How to install a garage door?

Table of contents

  1. 5 steps in installing a garage door
  2. Safety tips for garage door installation
  3. Are you planning to install a new garage door?

Here’s the truth about installing a garage door: there are some things that the instruction manual won’t tell you. While a DIY garage door seems practical, it entails a lot of physical work, which is best left to the hands of experts. After all, garage doors are cumbersome and mildly technical, and a rookie mistake can lead to serious injuries.

Remember that garage doors are investments for your home. A durable, safe, and functional door installed by experts will yield the best returns.

In this blog post, we will share a quick preview of how we perform a new garage door installation safely. These are the basic steps we take on every installation with variations depending on the door type.

5 steps to install a garage door

Step 1. Install the bottom section

The first step is to install the bottom section of the garage door. Make sure that the weatherstripping is already attached at the bottom edge. You should also hook the garage door cables on each side before putting the rollers in.

Next, set the bottom panel at the door and secure it with temporary nails to wedge it in place. Make sure that the bottom panel is properly aligned or it will mess up the upper portions later on.

For now, you don’t have to tighten the fasteners permanently. This way, you can easily remove them in case you have to do some adjustments or corrections. 

Step 2. Start stacking the upper sections

Once you have the bottom panel all set, you can start stacking the upper panels. After the door is stacked, you have to screw the door together. For DIY door installation, see to it that you check the manufacturer’s instructions.

Once you’re done screwing all the hinges in, you have to place all the rollers. Make sure that you always check for the garage door’s level to prevent issues with the tracks. 

Step 3. Assemble the tracks

After you’re done stacking and installing the door panels, the next step is to screw the track. For this, you’ll have to install a vertical and a horizontal type.
First, you need to install the vertical tracks along the door jamb. Make sure that the rollers fit nicely inside and that the door remains leveled.

Next, install the horizontal tracks, which should slide snugly at the top of the vertical tracks. Using a power drill, secure the tracks in place.

Lastly, install the track hanger at the garage ceiling. Then, secure the other end of the horizontal track on it. This will act as support for the horizontal tracks to help carry the weight of the door once it’s opened. 

Step 4. Install the springs

Next, we install the garage door springs at the top. The physics behind garage door springs ensure that they can take the weight of the door whenever it opens. The spring needs to be turned multiple times to achieve enough torque that matches the overall weight of the door.

A good rule of thumb that we follow is to tighten the torsion spring with one full revolution for each foot of the door’s height. A full revolution is equivalent to 4 quarter turns using winding bars. So if we’re installing a 7.5-foot door, we will tighten the spring into 7 revolutions + 2 quarter turns or a total of 30 quarter turns.

The number of turns is crucial for the efficiency and safety of your garage door. If the spring isn’t turned enough, it will run out of wind and cause the cables to pop up. 

Step 5. Test the door

Once everything is installed, it’s important to test the door. You should perform the test manually by lifting the door or connecting it to the door opener.

Be particular with the moving parts like how the rollers track to the wall and if the door goes uneven when operated. You can make necessary adjustments from there.

Make sure that you check the door from the inside and outside of the garage. Once you’re satisfied, you can tighten all the fasteners in place. Perform one last check on the garage door functions to finish the job. 

Safety tips for garage door installation

1. Check for safety standards

When buying garage doors, make sure that the unit meets safety standards. The Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. prescribes safety standards for all garage door types, especially automatic ones. These standards are recognized at the federal level.

Overall, you should invest in quality garage door components. Remember that garage doors are subjected to daily wear and tear. You’d want a system that will last for years and give the best value for your money.

2. Consider hiring a professional

The cost to install a garage door is cheaper in the long run if you hire a professional to do the job. It’s more cost-effective because a pro can save you from expensive damage to your new door. Also, a professional installer can prevent repetitive repairs due to improper installation.

3. Look for a safety containment cable

A torsion spring acts as a counterweight to hold your garage door open. However, this component will sustain damages as part of regular wear and tear. Without a safety containment cable, the spring will snap and the cables will fly away, hitting anyone in its path.

This is why you should invest in torsion spring equipment with a containment cable. Such a cable must extend throughout the entire length of your spring. It will act as the buffer in case the spring snaps free. This way, no one will get injured even if someone is standing by the door as it happens. 

4. Consider pinch-resistant joints

When installing your new garage door, you should consider opting for pinch-resistant joints. This will prevent crushed fingers, especially if you have young children.

Basically, these joints will push the fingers out of the way between the panels. It’s a simple mechanism that makes a big difference. 

5. Replace the tracks

If you’re installing a new garage door, it’s crucial to have the tracks replaced as well. An old track may not fit the new rollers properly. Also, it’s already worn out from regular use.

New tracks will also help maximize the lifespan of your garage door. While you may save a few bucks from keeping the old tracks, it’s not worth the risks it may bring. 

6. Opt for tamper-resistant brackets

Tweaking the brackets of a garage door can be dangerous under untrained hands. It can be a curious child playing with a garage tool or a person trying to make DIY adjustments.

In this case, it’s best to get garage doors with tamper-resistant brackets. It’s an additional hardware install at the bottom of the door to prevent any form of tampering. Only professional door installers with the proper tools can perform the adjustments. 

Are you planning to install a new garage door?

Overall, replacing your old garage door is a good step to keeping your home safe. However, it can be technical, especially if you’re not adept with the tools and process.

If you don’t want to go through all this hassle, you can call California Garage Door Repair. There’s no need to stress about vague instruction manuals or do any heavy lifting. We know how to install a garage door fast and safely, so you don’t have to lift a finger.

Our technicians are experienced and licensed to perform even the most complicated garage door installation. We can install any garage door type, make, and model efficiently at reasonable prices.

Rest assured that your garage door will be installed by certified and insured experts. We offer quick solutions for all garage door needs wherever you are in California.