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Control Your Garage Door with a Smart Phone?

 

albanyohd.comIt’s not a typo, you read it correctly, and it’s true.

First there came the electric Garage Door Opener, then came the remote control, then came cars with built in transmitters, and now you can control your garage door opener with your smart phone.

Available on both Apple and Android devices these apps allow you to remotely control your garage door from pretty much anywhere. Over the past few years we’ve seen the introduction of this ability from a few different manufacturers but it required you to purchase a specific unit. That’s all well and good but what if your opener is only a few years old or in good working order? This would most likely leave you waiting for your opener to need replacement or to come up with some oddball reason to give your spouse to get one of these new motors.

Well wait no more my friends. We now have, in stock, ready for pickup a system that allows almost any garage door opener to be connected to your smart phone.

The setup is fairly straightforward and we have tested them in our locations and they work swimmingly. What’s more is if you run into an issue there is fast and friendly tech support just a phone call away.

Now as for installation, we leave that up to you. Since installation requires access to your phone as well as inside your home we don’t offer installation at this time but that shouldn’t deter you.

Once installed you’ll be able to open your garage for a neighbor needing to borrow your post hole digger, a plumber or contractor, or just if you feel like it. The apps also let you know if the door is up or down and for how long.

You can also connect a light to the system as well as an outlet or two if you have a need to remotely turn on an appliance or table lamp in your home. Pretty cool stuff. 

The way it works is by connecting a device to your home network that connects via Wi-Fi to this new system. Once connected the software/firmware connects your device to the Internet allowing it to communicate with your smart phone. Totally secure since part of the setup requires a unique serial number from the back of the purchase device. No two are alike.

** This does work with almost any opener but there are few that are not listed but of those a couple even we have never heard of. Give us a quick call and we should be able to qualify your motor over the phone.

** You will need to have a wireless network in your home.

Call us today and show off to your neighbors and freak out your kids!

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

albanyohd.com

The Showroom is Open

 

AlbanyOHD.comAt the core of how we’re different than the “other guys’ is our ability to come meet you at your home or place of business. We offer free onsite visits along with garage door estimates and design consultations. On top of that we have a pretty neat little tool that allows you to upload a photo of your home and overlay a new garage door image so you can easily visualize what a new door installation would look like.

That’s all well and good and proves that we’re happy to pay you a visit at no cost but coming into our showroom is something entirely different. Recently we’ve undergone a showroom re-design to update our facility with the latest and greatest offerings from Overhead Door.

When you stop by it gives you a chance to see a working door and a few different types of garage door opener models actually in action. It’s different because you can lay your hands on them and hear the different sounds a garage door should make when in perfect working order. Most folks find it more enlightening than originally thought.

If you stop by you also have the ability to meet our staff, find out how friendly we are, and get a sense of the culture of our little company. Taking a seat in one of our sales offices you’ll find that we’re here to answer questions, all of them.

We can discuss style, look, and the other values you’re looking for and can create a no obligation quote for you on-the-spot. 

Sure we can provide the nuts and bolts over the phone or via email too, just like the other guys prefer, but that doesn’t tell the story of who we are.  We understand that price is almost always the main concern so doing your due diligence and getting multiple quotes is always a good thing. You can rest assured that we’ll give you up front honest information to assist in the purchasing process even if you choose not to buy from us.

You’re going to have a relationship with your garage door for 15 years or even longer. Don’t you want the same relationship with the company doing the work?

You’re not just buying a product you’re also buying the company behind the brand. We want to be that company.

 

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

AlbanyOHD.com

I Backed Into My Garage Door

 

Overhead Garage Door Repair Albany NYI think maybe when all cars or trucks on the road are required to have backup cameras this issue may go away entirely.

This does happen and more frequently than you’d think. When a vehicle and a garage door try to break the laws of physics and attempt to occupy the same space the car normally wins as evidenced in this photo.

Hopefully this will never happen to you but with garage door damage of this magnitude there are some safety concerns we’d like to let you know about before you try to inspect or even make a temporary garage door repair yourself.

It may be difficult to remain calm when this happens but please take just a second before you slowly move your car forward again. If the garage door rollers have become separated from the tracks the door may “fall off” the opening. With that in mind you don’t want to do any more damage to your vehicle nor injury to yourself when getting out of the car.

*** Once out of the car we recommend you immediately call a qualified service company for assistance.

A garage door is far heavier than most people realize and a door that is or has the potential to fall off its supporting components is not something to be underestimated.

If the garage door is still securely supported by the tracks do not attempt to bend the door panels (steel doors) back by yourself. For one it will be very difficult and two; assessing the way the bent panels will affect the supporting components when pushed or pulled on can be hard to determine.

There are two things that will be dangerous (I do not use that word lightly in this situation) when the door is in this condition. The spring(s) and the cables will probably still be attached to each other but not correctly. This means that there is still a large amount of tension on both the garage door springs and garage door cables. Releasing the tension must be done in a specific order for safety. Even if one of the cables is loose there is a good chance the other is not. Please do not attempt this.

If you’ve only just tapped the door and have creased or dented a single panel there is a good chance you can get a single panel replaced. In our picture here it would take more duct tape and bailing twine than possibly available to fix it so a replacement would be necessary.

All kidding aside we want to help you stay safe should major damage be done to your garage door of any kind. Remember to steer clear of the cables and springs specifically until you can get a professional on site.

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

Overhead Garage Doors in Albany NY

Garage Door Clearance Happening Now

 

Overhead Door of Albany NYVery few people have a garage as large as ours. The garage we use can be categorized as more of a warehouse. Although true we do get 6 vehicles inside every night, out of the elements, we also have a large portion of our inventory stored here as well.

About once a year we peruse the warehouse counting and re-organizing our products to make sure we know where things are and each item is in it’s place. Typically this time of year is when we put a full court press on this project.

What does this all mean to you? Well, this is also the time we “uncover” garage doors that we’ve attained through special deals, accumulated special orders that were never picked up and even a few doors that came in the wrong color or even size in some cases.

These garage doors are like the island of misfit toys looking for a new home.

The last thing we want to do is to have to count them all again next time. We’d rather make a deal with a customer to move some out and get you all fixed up at bargain prices too! So let the dealing begin.

Here’s what we need. Send us the size of your garage door to clearance@albanyohd.com. Take the 3 measurements seen on the graphic on the left here. (Please measure in inches) Once we have that info we will send you some options of what we have that will fit your opening along with an estimate on what the cost will be in relation to what it would’ve been if we special ordered a door for you.

No obligation of course. If we can make a deal great, if not we can both say we tried.

** All door sales are first come first served and come with all the appropriate warranties for the door series. Doors are all new, in original packaging unless otherwise noted on your quote.

Happy Measuring,

Overhead Door of Albany

Overhead Door of Albany NY

What Size Garage Door Opener Do I Need?

 

We get this question frequently and there are some things to consider. For this post we’ll talk specifically about residential garage door openers.

Overhead Door of Albany NYWhat size is your door? This question really has many variables. If you have a Traditional Steel door that is one sided, non-insulated, and without windows it could weigh as little as 150lbs even if it’s 16 feet wide and 7 feet high, much less if it’s smaller. So the real question would be 2 part. What size is your door and what type it is? A typical door for the Northeast will generally be insulated and in most cases be a steel front and back with the insulation sandwiched in between. The extra layer of steel combined with the insulation makes the door more than twice as heavy as the Traditional Steel. Even so, if your door is balanced correctly a 1/2 hp motor would be all that’s necessary. If you can lift your door manually with relative ease than the springs are doing their job and thus the motor is only lifting that relative weight as well.

If you have a custom wood door that has had some wood veneer installed making it much heavier than most we may recommend a 3/4hp motor but not why you may think. Wood doors when cared for properly will last a very long time. Even with this care (painting, staining, adjusting, etc.) they will absorb and release moisture during the seasonal changes. This added weight can make the wood door run slightly different at certain times. If the springs were adjusted when the door was installed and now some years have past it almost certain the door weighs more now due to water weight. A 3/4hp motor has the additional power to compensate for these changes and the settings on the motor itself will not need seasonal adjustment.

The overwhelming majority of garage door openers we install are 1/2hp and in almost every instance we use those powered by DC motors to insure quiet performance.

When it comes down to the drive system (chain, belt, screw) we almost always recommend the chain drive models because of their historic reliability and ease of adjustment if needed. Contrary to popular belied a belt drive is not substantially quieter than chain drive. The noise you hear comes from the motor not the drive system. DC motors are far quieter than AC so if noise is a concern always choose the DC motor.

So logically it would make sense that you would get more life out of a larger motor but the historical data shows that in many cases you’re paying more for horsepower you neither need nor use. 

Lastly, please consider the motor warranty. Like most of todays devices garage door openers are packed full of electronics and although they are built and tested to last for years they still are subject to electrical issues from time to time. Having a local company do the installation for you insures you have a local contact, real live expert, should you have an issue.

Our expertly trained staff is available anytime by phone to answer any questions you may have regarding garage door openers even if you’re not purchasing one from us. Let us help you make the most informed decision possible.

Your Overhead Door Team

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The Ecosystem of 2014

 

Snip20140703 2Those of you who follow my blog already know that I read a lot. My preferred subject matter is all over the board so nailing it down to just one type is impossible. Everything from food to technology, sports and no limit hold ‘em to name a few. 

One thing that keeps popping up over the past few years is the use of the word ecosystem. I can recall in my elementary school days building an ecosystem inside a fishbowl with moss, ferns, and dirt. A self-sustaining little system with nothing more than a few hours of sunshine each day was what we were trying to accomplish.

Today this word is thrown around all over the place. Companies like Apple and Google take the lead from what I am seeing. If you own an iPhone you are already aware that once you’ve spent a decent amount of time with your new toy you find that wanting to make a change to another device is a hard decision because you’ve already invested a sizable amount of time learning the phone not to mention the dollars you’ve dropped getting cool little apps and music. Same goes for Google. Those of you who’ve had your Gmail account for any length of time probably would have a hard time leaving since most of your friends, household finances and services are tied to that Gmail address. This also extends to Android phones from Google with their own ecosystem built to keep you on board and evolve enough to keep you interested and up to date on the latest and greatest.

I’m not saying it’s good or bad. I have an iPhone and am somewhat stuck at this point but I’m satisfied with the product for sure.

Here in garage door land we have our own little ecosystem. To all our current customers we’re glad you’re here with us. Being an Overhead Door customer means you are already included in our industry leading warranty programs. You also have access to changing the design of your door through thoughtful accessories and upgrades developed to keep your Overhead Door looking and running great. 

Those of you in the Overhead Door of Albany ecosystem enjoy the comfort of knowing we’re here for you when a need arises. We keep extended hours of operation for your convenience and we have a group of technicians that are fully involved with your satisfaction.

So being in our ecosystem is much different than some of the aforementioned companies. We do a good job for you, you tell someone, we do a good job for them, they tell someone, and so on. Ours is built expressly for you.

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

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Garage Door Troubleshooting Tip of the Day

 

In keeping with the spirit of Garage Door Saftey Month.

One of the most frequent phone calls we receive, from a service standpoint, is customer’s remote control(s) for their garage door opener failing to work.

Assuming that all the batteries haven't gone bad at the same time there is one simple test you can run. This applies when ALL of your remotes (if you have more than one) and your wireless keypad stop working at the same time. 

Press and hold the wall-mounted button in the garage. If your garage door opener works than you can be all but certain your photo eyes are either not aligned or have a broken or bad wire. The photo eyes are a very important safety feature that stops the door from operating should there be something in the way of the door coming down properly.

garage door photo eyeThe photo eyes are located at the very bottom of the garage door tracks and there will be one on either side. In most cases they should both have a steady light. If the light(s) are flashing they are not aligned properly and you should be able to “twist” one or both of them until they line up and the lights stay on steady. If one or both do not have a light at all this could mean they became unattached for some reason.

The photo eyes get bumped by garbage cans, boxes, snowblowers, balls, just to name a few. The required placement puts them right in the line fire sometimes. Please don't move them up or down even if this happens frequently to you as the location is important for them to provide the intended saftey.

In some rare cases a bad circuit board can also be the culprit but a quick phone call is all it takes to determine that.

So the next time your remote gives you fits check all the other remotes first and then run the test.

We’re always available to help so if you get stuck send us a quick email or give us a jingle on the phone.

Your Overhead Door Team

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Garage Door Hinges

 

The lowly garage door hinges. Often neglected, rarely considered. They just keep on doing their job day after day, year after year.

One of the most integral parts of your garage door is the hinge. We like to think of them as the connectors. They allow your garage door sections to remain connected and bend at just the right moment keeping everything moving in harmony.

They’re engineered to perform their duty for a long, long time and as a matter of fact they are one of the least replaced parts on your door. That doesn’t mean you can just neglect them. They have feelings too. They also have a voice which you may have heard. It’s a lot like fingernails on a chalkboard when your door is going up or down.

BlogHingeLubeAll they need is a little drink once in a while to keep they satisfied. A nice light oil bath will suffice in almost every case. Simply spray right where the bushing meets the outside wall on both sides and that’s it. (see photo for location)

Doing this once per year or when they tell you they need it will keep them happy and healthy. It will also temper the overall noise for the entire door.

Your Overhead Door Team

Your Garage as a Living Space

 

Blog GarageAsLivingSpaceMaybe I just never noticed before but I feel like I am seeing more and more garages being turned into living space. There was always one house on my block that had a DIY screen in place of the garage door but that was because they had two large dogs that they left in there while they were at work. It was one of the world’s largest doghouses I suppose. Not to mention nobody was going to approach the house with no one home, those dogs were big.

When I think about it the concept is pretty cool and makes sense for the Spring-Fall season here in the Northeast and New England. Your out of the weather under shade and of you are lucky enough to have a screen it is also virtually bug free. I’m a big fan of sitting on my back deck but if you want something to look at the garage makes sense. Traffic, joggers, bikers, and people out for a stroll or walking their dogs would be within view and possibly earshot. I think we could start of movement. What better way to get to know your neighbors than giving a wave or a hearty “howdy” as they pass by?

We do sell and service the Lifestyle Screen brand and we’d be happy to get you a free quote if you have some interest. Customers are finding that they are well within just about any budget.

More importantly you want to make sure your garage door is in great working order if using that space for something other than parking your car. Our team has the knowledge and tools to get just about any garage door working like it did when it was new. We’re just a click or a phone call away.

Graduations and parties are probably all securely inked into part of your summer schedule and having a garage door that has the potential to give you fits when hosting one of these is probably less than ideal.

So while you’re preparing invitations, food, games, and dates don’t look past your garage door. Give us a call and we’ll make sure that you can cross that off your list early.

Your Overhead Door Team

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Upgrading your Garage Door

 

Obviously we see this all the time but sometimes the change is so dramatic it’s worth commenting on.

Some people upgrade their doors when they move into a new home. Some just want a change to match a specific color or create some symmetry between new trim on their house with a new door. But mostly folks upgrade because their garage door has finally met it’s match. These are the times where the before and after photos look so good.

Below you will see a recent Overhead Door upgrade. I would ask you to pay special attention to the overall look of the home after the doors are installed.

Before1

 

AFTER2

 

 

 

 

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