How to Replace Your Garage Door

What Type of Door Do You Have?

There are two common styles of garage doors and what differentiates them is their springs and mountings.  Torsion garage door styles mount on the header, which is above the garage door.  Extension garage door styles are located above the upper roller track. Extension models are less common.

There was a point in the garage door industry when extension style doors were used due to the simplicity of their installation.  However, this style lacked a cable to run through the springs, so when they were damaged, they could cause serious damage.  Extension style garage doors are also noisier than torsion models.

Torsion garage doors are safer, quieter, and seem to have worked out all of the kinks in mounting technology.  Unlike the extension garage door, there aren’t any springs clanking against a track, so the operation is much smoother and quieter.  The door has the advantage of being perfectly balanced, as the tension on the torsion springs can be tuned.  It’s possible to set your torsion springs if you have a do-it-yourself system in place, but if you don’t, it’s much safer to hire a professional.

tips for garage door safety

Replacement Options

If your head isn’t already spinning with what type of garage door you have, you’ll need to face even more options when you choose your replacement door.  You’ll pick from the three most popular types of materials: steel, fiberglass, or wood.  Find out what kind of door you want—a standard double door or a standard single door—and if you want any features like insulated windows.

When you go to replace your garage door, you’ll also be replacing its hardware.  Select an automatic door that comes with an opener with a reserving system and photoelectric eyes.

Replacing Your Old Door: Experienced DIY Step-by-Step

For extension models, release the tension on the springs, mounted on the side.  You’ll lift the door and with a pair of pliers, move it so that it locks in place.  Make sure you tie the springs to the track.  Detach the cable from the bottom bracket.

For torsion springs, you’ll definitely want to involve a professional.  A trained professional will use a tool called a winding bar, which releases the tension in the spring.  Having experience and the correct equipment, safety gear, and skills is necessary to deal with the torsion springs safely to prevent injury.

Lower the door carefully, then dismantle it.  You’ll do this by removing the old hardware.  For a double door, you’ll need another person to give you a hand because these doors are extraordinarily heavy.  Sections can be taken apart one at a time by removing their rollers and brackets.  Windows on garage doors should be protected in case the door is accidentally dropped, this serves to protect the glass from breakage.

garage safety

When installing the first section, you’ll want to make sure the door is level.  Your garage floor may be uneven, so use a leveler.  Remember, your garage door’s rubber gasket will also help with any uneven gaps.  Hold each section in place as you nail into the frame, bending it over the section, adding brackets and rollers before securing them.  Nail the sections as you move up.

You’ll install the strut at the top of the top section of a steel door as it lies flat.  Use an opener bracket between the top two sections, and while you’re in progress on these parts, make sure to avoid scratching them by placing them on a protective mat, such as a moving blanket or a piece of carpet.  Then, slide the rollers onto their brackets.

Now, lift the door halfway—carefully.  You’ll need to do this to align the upper tracks, then lock the system into place.  Using an angle iron, install the supporting brackets on the backside of the rails.  Then, at the ends of the upper track, put in the stop bolts.  Follow the garage door manufacturer’s instructions to install the spring and the bar in the brackets.  The instructions should also direct you on how to attach the cables.

Finally, it’s time to put tension into the spring.  You can use your drill for this task.  You may have a single spring for a double door or like most garage doors, you may have two springs if you have a double door.  There should be a line on the spring that indicates the number of turns needed.  Lastly, apply lubricant made for garage doors onto the spring to ensure it will continue to function smoothly.

Garage Door Problems Should Always be Taken Care Of

If your garage door is experiencing any of the mentioned problems, it’s important to get everything taken care of as soon as possible. You don’t want these problems to get out of hand. As replacing a garage door requires tools, skills and time, it recommended to hire professionals for this task.

If you find that your garage is in bad shape and in need of a serious upgrade, look to Danley’s Garages. Get a free quote with one of Danley’s custom garage packages with high quality garage doors and see why over 100,000 homeowners in the Chicagoland area trust us.

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