“From a Garage Door Professional”
Now clearly there are a multitude of different garage door opener manufacturers and within each manufacturer, there are numerous different models with different options and features. My top three list comes from over 7 years of garage door and opener installation and repair. On any given day I’m servicing and inspecting anywhere from 3 to 8 garage doors and openers. I know which openers work well, last long and have the features that customers want and appreciate. All three openers on my list are LiftMaster openers. LiftMaster Openers are made by the parent company, Chamberlain. Chamberlain openers are available at Home Depot, Lowe’s and of course Amazon. Chamberlain openers are very good for some doors, but lack the durability that Chamberlain’s professional grade line, LiftMaster, provides. Specifically the chain or belt rail system. Chamberlain’s rail system is lightweight and clicks together in multiple pieces. It’s designed to be compact and fit in the box that consumers can transport easily. This lightweight rail system can flex tremendously on heavier doors which cause unwanted wear on the opener. The LiftMaster has a thicker and more durable one-piece rail that makes for much better product. It is also easier to put together. The downside to this list for some consumers is that LiftMaster is typically only available to garage door contractors. Now, I would most certainly recommend professional installation. If you are set on installing an opener yourself, I would recommend a Chamberlain opener. (Note: DO NOT buy a Genie! They are a drag to put together and won’t last as long as a Chamberlain.)
LiftMaster 8550 WLED
The WLED model has been an extremely popular opener for not only customers but also garage door technicians and pros that use them. The “W” in WLED stands for WiFi and the “LED” represents built-in LED lights that are super bright and do an incredible job of focusing that light across the garage. The WLED has an extremely quiet DC motor with a soft start and stop that creates a very smooth ride for the door. The WLED has a Battery Backup that kicks in if there is a power failure and automatically recharges when the power comes back on. (California now requires the battery backup openers.) The WLED is also WiFi enabled which means you can sync it to a free app on your smartphone and operate and monitor your door from anywhere. Pretty cool! Almost all of the LiftMaster openers have this capability now, even the entry-level models.
LiftMaster 8500w (Wall mount)
The 8500w is a wall mount opener that differs from the traditional opener that has a rail and trolley to lift and close the door. The 8500w mounts to the torsion tube on the upper left or right of the garage door spring system. This frees up headroom in the garage where a traditional opener would hang from the ceiling. The 8500w is also applicable for doors with high lift track where traditional openers are not an option. The 8500w is an extremely quiet and functional opener. It has all the features of the WLED and also come standard with an auto lock that further secures the door in the down position. The 8500w made my list not because it is the most common or popular with customers or techs but because it’s a game changer for many situations where traditional openers aren’t an option.
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The 8160w is a traditional chain drive opener that doesn’t come with a lot of the upgrades that the other openers have: Battery backup, auto lock, etc. This opener made the list because it’s what a lot of customers are looking for. Something dependable and cost-effective. Many customers just want to press the button and make the door go up or down and are not concerned with all the extra bells and whistles. The 8160w has a quiet DC motor with a soft start and stop. Many of the competing openers in this class have an AC motor which is much louder and has an abrupt start and stop. The 8160 has a larger-than-most chain sprocket the keeps the chain from rubbing the rail and creating unwanted noise. I’m a huge fan of this opener due to its no-nonsense functionality and practicality.
Four Seasons Garage Doors of Hampton Roads Earns Esteemed 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award
This award reflects Four Seasons Garage Doors consistently high level of customer service.
Four Seasons Garage Doors has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of customer service to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2016.
This achievement is particularly significant as Angie’s List experienced unprecedented member growth in 2016. More than 1.6 million consumers, many of whom were eager to quickly hire highly qualified service pros, joined Angie’s List after the company added a new, free membership tier.
“Companies that can meet higher demands without missing a beat in their exemplary performance standards truly do stand apart from their peers,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Only a fraction of the Garage Door Service companies in Hampton Roads were able to do it.”
Angie’s List Super Service Award 2016 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must also be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.
“We have worked extremely hard to give our customers the very best service and experience possible. Winning the Angie’s List Super Service Award is a true honor and represents our heart for our customers.”
Owner of Four Seasons Garage Doors
Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.
For more than 21 years, Angie’s List restricted access to its verified reviews to consumers who paid membership fees. When the company removed that barrier, some companies worried that the new, non-paying members would not be as engaged as members of the past. Experience has shown, however, that these newly added members are just as engaged – across all age groups – as prior members. Also, because the company continues to adhere to its review verification process, there has been no degradation of review quality.
“The biggest change at Angie’s List is that we are connecting even more consumers to high quality service professionals,” Hicks said. “And that’s good for everyone.”
Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than 4.5 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.
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September Featured Project
This months featured project is a new construction job that features three very bold and eye catching doors. The home being built is near the oceanfront and all three doors are hurricane wind rated to 130 m.p.h. We were extremely pleased with the outcome and overall look of the doors on the new home.
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- Amarr Classica 3000
- Style – North Hampton
- Windows – Madeira
- Color – Walnut
- Size – 16×8 and 9×8
Having a garage to pull your car into on a rainy night or utilizing your garage space for extra storage is a pretty neat thing when you think about it. For many who have a garage door opener, it’s as easy as hitting a button and you have access to this space. Until….. your garage door spring breaks. Suddenly the seemingly mundane becomes a luxury. Garage door springs virtually always break when the door is down and the springs are under their maximum tension, which means vehicles often get stuck inside the garage. Garage door springs are a vital part of the garage door system by relieving the garage door of its weight thus making it possible to manually raise the door or allow your opener to raise it. Replacing broken garage door springs should be left to a professional. If done improperly it can be extremely dangerous and even deadly. I have personally heard stories of people losing fingers and breaking bones. There are three main types of garage door springs on most residential and commercial applications:
Torsion Springs – Torsion springs are located above the garage door opening and fit over a torsion tube or rod.
Extension Springs – Extension springs are located on the right and left of the garage door horizontal tracks and expand and contract as the door goes up and down. Extension spring are typically used on single car size doors.
Wayne Dalton Torquemaster Springs – Torquemaster springs are located above the garage door opening much like a torsion spring system. Torquemaster springs are located inside a long tube that runs right to left above the door opening.
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The Shopper Magazine in Hampton Roads Virginia recently published an article recognizing our very own Matt Bruso!
The article highlights a family business owner doing all the right things and building a proper foundational business by refusing to take short cuts. He describes some of the pitfalls and temptations he’s been able to avoid because of his commitment to high standards, professional conduct and personal integrity.
By communicating clearly and concisely with his clients, Matt’s transparency has helped him build lasting relationships and grow Four Seasons Garage Doors on word of mouth referrals.
We are so excited to be highlighted in the newest edition of this hometown magazine and recommend that you check it out – THE SHOPPER.
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When the time comes to invest in a new garage door, there are many variables to consider when choosing a door. Of course, there is the overall appearance and curb appeal of the door, but with such a wide variety of personal preferences, we will keep the focus on function and practicality of garage doors. There are three general types of garage doors, which all have a different set of strengths that we will describe to help you choose the garage door that is best for you.
Non-insulated garage door
The non-insulated garage door is the entry into garage door systems. The number one strength for a non-insulated garage door is its value. You can get a beautiful, new, non-insulated garage door at a great price. The down side is that they are a little noisier than an insulated door and have very little insulating properties.
Vinyl-backed insulated garage door
The vinyl-backed insulated door is the first level of insulated garage doors. The vinyl-backed door has polystyrene panels factory installed on the inside of the garage door. Most vinyl-backed garage doors have an R-value of between 6 and 7. R-value is the measure of resistance to heat flow through a given thickness. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance. The advantage of a vinyl-backed garage door is that you get a combination of insulation, R-value and money savings. The vinyl-backed door is slightly quieter than a non-insulated door as well.
Steel-backed insulated garage door
The steel-backed garage door is at the top of the line for all-around insulation, noise reduction, and smoothness of operation. The steel-backed door has the standard steel- patterned exterior like the doors in the other categories, but it also has a smooth steel interior side. The insulation is sandwiched in between the two steel outer shells. A steel-backed garage door generally has an R-value that can range from about 6 to 22 depending on the style and manufacturer. Besides having the best insulating characteristics, the steel-backed door is also known for its quiet and smooth operation. Steel-backed doors are slightly more expensive than the other door types, but we believe they are worth the investment considering the lifespan of the door should exceed 20 years.
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The words “upsell” have long been thought of as dirty words by consumers and even service professionals alike. Professionals like to use the term “add ons” or “upgrades”. Now, there is definitely a place for upsells or upgrades or whatever your preferred nomenclature. The flip side is that it can be an area that dishonest professionals can exploit to the detriment of an unsuspecting customer. Service professionals often get called out to address one aspect of a customer’s garage and discover there are other issues that need attention. I have also heard countless stories from customers that decided to seek a second opinion because someone told them they needed the Rolls Royce of garage doors or their house might explode, when actually, a proper tune-up did the trick. How can you know for sure if you really need that unexpected up sell?
Here are a few key things to help you navigate meeting with a service professional:
- Do your research. Gather as much information about the product or service you desire, thus being prepared before the service technician knocks on your door.
- Ask questions. If there is something broken that needs replacing, have the technician show you. Ask her how it works and why it broke. Do not just assume that’s just the way it is, especially if it seems expensive.
- Trust your gut! If it seems fishy and your tech wont make eye contact with you as he tells you the cost, then get a second opinion.
- Talk to your friends and neighbors. Find out which companies they like and who they trust. Word of good work travels fast and poor work even faster.
Overall, doing your homework, reading reviews and consulting the people you trust are the very best ways to ensuring you get a quality, honest company servicing your home’s needs.
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Why won’t my garage door close?
As a professional garage door service, one of the common scenarios we encounter is one of a frustrated customer describing to us a garage door they are unable to close. They press the garage opener button, the door starts to go down and then immediately comes back up. This occurrence is usually the result of a faulty safety sensor. Garage opener safety sensors are located on the left and right of the garage door toward the bottom of the door. They are either attached directly to the garage door tracks or to the wall next to the tracks. The left and right safety sensors are designed to directly point at one another to create a beam that if obstructed, tells the opener not to close. There are a number of reasons your safety sensors will tell your opener that it is not safe to shut the door.
If the safety sensor is blocked. Check to see if there is anything resting up against one of the sensors. A soccer ball, shovel, box, etc.
One or both of the sensors could be crooked. Check to see if the sensors are pointing toward each other. It is very common for one of the sensors to get bumped by that same soccer ball, shovel and so forth. If one of the lights is out or twinkling (usually the green light) then adjust the sensor until the light is solid again.
One of the sensors or sensor wires could be damaged. If both above scenarios still don’t correct the issue, then it is likely a damaged sensor, sensor wire or even an issue with the actual opener or door. In this case, definitely call a pro.
If you are ever unsure or don’t feel comfortable trying to troubleshoot a possible sensor issue, ALWAYS call a garage door professional.
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One of the most common repairs that most garage door companies will encounter is a broken spring. The springs on a garage door help to raise the door and reduce the effect of its weight. There are generally two main types of garage door springs. Torsion springs are the kind that you would see above the garage door opening attached to a long tube. Extension springs are the type that you can see hanging on the left and right side of the garage door and attached to the rear track hangers. Both types have a typical shelf life of 6 to 10 years. This wide range is determined typically by how many cycles the door goes through. (How many times the door goes up and down). Both extension and torsion springs are under a tremendous amount of tension. When they do finally reach the end of there life they will indeed break and yes, it can be very loud. Many people describe it as sounding like a gun going off in their garage. If you discover that one of your springs is broken or you think it could be broken, DO NOT attempt to fix it yourself. There are special tools and specific steps that need to be taken to replace broken springs. I have heard far too many stories of people getting seriously hurt while attempting to fix garage door springs. There are plenty of do it yourself projects that can be fun, rewarding and money saving, but this is not one of those. Although we can definitely save you money in repair costs. The good news is that garage door springs should only need to be replaced every 6-10 years. Call the experts at Four Seasons Garage Doors for same day, affordable spring replacement
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The typical garage door can often times get forgotten about. Long lost in the daily routine of coming and going. Ok, let’s be honest. All we need to know is, does it go up? Does it go down? Great then. That is, until something goes wrong with the garage door and suddenly you are forced to unload all three of your kids along with their finger painting filled Disney’s Frozen backpacks and march them through the front door. Then you realize you can’t take the garbage out in the morning nor get Suzy’s bicycle out so she can ride it after her homework is done. I know what you’re thinking. First world problem. I get it. Let’s face it though. You work hard for your family, and being able to get in and out of your garage at will, especially on a cold rainy night is a blessing.
Your garage is also a part of the overall investment of your home and maintaining it is crucial not only for convenience sake, but also the value of your home. The very best investment you can make to your garage door is getting an annual tune-up. Your garage door has multiple moving parts along with a garage door opener and both require adjustments, replacements and lubrication. Making all the preventive adjustments to your garage door and opener is a small drop in the bucket compared to the cost to replace a door or opener that crosses over to the proverbial garage door other side prematurely due to neglect. It really is quite simple. Be good to your garage door and it will be good to you. Call the professionals at Four Seasons Garage Doors to schedule a tune-up on your door today!
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At Four Seasons Garage Doors, we service multiple garage doors every week. One of the more common scenarios that we encounter upon arrival is the dreaded off track door. An off track door can occur for a variety of reasons and many times can be unavoidable if the circumstances are right. (Or wrong depending on how you look at it) The gets hit accidentally by the car, a spring or cable breaks that you are unaware of, or faulty hardware. However, there is also a very common and preventable reason for an off track door. A dirty garage! That’s right, you read this correctly. A dirty garage.
Let me explain. In your average garage, you’ll typically find a variety of items being stored. One of the most common items are yard tools. Shovels, rakes, etc. The most common place you see them stored is leaning in the corner to the left and right of the garage door opening. This actually makes sense from a practicality standpoint as you can just grab what you need on the way out to do your beloved yard work. The problems manifests when your favorite rake falls into the garage door track unknowingly before you press that magic button to close up for the night. As the door goes down, the wheels jam on the rake handle which causes a chain reaction of unfortunate and potentially dangerous events that leads to an ugly and costly off track door.
Don’t fall victim to infamous off track garage door. Take the necessary preemptive measures to minimize your risk of an off track door. * May cause irritability, stomach upset, headaches, sore back, excessive sweating and loss of wages. Kidding. Sort of. However, NEVER try to fix an off track door. Call a professional! (Preferably us. Four Seasons Garage Doors, 757-652-3682) Garage doors can be extremely heavy and very dangerous
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