Overhead door systems are complicated, we get it. We also know you’re looking for uncomplicated answers or solutions for your residential or commercial garage door needs. We can help – come visit us and we’ll get all your questions on maintenance requirements, style differences, weather durability, and industry trends answered. If you’d rather garner a little of that information on your own, we can still help. Here are some of American Door Works’ most frequently asked questions.

Do you give free estimates?

We are happy to give free estimates for sales of doors and openers. Because service and repair work involves a site inspection by a qualified technician, we may charge a minimum service fee to diagnose equipment problems.

What measurements do I need to know for a new door?

  • Width of the opening from jamb to jamb
  • Height of the opening from the floor to the bottom of the header
  • Headroom from the top of the opening to the ceiling or first obstruction

How much does a garage door cost?

Garage door pricing will vary according to size, strength, level of customized design, insulation value, etc. Our experienced sales staff is trained to provide you with the information you need to find the right door for your home.

Should I use a professional installer?

Garage doors are the largest moving objects in your home and business. Installation of garage doors is highly technical. Springs can be particularly dangerous and proper installation is critical to the performance of your door and the safety of those who use it. American Door Works' professional technicians can typically install a door in only a few hours and are careful to make sure all safety requirements are met. A professional installation will save you time and guarantee that your door performs safely and effectively.

What are the benefits of a steel door vs. wood door?

Steel door benefits:

  • Low maintenance
  • Longer warranties
  • Insulated steel doors are far more energy efficient

Wood door benefits:

  • Great accent for front of your home
  • Can be stained to match your home exactly
  • Unlimited design options

Do I need an insulated door?

A garage door opening is a very large hole in your garage. Insulated doors will help reduce the amount of outside temperature that enters your garage, thus keeping it more comfortable for you. This is important for a number of reasons:

  1. If your garage is attached to your home, any air in the garage could travel through the doorway to your living area
  2. If you use your garage as a workshop, your comfort will be a top priority
  3. If your garage is below another room in your home, air can travel through the ceiling of the garage into the floor above. An insulated door will keep temperatures in the garage fairly stable to reduce the temperature fluctuation in the room
  4. An insulated door is generally quieter and has a more attractive interior than an uninsulated door

What happens to my old door?

Another advantage of a professional installation is the removal and disposal of your old door. For a small fee, our technicians will properly remove your door and recycle all recoverable materials.

What is headroom and what is the minimum for a sectional overhead door?

Headroom is the distance from the top of your opening to the lowest point of the ceiling or first obstruction, such as ductwork.

The amount that is needed depends on what type of spring system your new door will have. Torsion springs require 12". These amounts are for door operation only. If you are installing a garage door opener, an additional 3" of headroom is required. Low headroom kits are available for tight installations. Other special track applications include vertical and high lift track, for use in situations where the ceiling is unusually high. Our sales staff will help you determine the exact dimensions of your garage to ensure a proper fit.

Are special door sizes available?

Yes, we are able to order doors in any size. Limitations may vary between models and manufacturers.

How long will it take to get my new garage door?

Average lead-time is 1-2 weeks for doors that are in stock. Custom and special order doors usually take 3-4 weeks.

What do I need to do to prepare my garage for your technicians?

To install the doors and openers efficiently, our technicians need the space to be free of debris. Please have all vehicles out of the garage during installation.

Can I paint a steel door?

Yes. Steel doors can be painted with a quality latex paint. NEVER use an oil based paint. Doing so will cause the original finish to bubble up and peel off. With latex paint, there is no prep work needed other than to make sure the door is clean and dry before painting.

Does a lower number for the gauge of steel mean that it is thicker?

Yes. The lower the gauge, the thicker and stronger the steel. For example, 24-gauge steel is thicker than 27-gauge steel. However, a "sandwich" constructed door with two 27-gauge steel skins and a bonded insulated core is stronger than a "steel frame" door with a single 24-gauge steel skin.

Which is better... Torsion or extension?

Garage doors use two types of springs, extension and torsion. Extension springs are attached on either side of the door and stretched along the horizontal part of the track when the door is closed. Torsion springs are typically located just above the top section of the door and are mounted to the header. They are wound and do not expand or contract when the door is moved.

Torsion springs are superior to extension springs because they offer more safety to the homeowner and better balance to the door, which provides a smoother operation. All American Door Works doors are equipped with torsion springs as part of our standard hardware package.

Can I use my existing opener on a new door?

Yes, however, the opener must meet certain reversing requirements in order to prevent entrapment. Opener codes are dictated by State and Federal guidelines (UL-325). Existing machines are checked first by the serial number and manufacturer name, then by proper installation and finally by condition. If a compliant machine does not work properly or a machine is not in compliance, our installing technician will tag the machine and notify you of the reason for the tag.

How qualified and trained are your technicians?

We are one of only three IDEA Accredited Door Dealers in the state of Minnesota. Our service technicians are highly trained professionals who are employed exclusively by us rather than subcontractors.

My door makes a lot of noise. Should I be concerned?

In most cases the squeaky noise is caused when older spring coils rub against one another. This isn't a safety concern and can be corrected with a spray on lubricant or by running a thin bead of motor oil across the top of each spring. If that doesn't quiet the door, then it is best to error on the side of caution and call our service department for service and adjustment of your door.

Do you take credit cards or checks?

We gladly accept cash, checks, Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express credit cards. We do require 50% down on all door purchases at the time of purchase.

What is the warranty?

New doors and openers are covered by a minimum one-year warranty on material and workmanship. We also provide you with a five-year spring warranty. Several doors and openers have extended material warranties beyond the first year. Service and repair work warranties are 90-days on parts and 30-days on labor.

What kind of doors and openers do you repair?

We repair all brands of doors and motor operators that are compliant with legal codes.

I've been comparing R-values of various doors and I am surprised at the variance among them. Can you explain this?

Many manufacturers use R-values to show the energy efficiency of their product. This number is arrived at through a calculation that looks at the thickness of the insulation and its chemical properties. Therefore, most of the R-value numbers you see, reflect only the R-value of the section ... not of the installed door. A door's insulating capabilities can be greatly affected by the door's construction. Polyurethane is a much better and more efficient insulator than polystyrene.

How do I know if my door is properly balanced?

There are several tests you can perform to tell if your door is balanced:

  • You should be able to raise your door halfway and the door should stay in place when you stop
  • When the door comes down, it lowers in a controlled manner and doesn't slam
  • When the door goes up, it is at a controlled pace
  • The bottom of the door should align with the bottom of the header when the door is in a raised position

When I replace my existing door, can I keep my old track?

We recommend replacing your track when you replace your door. Replacing your track is an inexpensive way to ensure that your entire garage door system is as safe as possible. By replacing your track you also ensure that your door warranty will apply, in the event that you have a problem.