What Material Should I Choose for My 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 – Unsightly and 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.


Things to Consider When Buying a Garage Door with Windows


The advantages of a garage door with windows

Adding some windows to your garage door will instantly add brightness to your garage. It can turn what was once a dingy garage space into a sunlit place where you can enjoy tinkering with the car. There are a few things to consider, though, when adding in windows to your garage door. This article provides you with a handy guide to the world of garage door windows, detailing three key things to think about.

1. Windows that can be opened

Most garage door windows are fixed in place and cannot be opened or closed. However, it can be nice to install at least one window that can be opened in the summer. This is especially useful if you have a large garage that you also use as a space for doing projects, or even lounging on a sofa and watching TV.

2. The issue of security

It is crucial to keep your garage safe and secure at all times. Adding grilles or bolts to windows will enable you to maximise their security, as will placing windows high up in the garage door and far away from any door handles or catches will ensure that they are nice and secure. Choosing tough glass is good for security as is opting for ridged or frosted glass that makes it difficult to use the window to see inside the garage. All in all, there are plenty of options to choose from in this regard, and it is perfectly possible to have a nice and secure garage window that looks very attractive too.

3. Size and placement of the windows

Small garage windows look good placed high up on the garage door, as this way they can let the maximum amount of light in. If you like, though, you can opt for larger windows that take up nearly the entirety of the top half of the door. Again, this is particularly good if you use your garage as part of your living space and want to enjoy a bright, sunlight place where you can relax, play some music with your friends, or work on DIY or craft projects away from the main house.

It’s easy to find the right garage window doors for you

Simply think about what you want to use your garage door and contact The Garage Door Centre here

Why choose The Garage Door Centre 

Proudly serving customers in South Wales since 1990, The Garage Door Centre is the region’s leading supplier and repairer of garage doors. As a family-run business who appreciate that our customers are our greatest asset, we maintain customer satisfaction as our highest priority, and we welcome all enquiries regarding your garage door needs. Here are just a few reasons why more people are choosing The Garage Door Centre.

New Garage Door Supplied and Fitted

We can supply and fit garage doors of all types. Whether you’d like a popular and economical ‘up and over’ type of door, a roller garage door, a side-hinged door or sectional doors, and whether you want your door to be manually operated or fully remote-controlled, we can do it all. Our range of garage doors are sourced from high quality manufacturers and come in a variety of attractive colours, styles and finishes.

Garage Doors Repaired Quickly

At The Garage Door Centre, we are also experts in garage door repairs. We stock a huge range of parts for many types of garage doors, and our professional fitters can, in most cases, quickly replace damaged or worn parts and have your existing garage door back in perfect working order. Our repair service is second to none and we always go the extra mile in order to please all of our customers. Wherever possible, we offer a same day or next day service and also offer an emergency call out service.

Existing Garage Doors Upgraded to Remote Control

An important part of our business is upgrading existing garage doors to enable remote controlled operation. Most existing doors can be fitted with a remote control system, so if you’re not looking for a brand new garage door but would like the greatly added convenience of remote control access, we can oblige. Our remote control systems comprise a high quality door opening and closing mechanism that can be operated from inside the garage, on the garage door exterior via a secure entry system, or via a hand-held transmitter that can open or close the door over a distance of 100 feet. The garage lighting can also be wired to come on when the door is opened and automatically timed to switch off shortly after the door is closed.

Friendly and Professional Service at all Times

To see and get a hands-on feel for the quality of our products and services, and also to meet our friendly and helpful staff, our showroom based at Whittle Street in Cardiff is open from Mondays to Saturdays. Our experts will be happy to demonstrate our excellent garage door systems and accessories, or offer free advice on repairing or upgrading your existing garage door. If that’s not practical, we can visit you at your home and offer a free consultation at a time that’s convenient for you to discuss your garage door requirements. To arrange a visit to your home, or if you just want more information on what we can offer, simply call us at the number listed on the site for the area of South Wales nearest to where you live.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Zip-tie on Your Automatic Garage Door 


Automatic garage doors still offer the greatest benefits and peace of mind when compared with other garage doors. You can operate them remotely from the comfort of your car, which is great for your personal safety and security, especially when returning home alone at night. Besides, it saves you the trouble of getting off your car to open a manual garage and having to return to park the car.

Yet, there have been recent media reports advocating the use of zip-ties to prevent garage break-ins. At the heart of these reports is the possibility that the emergency release mechanism fitted with these automatic doors could be used by intruders to gain entry into a garage.

The emergency release latch is a safety feature installed to manually disengage the automatic door from the garage door operator should someone or an object becomes entrapped under it when the door is moving downwards. If there was no such feature to reverse the door and prevent downward pressure on the object caught under the door, disastrous consequences would be the result of the unfortunate accident.

In addition, the manual release mechanism can help provide access in and out of the garage if the door operator is not working properly or when there is a power outage. This feature becomes very valuable when there is a fire outbreak that disrupts the electrical system in the house and a quick get-away from the inferno is critical.

The zip-tie practically disables this safety feature by locking the release mechanism and prevents it from being manually activated in the event of an emergency entrapment. This constitutes a great danger to homeowners and other occupants of the house. The security of the house and its appurtenances is germane but the safety of human life is critically important. Adding a zip-tie to block the release mechanism of the door operator in an attempt to prevent break-ins will inadvertently expose the house occupiers to grave danger.

A more pragmatic approach to solving this problem will be to take necessary action to reinforce the security around the house. Additional security features such as automatic locks are now available for specific door models or openers. Multiple layers of security involving deployment of additional physical and electronic equipment to secure the house will go a long way to prevent break-ins and thwart the efforts of intruders.

Specific measures such as the installation of security alarm systems on the premises should be considered. In addition, proactive measures should include ensuring that the connecting door between the garage and the house is always locked and any windows looking into the garage are locked at all times. Valuable items such as bicycles may attract the attention of burglars and may increase the vulnerability of a garage. They should be stored away from the prying eyes of potential burglars.

The emergency release should be operable on all residential garage door operators, homeowners are strongly advised not to use zip-ties on their automatic garage doors.

Why choose to upgrade to an automatic garage door

An automatic garage door, apart from feeling like a luxury, offers many benefits to its users.

One of the most optimal reasons to upgrade to an automatic garage door is that having one provides a great deal of security and peace of mind, because the door can only be opened via the allocated radio transmitter, as opposed to manual garages which can easily be targeted by burglars, particularly if left unlocked. There is also the added bonus of knowing that it can be opened from the comfort of a user’s car, which provides safety at night when it is dark for those who do not wish to vacate their vehicle alone. Similarly, an automatic light function is prompted upon use of the radio transmitter, illuminating the garage for a period of three minutes, meaning users do not need to worry about being left in the dark and struggling to find the light switch when they get in.

Upgrading to an automatic garage door also removes the element of hassle which occurs when a driver is required to leave the car, manually open the garage door and then return to their car to park it. Being able to drive straight into the garage by using a radio transmitter to open it from the vehicle eliminates any possibility of getting caught up in wet and windy weather upon arriving home.

Another reason to upgrade to an automatic garage door is the flexibility it provides to those who are elderly or disabled, who may otherwise struggle to be able to open a garage door, or even find it impossible to do so. Being able to do so with the touch of a button provides an invaluable option for those who may have previously resorted to parking in the driveway, and allows them to make use of their garage once again.

Last but not least, upgrading does not mean sacrificing style, and aesthetics are adaptable and can be complementary to the adjoining property, with a variety of characteristics to choose from. There also numerous extras that can be selected when upgrading to an automatic garage door, including additional radio transmitters, manual release keys and key-switches, all of which ensure a fully user specific upgrade and complete peace of mind for the purchaser.

How to Take Advantage of Your Garage Space


The Garage Door Centre is your one-stop-shop for garage doors, installation services, repairs and other accessories. While owning a modern and efficient door is always beneficial, taking advantage of the space within your garage is just as critical to make the best use out of this area. Let’s take a look at some sure-fire tips which will enable you to maximise the functionality of your garage.

Overhead Storage SolutionsMany garages will make use of overhead areas to store supplies such a tyres, rags, cleaning products and cases of oil. This is naturally assuming that ample clearance is present. In order to make certain that no accidents occur, install sturdy support beams and a few pieces of plywood. Heavier items should be stored elsewhere.

Wall-Mounted Cabinetry

A wall-mounted cabinet is another excellent solution, for it will offer easy access to important tools while not taking up your much-needed space. There are many models of these units and whether you choose stainless steel, aluminium or wood, they normally last for years with little maintenance requirements.


It is very common for owners to make use of a well-placed pegboard. These unique boards come in a wide variety of sizes and configurations. They are turkey solutions that provide access to commonly used tools such as wrenches, screwdrivers and jumper cables. However, remember that other items including beach equipment and holiday accessories are just as easily stored.

Wheeled Chests

Many professional garages make use of wheeled chests and this same observation can hold true within a domestic environment. These robust accessories can be moved about easily when necessary and secure locking mechanisms ensure that they safely remain in place.

Create a “Junk Box”

Items laying around a garage can quickly diminish your available floor space. They can also be a tripping hazard. So, create a box that is intended to store such items. This box should be placed off to the side or in a corner to avoid creating an obstruction.

Above all, make it a point to throw away any items that are deemed to be old or useless. You could even choose to have a boot sale and earn a few extra pounds. If you are looking for other garage-related tips or should you be hoping to purchase only the latest in garage door models, please contact us at The Garage Door Centre for further details.

Electric open garage door

Garage Door Maintenance: Know When to Call the Pros 

Regular garage door maintenance can save you a lot of time and money in the long run and there are several tasks that can be performed easily by owners. However, other maintenance tasks can be specialised or even dangerous and in these cases it is best to call in the professionals. Here are some examples of garage door maintenance tasks when it is best to call in the pros.

Checking and Replacing Garage Door Springs
Your garage door is likely to have either torsion or extension springs to aid the smooth opening and closing of the door. If the springs are not working properly, it is essential to call in a professional to check them, as doing this yourself can be very dangerous. If this is not done correctly the door can suddenly slam shut, which could mean that you are trapped inside the garage with no way out. It takes a lot of tension to make the springs work correctly and if they suddenly break during incorrect maintenance they could inflict a lot of pain and damage.Testing Garage Door Sensors

The safety reversing mechanism on the garage door needs regular checking and this should also be done by a professional to avoid injury. The sensors need to be mounted no higher than six inches off the ground on the bottom of the garage door and if you discover that they have been mounted higher than this you should call in a professional to lower them. Although it is possible to visually check the garage door sensors by yourself, it is a good idea to get a second opinion from a professional and avoid any type of maintenance unless you are absolutely certain that you know what you are doing.Lubricating Rollers and Springs

This task should never be performed alone and in fact, it is best to avoid touching these parts of the garage door altogether. The springs, rollers, and hinges of the garage door need lubricating from time to time when they become squeaky or start to stick. This can be done by using a spray bottle of white lithium grease and should be done under supervision to avoid accidents. Although it may seem like this task is very quick and easy, enlisting the help of a professional is the best way to make sure that to lubrication process is safe and smooth and no unnecessary accidents occur.

The benefits of GRP garage doors

GRP (or composite) garage doors are the most sought after in today’s competitive door market. It has become a fast favourite alternative to the traditional wooden, PVC or steel type for many reasons, not least of them its wonderful versatility. GRP is glass reinforced plastic; polymer plastic composite reinforced by fibreglass. The result is a tough, durable and easily maintained substance that’s ideal for garage doors as it provides protection, security and style all at the same time. GRP garage doors can be moulded and decorated to suit personal taste guaranteeing the one thing customers most want when purchasing a door; a superb finish and ensured longevity.

Promising performance
The GRP composite garage door is an excellent performer because of its strengthened door leaf. This skin, (or outer layer) is well equipped to weather any storm, and can deal with the tougher elements of wind, rain and snow. This exterior shield acts like an invisible insulated thermal lining and the composition is so tough, your door won’t warp or develop unsightly bows or bumps. This in turn guarantees decades of durability, functionality and of course enjoyment. Because of its strengthened composition, GRP garage doors are safe and secure options when it comes to home security and they can be fitted with designed locking systems as an extra precaution.Attractive designs and low maintenance
One of the most innovate features of GRP composite garage doors is their easy adaptability to sleek design and colour choice. Traditional timber grain doors are still a very popular choice of garage door for many and the GRP door skin can be moulded to this specification. It’s almost impossible to tell the difference between a composite door and that of a mahogany or cherry-wood original, which lends that rustic charm and feel to your home without any of the usual drawbacks. The composite door leaf has another advantage as whatever choice of colour you make, it won’t fade over time, which is a common complaint made when it comes to regular PVC panelled alternatives. Composite doors come in a wide variety of colours to suit your preferred décor and style and they’re a cinch to maintain. As GRP is resistant to sun-fade it doesn’t require repeated coats of paint. Simply wipe down with a damp cloth occasionally and it will always look sparkling clean and like it’s just been recently fitted.

garage door cardiff

Garage Door Maintenance Tips

View of house entrance next to garage

A garage door needs care so it operates smoothly, especially if it gets used several times a day. Here are some tips:

Visual checks
When you open and close the door, check to see it’s still working smoothly. If it jerks or is noisy the chances are it’ll need some attention. You can also check to make sure it looks hangs symmetrically.

Maintain the hardware
Due to the stresses and strains placed on a typical garage door, hardware can work loose over time, so it’s worth examining the roller brackets and bolts, tightening them if needed.

Test for balance
An unbalanced door will put strain on the door opener, decreasing its lifespan. If you disconnect the opener, then manually move the door half open, it should stay there. If not, the counterweight system’s out of balance and you should get a professional to adjust this.

Check the rollers
Inspect the rollers every 6 months and expect to replace them about every 7 years, or more often. Deteriorating rollers need to be replaced and if you’re not confident, get a professional to do this job.

Replace the rubber weather seal
A cracked weather seal on the bottom of your door won’t keep the elements out, so get a new one and cut it to size to replace.

Oil moving parts
Lubricate all moving parts with a small amount of spray lubricant to the door hinges, rollers and tracks.

Check cables
The high-tension cables that lift the door can be checked for wear near the bottom roller bracket and check for any broken strands in the cables themselves, but if damaged, professional help’s needed for a repair or replacement.

Test the safety features
Test the auto reverse by placing an object on the ground so the door touches it as it closes, upon which it should go back up. Test, the photoelectric system by breaking the beam as the door’s coming down, which should send it into reverse. If your door’s an older model, it may not have this feature, so best replace the opener.

Clearing the tracks
Check the tracks on both sides of the door to make sure there are no debris, but major adjustments to tracks must be carried out by a professional technician.

The door itself
Examine the door itself for damage, including warping and check the integrity of the paintwork. A door can be washed with a general cleaning fluid and repainted if necessary to keep it looking smart.