• Do Awnings Increase Your Home’s Value?

    Pittsburgh awnings

    There are several reasons why a new awning may be a good choice for you personally, but homeowners often make large decisions based on more than personal preference. They want to make decisions that will help increase their home’s value and maximize their investment. If you’re considering installing Pittsburgh awnings but aren’t sure if it will pay off in the end, consider the following.

    Improved Aesthetics

    As a stylish fixture on your home, an awning will add value because it creates additional living space to both the outside and inside of your home. Realtors may tell you that it also adds curb appeal, which will also factor into your home’s overall value. This can be true if you pick the right awning. When looking at fabrics, consider sun-resistant fabrics. If you install an awning that easily fades, it can become more of an eye-sore than an asset.

    More Functionality

    Awnings are installed against your house and add a shaded, comfy, easily-accessible outdoor living space for guests to enjoy themselves and relax. Sturdy Pittsburgh awnings with    permanent steel frames are incredibly durable and can stand up to the elements. It’s one of the more cost-efficient and easy ways of increasing your home’s value before you place it on the market. It’s a great alternative to renovating and redecorating.

    A new awning will also help save money and energy. It helps to keep the temperature down in your home, which reduces air conditioner usage. The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) has estimated that awnings can save homeowners as much as $200 yearly. It can also be a great addition to a home that doesn’t have air conditioning. Some studies have shown that an awning can help save up to 69 perfect of electricity in your home.

    Conclusively, installing an awning is both an efficient and costly investment that’ll help increase the value of your home. It is also a comfortable and stylish way of doing so. Find your perfect awning today!

  • 4 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Pittsburgh Garage Door Dealer

    pittsburgh garage

    Having a Pittsburgh garage door that opens and closes on command is a luxury that many people take for granted. It isn’t until your garage door needs to be repaired or replaced that many begin to look into finding a reputable garage door dealer. But how do you ensure the dealer you are considering hiring is reputable and professional? Here are a few things to help you ensure that you entrust your garage door needs to a reputable dealer.

    Experience

    One of the easiest ways to determine if a dealer knows what they are doing and can help you with your garage door needs is to look at how much experience they have. Garage door dealers that have been in the business for decades will have all of the technical knowledge and experience necessary to install your garage door properly. If you’re considering a new company, find out if the owners and/or management have experience in the door and operator industry. How much experience do they have?

    Workmanship

    Another aspect to consider that is equally as important and easily verifiable is the satisfaction of previous customers. Can they provide letters of recommendation from other customers? What do online reviews have to say about the company? If possible, try to talk to multiple previous customers to hear about their experience firsthand. Find out if they were satisfied with the workmanship and overall quality of work that was completed. You should be cautious when a dealer is unable to put you in touch with any satisfied customers—take that as an indication that you should look at other options.

    Code and Regulatory Compliance

    When it comes to installing garage door systems, there are numerous requirements in place that pertain to the safety and installation of garage doors. As a result, all federal, state, and local codes and regulations must be strictly followed. When interviewing potential dealers, ask how they comply with codes for your location. If they cannot adequately explain how they adhere to codes, be wary, this may be a major warning sign. All federal, state, and local codes and regulations are in place for the safety and protection of homeowners. Therefore, they should be followed at all times. If a potential dealer cannot demonstrate that they are aware of regulations and are in compliance at all times, you should immediately walk away and continue to search for a dealer that is.

    Insurance Coverage

    Another important feature to consider is that a dealer should carry the proper insurance, not only for their business but for their employees as well. Start by asking for a copy of the company’s certificate of insurance to verify that they do in fact have insurance. This will also help you to know when their coverage is up to guarantee that they will be covered for the duration of your installation. Be wary of companies that hesitate to provide you with a copy of their insurance, as it can be a warning sign. In the event that a dealer attempts to explain that they do not need to carry insurance, it will be in your best interest to walk away and continue to search for a dealer who is more than happy to provide proof of insurance. As a general rule, you can expect that a reputable garage door dealer will carry the proper insurance and won’t hesitate to provide you with proof of insurance per your request.

    Being able to find a reputable garage door dealer for your Pittsburgh garage door repairs and replacement needs don’t have to be a daunting or a seemingly impossible task. In fact, by asking a few important questions you can find a trustworthy and safety-conscious dealer, such as Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors. Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors has been in business since 1950. We’ve been able to provide quality garage door services that our customers have come to know and expect from us. Don’t trust your garage door needs to just anyone, trust them to Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, a licensed and insured garage door dealer with years of experience.

     

  • What You Need to Know About Overhead Doors

    overhead door of pittsburgh

    Those looking to purchase an overhead door of Pittsburgh have several options, often more than they realize. Whether you decide to purchase an overhead coiling door or an overhead sectional door, there are a few differences that you’ll want to consider between the two. Not only do you need to decide on what type of door will best fit your needs, but you’ll also need to take into consideration durability, maintenance, security, installation, and overall lifetime costs.

    Roll-Up Vs. Sectional Doors

    An overhead roll-up garage door is sometimes referred to as a rolling steel door or a coiling door. This type of door is fabricated using individual metal slat sections that are interlocked. When the door opens, the door coils up on itself above the door, wrapping around a drum. This allows the door to be stored in a compact area, minimizing the need for excesses space to store the door. This specific type of door is installed by mounting the guides and assembly to the wall on either side of the door.

    Sectional doors are similar to roll-up doors, but they utilize larger metal sections, and can open in a variety of different configurations. These configurations include retracting up, or up and over, the floor of the garage, beyond the opening of the overhead door. If there is not enough clearance for the door to open straight up, the door tracks will curve, allowing for the door to retract horizontally over the garage space. This can result in issues if there are fire sprinklers in the ceiling of the garage, HVAC, or lighting that is already installed or will be installed.

    Durability and Maintenance

    The quality of the material that is used to construct the door will have a significant impact on the overall durability and lifespan of the door. Heavy-duty materials that are typically used in overhead coiling doors are designed to last for a prolonged period of time and can withstand heavy usage. On the other hand, sectional garage doors are better equipped for low volume usage.

    Coiling doors eliminate the need for springs, which means they require little maintenance. In fact, some models of coiling doors are built to withstand upwards of one-million open and closed cycles without any maintenance required, compared to sectional doors that rely on numerous parts to operate smoothly. When more parts are used, there is an increased need for maintenance and repairs. Because there are more parts that require replacement more often, this increases the overall maintenance costs over the lifespan of the door.

    Safety and Security

    Regardless of the type of garage door, each comes with its own safety and security features. Due to its design and features, the coiling door has an advantage over sectional doors. This advantage comes from the small, multiple interlocking sections, their enclosed parts, springs and counterbalance shaft. Sectional doors rely on exposed springs and cables which leave them more susceptible to damage. Any failure that occurs with the springs or cables results in the door instantly becoming unbalanced. If cables were to break, the door would free fall to the ground, causing damage or harm to anything beneath it.

    If you’re looking for installation specialists to install your overhead door of Pittsburgh, Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors is an authorized commercial and residential garage door dealer. With a wide selection of both roll-up and sectional over head doors available, you can get the door that will best fit your needs at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors.

  • How to Clean Your Retractable Awning

    pittsburgh awnings

    Now that spring is in full swing, many homeowners are elbow deep in their spring cleaning. While many focus primarily on the inside of their home, it is just as important to prepare the exterior for summer. Homes with Pittsburgh awnings will need to take special care to clean and care for their retractable canvas awnings. Over time, canvas awnings can become stained. The elements can weaken the fabric’s sewing threads, resulting in the fabric eventually beginning to disintegrate. Once the fabric begins to disintegrate, the appearance and structural integrity can be jeopardized. Regularly cleaning your canvas awning can help minimize these risks and give your awning a longer lifespan.

    Here is how to best clean your awning, as part of your spring home cleaning.

    • Start by getting a bucket filled with cool or lukewarm water. Add three ounces of mild laundry soap, such as baby laundry soap, per gallon of water. Do not use detergent. Mix the soap and water solution until foamy.
    • Before you use the soap and water mixture, take a household broom to remove all cobwebs, leaves, and debris taking up space on the underside of your awning.
    • With all the foreign debris removed, you are now ready to begin washing your awning. Start by wetting down a manageable portion of the awning with a garden hose, with your soap and water bucket within reach.
    • Scrub the awning with a stiff brush saturated with the mixed soap and water mixture. Work in a circular motion to effectively work the solution into the awning fabric. Try to limit the area you clean at a time to prevent the soap from drying on the awning.
    • Use a garden hose, to rinse off the soap solution and dirt and allow the awning to air-dry.
    • Continue to scrub your awning in small sections until the entire awning is cleaned.

    Regular cleaning of your Pittsburgh awnings can help to prolong their lifespan, causing it to last for years to come. If you are looking to add retractable awnings to your home, contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today.

  • Accessories to Make Your Home’s Entrances Safe & Elegant

    front door Pittsburgh

    The front door Pittsburgh to your home is the first thing people will typically notice. You want to make a grand impression, but also have safety measures in place. You don’t have to choose, you can have both safety and curb appeal. Three elements we recommend changing for added safety and aesthetics are lights, door handles, and locks.

    Light the way to better curb appeal.

    Lights come in a variety of styles and sizes and are a great way to make your door stand out during the day and especially in the evening. Lights are a great accent to your door when properly sized and should match the overall theme of your door as well. The lights will typically be matched to your handle for its material type and color, so you’ll want to make sure the light fixtures match the door as well as the exterior color of your home. Be mindful of lines, in the door and along the walls. These lines can either add to the appealing appearance of the door or clash with the overall fit and finish of the installation. If you have doors installed that use perpendicular lines, it would be appealing to use light fixtures that represent the same type of line or structural pattern. Lights can brighten the outside of your home and also become a great safety feature. Having proper lighting installed can help reduce crime and property offenses by 20 percent, according to the National Institute of Justice.

    Door handles & locks can be both charming and discreet.

    Door handles and locks are the most important features of your new front door Pittsburgh and can also add to the overall style of your home. Locks come in one of two ways, either inside the assembly of your handle, or separate from the handle. Today there are some pretty sophisticated locking systems on the market and depending on your budget or need for security, you can buy keyless door locks as a way of adding another layer of safeguarding to your home. Keeping with the style of your doors and the aesthetics of your home, your door handles and lock can serve an important function and give you peace of mind while at home.

  • Spring Cleaning & Maintenance for Your Awning

    awnings Pittsburgh

    Having your awning clean and clear can help prevent damage and ensure your patio looks in tip-top shape when guests come to visit. In this article, we discuss how to maintain your aluminum and retractable awnings Pittsburgh.

    Fixed Aluminum Awning Maintenance

    The best way to care for your fixed aluminum awning is to begin by clearing off debris that may have accumulated over the fall and winter. It’s best not to wait until it’s extremely dirty to begin cleaning, as it can begin to rust or cause other possible damage. The less maintenance you do on your awning, the more problems can arise. Next, you will want to grab a ladder and a broom to clear any debris that might have collected on your awning. Be cautious and don’t stand directly beneath the awning while trying to remove the debris with a broom. You could be injured by a falling branch or a larger item. Debris can also damage your awning, so be careful when removing larger objects. Secondly, the easiest way to wash your awning is by using a pressure washer. Lastly, inspect for any signs of damage and if there is anything that needs to be repaired, be sure to call a professional.

    Retractable Awning Maintenance

    Caring for your retractable awning involves a couple of extra steps since the awning has more moving parts. Start by using your ladder and broom to remove all debris that has accumulated. Next, you will want to begin washing the awning using a cloth or soft brush using a gallon of water with some mild natural soap or dish liquid. If you notice any buildup of mildew, add a cup of bleach to your solution to remove it. Ensure that you have cleaned the entirety of it as any leftover soap will get chalky which will accumulate over time and add to the cleaning time later. After that, you can move on to hosing down the frame and fabric of the awning and check to be sure it’s completely dry before retracting it. If you happen to notice any damage while cleaning the awning, be sure to let a professional know so they can make those repairs or get the awning re-covered for you in time for summer. To maintain the cleanliness of your awning, rinse it with a hose and, using a broom, brush the underside of it on a monthly basis.

    Remember to retract your awning before it rains or gets over 20mph winds to prevent weather damage. Additionally, the acid produced by vines and shrubbery can be damaging to the fabric, so try to keep all plant life away from your awning. If you’re interested in installing fixed or retractable awnings Pittsburgh, PA, call Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today.

  • You want to add curb appeal to your home, but where do you start?

    entry door Pittsburgh

    Having professionally installed doors is a great way to start adding some curb appeal to your home. But where do you start? Do you go with something timeless or trendy? Do you want your door to stand out or blend in? Below we’ve provided some tips for choosing the right entry door Pittsburgh.

    Picking the Proper Aesthetic For Your Home

    The overall look of your doors can go a long way when communicating your style. Depending on how well your door style matches the home, you can install doors that last generations. The front door is the entryway to your home and is often the first thing that people notice about it. So making a strong, or smart, impression here is key. You want to pick a door that first matches the home in its level of intricacy. Doors that overstate or understate the complexity of the home’s design will look out of place, especially at first glance. Consider your home’s architectural style, the shape of windows, etc when deciding on an entry door Pittsburgh that will blend seamlessly with your home’s aesthetics.

    Picking the Proper Aesthetic for the Neighborhood

    Don’t pick your doors based on what others may think. However, it is important to at least match the overall appearance of the neighborhood in terms of grandeur. The appearance of your home can do one of three things: 1) It can draw more attention than the others, which has its pros and cons. 2) It can draw just as much attention as any other home. 3) It can draw less attention than other homes. It is important to note that your door choices can strongly impact the amount of attention that is drawn to your home. It is important to weigh the consequences of each and determine which of the three categories you would rather fall into. A more stand-out appearance is great in terms of wanting to place a home on the market in the near future, but you may also get more solicitors. You certainly want to make your home feel like your own, so making it fit your needs is what is important.

    Repetition Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

    You want your home to be your own and make it unique, but sometimes it’s not a bad idea to use the same type of doors for the exterior of the home. It can be difficult for individuals to determine if something actually belongs, and it may come down to personal opinion in the end. But finding something that looks out of place can be fairly obvious. You want to play on this natural tendency for the human eye to pass over similar objects, by coordinating the exterior appearance of your home. For example, doors that have windows or panes can be easily matched with garage doors with windows, and of the same type and style.

    What Color and How Much Color?

    There are homes that have an eye-popping colored door. And while they may be appealing to some, they may not always appeal to a large audience. Color can often match the home and/or housing type. For example, red doors would be perfectly fitting on a barn but might look strange to some when featured prominently on the front of your house with green shutters. It’s important to at least touch on some artistic terminology when it comes to the color selection of your doors and overall appearance of your home. Things that are “monochromatic” will naturally be easier for the human eye to take in and enjoy. Different shades of a single color, or at least within a certain color range, are naturally more appealing than vastly different colors or ranges of colors that adorn the exterior of your home. Color choices on the exterior of the home can also easily be carried into the home if done properly.

  • 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.

  • What’s the Difference Between Torsion and Extension Springs?

    garage door installation pittsburgh pa

    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.

    Torsion Springs

    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

    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

    pittsburgh garage

    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
    • Budget
    • 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.