with a garage door that doesn’t work. Perform your basic inspection and call us for all the repairs!

  • What to Consider Before Getting a New Custom Garage Door

    Whether you are looking to replace your old, outdated garage door with custom garage doors , or are building a new home, there are a few things you need to consider before you make the purchase. Factors including where you live and the resale value should factor into your decision. Keep reading to learn more factors you should consider before purchasing a new, custom garage door for your home.

    Location

    Garage doors are extremely heavy objects, therefore, they require necessary hardware and tracking that is dependent upon your location. Based on weather and climate safety measures your new garage door may require additional bracing or other installation specifications.

    Wind and water aren’t the only elements that can impact your garage door. The direction that your garage door faces can also affect your door. If your garage door faces the sun, your home and garage are more likely to heat up from air escaping from the garage. If this is the case for you, consider purchasing an insulated garage door to improve energy efficiency throughout your home.

    Energy Efficiency Requirements

    As with most custom items, a custom garage door will cost more than your typical garage door. But, a typical garage door won’t be able to save you nearly as much on your utilities as a custom, insulated door would. Choosing to purchase a door that has a higher energy efficiency rating will not only aid in keeping your home warmer or cooler around the garage, but it will also save you money on energy bills.

    Market Value

    Any investment you make in your home will increase your home’s resale value. Before you make a final decision on the garage door that you want to purchase for your home, you should first calculate the cost of your home. This will allow you to determine how much value will be added to your home when you purchase a new door.

    The price of garage doors vary, so knowing how much return you’d get on your investment can help to justify your decision to purchase a new door.

    Type of Door

    There are different types of doors to choose from. The ultimate deciding points for estimating how much your custom door will cost is the type, build, and design. Some of the most common types of doors include:

    • Aluminum: lightweight, yet comes with a higher price tag. This is a good option for wet climates, as aluminum doors hold up better to rust than steel doors.

    • Steel: If you are looking for variety, you’ll want to invest in a steel door. Available in different colors, insulation and flexible price options make steel an attractive choice. These doors are strong and light and can be equipped with foam insulation to protect against heat and cold.

    • Wood Composite: Wood doors have a classic look and feel to them, but they don’t tend to last as long as other materials. Although, wood composite doors are widely available and cost effective.

    • Fiberglass: Fiberglass is great due to its durability. Fiberglass is known to hold up well against insects and most elements. Fiberglass is not a good option for cold climates where temperatures are known to drop below freezing.

    • Vinyl: Vinyl doors are one of the more expensive options available. They are great for those who are looking for a particular look or a different visual appeal than they can get with other door types. An advantage of vinyl doors is that they require less maintenance than most other options and are rust resistant as well.

    • Carriage House Doors: Generally, carriage house doors are more affordable than you might initially think and add a lot of curb appeal to your home. These doors are the most aesthetically pleasing style of custom doors available.

    As you can see, there are many things to consider when choosing custom garage doors. If you are looking to have a custom door installed, contact the professionals at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today to learn more about your options and get the right door for your home!

  • How to Select the Right Garage Door Service Company

    Whether your garage door makes a racquet every time you open or close it, or a spring has sprung and you are in drastic need of garage door service , you are going to want to find a reliable company to quickly get your door back to working order. Here are few things to keep in mind when scouring the internet looking for a garage repair company.

    License and Insurance

    Finding a company that is both licensed and insured should be your number one priority. This can help to ensure that you find a company that will do good work and be there in the future when you need additional parts or maintenance.

    Failure to find a company that is properly licensed and insured means that you could ultimately be held financially liable if an accident were to occur while working on your garage door.

    Check References and Reviews

    There are numerous resources online where you can read business reviews from previous customers. This allows you to check the reputation of a company and read how satisfied other customers were and how likely they are to refer the company to others. A few websites that are known for producing reputable reviews include:

    • Angie’s List

    • Yelp

    • Google Plus

    • Facebook

    • Better Business Bureau (BBB)

    Timely Service

    There is never a convenient time for your garage door to malfunction and stop working. While some problems are more problematic than others, it is essential that you get someone out to look at your door in a timely manner. You don’t want to risk compromising the safety and security of your loved ones or your home by having a garage door that isn’t secure.

    Make sure the company you choose to perform your repairs offers timely service and can get your door repaired and back to work quickly.

    Fair and Honest Pricing

    In most cases, a repairman is going to need to come out to your home and see the door in person in order to be able to accurately identify the problem with your garage door. Work with companies who offer free estimates and provide the estimate in writing. Know what is included in the estimate so that you are not surprised by additional costs, such as labor.

    Knowing what to look for when shopping around for garage door service guarantees you the best service around. Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors offers professional service at competitive prices. Don’t trust your home security needs to just anyone, trust them to Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors!

  • How Well Do You Know Your Garage Door?

    There are many different components that make a garage door function properly. Each part is intended to help the door function with the assistance of the motor, so that it easily goes up and down without any hiccups every time you push your remote. Knowing what components are included on a garage door and what their functionality is can save you time and money when something goes wrong. Additionally, knowing the various components of a Pittsburgh garage can help to protect you and your family from any potential harm from a malfunctioning garage door.

    Here is a list of the components that make up a garage door:

    Sections : Steel panels that create the door part of your garage door. These panels are reinforced with stiles which are then interconnected with hinges and rollers. Sections can be replaced when damaged, without having to replace the entire door.

    Bottom Brackets: These devices are located at the bottom of a garage door and provide structural support and attachments for lifting cables.

    Cable Drums: Located on the torsion spring, these grooved drums provide a place for the lifting cables to wind up when the door is opened.

    Torsion Springs: The means to open and close the garage door through the use of cable winding on the drums.

    Extension Springs: These springs extend along both horizontal tracks and assist in the raising and lowering of the garage door.

    Operator Hanger: Used to attach the horizontal tracks to the ceiling of the garage, providing additional support.

    Track: Used as a guide for the garage door to run up and down on. Tracks are installed on both sides of the door and are often referred to as either horizontal or vertical tracks.

    Hinges: Attached to the sections of a garage door and provide support. It is the hinges that allow for a garage door to roll up and down.

    Emergency Pull Cord: This cord allows for the motor to be disengaged, allowing for the door to be opened or closed manually.

    Motor: This is what powers a garage door, mechanically opening and closing the door.

    Operator Rail: Most garage doors operate on either a chain, belt or screw drive.

    Rear Track Hanger: This is what attaches the horizontal track to the ceiling, therefore providing additional support.

    Bearing Plate: Attached to the header, the bearing plate is used to support the spring and shaft.

    Photo Eye: The part of the sensor’s safety measure that transmits an infrared light from one sensor to another. If the beam of light is interrupted, the garage door will not be able to close. These must be properly aligned in order for the garage door to operate properly.

    It is obvious that there are numerous components that are in place to not only assist a Pittsburgh garage to operate efficiently but to provide safety as well. When a garage door doesn’t open, the most common problem has to do with a damaged spring. As springs are the most dangerous component of a garage door, do not attempt to repair a spring yourself.

    Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors has trained garage door technicians who know how to work on garage doors and return them to working order. When you find that your garage door needs repair work done, call on the experts at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors!

  • What You Need to Know Prior to Purchasing a Garage Door

    There are various reasons as to why you might need to replace your Pittsburg garage door. It is important to remember that investing in a good garage door can last decades when you invest in the right door. Therefore, it pays to take some time and do your research to make the best decision possible. Here are 10 things that you should know before you go out and purchase the first garage door you find.

    1. When possible, have an industry expert come out to your home or business to give you an in-person quote. When you order a door over the phone or online, you could potentially be setting yourself up for a costly mistake. An industry expert will know to check the overall size and opening, headroom, and side clearance. Additionally, since they have seen your home or business, they will be able to give suggestions regarding design choices. In the event that something does go wrong, when you’ve gone through a reputable company to order your door there is no question as to who is at fault.

    2. Know and understand the maintenance requirements of wood doors. Real wood doors look great when they are brand new, but unless you are willing to devote the time and money to maintenance and upkeep, they won’t look great for long. If maintenance is put off for too long, you’ll end up sanding down your doors and starting over. If you like the look of wood but don’t want to invest in the maintenance required, you can get the same look for a fraction of the cost by investing in affordable alternatives that look like wood.

    3. Invest in higher quality insulation. If you want to save money on energy cost, you are going to want to upgrade to an insulated door. The insulating effectiveness is represented by its R-value, the higher the number the better insulating factors it has. When you invest in upgrading from 2-inch polystyrene to Intellicore (polyurethane), the R-value raises from R-9 to R-18!

    4. Spend more to get beefier springs. The springs on your garage door are what help it to open easily and come down slowly. Generally, garage doors are equipped with coiled torsion springs. The standard torsion spring is rated for 10,000 cycles. While 10,000 might sound like a lot, it can add up quickly, especially if you open and close your door multiple times a day. Spend the extra money up front and invest in springs that are rated for 20,000 that will last you a lot longer.

    5. Replace your garage door opener at the same time as your door. If you are going to be replacing your garage door, think about your garage door opener as well. Is it starting to show its age? Is it loud? Or do you want to invest in one that has more options? Regardless of the reason, if you are wanting to replace your opener, consider doing it at the same time that you are replacing your door. You can possibly save money on labor by doing both at the same time.

    6. Invest in features that help to make your door quieter. Not only will the higher-quality insulation help to reduce noise, but nylon rollers will also help. The insulation works to dampen the vibrations from the door opening and closing that are generally amplified from an uninsulated door. The nylon rollers are quieter than metal ones. You can also install a belt driven opener, as they are quieter than other types of openers.

    If you are looking to invest in a new Pittsburgh garage door, contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today! With a wide selection of doors and features to select from, you will find the right door that will fit your needs.

  • A Brief Introduction to Entry Doors

    When shopping for a new entry door Pittsburgh , there is a multitude of styles to choose from. One of the biggest differences between doors is not the style, but the material that the door is made of. While most doors do perform equally well for the most part, each material—fiberglass, steel, or wood, has their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Below we’ve outline each type of door and what makes them a great selection.

    Steel Doors

    • Generally, have tighter-fitting frames and an energy-efficient core insulation
    • Some styles use double or even triple-pane glass units to cut down on heat transfer
    • Completely weather-stripped and resistant to shrinking, swelling, and warping
    • Require little maintenance in harsh weather conditions
    • Typically, have more insulating value than wooden doors

    Fiberglass Doors

    • Easy to install
    • Great in extreme weather climates and high-traffic entrances
    • Similar energy-saving qualities as steel doors
    • Generally, have the longest warranties
    • Made of high-quality composite construction, resist all sorts of weather, scratches and dents

    Wooden Doors

    • Heavy and sturdy with a traditional look
    • Can be painted or stained
    • Optimal when installed in protected or shaded areas
    • High-end doors can measure more than one-inch thick
    • Best wooden doors are generally more intricate and thicker

    Each type of door has its own set of characteristics that make them the right choice for different homeowners. It is best to determine what your needs and wants are and make the right choice when selecting a new entry door for your home. A new entry door can add curb appeal to your home, without breaking the bank. No matter what style of door you are looking for to complement your home, you can find the right entry door Pittsburg at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors .