Many homeowners wonder if they can install the roll-up garage doors by themselves. Yes, anyone who has above-average mechanical skills can install the tricky roll-up doors.
If you’re able to follow detailed yet easy-to-read instructions and have handy tools at home, you can install a roll-up garage door and save almost $500 or more on professional installation.
Why install a garage door by yourself?
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According to Fixr.com, installing a roll-up door may cost $750 to $3000. Most homeowners end up paying over $900 on average for a roll-up garage door installation because it takes two people to complete the job. The more complex the job, if it’s the double garage door.
Similarly, installing a roll-up garage door made from wood, glass, fiberglass, or composite cost more because you’d need to handle the material with care. Installing a wooden roll-up door for an 8′ x 7′ door may cost from $1000 to $3500.
Overall, it’s a good idea to install or remove the door by yourself to make the entire process pocket-friendly. You can always ask a friend or a family member to help you with the door’s installation or removal.
How to install a Roll-up Garage Door?
Have you decided to install a roll-up garage door by yourself? These are DIY steps to install the garage door.
Start with reading the manual/installation instructions thoroughly to become familiar with the names of different hardware components and their relation.
The manual comes in handy for homeowners who have less or no knowledge about installing a garage door.
Start with ascertaining three significant factors in installing a garage door.
- Method of operation: How do you want the door to operate? Push-up, hand chain, or motor operated.
- Type of jamb: (wood, masonry, or steel) Jamb is the door guide mount and the fasteners required.
- Check the dimensions for opening width, opening height, headroom, and side room of the garage door.
Inspect your new door unit for possible damage and missing features. Report this to the supplier immediately for a possible replacement.
Compare the roll-up door opening dimensions and available clearances with dimensions listed on the packaging. Make sure the dimensions are level.
Required Tools and equipment
The entire list of materials and hardware required for proper installation of the garage door. The tools may vary from one door to another.
- Electric drill with 3/8″ or 1/2″ chuck with nut driver bits.
- Masonry drill or impact hammer and bits.
- Chain hoist and sling for raising barrel and curtain assembly.
- Scaffolding, Mechanical Lift, and Ladders (ladders not recommended for more oversized doors).
- Hammer, Screwdrivers, and drills
- Channel Lock Pliers.
- Center punch.
- Safety glasses
- Adjustable Wrenches, vise grips, C-clamps, torque wrench, and a large pipe wrench.
- Plumb line, tape measure, chalk line, and a water level.
Step 1 –Check the door wall opening.
- Start with checking the wall opening width and height to verify these measurements against the actual door size (Single garage or double garage) for a level.
- Check for level. Verify that jambs are plumb and floor/header are level.
- Check for adequate side-clearance at jambs and overhead garage header. It should meet the minimum requirement.
- Verify that the guide mounting surface on the jamb is flush.
Step 2 -Position Door and Parts
- Clean the floor surface before moving the new door unit inside the garage.
- Place the left guide on the floor perpendicular to the opening with the guide bottom close to the left jamb and the top. Repeat the same step with the right guide to the right jamb.
- Next, place the steel garage doors on the floor at the top of and between guides. Adjust the door as necessary to locate the bottom bar against the floor.
- Place components (parts) in their appropriate areas.
Step 3 -Guides to bracket installation
- Lift flange on tensioner pawl until the end of the pawl clears the tensioner ratchet wheel. Adjust bracket to position short leg-end upward. Release flange on the pawl and allow the end to engage with the nearest tooth on the ratchet wheel.
- Bring the guide and bracket’s top end in alignment to insert hooks on the bracket into slots in the guide.
- Slide bracket and guide together until the locking tab fully engages. (If it doesn’t engage, use a hammer to punch the locking-tab to bend and fit into bracket notch)
- Repeat the second and third steps mentioned in Step 2 for the non-tension bracket and guide.
Step 4 -Lifting the door assembly.
- It’s time to lift the door assembly to the garage door opening. Start with moving the door and guide assemblies towards the wall opening with guides bottom resting next to jambs.
- Next, lift door assembly evenly, pivoting around guides bottom.
- Ensure to use two installers to lift door assembly properly. One installer may not be well enough to lift the door.
Step 5 -Guide and brackets to jams
- After lifting the door assembly, it’s time to attach brackets and guides to jambs using fasteners.
- Mount guides centered at about the opening and spaced curtain width +1″ apart from the guide’s back. (Both guides must be plumb)
- Install appropriate fastener in brackets and guides. Secure the fasteners to the jamb; otherwise, the door might fall.
Step 6 -Setting initial torsion spring
- Torsion Springs counterbalance the weight of the door to make it easy to open and close. For a 100 pounds door, a spring force of 100 pounds needs to pull against the door’s weight.
- Rotate door 1-1/2 revolutions in the direction that would send the bottom bar down through guides. Hold the door and cut the tape and plastic wrap that holds the door in a coil. Direct bottom bars down into the guides, stopping just past the head stop area.
- Be wary of extreme spring tension that can cause serious injury. Consider torsion spring replacement if it’s damaged.
Step 7 – Door head stops/Doorstop clips, handles, and pull rope
- Slide head stops from inside each guide and secure them with 1/4-20 x 1/2″ thread cutting type F hex screw.
- Next, install a stop clip at each end on the bottom of the bars inside using a single 1/4-20 x 5/8″ carriage bolt and nut.
- Install handles on the outside of the bottom bar using 1/4-20 x 5/8″ bolt and nut.
- Install rope in one of the holes at the center of the bottom bar’s horizontal leg.
- The doorstop clip prevents the door curtain from traveling beyond the guides.
Step 8 -Check door operation/Adjust standard torsion spring tension
Now, it’s time to check if the door operates appropriately.
- Lower or raise the door to test door balance.
- For doors that are easy to close but hard to open, increase spring tension.
- For doors that are hard to close but easy to open, decrease spring tension.
Use winding bar in tensioner ratchet wheel to adjust spring tension.
- Rotate the winding bar down to increase spring tension.
- Pull down slightly on the winding bar until the pawl disengages the tooth to decrease spring tension.
- Remove the winding bar and recheck the door. Readjust spring tension as required. Apply garage door lubricant for dry components.
Safety standard to install the door
The garage door professionals often cite these safety reasons. A rolling door is a large, heavy door that moves with help from springs under extreme tension and electric motors. The moving objects and parts under tension can cause serious injuries or death. Hence, it’s a good idea to hire a professional if you aren’t familiar with installing or removing doors.
Here is the list of safety guidelines for Roll-up doors.
- Operate the door when it’s properly installed and free of all obstructions.
- Be wary of moving objects like springs and related parts that can pose a risk handled without precaution.
- Avoid standing in the open doorway or walking through the doorway while the door is moving.
- Always consult a professional when your garage door becomes hard to operate or completely inoperative. Springs or torsions may be jammed.
- Avoid installing the door on windy days. The door panels could fall, causing door damage or injury.
- Check all bolted connections and optional features every month to make sure they are secure.
- Never place hands or fingers between the curtain and the guides while the door is being operated.
- Thoroughly familiarize yourself with the construction codes in your region before initiating work.
- Wear the proper protective safety gear at all times when installing, adjusting, and repairing doors.
- Consider using a 2-person or more for installing, adjusting, and removing more oversized doors.