Garage doors play an important role in your home. Not only are they a first line of security defense, but they’re a critical defining element in your home’s look and can save energy.
The average garage door replacement costs between $600 and $2,500.
Here are tips from industry experts for putting your plans in motion and successfully completing a garage door installation.
Consider curb appeal
Garage doors are one of the most visible and largest features of your house. They have one of the highest returns on investment of any home improvement.
Plus, they’re a long-term investment that will define your home for many years.
So, consider your choices carefully when installing.
This isn’t the kind of job where you can Google “how to install a garage door” and figure it out in an afternoon.
Garage door installation and repair involves a lot of moving parts, specialized tools, and carefully calibrated spring tension. You can very easily cause expensive damage to your door, or even seriously injure yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Leave this one to the professionals.
Pay attention to regular maintenance
Homeowners should have their garage door maintained at least once every 18 to 24 months, if not once a year, experts say. You can avoid a lot of problems with basic maintenance.
Garage doors and openers involve chains, lifting weight and many moving parts. All these elements should be lubricated to add years of life to your garage door.
Check the photo eyes if you have trouble
One exception to the DIY rule: Checking alignment on photoelectric eyes.
Most garage doors feature photo eyes as a safety feature. These eyes deactivate the garage door if they sense an object coming through. They can easily get out of alignment and prevent the door from closing.
Pros suggest checking on that first if the door’s not closing, but to call a professional for any other problems.
Make sure to have electrical outlet in ceiling for the opener
You may need to hire a licensed electrician to run a line in this case.
Don’t just connect it to an extension cord: That can be a fire hazard and is against building code in many locales.
Don’t forget your local rules
Whether it’s local covenants or municipal laws that call for permits for a garage door, make sure your contractor works under those regulations to avoid unpleasant surprises later.
You don’t want to install an expensive door only to find out that your town or homeowner’s association covenants don’t allow it.
Give your installer room to work
Installing a garage door takes a considerable amount of space, which pros say they don’t always get. Some report that they show up at garages so packed, they can’t even get the door open.
Installers should be able to get at least 10 feet into the garage.
How to hire safely for home repairs
With the onset of winter and the threat of COVID-19, here are six steps to protect yourself, your family and your workers when you need home repairs.
Use technology to connect with home service pros
According to the Centers for Disease Control, (CDC), avoiding exposure to the virus is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and others. Connect with contractors via phone, video and email to discuss project details as much as possible.
Sanitize according to CDC guidelines
The CDC offers cleaning guidance on its website specific to protecting against COVID-19. If a pro is coming to work on your home, be sure you're following this guidance to sanitize before, during and after their visit. In particular, be sure to clean and disinfect the work area. Also, be sure to disinfect frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, faucet handles and light switches.
Communicate precautions (both yours and theirs)
Let pros know about the precautions you're taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in your home. Ask that they take precautions as well. Make sure everyone wears a mask and sanitizes frequently.
Maintain the recommended 6-foot separation
The CDC recommends keeping a distance of 6 feet from others, and avoiding gatherings to minimize the spread of COVID-19. So, be sure to keep a safe distance from pros working inside your home. And never invite a pro into your home if you're feeling ill or have been ill.
Combine multiple projects into one visit
If you need to hire pros for essential home maintenance or repairs, see if they can tackle other projects at the same time. These projects may be additional repairs or improvements to enhance your health and wellbeing during your time at home.
For example, if an HVAC pro is coming out to repair your heater, they may also be able to help with projects to improve indoor air quality, like installing a humidifier, installing new air filters or clearing out your home's ventilation system.
Be sure to ask your pro ahead of time if you'd like them to look into other projects. Combining jobs will reduce the number of visits and entries into your home.
Approach hiring with the same care you normally would
When it comes to hiring home service pros, it's still a good idea to:
— Check that they're licensed and insured to do the kind of work you need done.
— Compare quotes from at least three pros to ensure you're hiring the right pro for your project and budget.
— Stay patient. Keep in mind that home pros are dealing with the same kinds of challenges you are.