The 4 Types of Garage Doors You Never Knew You Needed

garage doors portland

Find out which materials make the best garage doors

In the crowded world of home improvement products, where aesthetic staples like front doors and windows dominate, garage doors rarely get the recognition they deserve for making homes more beautiful, functional and valuable. The fact is that the right garage door can set the tone for your entire home, and with so many upgraded materials to choose from, finding that perfect fit is easier than ever before. Here’s what you need to know about the top four types of garage doors on the market right now.


Strong, resilient and durable, steel garage doors are ideal for spaces that see a lot of wear. Despite packing a powerful punch, steel doors are surprisingly lightweight. If you’re after their qualities but would like a softer, more classic look, the metal surface can be easily painted in any pattern or overlaid with faux wood panels. You can also layer real wood on top of the base, but be sure to choose a lighter wood material to avoid putting too much weight on your garage doors.


Since a new set of garage doors is a potentially pricey long-term investment, where you live plays an important role in the type of materials you should consider. If you like the idea of steel but live near the coast or anywhere moisture is a concern, you can get a similar look and function without the risk of corrosion with sturdy aluminum doors.

Like steel garage doors, aluminum doors can be polished for an ultra-modern look or covered with textured panels and paint for a warmer finish.


For homeowners who love that traditional feel of all-natural materials, classic wood garage doors can’t be beat. Designed with a dazzling variety of woods, shades and grains, wood garage doors can fit almost any style, from luxurious to tropical to rustic. In the rare case that you can’t find the right look for your home, you can create it yourself or on order with custom finishes and stains.


While it’s versatile and strong, wood is still an organic material, so it can be impractical in woody areas with large pest populations. This is where fiberglass—available in a variety of beautiful faux wood finishes—comes in. Known for being resistant to both pests and moisture, it’s the quintessential material for homes in challenging environments.

Are you in the market for new garage doors in Portland? Contact Overhead Door Company of Portland directly or browse our website to learn more about our garage doors and installation services.

Raising Doors and Raising Value


garage doors portland

Is your garage door a valuable selling point or a pitiful relic? If you’ve ever seen HGTV’s “Curb Appeal,” you understand the importance of appearance when selling your home. Potential home buyers react to houses the same way many people react to other humans. If it doesn’t make a good first impression, they’re not interested. Although it may seem terribly shallow and unfair, there’s a good reason for paying attention to aesthetics. When a home’s exterior looks updated and well-kept, it suggests that its owner has taken good care of it. It’s important to have your siding and windows in great shape, and it helps to tidy up your landscape, but don’t forget that your garage door occupies almost half of the visible portion of your home’s exterior. If it’s old, outdated, worn or just plain ugly, it could be a huge turn-off to buyers. Fortunately, an unattractive garage door is something you can fix easily.

It’s Time for a Makeover

It’s not hard to understand why a new garage door raises your property value. Old, heavy garage doors are no longer acceptable to most homeowners. They’re hard to lift and waste both time and effort. Today’s smooth operating sectional doors look great, roll up easily and provide better security. With so many options available, you can easily find a garage door to complement your home’s architectural style and other exterior features such as your windows and entry doors. Material choices include wood, aluminum, glass, steel and even vinyl, so there’s a door for every budget. Choose from traditional panels, contemporary designs and charming, historic carriage house styles.

Beyond Looks: Your New Garage Door Can Save Money

A new garage door doesn’t just turn heads. It can save you and the home’s future owners money. Replacing a garage door is one of the top five renovation projects known to deliver the highest return on investment at resale. You can expect to recoup about 84% of the cost. Because today’s garage doors are created with energy efficiency in mind, you’ll also save on your heating and cooling bills while you live in the house.

Overhead Door Company Makes Boosting Curb Appeal Easy

Both figuratively and literally, your garage door is a big deal; there’s no easier or faster way to make an impression on potential buyers than improving the look of a feature that accounts for 40% of your home’s appearance. At Overhead Door Company of Portland, OR, we carry an extensive selection of premium garage doors in styles and colors that give your home’s exterior new life and deliver superb performance and energy efficiency. Contact us today, so we can help you make your home a real estate agent’s dream.

Caught With Your Foot in the Door

garage doors portlandPreventing mishaps with your garage door

A garage door that’s in working order will never open or close without someone activating the opener. However, all electronic systems have the potential to malfunction or fail. If this happens when someone is in the path of your garage door, it can cause pain, injury or even death. Cars can also become stuck under doors that close unexpectedly, resulting in high repair bills at the least and serious injury at the worst.

Garage Door Safety Standards

Because of these potential dangers, there are specific safety standards that garage door manufacturers must follow. Doors that are opening or closing should stop automatically if the garage door opener button is pressed a second time. In addition, all doors must have a reversing system in place that automatically pulls the door back up within two seconds of contacting an object in its path. The same system must reopen the door within 30 seconds if it doesn’t close all the way.

Garage door manufacturers must provide clear instructions for how to detach the power mechanism from the door if need be. In the event of a problem, you should be able to do this yourself without help from a professional.

Additional Security Measures

Garage doors safety may also be improved with:

• Sensors that reverse the door if its path is obstructed
• Motion detectors to sense objects passing underneath a closing door
• Visual inspection of the door area before closing
• Safety cables to catch the door if springs break

Performing Regular Inspection

These safety features will keep your family safe from garage door mishaps as long as the door itself is in good working order. To ensure that this is the case, perform regular inspections of the mechanical parts. Check all springs and brackets for rust and tighten attachments if need be. Detach the door from the opener and open and close it manually, watching for any signs of imbalance or misalignment. Assess the condition of the rollers and pulleys as well as the wiring inside the opener panel, looking for anything that appears worn, rusted, split or rotten.

If your garage door needs replacing or you find that the opener mechanism is unsafe, contact the Overhead Door Company of Portland. We’ll set you up with a safer, more reliable system that opens and closes the door only when it should. Choose from screw drive, belt drive and chain drive openers complete with built-in diagnostics and “Safe-T-Beam” technology to ensure that you and your family stay safe whenever the garage door is in operation. Call a local distributor today to find the best opener system for your home.

Man Power Vs. Horsepower

The Advantages of Motorized Garage Doors

It’s no fun to get out of the car every time you need to open or close the garage door. On sunny days, it’s just an inconvenience, but when it’s cold or rainy, wouldn’t you much rather be able to drive straight into the garage? Upgrading to a motorized garage door could make your life much easier.

Remote Operation

When you switch to a motorized door, all you have to do to open the garage is press a button on a remote control. The door slides open and you can drive into the garage without having to face bad weather. When you’re working in the garage, a motorized door makes it easy to get in and out even if you have your hands full of tools.

Special Safety Features

Manual garage doors can be iffy when it comes to safety. You can never be quite sure if they’ll stay up or shut all the way when they’re supposed to. Motorized doors are usually outfitted with features such as sensors that cause the door to open back up immediately if it encounters resistance or to stop closing if something crosses its path. With these measures in place, you can relax knowing that your family is safe when entering and leaving the garage.

Better Security

How many times have you had to go back home to make sure that you closed the garage door? You can stop worrying if you choose a motorized door with an auto-close feature and automatic locking. To add to the security of both the door and your home, look for controls that offer a “vacation mode” setting that disables certain functions while you’re away from home so that no one can open the door even if they have the remote.

Other Reasons to Upgrade

In addition to these benefits, there are many other reasons to upgrade your garage door. A new door makes the entire house look nicer and operates without catching or sliding out of place. New garage doors have fresh seals that modulate interior temperatures and keep your energy bills down. Plus, upgrading your door reduces the need for maintenance and repairs.

Don’t spend another day struggling with a manual garage door. Contact us at Overhead Door Company of Portland to schedule an upgrade and start enjoying the simplicity of a motorized model. Our online “DoorView” tool makes it easy to see how each of the doors we have available will appear when installed. Once you know the style that you want, our specialists are ready to install at your convenience.

Who Created the First Garage?


In the United States alone, more than 80 million homes feature an integrated garage. It’s hard to imagine a time without them, especially if you live in an area where snow and ice is common. Although you see them everywhere you look, you may not know how they came to be.

Henry Ford’s Miscalculation

In 1896, a young Henry Ford was in a neighbor’s coal shed working on his quadricycle or horseless carriage. The simple predecessor to the motor vehicle consisted of a buggy frame on bicycle wheels with a small motor. Wrapped up in the excitement of his new invention, Ford must have lost track of his surroundings. When the quadricycle was complete, he realized that it was too large to be taken out of the shed in one piece. Undaunted, he simply knocked down a section of brisk wall and installed what many consider to be the first garage door.

Garage Growth and Development

As more people began buying and driving automobiles, the need for safe storage became apparent. At first, car owners tried to use carriage houses and stables, but the vehicles didn’t fit correctly, and the horses weren’t happy with their new roommates. Soon, prefabricated garages and carports became available through retailers like Sears and Roebuck. These early problem-solvers were generally kept at a distance. Gasoline stations weren’t yet widely accessible, so car owners had to store their own gas. Due to the fire hazard, it was more sensible to place the garage in the back of the yard. Once a more established network of gas stations was in place, this was no longer necessary, and the obvious convenience of having an attached garage started changing the face of home architecture. While no one is sure exactly when the first attached garage was built, a magazine called Country Life featured one in a 1941 edition.

New Looks, New Technology

Many early garages resembled carriage or stable houses with large, side-by-side wooden doors that could only be opened by hand. Today’s garages feature automated doors and are built in a variety of styles to match home architecture and decor. Some even mimic the old-fashioned barn-door look. However, advances in technology have made garages much easier to use; perks like remote garage door openers and garage heating are now standard. You don’t even need a car to appreciate your garage. It makes a great storage room for your seasonal decor or a fully equipped home gym. It could even become the home base for an 80s cover band or a phenomenal man-cave.

Overhead Door Company of Portland

Whether you use your garage for parking your car or turn it into an art studio, you need a quality garage door to ensure safety, secure access, energy efficiency, and comfort. Overhead Door Company of Portland provides top-quality garage doors from trusted manufacturers and we guarantee service and maintenance for the life of your door. Our experts can help you select the perfect garage door and accessories for your needs and budget. Contact us today for more information.

Cold-Weather Problems That Affect Garages and Garage Doors

What to expect when your garage meets winter’s chill

Winter in Portland, OR, may not be as frigid as in other parts of the country, but the cold can still do a number on your garage. From problems with the way the door opens and shuts to heat loss in the garage itself, winter can bring a host of difficulties.

Metal Mishaps

Your garage door has metal parts such as springs and screws that contract when the temperature drops. As they do, it can cause the door to malfunction or make noise as it operates. Sometimes parts seize up completely, making it difficult or impossible to get the door open. Adding extra lubricant can mitigate the problem, but be careful of using too much as the cold can cause it to thicken up, creating an even bigger mess.

Water Worries

When the Portland winter brings rain, moisture may cause your garage door frame to swell and the door to scrape against it when opening or closing. This causes excess wear and tear at the least and a stuck door at the worst. If the temperature drops, the door may wind up frozen shut, leaving your car out in the cold.

Warps and Breaks

Cold weather may cause the tracks your garage door rides on to warp, creating misalignment that makes it difficult for the door to operate. Changes in temperature may also lead to broken springs, throwing the door off balance. Inspect the door and try opening it manually if you suspect either of these problems.

Electrical Errors

Some garage doors problems are related to the opener. If your door stops working, check the electrical connections and fittings before doing anything else. All that may be necessary is a quick visit from a repair service to get the opener working again.

Just Plain Cold

Garage doors come with fiberglass exteriorsMany garages lack the insulation necessary to keep them warm in the winter. A cold garage can cause damage to your car and whatever else you’re storing there. To improve the energy efficiency of the space, you can:

• Invest in an insulated garage door
• Insulate the garage area with fiberglass batting
• Install weather stripping around the windows and door

A garage heater can also be useful for extra warmth to help get the car going in the morning or to keep your workshop area comfortable.

Sometimes winter garage problems require a bit more than DIY fixes. The Overhead Door Company of Portland has you covered when you need garage door repair and replacement. Give us a call and we’ll help you pick the perfect new door for your garage, choose a reliable opener, and get everything set up so that it runs smoothly no matter what the weather.

4 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Old Garage Door

Knowing when to choose garage door repair or replacement

Replace old garage doorsYour garage door protects your car and your belongings, keeps heat from leaking out of the garage, and ensures that wildlife stays outside where it belongs. Watch for these signs of a failing door to know when it’s time to invest in a replacement to maintain the safety of your home.

Excessive Noise

Loud grinding, rattling, whirring, or clicking when your garage door opens and shuts can be a sign that something serious is going on. Take a moment to listen when you pull into the garage. If you hear anything unusual, call a professional garage door repair company. Noises could be a sign of failing parts or a potentially dangerous structural situation.

A Lack of Balance

Over time, the springs that hold up your garage door experience wear and tear. Changing temperatures and daily use put a strain on the metal, and often one will start to give out before the other. If the door begins to rattle as it opens and shuts, try opening it manually and closing it halfway. A door that stays put when you let go is fine, but if it starts to fall, you’re dealing with spring problems. This should be addressed right away to avoid the safety hazards that result from spring failure.

Visible Damage

Garage doors that are bent or are developing cracks and holes in the surface don’t seal properly, resulting in spaces that compromise the integrity of the garage. What seems like simple cosmetic damage could in fact be a sign of extensive rot underneath, a problem that can eventually lead to complete door failure.

Wasted Energy

Any of these problems can result in higher utility bills. If you suddenly find yourself paying more for electricity with no apparent change in use, check the garage door. You may discover gaps or cracks that are letting heat out, or the door might not be closing all the way. Look for wear and tear on the weather stripping at the bottom of the door as well. A higher electric bill could also be a sign that the insulation on the door is beginning to fail, making it more difficult for your home heating system to maintain a comfortable temperature.

If you need garage door repair or replacement to address these issues, you can rely on the Overhead Door Company of Portland, OR. Our services include installation of brand new, top-of-the-line garage doors made from quality materials in modern styles that add curb appeal to your home. Give us a call today to learn more about your options or to request a free quote.

The Latest Automatic Gate Safety Features

Automatic gate safety featuresWhen it comes to offering convenience, automatic driveway gates do as well as their garage door counterparts. Both let you drive right in without getting out of your car. Sadly, many homeowners fail to realize that each of these contrivances can also be equally deadly. If your automated gate dates to 2001 or earlier, trouble could be right around the corner.

A Deadly Trap

Between the years of 1985 and 2001, more than 30 individuals died in automated gate accidents. In addition, about 25,000 others suffered injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to broken bones and amputated limbs. The unsettling fact is that prior to the year 2000, most of these gates lacked the safety features that would have prevented those mishaps.

What Do New Gates Have That Old Gates Don’t?

Thanks to the combined efforts of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Underwriters Laboratories, the UL325 standard now includes a set of requirements specifically intended to prevent automated gate tragedies. In addition to directives for installation, UL325’s most important mandates include photoelectric sensors, opening guards, and audio alarms.

Photoelectric Sensors

The biggest safety feature, and one that was glaringly absent prior to 2001, is an automatic sensor to reverse or stop the gate’s motion in the presence of an obstacle. The extreme force exerted by an automatic gate can crush whatever gets in its way. Photoelectric devices will sense the intrusion and reverse the gates before any damage occurs.

Opening Guards

A traditional swing on the garden gate is almost a childhood ritual, but where automated devices are concerned, a ride such as this can be deadly. To put an end to this dangerous practice, new standards insist upon the installation of a screen that stretches from the gate’s bottom edge to a height of at least 4 feet. Similar guards installed between and alongside the gates will discourage anyone from reaching through to retrieve a dropped item or activate the controls.

Audio Alarms

If, while the gates are in motion, two entrapment protectors should activate sequentially, these alarms will alert those nearby that the gates have malfunctioned and that someone could be in danger. This feature alone could help save a life.

Pedestrian Protections

To prevent any injury to passers-by, an automatic gate must always open toward the property’s interior. A proper installation will also include a separate pedestrian entrance to thwart attempts at walking through the gate, and homeowners should always be sure to locate manual controls far from the gate’s extended reach.

While the convenience of an automated gate has always gone without question, these modern standards are an essential means of ensuring their safe operation. If you have any questions about your own gate, Overhead Door Company of Portland has answers. To see what you can do to eliminate the dangers of your automated gate, head over to our website for more information or contact us today.

6 Tips on Finding the Most Dependable Garage Door Opener

Find a garage door opener that will stand the test of time

If you’ve never purchased a garage door opener, you may be surprised by the number of options that are out there. Indeed, it’s easy to feel pretty overwhelmed. Still, this isn’t the time to base your decision on intuition. By understanding a few basic facts about modern garage door openers, you’ll have a much easier time selecting the right one the first time.

6 Things to Consider When Buying a Garage Door Opener

Garage door openers, chains, and beltsWhen you’re in the market for a dependable and durable garage door opener, keep these things in mind:

Drive Style

Garage door openers come in three main styles: chain-driven, screw-driven, and belt-driven. Belt-driven openers excel in almost all ways. They’re quiet and they deliver superior performance. If your door is extremely heavy, though, you may be better off with a chain-driven model. If it’s a one-piece door, a belt-driven opener is probably best.


Don’t skimp on horsepower when choosing an opener. 1/2-horsepower models are the most ubiquitous, but you’ll enjoy better durability with a 3/4-horsepower model. For superior power and efficiency, though, you can’t beat a 1-horsepower opener.


Instead of buying separate components for your opener, choose one that has them built in. Many models include keyless entry, which is typically provided through a keypad that’s installed to the side of the door. Some models scan fingerprints, however, and they are even easier and more convenient.


Avoid stumbling around in the dark when in your garage by opting for an opener with bright lights. Ideally, your opener should support 100-watt bulbs or whatever the LED equivalent is. In this way, you can kill two birds with one stone.


Do a little research about popular garage door opener manufacturers so you’re familiar with the most reliable ones. It’s far better to pay a little more for a model from a reputable brand than to save a tiny bit buying one from an off-brand manufacturer.

Motor Style

Without a doubt, you’re going to want an opener with a DC motor. They are faster, quieter, smaller, and lighter than their AC counterparts, and they often offer variable-speed operation for soft starts and stops. As an added bonus, many models include built-in battery backup systems that allow the door to keep functioning even when power is lost.

Looking for quality opener and durable garage doors? Overhead Door Company of Portland has you covered. Check us our website or give us a call today to learn more.

Blaze Barriers: When Do You Need Fire-Rated Doors?

Requirements depend on national and local fire safety standards

Serving as an integral part of a building’s fire protection system, fire-rated doors minimize the break in the safety barrier provided by the fire walls. According to the U.S. Office of Compliance, properly installed and maintained fire doors, frames, and hardware are fundamental to interrupting the spread of smoke, toxic gases, and fire.

Rolling fire doors Locations to Install Fire Doors

While many requirements exist for where a fire door must be placed, there are generally six locations that you should be aware of. These include doors that:

– Are marked with exit signs

– Provide access to hallways or long corridors

– Lead to stairwells and elevator shafts

– Close in hazardous areas, such as flammable storage or boiler rooms

– Divide occupancies or smaller fire areas in the building

– Separate buildings

How to Choose a Fire Rating for a Door

Fire ratings range from 20 minutes to three hours, which indicate the length of time the door can withstand the blaze. These classifications are determined by the manufacturer’s controlled tests. The strength of the door’s fire rating depends on where the access is located and typically equals three-fourths of the fire rating for the surrounding wall. However, a door with a higher fire rating can be installed for greater security.

Where to Locate Fire Barrier Codes

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides the principal requirements for fire doors, which are outlined in Standard Number 80, “Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives.”

While these detailed instructions are followed by the International Fire Code (IFC) and the International Building Code (IBC), both organizations also supply their own installation guides.

Additionally, the local fire code, the specific building code, the product’s manufacturer, and the insurance company may mandate extra conditions to ensure maximum fire protection.

Fire Door Safety Concerns

Safety and liability are the two main concerns of business owners when it comes to operating and maintaining fire-barrier doors. Every door must retain a legible certification label on the inside edge, which is provided by the testing laboratory. This tag not only proves safety compliance but also supplies important information when it is time to perform maintenance or replace the door.

In high-traffic areas, residents and employees often prop open fire safety doors, which creates a significant hazard. OSHA regulations require that fire exit doors are equipped with electromagnetic latches that automatically release when fire alarms activate. The doors should never be held open with blocks, wedges, ropes, or chains.

NFPA 80 also mandates that fire-door assemblies must be inspected annually and repaired immediately by experts in the industry.

Overhead Door Company of Portland, OR, can help business owners determine if fire-rated garage doors and interior doors are needed in their commercial and industrial facilities. Contact us today if you need to purchase, inspect, or perform maintenance on a fire-rated door.