Posts by Tom Blair

Do you know the history of the modern day garage dates back more than 100 years? The term garage itself was derived from the French word “garer” which means “to shelter.” The term fits the purpose of what we use our garage for every day whether we shelter our car or our extra stuff that doesn’t fit in the house. Keep reading to learn about how garages were first built and how they’ve gotten to the point of where they are today.


The Evolution of the Carriage House

Carriage houses were buildings that originally housed the carriage, horses, and related modes of transportation. So naturally once automobiles started gaining in popularity, these structures were repurposed into garages.

The new “horseless carriage” took the country and the world by full force and businesses saw an opportunity and a demand developing. The famous Sears Roebuck & Company capitalized on this new trend and introduced a portable garage people could order starting back in 1908. This was a very popular item for those who didn’t have a carriage house already on their property.


Cars, Cars Everywhere

When the federal government passed the Federal Road Act of 1916 and the Federal Highway Act of 1921, it became clear that cars were here to stay. Then when Henry Ford introduced his famous car affordable to the masses, there was no turning back. Now a motor and four wheels was available to every American at an affordable price. But then the problem of storing them became clear.


When people began constructing new garages to house their vehicles, they started by modeling them after the traditional carriage houses of the past. But the necessity of innovation quickly pushed the envelope. The overhead garage door was introduced in 1921 and just 5 years later the revolutionary automatic garage door opener became available. What started as a novelty quickly became the standard as the public demanded a better and more functional garage door.

Does It Have a Garage?

The need for garages across the United States was palpable. As early as 1925, real estate agents reported that prospective buyers were quick to ask if the home included a garage for their vehicle. And if it didn’t this could cost the deal. By 1941, architects and home designers were creating new home designs which included attached garages that gave the residents direct access to their vehicle. No longer did people need to walk outside to get to their garage.

As the economy boomed after World War II, Americans wanted bigger and better cars.

And as they bought these vehicles, their need for a large garage naturally grew too. By 1960, the garage had expanded to the point that it included a whopping 45 percent of the square footage of the entire average American household.

The New Way Inside

In our current American society, we have more than 82 million homes that include a garage while 79 percent of all home include at least a single-car garage. And as families start to have more cars, people are continuing to expand the size of their garages. About 17 percent of new single-family homes have a three-car garage.

Vital to the functioning of daily life, nearly three quarters of homeowners use their garage as the primary entry way into their home. The front door has effectively been replaced. But along with increase of garage sizes, the role of the garage door has also changed over time.


A Space of Creativity

Although spurned on by the growing need of cars in America, about 85 percent of homeowners use their garage for something else other than sheltering their vehicle. Most people use it for extra storage or have turned it into a “man cave” or other such relaxing room. But the garage has also been home to some of the biggest entrepreneurs and inventors. Google, Apple Computers, Nike and a lot more got their start from inside the humble garage.

Perhaps an even more famous use of the garage is for music. There have been countless garage bands that have gone from humble beginnings to rock stardom thanks to the garage. For example, Nirvana, The Beatles, and more. With so much amazing innovation behind the automatic garage door, where will the history of garages lead next?
What began at the turn of the century as a practical way to house the family vehicle, has evolved into a movement that has given us some of the greatest music and innovations in generations. The garage is here to stay. And with such an exciting history, the future of garages will be a journey worth following.

Because the right garage door can have a significant impact on your home’s curb appeal, you want to make a great decision. It has probably been awhile since you last shopped for a new garage door so sifting through all buying factors can be tough.

To make the process easier for you, we’ve compiled this easy-to-read list that gets right to the point. Whether you want to upgrade or get a replacement, these 10 tips will help you choose the best garage door for you.

 1. Garage Door Design and Styles

If you spend just a few minutes looking through your garage door selection, you may be surprised at how many design and style options you have. Since your garage is part of your home’s exterior, its style and design should compliment your overall home’s style. Take a look at your options and choose what looks best for your home. For example, the carriage style garage door will give your home the storybook farmhouse look while a contemporary aluminum door or glass door will offer a dramatic compliment to your modern home’s exterior.

2. Garage Door Windows

If you want your new garage door to look even better, windows undoubtedly will take it to the next level. Not only do they enhance your home’s curb appeal and beauty, windows are a great way to allow natural light inside. Windows easily transform a gloomy garage into a welcoming space. If you are concerned about the cold weather, double-paned windows offer a simple solution that will allow the sun to shine while keeping the cold out.

3. Garage Door Material

Garage doors usually come constructed from wood, steel, vinyl, or aluminum. Choosing the garage door material depends on your preferences and desires. The first is look. Wood can offer more customized options and give your home a ornate look. Most commonly garage doors are made from steel. Vinyl doors are durable in harsh weather and aluminum doors offer a sophisticated look.

4. Considering Upkeep

When selecting the material your garage door is made of you may want to consider upkeep expenses. Wood doors, though stunning, do require painting or staining every few years. However, this minimal effort really increases your home’s curb appeal. Steel doors are durable and only require occasional cleaning and maintenance. Vinyl doors last even longer, never need to be painted, and don’t rust. Aluminum doors are low maintenance.

5. Insulation

Choosing a garage door with excellent insulation will keep your utility bill costs down both in the winter and summer. If you plan to use your garage as a work space or a social space, insulation is vital. Insulation of a garage door is expressed in R-Value. A higher R-Value reduces outside noise and keeps the temperature stable. When shopping for a garage door with insulation, do not be fooled by the door’s thickness – look for a high R-Value instead.

6. Garage Door Safety

As the largest moving piece of equipment in most households, make sure you new garage door is safe for everyone. Some garage doors are equipped with pinch-resistant features that push fingers away from harm when the door is closing. Your new door should be equipped with a garage door reversal function.

7. Garage Door Spring System

Your garage door is opened and closed with the counterbalance spring system. The opener only provides the initial push to get the door moving while the springs do the rest of the work. The springs are wound tightly when the door is closed and unwind to push the door up. When choosing your next garage door, ensure this vital mechanism is as sturdy and strong as your new door is beautiful.

8. Warranty

Many garage door manufactures offer you a warranty when you purchase a new door. For example C.H.I. Overhead Doors offers an excellent warranty against splitting, cracking and rusting.

9. Cost

When upgrading your garage door, you must consider the cost. Though you should get what you want, finding a garage door company that offers quality at an affordable rate is important. You deserve to get the best product for your money. Because we are the largest garage door company in Geauga County, we can offer better rates because of our large volume with manufactures.

10. Service Quality

If you are considering getting a new garage door, always consider the quality of the installation service. If some company does a bad job, you will end of paying for it in maintenance and repair costs before long. Always look for positive testimonials and reviews.

Although choosing the best garage door for your home might feel like a big task, these 10 tips will make it easier for you. We offer free estimates for people considering buying a new garage door. Contact us today if you have any questions.

During the winter a lot of things can go wrong around the house. This is also true for your garage door. Keep reading to learn about common garage door problems you may experience in the winter. By knowing and preparing yourself, you’ll be ready to take action to solve these problems quickly.

Metal Contracts in the Winter

Because cold temperatures can cause metal to contract, keep an eye on the metal components of your garage door this season. The springs, screws, and other pieces could possibly seize up and cause a garage door malfunction. If this does happen, call a professional to solve your problem right away as dealing with it yourself can be dangerous.

Fortunately, you can help reduce the chances that the metal pieces in your garage door will contract by applying lubricant.  A good 30 weight. oil will be fine

Broken Springs 

The average garage door system usually includes springs to keep the weight of the door balanced. Like everything, these springs can eventually break. Unfortunately, this occurs most frequently in the winter months so if your garage door has problems and doesn’t work, this may be the reason. If your garage door needs to have springs replaced, you must call a professional to do a job like this.

Weather Stripping Failure

If water freezes near the closed garage door, the weather stripping may stick to the ground. When the door is raised, the weather strip might be torn off. The common garage door problem will leave you with poor insulation. Fortunately, prevention is simple. Sweep away any snow or water puddles near your closed garage door to protect your weather stripping.

Cold temperatures and winter weather can put an unnecessary strain on your garage door. Being aware of the common garage door problems in the winter will help you take steps to prevent them and deal with them quickly. Because garage door repairs can be overwhelming and potentially dangerous, we recommend you contact a professional to take care of your garage door problems this winter.


Your garage door is the gateway to your home. In the winter it months it keeps you warm and protects your vehicles from the elements. If you have a garage door that needs to be fixed, whether it is on your home or your business property, you might want to make sure that a professional takes care of the repairs if something breaks.


If you try to fix garage door repairs yourself, you may end up causing another problem or making your situation even worse by doing the wrong thing. In this case, it is best to hire a professional. If you do not have the correct knowledge or the necessary expertise, odds are that you will cause more damage instead of fixing the problem.


If you have had no training in fixing garage doors, you have no on-the-job knowledge and may be unaware of how to keep yourself safe while attempting to fix a problem. It is not only smarter but also safer to hire a garage door specialist instead of fixing problems yourself. Remember to keep you and your family safe and hire a professional. The following are five garage door repairs that you should not do yourself. Keep your family safe by hiring a professional for the job.


1. Bent Track

To make the movements of your garage door smooth, it goes up and down by rolling on the tracks. If these tracks become broken or bent, your garage door will not function property and can be a dangerous hazard to you, your family or people at your business. Make sure to call a professional right away to fix this problem. You will be happy that a professional finished the job in a safe manner.

2. Garage Door Panel Replacement

When one or more of the outside panels of your garage door need to be replaced, a professional is the right person for the job. Panel replacement is a lot more than just a cosmetic problem. Not only will it be safer to hire a professional to do the job, but he or she will also be able to tell you why the problem occurred in the first place and offer tips on how to avoid having this problem in the future.

3. Roller Replacement

One of the more common problems people face is having their garage door rollers bend or break. Since these mechanisms are constantly in motion as you open and close your door, they may eventually become worn out and need to be replaced. If you decide to do this yourself, you might end up wasting a substantial amount of time on this repair. A professional will save you the risk of getting hurt because he or she has experience and will also do the job much more quickly.

4. Spring Replacement

Occasionally, one or more of the springs in your garage door may break and the door will not function as it used to. This may be frustrating and you might want to try to fix this problem yourself. However, without the proper training, the right tools and garage door equipment, replacing a spring can actually be very dangerous. To reduce risks and keep you and your family safe, hire a garage door professional to come and perform this repair for you.

5. Broken Cables

In order for your garage door to function correctly and safely, the cables on your door must be in working order. Since these cables are constantly under a lot of pressure from your heavy garage door, it can be dangerous to you if you do not know how to handle this repair properly. Repairing garage door cables requires a lot of expertise and a professional garage door repair specialist will be able to make this fix safely.

When it comes to making garage door repairs it is usually safer to hire a professional. Not only will it save hours of your time, but you can also rest assured that the work will be done well. Contact us today for a consultation so you can be sure that your garage door operates properly.

Safety is a priority for all homeowners––everyone wants their families and visitors to feel safe. In recent years, the safety of your garage has drastically increased with the innovation of automatically reversing doors; this is the feature that causes your garage door to retract upwards if it senses something obstructing its path. To keep your children and pets even safer, you should regularly check that your garage door reversal feature is working properly.

First Ensure that Your Garage Door Has a Reversal Feature

It’s easy to check for this feature: when standing inside your garage with the door closed, you should be able to see two sensors (known as “eyes”) located about half a foot off the ground on either side of the door. (Often these garage door sensors will display a green or red light.) These two eyes are very important, because they detect any objects that might be under the door. These eyes are required features, and they must be kept in working order.

If your garage door doesn’t have these sensors at the bottom, then it doesn’t have an automatic reversal function, and it must be replaced. Federal law mandates that garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993 are required to have this advanced safety feature. 

Because the reversal feature is so important for the safety of those in your household, it’s important to check at least once a month to make sure that it’s still functioning properly. Follow these three simple steps from Garage Door Guy Blog to ensure that your garage door reversal feature is working and keeping your family safe.

  1. Open the garage door completely and place a full roll of paper towels on the floor beneath the center of your garage door.
  2. Use either your garage door remote or the nearest wired button to close the door. When the door strikes the roll of paper towels, it should reverse.
  3. If the door reverses, then your system is safe and secure. However, if the garage door reverse function does not pass the test, you’ll need to hire a certified technician to adjust the system They will need to repair or replace either the sensor eyes, the opener, or even the entire door.

If you are having problems with your reverse function, call us today!

Keeping your garage and home safe by locking your doors is obviously a no brainer. And yet how many of us keep our remote openers on the visor of our cars for our own easy access?

Or do you ever wonder how easy it might be for someone to hack your garage door code and enter your garage, home, or both?

At the very least, you should be placing your opener in a hidden spot in your car if you choose to leave it inside.

But if your overhead garage door opener is over 15 years old, then now may be a good time to consider purchasing a new one. It certainly would make it a lot more difficult, in fact, near impossible, to access your garage.

Out with the Old; In with the New

If your garage door opener was made before 1999, it’s time to replace it with something more secure. Not only are many of these older units discontinued by most manufacturers, but finding parts can be difficult.

Today’s garage door openers come with safety features like rolling code technology. Every time you use that remote control, a new code is selected from an infinite number of combinations making copying your frequency impossible. Many new openers even come with a safety switch lock that disables all remote access so when you’re away on vacation, or even for the whole winter, you know your home is under maximum protection.

More features that are available today from many manufacturers of modern garage door openers include:

  • monitor and control your garage door and house lights remotely by using a computer or smartphone
  • electronically programing security codes from a multi-function control panel
  • whole-garage lighting with adjustable light time delay
  • safety sensors that project an invisible light beam across the garage door opening and automatically reverses the door if anything interrupts the beam while door is going down
  • sensing technology which will stop the door from closing if contact is made with a person or object
  • warning system which provides audible and visual warnings that the garage door is about to close
  • manual release handle in case of power failure

Though we can’t help you with where you choose to place your remote operator, we can help you find the best replacement for your out-of-date model which will provide maximum security for your home and maximum peace of mind for you. Call us today!

Next time you’re driving around the neighborhood, make it a point to look at the homes and especially their overhead garage doors. How much of the exterior view is represented by those doors? Typically, you’ll find that it’s not less than a third of the home, and oftentimes it’s even more.

Obviously, your choice of door is going to be a big part of that first impression people will form about your home, so finding one that best complements your home and satisfies your needs is something to give some serious thought to. This becomes even more important when the it’s time to sell – you don’t want to chase a potential buyer away before they even get inside!

Today, the range of design and material options is almost endless. You could spend days looking through everything that’s available before you find a door that not only secures your home and enhances its curb appeal, but also improves its energy efficiency at the same time.

To help you narrow those options a bit, here are five important categories to consider when buying or replacing an overhead door.

1. Cost

We all have spending limits! It is essential to have a budget in mind when looking into any major purchase. Give yourself a realistic range to work within that includes both a high-end and even a low-end amount that you are willing to spend.

2. Lifestyle

If you have children or use the garage as a workshop, your best choice is an insulated, heavy gauge steel door that isn’t going to dent every time a ball or bike hits it. And think twice about windows (or at least the type of windows) if you have baseball players! A good door will last 15-20 years if properly maintained and should get you through those years when kids are most apt to have a few run ins with it.

3. Style

Trying to decide on a look that best fits your home is probably going to be the hardest decision of all. By setting a budget, you’ll narrow down the choices. While you’re on that drive around the neighborhood, check out the garage doors that seem to enhance the overall appearance of homes similar to yours. Geauga Door professionals are a good source to consult if you’re struggling here and can help direct you to a style that best fits your home and your budget.

4. Insulation

Not all doors need insulation. However, if your lifestyle includes children, then an insulated door will keep your garage at a more comfortable temperature when you’re loading and unloading the kids, their friends, the dogs, cats, etc.! Other than that, it’s more of a personal preference. If your workshop is in the garage, you’ll want insulation. And with severe weather changes, which do happen all too often in Northeast Ohio, it may be more cost effective to choose an insulated door if your garage is attached to your home.

5. Maintenance

Steel or fiberglass doors will require the least amount of maintenance, but no door is absolutely maintenance-free. Cleaning the door and lubricating the moving parts of the door should be done once a year at the very least.

Wooden garage doors are certainly beautiful and add a warmth and even rustic appeal, but keep in mind that maintenance costs increase. They will need to be painted, treated, and/or stained once every couple of years.

If all this seems a bit overwhelming, call us! Geauga Door Sales & Services has been providing quality service, products, and installation to customers, including contractors, for over four decades. We have plenty of options to choose from and can answer all your questions as you go through the process of finding the right overhead garage door for your home.


Buying a new home is certainly one of the most exciting and one of the most stressful things in life! So can you imagine after all is said and done, you walk out to get your car out of the garage, only to discover the overhead door won’t open? Too late! You should have had that inspected beforehand!

Whether you’re a home buyer, home seller, or a homeowner, inspections are certainly required. After all, the installation of an overhead garage door is one of most expensive enhancements to a home. You don’t want to be caught in any of the above positions and faced with unexpected expenses – or possible court cases!

If you do not already have annual inspection dates scheduled with your overhead door company, or if you are currently looking at a home with an overhead door, now is the time to call Geauga Door. The cost of an inspection versus the cost of a complete door replacement – well, there is obviously no comparison!

You can also do some checking yourself. Here is a list of things to be sure to look over.

1. Check Alignment and Balance

  • Close the garage door. Disconnect from the opener. Open manually with one hand. If lubricated properly it should open easily. If it doesn’t open, re-lubricate and try again. If it still sticks, you may have an alignment problem.
  • Open the door halfway and release it. If it slams down, the culprit is possibly a bad spring. Improper balance could also be the problem.  A properly balanced garage door will stay in place with a bit of shifting perhaps, but it will not rapidly close or open. 

2. Check Door Operator
Garage doors are heavy! They unfortunately have caused a number of serious injuries due to improper maintenance or just careless behavior.

  • Open the door. Place an object such as a piece of wood or paper towel roll under the door and then close it automatically. The door should detect it, stop, and reverse entirely.
  • If your garage door has electric sensors, repeat the above process of opening the door, but then take a stick and pass it under the door at the height of the sensors to check for its reversal. The sensors should detect the stick, stop the door, and reverse it.

If either of the above tests fail, call Geauga Door right away and have the garage door repaired. Waiting will only delay the accident that is sure to take place.

3. Check for Damage

Areas to pay special attention to:

  • damaged wiring and connections
  • damaged weather stripping that could allow air or water in
  • damaged or worn cables 

4. Additional Check Points

  • Power cords or extension cords that aren’t directly wired into the wall
  • Test the emergency release handle occasionally to be sure it will detach from the opener. (Remember to reattach it after checking!)
  • If your overhead door has extension springs, they should have a safety cable running through the middle of it. If not, it is recommended you have them installed.
  • Lubricate springs, sprockets, rollers and bearings and tighten chains, belts, hinges and hardware as needed.
  • Be sure the open/close button is at least five feet from the ground so little hands cannot reach!


If you discover problems with your garage door…

unless you know you are qualified, do not attempt to fix it yourself. Take a look at the manufacturer’s information that came with your door. It may give you a little insight about what is wrong. Then call Geauga Door!

Yes – I know it’s only August, but it’s a good time to do a little overhead garage door inspecting while the sun shines bright! When late fall and then winter arrive, you won’t want to be outside doing a door inspection in Northeast Ohio. We all know the havoc winter can wreak on …well, on just about everything! And your garage door will receive no exemptions for Mr. Old Man Winter.

Your overhead door is the largest door in your home. If your garage is attached to the house and heated, unless it is properly sealed, you stand to lose a good deal of warmth AND money!  When those temps begin to plummet, your heating bill will begin to rise no matter what, but if your door is in need of new seals, it could be costing you a significant amount more. By properly sealing your door, you could save hundreds of dollars.

Take a few minutes to perform this quick and easy 3 Point Seal Check. Do it now and you’ll have plenty of time to consider your options for repair or replacement should that be needed.

3 Point Seal Check

1. Close the garage door and stand inside during the day. Turn the lights off and look around the door for places where light shows through – the bottom, sides, and between sections.  There should be no light or very minimal light that shows. Feel for drafts as well.

2. Check the exterior vinyl weather stripping along the outside edges of your door. If you see cracks, if it appears loose or damaged, then it will need replacing.

3. Inspect the rubber weatherstripping at the bottom of the garage door. This is where the Northeast Ohio weather may take a big toll. Ice formation, salt accumulations, and debris have collected over time causing the seal to crack, pull away, or even develop holes.

If you notice damage, wear, or anything out of the ordinary, call Geauga Door now. They can take a look and let you know how to proceed. The money you will save in heating costs this winter could easily make up for the cost of any garage door repairs – especially if this winter is anything like that of 2013!










Geauga Door Garage Door Repair Services

You bought a home about 15 years ago with an overhead garage door. You have had to repair the opener 3 or 4 times since then. You just paid $100 a month ago for a repair and now there is another problem! How long should a garage door opener last? Is it time to replace it?

Garage door openers tend to last a long time…some 20 years. If you are paying out $100 each month, it’s pretty obvious you should make arrangements for its burial! There are, however, some good reasons to consider replacing an opener even if it appears to be working fine. Here are a five questions to ask yourself:

1. Does the opener have a safety reversal?

Since 1993, reversal mechanisms have been required to be present on all garage door openers. If your opener was installed before 1993 yet still appears to be working fine, or if this feature no longer works, it should be replaced. This safety feature senses when objects pass underneath the door while in operation and will automatically reverse. Children, pets, and cars can be saved from serious harm, as the door will immediately stop and reverse.

2. Does your garage door opener wake you (and the neighbors) up at night?

If so, better to keep your neighbors as friends and install a new opener! A new opener will almost certainly be quieter.

Many older garage door openers employ a chain drive. If you can see something that looks like a bicycle chain near the motor unit of your opener, consider replacing it with a screw drive or belt drive garage door opener. But even a newer model chain drive unit should not be as noisy as the older models. 

3. Does your remote use a fixed code?

Older remote controls function with a fixed code and someone with a special device could sit outside your house, find the code, and break in. Now garage door openers come with a rolling code feature. It changes the code every time the unit is used. Duplicating the code is no longer possible.

4. Do you still use a key to open your garage door?

Nowadays, a keypad is mounted outside the garage that opens the door when you enter the correct code. You may be able to buy a keypad to install with your existing garage door opener. If not, though, this might be a good reason to upgrade. Plus, some newer keypad units eliminate the need to remember a code. They operate by touch, using fingerprint detection to open the door. Just another great safety feature.

5. Does your garage door opener have battery backup?

Power outages are a very real and serious problem for the homeowner without a battery backup! To be unable to leave home in an emergency because the door won’t open can be devastating. A battery backup system that will kick in automatically when you lose electrical power and is definitely worth considering as you contemplate replacing your garage door opener.

Geauga Door carries the most up to date models of safe, reliable garage door openers. If you aren’t sure whether you should replace yours or not, give us a call. We are the area’s oldest overhead door company. Since 1967 we have been serving customers and have worked with all makes and models of door openers both old and new.


We can handle any job, large or small!

Call Today