In order to install a garage door, you need the manual for the garage door installation, the proper tools and certain mechanical skills.

A garage door is crucial to keeping your home secure and protected while providing convenient access from your vehicles to your home and vice versa.  If you are deciding whether to install it yourself of hire a professional, please read this article first to get an idea of what is involved.

First, remember that a typical double-door garage door will weigh between 250 and 450 lbs.  It is a moving object that must be secure to prevent injury.  If you are a builder, contractor or other mechanically inclined person, you may feel that you can install the garage door on your own, and you well may be able to.  However, if you are not accustomed to physical work and have mechanical skills to maneuver large and heavy parts, you may want to seriously consider shopping around for an installer with a good reputation and reasonable pricing. It would be well worth the price and the warrantees you will most likely receive from the installer.

Installing the Garage Door

First, you must strictly follow the instruction manual on how to install your garage door.  It helps tremendously if you know how to operate the different machines and tools required for the installation, and you will need to make sure that these are available for your use. 

Secondly, an extra person to help you will be needed.  You will need help lifting the heavy garage door.   

A popular type of sectional garage door is the ones that use rollers to lift up and down on both sides of the door with the use of a torsion spring. 

If your old garage door is one of these, be aware that the torsions spring presents a significant risk to those inexperienced with removing or adjusting one due to the extreme tension.  For this reason alone, a professional garage door installer is recommended.

However, if you still want to do it yourself, be sure to follow the manual closely.

Generic instructions are as follows to give you an idea of the steps involved:

  1. Attach the weather strip to the bottom of the garage door’s lowest panel.   Set the panel in its proper place in the doorway by pushing nails partway in every jamb until it is wedged securely.
  2. Assemble the pieces for the vertical, horizontal, and curved tracks. Follow the manufacturer’s manual.
  3. The installation manual will tell you how to mount the brackets and rollers on the section of your garage door, including wall-mounted or jamb-mounted brackets. On one side of the garage doorway, slide the vertical track on the rollers of the first section of the door. Repeat on the other side.
  4. Next, install the rollers in the second section of the door. You will need a helper to lift place the second section. Then slide the rollers into the door’s vertical tracks which you have already installed.
  5. Fasten the hinges of the door’s first section to the second one.  Using a power drill and nut driver will help do this.
  6. Do the same steps to install the third section. Make sure the track is level and plumb.  Secure the top plates of the two vertical tracks to the garage wall.  Make sure that the screws are secured into the framing parts of the wall so it can support the considerable amount of force created by the garage door when it moves.
  7. Install the jamb brackets to the tracks.  Attach them to the framing parts. Do not tighten the lag screws because you may need to adjust the tracks later.
  8. Bolt the horizontal and curved tracks together when installing.  You might want to use a ladder to support the horizontal track while doing this. 
  9. Level the horizontal track to get accurate level, then cut the hanger for the correct length to provide sufficient track support. Place the final door section and remove the temporary nails.  
  10. A torque tube is usually needed for lifting. Put this tube in first if you are going to use an opener.  Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the torque tube.  Double check that the tracks are correctly aligned by rolling up the garage door four feet.

We highly recommend a yearly maintenance of your garage door. Bolts, tracks, rollers, and nuts need to be checked that they are firmly fastened. Cables need to be in good condition and not frayed or worn out.  The springs and rollers should be lubricated.

The door should still be working smoothly and balanced.  Do this by detaching the opener and then lowering the door midway.  It the door maintains its position, then the garage door is properly balanced. Otherwise, adjustments or replacements are needed in the spring tension.