Common Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing, Maintaining and Installing Garage Doors - 01/06/19

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing, Maintaining and Installing Garage Doors


First impressions are everything and this is exactly the same for your home. Kerb appeal is ensured by the tidiness of your garden and a quality front door, but another huge factor is the garage door. As well as improving your home’s exterior, having or adding a garage can increase a property’s value by 5%. Parking spaces and garages are in particularly higher demand recently due to an increase of cars per household over the last decade too.


It’s important to not rush any decisions when it comes to a garage door. As well as matching the style and aesthetic of your home, it has to be installed correctly and maintained to ensure it is long-lasting. As experts in garage doors, we discuss the most common mistakes made when it comes to selecting a door and maintaining it, as well as how to avoid them.

Choosing and Installing a New Garage Door

Renovating or upgrading any aspect of the home can be a tricky yet rewarding task as you want the best results possible without having to spend an arm and a leg. A garage door is no exception – just like if you were revamping a kitchen, you want to ensure you have the right door for your property and needs.


Choosing the right type, functions, colour, style and aesthetic are all important considerations to make and some get it horribly wrong. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when selecting and installing a new garage door.

Type and Function

First off, avoid just selecting any garage door at random or just because your neighbour has one. Although it may seem like the right choice, it might not be able to work for you or your vehicle. There are many different types of garage dooravailable with different functions – here is a breakdown to help you avoid making the wrong decision:


  • Up and Over – by far the most common garage door in the UK, an up and over opens vertically and slots up over the garage space (so overhead on the ceiling of the garage). They are simple to use and require low-effort maintenance due to their simple mechanisms.
  • Roller– usually operated with electrical remote controls, a roller garage door slides vertically on tracks and collects above the door, rather than overhead. The sections are small so they tuck away neatly, providing optimum garage storage solutions.
  • Sectional – a mix of up and over and roller, a sectional garage door is made up of sections of panels (normally four) rather than a single panel. The panels vertically slide up and back on rails and don’t swing out. Due to their complex mechanism, their fitting time is longer and they can usually be more expensive to purchase and maintain.
  • Side Hinged – these are not so common in the UK, but they open horizontally as any household door would and two doors are hinged on either side of the garage. The doors take up minimal space inside the garage too, which means more space for a vehicle or storage.


Another common mistake to avoid is opting for a manual garage door when you’d really like an automatic, and vice versa. Almost all garage doors can be automated, which can make life so much easier. If properly installed, they can be extremely reliable and long-lasting too. However, if budget is a key factor to your decision, a manual garage door is cheaper as the design is less complex and they are much faster to install. If your property is prone to power cuts, a manual door can always be opened. Manual garage doors can also be upgraded to automatic in the future if you change your mind!


Overall then, it’s important to select the garage door that’s most appropriate for your situation and vehicle. For example, if you’re limited on storage space and are thinking that overhead garage space is a must, then a roller door may be the best option for you or, if you have a large driveway, an up and over is always a trusted option. Checking how your choice of door would open in your given space before installation is definitely a must!

Colour and Style

The aesthetic of your home exterior is also an important factor to consider when selecting a garage door. A common mistake made is choosing a material or colour of door that clashes with the style of your home. For example, steel sectional garage door is a modern choice in terms of garages in the UK but might not suit a traditional Tudor style home.


There are a multitude of materials that your door can be made of, including steel, aluminium, glass fibre and timber. Think about the type of garage door you’d like and if your chosen material would suit it. For example, timber might suit a side hinged garage on an older property or a home situated in the countryside whereas an aluminium sectional garage door would suit a modern, contemporary house.


Colour should also be given careful consideration so to avoid the mistake of a textural and colour collision between house and garage door. A neutral or monochrome colour, like white or black, are the most popular choices, but you may wish to be more adventurous.


Choosing a colour should be the fun part and will have a real impact upon the look of your home. Most garage door companies will have a spectrum of colours to peruse – at South West Garage Doors we have, on average, 15 colours for each type of door. Don’t make the mistake of rushing a colour decision too – just because it’s your favourite colour or matches the colours of your favourite football team doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll suit your home.

Garage Door Repair and Maintenance

One of the biggest mistakes made when it comes to garage doors is failing to keep up with maintenance. A neglected garage door can result in many problems that will only worsen over time, meaning that garage door replacement may be inevitable.


If you want to avoid making the same mistake, here are a few common problems to look out for and maintenance tips for keeping your garage in tip-top shape:


  • Unusual noises – on hearing any grating squeaking or grinding sounds, it may be time to lubricate the moving and metallic parts of your garage.
  • Not shutting properly – in the case of automatic or electric doors, it may mean there are problems with your batteries or limit switch. A manual garage can mean that cables or parts are worn out. Check there is nothing obstructing and blocking the garage first before carrying out any maintenance.
  • Rollers – rollers can gradually wear out over time. To prevent future issues and expensive repairs, it’s recommended that garage rollers are replaced approximately every five years.
  • Automated garage doors – if they don’t close or open properly, or are extremely slow, check the safety sensors and batteries in the remote control.
  • Sticking or stuck door – this problem could be the result of a bent or broken track, mechanism or part of the door and so they may need to be replaced. Another reason may be due to lack of lubrication.


With all this in mind, it may be a good idea to set aside some time every six months to a year to check your garage door is operating efficiently and all moving parts are working smoothly. However, if you think your garage could be a lost cause or you struggle with maintenance and DIY, perhaps consider calling out the professionals to help you.

South West Garage Doors – garage door experts in Cornwall

Garage doors are handy companions to a household. Whether somewhere safe to park your vehicle or storage space for your kid’s bikes or prized gardening equipment, a garage door is an underrated and trusted home addition.


As specialists in garage doors, we understand how important it is not to rush a decision when selecting and installing one as this will ensure mistakes are avoided and there are no problems further down the line. At South West Garage Doors, we can advise you on your decision, and deliver and install garage doors in Cornwall and Plymouth.


With two branches and large showrooms in Cornwall, our professional and friendly garage door company will guide you through the various options, from up and over to roller doors, material, style and colour, as well as the installation process and all costs.


As well as garage doors, we can also install gates to your property, from automatic to aluminium. Both garage doors and gates certainly increase the value of a property as well as the security levels of your home too. So, if you’re considering either option for your home, contact usfor more information today.

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