With the ever increasing amount of home improvement stores cropping up every few miles and the do-it-yourself television shows that seem to be taking over many of the cable television stations more and more home owners have the desire to take on some projects that they may have been leery of trying without a profession before.
One of these projects that used to seem out of reach and intimidating to the handy homeowner is replacing a garage door. Even in the much more user friendly garage door kits of today there are tons of pieces and parts that can make a construction novice a bit nervous, but in most cases a homeowner who’s good with his or her hands will be able to do a very nice job on the project and probably not spend nearly as much time as they would have thought considering the magnitude of parts that are contained in the box.
Here are a few tips that may help the seemingly large and difficult undertaking a bit simpler for the do-it-yourselfer.
Read (and understand) the Instructions
The problem many do-it-yourselfers face when they begin to take on larger home improvement projects is that they get too deep into the project too fast. Don’t get ahead of yourself on a project of this size, read the entire manufacturers instruction book before you begin, and if there are parts of it that you don’t quite understand – read it again until you can make sense out of it. Preparation is one of the biggest keys to success when you start trying larger home improvement projects.
The springs that open and close your garage door are extremely powerful. This is by far the most dangerous aspect of the entire project. If you have an old door that needs to be removed, when you are removing the old spring mechanism and when you are installing your new doors spring mechanism, it may be advisable to enlist the help of someone with experience. At times the springs will be under an immense amount of tension and one false move could lead to a very serious injury. Even with professional assistance it’s wise to exercise extreme caution when dealing with the spring mechanism.
Make sure your Frame is in Good Condition
Once your old door is out of the way, carefully inspect the frame before beginning the installation of the new unit. It there is termite damage, if the wood is rotted from the elements or if you’ve done some extensive damage to the frame during the removal of the old door you may need to replace the damaged wood. Attaching your new garage door to a damaged frame will most certainly lead to problems in the very near future, if not right away.
Putting it all Together
Attach the track and position the panels exactly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Each garage door manufacturer is different so there will likely be at least minor differences in how the door is assembled and installed. By following the manufacturers instructions to the letter you give yourself the best possible chance of you door working perfectly upon finishing the project.
Installing a new garage door could very well seem like an overwhelming undertaking, but by understanding and closely following the manufacturer’s instructions, properly inspecting your frame and making necessary repairs and taking the time to be safe you help to ensure that you’ll complete the project as quickly and with as few problems as possible. You can complete this project, that just a few years ago you probably never would have imagined yourself doing, over the course of a single weekend with very little help and in the process quite possible save yourself a good bit of money all while have the satisfaction of having completed a job well done.
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