Garage Door – Service is Important
Installing a new garage door can completely transform the curb appeal and functionality of your home. With the right preparation and knowledge, homeowners can tackle this project either on their own or with the help of professionals. This comprehensive guide from Jennings Garage Door Service will walk you through everything you need to know for a smooth garage door installation or replacement.
Why Replace Your Garage Door
There are several reasons why homeowners choose to invest in a new garage door:
- Improving home value – An eye-catching new garage door can increase your home’s curb appeal and potentially boost property values. Updating an old or damaged door shows buyers you care for your home.
- Increasing energy efficiency – Well-insulated modern garage doors prevent heat loss in winter and keep your garage cooler in summer. This provides savings on energy bills and reduces your carbon footprint. Look for doors with an insulation rating of R-12 to R-18.
- Enhancing safety – Older garage doors can malfunction, leading to injuries or property damage if they fall. New doors have advanced safety features like auto-reverse sensors and tamper-resistant bottom brackets.
- Fixing damage – If your existing door is dented, rusted, warped, or rotting, a replacement is the best solution. Repairing major damage is rarely cost-effective.
- Improving functionality – Keyless entry pads, smartphone control, automatic openers, new quieter motors, and upgraded tracks can make your garage door much more convenient to use daily.
Types of Garage Doors
Several styles and materials are available when choosing a new garage door. Considerations include durability, insulation, noise, maintenance, cost, and aesthetics:
The most popular option, steel is affordable and very durable against dings, dents and rust. They require periodic repainting to maintain their appearance. Foam insulation sandwiched between two steel layers helps improve energy efficiency. Steel doors come in short 4-6 panel styles or long panel styles with over 10 panels.
Characterized by natural beauty, wood doors require regular maintenance including painting or staining every 2-3 years. Cedar and redwood are naturally rot-resistant, while oak and fir need additional treatments to prevent decay. Insulation helps reduce noise from rain and hail. Customizable with ornate hardware and designs.
Fiberglass offers the appearance of real wood with more durability and less maintenance. The fiberglass resists dents, cracking, and rust better than steel or wood. Efficient polyurethane insulation reduces noise. More expensive than steel but with a longer lifespan.
Vinyl is lightweight, flexible, and virtually maintenance-free. The rigid vinyl foam insulation reduces noise from the garage. Vinyl is prone to heat distortion and fading over long periods in direct sunlight. Durable yet flexible enough to withstand minor impacts.
Extremely strong yet lightweight, aluminum doors are rust-proof and resistant to salt corrosion. The higher initial cost is offset by being very low-maintenance. Without insulation, these doors can be noisy. Aluminum is easily dented so often not ideal for high traffic garages.
On average, expect to pay $1,500-$3,500 to replace an existing double-car garage door. However, many factors affect your total costs:
- Door size – Larger double car doors generally cost $700-1500 more than single car doors.
- Type of door – Wood and fiberglass doors cost 50-100% more than basic steel or vinyl doors. Aluminum is cheapest.
- Insulation rating – Doors with higher R-values and better noise insulation add more expense.
- Windows/designs – Decorative arched windows or carriage house styles increase price $300-$500 per door.
- Automatic opener – Adding an opener with battery backup costs $500-$1000 including professional installation.
- Labor – Hiring professional installers averages $400-$800 for a basic double door. Complex or custom jobs can be $1000+.
You can expect to pay around $2,000 for a basic 16′ x 7′ insulated steel door installed. Luxury wood doors with high-end openers and hardware can cost over $7,000. Get 3-5 quotes to find the best value based on your budget, needs, and home style. Call Jennings Garage Door Service, we’ll be happy to give you a price quote and discuss options available.
Preparing for Installation
Proper preparation ensures your new garage door will operate safely and smoothly for years:
Measure the Opening
Use a steel tape measure to measure width at the top, middle, and bottom of the opening. For height, measure left, right, and center points from top to floor. Provide the exact measurements to the supplier to order the properly sized door.
Inspect the Existing Frame
Look for wood rot, cracks, or damage around the frame. Use a level to check for plumb and square. Repair any issues to ensure the new door will have a solid mounting surface. Professional shimming or framing may be needed.
Check the Ceiling Clearance
Standard headroom needed is 10″-12″ from the top of the door opening to the ceiling. Improve clearance by adjusting ceiling joists if space is tight. Many openers require up to 18″ of clearance.
Remove the Existing Door
Start by unplugging and disconnecting the automatic opener (if present) and manually locking the door in the fully open position using vice clamps. Then slowly un-tension the torsion springs using winding bars. Detach the spring hardware, cables, rollers and horizontal tracks. Finally remove the panels one by one.
Inspect and Repair the Tracks
Check tracks for dents, damage or misalignment. Use plumb bobs and levels to re-align tracks that are out of square. Blocks or shims can be used to adjust the angle as needed. Replace any heavily worn or bent horizontal tracks for smooth operation.
Update the Electrical
Have a licensed electrician inspect the outlet and wiring for safety and adequate capacity. Openers draw considerable power, so the outlet should be on a dedicated 15-20 amp circuit. Replace worn wire insulation and upgrade the circuit breaker as needed. Proper preparation up front will allow for a smooth installation process. Rushing in without assessing the full job can result in mistakes that affect garage door operation and lead to costly repairs down the road. Investing a bit more time in the prep work is well worth it.
Hiring Professional Installers
Installing a garage door involves heavy lifting, extensive hardware adjustments, and mechanical complexity. Unless you have prior experience, hiring professional garage door installers like Jennings Garage Door Service is highly recommended for safety and proper operation. Benefits of hiring pros include:
- Proper safety procedures – They have training to handle torsion springs and tension safely.
- Ideal door adjustments – Ensures smooth, quiet, and safe operation of doors, tracks and sensors.
- Warranties on work – Professional installation often qualifies you for extended manufacturer warranties.
- Access to special equipment – Items like man-lifts facilitates lifting and access for tall doors.
When getting quotes, look for insured technicians who are certified by the International Door Association (IDA). Members adhere to expertise, ethical business practices, and continuing education. Top providers also belong to the Institute of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation (IDEA). Ask for references and check reviews. Get a written estimate detailing all parts, advanced charges, labor, and warranty. Well established local companies with showrooms tend to provide quality installation and service. Schedule work 1-2 months in advance during peak seasons.
DIY Garage Door Installation
Ambitious DIYers can replace a garage door on their own with proper planning and caution. Having another strong person assist is ideal for lifting panels and adjusting hardware. Follow this process for DIY installation:
Prepare the Opening
Follow the preparation steps outlined earlier for measuring, inspection, removal, electrical upgrades, etc. Address any issues with the opening before moving forward.
Assemble & Install the Frame
Assemble the jambs, header, and support struts per the manufacturer directions. Set the full frame into place centered in the opening using shims and secure it with lag bolts and anchors through the jambs into the framing.
Add Tracks & Rollers
Mount the vertical tracks to the frame jambs and install the curved section overhead. With doors closed, fasten rollers into hinges on each panel. Lift panels and insert rollers into the track grooves. Leave doors closed.
Install the Springs
With doors fully closed, carefully fasten torsion springs to the roller shaft per spring instructions. Use winding bars to wind and tension each spring with exactly the number of turns specified. Adjust counterbalance as needed.
Adjustments & Finishing Touches
Test operation and make any necessary adjustments to the tracks, rollers, and springs until the door opens and closes smoothly, squares up in the opening, and maintains proper spring tension.
We provide garage door installations throughout the Tampa, FL region, including the followings areas:
Add automatic openers, any exterior keypads or remotes per separate instructions. Adjust downforce and safety sensor angles as needed for smooth operation. Seal the door perimeter with weatherstripping. With proper directions and safety gear, DIY installation can save on labor costs. Work slowly and get guidance any time you feel unsure. Calling in a pro such as Jennings Garage Door Service at least for the tricky spring work is wise for many. Either way, take your time with adjustments to ensure ideal door operation.
Maintenance & Repairs
Performing regular maintenance helps prevent costly garage door repairs down the road:
- Monthly – Inspect the door and openers. Test safety sensors. Lube the rollers, bearings and hinges.
- Seasonally – Check weather seals and adjust if sagging or damaged. Clean the tracks to remove debris buildup.
- Yearly – Have springs tensioned, cables and bearings inspected by a professional technician.
Common repairs include:
- Loose cables – Cables may need adjustment if the door is sagging or unbalanced. Leave spring tension adjustment to the pros.
- Noisy operation – Lubricate rollers and hinges plus tighten fasteners to reduce squeaking, grinding noises.
- Frozen door – Clear heavy ice, snow buildup or debris from the tracks to restore smooth operation.
- Weak springs – Fatigued torsion springs should be replaced to properly balance the door for safety.
For major issues like broken spring replacement or motor repairs, hiring a certified professional ensures the work is done safely and correctly. Never attempt adjustments yourself without proper training and tools. Botched DIY repairs often lead to costly service calls to fix the fixes. To avoid problems, call Jennings Garage Door Service and we’ll take care of your project the right way from the start.
Your new door will boost your home’s energy efficiency, security, and resale value for decades to come. Just be sure to perform regular maintenance and repairs as needed to maximize performance and longevity. And take time to enjoy the added beauty, convenience, and pride a new door brings.