Posts Tagged ‘Garage Door Opener Blog Posts’

Plano, TX, Maintenance Tips

Written by Nick McGregor. Posted in Blog Posts by Plano Overhead Garage Door in Plano, TX, Garage Door Maintenance in Plano, TX, Garage Door Openers in Plano, TX, Preserve Your Garage Door Battery in Plano, TX


When you start thinking about how long your garage door opener should last, you may be wondering because your opener may have started “acting up” or parts on the operator started failing. Based on responses from many manufactures, trade associations, and product researchers the average life expectancy of a garage door operator is roughly 10 years.

How well does you opener really work?

There are a lot of factors that determine how well an opener works; such as the quality of the operator, how the opener was ultimately maintained, how often the garage door opener is used, etc. The most important factor though in determining how long an opener might last is how well the garage door actually works.  This can depend on brand, model, and other factors.

Extending or shortening the life span on your opener

You can expect to shorten the life of your opener faster than anything else if it is poorly maintained. The springs on the garage door are engineered to do most of the lifting of the door not the actual garage door operator. The garage door opener basically is used to put the door in motion so if the springs are not doing their job then the operator is going to be doing more than it was designed to do. And with a poorly balanced door the garage opener is going to wear out much faster and parts in the opener are going to need to be replaced much sooner.

Tips to maintain

There are two great tips to help you keep your door in shape and to help extend the life of your operator. First, a properly balanced door will reduce a lot of the strain on the opener. So make sure that the door is properly balanced at all times. Second, lubrication of all moving parts on the garage door will make the door work smoother, so make sure to lube the door! Lubricate hinges, rollers, springs and pulleys (if your door had pulleys) using 3-in-One Garage Door Lubricant.  Just as a reminder; if you DO NOT feel comfortable or you are unable to do service to your garage door then call your local service company, Plano Overhead Garage Door, and have them do the preventative maintenance for you.

Maintenance! Maintenance! Maintenance!

An annual maintenance should be done to extend the life of the operator and garage door. By showing a little attention to the door and opener you’ll not only get a few more years out of them but you’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your garage door and opener are operating at peak efficiency.



By Nick McGregor, General Manager of Plano Overhead Garage Door

Top 3 Garage Door Opener Brands of 2014

Written by Nick McGregor. Posted in Garage Door Openers in Plano, TX

When searching for a garage door, it is important that quality and durability are the top factors in your purchase. Your garage door opener will be what comes between your home and someone entering it uninvited, protects your car, and needs to run smoothly for the longevity of your home. There are a few top garage door brands that have proven the test of time.  These top garage door opener brands stand out from the rest in volume, quality, and customer satisfaction. They offer high quality, reliable products that really do stand the test of time.


Genie Garage Door Opener

Genie was once the cream of the crop, and continues to be an industry leading brand when it comes to garage door openers.  Genie offers a wide range of affordable products, with great features.  Genie is the second most popular brand of garage door openers for retrofit and residential applications.


Craftsman Garage Door Opener

The average person likely assumes that Craftsman only makes tools, but that is not the case. In fact, they have a handle on most things that involve work stations. Many work stations that require tools are garages. They have been in the business of providing sturdy, reliable products for several decades.  Craftsman targets more of the do-it-yourself audience and home builders as well- which has allowed them to become one of the most commonly installed brands of garage door openers in Texas.


Liftmaster 8550 Garage Door Opener

For those that need more than just a basic garage door opener, Liftmaster is the answer.  Liftmaster offers things that other brands do not.  They have Lifetime warranties on many of their opener motors, as well as their belts that drive the opener.  Liftmaster offers openers driven by chain, belt, screw, or even the innovative jackshaft style.  They have recently announced their partnership with Nest

Made in the United States, these products are considered to be the best in the industry by a majority of garage door dealers.  The customer service team and responsiveness has created an industry best reputation nationwide.

Liftmaster is the world’s number one selling garage door opener- for a good reason.  They continue to set standards of innovation as well- often releasing new technologies months, or even years before their competitors.  Best warranties, best customer service, most popular, highest rated, and most innovative.  What more could you ask for?


By Nick McGregor, General Manager of Plano Overhead Garage Door

Garage Door Opener Safety

Written by Nick McGregor. Posted in Garage Door Openers in Plano, TX, Garage Door Safety in Plano, TX

Liftmaster has kicked off a safety campaign this month in order to inform consumers about what to do when it comes to garage safety.  Their “Don’t Chance it, Check It” initiative intends to raise awareness about garage door opener safety.

An estimated 1 in every 15 garage door openers lacks the safety features required by federal law on all garage doors installed since 1992.

Safety Beam Don't Chance It Check It

3-Step Safety Check

Liftmaster recommends for all homeowners, regardless of the age or brand.  Following the 3 steps below can ensure proper safety and longevity of your garage door opener.

1. Check the sides of your garage door.  Look for properly installed photo-eyes (black sensors, or Infrared Safety Beams), mounted no higher than 6 inches off the floor.  This is important because you want the safety beam to transmit in the most effective range possible.

2.  Test the safety sensors.  Block the photo-eye with an object of at least 6 inches in height, and press the garage door opener’s close button.  The door should not close after doing so.  If the garage door closes, this is a very bad sign, as your garage door will not reverse or stop properly in the event that your sensors become obstructed.

3.  Check the sensitivity.  Lay a 1.5 inch-high object on the ground in the door’s path.  A block of wood, or paper towel roll is usually sufficient.  Press the close button.  The garage door should reverse off of this object.  If the garage door opener does not reverse the garage door, you need to consider a safety inspection from your local garage door experts.  If the garage door slams shut, doesn’t reverse, or continues to run and push downward until you press the button again; you need to get the garage door and opener checked out by professionals.  It’s important to remember that safety sensors are the SECOND line of defense.  If the opener is not adjusted properly, the safety sensors may not be sufficient enough to prevent an accident.

Be sure to check your garage door and opener when you check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  In other words, be sure to run a safety check- or have preventative maintenance performed- every 6 months.

Check the Door From Ceiling to Floor

  • Maintenance.  Be sure to keep all the moving parts of the garage door and opener clean and lubricated, including the steel rollers.
  • Balance.  Start with the door closed, and put the garage door into manual mode by pulling the emergency release cord.  If the garage door is properly balanced, it should remain open at the half-way point without falling to the bottom or opening by itself to the top.   The door should also be smooth and easy to operate.  You shouldn’t have to struggle to open the garage door manually by hand.
  • Prepare for Weather.  Once you lose power, you lose control of your garage door opener.  There’s nothing worse than coming home and not being able to get in in a hailstorm.  Having a battery backup system installed with your garage door opener ensures up to 40 cycles opening and closing without power.
  • Organize, Clean, and Protect.  Avoid storing flammable or hazardous materials in the garage.  Pool chemicals, lawn chemicals, and gas cans accelerate the corrosion of steel objects.  If this is unavoidable, keep a fire extinguisher handy.  Also, keep everything clean to prevent build-up.  Staying organized is also important.  Using shelves, hooks, and having designated places for shovels and kids toys would prevent about a third of garage door damages.

Liftmaster Master Dealer Provantage

Contact a local certified Liftmaster Dealer today to learn more.  For a Free Safety Check in the North Dallas or Collin County Area (Plano, Richardson, Allen, Frisco, Wylie, Murphy, McKinney, Dallas, Garland); call Plano Overhead Garage Door at 972-422-1695, or visit our website at to request a Free Estimate!

By Nick McGregor

Garage Door Openers: Chain, Screw, Belt, or Jackshaft?

Written by Nick McGregor. Posted in Garage Door Openers in Plano, TX

Blog Chain, Screw, Belt

Why are there 3 different major categories of garage door openers?  Factors such as price, durability, and technological advances have each contributed to the current garage door opener market.  Each variety of garage door opener, including a fourth style (Jackshaft), has their own story, their own benefits, and their own pitfalls.  Let’s take a look at each style.

Chain Drive

Chain Driven Garage Door Openers

Builders tend to use chain-driven openers because of their cheaper components and simpler construction. As the true original form of electronic garage door openers, there’s no denying that the chain drive transformed the way we live.  Since the garage door opener became mainstream, a majority of Americans now use their garage like a front door.  Chain drives are cheap, plain and simple.  Their quality is questionable, their durability involves plastic cheap components, the warranty is nowhere near that of other garage door openers, and they are down right noisy.  Most consumers are choosing not to have chain driven garage door openers installed, which has led to a change in retail sales focus for large corporations.  Chain drives are rarely available even at your typical home improvement stores.  There are models that account for the growing demand for wood faced, or “overlay” garage doors.  These garage doors are much heavier- up to twice as heavy.  For this reason, the chain drive can be quite practical for such applications.  Author’s Pick:  Liftmaster 8587 Heavy Duty Chain Drive.

Screw Drive

Screw Driven Garage Door Openers

Screw Driven Openers came along and had their glory years.  For a period of about 20 years, the screw drive garage door opener was the best thing available.  These openers addressed the issue of being loud, and popularized newer features such as battery backup systems, infrared safety sensors, and electronic limit and force settings.  Unfortunately, the screw drive has really gone by the wayside, as consumers typically choose between two options…the chain drive or the belt drive.  The screw driven garage door openers are well known for having terrible trouble during above average temperature changes, and still contain cheaper plastic parts used for main operating functions- much like the chain drives.  Author’s Pick: Liftmaster 3240 Screw Drive.

Liftmaster 8550 Belt Drive Garage Door Opener

Belt Driven Garage Door Openers

These are the most popular garage door opener in today’s market for several reasons.  The belt driven opener brought a new age of technology to the garage, and there’s no sign of it slowing down any time soon.  Belt driven garage door openers brought wireless control from anywhere in the world using our phones and laptops, automatic self-adjusting limits, lifetime warranties on major drive components, fingerprint access technology, DC motors with self-lubricating gears encased in steel housings, automatic closing features, and more is yet to come.  Even the lower end of belt driven garage door openers offer so much more than the openers of the 1980’s and 1990’s.  The belt driven opener is the way to go as far as the current Plano, Richardson, Allen, Garland, Frisco, Dallas, McKinney, Wylie, and Murphy garage door opener market is concerned.  The same could be said about most states as a whole.  Author’s Pick: Liftmaster 8550 Belt Drive.


Jackshaft Driven Garage Door Openers

The newest technology of garage door openers involves a unique configuration.  The jackshaft garage door openers are applied to the side of a garage door, rather than hanging above the garage door.  Unlike the past 50 years, these garage door openers have a more cosmetic and special application quality.  Though the jackshaft openers are fantastic, most modern homes are built without enough room to the side of their garage door shaft in order to install a side mounted garage door opener.  However when installed properly, the jackshaft is just as nice as a belt driven opener, but can me much more useful for situations that call for high lift garage doors, or homes with ceiling clearance issues.  The jackshaft is considerably more expensive, but might just be a glimpse into where garage door opener technology might be headed.  Author’s Pick:  Liftmaster 8500 Jackshaft.

To Learn More About the Differences between these Garage Door Openers, such as Pricing, Features, Options, and More. CLICK HERE.

By Nick McGregor

Preventative Winter Garage Door Maintenance

Written by Nick McGregor. Posted in About Our Different Garage Door Services in Plano, TX, Garage Door Maintenance in Plano, TX

Winter Frozen Thermometer

As we enter the winter months, we’re starting to see our usual winter season problems.  Garage door openers, hinges, rollers, and more are seizing up.  The colder it gets, the tougher it is for the moving parts of your garage door and opener to stay functional.  We see this particularly in screw-driven openers, and older model garage doors.  Keeping the garage door lubricated properly can prevent the moving parts from locking up at the most inopportune times.  It’s fairly similar to why our knees ache in the wintertime.  A professional garage door technician can lubricate and adjust every aspect of the garage door system in order to help prevent this problem from arising.  

Have your garage door and opener serviced by professionals at least once per year.  The International Door Association recommends that you have service done twice per year as the temperature changes.  Preventative maintenance can save you money in the long run.  Try to think of your garage door in the same way you might think of your automobile.  Would you go 5 or 10 years without an oil change?  Unfortunately most homeowners go for 4 or more years without having their garage door and opener serviced.  Consider the fact that scheduling maintenance ahead of time can keep those bolts secure, prevent rusting, and can point out problems that might continue to worsen over time so that you can keep an eye on them.

As part of the recommendation to have service done twice a year, the service you have done just before winter can be the most important.  Rigidity caused by lower temperatures makes everything act up, and nobody wants to be sitting in their garage when it’s cold outside trying to figure out why their garage door got stuck half way open.  Do yourself a favor and lubricate all the moving parts of your garage door with proper lubricants.  But be careful, applying the wrong lubricant, or applying the wrong amount can do more harm than good.  Refer to the professionals if you’re not sure what to use, how to use it, or where to apply it.

By Nick McGregor

Garage Door Safety

Written by Nick McGregor. Posted in Garage Door Safety in Plano, TX, Posts for Garage Doors & Openers in Plano, TX

Safety Image

Not many people realize that the largest moving and most dangerous object in their home is actually their garage door.  Not many of us think about the garage door until it won’t open when we’re trying to get to work that dreadful Monday, or when it won’t close when we’re trying to get to our daughters’ soccer playoff game.  The truth is that a majority of homeowners in the United States have come to rely on the garage door as their primary source of entry when the come and go.  The garage door has become the front door for most American families.

Why is this important?  Being the largest, most dangerous, and sometimes most neglected part of your home is not an ideal combination.  Garage door safety has come a long ways in the past 60 years, but routine  maintenance can prevent a major headache from happening to you.  Here are a few tips regarding garage door safety for your home.

Re-code your garage door remotes when you move to your new home.  You changed your front door locks didn’t you?  It is very simple and only takes a few seconds to make sure that none of the old neighbors or tenants have access to your garage.  This is also a great time to schedule your first maintenance to familiarize yourself with the condition of your garage door and opener.

Keep the tracks clear of obstructions.  Brooms, shovels, shelves, trash cans….you name it.  It doesn’t take much to throw a cable off of your garage door if something is caught on one side of the rails inside your garage.  Make sure that you family knows the importance of making sure that that tricycle, motorcycle, or car bumper can really get damaged if they are left in the way of a closing garage door.

Never override the safety sensors.  If you have to hold down the wall button to close your garage door, or if your door reverses; you need to schedule service immediately.  This  usually indicates that your safety sensors are out of alignment, and would fail to prevent the door from closing on your vehicle, a child, or a pet.  The garage door opener is reversing because it is telling you that it can no longer sense whether something is blocking the beam any longer because the sensors are out of alignment.

Never allow children to play in the garage unsupervised.  It is very important to be sure that you explain to your children the importance of understanding how dangerous a garage door can be.  Explain to your children how to use the garage door and garage door opener properly and safely.  Fingers can get pinched, and there are many sharp objects along the inside of the garage door itself.  Make sure that your family knows to never touch any of the moving parts at any time.

Stop running under your garage door as you close it!  If you don’t have a remote to operate the door, it is never safe to attempt to press the wall button and run out quickly underneath he garage door.

Proper instruction and education can make your garage a safer place!  If you have questions about garage door safety, make sure to consult your local professional.

By Nick McGregor


plano door logo Plano Overhead Garage Door
1100 N. Central Expy Suite #A
Plano, Texas 75074

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  • September 23, 2016:

    "We've used Plano Overhead many times since the late 1990's and have been pleased every time!"

    -Sally R.    Plano, TX
  • September 7, 1987:

    "Prompt, courteous, and took care of the job in a very professional manner.  The enthusiasm to do the job right was refreshing to say the least."

    -Jared F.    Richardson, TX
  • January 2, 2017:

    "The customer service of this company is great.  They go the extra mile to make things right.  Use this company.  They fix your problems correctly and have quick service too."

    -Richard S.    Dallas, TX
  • March 14, 1995:

    "Plano Overhead quickly diagnosed my problem, made the necessary repairs, and adjusted the door for proper operation.  All I can say is, again, thanks for the excellent service and very professional service personnel.  The cost was very reasonable as well!"

    -Lynn P.   McKinney, TX
  • December 4, 2006:

    "Great service! I couldn't be happier!  I'm just amazed that in today's hurry up, make a quick dollar and get out world, this kind of expert service and friendly attitude still exists.  I don't mind paying for this kind of service and attitude.  I'll never call anyone other than Plano Overhead!"

    -Steve S.   Wylie, TX
  • January 27, 2017:

    "My garage door spring broke this morning.  I had used Plano Overhead before and was really impressed with their customer service and the professionalism of their technicians.  They stand behind their work and their products.  I have always recommended them to people I know and will continue to do so!"

    -Mark Z.   Allen, TX
  • January 14, 2004:

    "Thank you for your timely and professional service and your reasonable prices!"

    -Emmett W.   Garland, TX
  • December 6, 1993:

    "As a small business owner myself, I would like to commend your company for taking the extra step many business fail to take these days. Please feel free to add me to your list of references."

    Johnathan T.    Plano, TX
  • March 12, 2011:

    "Great service, great price, great company."

    -Chris H.    Plano, TX
  • August 13, 2006:

    "I cannot believe I got a Thank You Note from you guys!  Your promptness, courtesy, sympathy, and efficiency all made my situation a little easier."

    Richard W.   Murphy, TX
  • June 27, 2013:

    "The entire process was fantastic.  I walked into their showroom, and a representative was more than ready to help!"

    -Tony B.    Plano, TX
  • February 23, 2017:

    "Technician arrived on time on very short notice.  He worked efficiently and completed work in about one hour.  He even took time to answer questions and go over the work!"

    -Viadhe T.    Carrolton, TX
  • May 7, 2014:

    "Everyone from the technicians to the receptionists are always so pleasant to deal with.  You will not be disappointed with this company!"

    -Betsy Y.    Allen, TX
  • May 30, 2015:

    "Service was great, very professional and helpful!"

    -Steve J.    Frisco, TX
  • August 8, 1997:

    "I appreciate the fast service.  It's great to find a company I can rely on.  I'll recommend you every chance I get!"

    Stephany R.   Richardson, TX
  • January 5, 2012:

    "It is great to find a local company that you can depend upon.  I will definitely recommend your company to others who may have problems with their garage door."

    -Christina L.     Allen, TX
  • October 31, 2014:

    "About as good an experience as you can get, the installer was professional about his business, showed up on time, and completed the job in the time estimated."

    -Mark M.     Frisco, TX
  • August 19, 2014:

    "Plano Overhead Garage Door runs their business the way consumers wish all businesses were run.  They are simply a premier service provider."

    -Arlene M.    Plano, TX
  • January 6, 2017:

    "Scheduling was very responsive both via email and over the phone.  They were very professional and timely during the install, and even programmed my vehicles to the garage door opener before leaving.  I will continue to hire Plano Overhead Door in result of my experience today and will highly recommend them to my neighbors!"

    -Jon M.    Plano, TX
  • June 17, 2014:

    "Punctual, knowledgeable, and fast."

    -Dawn H.    Richardson, TX
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