Should You Install a Garage Door Yourself?
A garage door, seemingly harmless, plays a crucial role in our everyday lives. It provides security for our vehicles, storage space, is often the main entrance to our homes, and even adds to the aesthetic appeal of our homes.
However, beneath its simple exterior lies a complex installation process that can be quite a challenge for even the most experienced DIY enthusiast. In this blog, we’ll delve into the various aspects that make installing a garage door an intimidating task and explore why it might be best left to the professionals.
Do you need any kind of permit to install a garage door?
The short answer is no. Some home projects require you to obtain a permit. These are typically projects that alter the footprint of your home. These may be additions, decks, sheds or shops, or some electrical or plumbing work. But at the time of this article (October 2023), if you want to replace your garage door, you are not required to obtain a permit.
Why do some people choose DIY Garage Door Installation?
There are benefits to DIY and what it usually comes down to is saving money. Hiring a professional costs money therefore, installing a garage door yourself could help you save money. Other than the convenience of doing it yourself by not having to schedule installation with a garage door installer, money is really the main driver for DIY garage door installation.
You can, but should you?
We’ve already established that you can install a new garage door yourself, but just because we can doesn’t mean we should. There really are more risks with DIY garage door installation than benefits. Again, you will save money but we’ve heard plenty of stories of gruesome injuries and costly repairs to confidently, and strongly recommend anyone who is thinking about installing their garage door themselves, to avoid it and call a professional instead.
The list below provides a few reasons why we recommend having an experienced professional install your garage door.
1. Complexity of Components
A garage door system consists of numerous components, such as tracks, rollers, springs, cables, hinges, and panels. Each of these parts needs to be precisely aligned and installed to ensure the door’s smooth and safe operation. A small mistake in the installation of any one component can lead to a cascade of issues that affect the entire system’s functionality.
2. Weight and Size
Garage doors are heavy. They can weigh several hundred pounds, depending on the material and size. Handling these massive doors can be dangerous without proper equipment and knowledge. A misstep during installation could result in serious injuries or damage to your garage door and opener.
3. Tension and Springs
Garage door springs are under immense tension, which allows them to counterbalance the door’s weight and make it easier to open and close. Dealing with these high-tension springs demands specific techniques and tools. An incorrect adjustment or mishandling of the springs could lead to accidents, including the spring snapping or the door falling unexpectedly.
4. Precision and Alignment
Achieving proper alignment of the tracks and rollers is crucial for a garage door to operate smoothly. Even a slight misalignment can cause the door to jam or come off its tracks. Ensuring that the door is level, plumb, and balanced requires a keen eye and a good understanding of mechanics.
5. Electrical Components
Many modern garage doors come with electrical components like motors, sensors, and remote control systems. Installing these components involves understanding wiring, programming, and troubleshooting. Incorrect wiring or programming could lead to malfunctions or safety hazards.
6. Safety Concerns
The installation of a garage door involves several safety hazards, from the heavy components to the electrical connections. It’s essential to have a good understanding of safety protocols, the right protective gear, and proper lifting techniques to prevent accidents during the installation process.
7. Professional Expertise
Given the complexities and potential risks involved, enlisting the services of a professional garage door installer is a wise choice. These experts have the experience, knowledge, and tools to ensure a smooth and safe installation process. They can handle all the technical aspects, from precise measurements to proper component alignment, while you focus on other aspects of your life.
8. Consider Warranties
Many garage door manufacturers have a warranty for your garage door system and there are many things that could void your warranty. Some manufacturer warranties also require a professional to install your garage door because suppliers know that many post-installation issues with a garage door system are directly related to how it was installed.
Also, many local garage door companies have their own warranty for the workmanship (installation) of your garage door system. If you decide to install a garage door yourself and something goes wrong due to improper installation, the cost to fix may be on you.
Better Left to a Professional Garage Door Installer
While DIY projects can be satisfying, installing a garage door proves to be a challenging endeavor that requires a deep understanding of mechanics, safety protocols, and precision. The intricate components, weight, tension, and electrical aspects of a garage door demand the skills of a seasoned professional. By entrusting the installation to experts, you ensure a safe, reliable, and functional garage door for many years.