PHPD recently visited Yeovil-based garage door specialist Garador, to discover the company’s heritage and explore why it is well-placed to assist housebuilders in creating eye-catching new homes.
With over 70 years of experience manufacturing garage doors in the UK, what Garador doesn’t know about garage doors probably isn’t worth knowing. Today it has a range of over 60 standard garage doors and can supply virtually any configuration a customer can dream up.
The company started out just a few years after the Second World War, when helicopter specialist Westlands purchased a licence from a Canadian firm to manufacture one piece up & over doors. The company had noticed that in the post-war period housebuilding was booming and ownership of cars becoming more widespread. The first Garador branded garage door was made in 1948.
Many ups and downs followed in the intervening years and the company has undergone numerous changes, developments and expansions, but today it remains a leader in the design and manufacture of modern garage doors.
The company’s highly automated production plant in Yeovil, Somerset, is a true manufacturing facility, turning coiled steel into a wide range of modern garage doors.
“Over the years we have continually invested and improved every aspect of our manufacturing process,” said Marketing Manager, Paul Eddleston. “For instance, we have just invested in a new press machine, to help produce our wide profile steel Ascot and Windsor garage doors more efficiently.”
But production is just one side of the story. Recently the company made a £1.4 million investment to further extend its Yeovil factory, to provide more storage space and a series of loading bays as part of a drive to invest in its logistics operations.
Any visitors to the site cannot fail to be impressed by the size of the operation, the highly efficient production processes and the significant stock holding – which, together with its commitment to customer service, enables the company to react quickly to a customer’s requirements.
“Along with manufacturing a range of quality garage doors, we have a dedicated UK-based customer service team and excellent after sales service,” said Marketing Manager, Paul Eddleston. “This is especially important when you are dealing with a technical product like a garage door that offers so many choices and variations”.
Designed for life
Garador offers a substantial range of garage doors with choices on material, designs, colours and additional options to ensure every customer can find the right solution for any property – modern or traditional.
When selecting a garage door it believes customers should carefully consider not just the design and colour required, but also the type of garage door – as there are a number of variants.
Over and out
Up & Over garage doors are regularly selected by customers as they are reliable, functional and attractive. Garador’s options are available with either canopy or retractable gearing.
Canopy gearing enables the door panel to run vertically on tracks on the side frame, controlled by a spring assembly on the top of the frame. When open, the door panel protrudes out approximately a third forming a canopy.
Retractable gearing means the door panel opens on horizontal tracks which go back into the garage. This type of gear has been designed specifically for use with an electric operator. Both gear types come with an anti-drop safety device.
Up & Over doors are available in a choice of four different materials: steel, timber and GRP, and a range of colours and finishes.
Garador’s Guardian Range doors are Secured by Design (SBD) accredited and meet the standards set by the Association of Chief Police Officers. These doors featured eight door braces rather than two on the rear of the door for extra strength. They also have additional steel plates fitted to the base of the door, to protect bottom locking points. The locking systems have also been upgraded, with a new anti-snap cylinder on the lock itself and a steel plate to protect the lock body.
SBD accreditation is only available on Garador steel up & over garage doors, currently in Salisbury, Horizon and Carlton styles.
Wide and seek
For housebuilders looking to maximise the full width of a garage – a vital consideration given the dimensions of some vehicles – a sectional doors should be considered. As the name suggests, sectional garage doors are split into sections which run on vertical and then horizontal tracks back into the garage. These doors rise vertically with no loss of driveway space in front of the garage, and provide full opening drive through width, giving extra room for wider vehicles.
Sectional garage doors are available in Classic uninsulated and Premium 42mm insulated options. They feature rubber weather seals on all sections of the door, as well as the side and floor seal, to help keep retain heat and keep it warm and dry inside.
On a roll
The GaraRoll roller door is made up of foam filled aluminium laths which vertically lift and then roll into a box at the head of the garage door opening. This offers a compact solution for those who want garages which retain the ceiling area or access to the roof.
The GaraRoll is a spring-assisted roller door, which the company says is the only one on the market. The spring helps to reduce the strain placed on the electric motor, which should ensure it has a longer service life. The rust resistant aluminium laths mean this door is worth considering if you are building properties by the coast.
The company’s roller doors are available in a choice of 13 colours and 2 timber effect foil coatings, and are supplied complete with an electric operator and two handsets as standard. The door also features an internal wall button and courtesy light so you can see on those dark winter nights.
Side by side
Garador side-hinged garage doors come built onto their own steel frame, and open outwards to provide clear and unrestricted space within the garage. These doors provide full drive through height, and a shoot bolt latch at the top and bottom of the door. Steel hinges are securely fitted to the frame, to ensure reliable function. Weather seals around three sides of the door help to prevent draughts.
These doors are available in steel and timber, with a range of colour finishes and sizes.
Typically garage doors are manually operated, but to add extra interest and convenience an automatic opening system can be fitted. The company has a range of secure solutions operated from the unit itself, or via handheld transmitters. The latest Garador hand transmitters feature bi-directional radio technology, using the same 128 bit encryption that is used by many banks for online banking security.