From the October/November 2018 Issue  

The Carefree House: Opening Statement

Writer Mary Vinnedge

With Amarr’s app, consumers can use a photo of their own home to view color and style choices such as the Heritage HR3000 garage door with a flush-panel design and mosaic windows. Courtesy of Entrematic.

Garage doors can offer decades of headache-free operation

The Carefree House column examines home components that need little upkeep and are long-lasting. This issue puts garage doors in the spotlight.

Vickie Lents, Vice President of Marketing
Entrematic (manufacturer of Amarr garage doors)
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
800-503-3667 |

Design NJ: What materials and construction should a consumer seek in long-lasting, fuss-free garage doors?
Vickie Lents: Steel is the most popular material for garage doors because of its easy maintenance, durability and quality. However, not all steel garage doors are created equal —there are varying thicknesses of steel, a variety of panel designs and other construction features. Be sure that you compare manufacturing details when you’re shopping. For instance, the triple-layer, 2-inch-thick Amarr Classica® CL3000 garage door features a layer of exterior steel, polyurethane insulation and interior steel, and it operates quietly and with energy efficiency. The interior and exterior steel is galvanized with zinc to prevent rust, and then the steel is coated with a paint pretreatment, a primer and finally a highly durable paint.

For durability, it’s hard to beat the triple-layer, 2-inch-thick Amarr Classica CL3000 garage door. Here it’s shown in a Santiago design with Seine windows and Blue Ridge decorative handles and hinges. Courtesy of Entrematic.

DNJ: How long should garage doors last with normal use?
VL: Good-quality steel garage doors typically last over 25 years.

DNJ: What types of warranties are available?
VL: All of our triple-layer constructed Amarr garage doors have a limited lifetime warranty. The warranty is limited to the original purchaser, for installation of a complete residential garage door, at the home of the original installation, and with installation and maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

DNJ: What about wood garage doors?
VL: Wood garage doors offer warmth and beauty, but wood requires frequent refinishing whether the doors are painted or stained. There are options. As an example, Amarr’s Carriage Court collection is made of steel with composite overlay trim boards to closely replicate a wood door but with less maintenance. Wood-grain finishes that simulate the look of real wood without the upkeep are available for some doors. These wood-grain finishes have the same long-lasting warranties as our solid-color garage door.

These bold doors show off Amalfi,® a Sherwin-Williams paint color, to match the home’s shutters. The doors are Amarr’s Designer’s Choice DC3200 with a recessed design. Courtesy of Entrematic.

DNJ: Is steel a smart option in the Jersey Shore’s salt air? And what about the strong coastal winds?
VL: The paint finish should have strong resistance to salt air. Homeowners, with assistance from builders and garage-door dealers, are responsible for choosing the appropriate wind-load product that meets or exceeds local building codes. Our Wind Load garage doors look identical from the outside and are engineered with a special reinforcement system on the inside to withstand high-wind conditions.

Bradberry steel garage doors, part of Amarr’s Carriage Court collection, have an overlay of trim boards made of a long-lasting composite. They deliver a look resembling wood but need much less maintenance. Courtesy of Entrematic.

DNJ: What routine maintenance is required for garage doors?
VL: Just wash the garage door exterior with common household detergent and warm water with a dense sponge or cloth. Rinse the door until it’s thoroughly clean. In most areas, doors should be washed at least one time per year, although in salt-air climates, you should wash more frequently—perhaps quarterly­ or whenever you notice a grimy buildup. Never wash with cleansers and never use detergents with bleach. Don’t pressure-wash a garage door.

A monthly safety check of the door and opener should include visual inspection of the track, cables and springs for signs of wear; a door balance test; lubrication of the hinges, springs, rollers and bearings with non-silicon-based lubricant; and opener safety and reversal tests. Once a year, a trained garage door technician should visit to maintain the safety and smooth operation of your garage door. See for more details.

DNJ: You mentioned insulation earlier. Why is it important?
VL: Insulated garage doors are quieter than non-insulated doors, a big benefit when the garage is attached to the home. Also, insulated garage doors are more energy-efficient than non-insulated ones. During winter, insulated doors help to prevent cold air from coming into the garage, so with attached garages, you’ll need less heat to warm the home. And in the summer, an insulated garage door prevents hot air from coming into the garage, reducing heat buildup there so less air-conditioning is required to cool the home.

DNJ: Aesthetics affect long-term satisfaction, but there are so many options. How can homeowners make wise color and style choices?
VL: A front-facing garage door may make up 30 percent of the front elevation of a home, so the garage door design decision is extremely important. To help, there’s the Amarr Door Designer app, which offers the option to “View a Door on My Home.” Users upload a photo of their home and select various door designs, windows and colors. Then consumers can send options to family and friends for additional input and final decision-making. When the homeowners are ready to buy the Amarr door, they can forward the photo and description to a garage door dealer for purchase and installation.

Freelance writer Mary Vinnedge was Design NJ’s first editor in chief. She now lives in Galveston on the Texas gulf coast.