Installing a Garage Door

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated April 11, 2014)

Once you have removed the old garage door, you are going to need to install a new one. Installing a garage door is going to be a pretty major project though, so be prepared to spend some time working on this. On average, installing a garage door will take a complete novice about twelve hours to complete. Even the experienced home handyman can expect to spend around five hours working on this project. This means that you should not begin this project until you are certain that you can complete it, like on the weekend for example.

To properly install a garage door, all you need to do is follow these simple directions. Keep in mind, that as you begin installing a garage door, that any directions supplied by the manufacturer will take precedence. These instructions are designed to work with a broad selection of garage doors, and may not work with your particular brand.

Materials:

  • Sawhorses (two minimum)
  • Hammer
  • Carpenters' level
  • Utility knife
  • Drill and drill bits
  • 2 wrenches
  • Tape measure
  • Locking pliers
  • C clamps
  • Track hangers
  • A friend to help you.

Procedure:

  1. Place sawhorses. Place the sawhorses near the garage door opening, and begin putting the garage door panels onto the sawhorses. This will make working on the door panels easier. Begin to place the weather stripping into place according to the manufacturer's directions.
  2. Place first panel. Set the first panel into the opening of the garage door. Use a carpenter's level to ensure that everything is perfectly level, and then shim if necessary. Place a nail into the frame of the garage door, and bend it over the door in order to hold the garage door in place. Do not hammer a nail directly through the door. Recheck to ensure that the door is level, and make any adjustments as necessary to ensure that it is.
  3. Stack the rest of the panels. Begin attaching the door hinges along one side, and the middle of the door before you start to stack the rest of the panels. This will make it easier to ensure that the doors are installed correctly. With the help of a friend, begin to stack the rest of the door panels on top of the first. Hold these in place just like you did with the first one. Do not hammer any nails directly through the doors, doing so will ruin their effectiveness.
  4. Assemble hinges. Finish assembling the remaining hinges along the remaining side of the door. Once all the hinges are in place, begin to insert the roller shafts into the hinges. As you do this, make sure that you are following the directions from the manufacturer as directed.
  5. Install tracks. Install the tracks by slipping the straight tracks over the lower wheels on the door. Once the tracks are in place, begin putting the mounting brackets against the wood framing. As you do this, ensure that there is between 5/8 and 7/8 of an inch between the door and the track to allow proper movement. You may need to adjust these later, but bolt them in place for now.
  6. Assemble J-Tracks. The J-track is the top of the track that will allow the doors to rotate up about 90 degrees. Assemble the pieces to this track on the floor, and then slip them over the door rollers. Position the track so that it is not only plumb against the wall, but that it is level as well. Make any adjustments as necessary, and then bolt them in place.
  7. Install and attach the rack hangers. Track hangers are meant to support the full weight of the door, and are usually attached to a ceiling joist. Unfortunately, they do not come with a standard garage door kit, so you will need to ensure that you have one prior to installing your garage door. Measure the space between the back end of the J-track, and the nearest rafter. If you need to, cut the track hanger to fit within this space. Install the track hanger according to the manufacturer's directions. The goal for the track hangers is to hold the track level and square according to the door. Check your work by comparing two different diagonal measurements. One from the top left-hand side of the door to the bottom right-hand side of the door, and one from the mirror image location. These measurements should be as close to the same as possible.
  8. Adjust the roller and pulley. Many doors come with an adjustable roller near the top of the door that helps to ensure that the tracks stay tight against the door jamb. Make sure that this is nice and tight against the jamb, and then begin attaching the front pulley wheels to the horizontal angles. Follow the manufacturer's directions as you do this, and then remove the nails along the sides of the garage door.
  9. Check the spacing. Open the garage door till it is about four feet from the floor. Check the spacing between the door and track, and ensure that it is still between 5/8 of an inch, and 7/8 of an inch. If it is not, lower the door and then correct as necessary by readjusting the track hanger. Once everything opens smoothly tighten down all the tracks and hangers.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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