Automatic Garage Doors - Southern Doors

Garage Door Trends Over Time: A Brief History

Garage doors have become an integral part of the modern home. While at one time considered to represent somewhat of a luxury, these fascinating devices are now seen within millions of properties throughout the United Kingdom. Not only can these doors address some of the most important classic car maintenance requirements, but they are also capable of adding a stylish touch to any home.

How have garage doors and their associated mechanisms changed over time? Let us take a quick look at why technology and innovation have both played important roles in order to appreciate the big picture.

Traditional Car Enthusiast Tips from the Very Beginning

The earliest garage doors were actually attached to separate structures known as “carriage houses”. Similar to barns and storage facilities, most carriage houses were equipped with doors that swung outwards. This was inconvenient due to the fact that they would require a great deal of space. Also, there were always chances that the vehicle could accidentally come in contact with the doors themselves.

Simple and Yet Powerful Solutions

It was not until 1921 that an upward-swinging mechanism was introduced to the general public. It did not take long before this model was often included within many car enthusiast tips, and for good reason. The most obvious advantage of this design was that it saved a great deal of space when compared to previous versions.

However, another issue presented itself. Some garage doors were extremely ornate and therefore, rather heavy. This made them very difficult to raise and lower. One solution which is still seen on occasion involved the introduction of sliding doors. It was much easier to open and close these models. The only issue was that the dimensions of the garage itself needed to be wider in order to accommodate the sliding mechanism. This would obviously be challenging for those who wished to undertake classic car maintenance within a limited amount of space.

The Introduction of the Electric Overhead Door

Garage doors equipped with electrical motors were first introduced in the first half of the 1970s. The main advantage here was that the doors no longer required manual labour to be opened and closed. Initially a luxury, the 1980s witnessed the mainstream introduction of remotely operated units, so the doors could be activated with the click of a button. These also reflected the fact that the cars themselves were changing over time. Just as vehicles began to use modern solutions, it only stood to reason that car enthusiast tips involved mechanised doors.

We now live in an era associated with composite doors, superior levels of insulation and even affordable, smart systems that are able to detect the presence of a vehicle as it enters the driveway. So, it is clear to see that we have come a long way in less than a century. This is why professional car enthusiast tips should always address the presence of a reliable garage door. If you would like to learn more about the services offered at Eastern Garage Doors, please contact us directly.

Garage Door Trends Over Time: A Brief History

Automatic garage doors offer plenty of benefits over manual ones. They can be an invaluable addition to your home, with extra convenience, security and much more. In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of automatic doors and how you can have the ideal door supplied and fitted by Eastern Garage Doors.


The most apparent benefit is convenience. With an automatic garage door opener, you can open your door from the comfort of your car. You don’t have to get in and out to open and close the door, so going out into the rain is a thing of the past.

Most automatic doors also have lights to illuminate your front garden and garage. This is helpful in the winter or during bad weather, where increased visibility is vital.

Automatically closing doors are also available, so you don’t even have to remember to use the remote yourself; the doors will open and close themselves on their own for the ultimate convenience.


An automatic door removes the risk of fingers getting jammed or a faulty door falling down on someone. This makes them an ideal option for those with younger children or anyone with a medical condition such as arthritis that makes manually closing the door more difficult.


Your garage door is an important part of your home security. As well as storing important and valuable possessions, lots of garages have a door that leads through to the main house, so having a secure door is paramount. The automatic doors that we supply come with plenty of security features, including remotes that operate with a unique code so only you can gain access and settings that disable the remote control completely.

Low energy use

Despite being more technical than a manual door, automatic doors don’t need much power to work. Installing one won’t have a dramatic effect on the cost effectiveness of your home, or its carbon footprint.


These low maintenance doors will keep working their best for years, and in the rare event that something goes wrong, we’re on hand to help with our repairs service. We also offer regular servicing to prolong the life of your garage door and prevent future problems from happening.


With all the convenience offered by automatic garage doors, lots of homeowners see them as an expensive luxury; however, you can find a range of affordable, quality doors in our range that suit any budget.

Find the ideal automatic garage door

Are you interested in an automatic garage door? We pride ourselves in offering an outstanding range of doors that are suitable for a range of homes and budgets. After finding your perfect door, our skilled team will also fit it and provide follow up servicing, along with repairs in the unlikely event that something goes wrong. Get in touch with us today to get started with your new garage door.

Benefits of Upgrading to an Automatic Garage Door

Find out how our customisable garage door service works

Are you looking to replace your garage door with one that is perfectly suited to your needs? Our bespoke garage door service is the ideal solution. Find out how you could be enjoying a made to measure garage door with our help in today’s blog.

The process begins with a free survey. A member of our friendly customer service team will arrange for one of our expert installers to visit your home and carry out a survey of the garage, as well as to discuss your needs and explain how your door will function. We’ll listen to exactly what it is that you’re looking for from a new garage door, before forming a plan with you for your own door that fits with what you need.

We’ll then get to work confirming these plans before sending them over to you with the exact measurements and costs for your approval. This is your chance to advise us about any changes you’d like to make to the plans, and we’ll quickly confirm with you if these are possible or not. We always strive to include the features you want where possible.  

Once we’ve made any changes and you’re happy with the plans, we’ll finalise them before sending you instructions to prepare for the installation. We’ll then book your installation in on a date that works for you.


Your very own garage door is then fitted by our expert installation team. We carry out every installation both promptly and with great care and attention to detail. This minimises the amount of time we spend disrupting your garage space with the installation, while ensuring that everything is up to our high standard of quality workmanship.

Truly bespoke designs

Although ‘bespoke’ or ‘made to order’ usually only refers to custom sizing, we offer a truly customisable door service. This means you can choose the materials, style and colour.

We’re equipped to cater for all sorts of requests, so don’t discouraged if you’re looking for an unusual garage door; we’re more than happy to help as much as we can with our range of materials and styles. Some of these styles include:

  • Non-protruding doors
  • Sliding doors
  • Side hinged
  • Overlap doors
  • Roller
  • Sectional
  • Ceiling doors


To get started with your very own bespoke garage door, get in touch with us today and one of our customer service experts will be happy to help you get your free survey booked. We offer our services throughout the whole of East Anglia, from Suffolk and Norfolk to Cambridge and Essex. You can find our contact details here, and more about our services here.

Transform your Garage with a Bespoke Door

a garage door snow fall

A garage door is one of the biggest and costliest pieces of mechanical kit in your home and most of us open and close the door several times a day without thinking twice. Winter can be a tough season for your garage door, and depending on the harshness of the winter – which is especially relevant depending on which area of the country you live in – there are some potential problems that could come to fruition if you aren’t careful.

Of course, having a broken garage door would be a pain during any season, but if you’re unable to get your car out of the garage during those cold, dark months, it would be far worse than any other season.

The positive news is that you can potentially avoid these by performing a little maintenance.

Garage Door Springs


Cold weather can distress a garage door in a multitude of ways, but broken springs are the most common. Wear and tear is usually the main culprit – garage door springs typically last around 10,000 cycles and with everything else we need to remember in our lives, particularly during winter, maintaining the springs on our garage doors often slips by the wayside.

Despite this, it’s important to check the springs quite often by lifting the door to halfway and letting go. If the door is stationary, the springs are in good working order. If it begins to drop slightly, then consider replacing the springs.

Another way to safeguard against broken springs in the winter is to ensure you have a safety cable installed. The cable exerts enough force to act as a counter-weight, so if your springs do break, you won’t need to worry so much.

Door Frozen to The Ground

a man shovelling in front of his garage door

If water pools at the base of your door, a frost overnight can freeze the water and seal the door shut.

There are no easy or fast ways to deal with this problem, but here are a few solutions which you use to try to rectify the problem:

  • Manually open the door using the emergency cord. The severity of the freeze will directly impact this option.
  • Pour boiling water along the base of the door. Be sure to sweep away the pool though, as it could refreeze.
  • Use a scraper to chip at the ice until you can free the door.

Any of these methods takes a fair bit of time and energy, the best thing to do is to ensure you sweep away any puddle or snow build up and pour some salt around the area to prevent the reappearance of ice.

Water Damage

Especially the case with wooden garage doors, the moisture over winter can lead to the swelling of the door and the frame itself. In the worst scenario, this can close up the space, which causes rubbing.

The door can even get stuck, which prevents you from entering or exiting through the door.

It’s important to clear your rain gutters of leaves and debris to prevent water from running down onto the door, which only exacerbates the problem.

Opening Issues

Colder temperatures can meddle with the opening and closing functions of your garage door, here are a few things to watch out for:

  • Lubrication Consistency – Garage door opening mechanisms require lubrication at various times throughout the year to ensure the parts run correctly. During winter, it’s not unheard of for this lubrication to alter its consistency and prevent the components from moving successfully.
  • Sensitivity Problem – All automated garage doors are designed to stop the process if there is an obstruction. Thickened lubrication can alter the sensitivity of the sensors and prevent the garage from opening or closing correctly because it confuses the thickened deposits of lubrication for something it might crash into.

When the cold weather descends, your garage door may be pushed to its limits. However, by keeping an eye on your door and performing a few small tasks, preparing your garage inside and out for winter means it will be able to withstand the harsh conditions of winter.


If you have any questions about winter protection for your garage or any of our other products or services, then contact us today.

For a free, no obligation survey give us a call on 0800 048 0741, and our team will be happy to advise you on which security considerations would be right for your home and garage.

How Can Winter Affect My Garage Door?

remote control garage door opener

Closing an automatic garage door may seem like an easy task and one that we take for granted. However, like with any machines, if we’re not careful we can cause ourselves and our property damage. It was only last summer that a Cambridgeshire woman was crushed in the roller mechanism of an automatic garage door after misusing it. Accidents such as these can be avoided with a few simple steps, and that’s why we’ve put together the following guide, describing 7 easy ways to stay safe around automatic garage doors.

Read the Manual

The best way to become familiar with your garage door and how it operates is to read the manual. Whilst it’s not Dickens, it’s an important document to read at least once. The manual should be able to tell you essential information, such as the key safety features e.g. the emergency release.

Keep Out of Reach of Children

kids playing on driveway in front of garage door

Kids are known for being excitable, and often like to run around outside and play. However, it’s never safe for a child to go near a garage door, or be allowed to play with the remotes that operate it. If this is becoming an issue in your home, consider having a chat with your child about the dangers of playing near garage doors and always check twice before you open yours.

Inspect Your Garage Door Regularly

The best way to detect any developing problems with your door is to regularly check over it, making sure it’s as healthy and well-operational as it should be. Look for any signs of wear and tear. If your garage experiences any damage, for example, if it was backed into by a vehicle, then it should be checked over by a professional as the damage may be not be immediately apparent to an untrained eye. Never try and fix problems yourself, and always get a specialist company to carry out the repairs and maintenance. Due to the high tension springs and cables present in the mechanism, attempting the repair work yourself could result in injury.

Check Reversing Ability

An essential feature of an automatic garage door is its reversing ability, which ensures that if the door hits an obstruction, it will reverse its path and return back upwards. To test this, place a brick or similar below the garage door to make sure it performs this movement, repeating this test at least once a month.

Stay Away From Moving Doors

Don’t attempt any Indiana Jones close shaves by running under a garage door as it’s closing. Stand well clear any time a door is either opening and closing, encouraging anyone else around you to do the same, including pets and children. Don’t touch or hang onto a door as it’s moving either; this is how last year’s fatality occurred.

Deactivate Your Opener When You Go Away

garage security

For both safety and security reasons, it’s important to deactivate your garage door opener whilst away on holiday, preventing any unwanted access during your time away.

Always Shut the Door Fully

Try not to leave your garage door partially open. If it is reactivated, it will complete its closure, leaving very little time for escape if something happens to be underneath at the time. Not only this, but it’s wise to close the door completely to prevent would-be criminals from taking the opportunity to explore your garage.


Here at Eastern Garage Doors, we’ve got your safety in mind. We offer comprehensive garage door servicing, repair and maintenance services, in addition to installing a huge range of manual and automatic garage doors available in a range of styles. Our specialists cater for the entire East of England. If you have a question about your garage door, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly advisers today.

7 Ways to Stay Safe Around Automatic Garage Doors


Don’t leave your garage defenceless. Many homeowners overlook the security of this area of their properties, leaving it vulnerable to would-be thieves. And with many garages housing valuable equipment such as lawnmowers, bikes and electricals, they can be very attractive to criminals. But just a few simple precautions can turn your garage into a safe and secure space to keep your most prized belongings. That’s why in this month’s article we will be focusing on top tips and advice for enhancing your garage security.

Use Your Common Sense

Sometimes we can overlook the simplest things that can bring about our downfall. For example, never leave your garage keys/remote in your car. Vehicles are easier to break into than most garages, and therefore leaving unlocking equipment in your car is not advisable. Another precaution that is sometimes forgotten is leaving the garage entry door into the home unlocked. If a thief does manage to enter your garage, don’t double your problems by granting them access to your home as well.

Invest in Some Basic Security Equipment

Sometimes just the presence of security equipment is enough to make thieves think twice about attempting a break-in. Motion sensor security lighting is great way to deter lawbreakers. It might even be worth installing an alarm system especially for the garage, or even a security camera if it’s within your budget.

Close The Garage Door Properly

This may seem like an obvious step, but everyone is guilty of missing things when they’re in a hurry. Unfortunately this blunder is an open invitation to burglars. To stop yourself from making this mistake, it might be worth installing some high-tech gear to help you out, such as an automatic door closer or a garage door monitor.

Keep Things Concealed

The contents of your garage will only be more attractive if they are on display. If your garage has windows, consider hanging sheer curtains or blinds to stop people from peeking in, but that still allow sunlight enter. You should also consider putting some tarpaulins over more expensive items, concealing them from prying eyes when you have your garage door raised.

Style Matters

While all garage doors can offer a good level of security if used properly, there are certain styles that provide that little bit more protection. Roller doors are well suited for automation devices which can enhance security. Sectional garage doors are also a good choice, as their strong design means they lack any decent penetration points for burglars to prise open the door.


If you’re searching for the perfect garage door for your property, look no further than Eastern Garage Doors. Providing extensive coverage across the East of England, our specialists provide, install, repair and service a huge range of garage doors in a variety of styles. For more information about any of our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

Garage Security: Top Tips & Advice

remote control opening garage door

Most manual garage doors are cumbersome to open and close, and sometimes when we’re struggling to lift our garage door, battling the wind and rain, the idea of sitting in our car and simply pressing a button to achieve the same result can seem very appealing. Automated garage doors can offer convenience to homeowners, as well as enhancing security and safety. However, you don’t always have to install a brand new door to accomplish this; many types of garage door can be upgraded by automation, meaning you can minimise hassle by adapting your existing door.

But what are the benefits of automating? And how is it achieved?

Why Should I Automate My Existing Garage Door?

  • It allows you to make use of your current door without having to install a new one.
  • UK weather is renowned for being fickle, and when the wind, rain and snow are raging outside, leaving the warmth of your car to open the garage can be an unwelcome prospect. Automation allows you to stay seated and comfortable while your garage opens with the click of a button.
  • For elderly people or those with disabilities, opening and shutting heavy garage doors can be a challenge that automation can eliminate.
  • When opening manually, if the movement is not completed correctly, with the door not being opened at the centre, this can throw the door off balance and lead to eventual expensive repairs. However, if the movement is automatic then this ensures that the door opens in a smooth, centered motion that preserves the performance of the door for as long as possible.
  • Automation may also improve security, as forced entry is more difficult to achieve with non-manual garage doors.

What Types Of Garage Door Can Be Automated?

remote control garage door opener

Many types of door can be automated with a couple of exceptions. If your door is too badly damaged or warped, they might not work effectively with an electric motor, and repair or replacement should be considered instead. In addition, if your door possesses an especially odd spring and gear arrangement, then this could hinder automation.

Retractable Up and Over: This type is the easiest to automate, and is also fairly cost effective. A boom is simply installed above the structural opening, and an electrical motor is installed at the other end. Sectional garage doors can also be automated in a similar manner.

Canopy Up and Over: This style of up and over do not adapt as well to an electrical opening system. Instead, these doors may require a bow arm conversion kit, which is fitted against a door and is able to slide, giving the door the ability to fully open and shut.

Side Hinged Garage Doors: Almost all doors of this style can be automated, usually through one of two methods. 1) Swing arm kits, which work by installing two pivotable arms to each side of the door and the boom. 2) Electromechanical system, which consists of a series of mechanical components used to open the doors.

Roller Doors: Most roller doors can be automated, but demand some reconstruction and dismantling of the existing garage to achieve this.


Eastern Garage Doors recognise the comfort and convenience of automatic garage doors, and can provide quality upgrades of existing doors in addition to installing brand new electric doors. Our team of professionals serve a wide range of areas, including the East of England and North London, and offer a variety of garage door systems and solutions. Call us today for your free, no obligation survey.

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