“ Manufacturer: B&Q „
I was asked recently, by a friend if I would fit a replacement "Up and over" Garage door for them, as their existing one had just literally fallen apart due to some local Hooligans helping it along the way.. As they are of "Advancing years" and money is tight, they obviously wanted to keep the associated expense to a minimum - very sensible, and also required it to be fitted ASAP.
Clearly then I did not need a top quality door for this job so the best budget item, of acceptable quality, that I could source quickly, was the prime order of the day. I had a quick scout around my usual suppliers of this type of thing and the best product, with immediate availability and at a decent price, was this offering from B and Q, shame on my local builder's merchants who had no stock of anything at all.
Anyway off we toddle to the local store, grab a Trolley, load the chosen Garage door onto the trolley, exchange some pound notes, relocate door from B and Q trolley to trailer, home for a Brew, prior to fitting - simple as that. To be honest those very nice people at B and Q did all the work in store and the loading onto the trailer for me, all I had to do was rope it down to my satisfaction - thanks chaps. I think it is important to give credit where it is due as it is all part and parcel of the product to me. Others may disagree - that's up to you.
So to the Door itself, in this case sized at 7' x 7' (2134mm x 21341mm) for those of you who are not enlightened into the delights of Imperial measurements. The Door, which is horizontally ribbed, is supplied shrink wrapped with the fitting kit, instructions and seals included - just as well really. The corners are well protected to minimise the chance of Transit damage and the bottom edge is temporarily fixed to a wooden batten for the same reason. All you need to supply is tools and an appropriate opening in which to fit the door, oh! And a bit of "Grey matter", which we come to shortly. Painting is obviously up to you, in the colour of your choice, but the door is supplied pre finished in white from the factory.
One of the best things about this particular door is that it has no less than FIVE locking points / devices situated around its perimeter. Three are operated directly by the opening / closing handle and associated cables. The remaining two automatically come into operation when the Door is fixed into its closed position - Very nice! The locking handle comes with two matched keys.
The door, as supplied, was in perfect condition, no knocks, scrapes, dents etc, as it should be, but I live in the real world and no damage, however minor, is relatively unusual... My advice to you all is to have a close look before you buy anything like this.
Right! - Preparation, checking and fitting.
Note, I am NOT going to explain the actual mechanics and process of HOW to fit an up and over Garage Door as that has nothing to do with a review such as this. This review is about the door itself, it is not about your, or my, relative skills at building / DIY work.
The Shrink wrapping was relatively easy to remove from the door as was all other ancillary protection etc. The main spring, which is situated at the head of the Door, has an additional shrink wrapping, as it is very greasy. This was messy to remove; I recommend you wear gloves when doing this.
The fitting kits and seals were extracted and checked against the listings printed on the fitting instruction booklet. All were present and correct with quite a few spare screws and washers etc - nice touch for a change. There is, however, a potential problem here for inexperienced personnel. You do not get pictures of the items against which to check off the contents as you go. It's OK if you understand technical terms and sizes, but if not, you may experience a little difficulty here. Grey matter may be required...
The actual dressing and hanging of the door itself was a piece of cake to me, I suppose because I am used to hanging them. However this statement hides the main problem with this Door... The Instructions..... Now I did allude to this problem earlier.
If you are not experienced in hanging this type of Door, then you may well have difficulty in following the instructions as printed. They are extremely poor in detail and clarity, you will need to read the appropriate section several times, maybe have a trial fit or two of parts, have a cuppa or two and then go back for a second look. Only then can you think about proceeding. This is the one facet which really lets the product down very badly indeed. It is not that the instructions have been badly translated, or anything like that, they have simply been poorly though out, laid out and badly written. Such a shame really... This stage will definitely require you to activate the "Little grey cells" as a famous Belgian detective said a time or two... My advice here is to think very carefully and take your time. If you do that, you will be OK and will successfully fit your door - eventually. Experienced DIYers / builders should be able to ignore the last bit.
All that remains after you have fitted the Door and seals is to adjust it in accordance with the dreaded instructions. In truth, by the time you have deciphered the instructions during the fitting you will know how to do this anyway, that part is not a problem. Just painting to go - again not part of this review.
In operation this door is very smooth and light, requiring minimal effort to either open or close. Take your time doing the final adjustments and you can achieve this every time. The lock operation is also light and smooth. There are no problems in the operating area at all.
JOB DONE - time for another Brew!
Just as an aside, it took me about an hour and a half to fit this door, I'm not sure how relevant that is but I though I would drop it in as some sort of guide anyway.
When finished and adjusted up, the Door looked very smart and of a much higher quality than it ought to. It was extremely sturdy and very secure; my friends were very pleased with it and thought that for the money it was exceptional.
You may have been wondering how much this Door costs, well it was £179.00. Considering the Quality and finish I think that is a really good price. You can find slightly cheaper items but not at this quality. Obviously you can pay much more and get much better, but "Horses for courses". If you need a "Budget but Quality" Garage door then this one is well worth considering.
I highly recommend it except for those Instructions.
All in all - Good job Band Q -- EXCEPT, for you know what. ....They are the sole reason why it only gets four stars even though it really deserves five.
Sorry B and Q.