A wood door just went in on a new house near me. I didn't see the
inside of it, but I assume it's a metal frame with wood cladding. It is
in sections so it rolls up.
I *assume* that the price is right up there, since I mostly see them on
high-end houses. I'm *sure* that they're heavy and will require a beefy
that the price is right up there, since I mostly see them on
The door should have springs on it so it should not take too much to open
it. I moved into a house about 4 years ago that had a wooden frame door
with some of the 'paper' wood panels in it. Not sure what to call that kind
of panel. It is heavy, but a standard door opener would open it just fine.
Had it removed as it was starting to get into poor shape and installed a
metal door. It was about 17 feet wide I think.. Big enough to get two cars
Not a lot of construction up here in the frozen economic wasteland of
Michigan lately, but in going to garage sales in the beige subdivisions,
I mostly see traditional 2-layer wood doors with foam cores. Hollow
metal/fiberglass doors are a entry-level thing here, since they are hard
to insulate, and most people want to keep the garage a little warmer
than the outside. Only rich people heat them any more, but leakage from
the house and hot engine blocks/tires can keep them from freezing hard
until it goes sub-zero. In residential sizes, you don't need an
oversize/commercial style opener unless door has a fancy applied surface
like they do on TOH, like to mimic carriage house doors or something.
Plain old chain drive Craftsman or similar seem to be the most common
here. I have a 2-layer wood 2-car wide, 7 feet tall, and when the power
goes out, it only takes one hand to open, even though it is 25 years old
with no apparent upkeep done. Strong enough springs and a careful
installation is the key.
One of my mother's previous houses in central Indiana had a fiberglass
door, and it was utter crap. Rattled, leaked, drummed in the wind, kept
racking and jamming, etc. My house in Louisiana has a 1-bay metal door,
but it gets little use (used as a woodshop, not for parking), and it
almost never freezes hard there. They do seem to be more common down
there, but even fancy houses usually have carports, with maybe one bay
with a door to store the pilferable toys.
You do know that openers come with different horsepower ratings, don't
you? The reason is to handle different loads.
When the door is new and balanced, everything is peachy. You can open
the biggest door with the smallest opener. Heck, you can do it with one
finger. As the door ages and the springs weaken, the opener has to work
harder. The heavier the door, the harder it will have to work.
The obvious answer is to rebalance the door.
But no one ever rebalances a door, except maybe you and me. I have
people asking me all the time why their garage door doesn't open right.
It's because the springs need to be tightened. I tell them they can
either call a garage door company, or I can twiddle the adjusters on
the opener. They almost always opt for twiddling.
Thus you plan for the average person's stupidity by installing a bigger
I don't mess with garage door springs. I've seen the damage they
cause when they let go. I've also pulled muscles in my back lifting
doors with loose springs. Even the cheap aluminum doors weigh a ton.
Well, they're not needed if the door is balanced properly...they're
mostly for advertising.
As for not adjusting them, you're supposed to be the handyman aren't you?
Never been a problem for just this average farmer... :)
By that I'm meaning the one on the solid wood door I bought for the
folks was purchased in the early 80's long before there was such an
emphasis on the size--it's a 1/2hp and has worked and continues to
function for nearly 30 years now.
I'd say that demonstrates one doesn't have to have a large opener just
because the door is heavy if the load springs are correctly matched to
Are you referring to a swing-up door or a roll-up door?
The swing up wood doors are a real PITA. They're very heavy, they
constantly break springs, they warp, and they need to be planed
periodically when they expand and hit the sides of the building.
A roll-up wood door shouldn't be too bad. Clopay makes roll-up wood
doors, and I'm sure many other companies make them too.
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