Expert advice from a Tempe garage door specialist
Who we talked to
Cookson Door Sales of Arizona
What should homeowners consider when shopping around for a garage door versus maintaining the old door they have?
"A garage door should last a lifetime if you take care of it, but if your kids are shooting hockey pucks at it, it will eventually need to be replaced. Similarly, if your car runs into the garage door, you can't just pound it back into place. That's like bending a piece of wire back and forth — it will weaken and eventually break.
"If the gears are properly greased, a garage door operating system should last 15 to 20 years. However, a broken spring will tear up the gears. I recommend a belt drive with DC motors, since they are steel reinforced and come with a lifetime warranty.
"Garage door springs are the most common thing that break. They're typically designed for only 10,000 cycles, so it depends on how often you open and close the door. Our springs are rated for 15,000 cycles, so you get 50 percent more use out of them, and they have a five-year warranty.
"Replacing and servicing springs will cost you about $175, but that includes a full diagnostic check of the garage door system, including greasing the motor gears.
"During our service checks, we look for cracking sections in the door, which can lead to greater problems as time goes on. We also check the balance of the garage door spring, which can loosen after a while; the cables; the alignment of the tracks; and the bearing plates (to make sure they're properly oiled and are straight).
"If you get a midrange priced garage door, it will have a longer life span than a lower-end door, which can be blown in by strong winds. Normal garage doors at 16-by-7 feet range in price from $700 for a pan door without windows to $8,000 for a high-end door that looks like wood.
"Pan doors are just steel, but there are also insulated pan doors, steel front or steel back insulated pan doors — the latter of which runs in the midrange of prices — and glass doors or doors made to look like wood.
"Some of our doors have a thermal break that separates the outside skin from the inside skin. If your garage door faces west, you can pretty much fry an egg on a pan door, so insulation keeps the heat and cold out. They're also quieter when they roll up and down.
"As far as keypads go, we have 3.5 billion codes that rotate automatically, never to be repeated. Keypads are safe and good for the times you walk your dog and forget your house keys.
"Usually, if plastic rollers break, you can pick them up from us and install them yourself. We also offer emergency services. If you're trapped in your garage, we can pull a worker from a nearby job site to help you. It's all part of our customer service. We have a quick response time, and we help customers add curb appeal to their homes."