If you’ve just moved into a new property and the garage door needs replacing, it might seem like a daunting task. But, it doesn’t have to be. Installing an up and over garage door can be a relatively straightforward task for those with basic to intermediate DIY tools and skills.
To ensure the finished product is neat and tight-fitting, a few specific tools will save you a lot of time and hassle. If you don’t have these tools and don’t know anybody you could borrow them from, you should consider hiring a professional. Their current expertise and the fact that they’ve already invested in these tools means it’ll likely be significantly cheaper.
Tools you’ll need:
- An electric drill
- An impact driver (the electric drill may be sufficient for driving screws in but an impact driver makes it much easier)
- A mitre saw or, if you’re experienced, a circular saw and speed square
- A tape measure
- Suitable drill and driver bits
- Suitable length screws with wall plug fixings or self-tapping screws for masonry
- Mole-grip plier
- Any strong plier such as a pipe plier
1. The framework
If you’re installing a garage door for the first time in a garage, you’ll likely need to make a framework for it to be attached to.
Firstly, measure the width and height of your garage door. If you have a tall garage then you may need to make a frame with an extra joist for the door to be fixed into.
Once you have the height and width measurements for your garage’s opening, call a local timber yard and order some good quality, treated 4×4 lengths. You can ask them to cut the lengths to the sizes you need, but if you’ve measured anything wrong then you’ll have to get a new length, so it’s a good idea to order for slightly longer than each length you need.
Once you have your wood, you need to cut it to size.
When wood is treated, the treatment is only absorbed about a centimetre into the wood, so be sure to check the flat end of your lengths (the cross-section). Ideally, you could have at least one treated end section. Otherwise, without the treatment, it’ll sit in water whenever it rains and the wood will absorb water which leads to rot.
Using the mitre saw to get a clean cut, cut the uprights to length, line them up and cut the crossbeam to the right length too.
For extra strength, you can use the mitre saw to half lap the joints so that there’s less racking – but if you use suitable length screws then you may be able to get away with a simple butt joint.
You’ll need an upright on each side, and a crossbeam at the top. You can also include a cross-section at the bottom, but it’ll leave a lip that you’ll have to get over whenever getting things into and out of your garage – making it less than ideal if you plan on parking your car in your garage!
Join the lengths at right angles to make an arch-like frame.
2. Fixing the frame to the wall
Here, you’ll need to line up your frame and mark the wall where you intend to fasten the frame.
If you’re just using wall plug fittings then you’ll need to keep a note of your measurements. Drill out regular holes in the masonry and hammer in the wall plugs – you should only need around four screws in each upright.
Then drill some pilot holes in the uprights and use long screws to get them into the wall plug.
If you’re using self-tapping screws, which is likely an easier option, then it may help to attach the top of the door frame to any wooden crossbeam that may already be part of the garage. This stops the frame from moving as you’re trying to drill it into the masonry.
Drill some pilot holes a little smaller than the screws you’re using and then use your impact driver to drive the screws through the wood and into the masonry. The impact driver can exert much more force than a normal drill, so it makes screwing into hard materials much easier.
Now you have your framework in place.
3. Fit the door to the frame
For this part, make sure you have all necessary tools inside your garage. As you won’t be able to open the door until it’s fully installed.
You first need to put the door in place. Raise it by around 10mm using two even spacers on the bottom, then fixing the spring-loaded bar to the section of wall just above the door. There should be fitting holes on each side of the bar. Then screw the lock at the top in the centre.
Now you need to put the side tracks in.
Line them up on each side – they need a little space between the doors – and screw in the bottom, then match the distance for the top so that it’s screwed in evenly.
4. Release the tension in the spring bar
There’s a retaining pin on the right-hand side of the spring bar, this stops the bar unwinding all the way before the door is installed – you need the tension here to help pull the garage door up whenever you need to open it.
Using a mole grip plier, hold onto the bar and wiggle it while pulling on the retaining pin – because there’s tension in the system, it’ll be really difficult to pull out the retaining pin if you don’t wiggle it free.
Once it’s out, you’re done!
There will be tension in the whole system now, so you can lift your door up and over.
If it scrapes on the floor, then you likely forgot to use spacers at the bottom. It’s a good idea to leave a 10mm gap at the bottom and then install a type of draft excluder or garage door protector on the outside. These tend to be long rubber strips that help keep the rain out.
If you have any more questions, feel free to get in touch with us – we’re always on hand to answer questions about your next project.