Garage doors are exposed to the elements and move almost every day. Replacing the garage door can bring new curb appeal to your home. If you see light coming through the cracks in your door or notice rust on the rollers or tracks, you may need to replace your garage door. With a little help, this is a job that can be accomplished in a weekend.
1. Getting Prepared
Before removing your current garage door, lower it and measure its length and width, as well as the distance from the ceiling to the top of the door frame. The new garage door that you choose will indicate how much headroom is required for installation. The automatic operator will also require a specific amount of headroom. Make sure you have enough space for the door you intend to install.
2. It’s All in the Spring
When removing your existing garage door, it is important to note the type of spring mechanism that makes the door operate. A torsion spring attached above the center of the garage door requires a professional to release the tension. Extension springs, which are mounted overhead along the tracks, are safer to remove yourself. Both types of spring mechanisms keep your garage door open, so you will need help holding the door up while dismantling the springs. After the springs have been dismantled, you and a helper can cautiously guide the door back down. The garage door will seem extremely heavy as it descends. Laying a few lengths of board underneath the door can prevent you from accidentally crushing your fingers.
3. Disassembling the Door and Track
The garage door must be dismantled section by section. Starting with the top section, undo any rollers, braces or hinges. Once the panel is not attached to anything, it can be pulled free. Continue in this fashion until every panel has been removed. To remove the track, disconnect all the brackets and pull the old system down. Remove the laser sensors that keep the garage door from closing on an obstruction, and disassemble the old operator.
4. Installing the New Door
Locate the bottom panel of the new garage door. This is the panel with a weather seal lining the edge. Install the hardware on the door panel and stand it up in the door frame. Use a level to make sure the panel is completely straight, and add shims where necessary to keep it level. Temporarily secure the panel by tapping in a long nail on either side of it into the door jamb, sandwiching the board between the nails. Continue with the other sections of door until they are all in place.
5. Putting in the Tracks
Follow the manufacturer’s directions to install the rollers onto the garage door sections. Put the sections of track together while they are lying flat on the ground. Slide the rollers into the tracks and secure the tracks to the door frame, beginning about one-half inch from the floor. Align and secure the horizontal and vertical tracks, making sure the rollers will move smoothly.
Once the tracks are in place, attach the hinges to the garage door panels. Attach the cable that will raise the door, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for attaching and adjusting the springs. A professional can help you with this step. Finally, fasten the brackets that will hold the operator. Once the operator is in place, your garage door can be tested for use.