Garage Door Jargon

A-Z of Garage Door Jargon!

A-Z of Garage Door Jargon

When trying to choose a new garage door, it’s easy to get lost and confused in the jargon. At The Garage Door Centre we try to be as helpful as possible for our customers, so we’re jargon-busting with our glossary of the key terms you might hear, so that you can choose the perfect door for you:

ABS means acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, a plastic material which can match your house’s uPVC windows and doors.

Anodising is simply an oxide film coat used on aluminium.

Astragal is just a stripping to seal the gap between the door and the floor.

Bottom Bracket is the support bracket at the bottom of the doors.

Bracket Mounted Track is an angle bracket to fasten vertical tracks to door jambs.

Cable Drums allow the cable to be moved backwards and forwards in a tidy manner that protects it and helps it to last longer.

Cable Safety Device is an important device that stops the door falling if the cable breaks.

Extension Springs give a lifting force to the track hangers.

Galvanising is a zinc coat to protect against rust on steel doors.

GRP (Glassfibre Reinforced Plastics) provides strength when garage doors are made.

Guide Rails help to ensure the door closes securely.

Jamb is the vertical frame for the door opening.

Rear Track Hangers attach the track to the garage ceiling.

Rollers are the wheels that travel along the tracks to give motion to a garage door.

Sectional Garage Doors provide a cover for the entire door opening.

Side-Hinged Garage Doors open outwards, unlike conventional garage doors.

Top Seal is a weather stripping and simply protects the opening of the garage.

Torsion Shaft is the lifting force for the cables and cable drum.

Torsion Springs help the door to move up and down and can be either manually wound or charged.

Track is a path for the garage roller wheels.

Don’t worry if you have any trouble understanding the technical specifications for garage doors, our team is on hand to give you expert advice. We can help you to find the right door, so call us today.

Brilliant uses for your second garage

Brilliant uses for your second garage

Space is at a premium in every modern home, and re-purposing and renovating rooms is becoming increasingly popular. If you’re lucky enough to own a second garage, you may be sitting on a potential windfall for quickly and cheaply maximising the potential of your home. So, whether you want to entertain, use it as a space for hobbies, or utilise it for storage, here are some top ideas to help inspire you:

Add a recreation room

Being able to invite your friends over to unwind after a long week is a great stress-buster. If you’re a film fan, installing a home cinema system with a decent projector and sound system is easier before. For those with interests on the nerdy side, adding a baize-lined table is a great way to host your weekly board-game night and add additional storage space for your collection. Or, if you’re looking to add some class to your poker night it’s almost effortless to install a mini-bar and finally have a secluded space for your weekly poker tournament.

Build an indoor gym

Not enough time to make it to your local gym for exercise? Adding equipment to your newly available garage space is the perfect place to exercise. Even a smaller room is great for more compact pieces of equipment like exercise bikes, speedballs, or punching bags. And larger spaces can easily accommodate bulkier gear like running or rowing machines to help make sure you get the most out of your workout.

Recording space

Late night guitar sessions too loud? Drums forbidden in the house? Avoid disturbing anyone by turning your garage space into a studio. Noise dampening foam padding is cheap to buy online and install, and more expensive wooden or plastic baffle can be used to make sure that you don’t wake the neighbours. You can even upgrade your garage door to be able to let your band members or audience in and out easily, providing additional security for your instruments, equipment, and other valuables while you’re at it too.

There are plenty more ideas for how to convert your second garage as well, such as creating an art or craft studio, a peaceful library or reading room, and even transforming your garage into a microbrewery or micropub. Do you have any questions or queries about how to renovate your second garage or even just to maintain your primary garage? Get in touch with our team at The Garage Door Centre on 0800 046 3560 or contact us online to help keep your garage looking great with our fantastic selection of doors for every budget.

Preparing Your Garage Door For The Winter

Preparing Your Garage Door For The Winter

In the run-up to winter, you should be looking at your garage door and making sure that it is prepared for winter. With a few simple tips, you can make using your garage in the colder months much easier, as well as ensure that your car stays safe and protected.

Seal Holes and Gaps

Inspect the area around your door, looking for any problem areas like gaps, holes, or other areas that seem to be letting air and moisture into your garage. Make sure the door is well-sealed to protect your car from the cold weather and wetness, or your garage may start to have problems with damp. Consider using weather stripping to fill in any gaps and make your garage better insulated.

Lubricate Moving Parts

This is one of the most important parts of garage door maintenance. Check anywhere where metal rubs against metal: hinges, cables, rollers and springs. Sometimes these can function less well in winter and cause you issues with opening and closing the garage, so now is a good time to clean them with a soft, clean cloth and then apply a new layer of lubricant for the winter. As well as lubricating your door, you should also test the safety reversal system to make sure that it is functioning correctly.

Test Your Batteries

You certainly don’t want to end up locked out of your garage in the winter, so make sure that the battery in your remote control is in good working order. You might also have an external keypad that needs to be checked too. If the door is slower than it used to be, or you need to get closer for it to work, the battery needs replacing. You should always keep a spare in your car, too.

Invest in a New Replacement Door

Sometimes a garage door is simply past its best, and the best thing to do is invest in a replacement. At the Garage door centre, we can help. We have a wide range of doors suitable for all budgets. You should also consider that modern garage doors are better insulators and will save you money in the long run with their energy efficiency, as well as keeping your car safe from the bad weather of winter.

Performing the maintenance tips we have suggested at the start of every winter will ensure that your garage door lasts for a long time. If you feel that you need a new, modern garage door to protect your car from the worst of the winter weather, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss how we can meet your needs.

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5 considerations when you buy a new garage door!

Choosing a garage door can be an exciting process, but there is also a lot to consider. It can seem overwhelming at times, so this article aims to lay out a few of the main considerations you should keep in mind when buying a new garage door.

How to Buy a Garage Door

Once you’ve decided to buy a new garage door, take some time to consider how you’ll buy it. Think about what sort of door you want. What do you want it to look like? How big does it need to be to fit your garage? Do you want a manual door or one you can operate with a remote? Next, choose a trusted supplier of garage doors such as the Garage Door Centre, who can discuss your needs and advise you on what door would suit your needs.

The Price of a Garage Door

For most people, a key consideration when choosing a garage door is their budget. The truth is that the price of a garage door varies depending on various factors. A larger door is likely to cost more, and so is one with a more complex mechanism. Price also varies depending on materials used. This is one purchase where you should definitely value quality over price, as cheap garage doors are often poorly made and do not fit well. For a competitive quote, call the Garage Door Centre.

Security of a Garage Door

Another important consideration is how secure your garage door needs to be, as people often store not only cars but other valuable tools and appliances in their garages. Choosing a door made of strong materials with a solid locking mechanism, such as a euro profile cylinder lock, goes a long way towards making your garage secure. You should also bear in mind that modern doors are more secure than older ones. Feel free to ask our team any questions you have about making your new garage door safe and secure.

Choosing a Garage Door Style

This one is totally up to you, and to an extent depends not only on your personal taste but also on what your house and garage already look like. We have a wide variety of different styles and colours available. Perhaps you particularly want one with windows or one with an automatic mechanism. Whatever you have in mind, our team can direct you to your ideal door.

Maintenance of a Garage Door

This is something that is often overlooked when people are buying new garage doors, but you should consider how much care your new door may need. Modern garage doors often do not need much maintenance, but there are a few things that you can do to ensure a long life for your door. As always, our friendly team will be happy to advise you on how to care for your new door.

There is certainly a lot to think about when choosing a garage door, but don’t forget that we at the Garage Door Centre are always here to discuss your needs and help you make the best decision.


garage door colour

What colour should your garage door be?

There are many considerations to take on board when buying a new garage door and getting the right colour is just one. After all, we have to live with our choice for some time to come and making it as attractive as possible will enhance the look of a home.

Focus on colour unity

When it comes to making choices for the home and garden, there are always do’s and don’ts to follow. Among the ‘do’s’ is the need to consider matching a garage door to the shade of the house itself. This is especially important if we don’t want our door to look out of sync with our home or dominate the scene. Achieving colour unity can also help to make our homes appear larger. The overall goal should be to create clean, smooth lines instead of a disjointed look. For the ultimate ‘clean’ look, consider crisp white colours, which are both timeless and classic.

We can still achieve a contrast

Although we don’t have to get an exact match with the colour of our home, we should stick to within a couple of shades on our home’s colour spectrum, even if we intend to create a contrast. Opting for a subtle difference will highlight the colour contrast without looking out of place. Consider a wood grain effect, which can be effective, especially if living in the countryside or having a leafy garden, as this will give a rustic look to a property.
A word of advice

When it comes to what not to do when choosing the shade of a garage door, a good word of advice is not to colour match with the trim of a home, e.g. with guttering, drainpipes, and woodwork on the eves and fascias, etc. If we do, this can break up the overall cohesive look and make the garage door look clumsy or out of place. Another obvious ‘don’t’ is not to use more than one colour on the garage door. After all, not many of us want our homes to look like an ice-cream van or a rainbow and, once we’ve slapped on the paint, it’s a little late to undo all that hard work!


Popular colours
The most popular colours today include blues, blacks, whites, greys, beiges, greens, and reds. There are so many to choose from but the most popular are a fairly safe bet as they’ve been tried and tested. In fact, these are on display when taking a walk around the neighbourhood and looking at other people’s garage doors.

Alternatively, pay us a visit! We offer a range of premium-quality garage doors and can advise what colour to choose. Simply get in touch with us for a no-obligation chat and we’ll be delighted to help. So, pick up the phone or send us an email today!


How to Properly Maintain Your Garage Door

How to Properly Maintain Your Garage Door


The garage door is often the last thing you will see when leaving your house and the first thing that will greet you upon return. For your garage door to operate safely and smoothly, it needs a little maintenance. Highlighted below are steps to help you maintain your garage door.

Materials and Tools
For this procedure, you will need a broom, a bucket, cleaning cloths or sponges, and non-silicon lubricants such as motor oil.

Cleaning Your Garage Door
The outside of your garage door should be cleaned once a year, or more frequently for those who live in salt-air climates. Outlined below are the steps to be followed.
• Wash your garage door with a soft cloth or sponge together with a cleaner appropriate for your door’s surface. It is recommended that you follow the directions of the cleaning product you use. Remember to rinse your garage door thoroughly with a hose. For a wooden door, you can clean the outside by wiping it with a soft, dry cloth. You may need to repaint or stain it. You should make it upon yourself to inspect your garage door once every year or as need arises, all depending on the quality of finish and climate. This inspection will help in determining whether or not your garage door needs painting or staining.
• Depending on the condition of your garage door, clean the inside the same way as outside. If it is relatively clean, then you can use a soft broom to remove debris and cobwebs.

Inspecting Your Garage Door for Safety
You should visually inspect the condition of your garage door’s torsion and extension springs every three months and ensure they are operating correctly. Torsion springs are those round springs mounted above your garage door while extension springs are the long springs that stretch horizontally above your door’s roller tracks. If any of these parts are worn out or broken, you should replace them. Remember to wear gloves whenever you handle springs and any other parts to avoid pinching. Follow the steps outlined below to inspect your garage door for safety.
• Inspect hinges, brackets, cables, tracks, and rollers for condition. During this inspection, ensure all the screws and bolts are tight. Replace any frayed or worn out parts.
• Test your garage door’s balance. Disconnect the power to the door’s opener and disengage the opener. To do this, pull the cord and handle hanging from the door’s trolley on the central track. You should then lift the door manually to your waist level and release it slowly. If it rises or drops, then it is not correctly balanced, and you should call in a trained technician to adjust it. You may also consult the owner’s manual for safe procedures on how to balance your garage door.

Lubricating Your Garage Door

You should lubricate your door’s bearings, springs, and hinges as recommended by the manufacturer. Follow the steps outlined below.
• All-metal rollers should be lubricated using non-silicon-based lubricants. For nylon rollers, you should ensure that no oil comes into contact with the rollers.
• Clean your garage door’s tracks with brake cleaner and a cloth. Remember to wear gloves when handling brake cleaners.
• Make any necessary repairs or call in a trained technician to help you.


If your garage door is broken or you would like more advice on maintenance then contact us today! We are happy to help!


Take back control of your garage! Tips for organisation and layout

The modern garage, despite its original function as a place to house motor vehicles, is often used as storage space to contain the overflow of miscellaneous items from our houses and gardens. Objects and materials, of too much use or value to discard but unsuitable for the garden or living quarters, are often hoarded in the garage and the interior space becomes cluttered as a result. A lack of free floor space makes it impossible to park a car, individual items become hard to find and the sheer volume of material creates obstacles that restrict movement.
What is the purpose of a garage?

The first garages appeared in the early 20th century, when automobile technology was still in its infancy, and provided cars with better protection against the elements than the tarpaulins of the day. In present times, however, it is typical for cars to be parked outside while the garage functions as a multi-purpose storage facility or workshop. Workbenches are often installed in garages on which pillar drills, table saws, belt sanders and other power tools can be mounted alongside mechanical devices such as vices. Domestic appliances such as fridges, freezers, tumble dryers and washing machines may also be kept in the garage as can gym equipment such as weights, pull-up bars and heavy bags.

What is in your garage?

Identifying the items in your garage, deciding what is worth keeping and which things should be thrown away is key to restoring order to your cluttered garage. Once the useless items, such as old tins of varnish or paint where the contents have dried, have been consigned to landfill you can begin the process of re-ordering your garage. When the contents of your garage are stored in an orderly fashion, such as in clearly marked boxes or trays, it will be easier to find things when you need them.

Which storage aids should you use?

Investing in storage furniture such as cabinets, chests-of-drawers, hooks, brackets and wall-mounted shelves allows us to make better use of the finite amount of space available within our garages. Cabinets, chests-of-drawers and other types of container furniture provide multi-tier storage space while shelves allow empty wall areas to be used for mounting storage surfaces. Hooks and brackets, attached to walls or ceilings, may also be used to free up surface space by suspending items above the ground.

Create garage plans in 3D.

The presence of a loft, cellar or mezzanine in a garage helps property owners to utilise the building’s three-dimensional interior space to maximum effect rather than trying to fit everything onto a single floor. In the past, before the advent of digital technology, it was necessary to mentally visualise the organisation and layout of a garage before committing the idea to pen and paper. In the digital age, however, it is possible to draw 2D and 3D garage plans using digital design software to create a virtual map of what the garage should look like.

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How To Choose The Right Type Of Garage Door Spring

Garage Door Springs – Extension vs. Torsion

There are a number of things to think about when buying a new garage door – materials, insulation, colour and so on. But perhaps the most important is the kind of spring mechanism you should go for. The smooth and safe operation of your garage door is down to the springs being installed correctly, which is why repairing or replacing springs should never be an amateur DIY job but ought to be done by a professional fitter. A spring that comes adrift can turn into a dangerous projectile, causing damage to property, injury or even death. Yes, believe it or not, it is possible for an amateur attempt to fix a garage door spring to cause a fatal accident.

There are quite a few types of garage door spring, but the two most commonly available are the extension spring and the torsion spring. Here are a few factors to take into consideration when deciding which style of door is right for you.

Extension Spring

These are sited on both sides of the door over the horizontal runners and, as the name implies, they extend according to the amount of force applied to the door to open or close it. By pulling in the opposite direction the springs create tension to hold the door in balance. It is extremely important to have safety cables attached to the mechanism in the event of the spring cables or bottom bracket failing. This can happen at any moment while the door is open.

Extension springs are far less costly than torsion springs, which is the reason they are the most popular type for residential garages. But they are potentially more dangerous because of the greater number of exposed components. This means that extension springs do not add value to your return on investment (ROI).

Torsion Spring

Torsion springs use torque, or rotational force, to operate. They are set in a shaft above the opening of the door, inside which they provide a counterbalance by twisting into coils as the door is moved. There are plenty of options for torsion springs such as different lengths and gauges of wire, door height and width or track radius.

Torsion springs can bear considerably more weight than the extension type and last about twice as long. Having fewer exposed components, they are also safer. For these reasons they are more expensive. Also they add to the value of your ROI.

Garage door replacements can yield some of the highest returns amongst home improvement projects, so the cost of springs should be carefully considered. Remember to consult a reputable garage door supplier before trying to do anything yourself.

Call us on 0800 100 2114 for enquiries or visit our Bristol showroom (appointment only on Saturday and Sunday) to see our range of extension spring and torsion spring garage doors.

What material should you choose for your garage door?

Garage door materialsWhat material should you use for your garage door?

Your choice of a new garage door should be carefully considered. A garage door ought to last at least 20 years, so it is not something that needs to be replaced regularly. But when the time does come to buy a replacement you may find the wide array of options available somewhat perplexing. But this choice reflects the impressive variety of materials and enhanced security and insulation properties on today’s market, and with some basic information at your fingertips you can make your new garage door purchase painless. There are four materials to choose from.


The most popular choice, not only does steel give a sleek, modern look to a garage door, it combines durability with strength. It can work visually within a contemporary or traditional setting and is available in a variety of colours. These finishes can either be plastisol coating, which will give a smooth or textured non-maintenance exterior (the interior can be primed), or powder coating, a baked polyester covering with a smooth texture for exterior and interior surfaces. Plastisol coating normally has a life of about 10 years. Powder coating can be repainted. A cost-effective option, it is not as efficient an insulator as wood, but it offers toughness in both its up-and-over and insulated steel sectional versions.

Glass Reinforced Polymer (GRP/Fibreglass)

GRP is a first-rate insulating material and has a strength-to-weight ratio comparable to that of steel. Its resistance to the ravages of the weather is borne out by its common use in the yacht-building industry. Panelling detail stands out very well in GRP, and this low-maintenance material is strong enough to put up terrific resistance to burglars or vandals and keep its attractive appearance for many years. Available as slide-away lifting gear or trackless canopy designs.

ABS (Plastic)

Being an impact-resistant material, ABS is very hard wearing, ideal for standing up to the force of wayward car bumpers or well-aimed footballs, and nicely complements white PVC doors and window fittings. It also demands almost no maintenance.


Wood is of course the most beautiful choice. We offer marine ply and solid cedar and source these sustainably whenever possible. Up-and-over doors are mounted on a steel chassis whereas side-hinge doors are entirely constructed from wood. Being such an effective insulator, wood is ideal for a garage which is used as a room. You can get an unfinished door or, for extra cost, one that has been ready-stained by the manufacturer. It will be necessary to treat the timber fairly regularly if it is to retain its looks and durability, but some stains come with a 10-year guarantee.

If you are looking for a new garage door come and visit our comprehensively stocked showroom in Cardiff or call one of our telephone numbers for a free survey anywhere in South Wales.

Old garage doors – not just unsightly but unsafe 

ttrGarage doors that no longer work properly, or are in a poor state of repair, are unsightly and tend to reduce the value of your property. But they can also be dangerous. Read on for some alerts as to the possible hazards.
Sudden door fall through spring failure
The entire weight of the garage door is held by its springs or hinges when it is in operation. Doors can weigh over a hundred kilos and if a spring is worn or broken, a door can fail. The door may suddenly slam shut. It may destroy your car but much worse, it may severely injure you or someone in your family.
Springs and hinges don’t last for ever, so you need to examine them regularly for signs of wear and tear, and call in the experts if you suspect the spring is no longer capable of holding the garage door safely and reliably.
Reduced security for your home
Older garage doors may become loose, and will certainly not look as tightly fitted as a new door. These tell-tale signs may advertise to thieves that you have poor security because they know that a loosely fitting door is much easier to open with a tool such as a crowbar. The solution to this is door replacement with a better-fitting and more secure modern door.
Rust reducing the strength of door fittings
Another cause of poor safety and security in garage doors is rust in the springs and fittings. Unless the door has been lubricated regularly, the metal in these systems will have been under attack by air and water. This alone will reduce the life of the garage door and as with a badly fitting door, rusty fitments will advertise to a thief that access can be gained easily. If rust is already present, the best alternative is to replace the door and get new fittings, then lubricate them regularly.
Older door openers may be subject to interference
Obviously, if you have an older automatic garage door, the door opener will have been programmed to a particular radio frequency a long time ago. Since then, all kinds of devices, including newer door openers, have come onto the market. Some owners in the US have found that a neighbour’s newer device has opened their own garage door. One man even found a TV stick interfered with the door. Needless to say, this could be dangerous if someone is standing near the door.
More modern door opening devices will be less likely to be subject to interference, as manufacturers have become aware of possible problems.
It’s not worth taking the risk of these hazards becoming actual accidents. The best advice is to take a good look at your garage door if it has been in place for some time. Check the fittings, springs and metal work carefully. If there are any signs of corrosion or wear, you need to contact us immediately, to arrange for a free survey.