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Automated Garage Doors and Gates Ltd
Posted on: 06 April 2022

Cheap roller doors? We break down the figures behind the breakdowns

cheap roller door

Auto Doors Director Ian Richardson writes:

I don’t mean to moan because there are a lot worse things going on in this world than unreliable garage doors, so I do apologise. But I have been to see a lot of very distressed customers who recently bought cheap roller doors.

We get called in because the doors have broken in one form or another. The curtain has burst open, or it blew in in the wind, or the motor just stopped working, and as for the way they have been fitted, I don’t know where to start, but needless to say some of the garages haven’t been left in a safe condition!

The cost to repair must run into hundreds for these poor people – it’s just not fair. Have a look at this video from BBC Watchdog. I know the video may be a bit old now, but nothing seems to have changed! There are cheap roller doors spring up and then collapsing all over the place.

The price of these cheap roller doors seems to be around £1300.00, I know there are some for less, but then the figures get even worse! This breakdown of the figures are my best educated guess at how these unscrupulous businesses can offer a door installation at this low price.

  • Fitting time to do the job properly, 2 Subcontract workers ½ a day? £100.00
  • Profit for the company to cover all their expenses £250.00
  • Cost of a cheap motor £150.00
  • Cost of a cheap door and curtain £350.00
  • Cost of cheap automation £150.00
  • Cost of cheap safety £150.00
  • Cost allowed for reliability £50.00
  • Cost allowed for customer support £50.00
  • Cost allowed for warranty when it goes wrong £50.00

I can’t work it out? There’s hardly anything left to support the customer when all the cheap components go wrong, which they will! Ask yourself, “When was the last time I bought something that was cheap, and has stood the test of time?” Why did you buy the car you have, surely you could have got a cheaper one? I mean all cars are the same, aren’t they? A wheel in each corner and an engine!

I always ask if the door is still covered under its warranty. I normally get one, or all of these answers:

  • I bought it from a one-man band “Fred in the Shed” and can’t get hold of them anymore. I think this means they either don’t want to get involved with anything once they have got your money, or most likely gone bust. Help!
  • It hasn’t got a warranty because they wanted me to pay extra for it.
  • The warranty won’t cover this.
  • The warranty has run out already

It puts us in a very uncomfortable situation because we DO want to help, we hate seeing customers who have been ripped off like this, however, we also know you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear! Let’s say we fix the door and in a month’s time something else breaks or stops working, which it will, whose fault is it?

I know we all want the best deal, but what is the best deal? Nobody wants to be ripped off by paying too much for something, I understand that, I wouldn’t, but you can still get ripped off by paying the cheapest for something! It’s cheap for a reason, it just has to be.

I know we all have a budget and I have experienced the “too much month at the end of the money” situation. But can’t it be a false economy to buy something cheap, then spend a small fortune to keep it running?

Automated Garage Doors are not the cheapest - we don’t want to be - but we are also not the most expensive, by a long shot. We offer value for money: a quality door for a reasonable price. All of our doors have, as standard, a proper 5-year warranty, some have 10 years!

Do our doors go wrong? yes sometimes, but we are here to fix them. We are an approved Garador and Warm Protection dealer. Garador are a massive UK garage door manufacturer and have been successfully trading since 1948, so I guess they know what they are talking about. Our other supplier is Warm Protection, again a well-established UK company.

We are a family based Norwich company who have been helping people with garage doors for over 30 years, so we do know a thing or two about garage doors, and have a massive backing. Have a look at our web site www.autodoorsandgates.co.uk and see the videos of the doors we have to offer in our fully functioning Norwich showroom, or better still pop in and have a look for yourself!

I tend to be in the showroom most mornings and pop out in the afternoon to see customers. If you give us a call on 01603 787069 I can make sure I’m in to see you. If you want an out of office time to have a look in the showroom I can open it for you in the evenings, Saturday, Sunday, or bank holidays. (All I would ask is, please turn up when you say you will!) We also offer a free site visit where I can pop round to have a look at your garage and have a chat to see how we can help you, what have you got to lose!

If you have a roller door which has packed up and you have got nowhere with the installer or manufacturer, please let me know on sales@autodoorsandgates.co.uk perhaps we should name and shame them?