Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Garage doors are complicated systems, even for the professionals. Here are some common questions we get.

How much does a garage door cost?

Garage doors vary according to size, strength, level of customized design, insulation value, etc. Our sales staff is trained to provide you with the information you need to find the right door for your home.

Do you give free estimates?

We give free estimates for sales of doors and openers. Because service and repair work involves a site inspection by a qualified field technician, we do charge a minimum service fee to diagnose equipment problems.

What measurements do I need to know to order a new door?

While we will take final measurements to ensure accuracy, you will need to know the following opening measurements:

  • Width of the opening from jamb to jamb.
  • Height of the opening from the floor to the bottom of the header.
  • Headroom from the top of the opening to the ceiling or first obstruction (often this means the existing door opener) or anything else in the way.
  • Backroom from the inside of the opening back into the garage to the nearest obstruction, i.e. post or beam.

What is headroom and what is the minimum for a sectional door?

Headroom is the distance from the top of your door to the lowest point of the ceiling or any obstruction such as a garage door opener rail, pipes, lighting, shelving or duct-work.

The amount that is needed depends on what type of spring system that your new door will have. Torsion springs require 12″. These amounts are for door operation only. If you are installing a garage door opener, an additional 3″ of headroom is required. Low headroom kits are available for tight installations. Other special track applications include vertical and high lift track, for use in situations where the ceiling is unusually high. Our sales staff will determine the exact dimensions of your garage to ensure a proper fit.

What is backroom?

The backroom is the distance from the garage door to the back wall of the garage. The door height plus 18″ is required for proper door installation. Additional backroom is required for the installation of an automatic garage door opener. To calculate the backroom required, add 4″ to the height of the door.

What is sideroom?

A measurement from each side of the door opening, outward to the nearest wall or obstruction within the garage.

Should I use a professional installer?

Garage doors are the single largest moving objects in your home or building. Their installation is highly technical. Springs can be particularly dangerous and proper installation is critical to the performance of your door. idc-Automatic’s professional installers can typically install a door in only a few hours and are careful to make sure safety requirements are met. A professional installer will save you time and guarantee that your door performs safely and effectively.

What are the benefits of a steel based overlay door versus solid wood door?

idc-Automatic’s steel based overlay doors offer many benefits including the following:

  • Steel based doors are low maintenance.
  • Steel based doors have longer warranties than solid wood doors.
  • Insulated steel based doors are far more energy efficient than solid wood doors.

idc-Automatic’s 7 Series combines steel’s benefits with a beautiful wood exterior. It is a perfect blend for homeowners seeking the beauty of wood with the advantages of steel.

Why should I choose an insulated door?

Insulated doors help keep your garage more comfortable for you. This is especially important if you have an attached garage where any air in the garage can travel through the doorway to your living area. If you use your garage as a workshop, your comfort will be a top priority. If your garage is below another room in your home, air can travel through the ceiling of the garage into the floor of the room above. An insulated door will keep temperatures in the garage fairly stable to reduce the temperature fluctuation in the room. Finally, an insulated door is generally quieter and has a more attractive interior than an un-insulated door.

Will you remove my old door?

Absolutely!  We offer what we call “remove and haul.”  We will remove your old door and dispose of it properly.  Ask one of our Sales Representatives for more details. 

I have a custom-built garage that features an unusual size door. Are special door sizes available?

Yes. We specialize in engineering doors for almost any size opening. Contact our sales staff to determine the best solution for your situation.

How long will it take to get my new door?

Average Lead time is 1-2 weeks for doors that are in stock. Customer and special order doors usually take 3-4 weeks.

What do I need to do to prepare my garage for your technicians?

To install the doors and openers efficiently, our technicians need the space to be free of debris. Please have all vehicles out of the garage during installation.

Can I paint a steel door?

Yes! Steel doors can be painted with a quality latex paint. Never use an oil base paint which will cause the original finish to bubble up and peel off. With latex paint, there is no prep work needed other than to make sure the door is clean and dry before painting. If the door has any overlay make sure to use the correct paint, please reach out for more information on what paint is safe to use. 

Does a lower number for the gauge of steel mean that it is thicker?

Yes. The lower the gauge, the thicker and stronger the steel. For example, 24-gauge steel is thicker than 27-gauge steel. However, a ‘sandwich’ constructed door with two 27-gauge steel skins and a bonded insulated core is stronger than a ‘steel frame’ door with a single 24-gauge steel skin.

What horsepower garage door opener do I need with my door?

Performance requirements for your door opener depend on the weight of your door. A 1/3 horsepower opener may be adequate for single car doors and a 1/2 horsepower for double car doors. Heavier carriage doors like the idc-Automatic Series 7 and Series 5 doors usually require specially designed 3/4 horsepower openers. For most residential applications, we recommend 1/2 horsepower openers.

How can I tell if my door is balanced correctly?

To tell if your door is balanced, look for the following:

  • You should be able to raise your door in 1′ increments and the door should stay in place where you stop it.
  • The door lowers in a controlled manner and doesn’t slam.
  • The door goes up at a controlled pace.
  • In a raised position, the bottom of the door is aligned with the bottom of the header.

A garage door that does not go up and down smoothly when manually operated probably has a spring system that is out of balance and could cause premature wear and tear on your doors hardware (including the rollers and hinges). Depending on how worn the spring is, it may need to be adjusted or replaced. For greater safety and operating performance, we recommend having a professional technician inspect your door.

What type of spring is better…extension or torsion?

Garage doors use two types of springs, extension and torsion. Extension springs are attached on either side of the door and stretch along the horizontal part of the track when the door is closed. Torsion springs are typically located just above the top section of the door and are mounted to the header. They are wound and do not expand or contract when the door is moved.

Torsion springs are superior to extension springs because they offer more safety to the homeowner and better balance to the door which provides smoother operation. All idc-Automatic doors are equipped with torsion springs as part of the standard hardware.

My springs are noisy. Should I be concerned about safety?

The squeaky noise is caused when older spring coils rub against one another. This isn’t a safety concern and can be corrected with a spray-on lubricant.

Do I need a lock on my garage door?

If you have an electric garage door opener on your door, it’s not necessary to have a lock. Electric openers function as the lock, making it improbable that an intruder would be able to lift your door from the outside.

DASMA, the trade association for the garage door industry, discourages homeowners from attaching a lock when an opener has been installed, because too frequently, a child or other family member will accidentally lock the door. If someone then tries to open the door using the electric opener, the opener will pull against the lock causing the door to be damaged.

If an opener is not installed on your door, you should have a lock installed.

Do you take credit cards or personal checks?

We gladly accept cash, checks, MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express credit cards. Custom doors require a 50% down payment.

What is included in a tune-up?

Garage door tune-ups include a complete inspection and lubrication of all moving parts (i.e. springs, rollers, hinges, cables, pulleys, drive mechanisms) and the attached motor operators. Also included are any adjustments needed and tightening of any loose hardware. Replacement parts and accessories are available at an additional cost. Ask about our Security Care Plan.

What is your warranty?

New doors and openers are covered by a one year warranty on material and workmanship. Several doors and openers have extended material warranties beyond the first year. Service and repair work warranties are 90-days on parts and 30-days on labor.

What kind of doors and openers do you repair?

We repair all brands of doors and motor operators that are compliant with legal codes.

Can I use my existing opener on my new door?

Yes, however, the opener must meet certain reversing requirements in order to prevent entrapment. Opener codes are dictated by State and Federal guidelines (UL-325). Existing machines are checked first by the serial number and manufacturer name, then by proper installation and finally by condition. If a compliable machine does not work properly or a machine is not in compliance, our installing technician will tag the machine and notify you of the reason for the tag.

What are your Service Hours?

We provide Service 24 hours per day as follows:

idc-Automatic offers regular service Monday through Friday with a few Saturday appointments.  For emergency situations we also offer 24 hour Emergency Service. 


How qualified and trained are your service technicians?

We are one of only three IDEA Accredited Door Dealers in Minnesota. Our service technicians are highly trained professionals who are employed exclusively by us rather than subcontractors.