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Old 08-19-2012, 09:31 AM   #1
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


Hi All,

Have a strange situation and I'm just looking for some impartial advice.

A few months ago, we bought something from someone in our neighborhood and they offered to drop the items off at our home. Unfortunately, she forgot to put her car in park and ran into our garage door. She did significant damage to the lower 2 panels and put a slight crease in the 3rd panel. It is a basic steel door.

The husband came over to look at it, asked me to get some estimates and I did. I received 4 estimates from local companies. They were all between $900-$1000 (single 16x7 door). Each one recommended replacing the full door, rails and springs. They said they could replace the panels, but it would be within the same price as a full door. They also all said all 4 panels should be replaced to ensure color matching.

I sent the estimates to the husband and he said, "I have a friend, we can do better." - A couple weeks went by and I saw the invoice from the friend with the pricing blacked out. The friend owns or manages a commercial-only door company about 90 minutes away from our home. He was also not willing to do the full replacement, simply the 4 panels. He indicated he would reuse all hinges, rollers, lock, and weatherstripping as there was no damage to any of them (there are many bent rollers and hinges). When I questioned him on that, he said, 'those are $2 parts, we keep them in the truck.'

I spoke with the husband again and tried to explain we were not happy that the amount of work was not the same and we felt there was a conflict of interest here. He said, "He's doing it for $400, you can either take me up on this or I'll give you $400 and you can use whoever you want." We spoke for a few minutes and I ended the call before things escalated.

My wife wants me to just get their insurance information and deal with it that way. I'm trying to give them a break here, but I want to make sure the right thing is done.

Should I just take him up on the deal? Is there any risk to using a mix of old hinges/new hinges? I'm also worried about this guy being 90 minutes away. If something is wrong after the first day, I suspect I won't be able to get him back here to fix it and will be stuck paying for additional repairs.

Would love some 3rd party advice here.

Thanks!


Last edited by lv123; 08-19-2012 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:47 AM   #2
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


I suspect your insurance claim deductable will be more than $400.

I can see both sides of the story.

In realty....unless there is obvious damage to the rails.....just let him replace the panels....I'm sure the hinges and rails are ok....if not, it will be obvious when they are doing the work.

Just make sure your there while he is doing the work.

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Old 08-19-2012, 10:00 AM   #3
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


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I suspect your insurance claim deductable will be more than $400
I don't think so. Their aoto insurance would pay, and you probably would not be out a dime.

Quit fooling around, and call your insurance company. That'll also get the other party in line real fast.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:01 AM   #4
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


Make sure the door operates properly manually before he leaves.
Different panels sometimes are a different weight. This can affect the "balance" of the door.
Hinges, rollers, etc are stocked on the truck. They do vary in price from .50-$2.00 cost per item.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:31 AM   #5
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


Quote:
Originally Posted by Doorman54
Make sure the door operates properly manually before he leaves.
Different panels sometimes are a different weight. This can affect the "balance" of the door.
Hinges, rollers, etc are stocked on the truck. They do vary in price from .50-$2.00 cost per item.
I would have them do the repair, but as stated by doorman54 the weight of the panels would be a factor especially if it required replacing the springs. Just make sure once complete you can open and close the door with one hand, that will verify the spring tension and that it glides smooth. Also verify that the door quality matches or exceeds the damaged one.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:56 AM   #6
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


That's why you should always go through their insurance. use your estimates.
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:44 AM   #7
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


Let the guy for $400 do the work. If the door does not operate properly when he is finished do not sign off on the work order. Then go to plan "B"

I do not know how old the door was but in reality you are not entitled to a brand new garage door. You may be only entitled to the value of the 3 damaged panels plus install costs. Look at it that way.

Try and keep the peace in the neighborhood. No sense in starting a feud over a few hundred dollars BUt if the husband is totally unreasonable then you have to do what you have to do. But from the sound of your scenario he does not sound all that unreasonable.
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:55 AM   #8
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


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Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post

Try and keep the peace in the neighborhood. No sense in starting a feud over a few hundred dollars BUt if the husband is totally unreasonable then you have to do what you have to do. But from the sound of your scenario he does not sound all that unreasonable.
The husband kind of drew a line in the sand, and is acting more than a little hardnose. I'd just throw it right at their insurance company

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I spoke with the husband again and tried to explain we were not happy that the amount of work was not the same and we felt there was a conflict of interest here. He said, "He's doing it for $400, you can either take me up on this or I'll give you $400 and you can use whoever you want." We spoke for a few minutes and I ended the call before things escalated.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:16 PM   #9
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


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The husband kind of drew a line in the sand, and is acting more than a little hardnose. I'd just throw it right at their insurance company

Not a line in the sand. Its called a counter-offer.

I guess by totally unreasonable I meant if he brought over some duct tape to try and fix it
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:35 PM   #10
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


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Not a line in the sand. Its called a counter-offer.

I guess by totally unreasonable I meant if he brought over some duct tape to try and fix it
You guys sound as torn between you as I am inside... The guy isn't a neighbor directly, but they live in our neighborhood (a few blocks away)

It was very clearly not a counter-offer, but his final and only option. He took a very combative tone and I said, "If you're going to act like this, we'll just take your insurance infromation and let them deal with it." To which he replied, "Your insurance would cover it, not ours." - Which is completely false and he knew it. If he refuses to provide his info, I would use my homeowner's insurance, but they would go after his insurance in the end anyway. In the end, I would not be out any money and it would not count as a claim against me.

Here are my major concerns:
1 - Husband was being a jerk from the start. At first he said 'we could pound some of this out'. Then made me go get quotes only to say 'I have a friend'
2 - His friend is a commercial shop that's 90 minutes away. What happens if something breaks on day 2? I'm fairly confident I'll never see him again. Even if there's a contract, he knows and I know I won't take legal action to get him back here when I could pay a few hundred to get it fixed without the hassle.
3 - The friend came to look at the door and said, "No hinges or rollers are bent." When I questioned him, he reiterated none were bent and said they keep them in the truck. Which is fine, however, if he doesn't have the attention to detail to see clearly bent rollers, hinges, and even completely snapped hinges, do I trust him to replace hinges that are not so obviously damaged? He also said 'no lock' on the new door, when there is very clearly a lock on the existing door. I questioned that as well, and he said they'd move the lock over.

If everything operates 'smoothly' on day 1, am I 'guaranteed' it's a quality install for the long haul? That's my only test? I don't know anything about garage doors, so I'm really not sure here. I realize it's not a lifetime guarantee, don't get me wrong, but there are plenty of times 'good at first' does not mean 'good in the long haul' in other areas (i.e., plumbing, HVAC, etc.).

Last edited by lv123; 08-19-2012 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:40 PM   #11
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


You pose quite a few excellent points.
Does the door currently work? Might be worth letting the insurance companies hash it out.
Was there a police report? I'm under the impression that auto insurance companies need a police report.....I could be wrong.

Typically when it comes to a section/sections replacement....it's gonna work or it's not. You'll know as soon as you lift the door from the floor to full open.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:49 PM   #12
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


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Originally Posted by lv123 View Post
3 - The friend came to look at the door and said, "No hinges or rollers are bent." When I questioned him, he reiterated none were bent and said they keep them in the truck.
how about posting some photos of the damage areas
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:08 PM   #13
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


Quote:
Originally Posted by Doorman54 View Post
You pose quite a few excellent points.
Does the door currently work? Might be worth letting the insurance companies hash it out.
Was there a police report? I'm under the impression that auto insurance companies need a police report.....I could be wrong.

Typically when it comes to a section/sections replacement....it's gonna work or it's not. You'll know as soon as you lift the door from the floor to full open.
The door 'kinda' works now. I disconnected the opener at the suggestion of the guys I had come out to quote.

The rail that hold the weather-stripping is about halfway ripped off. You have to force the bottom panel up with your other hand in order for it to make the 'swing' around the top.

No police report, but we know where they live (in a non-threatening/non-creepy kinda way, haha)

Here are some pics - Not sure if these are helpful given the size restrictions on the forum. I'd prefer to stay somewhat anonymous, or I'd put them on my site.

The 3rd panel is not that bad and you can't tell much in the pics, but there's a crease on the outside. My outside pic was too washed out. If anyone really wants to see the outside, let me know
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:48 PM   #14
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


Damage looks pretty typical for a bumper hit.
Sections are non-insulated.....most manufacturers are usually between 24-26 gauge steel so most sections will be close in weight.....shouldn't affect the springs much.

I'd go with sections, broken rollers, hinges, etc and probably not sweat it one bit.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:06 PM   #15
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Need Advice: Someone Ran into our Garage Door


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Originally Posted by lv123 View Post
It was very clearly not a counter-offer, but his final and only option. He took a very combative tone and I said, "If you're going to act like this, we'll just take your insurance infromation and let them deal with it." To which he replied, "Your insurance would cover it, not ours." - Which is completely false and he knew it. If he refuses to provide his info, I would use my homeowner's insurance, but they would go after his insurance in the end anyway. In the end, I would not be out any money and it would not count as a claim against me.
Quit screwing around with the jerk and turn it over to insurance. He is being tuogh and combative. Insurance eats up tough guys

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