From the Forum – Roll-up backyard door recommendations

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Roll-up backyard door recommendations:

“Hi! I know that this topic has been covered in the past (2010 and 2011) but I would like to re-visit it in 2015. I would like to have a metal roll-up door with a remote installed to secure my back yard. Does anyone one out there have any recent experience installing one and could you share pertinent information? I also want to mention that, I can’t afford the $8K-$10K charged by Pooner & Sons that readers had quoted several years ago, and I am not interested in a traditional garage door like those that the flippers are installing.”

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29 Comment

  • I would also be very interested in hearing what others have done on this.

  • I thought I wanted one of these at first, but 5 years later I’m so glad I didn’t do it. This combined with a privacy fence really just feels “anti-neighbor” to me now. Of course, this largely depends on your particular house/situation.

    • I’ll agree with you in part. I think it’s nice to have a privacy fence in the back of the house (on the alley). Having a privacy fence on the sides is definitely anti-neighbor. A 4-5′ nice wood fence works well and looks nice if you’re looking to replace an ugly old one.

    • Why is a wooden/privacy fence around your backyard anti-neighbor? Do a majority of people feel that way? In small town America where I grew up it was very common. We still knew our neighbors, but didn’t have them watching us through a chain-link fence whenever we were in the backyard.

      • It doesn’t seem anti-neighbor to me — just pro-privacy.
        My house’s fence was built by a previous owner. I’m kinda glad that it’s tall — our yards are already smaller than most rowhouse yards, and with a short fence, I’d feel like we were even more on top of one another than we already are.

      • Depends on the neighborhood I guess.

    • I have a roll up door and am on very good terms with my neighbors. The two are not mutually exclusive.

      • It’s the side fences that some people see as anti-neighbor. And it’s really much more of an issue if you’re replacing an existing low fence than if you already have a privacy fence.

  • I would like for a contractor to chime in and explain how these things cost up to 10k. I am seeing the doors themselves for around 2-3k. Is the rest labor? I must not be understanding something.

    • It’s called having a monopoly and Pooner charging whatever the heck he wants.
      FYI, the costs are the roll up door, motor to roll the door, metal posts, and installation/labor. You have to have an electrician run power to the door.

  • We fenced in our yard long ago and given the costs of an automatic car entrance just left the parking/garbage pad outside the fence. We’ve never regretted it for a day. It’s not perfect, but honestly the door doesn’t help much with anything anyways. What are you hoping to deter? Most modern cars are pretty hard to steal so there not much of a risk of that. And if you’re worried about people breaking into the car the fence just provides more protection for the thief.

  • Let me reinforce how bad an idea it is to go with a standard garage door. My friend bought a flipped house a while back, with a cheap garage door on the back of the yard, and the thing worked right for maybe the first three months. The opener mechanism was poorly weatherproofed, and now it only works intermittently. And in weather like this, it freezes shut completely, so you can’t even open it manually.

  • make sure you get your roll-up door installed on steel posts. Wood posts warp and you’ll need to buy a second $10,000 door.

  • I’m sorry, but there may not be a good solution for you. Roll up doors are expensive, and Pooner does good work. Ours is still going strong after 12 years.

  • I used to also want one of these but then really didn’t see the need for it other to to secure your car when parked. Otherwise I don’t see the benefits nor the added security. To me it makes it easier for people to gain access from either neighbors yard and the garage would be a perfect shield for them. I settled for building privacy fence on the sides and a 4ft fence to close the yard in. I then have a parking pad beyond the fence to alley. So I can still see my vehicles from because of the shorter rear fence.

  • jburka

    My husband and I talked about adding a roll-up metal gate when we put in our pad 3 years ago For us, the main downside beyond the high expense (which includes things like running electricity to the back of the yard!), was that either we’d still have to move the back fence in — giving up even more of the yard and costing more — or we’d be sharing our meals on the patio with our vehicle..

    Eventually we just moved the back fence in and added a gravel pad behind it. The backyard is still “secured” by a locked gate (it wouldn’t take much effort to scale) and the car has probably been safer back there than on the street where we parked for 10 years…

  • Actually, has anyone gone a step further and had a whole garage built?

    I would love to find out what people’s experiences have been. Architect/builder/gen’l contractor recommendations? Price points?

    Many thanks to all for the useful posts.

  • I have a garage door. Maybe one third of the cost of a roll up door. You do have to build a cover over the motor – these aren’t really supposed to be outside but having it covered has worked. There have been problems over the years with cars parked in the alley being broken into. Our houses are narrow and we are comfortable with 7′ fences between the yards – otherwise we would be on top of one another.

  • I don’t think Pooner is overcharging. We had a steel door put in six years ago in Logan Circle and while it’s wider than average it cost around $12k, including steel posts, electricity and steel rolling door. It’s a very heavy commercial door with the appropriate motor, encased in a steel housing. We’ve never had a break in, house or auto. It has required very little maintenance, def well worth it for us.

  • I have to echo some other commenters…Pooner does an amazing job and they have a great service record. Our roll-up door has been working wonderfully for over 14 years. And the few problems we have had, were quickly resolved. I don’t feel that it’s anti-neighbor, either; I’d much rather have a secure car area given how many homeless/questionable people stream through our alley. I’d recommend waiting until you have the $10K. If you go cheap, you’ll regret it.

  • Anyone ever try something like this? A Mighty Mule swing gate from Home Depot? Seems easy enough to install and would only cost ~$600

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