A New Garage Door Adds Old World Charm to a 90s Home

The goal of most exterior remodeling projects is to update a home’s curb appeal. But in this case, the owners wanted their house to look like it had been around for centuries.

A new Clopay garage door helped our January imagineNATION Makeover Contest winners add a touch of Tuscany to their 19-year-old Canadian house.

January 2017 imagineNATIOn contest Winner

The transformation is dramatic. But it didn’t happen overnight. It actually took five years and occurred in stages.

The homeowners had redecorated the interior using a Tuscan theme, but the outside remained stuck in the 90s. They replaced the original front doors with stained fiberglass doors that had a rustic feel but stopped there. Last summer they decided it was time to merge the split personalities.

Before imagineNATION Winner January 2017

The family replaced the original front doors five years ago but stopped there.

They drove around local neighborhoods looking for inspiration and found it in a Mediterranean house with natural wood carriage house style garage doors that would complement their front doors perfectly. They loved the look but knew the maintenance would be challenging in Edmonton’s climate.

The heart wants what the heart wants. So for the next four months the family searched for and found a perfect low-maintenance, look alike solution – Clopay’s Canyon Ridge Collection Limited Edition Series faux wood carriage house door.

Clopay Canyon Ridge Collection Limited Edition Series

Clopay Canyon Ridge Collection Limited Edition Series faux wood garage door, Design 37.

Leana says she saw it from afar and knew it was the one. It wasn’t in the budget, but she admits that when she likes something, it’s hard to change her mind.

Her family tried to talk her into going with a plain door because after all, it’s just a garage door. Instead, she trusted her gut and it paid off.

January 2017 imagineNATION winner after

The Canyon Ridge Collection garage door is constructed of a durable low-maintenance composite material that won’t rot, warp or crack. It is extremely energy-efficient with an insulating R-value of 20.4.

She says the day the garage door was installed, her vision for her dream house was complete. It has been 5 months and people still drive by just to see it. Her neighbors have a strong case of garage door envy and can’t believe it’s not a real wood door. The family is thrilled with the results and happy that she didn’t give in to a plain garage door.

Clopay Canyon Ridge Collection Limited Edition Series

Another example of this Canyon Ridge Collection garage door installed on a Mediterranean style home.

Get more curb appeal ideas for Mediterranean style homes on Clopay’s Pinterest board.

Have you transformed your home with a new Clopay garage door or entry door? Submit before and after photos to Clopay’s imagineNATION Makeover Contest for a chance to win $1,000. The contest runs through December 31, 2017. Read the rules.

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As Seen in Traditional Home…

Traditional Home February/March 2017 Cover

Designer Christopher Kennedy used contemporary Clopay glass garage doors in the transformation of a midcentury home in Palm Springs.

The project is featured in the February/March issue of Traditional Home, in conjunction with the start of 2017 Modernism Week.

Modern Appeal February/March 2017 Cover

The annual event celebrates midcentury architecture and design by encouraging education, preservation and sustainable modern living as represented in Palm Springs.

Avante Collection on Christopher Kennedy Compound

The attached garage on the Christopher Kennedy Compound is an architectural focal point of the one-story home.

Kennedy chose Avante Collection glass garage doors to complement the home’s clean lines and white exterior.

frosted glass garage doors - Avante Collection

The frosted glass doors let natural light inside the garage during the day without compromising privacy.

glass garage doors giving warm glow

At night, they emit a warm glow, much like the home’s desert surround just before sunset.

See more of the Christopher Kennedy Modernism Showhouse.

Use Clopay’s Door Imagination System to see how a glass garage door transforms your home’s curb appeal.

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The Hidden Benefits of Insulating Your Garage

Is it required that you insulate your garage? Not quite. Building standards are somewhat murky on the subject, even if some government organizations claim that common walls must have a certain level of R-value for houses with an attached garage. By the same token, a garage with rooms above it must have a minimum R-value on the ceiling, according to these same organizations. There are no requirements for the other walls or the garage door itself, while a detached garage has no R-value rules binding it at all.

So why bother? Well, comfort is a big part of it. If you’re a person who likes to work in your garage, having a humid or freezing space in which to work is no joy. And the warmth from space heaters would easily escape uninsulated walls.
Beyond that, there are hidden benefits to having your garage walls insulated. Let’s take a look at six of them.

That Garage Isn’t Just for Storage Anymore

A nice, roomy garage need not be just a place to park your car or fill with old paint cans. Many amateur contractors and woodworkers use their garage as a workspace. Workout equipment can fit in there as well, or the kids can use it as a makeshift playroom where they don’t have to worry so much about breaking things.
None of those things would be as pleasant without a comfortable temperature level inside the garage. So insulating it will only inspire you to utilize it as much as possible.

The Creeping Cold Air

Maybe you’re fortunate enough to have a door separating the house from the garage that’s insulated and features adequate weather-stripping. Yet every time you head out the door to enter your garage, all of the cold air quickly rushes in, which can cause quite a sudden chill. The same goes for a humid garage in the summer.
This is a two-way street. Any heat coming from the inside of the house won’t last very long in an icy garage without some insulation to act as a buffer.

Protecting The Plumbing and the Slumbering

Perhaps you don’t spend enough time in your garage to worry about the temperature or humidity. But what if the garage is the location for your washer and dryer? That means plumbing is involved, and, as anyone who has ever been involved with them knows, frozen pipes are no fun at all.
Consider also a house where a bedroom sits above the garage. Again, an uninsulated garage will mean a lot of cold air seeping up into a room where someone is trying to sleep.

Keeping Rust at Bay

If you’re storing your personal belongings or equipment in the garage, you’ll want them to stay as pristine as possible. Humidity is your enemy in that process, since it can lead to rust. Again, an insulated and heated garage will prevent against that.
Safety First
Many cars use remote starters, which can accidentally be activated from inside the house very easily. A car that’s started inside a garage will produce deadly carbon monoxide.
Although a carbon monoxide detector is the best way to keep safe in an instance like that, an insulated garage would help as well. It would keep the gas from easily spreading into the rooms of your home.

Quiet It Down

Those amateur contractors mentioned above sometimes like to get the work started early on a weekend morning. Your neighbor who decided to sleep in might not be so thrilled with the buzzing and screeching of motorized tools blaring through the neighborhood (nor will the rest of your family inside the house.) If the walls of your garage are insulated, there is far less chance the sound will go far beyond those walls.

What About the Door?

Remember that your garage door is essentially another wall. Those who insulate the walls to meet energy conservation requirements and leave the garage door unattended are only doing a portion of the necessary work.
If you have any lingering questions, make sure to contact us at 519-829-3777 for the best advice on potential garage door insulation. We can even heed your request for a free online quotation.
For those who are considering a change in their garage door situation, you can create your own by visiting our design center. Our image gallery will also give you some great ideas.

The post The Hidden Benefits of Insulating Your Garage appeared first on Automated Door Systems Blog.

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Your Garage Door’s Surprising Strength

If you take the time to consider how strong your garage door is, you may be surprised at what you find. We took a look at some of the most common performance challenges that garage doors are subject to, tests that most homeowners don’t even realize exist. After you learn about these evaluations, you may find your opinion on quality garage doors changed. Read on to learn more about what your garage door has to withstand year after year, and why it’s so important to choose a quality garage door.

Your Garage Door is Tested Every Day

You may not even realize how much strain is put on your garage door every day, just through day-to-day life activities and regular use. For example:

  • Your garage door may be hit by soccer balls, tennis balls and basketballs regularly if you or your children are athletic, or if you have a dog that plays fetch in the garage.
  • Your garage door works to keep cold air out in the winter, and hot air out in the summer.
  • Your garage door must withstand any attempts to break into your home by would-be thieves.
  • If it rains, snows, sleets, or if a tornado or hurricane comes through, your garage door must withstand it all.


And That Doesn’t Include Regular Use!

Your garage door also must be incredibly strong to perform its intended function.

  • On average, a garage door is deigned to perform over 25,000 operations (or open/close cycles) in its lifetime. To achieve the same amount of work, a human would have to climb up and down the 29,000 feet (8,850 meters) of Mount Everest five times!
  • Did you know that the solar energy that beats down on your garage door every day is enough to cook a turkey? And your garage door doesn’t even have any sunscreen! In fact, if you account for an entire 25-year lifespan of a garage door, the amount of solar energy absorbed by the door would be the energy equivalent of 55 barrels of gasoline.
  • If you live in an area with high winds, your garage door could regularly face significant strain. For example, did you know that 90 mph (145 km/h) winds put the same amount of weight on a 12′ X 8′ door as that of a car.
  • When the temperature drops in the winter, the temperature difference between the garage interior, which is usually around 50 °F / 10 °C, and the exterior, which may be around 0 °F / – 15 °C. can reach over 50 degrees Fahrenheit (or – 25 °C). If you have a garage door with a good thermal insulation value of R-16,  that means that your garage door is wearing the equivalent of three insulated winter coats, one on top of the other, each sporting one inch (25 mm) of Thinsulate insulation!
  • The same calculations apply in the summer, when insulation helps keep your garage cooler than the outside temperature.


Strong Garage Doors Make Stronger Homes

Now you know that your garage door plays a significant role in keeping your home safe, comfortable, and accessible. Having a well-insulated and weathertight garage door is one of the most important purchases a homeowner can make. Doors equipped with polyurethane insulation will not only insulate you from cold and heat, they will also greatly reduce exterior noise, and offer high bending resistance to ensure a longer lifespan.
Thinking that it’s time to change up your garage door for a stronger model? You can contact us at 519-829-3777, or meet us at our showroom, where we would love to explain the whole range of products we carry. We can help you find an attractive door that will fit the style of your house perfectly, or you can send us a request for an online quotation.
Finally, why not try use a tool like our Design Centre to get a feel for the type of garage door you may want? You can also view our image gallery for lots of inspiration.

The post Your Garage Door’s Surprising Strength appeared first on Automated Door Systems Blog.

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Buying Guide: Overhead Door Openers

When it comes time to choose your overhead door opener, you’ll want to consider so many factors. Safety, security, ease of use, quiet operation… what’s right for you? Today, let’s take a closer look at what you need to know before buying a door opener.


Clarify Your Needs

First, list all of your needs. If you have an attached garage, for example, a quiet door opener may be your first priority. If you park in your garage, accessories like remotes and laser parking assist might be most important. For those with young children, enhanced safety accessories like keyless entry and safety cameras likely top the list. If you’re not sure where to start, ask one of our experts! We will happily show you our wide range of options.

Measure – Will It Fit? 

Today’s overhead door openers don’t take up much room, but there are still minimum space requirements. For a trolley-type door opener, measure the available room above your garage door. If you have at least two inches of headroom, we will be able to install your overhead door opener. If you don’t have enough room above your door, please contact us. We will help you find a solution.

Cathedral Ceilings

Customers often ask us if it’s possible to install an overhead door and opener when the garage has a cathedral ceiling. Yes it is! Trolley door openers can be used, even with cathedral-style garage ceilings. However, in this situation, we often recommend a different style of opener called a jackshaft. These side-mounted openers are installed beside a garage door instead of above it. Jackshaft openers can be installed as long as there is at least 3 inches of space above the door, and 8 inches of wall space beside it. Best of all, side-mounted openers still come equipped with all of the important safety mechanisms like photo-cell safety beams and door reversal systems.

Different Types of Door Openers

There are 3 styles of door openers on the market:
Jackshaft: useful opener for high or cathedral-style garage ceilings.
Chain drive: trolley-style opener that is low-cost and widely available.
Belt drive: also a trolley-style opener, but is quieter than a chain drive unit.
For both belt and chain units, there are two distinctive construction styles for the trolley itself. We recommend the sturdier one-piece trolleys when possible. We have found that the second style, the three-piece trolley, requires annual maintenance to tighten the bolts which hold the trolley pieces together.

How Much Horsepower Does My Door Opener Need?

Motor horsepower depends on a few factors. When buying an opener, our experts will help you choose the correct horsepower based on the size and weight of your overhead door. Most of our customers need either a ½ or ¾ horsepower motor. A ½ horsepower motor is generally strong enough for lightweight single or double garage doors. Solid wood, oversize and heavy doors usually require a ¾ horsepower motor.
Most overhead door openers run on direct current (DC) power, and come in ⅓, ½ or ¾ horsepower. Certain models are available in alternating current (AC), for which motor strength is in found in newtons (N).

Technology and Accessories

Today’s fast-paced innovation can even be seen in the door opener industry. The latest openers come with a wide range of accessories, from remote controls to camera monitors to solar panels. And safety features haven’t been left behind. All door openers are now outfitted with two safety systems: a photo-cell safety beam and a mechanical reversal system.
Another great improvement in door opener technology is the introduction of Wi-Fi enabled options. LiftMaster – the best-selling brand of door openers in North America – has introduced the MyQ app. This app lets you use your smartphone to monitor the status of your garage door. You can even open and close your door remotely!
For all of your overhead door needs, contact us! Use our online form or call us at (519) 829-3777 to schedule a service call. Not sure which overhead door looks best on your home? Upload a picture to our online Design Centre to try out different door styles and colors. When you find a look you love, simply request a free, no obligation quote. Our service team is standing by to help you design the perfect overhead door system.

The post Buying Guide: Overhead Door Openers appeared first on Automated Door Systems Blog.

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Discover the Best Lighting for Your Garage

What sort of garage you are building? Honestly, no matter how you answer that question, you need to consider a few issues that apply to all styles and settings. Key among them is the lighting you will use. If you already have a garage, but are bothered by the lack of good lighting, we have some great suggestions:


Step One: Do a plan of the garage

Whether you are just in the planning or building stage or you have a disorganized garage, do the following:

  • Draw a schematic of the entire space with all doors and windows
  • Select a workbench space large enough for any projects
  • Set aside space for things you can hang from walls
  • Create seasonal storage
  • Consider any electrical appliances such as household utilities, central vacuum system or a spare fridge

Once you have a workable floor plan, you need to also consider all that space above your head (if any). Many garages have enough room above the door to keep storage containers and other unusual items.
Once the floor plan shows you where you’ll work, have items stored and all the rest, you can begin to draft an effective lighting schematic.

The Lighting Available

Before we delve into fixtures, let’s consider the kinds of lightbulbs from which to choose:
To get started, let’s clear up the types of lightbulbs that are out there:


  • CFL or Compact Fluorescent Lamp
    Available in an array of styles, most consumers will purchase the spiral shaped designs. These are noted for consuming far less energy than standard incandescent lightbulbs, offering a much more natural light, and remaining cool for long periods of time. They last for roughly ten thousand hours (ten times longer than incandescent options) and create the identical amount of light with 75% less energy usage.

  • LED
    You know “Light Emitting Diode” bulbs when you see them, and they are amazingly energy efficient. Superior to many other types of bulb, they have super long lives, can obtain savings levels nearing 90%, remain cool at all times, and have no harmful chemicals to worry about. They are ideal for accent lighting in addition to other applications, but they can be very costly. However, if you do some quick math, you realize that the energy savings and replacement costs kept in your pocket make LED lights a wise choice.

  • Halogen
    Though these don’t compare to the energy savings of CFLs, they still far exceed the performance of incandescent bulbs, with savings over 33% and life of more than 3,000 hours. Without harmful contents like lead or mercury, they can be found for nearly any application, and their light is considered some of the brightest, whitest and clearest.

  • Fluorescent
    Most of us are familiar with the long and tubular shapes taken by most fluorescent bulbs. With mercury vapor necessary to create their light, they can be found in a narrow range of hues created by the phosphor coatings applied to the insides of the bulbs. Commonly seen in overhead lighting, they are not all that efficient, but are affordable and typically last for long periods.


Choosing Your Bulbs

So, what is the right choice for your garage? Most experts will point towards fluorescents as the higher performers, but will say that some are bothered by the humming these bulbs make. They also have to warm up to attain maximum brightness.
There are some variations among the bulbs, with T5, T8, or T12 the most frequently selected options. The upper case T stands for the diameter of the tube in 1/8″ measures. This is why the T8 is the most common as it measures an inch in diameter.
The T8 is also more energy efficient than a larger T12, but gives off the same light. It creates far more natural light and the typical T8 is fitted with “rapid start ballasts”. These spare the bulbs from the wear and tear that “instant start ballasts” create. Most fixtures require the use of 4-foot tubes, though some fixtures have 8-foot bulb designs. It is best to avoid the longer fixtures as the bulbs are difficult to handle and the short bulbs consume much less energy.
The bulbs also have different intensities, with 3000k being at the warmer end of the spectrum and 5000k being a much cooler hue.
Make your choices based on the amount of time you spend doing work in the different areas of the garage. Most garage owners will have to install supplemental lighting, and it is best to do this knowing the type of bulb as well as the strength and type of light needed.
Also, remember to consider exterior illumination. Whether above the garage door, the regular door access or anywhere else, it ensures safety. Typically, experts point towards CFL bulbs for these fixtures.

When It’s Time to Change the Garage Door

Thinking of doing the garage door too? If so, contact us at (519) 829-3777 with any questions about well-insulated and weathertight garage doors, and how they will make your home and your garage more comfortable. You can also visit our showroom, where we are happy to take the time to explain the entire range of doors we carry and which will work best with the style of your home. You can also send us a request for an online quotation.
Lastly, if you’d need to see how your garage will look like with its new door, visit our design center, upload a photo of your garage or home, and see what the choices will really look like installed! We also have an image gallery to get you started.

The post Discover the Best Lighting for Your Garage appeared first on Automated Door Systems Blog.

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How to Choose Between Two Single Garage Doors or a Large Double One

It is interesting how home designs have changed over the years. Not that long ago homes were built without any garage at all. It was at first a real luxury to have a one-car garage. It seemed decadent to spend money on a space that only housed your vehicle.
Eventually, people realized that a garage was a really good idea so that your biggest investment is actually protecting your second largest investment. In areas where having a basement is not feasible or possible, garages began to be more for storage than for cars even. In any case, the idea stuck and now it is inconceivable to have anything less than a two car garage. In fact, many homes are even built with three!
Now that a two car garage is the norm, the next question becomes whether to go with one large double door for access or the stylish, and potentially more functional, two-door design. In making this decision, you need to consider three things – functionality, appearance, and cost.



It may seem like both options have the same functionality overall, but that is not really the case. You’ll need to consider just how you plan to use your garage for one thing. It is also important to understand that you will need a wider garage space if you want to have two single garage doors. How much larger will depend on the size of the doors you plan to go with. Your garage will need to be at least six feet wider than the total of the two doors, so if you go with 9’ doors, your garage should be at least 24’ wide.
Another functionality issue you should consider is the size of your vehicles. This is mostly important for the overall size of the garage, but it does require thinking about the opening as well. While you may be able to park a larger vehicle in a garage with one door and have no problem fitting the width and can even park diagonally if need be, that option goes out the window when you have two single garage doors.
Another consideration is that a large garage with one door can sometimes accommodate three compact cars but that won’t be possible without careful maneuvering at best with two single garage doors. Another option in the case of three cars, or two but extra items such as ATV’s, a boat, or motorcycle is to go with one double door and one single door, or three single doors, if your garage is large enough to support them or can be built to accommodate this added storage space.
Energy efficiency is another practical point to consider. While the difference may be minimal, opening one smaller door rather than one large door allows less cold or hot air, as well as humidity, to enter.
Last, but not least, consider that if your garage door opener or other hardware breaks down if you have one large door both of your vehicles may be stuck inside. If you have two doors, at least you should be able to get one of the vehicles out while waiting on the repairs to the torsion spring or another component.


Not that long ago there really weren’t many style options to choose from for garage doors, regardless of whether you were looking for a single car or double. Now it is recognized that the garage door is the largest feature of a home and thus deserves special attention. As such many different styles are available, including the very popular carriage-house style.
With so many different styles to choose from, you may find that the one you like best has a better appearance as two single doors rather than one large, but it could go the other way as well. When making a decision, you should also consider what is most popular for your area and neighborhood as this can make a huge impact on the value of your home at resale. In most cases, to gain maximum buyer interest a double door system is recommended as that is where the market has been gravitating overall.


Generally speaking, all other things equal, the cost for two doors will be very close to a single, large door. That does not consider any structural changes that may be needed to change your home from one to the other, however. It is best to choose the one you desire when building a home to avoid this added cost. This may involve a bit of extra work to construct the wall between the doors but that is generally minimal.
The only real difference in cost is going to be those related to having an extra electric garage door opener. Not only will you need to cover the cost for the second one during installation if you go with two doors, but you’ll pay extra to have them both maintained, repaired, and one day replaced. The important thing is to make sure the opener is sufficient for the door. A double door does not need a more powerful opener, but you should make sure the door is well balanced so that the spring system is not unduly taxed.


If you have more questions about double and single garage doors, contact us at (519) 829-3777. We have the expertise to answer your questions and show you options that will easily fit into your budget as well as meet your needs perfectly. If you are interested in a quote, you can contact us or use our online quotation request option.
With the aid of our design center, you will be able to see how your home will look with the various garage door options available. Our image gallery provides plenty of ideas if you do not know the many beautiful options that are now on the market.

The post How to Choose Between Two Single Garage Doors or a Large Double One appeared first on Automated Door Systems Blog.

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