We at A Better Garage Door get lots of questions regarding garage door replacement, the process, the cost, the benefits and a lot more. It’s understandable. The garage door is the largest single component of a home’s exterior, and the single largest moving part of the house. Garage doors are the most popular entry portal for most non-urban homes in America today, and they have a huge impact on the way a house looks. As such, replacing your home's garage door is an important step which will impact your home's value, safety, convenience, and appearance for years to come. In this post we’re going to go through the most frequently asked questions we encounter on a daily basis about replacement garage doors, to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision regarding garage door replacement for your home.
QUESTION: Can I Install the Garage Door Myself?
ANSWER: DIY garage door replacement is not advised for a number of good reasons. First of all, it’s dangerous. People have died working around garage door springs. It takes a highly-trained professional to know how to handle them properly. Second, garage doors typically weigh several hundred pounds. Make a mistake and it could lead to a catastrophic accident. Also, installing the door yourself will likely void the warranty.
QUESTION: Will I Be Able to Operate My New Garage Door From My Smartphone?
ANSWER: We get this question a lot lately. People are eager to take advantage of new technologies that allow for the remote operation of all types of household appliances. In this case the answer is “Yes”. You can choose to have hardware installed that will allow you to operate the new garage door by way of a smartphone app from anywhere in the world you can find an internet signal.
QUESTION: How Much Will a New Garage Door Cost?
ANSWER: There are so many variables that go into pricing a garage door that providing one single answer to this question is impossible. The width of the door, the material, whether it’s insulated or not, the type of opener mechanism and more will all effect the price. That said, $1,000 to $2,000 could be considered a ballpark figure for an average single-width garage door (installed). Just bear in mind as we said that any of the above listed variables could affect that price.
QUESTION: Do Modern Garage Doors Require a Lot of Maintenance?
ANSWER: Today’s garage doors are more dependable than ever before. They’re also quieter, run smoother and often require fewer repairs over the course of their life than garage doors from just a generation ago. We recommend you schedule a twice-yearly checkup of your door just to be sure everything is properly lubricated and operating at peak efficiency.
QUESTION: If I Have a Problem, Can I Fix It Myself?
ANSWER: Just as installing replacement garage doors yourself will likely void the warranty so will fixing the door yourself, or having the local handyman do it. In addition, garage door service professionals will provide a warranty on any parts installed and will guarantee the work they did for a period of time. You won’t get that if you fix it yourself or rely on a handyman.
QUESTION: How Do I Get Rid of My Old Garage Door?
ANSWER: One of the many advantages of having the pros from A Better Garage Door upgrade your garage doors is that they will dispose of the old garage door and its parts for you. We do this virtually every day and have rigid protocols in place regarding the proper disposal of garage door waste materials.
QUESTION: Will My Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Storm Damage to My Door?
ANSWER: That depends entirely on the details of your insurance policy. Some will. Others will not. In all honesty it may cost more to add such coverage to your homeowner’s policy than it would take to repair any storm damage. But it’s obviously your call. Talk to your insurance agent.
QUESTION: Will I Be Able to Paint My Garage Door Later?
ANSWER: Virtually any replacement garage door material can be painted at a later date if you wish. Wood, steel, fiberglass and other materials will all accept a coat of paint. If you decide to paint your door the most important things are that the surface is properly prepared and that you are using the right type of paint for the material.
QUESTION: How Long Do Garage Doors Last?
ANSWER:It seems to be one of the givens of homeownership that the garage door will last as long as you want it to. But is that actually true? As is the case with many things, the expected duration of your garage door depends on a variety of factors. Most manufacturers claim garage doors will last 15-30 years. However, if you treat your garage door well and use it sparingly you may be able to extend its life (almost) indefinitely. On the other hand, if you treat your garage door with benign neglect it may not last 10 years. The answer to the question also depends on your definition of ‘worn out’. Some people will insist on replacing the garage door when a major mechanical part like the torsion spring breaks. Others will simply replace worn out parts and keep the door.
With that in mind, you can see why it’s difficult to say a garage door will last ‘x years’.
QUESTION: What Factors Affect My Garage Door's Expected Duration?
ANSWER: There are a few common factors that go into determining how long a garage door will last.
- Price - “You get what you pay for” applies to garage doors just as it does to clothes and cars. If you purchased your garage door strictly based on price chances are you’ll be facing major issues just a few years after installing it. Springs, hinges, pulleys, tracks and door sections made from inferior materials will not last as long as their high quality counterparts and a cheap motor will likely start giving you problems after just a few thousand cycles.
- Usage - Most torsion springs are rated for 15-20,000 open/close cycles. Tension springs usually about half that many. The more you use the door the faster these key components will wear out. So if you use the door 6 times a day you’ll use up those 10 or 20,000 cycles in about 5 years. Whereas if you only use it twice a day you may get 15 years out of it. Keep in mind that a broken spring doesn’t mean you have to replace the whole door.
- Care - You should call your garage door professional to schedule regular maintenance or make a point to perform it yourself. Otherwise your garage door will age prematurely, become noisy and uncooperative and begin to pose a real danger to anyone going in or out of the garage. It’s important that someone take the time to inspect the door to make sure nothing has been compromised and all the moving parts are in good working order.
In other words, there’s no clearcut way to definitively say “your door will last (this) long.”
QUESTION: How Can I Maximize the Expected Duration of My Garage Door?
ANSWER: To make sure it lasts as long as possible, regular maintenance is essential. The following suggestions can help ensure your door has a long, healthy life.
- Keep It Clean - Several times a year you should wash both sides of the door itself to remove dirt and grime. Wood panels should be repainted on a regular basis before peeling and chipping paint exposes the wood to the weather. If the panels are steel you can apply car wax to keep them looking sharp and better able to repel rain, snow and ice.
- Keep It Lubricated - All the critical moving parts - the springs, hinges and rollers - should be lubricated several times a year. The type of oil you use will be important because heavier oils tend to attract and retain more dirt and grime and don’t work as well during the extreme cold of winter. Something like WD-40 or spray graphite should work fine.
- Watch for Worn Out Parts - Parts wear out. Especially if you use your door several times a day or more. Someone should inspect the door once a month to determine if the springs, cables, rollers, track, chain, hinges or any other parts are exhibiting signs of failure. If so they should be replaced quickly so as not to undermine the overall operation of the door.
- Keep It Closed - The motor, springs, cables etc were not designed to be exposed directly to the elements for long periods of time. If you leave garage doors open all manner of dirt and debris can blow into the garage and clog the tracks, gunk up the springs and cables and compromise the motor leading to expensive repairs.
QUESTION: What Signs Indicate It's Time to Replace My Garage Door?
ANSWER: While regular maintenance and replacing worn out parts will certainly help extend the life of your garage doors nothing lasts forever and you’ll eventually need to buy a new one. But how will you know when you’ve crossed that line? Here are a few ways.
- The Door Just Looks Bad - If multiple panels on the door are showing visible wear and tear such as warping, cracking or rusting and a new coat of paint or a good cleaning are not going to solve the problem, it’s probably time to replace the door.
- Too Many Simultaneous Failures - If the door reaches a point where it’s operating in a haphazard way and a number of elements all need to be repaired or replaced at the same time you’re probably better off, from a financial standpoint, replacing the door altogether.
- The Door Has Been Damaged - If bad weather or vehicular contact has caused significant damage to the door you’re better off replacing it than trying to fix it. There could be unseen but crucial structural damage that will escape the repair process and pose a future hazard.
Call the professionals at A Better Garage Door to schedule regular maintenance on your door. This will ensure it’s at its best when you need it the most during the depths of the Denver or Brighton winter. The garage door is the largest moving part of your home and adds a major level of comfort and convenience to modern domestic life. Treat it with the respect and care it deserves.
The Bottom Line
We hope you found these garage door replacement FAQs useful. If you have any questions about replacement garage doors that you didn’t see covered here give the pros at A Better Garage Door a call. We’ll be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have about replacement garage doors.