Garage door installation is a job for the professionals. Mistakes could cause dangerous accidents during installation itself, or the installation could seem to go smoothly, but then later the door falls or a spring slips and someone gets badly hurt. So, while there are plenty of DIY instructions online, we can’t recommend using them, and we don’t offer instructions ourselves.
But we know you’re probably wondering what garage door installation involves? What can you expect when the professionals come? That’s a good question. Read on.
There are several different types of garage doors, but sectional doors are the most common. Since sectional doors come in standard sizes, you can measure your garage opening yourself and determine which size door you need to buy. Price will depend on what material you want (wood, glass, fiberglass, and so on) and several other factors—remember that unless this is a new build, you’ll have to pay for the old door to be removed as well.
If this is a new build, and the door is relatively small, installation will take less than three hours. Replacing an existing door usually takes three to four hours, unless the door is very large or is a different size than the one it is replacing.
The new door will come in a kit of pre-made pieces. After the old door (if there was one) is removed, the new one must be assembled, section by section, between the vertical tracks. You may notice, if you look in on the process, that the tracks are wobbly and incomplete at this point. Completing track installation happens only after the door is assembled. Last come the springs and the opening mechanism. The tricky part of the process is in safely handling the springs and in lifting the door and holding it in place so the springs and cables can be attached—remember that until those springs are in place, opening the door requires lifting its entire weight.
Other popular types of garage door include swing-out doors, sliding doors, and bifold doors. Neither swing-out doors nor bifold doors can be opened if there is any snow accumulation, bifold doors must always be opened manually, and sliding doors are not very weather-tight. But all three styles can be very attractive, and since in most cases all three must be custom-made, you have an almost infinite number of options as far as styles go.
Because these types of doors do not have springs and are not held overhead when open, they are much less dangerous and could be DIY projects for people with the right skills. For most folks, though, hiring a professional is still the best bet for quality. Installation may take longer than with a sectional door, depending on the design.
A Word to Remember
As you research garage doors to decide what kind you want, be aware that terminology can vary a little from one website to another. Just remember that a door by any other name is still a door: sectional doors are those that roll up onto a track along the ceiling; swing-out doors are just like the double doors you might find on a school or office building, but bigger; sliding doors open along a track like the door of a barn; and bifold doors are like swing-out doors except each one has a hinge in the middle—your closet may have similar doors.
Whatever kind of garage door you get, we hope installation goes smoothly for you!