FAQ’s

Below are some commonly asked questions regarding garage door selection, installation and maintenance. You can either browse our entire FAQ section or select a “Quick Link” to jump ahead.

Don’t see your question? Give us a call at 707-584-7888 or send us an email, we are happy to help!

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Q: Which is best for my project? — Wood Paint Grade, Wood Stain Grade, Steel, or Glass Doors?

A: The answer depends on several factors. Strong, light hemlock makes a superb painting surface. Cedar, an excellent stain grade wood and is highly resistant to rot and insects. Mahogany’s tight, smooth grain surface is very weather-resistant and also an excellent stain grade wood.

Q: Why select Northgate Company for my garage doors?

A: The goal at Northgate is to provide you the best quality products, installation and service for an affordable price. We work with the best manufacturers and pride ourselves on doing jobs that not everyone can do. We never sub-contract work, which allows us to have the same high-quality installation every time. Northgate has been serving the greater Sonoma County area since 1975. Northgate does very little advertising in local papers and being the #1 garage door supplier, word of mouth seems to be the best advertisement of all.

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Q: How Do I Program My Remote?

A: Refer to these brief instructions for programming information. For more information or troubleshooting tips, please visit the manufacturers web site (available below).

Dip Switches – Genie & LiftMaster Models

If your remote has built in dip switches, the dip switch position in the receiver should match the dip switch positions in the remote. To determine if your remote has dip switches, remove the back of the remote cover. You will either see 9 or 12 switches.

Rolling Code – Genie Models

  1. Locate the Learn Code Button on the Opener Motor (under the light cover).
  2. Press and release the Learn Code Button (LED light will blink).
  3. Within 30 seconds, press the Transmitter button once until the Radio Signal Indicator stays lit—solid.
  4. Press the same Transmitter Button again within 30 seconds and the Radio Signal Indicator light will go out (be careful as door will run up or down).

Rolling Code – Chamberlain & LiftMaster Models

  1. Press and release the “learn” button on the motor unit.
  2. Within 30 seconds, press and hold the button on the transmitter (LED light will blink).
  3. Release the button when the motor unit light blinks. It has learned the code. If light bulbs are not installed, 2 clicks will be heard.
  4. Be careful as door will run up or down

Manufacturers Web Sites:

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Q: Why do I need an insulated steel door, rather than a non-insulated door?

A: A high-quality steel door is built with steel in the front, insulation in the middle and steel on the back. The polyurethane insulation (or core) provides an insulation R-value of 10 (depends on model selected), more than twice as much as common polystyrene insulation board the same thickness. It’s chemically bonded to each steel section, creating a composite structure with higher strength, greater rigidity, improved dent-resistance and better thermal protection.

Q: I have a custom-built garage with an unusual size, can you help?

A: Look no further, customization and unique designs are our specialty. Please call us at (707) 584-7888 or fax your design/plans to us at (707) 584-8621.

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Q: My garage has very little space (headroom) above the door. What is the minimum headroom required to operate a sectional door?

A: Standard headroom requires 12” to 18” of space between the bottom of the opening header and the unobstructed ceiling. However, Northgate Company specializes in custom-built applications. Special track options are available and make it possible for many unusual garages to be fitted with doors. By using low-headroom track, it is possible to install a door in an area that has as little as 8” of headroom. Each situation is different and different things can be done this is why we check every job before ordering doors. Other special track applications include:

  • Vertical Lift Track 
    Used in lift straight up. situations where the ceiling is extremely high and the garage door has room to
  • Follow-The-Roofline Track 
    Used when the ceiling of the garage is pitched at the angle of the roof, making it desirable for the door to follow the same angle, thus providing additional overhead room.
  • Hi-Lift Track
    Used in situations where the ceiling is extremely high and the garage door has room to operate vertically up the front wall.

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Q: What kind of paint, stain, and varnish should I use?

A: Northgate Company does not specifically recommend one particular kind of paint, stain, or varnish over another. Please refer to your local paint store or a staining professional for best results. Please remember to always use a high quality paint or stain.

Q: How do I finish the wood door myself and still maintain the manufacturer’s warranty?

A: Most manufacturers have a one-year warranty on their wood door products. This warranty is valid, if and only if, the door is completely sealed on all 6 sides. The 6 sides refer to all the edges on each section, not just the front and the back of the door. Refer to manufacturers’ warranty for specific details.

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Q: What type of care and maintenance is necessary for my wood garage door and hardware?

A: We recommend yearly inspection of both the door and the hardware. Inspection of the exterior garage door will pay dividends when refinishing eventually becomes necessary. If the finish appears in good condition, cleaning and touch up is often adequate. Do not use a garden hose to spray or clean your door. Use a damp sponge or towel to clean off your door—this keeps unnecessary water from shortening the life of the door.

If the finish becomes badly eroded and thin, clean, and prime the areas where the substrate is showing through followed by complete priming and finish coating. If there is no substrate showing through, the finish coating alone should be adequate.

In addition, lubrication is recommended on a yearly basis for the following hardware: pulleys, rollers, hinges, and springs.

Q: Framing—What Size Should the Finished Opening Be?

A: In most cases, the finished opening should be the same size as the door. Depending upon the type of door, please contact Northgate Company for assistance.

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