For the majority of the homeowner population, the garage door ends up being used to enter and exit the home more than the front door itself. It is an important investment for the household. When it comes to a San Diego Garage Door Installation, the debate will be whether to hire a professional garage door company to do the installation or whether to make it a DIY project.
Before you decide whether to install your garage door system as a DIY project, here are a few things you should consider.
Reasons You’d Want to DIY Your Garage Door Installation
Installing a garage door system is not a super easy project, but it is not impossible for the home improvement DIYer. These are the reasons people are drawn to doing the installation of a garage door themselves.
You Can Save Money On Materials and Labor
Cost is usually the biggest argument in favor of installing a garage door by yourself. Nowadays, there are numerous companies that sell DIY garage door system kits. If you are a bit of a handyman or handywoman, you could probably pull it off in less than a full day. Installing your garage door system yourself could save you hundreds of dollars.
You Can Make Your Garage Door Truly Unique
Some garage door companies may have a decent selection of brands and types of garage doors, while others have a more limited inventory. For a completely customized, personalized door, you may want to get more creative and pick your own materials.
You Love Doing Home Improvement
Many people relish DIY projects and find great enjoyment in building and installing things for the household. For DIYers who love challenges, installing a garage door may seem like the perfect intermediate level project.
Reasons For a Professional San Diego Garage Door Installation Company
As intriguing as a garage door installation may seem for a weekend project, there are a number of reasons you might consider referring to a professional garage door installer.
Actual Weight of the Garage Door
The first thing you probably didn’t expect is how heavy the garage door itself actually is. Depending on what system you acquire, you could be looking at a garage door panel that weighs over 400 pounds. When connected to the counterbalance system and properly installed, the movement of the garage door looks smooth and easy, and the garage door looks like it can’t weigh that much. People have dented walls, other parts of the garage, and even the garage door itself when trying to move it.
There Are Dangerous Parts in the Counterbalance System
Garage door counterbalance systems work with either extension springs or torsion springs, both of which have their pros and cons, and both of which are under extreme tension. That is why there are safety cables running through the spring and are connected to parts of the track. If that spring slingshots, it can cause not only property damage, but potentially serious injuries – and in the worst cases, death. There is also the risk of getting fingers and other appendages caught between the different parts of the counterbalance system.
To read more about garage door springs, click here.
There’s an Electrical Wiring System.
You don’t have to be an electrician to know the potential dangers of working with electricity. If you don’t have the electrical know-how to wire the system if needed, it is definitely a good idea to leave that to someone who is trained to handle electrical systems.
You Might Cost Yourself More Time Money Than You Think
Ironically, if your main reason for installing the garage door yourself is to save yourself some money, you may be disappointed.
You May Have to Hire Professionals to Fix an Improperly Installed Door
In the long run, the garage door installation may cost you much more than you had expected if you had missed or improperly installed something – especially if there is a problem with the spring. It makes more fiscal sense to have the garage door system properly installed by professionals at the outset, rather than expending time and money to install it yourself only to end up calling in a professional anyway.
Property Damage May Not Be Insured
Professional garage door installers typically have to carry insurance. Thus, if your property is damaged during their installation, the costs to replace damaged items or fix the damage may be covered. Depending on your insurance arrangements, you might not be reimbursed if you damage your property installing the garage door system yourself.
Don’t Forget the Research Time
DIYers – especially novice DIYers – often end up spending more time than expected trying to teach themselves what to do. Most of this research will likely be online, in which case, it may be difficult to discern which resources are accurate and credible. Professional garage door installers can also install your garage door system efficiently so you don’t lose as much of your weekend.
Garage Door Injuries
Injuries that could be sustained installing a garage door system without proper training and experience include:
- Cuts and lacerations – There are some components of the counterbalance system that have protruding bits and the tracks can be quite sharp. While some of these injuries are easily treated, the more serious ones may lead to infection, scarring, and nerve damage.
- Fractures and broken bones – These would be mainly caused by falling, since you will need to use a ladder to install along the ceiling and above the doors. Of course, these injuries can take a long time to heal and can impact your employment, depending on what you do for a living.
- Crushed appendages – This would be caused mainly by underestimating the weight of the garage door and not knowing how to handle it. There have been cases in which people have had to amputate a limb because it was crushed by a heavy garage door.
- Electrocution – Apart from the likely burn injury, you may be putting your life in danger if you are not a trained electrician.
- Serious, traumatic injuries – These types of injuries are mainly caused by the springs. Because of the high tension the springs are under, when they unravel, uncoil, or snap back, it happens quickly and with very strong force. Although rare, there have been deaths that have been caused by garage door springs.
What Can I Do On My Own?
Not every garage door problem will require a professional. Here are some things you can safely do on your own to maintain your garage door and maximize its longevity.
- Keep parts moving. Rollers, hinges, latches, and tracks can do with WD-40 or similar solvent. If they seem stuck, you can try working some kerosene into the cracks with an old toothbrush. Rust can be removed with steel wool, then lubricate after wiping clean. If the spring is rusty, you can very carefully wipe a bit of oil on it.
- Install, check, and/or replace weatherstripping. Don’t wait for the cold weather before checking for brittleness and cracks in the weatherstripping along the sides and bottom of the garage door.
- Tighten bolts and roller brackets if loose.
- Replace batteries.
- Clean debris from the track.
The rule of thumb should be this: If you’re not sure how to install, maintain, or repair, call in a professional. Your time, money, and well-being are worth the expenditure that may end up saving you the most money in the long run.
Have any questions about garage installation and what you can safely DIY? Contact us – we’d love to help.