An older double garage door can weigh anywhere from 250 to 450 lbs. This weight, coupled with deteriorating hardware, makes older garage doors a frequent scene of home accidents. Yet many of us enter and exit our homes through the garage door far more often than we do through the formal entry door.

In this article, we’ll tell you the difference between a safe door and an unsafe one. We’ll also give you the helpful tips you’re not likely to find in the manufacturer’s instructions to correctly and safely install a new garage door with a torsion spring and do-it-yourself tensioning.

Installing a new, double garage door yourself will save you several hundred dollars and should take eight to 12 hours if you’re fairly handy. You can do most of the new garage door installation project yourself, but you should recruit help for removing the old door.

The Best Method To Install A Garage Door 2

Installing A Garage Door

Considering a DIY garage door installation project? This illustrated step-by-step guide shows you how to install a garage door quickly and easily, with moderate do-it-yourself skills and tools.

Nearly every company that sells garage doors offers full service, including delivery, removal of your old door, and installation.

Because garage doors are large, heavy, and mildly complicated, most people who buy them take advantage of these services. But, if you’re pretty adept at DIY tasks, you can save some money and enjoy the satisfaction of installing a sectional garage door yourself. 

(Sectional garage doors travel up and down on rollers that ride along tracks at each side of the garage doorway.)

The garage door is equipped with a torsion spring system, which is much safer to adjust than the typical torsion-spring model.

It would help if you did not attempt to adjust or remove a garage door that has a standard torsion-spring mechanism because these are under extreme tension, which makes them dangerous. Call a professional garage door installer instead.

The following instructions will guide you through the general principles of sectional garage door installation. Be sure to follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions implicitly.

  • After attaching weatherstripping to the bottom edge of the first garage door panel, set the panel in the doorway and fix it by driving nails partway into each jamb at an angle so that they wedge the door in place. Attach the hinges to the top edge of the door if they aren’t already attached.
  • Assemble the various pieces for the vertical, curved, and horizontal tracks, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Install the rollers and any necessary brackets on the garage door section and any wall- or jamb-mounted brackets according to the manufacturer’s directions. At one side of the doorway, slip the vertical track onto the rollers of the first door section. Repeat on the other side.
  • Install the rollers into the second section. With a helper, lift the section, set it in place, and slip its rollers into the vertical tracks at both sides of the doorway.
  • Fasten the hinges of the first section to the second one. For most types of doors, a power drill with a screwdriver tip or nut driver will make this much faster and easier.
  • Install the third section using the same procedures. Check the door for level and the vertical track for plumb. Fasten the top plates of both vertical tracks to the wall. Make sure the lag screws penetrate the framing members because the door will exert considerable force as it moves up and down.
  • Attach the jamb brackets to the tracks and fasten them to the framing members. Again, make sure the lag screws go into sound framing. Don’t tighten down the lag screws yet because you may need to adjust the tracks.
  • Install the curved and horizontal tracks, positioning the curved track as shown. Bolt the pieces together. If necessary, you can rest the horizontal track on top of a ladder.
  • Check the horizontal track for level, and then cut the rear track hanger to the length necessary for supporting the track. Screw the track hanger to solid framing (a ceiling joist or blocking), and loosely mount the track to the hanger. Repeat with the other horizontal track. Fit the last door section in place, and remove any temporary nails.
  • The type of garage door shown provides the necessary lift assistance with a “torque tube.” If you intend to use an opener, wait to install the tube. Otherwise, install the torque tube according to the manufacturer’s directions. Roll up the door about 4 feet to check for the alignment of the tracks, and make any adjustments. Then tighten all fasteners.

Steps:

  • Attach weather-stripping to the bottom edge of the garage door.
  • Screw cable brackets to the door to secure the weather-stripping.
  • Use an impact driver to mount hinges to the bottom panel of the garage door.
  • Stand the bottom door panel on the floor in the garage doorway.
  • Insert rollers into the brackets attached to the door.
  • Stand track beside the door, insert rollers into the track and screw the track to the doorway frame.
  • Attach the hinges to the second door panel.
  • Set the second panel on top of the first panel in the doorway.
  • Drive-in hinge screws to join the first (bottom) door panel to the second panel.
  • Insert the hinge and roller into the track and attach them to the second door panel.
  • Check to ensure the track is parallel to the door, then screw the track to the wall framing.
  • Similarly, install the third door panel.
  • Adjust the track to ensure the door fits without rubbing, then tighten lag screws with a ratchet wrench.
  • Connect vertical track sections to horizontal sections with curved corner tracks.
  • Set the top door panel in place and secure it with hinge screws.
  • Screw on the top hinges and rollers.
  • Hook the garage-door spring onto the door-track bracket.
  • Open the door, then tighten, locking pliers onto the track to hold the door open.
  • Feed steel cable over the pulleys at the end of the track; secure cable end to bracket.
  • Attach S-hook to bracket, clip hook onto the track.
  • Feed the safety cable through the centre of each spring, and attach it to the brackets.
  • Open and close the door to test tension.

The Best Method To Install A Garage Door 3

Buying A Steel Door

A standard double garage door is seven ft. high by 16 ft. wide. Standard single doors are seven ft. high by 8 or 9 ft. wide. Because the doors are so large, few home centres and only some garage door stores keep many doors in stock, so expect to order one instead of buying it off the shelf. 

Garage doors are available in wood, fibreglass and steel. Steel doors, like ours, are light, maintenance-free, affordable, readily available, and have an insulating value as high as R-19.

You can choose from three basic types of steel door: (1) steel only; (2) steel with insulation on the inside; and (3) steel on both sides with 1-3/8 to 2 in. of insulation. Other features that add to the cost are thicker insulation and windows, especially insulated windows. 

The do-it-yourself tensioning systems also add a little to the door’s cost. Be sure to specify exactly what you want.

When you install a new garage door, replace all the hardware. If your automatic opener doesn’t have an automatic reversing system that includes photoelectric eyes, replace it. 

Doors with openers also require two extra pieces of hardware that you’ll see in Photo 4: a support strut (usually included in the door kit) and an opener bracket (not included). 

For doors with torsion springs located over the door, spend the $50 or so to have a garage door professional release the tension.

After your new door is installed, remove the old stop material on the outside of the door and replace it with the type that has a rubber weatherstrip gasket (available at home centres). Install the stop material with the door closed and the gasket resting against the door at a 45-degree angle.

Seven Keys To A Safe Door System

Lightweight. Insulated double steel doors, even the heaviest ones, usually weigh 150 to 200 lbs., less than half the weight of the wood or hardboard doors they replace. And although weight isn’t an issue if the springs are properly tensioned, all springs eventually weaken and break. If you are seeing that spring might need fixing, check out this guide to garage door spring repairs.

Pinch resistance. The most common garage door injury is a finger that gets smashed or even amputated when caught between sections as the door moves. To help prevent these accidents, look for a door that offers pinch-resistant section designs.

Containment cables. When old extension springs break, the springs and cables become heavy whips that damage cars and even injure people. To solve the whipping problem, manufacturers now offer containment cables that run through the centre of side-mounted extension springs. If you have extension springs and don’t plan to replace your door, make sure the springs have these containment cables or have a professional install them.

Safe automatic door openers. All automatic openers must now have an auto-reversing mechanism and photoelectric eyes located near the floor on both sides of the door. 

If the door closes and the beam between the eyes is interrupted, the door will automatically reverse. If the eyes aren’t connected, the door won’t operate. For instructions on installing a new garage door opener, see How to Install a Garage Door Opener.

Securely mounted hardware and rails. Torsion spring brackets should be firmly mounted to the wooden header above the door. Roller track support brackets and the opener should be securely bolted to the rafters.

Annual maintenance. Make an annual check of all nuts and bolts on rails and rollers to ensure they’re firmly tightened. Check the condition of all cables to make sure they’re not worn or frayed. Lubricate rollers and springs with a garage-door lubricant (see How to Fix a Noisy Garage Door for maintenance and problem-solving tips). 

The door should operate smoothly and be properly balanced. Check the balance by disconnecting the opener and lowering the door halfway- the door should hold its position. If it doesn’t, adjust the spring tension or replace the springs.

Opener switch location. Children like to play with automatic door openers. To prevent them from doing this, mount any opener switches at least five ft. above the floor.

FAQs About Garage Renovation

How Difficult Is Installing A Garage Door?

Installing a garage door isn’t as simple as installing a regular door. Not only can it be difficult, but it can also be dangerous. Installing a manual door is much easier than installing an automatic one because a manual one is so much lighter and doesn’t require a motor or cables.

Can You Install A Garage Door Yourself?

Although you can receive full-service garage door installation from most garage door retailers — which includes disassembling and disposing of your old door and delivering and installing your new door — doing it yourself can save you money on garage door installation costs especially if you have the necessary skill.

How Much Time Does It Take To Install A Garage Door?

Some details that can impact the installation time include:

Type of installation – It can take roughly 4-6 hours to replace most garage door systems. On the other hand, a garage door replacement compatible with the existing structure will generally be a much simpler install.

Should Garage Door Tracks Be Plumb?

The vertical section of the garage door tracks should be exactly plumb. If they are not plumb, unscrew the track support bracket bolts to move the track to the right or left.

Can I Use My Old Garage Door Tracks?

You can reuse the tracks if the same type of door is installed. For instance, if replacing a wood door with a metal door, the track is a different thickness and will not work. Also, insulated doors are normally thicker, and they can also vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Required Tools For This Garage Door Installation Project

Have the necessary garage door tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Cordless drill
  • Level
  • Locking pliers
  • Rags
  • Safety glasses
  • Sawhorses
  • Socket/ratchet set
  • Stepladder

Required Materials For This Garage Door Installation Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Cord or rope
  • Easy tensioning system
  • Garage door kit
  • Garage door lubricant
  • A garage door stop with a rubber gasket
  • Masking tape
  • Operator bracket
  • Shims

7 Tips For Choosing The Right Garage Door Company

If it’s time to replace or repair your garage door, you might be sifting through several garage door companies looking for the one right for you. Choosing a garage door company takes careful consideration. 

While you don’t often think about it, a garage door makes up a significant portion of your home’s exterior. You need one that makes you happy every time you come home and can stand up to wind and weather. 

You also want to work with a company experienced in the delicate machinery that makes a garage door run smoothly.

This guide will teach you how to choose a garage door company committed to quality service and superior products.

Read Reviews And Testimonials

Any company’s online reputation is paramount. When it comes to local services, reviews from your community can be telling. Search online for reviews of garage door dealerships, and look for high average ratings as a starting place. Dive into reviews from particular users to get a better sense of how the company operates.

It’s common for a company to have a few negative reviews, so don’t take one or two negative reviews as a bad sign. If most of the notes are positive, you can still learn from negative reviews. 

Look at how the company responds to these comments. Are unsatisfied customers ignored, or does the company take action to correct problems? Most good companies stand by their work and take the time to fix issues with their customers.

Consider The Local Service Range

When considering companies, one of the first steps is determining if a company serves your area. A good rule of thumb is to look at companies with a service range that’s not too narrow and not too vast. 

You want a trusted company local to your community, with a small enough service range that you can get the attention you deserve. If you ever experience an issue with your garage door, you want a team that can arrive quickly to get your door working again soon.

Look At Certifications

A company’s certifications and memberships act as independent verification of quality service. Several certifications and associations mark a garage door dealer in good standing.

Ask For Proof Of Insurance

All garage door installers and contractor businesses need insurance to work on your home. It’s the law, and it protects you in the unlikely event something goes wrong. 

While an established garage door dealer has plenty of expertise, proof of insurance gives you peace of mind. A reputable garage door company will happily provide this information for you.

Compare Quotes

Every household has a different budget and set of needs for installation, repair and maintenance services. By collecting quotes from a few different companies, you can learn about the pricing of several companies and also how they conduct business. 

Does the company call you back quickly and ask about your unique needs before drawing up a quote? Do they offer free quotes and allow you to look at quotes for all the models you consider? Do they discuss the quality of each of their models or push you toward options with deep discounts? After getting quotes from the companies you’re interested in, you have a much better idea of the price you’ll pay and the quality you’ll receive.

Evaluate Services Offered

Not every garage door company will offer all the services and products you want. Every home has a unique set of needs, and it’s vital to find a company that meets those needs.

  • Emergency services: A broken garage door can interrupt your day and cause a safety hazard. If a broken door or opener leaves you unable to move your car, you need a company that can be on the scene quickly. Blankenship Garage Doors prides itself in before- and after-hours repairs for these situations.
  • Services for your model: If you’re looking for repairs, you’ll need a company with expertise in your model. Many companies will service any brand of door. A Clopay dealer will provide premium care and excel at repair services for Clopay models.
  • Quality and affordability: Every garage door company will have quality and prices. Consider if a company pushes their doors at the lowest price possible or if they focus on quality first. A quality door will have durable construction and an attractive appearance that enhances curb appeal. Look for a company that recommends the best doors within your budget.

Look For Guarantees And Manufacturer Warranty

The best contractors and home services companies stand behind their work. Working with a manufacturer-approved dealer will ensure you can take advantage of a manufacturer’s warranty on the products you install. 

The best companies will go beyond that warranty, offering a complete satisfaction guarantee. At Blankenship Garage Doors, we want you to be happy with your new garage door, installation, repairs and maintenance. We guarantee our work and will complete every job to your satisfaction.

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Factory 10 / 238 Governor Road, Braeside VIC 3195
1800 517 294