If your home needs a new garage door, you need to know the proper way to install it. Here are common mistakes to avoid when installing garage doors.
Whether you’re an experienced DIYer or a weekend warrior, some projects require an extra dose of expertise. One of those projects is garage door installation.
Making mistakes could impact door alignment, damage garage door components, or cause injuries.
To help you avoid costly and dangerous mistakes when installing garage doors, we’ve put together an overview of 7 common errors made by DIYers. Take a minute and read today’s post before you begin your installation project.
1. Choosing the Wrong Garage Door
Believe it or not, when people look at your house, they don’t only notice your landscaping. When it comes to selecting a new garage door, curb appeal matters. If you buy a door to complement the architecture of your home, you’ll win the approval of the neighbors.
Beyond pleasing others, if you choose the right garage door, you’ll save yourself much aggravation.
When shopping for your new door, you’ll find multiple options. Some styles swing outward, while other slide right-to-left, or roll-up. Most homeowners prefer the overhead sectional garage doors for a few reasons, including:
- Ample Clearance for Cars
- Easy to Pair with Garage Door Openers
- Available in an Array of Styles
You won’t need to sacrifice curb appeal for convenience, but even better is knowing you’ve chosen the door to fit your needs and budget best. Speaking of budget, we’ll talk about a mistake many homeowners make regarding price.
2. Going Cheap and Dealing with Regret Later
Think of your new garage door as an investment. It improves curb appeal and functionality, but new garage doors can also add to the value of your home.
One mistake often made when selecting the new door is focusing only on price.
While there’s nothing wrong with staying on budget, you do get what you pay for when it comes to doors. That said, the price tag doesn’t always define quality, but going for the door with the lowest cost could reduce your ROI and turn your door into a liability later on.
Do the research and explore what makes a good quality door. Sure, you might spend a little more upfront, but your door will last longer and need fewer repairs. Choosing the best quality door you can afford should also mean less garage door maintenance.
3. Impatience Can De-Rail Garage Door Installation
Of course, you want the job done yesterday, but people who rush when installing garage doors tend to make more costly mistakes. If you’re doing the job yourself, take a minute and read the instruction manual. This is not the project where you rely solely on your instincts!
Also, make sure you have the right tools for the job, which may include the following:
- Cordless drill
- Socket Set
- Adjustable Wrench
Although this isn’t a comprehensive list, it’s a start. The instruction manual will likely include a list of required door installation equipment.
Tip: Don’t forget safety glasses!
4. Poor Garage Door Opener Placement
Another common mistake is the misplacement of the garage door opener. If you connect the opener in the wrong place, the door won’t work correctly.
Sometimes people connect the door opener to one side. Do this, and you’ll notice the door twists every time it opens.
The lift motor should connect to the center of the door opening. It’s installed in the center to prevent the binding of the door and bending of the door panels.
If your door uses torsion springs, you may be able to install the opener off-center. While some models do allow for off-center installation, check the instructions for your door to verify placement.
5. Using the Wrong Hardware Fasteners
Be careful about using the wrong fasteners for your garage door installation project.
Many homeowners prefer nails for just about every project. One reason is cost—people assume nails cost less than screws. Nails work fine for things that don’t move, but after regular use, they tend to bend or break.
The best fastener for this project is the screw, specifically, the lag screw.
Lag screws are tough and sturdy, making them the preferred fastener over nails. They’re the ideal solution to connect heavy materials responsible for load-bearing. Considering a 2-car garage door weighs between 155-225 pounds, you want something with superior tensile strength holding the door together.
Sure, nails could save you a few dollars on door installation costs, but you could end up with a damaged door or major repair issues later down the road.
6. Failure to Check the Track System
Another way to avoid future repair issues is to install the track assembly correctly. The tracks on a garage door guide and provide support.
If you make mistakes when installing the track assembly, you may end up with a misaligned door, which poses several problems—some of them are dangerous.
First, the door could jam, leaving your car stuck inside the garage. The door may not close or lock, which leaves you vulnerable to intruders. The worst-case scenario is a door, so off-balance it falls off the track and causes injury.
Checking the track system at several points during installation is critical. One thing to check is that the tracks are level. This is where you’ll need your vertical level and screwdriver.
You may need to make adjustments to ensure you’ve positioned the tracks correctly. Don’t forget to tighten the screws that hold the lower track brackets in place.
Finally, make sure the door still opens and closes properly.
7. Taking DIY too Literally
Even the most seasoned handyman (or handywoman), should avoid going solo when installing garage doors.
The springs, in particular, pose a safety threat.
Remember, garage door springs store energy and provide tension. If you’re replacing a garage door, you’ll need to remove the springs. When they uncoil, they can cause injuries to your hands, including broken fingers.
A professional garage door technician knows which tools to use to remove a spring. If the inexperienced DIYer tries it, they risk injury when the tension releases. Uncoiling springs can result in lacerations and broker fingers.
We’ve already mentioned the weight of the door. Unless you possess Herculean strength, lifting it alone could be dangerous.
Hiring a company that specializes in garage door installation services ensure proper and safe installation.
Need Help Installing Garage Doors?
Whew! Who knew to take on a home maintenance project opened up so many opportunities to make mistakes?
While it’s not an impossible job, installing garage doors can get complicated. Why not let an expert come to the rescue and get your door installed quickly and safely?
With over 15 years of experience installing and repairing garage doors, we’ve seen it all! Contact our team today for a quote or to schedule a repair service.
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