Leos Overhead Doors – Consumer Information on Door Openers

When an overhead door in a residential setting is operated by an opener, the springs normally do most of the heavy lifting. This leaves the electrical opener to focus on directing the opening and closing movement. When an opener functions correctly, it only needs to exert very little effort. For the door to open and close in a harmonious and correct (and safe) way, both the springs and the opener have to balance and work together. This is why the height, condition, & weight of the door and its hardware, as well as the condition and pull of the springs, are important when considering an opener. Normally for the residential consumer, an opener only needs to have 1/2 horsepower capacity. In some instances, they do go up to 3/4, but in most residential applications, it is not necessary.

Other bells and whistles to consider on door openers are keypads, vehicle remote transmitters, lighting, and noise level. Generally, openers come with a single transmitter and wall mounted button. Additional remote transmitters and keypads are available for most models. Also, opener models will have a single light bulb that can be controlled by the wall button. Some models have double lights, and even LEDs, which are brighter, last longer, and do not use as much power. The type of opener – chain or belt driven – will have an impact on the noise level in the garage, if that is a concern in a residence. Also, if you want to get modern and technical, some operators are designed to work with an app on your smart phone, or in conjunction with your home security system. However, these high-tech openers can cost significantly more than your average opener, both for the original purchase and in the event of any repairs.

Safety is of the utmost concern when considering the installation and use of a door opener. The opener is a piece of machinery designed to open and close a door weighing hundreds of pounds, and it should never be a safety issue for your family or property at all. If your opener was installed before 1993 and it breaks, it needs to be replaced instead of repaired due to the current safety requirements. In addition, if an operator is older than 15 years, there are many life-limited parts that begin to fail in succession. Leo’s Overhead Doors does not repair these older operators because we can not warranty their continued safe operation. In our experience, at a certain point, the client is better served with the investment of a new operator with a warranty. Put another way, when we buy a car for 70 times the price of a new operator, do we expect that machine to be at optimum performance in 15 years, often after no routine maintenance has been performed on it?  Also, an opener should be equipped with current correctly functioning safety devices such as photo eyes or safety edges that ensure its safe operation. Only our trained technicians are qualified to install safety devices. To keep our clients and their families safe, we ensure that our technicians are highly trained, and our company maintains the highest standards to be industry certified.

Leo’s Overhead Doors offers several openers to fit our clients’ varying needs. For residential installations, we normally offer Linear’s line of openers, although if a certain client has a preference, we will be more than happy to order the opener that fits the need. We find that the Linear openers are very well suited to most residential applications, and our technicians can normally do those installations in under 2 hours, which allows for more flexibility in scheduling. Liftmaster also has a line of residential openers that we can offer to our clients as well. Leo’s often recommends them when a 3/4 horsepower with a heavy-duty I beam rail is required.

Leo’s Overhead Doors is also looking into offering the line of Sommer USA openers. Sommer’s line includes revolutionary new openers that are virtually noiseless and extremely durable, for use in residential applications where noise control is of utmost importance. These are at a slightly higher price point than either Linear and Liftmaster openers, but the higher cost buys you its German manufacturing and unrivaled quiet operation.

In addition, for commercial installations, we prefer NSW Lynx, which offers a line of rugged commercial grade openers labeled ‘Made in The USA’ that can handle the more robust needs of most commercial clients. Commercial or industrial facilities can have any number of over-sized (and extremely heavy) doors, weighing thousands of pounds each, to accommodate tractor trailers, dump trucks, and other fleet vehicles. These doors may need to be operated all throughout the day and night, and in situations like these, the openers can take some major levels of use. These openers must be in tip-top shape, of the right size and capacity, equipped with the correct safety devices and lights, and well lubricated and maintained. Contact Leo’s Overhead Doors for more information at 518-274-4455.Leos anniverary flag1 (2)


Our Flag Day Parade Experience


The City of Troy has had a Flag Day Parade for the past 49 years, and this 2016 year, being Leo’s Overhead Doors’ 50th year, I decided to see if my husband Eric and I could be a part of that tradition. So, last Sunday, we undertook to clean and decorate the newest Leo’s truck to take it down 4th St in the parade.

Just getting the truck cleaned was an exercise in determination. The truck is about 22 feet long and 8 feet high, so imagine driving that around your neighborhood car wash on a Sunday morning! Also, being a work truck fresh off a job site, it was encased in a stubborn layer of dirt and grease that any self-respecting commercial vehicle would be proud of. Using some ingenuity and not a small amount of elbow grease, Eric was able to at least get it back to its original paint color, but no amount of effort was going to clean every speck off in time for the parade. Well, it IS a work truck, after all. Okay, no problem, down to the parade we will go with nasty dirty tires!

Then we got the truck back to the warehouse to decorate it, Step 2.

I had had the foresight to purchase earlier that week some strands of red, white, and blue tinsel, ribbons, and flags. And the Piece de Resistance, a large American flag on a pole that we had to affix somehow to the truck bed. Climbing like monkeys (and me with high heels), Eric and I worked that tinsel on the ladder rack, doors, grille, and body, weaving ribbons and strands through the various nooks and crannies on that truck’s commercial body-I found all kinds of neat stuff in there! Wielding a hand drill and some zip ties, Eric assembled that flag pole atop the truck triumphantly. The whole package looked really patriotic!

So we were off to the parade starting point, having made it there with our decorations intact, where we lined up with various marching bands, flag twirlers, convertibles, fire engines, and beauty queens. It was truly a great inspiring gathering of colorful and talented folks! Eric and I felt like a very interesting part of the community in our big yellow truck, situated behind one of the marching bands, just ahead of the Rensselaer County Dairy Princess astride a huge mint green Cadillac-ish looking classic convertible. And we were off!!

I had my baby, little 9-month old Leo, on my lap, dressed in his little Leo’s Overhead Doors work onesie, waving a really cool Leo’s Doors anniversary flag. (And he promptly fell asleep right in the middle of the whole thing – I can’t get him to nap normally! It takes a parade to lull him to sleep, I guess.) It was a truly nice event, waving to the community that Leo’s Overhead Doors has served for half a century. Eric and I really appreciated being there, it was a privilege to be able to participate in that parade. We look forward to being more of a presence in this community. Here’s to 49 and 50 years ahead!Leos anniverary flag1.jpg



Thoughts on a new door-what to consider


First of all, what are your needs? What do you really want to accomplish with this new door?

Consider what you are using your garage for, where it is located, and what is in it. Is weatherization and a higher R-value (good insulation) important to you? Perhaps if it is attached to your home, would you want a screen to keep bugs out and convert your space into an enjoyable, usable 3 season room or a workshop? This might not be a consideration if the garage is a freestanding building. How about an operator, do you open your door by hand each time or do you have a transmitter in your home or vehicle to open it for you? How often does your overhead door need to be used? Is it the only entryway to your garage? Also, you may need to consider your neighborhood. Do you have to comply with HOA or historic district regulations? Do you want to match more than one overhead door, community doors, or with a front door? What are your color, insulation, material, and window preferences? Remember also that it’s not merely just a door, this door also needs parts to function that are a part of your home. Did you take into account the condition and quality of other parts and hardware such as the locking mechanism, rollers, weather stripping, hinges, tracks, and safety equipment such as photo eyes? Is your door located close to an electrical outlet, or do you have to run an extension cord or get an electrician involved? Is your garage finished with insulation and drywall or are the beams and building supports exposed? And lastly, there is the cost to think about. How does your budget work into your needs and preferences? Do you just want to change the look of your door without doing or spending a lot, or do you want to spend a little more to get a higher quality? Do you really need a whole door, or can you get away with just getting a new section, or new windows, or new hardware?

As you can well imagine, a new overhead door is a major decision, and will impact your property and property value a great deal. Before you even start looking, you should evaluate your needs and wants and balance them with what you are willing to spend. If you need an expert’s input, we here at Leo’s Overhead Doors are more than willing to help. We offer free estimates on new installations in the Capital Region, and we will evaluate your situation, listen to your preferences, meticulously measure your door, opening, and vicinity to ensure we will get it right. We provide our quote based on what you tell us are your needs and wants, and work with your budget and schedule to get your chosen door installed in a timely and correct manner.

Sometimes you may not need a new door. Maybe you just want to add a keypad, or car transmitter, or a new operator to open the door. Or maybe you just want to dress up your current door a little, and add a little curb appeal with decorative touches such as carriage hinges, knockers, address plates, or other customized additions. Let’s face it, the overhead door is a large surface area. If it is located in the front of your home, your overhead door may be the most prominent feature of your home. Do you really want it to look like a blank slate or look like everyone else’s on the street? You can add some individuality and character with rustic metal touches and accents. Also, in the event that you do need a new door, maybe you can save a little dough by getting a basic door and adding some accents to look like you’ve spent a million bucks, and increase your home’s curb appeal that way. Again, we here at Leo’s Overhead Doors would be happy to provide you with product information during a free estimate.

Sometimes a simple repair or part replacement may be the best solution for an immediate problem. Maybe you just need a new spring or a new section, or a handle, cable, roller, operator, or hinge. If you just want your door section, hardware, or springs repaired/replaced, we will be happy to schedule a service call with one of our experienced technicians. Even if your repair need is at 3AM on Sunday night, or during regular business hours, Leo’s Overhead Doors will be ready to assist you with any door emergency. Just give us a call at 518-274-4455!

IDEA – Finally!

So this week, all of our efforts to become industry certified have finally come to fruition! Leo’s Overhead Doors has fulfilled all the requirements to be a fully accredited industry dealer by the IDEA. We can now offer to our customers proof of our stellar reputation and our overhead door know-how and differentiate ourselves from the local competition. We have voluntarily decided to pursue this accreditation to let everyone know that we maintain an industry standard of quality, and, unlike either fly-by-nighters or big box stores, we can offer something more special, personable, and valuable to each one of our customers.


More information can be found here:



IDEA Certification – here we come

So this week my husband and I are taking Leo’s Overhead Doors to the next level. We are pursuing an IDEA certification for the company, meaning we will be the only local overhead door company certified by the industry. There’s a bunch of stuff to do to earn this certification, and we are well on our way. Eric was able to pass all of the industry testing on the first try, I am very proud of him. This is just further confirmation that we are committed to doing our best.

So wish us luck on this journey, so far so good! We do have a lot more to accomplish to get this certification and recognition.

Welcome (back) to John & Lorraine!

So, it has been a week since I’ve updated this blog, and there’s been a lot going on. Aside from the regular workings of Leo’s Overhead Doors, I picked up my in-laws, John and Lorraine, the 2nd generation owners of Leo’s, from the airport yesterday. They have retired to Florida 2 years ago-ish, and are back for a visit. Needless to say, after having owned Leo’s for 40 years or so, they were more than thrilled to be back dealing with irate customers and office problems today 🙂

In any case, I’m making the most out of having grandparents around and taking advantage of the free babysitting.

At any rate, they do send their regards via this blog.

Leo’s Doors blog has arrived!

Welcome to Leo’s Overhead Doors’ blog. I am Valerie M, and my husband Eric is the owner and president of Leo’s. It is very nice to be here. I’m not sure what direction this blog will go in, as initially I want it to be about Leo’s Overhead Doors, but as I’m writing this, I’m trying to put my seven month old to sleep in my office, changing a diaper, overseeing our invoicing, and hearing a bunch of whacks, grunting, and whams from the guys in the warehouse right outside my door. This could be why my little baby boy is having trouble sleeping. So you can probably imagine that this blog can go in any direction from here….

Anyway, the goals I have for this blog are:

  1. to introduce and maintain a presence for Leo’s Overhead Doors that is more personable and beneficial to the company, our clients, and vendors.
  2. to be more accessible
  3. to put more of our family’s voice in the identity of our company, to differentiate ourselves from the mechanical, cold, profit-oriented businesses that are the majority out there.

So I hope that this blog, with any readers’ help and input, can achieve exactly that and more. Please, any and all feedback is very much appreciated, and I’m looking forward to sharing with you all!