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30th January 2017
Why do Roller Garage Door prices vary so much?

The price of many different types of insulated roller garage doors varies enormously and we try to explain why.


Why Do Roller Garage Door Prices vary so much?

This is really a quite obvious question to answer yourself if you have enough time to carry out the research and travel around to see a lot of the roller garage doors offered in the UK. They may all look the same in a glossy brochure with the only variation seemingly the colour and very subtle curtain slat finishes but there are some very, very big differences when it comes to the components used and the quality of the motor and spring operating mechanism
We are all very aware of parts for everyday items such as cars, washing machines, televisions, etc being sourced from Chinese or Indian companies manufacturing for far less than European companies, however these savings only apply when the parts are mass produced for products that are sold in the millions. This is not the case with garage doors and you should be very careful if considering the price as the only factor when buying a roller garage door because in the scheme of things all garage doors are fairly niche, unique products only sold in the thousands each year. A cheap roller garage door using low quality components and electric parts will only produce one result , it just depends how long this takes – failure!! We deal with requests every week from people who have had a roller garage door which has failed and the company has now ceased trading and do we know where to obtain replacement parts from? Many times we do not as they are parts not stocked in the UK and this requires that a much bigger, complicated repair be carried out on the roller door to replace all the parts to conform with CE regulations and give a serviceable door.

“It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

"The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”

¯ John Ruskin

Everyone will tell you the roller door they are selling is the best one to buy, that should be obvious, but take your time to find out why they think their roller door is the best and you may get a lot of different replies.
Start with the basics, any good roller garage door will have a 5 year guarantee on the electric motor and good guarantees on the curtain finish, anything up to 10 years. The curtain slats most commonly used are normally 77mm deep and about 12-14mm thick and have a foam filled core. The best quality slats are produced in Germany. Cheaper, thinner and not so strong slats come in from other parts of the world and when the slats have any imperfections in manufacturing the results can be disastrous for a whole door curtain, with each slat not quite lining up properly the roller door will look second hand the day it is installed.
The electric operation of the majority of insulated roller doors utilises a ‘tube motor’ which is an electric motor inserted into a tube housing that the curtain then wraps around. The best tube motors in the world are manufactured by Somfy (market leaders) and failure rate is almost non- existent.  Cheaper Chinese motors are becoming more extensively used now and although many are fine the safety devices and electronics that control the motors are even more important and cannot be compromised.
The electric motor is activated by a control panel which receives its signal from a radio wave transmitter, once activated the motor has to be controlled by limits to tell the door when to stop at the open and close phases. During the operation if the door meets an obstruction of any sort the motor has to stop very quickly and reverse and the current regulations dictate this sensor has to be a ‘leading edge detections system’ i.e. a sensor on the bottom of the roller door. If any part of this whole system has a problem the normal result is the door simply stops working so it is imperative that the electronics are of a good quality and reliable.
The other essential requirement of an electric roller door is a manual override system and this is normally a geared winding system comprising of a winding handle which when hooked up to a steel or nylon eyelet attached to the motor enables the winding handle to rotate the inner gearing of the motor and move the door up or down. You can have an optional battery back-up system in most roller doors nowadays and these will operate the door when mains power is cut off but won’t operate a broken motor when you will need the manual system override instead.

Security is another big issue with roller garage doors as many can be easily broken into due to very fragile components holding the roller curtain in place. Higher quality roller doors have additional locking facilities to enhance security and the SWS Seceuroglide Excel has a level 1 security rating as recognised by the LPCB. The SWS range of roller doors are all derived from many years of manufacturing continental style security roller shutters for windows and doorways so security is always a key part of any new products they launch.

Direct sales companies are another reason some roller shutter doors are sometimes seemingly very expensive. A simple, old method of sales offering the salesman high levels of commission for however much he can get away with charging on a sliding scale means if you are not paying attention as a customer you may well end up paying well over the going rate for a product that is no better than anyone other roller door. Also because it is possible to get a roller door into practically any garage door opening the pricing is simple using a matrix price list based on some rough measurements which can then be followed up by a ‘proper survey’ by a surveyor which determines exact sizes but rarely changes the price.

Of course you have to remember the old saying ‘buy cheap and buy twice’ because for roller garage doors this is certainly true with examples of roller doors we have seen many times where the door does not even last a year and trying to get the problem sorted can be impossible.

See our guide to buying roller doors >

The Garage Door Centre has sold insulated roller garage doors since 1986 and we like to think we can offer a fairly non biased opinion on many of the roller doors available today and as we sell many hundreds every month we soon know when there is a problem with a particular type or model.

Call us now for free advice and prices on the right type of door on (01933) 229135

 


 

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