As you finish the process of investing in a new garage door, it’s nice to know what you can expect during the installation process. We are commonly asked how long the garage door installation process takes, and want you to be aware of what common complications could slow down the process.
Due to the complexity and potential safety hazards, we never recommend that anyone other than trained professionals attempt installing a garage door.
You bought a great, quality garage door, so let professionals install the door correctly to prevent any accidents or malfunctions.
To put your mind at ease, we’ve developed a brief explanation of what you can expect when professionals work through the garage door installation process.
Installing a Garage Door
Installing a garage door is a multi-step process that requires precision, attention to detail and technical knowledge.
Before the installation process begins, the professionals perform an inspection to confirm the size of your door. They also check to see if there are any obstructions, such as light fixtures, fans or outlets. These potential obstructions will effect the installation process as the professionals will need to take them into consideration when mounting the track and motor.
Once they complete the site inspection, they’ll work with you to set an installation appointment.
On the day of your appointment, the professionals will remove and haul away the current door, install your new door and set up the opener, so your new door is ready to go the second they leave.
To make sure everything went smoothly and they properly cleaned the site, the professionals will do a final walkthrough. You can ask any questions before they leave to make sure you have a full understanding of your new door.
That’s just a brief overview.
The step-by-step process of what the installers will do when setting up your new garage door includes:
- Install the drive unit and attach the track to it. The drive unit holds the motor that lifts and lowers the garage door.
- Connect all the sections of the track according to the proper track type. From a standard radius to a vertical lift, there are a variety of options when it comes to tracking.
- Attach the mounting bracket to the track’s end and the beam above the opening of the door. The mounting bracket distributes the pull from the motor across the door so one point doesn’t receive all the pulling pressure.
- Attach the motor to a beam in the ceiling. The motor must be attached in the perfect center of the garage, so this step requires incredible precision.
- Feed the motor’s wires from the ceiling into a wall switch to give it power.
- Install infrared sensors. Infrared sensors help protect against people or objects getting stuck under the door. They detect when something obstructs the path from the door to the ground.
- Connect the garage door to the garage door opening system
While this may seem like a simple process on paper, the garage door installation could become extremely dangerous if not performed by a professional. A lot of precision, know-how and preparedness go into this process. Installing a garage door could even turn deadly if the installer does not have the proper training and years of experience.
Common Complications When Installing a Garage Door
- Not attaching the lift motor to the door’s perfect center. The lift motor and assembly must be installed at the door’s perfect center. Failing to do so will create a tension that twists and binds the door. The result will make the door shudder during its use. Long term, this mistake damages various components, which will result in otherwise unnecessary repairs and replacements.
- Not checking for obstructions. Commonly, amateurs avoid placing the lift motor at the perfect center because a light fixture or outlet occupies that center. Failing to account for these obstructions will cause premature wear on parts and will damage the components of the door.
- Not including the steel stiffener at the top panel’s top edge. The stiffener re-enforces the top panel of the door. When you just buy the door alone, it may not come with the steel stiffener, and if you try to install the door yourself, you might omit this key component. Without the stiffener, the motor’s repeated jerks will bend that top panel to the point where the system jams and the door does not work. This problem occurs over time, and when cheap installation crews neglect to install it, the door wears out after the labor warranty. You then have to foot the bill for damages.
- Not ensuring the proper spacing on gasket seal with the floor. Properly positioning in the lift motor to account for the gasket seal makes the difference between a poor seal and a stressed door. When the first panel touches the floor, the door should still continue to close for another 1/4 to 1/2 inch. This way, the door creates a proper seal, but the door does not experience too much pressure.
- Not testing the safety reverse feature before use. You never want the first time you test the safety feature to be when a pet or small child runs recklessly underneath the door. Professionals will take the time immediately after installation to make sure they properly installed the infrared sensors. Place a two-by-four on the floor and try to close the door. If the door does not reverse and auto-open when it touches the two-by-four, the sensor must be repositioned to ensure the reverse function works properly.
When you choose to work with a team of professionals, they have experience dealing with these common issues. They shouldn’t make these mistakes because they’ve learned how to handle them and how to install doors in almost any garage space.
However, not all companies hold themselves to the same standards. When choosing a team to install your garage door, look for a company with deep ties in the community who have held themselves to a standard of excellence for many years.