I set up this blog to share news with people in the garage door industry and to help answer any questions that DIY installers may have, wherever you are, anywhere in the world (so long as you speak English!)

I have been involved in the garage door industry for over 10 years now and have had hands on experience with all types and most brands of garage doors.  I am part of a family business based in Garstang that has been established for over 15 years.

If you have any garage door queries then just post your questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.  I’ll post all comments positive or negative so long as they’re never abusive.

James Darnell

  1. Angry Supplier
    March 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    BRP are back in administration as at today! Staff havent been paid, suppliers shafted again but hey – we think we have been bought already!! GREAT for those of us that will lose our homes as our businesses are secured on them. It is time for them to shut the doors, they can not run a company.

  2. Mathew
    May 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Hello James. Very glad to come across this site, and your generous offer of advice, as I’ve been looking for a new garage door. My main motivation is security, and I have just been getting confused by what’s on offer.

    My house has a north-facing single garage built on to the side and protruding from the front, with an up and over door to which I fitted what looks like an earlier version of a Chamberlain 1345 chain-drive opener about 15 years ago. This has been utterly reliable despite tempting fate by not connecting its manual release. It doesn’t have rolling codes but I am not overly concerned that I will be targeted by a thief with a scanner. It doesn’t have a mechanical lock but the inherent locking of the worm drive has proved to be very strong. It doesn’t have an infrared beam but that doesn’t worry me either. It did come with a keypad as well as the two hand-held transmitters, which is very useful for deliveries, and I have modified it to sound an alarm in the house if the door is left open (lamp off and lower limit switch not activated). In short, I’d prefer not to have to invest in a new opener.

    The door has never looked properly closed since I fitted the opener, with tempting gaps all the way round, and I suppose it’s surprising that no-one has seriously tried to break in before, even though I am not in a high-crime area. But it was jemmied the other day, bucking the frame on one side, although not giving way, thankfully. I live on a street with quite a lot of footfall and although the short (less than a car length) drive is somewhat secluded there’s nowhere to hide completely from the pavement, so I imagine they were disturbed. There’s a PIR security light above but the weather has done for that and it’s in reach anyway so fairly pointless I think. Only a matter of time before they try again. I don’t need to build Fort Knox but I need to have better than what is there at the moment.

    I think I’m right in assuming that sectional and roller shutter doors offer the best security because of their multiple connections at the sides. I think I’m also right that an electric roller shutter wouldn’t fit without narrowing the opening, because the construction is of a double-brick pillar on each side connected to a single brick wall, so there is only a brick’s width-worth of clearance behind the opening on each side (10cm). There is minimum 40cm headroom though.

    So I guess that narrows it down to a sectional door, which ought to work with my opener too. But which one to get? Here are a few points:

    *Appearance: not important. Simple and plain, in a tagger-unfriendly colour/finish if there is such a thing.
    *Insulation: not important. Yes the garage is on the house, but I find it hard to believe that insulated panels make much difference what with the single brick wall, uninsuated roof and leaky rear door. Convince me it’s not a sales tactic! However, if foam-filled panels provide better rigidity or other benefits then they might be worth investing in.
    *Durability: yes, I’d be willing to pay if there really are genuine differences between the models.
    *Security: quite important of course, if there are genuine differencence between the models. Should I get double-skinned panels even if not foam-filled? Is it worth getting a door with manual locking fittings and a “de-latch kit”? Or should I make my own solenoid latches for fun? 🙂
    *Fitting tolerances: unfortunately the outer wall leans slightly outwards – probably about 1.5cm from top to bottom of opening. (It used to be be possible to rock the whole thing! But I found a builder who suggested adding a couple of extra pillars and it’s surprisingly solid now.) Rollers do seem to be on rods to allow some play, but I think you’re going to tell me that the guide rails need to be absolutely parallel to the millimetre. If I do this, there’s going to be precious little overlap with the door at the top outer side. I’d want to avoid having the guide rails protruding if possible.

    Many thanks, and sorry for the essay!

  3. Julian
    July 29, 2013 at 6:34 pm


    We’ve recently converted half our garage into a utility room, this has left me with some garage left, but because we have an up and over door, the usable storage space is limited where the door needs to move.

    I’ve looked at replacement doors that are side hinge – I can use lots of bolts to make secure, and they will rarely be used. The cost is going to be at least £400 for doors, fixings and treatment/paint.

    I’m on a tight budget, I have an idea to take down the current door, strip out the mechanisms, and put it on heavy duty hinges, turning it into a large single side hinged door….

    I think it should be possible and achievable but don’t know if it would be a recommended option or safe, and can’t find any guidance out there…

    Have you seen this done? Can it be done, or should I not be so tight?????

    Thanks for any advice.


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