Lifting the Door on Garage Upsells

Posted at 5:45 AM, Oct 28, 2014
and last updated 2016-07-04 12:06:10-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) --  Most people give little thought to their garage door, until they're late for work and it won't go up. After a frantic call to the repair pro, the problem is fixed, but then the contractor tries to sell you additional products or services.

In this Angie's List report, three common garage door repairs and potential upsells.

The springs are the workhorse of your garage door. It's not uncommon for one to break, but replacing a spring can be dangerous work, so you might not want to do it yourself.

"If a spring is broken or a cable is broken, that's something that they shouldn't mess with because both of them is under tension and you can get hurt," said garage door expert Darrell Munchel.

Springs have a designated life-cycle rating - such as 10,000, 25,000 or 50,000. Angie's List says if a company tries to sell you a lifetime spring, ask what that means.

"When it comes to lifetime guarantees on garage door parts, you need to know what you're paying for. Find out exactly what the lifetime warranty covers. For example a warranty on a spring might only be the lifetime of the garage and not the spring itself. Most experts say you should pass on the lifetime warranty upsell," recommends Angie Hicks of Angie's List.

Most garage doors have 10 rollers, but experts say only the broken ones typically need to be replaced. To avoid an unnecessary charge, ask to see the damage if a technician suggests replacing all rollers without inspecting them.

"Just be aware if somebody tells you that something's wrong that they explain or show you why it's going wrong," said Munchel.

And if you need a brand new door, a company might suggest an insulated one. If you have an attached garage, this could help lower heating and cooling costs.  

"Insulated doors cost about $400 more than an uninsulated garage door. Whether you should make that investment is really dependent on your garage and your usage of it. If you spend a lot of time working in your garage, it might be a really good investment," said Hicks.

Angie's List says some companies sell preventive maintenance programs that include an annual visit and door tune-up, usually for about $80 a year.

You can catch the latest Angie's List report every Tuesday morning on WTXL Sunrise.