Garage Doors

Parent Q&A

Swing up garage door Apr 19, 2018 (1 responses below)
Replacing old garage door Sep 7, 2016 (1 responses below)
  • Swing up garage door

    (1 reply)

    I am looking for recommendations for companies that stock and install old-fashioned swing up doors (one piece, tilt up or flip up doors). My 1920s cottage can't accommodate a new roll-up one, and my door is on it's last legs!

    RE: Swing up garage door ()

    We recently had a garage door repair person in and he said that the old swing-up doors are now illegal. Not sure whether that is everywhere, or just our city/county (El Cerrito, WCC).

    You might want to look into 'barn door' styles.

  • Replacing old garage door

    (1 reply)

    We have a 1930's era house in Alameda and are looking to replace/upgrade the old wooden garage door (which has a scary spring). BPN recommendations are old - would love to hear recommendations for people to do the work and also any tips. We don't need it to be fancy, just more modern and safer. 

    RE: Replacing old garage door ()

    I can recommend both Madden 925-309-7232 and Contra Costa Garage Door 925-671-7888 companies as I have used them both for different jobs and they both performed well.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Automatic garage door recommendations

April 2012

I've been putting off the move to getting an automatic garage door but my regular door is old and needs replacing. I don't park in the garage but figured that for resale value I should get an automatic if I'm going to change t out anyway. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good yet cost effective company/product? Thank you!

For many years I have always used R and S Overhead Doors for installation and repairs of garage doors at my rental properties. Their work is always good and they take care of the project in a proper manner the first time. 510-483-9700. Roger

I used Overhead Door Company and was very pleased. I had planned on a wood door and they recommended a metal door that was lighter and easy to maintain. I took their advice and saved a lot of money on the door and am so glad they gave me good advice. The wood door I had in mind would have been a disaster to maintain. happy customer

Need Someone Who Can Replace our Garage Door

Feb 2011

Good morning. Our garage door is disinegrating, and it needs to be replaced ASAP. We're looking for someone who is exerienced in this type of work and can handle it for a reasonable price. Any thoughts or recommendations would be much appreciated. Many thanks! Fred K

hello, I would highly recommend Mario Ackerberg, he has not only done a lot of work for myself, but also many friends. He's a do-it-all contractor! he can be reached at 707-621-2911 He is very fast, reliable and does amazing work! Jennifer

Ignacio Arrechiga can do your garage door and many other projects. He is very reasonable and easy to work with. He works with his cousins and they are fast, clean and reliable. He has done multiple projects at our house--including a recent addition of an office in our garage. You can tell him I referred you. His number is 827-7518 Nancy

I'd highly recommend Travis Eaton, a certified contractor who relocated here from Santa Cruz approximately two years ago where he had a thriving business. Travis is conscientious, thoughtful, knowledegable, and even a bit spiritual in his approach. His quotes are on target and I think are below market but you'd never know it from the quality of his work. Travis is a single Dad and once had to bring his son to my house to double check some work and it was a delight to see the way he interacted with his child and talked to him about the safety of being around tools. You can trust him even if your kids are running around. Happy client

I've posted a number of times about my 'easy button' guy for everything on home repairs, and renovation - whenever anything comes up, I just call Glen, and have, for years. He and his partner Juan, and their crew, have done everything for me from replacing windows (in a 1910 Berkeley house) to paingint interior and exterior, to building a fence, garage door replacement, building a flagstone patio, electric repairs...the list goes on. Glen Larsen Juan Vasquez glenlarsen [at]

Need to replace garage door with automatic door

Aug 2009

Need to replace original wood garage door with automatic one for ease of entry and security (though I like the old funky doors. Have you had an automatic garage door install and were happy with the company that did the work? Looking for recommendations reliable, reasonable business to call for estimate and installation and removal of old doors. Berkeley Hills area. Hope you can help.

We used Connor Garage Doors on San Pablo in El Cerrito several times and they were very reliable and fairly priced. We had them install an opener on an old set of hand hewn 1920's garage doors in N. Berkeley. We were ready to have new doors put on but they convinced us that our present ones were unique and beautiful and they were willing to work with us to make them work. kl

We had a new garage door and opener installed in 2007 by East Bay Overhead Door Co. (510-893-2444). They were fast and nice to work with. It's a Wayne Dalton raised-panel door with Liftmaster opener and they both work beautifully so far. JP

Automatic Garage Door Needed

Oct 2009

Does anyone have recommendations on where to purchase an automatic garage door? Our current garage door is old and full of wood rot. We'd like to replace it with a steel door, and would love any feedback on businesses/contractors to use. Thanks! - Rachel

I can very highly recommend Contra Costa Garage Door: We had a new door put in a year and a half ago. Great experience all the way around: at the showroom, picking out the door, the installation, etc. They have an amazing, wide-ranging selection. Our architect spec'd a super expensive all wood door ($10k-$12K...not kidding), but Contra Costa helped us find a steel version that looks great for a couple of thousand. They have even cheaper doors than that, but I wanted to give you the example that they will totally work with your needs. They are very honest about the trade-offs, pros/cons of each door. I have recommended them to neighbors for door and opener repair issues and they have all had good experiences, too.

Seeking new wood garage door

Oct 2009

I need to replace a large rickety garage door with a contemporary (non rollup) front with wooden double doors. This will involve framing, reinforcement and window installation. Also need gate across drive, security lighting and a few smaller repairs. Thanks for your (affordable) recommendations. holly

For your project you need someone with experience that is affortable, Highly recommend Jeff Jensen with Jensen Construction, his number is (510)453-9369 he will help you from start to finish Best Regards. Mr. Martinez

will perez does excellent quality work at reasonable rates. creative, courteous, reliable. his cell is 415-806-3859 avi

Garage Door Installer Needed

July 2009

I need to have a garage door sized and installed to my detached garage. Can anyone recommend a Bay Area Company that is reliable? Thank you. Anonymous

Last Tuesday we had Chandler from Fremont install a new garage door. They were thorough and the price was $800 for door (we didn't need opener). We had checked with others and this is a good price. They even are coming out tomorrow to fix the bottom insulation that they said was not done correctly. We didn't even notice. Very happy with our new door and their service. Stu

Automatic garage door repair

May 2009

Our automatic garage door was installed less than 2 years ago. Over the weekend, it wouldn't shut. The top panel was tearing away from the metal strip. We called back the company that installed it (Connors) and we were told that it looks like someone pushed the panel back and tried to grab the cord to open the garage door (to steal from us). At first he said it was because the mail slot piece was missing and somehow it had caught, until I told him that piece has been off the door for several months now. Then he said he sees this kind of damage from attempted thefts about once or twice a week. My husband pointed out that someone could have had an easier time going through the plastic window. Anyway, the bottom line is that they are not replacing the door and the repair would cost around $150. We figure we don't have a choice, but I do want to know if this is a common theft attempt on automatic garage doors. Has this happened to anyone, or someone you know? We were working on our front yard and were opening and closing the garage door all afternoon to get tools, but maybe the damage done by a thief wasn't apparent until that day. I plan on asking our local police, but was wondering if anyone has had this experience (with damage to garage door or experience with this particular garage door company). Wondering if I'm getting taken to the cleaners

Connors are the worst when it comes to service and honesty. I had a similar experience and swore I would never do business with them again. I did a lot of research and found Madden Door and Sons in Pacheco. They aren't cheap, but I haven't had a problem with my door since. LL We love Contra Costa Door. they installed a new door and opener for us. We recommended them to a neighbor that just needed a few repairs, and they were very happy with the work Contra Costa Door did. They've been in business for more than 50 years, so they're doing something right.

New garage door

Oct 2007

We need to replace a wooden garage door and opener system in our 1930s home. This is the original door and the opener is about 15 years old and no longer runs. We don't want one of the standard doors for newer homes as it won't work with the style of our house. (The door covers about 1/3 of the front of the house and is especially prominent). Can anyone recommend a Bay Area company that is reliable to work with and might have some alterative suggestions to making a custom door? thanks.

Yes! I have been garage door shopping lately, and I can highly recommend Contra Costa Door out in Concord off Hwy 4. It is totally worth the drive. They have been in business since the 1950s and really know their stuff. Everyone I've worked with there is great. They have a range of products, including custom wood doors that can be made to suit the style of your house. I will warn you, those doors are serious bucks. We were able to get a steel one that approximated the carriage house look we wanted, but was much cheaper. (For our 1 1/2 car garage, wood was anywhere from $8-12k, depending on type of wood, paint-grade vs. stain-grade wood; style; etc. A similar looking steel door will run us about $3,500.)

Anyway, they did no hard sell at all, and talked us out of the expensive door. (Because our garage door faces west and gets beaten with sun, they said the wood would look worn pretty fast, even if we repainted it every year or two.) Their info: Contra Costa Door 145 Mason Circle, Concord, CA 94520 (925) 671-7888 You don't need an appointment. Just wander in and they'll take care of you. Good Luck!

Oct 2007

I wanted to recommend a great garage door service, A-Z Door. They are based in Alameda and SF, and my home is in Richmond. I accidentally ran into my garage door on a Saturday, and though the damage wasn't great the door only closed half-way. After calling a few places, and being told it would cost a fortune to fix or I'd have to wait until Monday, I happened upon A-Z Door. Abe came in four hours, as promised, and was friendly and professional. He fixed my door and even did some routine maintenance, all for less than the competitors. I'll use him again for any garage door needs. The info is A-Z Door, 415-239-2405 or AZdoor [at]

March 2007

Recently, we just installed our garage. It took us about 1 month to shop for the right door and installer. We came across Madden Door and Sons. We have the best retailer experience ever from a contractor. They even has a warehouse and Diamond certified contractor. We highly recommended. (925) 229-2411 4300 Arthur Road Martinez CA 94553, and ask for Scott. They are very knowlegable and give you a lot of option and advise. Good Luck. K.C.

Need to replace Genie garage door opener

Jan 2007

Our 20 year-old Genie garage door opener stopped working and we need to buy a new one. I've heard that newer garage doors openers are made with cheaper parts and don't last quite as long anymore--both Genie and Craftsman. Does anyone have experience with Chamberlains? And can you recommend a good company (not Sears) that can sell and install for us in the East Bay? We have a large (though not heavy) wooden garage door for a single car garage. anon

We recently put in a Chamberlin on a rental house. The Benicia Garage Door Company told us to purchase it at Costco as it was cheaper than he could provide and best brand out there. He installed it for us when he put the door in. jholter

Want to replace old wooden garage door

Oct 2006

We live in a 1930s bungalow with the kind of wooden garage door that swings up and out. Though we have had it serviced, it lurches horribly and takes up too much overhead space in the garage. Any recommendations on who to call to replace it with a newer model that rolls up? Rachel

There is no better company for replacing a garage door than Madden Door & Sons. I have an 1890s saltbox in W. Berkeley with height issues, narrow spacing and other problems. They took a horrific swing out door and replaced it with a new electronic roll-up door that is beautiful. They do wood doors if you want to maintain the look. Their staff are professional, and they are used to old/wierd spaces. Lots of the other companies that I priced seemed very fly by night. Their sales guys would come out and say one thing and then the next time the guy came, they would say a different thing. Madden Door has a show room in Martinez and their sales guys also install so they know what they are talking about. They even did a door install on a house that was on that show Curb Appeal. But really, they are the best. contact them at 925-935-4580. or at A Very satisfied customer melissa

Want to replace 1940's door with automatic

Nov 2005

We're looking to replace our 1940s barn door with an automatic garage door. My husband only knows of one place--Connor's Overhead Doors on San Pablo Avenue. Does anyone know of other places? If anyone has had Connor's replace their garage door, I'd be interested in reviews. Thanks Patty

To the person asking about garage doors: we, too, want to replace our garage door and are slow in gathering information (guess we're too busy). I noted in the BPN archives (a while back) that there were two places mentioned; however I couldn't locate any phone or address information on them, which suggests they're no longer in business.

I've seen mail inserts for Connors Overhead, but I saw some negative reviews on the web, and when I called the Better Business Bureau and input the phone number for Connors, BBB reported having some unresolved claims, and an unsatisfactory rating, on Connors. So, at present, I'm staying away from them.

A friend recommended Norm, of Upright Garage Doors, in Berkeley (528-3304). Norm came by (about 2 hours after our set appointment), and gave us a verbal estimate of ~$1,000 for a single car, insulated/segmented garage door, with mail slot and new door opener. I asked him to submit a written estimate and never heard from him again. Not to get super negative about it... I think he's a bit dis-organized (and a small operation), and I probably just have to call to remind him, but I've been out of town myself. There's nothing I can find on Upright on the net, other than an address and phone number.

I also posted to the BPN a while back asking anyone's experience using Home Depot (for purchasing the door and opener) and having their contractors do the install. I don't recall any feedback (for that matter, I don't recall seeing my posting in the Household Digest).

I'll be interested to see the other responses.e Jim

We had a good experience w/ Contra Costa Garage doors. Unlike Conners who tried to have us replace the whole contraption that would have cost us over $500, Contra Costa Garage doors fixed the misfunctioning part for under $75 as I recall. They were very honest. I looked into Conners and found out that they didn't even renew their contractor's license back 5 yrs ago. Learned from BBB as I recall that they make so much money replacing people's garage doors that they don't mind getting the fines for practicing w/o a license. Susan

Someone to replace garage door

Sept 2005

Has anyone ever bought stuff at Home Depot and then had their contractors do the installation? I'm guessing that HD enlists independent local contractors, and the quality of service probably varies (widely?)-- still, I wonder if they cut off the contractors who get poor feedback. Specifically, I was thinking of having my garage door replaced, and I didn't see any really good, recent recommendations on the list for garage door people. Jim

Our elderly neighbor used a Home Depot contractor to replace her garage door and had the most miserable experience with it. 6 months later, the garage door is just getting installed. jewelz

RE: Contractor for garage door replacement. I am in the midst of a 3 month problem getting new blinds replaced using the HOme Depot Expo people. I wouldn't trust their ability to replace the garage door given my experience and their poor follow through.

As for the garage door, we just went through talking to about 10 different garage door companies. We had a horrible time as our door is very small, has low headroom and other old house in berkely issues. Basically we got turned down by everyone except for one company-- Madden Door Company tel: 925-935-4580 fax: 925-372-5686

They really specialize in hard to place garage doors. But they can also do the regular stuff. They are family owned (Father and Son) and they know their stuff like crazy. WE are very pleased with their work.

The only other company I had considered was: R Wholesale Doors Inc. ph: 510-483-5330 While I can't vouch for their work, at least their guys came, gave a real estimate, called to confirm and knew their products (not an experience I had with anyone else). Melissa

Need someone to repair garage door

May 2005

I am looking for a recommendation for a contractor for a new garage door. I live in El Cerrito, and I am looking for a replacement for our Tilt back wood door.

Adam is the best garage door guy i know. Not only was he courteous, but his work spoke for itself. He carried everything he needed right on his truck and was quick and efficient, you can reach him @ 510-719-7340 for any garage door problems and for new doors. Jody

Old-Fashioned Garage Door

Dec 2000

Does anyone know where we might find an old-fashioned garage door of the type that is divided down the middle and opens to the sides, with a row of windows at eye level? I have seen them around (in other peoples' garages), but haven't seen them for purchase. Linda

I just saw a whole article on this -- with a bunch of accompanying ads -- in the current issue of American Bungalow magazine (which unfortunately went out with the recycling yesterday). As I recall, there are a few companies that make old-looking, faux-side opening doors that actually work with modern garage door openers. I presume they're pretty high end, though. Leah

We just replaced the rotting double doors on our 75-year-old garage. We don't use the garage for the car, but we wanted it to look as close to the original as possible. We found some cool old double doors for under $100 at Urban Ore and our carpenter added framing to make them fit. Ginger

Electric Garage Door repair

May 2002

Our electric garage door hasn't closed completely in a couple of years. I am finally getting around to addressing the problem and was hoping someone could recommend a good repair person or company that deals with these sorts of things. Many thanks. Sally Ann

I have used Universal Door Company a few times for my garage door. They have always come the same day if I've needed it. I think they charge a flat rate to visit and diagnose -- about $85 but then fold that into the bill if you fix the door. Frances

We have used Chandler Garage Doors several times to repair our garage door. We have been very pleased with them. Lori