Garage Door Installation: A Do-it-Yourself Guide

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So, you’ve just got a brand-new garage door and you’re looking to install it yourself? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Garage door installation might sound like a huge job, but installing roll up garage doors is very doable and should only take you a couple of hours.

In this article, I’m going to tell you every step needed to install your garage door without the need to hire a technician.

Why Should you Install your Own Garage Door?

Garage door installation isn’t as difficult as it sounds. By installing it yourself, you’re going to save money on call-out charges/service charges for technicians. These compared with labour costs of up to $300 can add up pretty quickly, so it’s worth having a go yourself.

Also, garage door installation requires tools that you’ll like already have in your tool box, and if not, they’re generally inexpensive to buy. No specialist equipment is needed here, a quick trip to your local hardware store and you’ll be all set.

What you’ll Need and How Much it Will Cost:

Besides of the cost for the actual garage door itself, these are the materials and tool you’re going to need when installing a roll up garage door:

Tools:

• Hammer Drill: $30-$120
• 13mm spanner: $5-$35
• File: $5
• Tape Measure: $5
• 2 Pipe wrenches: $40
• Level: $10
• 14mm Masonry Bit: $5
• 4mm and 10mm Steel Bit: $5
• Straight edge: $30
• 2 Ladders: $60

Total: $195-$315

Materials:

• Side Rails: $30-150
• Brackets: $25
• U-Bolts: $10
• Handle: $10
• M8 Fender Washers: $10
• M8 Expansion Bolts: $10

Total: $95-$215

Finally, you’ll need a friend to help you as it is a two-person job, but you can’t put a price on friendship so I won’t include that as one of the costs.

How to Install your Garage Door:

Once you’ve got all your tools and materials together, and someone at hand to help, it’s finally time to install your garage door. Here are the steps involved with garage door installation:

Step 1 – Remove the Old Door, Fill in the Holes, and Paint the Area:

If your old door has already been removed then obviously don’t worry about that, but if it’s still there, simply remove the door safely.

Then you’ll want to fill in the holes where the old garage door was fitted. You won’t need those holes there anymore, therefore fill them with whatever you choose to make a flat, secure surface.

Next, this is optional but you may want to paint the area. This is entirely up to you but you may want to paint it to suit your new door better.

Step 2 – Measure the Opening to Centre the Door. Mark any Overlaps:

You’ll want to do this so you can centre the door correctly when you install it. Your garage door will likely overlap your doorway, therefore, mark the overlaps on either side of the doorway.

Mark these with pencil on both sides and try to make sure that the markings are the same distance from the centre as each other. You don’t want to misplace your door.

Step 3 – Put a Straight Edge Between the Pillars, Keeping it Level With the Highest Point:

You also need to make sure that your door will sit level. Therefore, use your level to measure the flatness and create markings with your pencil to ensure your garage door will close properly and avoid any lop-sidedness.

Step 4 – Mark the Holes in Your Rail and Drill Them:

Have your side rails on your marks on the bottom, you’ll then want to keep it straight. For this, use the level on the side to measure its straightness. Then you’ll want to mark through the holes to drill.

After that, you can drill the four holes with the 14 mm drill bit. For this, I recommend using a depth stop. This is a piece of tape you can attach to the drill bit so you can easily see when you’ve drilled enough.

Step 5 – Install the Side Rails:

Once you have the holes in place, put the expansion bolts into the holes and tighten them up to lock them in place. Then remove the bolts, put the rail in place and bolt it to the wall. Make sure you do this with the fender washers between the bolt and the rail.

Remember that the brackets go on top of the rail with the flat side up. Once you’ve done this on one side, simply repeat the process on the other side.

Step 6 – Lift the Door on Top of the Brackets:

This is where your ladder and friend come in. If you don’t have a spare ladder for them, make sure you invite your tall friend instead (just joking, please use a ladder each).

Then you’ll want to loosely fasten the U-bolts. Remember not to cut the straps until the door is in place, and leave your U-bolt slightly loose.

Step 7 – Bring the Door Down:

Now you’ll want to turn the door so it can slide down and hold it in place while your friend cuts the straps. Now you need to guide the door down the rail, to the floor, make sure the stoppers are pulled out. If the stoppers are still in, the door will pass the top of the rails and unwind.

Step 8 – Adjust the Shaft:

From the inside of the door, you’ll need to wind up the shaft to put tension on the springs, allowing the door to move up and own easily.

Hold each side of the shaft with a pipe wrench and turn one side at a time, making sure the shaft doesn’t unwind. Turn it in the direction that the shaft will move when lifting the door. Keep winding it up until the door starts to lift. Then hold the shaft in place and tighten the U-bolts.

The door should now easily move up and down (with any luck).

Step 9 – Install a Garage Door Lock:

This step is optional but recommended if you live in a busy area and/or keep your garage secure. To do this, you’ll want to close the door and mark the locking mechanism on the rail. Then, open the door and drill small holes with the 4mm bit, after that, drill bigger holes in the same place with the 10mm bit. Next, you’ll want to neaten the slot with a file, if you do this on both sides, you can install a garage lock quickly and easily.

Once you’ve installed your handle in the pre drilled holes, you’re done! You have installed your own Roll up garage door in a fraction of the cost of hiring someone to do it for you.

If you’re looking for high quality garage door locks, check out my article: The 6 Most Secure Garage Door Locks to keep Your Garage Safe.

Final Thoughts:

Keep in mind that this guide is just for Roll up garage doors, if you need a different type installed, it’s worth hiring a technician as it tends to be a come complicated process. That being said, installing a garage door yourself will save you a good chunk of money on labour costs and service fees.

This technique also doesn’t require any specialist or expensive equipment, and the whole process can take an hour or two, not bad at all.

If done properly, your newly installed garage door should last you a while, barring at external damage. If your garage door does break thought, it may be worth reading my article on garage door repair. Thank you for reading this article and I hope you enjoy your new garage door!

James Johnson

What started out as an intention to create my dream garage has turned into a mission to share my research, whether that's guides or product recommendations, with as many people as possible. I believe that everyone should be proud of their garage, and by reading my guides, you are in good hands to make that a reality.


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