When your garage door isn’t working quite like it used to, you may have dabbled with the idea of taking on installing a new door by yourself. Many big-box stores offer DIY garage door installation kits. And for reasonably skilled handymen, it can seem like a straightforward project.
But the truth is, handling the job yourself can actually be quite dangerous—and costly.
As a result, you may want to rely on professional garage door installation expertise near St. Charles instead. Because doing so can save you time, money, and plenty of hassle down the line.
This guide takes you through the top five things to consider when deciding on whether to handle your garage door installation the DIY way or go with a professional.
Table of Contents
- How Safe Is DIY Garage Door Installation?
- Do You Have the Right Tools & Materials?
- Are You Satisfied with Just So/So Products?
- What If Something Goes Wrong Down the Line?
- Which Is Cheaper—DIY or Professional Garage Door Installation?
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Safe Is DIY Garage Door Installation?
As with most serious home projects, safety should be your top concern when replacing your garage door.
When you use a professional for garage door installation near St. Charles, you can rest easy knowing they’re following the safest industry standards.
But when you tackle this job yourself, you may be putting yourself—and those around you—at serious risk.
Let’s Look at the Statistics
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors:
- About 20,000 to 30,000 injuries related to garage doors occur each year, landing many victims in the emergency room.
- More than 7,000 pinching injuries are reported, which may result in amputations or permanent disability.
- Over 2,000 Americans are crushed by the substantial weight of a falling garage door.
- About 800 lacerations come from improperly handling glass in garage doors.
Why So Dangerous?
There are two main reasons garage door repair can be so dangerous—the door’s weight and the torsion spring’s power.
The exact weight depends on the type of material (steel, wood, overlay, etc.). However, most garage doors weigh anywhere from 150 to 400lbs.
If your support system snaps at the wrong time, then you can imagine how much damage these doors can do.
Your torsion spring can also be exceptionally dangerous.
This spring acts as the counterbalance to the door’s weight, letting the garage door opener lift it with relative ease.
In order to provide that power, these springs need to be thick and tightly coiled enough to pull the full weight of your door off the ground. And with that much mechanical energy packed into such a small area, a broken spring can hurl jagged shrapnel towards you or loved ones at deadly speeds.
So, while you may be able to install your new garage door on your own without injury, the potential risks involved just aren’t worth the gamble.
Do You Have the Right Tools & Materials?
There are a lot more moving parts involved in garage door and opener installation than most people think. And while some DIYers may have all the tools needed to get the job done, many will find themselves taking trip after trip to the hardware store throughout the project.
Below are just some of the tools you’ll need to pick up along the way.
A professional, of course, will have access to all these tools (and they’ll actually know how to use them properly).
Tools/Materials You Need
These are the basic necessities for garage door installation. Without them, you’re going to have a tough time setting up a safe, functional, and reliable garage door in your home.
- Adjustable wrench
- Locking pliers
- Socket/ratchet set
- Operator bracket
- Garage door stop
- Garage door lubricant
Tools/Materials That Are Nice to Have
While you can probably get away with installing a garage door only using the above, the tools below are going to make your life much easier.
- Protective face shields
- Cordless drill
- Multi-cavity hand swager
- Cable cutter
- Cable puller
- Chain breaker
- Chain puller
- Door weighing lever
- Chain puller
- Torsion spring winding system
- Spring repair blocks
Are You Satisfied with Just So/So Products?
You may be able to choose from a few different DIY garage door kits at the big-box stores.
But in all likelihood, the best brands in the industry aren’t sold directly to consumers. And instead, you’ll need to work with a business that offers professional garage door installation near St. Charles to get your hands on the highest quality products from the best brands.
These brands tend to provide a wider selection of door types and styles.
They offer better craftsmanship and durability.
And they back up their products with more extensive warranties for your peace of mind.
What If Something Goes Wrong Down the Line?
Piggybacking off the last point, working with a professional for your installation or garage door replacement near St. Charles is the only way to protect yourself against problems later on.
When you work with a professional, you’re not just paying them to follow a set of basic instructions. Instead, you’re leveraging years and maybe even decades of expertise to ensure the job gets done right the first time.
Most professional garage door companies will offer one or several warranties with your installation to back up the quality of their services.
- Product Warranty – The manufacturer themselves typically offers a product warranty. This type of warranty would cover you in case of a defective product. Product warranties may be available when buying through big-box stores too. However, you’ll likely be stuck dealing with the manufacturer yourself instead of leaving it to the garage door installation company.
- Labor Warranty – Labor warranties or guarantees cover a lot of what the product warranty doesn’t. Improper installation, poor service, and failure to prevent future problems, for instance, might entitle you to a new installation or even a discount under certain labor warranties.
If something does end up going wrong after working with a garage door company, you’re protected by those warranties.
When you decide to install it yourself, though, you don’t get that same protection. And if your installation goes wrong, it’s up to you to fix it.
Which Is Cheaper, DIY, or Professional Garage Door Installation?
Last but certainly not least is cost. Saving money is typically the main reason homeowners try to tackle this project themselves.
But in reality, DIY garage door installation costs can often be just as much as working with a professional.
- No Need for New Tools – Remember all those tools we listed earlier? Well, if you don’t have them in your toolbox, you’re likely going to have to make a run to your local hardware store. When you work with a professional for your installation, you don’t have to worry about shelling out hundreds just so you’ll be equipped for the job.
- It’s a Massive Timesaver – How much is your time worth? Installing a garage door takes quite a while—about 4 to 6 hours, depending on the job. Double garage doors may take closer to 8 to 12 hours. And that doesn’t include making sure you have the right tools, heading to and from the store, buying the materials, and unpacking the parts. Plus, it’s usually a two-man job since you’ll need someone to help you hold up certain sections. Working with professionals lets you skip that massive time investment entirely.
- Prevents Future Problems – A poorly installed garage door is bound to lead to problems later. A professional installation with the right company ensures the job’s done right. And that means fewer repairs and less maintenance for you.
- Better Return on Your Investment – Completing home improvement projects not only makes your day-to-day life more enjoyable. They can also boost the value of your home. Your garage door installation is no exception. When you work with a professional, expert installation and better products both contribute to a greater return on your investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are just a few of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to deciding whether to hire a professional garage door installation company or going it alone.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Garage Door?
On average, it costs about $1,136 to install a garage door, according to HomeAdvisor.
Generally, prices range between $756 and $1,564.
It’s worth noting, however, that the majority of that cost is for parts and materials. And typically, labor only accounts for about $300 per unit.
Garage door replacement costs tend to be higher due to disposal fees and replacing existing hardware with compatible hardware.
Is Installing a Garage Door Difficult?
Though some homeowners do attempt to install their new garage door themselves, this tends to be one of the tricker home improvement jobs.
Part of the difficulty is the heavy lifting. Garage doors can end up weighing anywhere from 150 to 400 pounds. And tackling an installation job on your own can be close to impossible because of this factor alone.
There are also more technical factors involved, though. Lining up the tracks and opener, fitting the door properly, winding the spring safely, and more all take quite a bit of skill and technical know-how to pull off correctly.
That’s why most DIYers tend to leave garage door installation to the professionals.
What Is the Best Garage Door for the Money?
Not all garage doors and openers are alike. And just like any other part of your house (refrigerator, air conditioner, insulation, plumbing, etc.), some models are going to offer more quality craftsmanship and features than others.
That’s why we recommend using only products from the following brands for the best-in-value garage doors and openers:
Gateway Door and Contracting—The Best Choice for Garage Door Installation Near St. Charles
It can be tempting to take on a seemingly simple DIY project like garage door installation. But as this guide has shown, putting in a new door yourself can be pricy, frustrating, and even dangerous.
That’s why it’s best to leave your garage door installation near St. Charles to the professionals at Gateway Door and Contracting
As St. Charles’ trusted garage door company, we’ve been professionally installing garage doors for 20+ years.
And over our decades of experience, we’ve developed a reputation for providing top-notch service, expert installation and repair, and some of the best products in the industry.
Plus, we’re family-owned and operated right here in St. Charles—so you can rest easy knowing when you work with us, you’re supporting your local community.
So, if you’re ready to skip all the hassles and headaches of DIY garage door installation and go with the pros instead, get in touch today for your free estimate!