Should I Attempt a Garage Door DIY Project?

Oct 9, 2023

Garage Door Safety

5 minute read

Today, access to online videos, how-to blogs, and advice from your neighbors make us believe that we can accomplish almost any do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement project. Completing a DIY project brings us feelings of pride and satisfaction. But there some home improvement projects that are actually better handled by a professional.

Garage Door Installation

Due to the large size, heavy weight and significant spring tension of a garage door, we recommend hiring a professional garage door installer to install a new garage door rather than doing it yourself.  Here's why!

Don't take the chance of getting hurt, hire a professional

Before the installation of a new garage door, removal of the existing door which may weigh up to 650 lbs. and have significant tension on the springs is required first. The dangers of removing the spring tension of the existing doors yourself far outweigh the reward.

Getting a garage door up and running safely is also no easy task. Installation requires skill and experience to ensure a safe, smooth-operating garage door.

Remove the danger of garage door installation by hiring a professional installation dealer. Amarr has a network of over 4,000 independent professional dealer companies across the country. Easily find a professional Amarr dealer to get your garage door installed!

See Why You Should Choose a Professional Garage Door Installer vs. DIYSee Why You Should Choose a Professional Garage Door Installer vs. DIY

If you do choose to Do-it-yourself and install a garage door, please take extreme care in following the installation instructions provided with your garage door. 

There are some DIY steps before hiring a garage door professional to install a garage doors.

Measure your garage

The first point to start with is measuring your garage. You'll need to take the measurements of the entire garage, including the inside. Here's how to measure your garage:

  1. Door opening width and height: Measure the size of the opening of your garage.
  2. Sideroom: This is the space of the inside walls to the left and right of the garage opening; you'll need at least 3.75 inches of space between the opening and the sidewalls.
  3. Headroom: This is the space between the top of your garage door opening and the ceiling (or first obstruction).  Ideally, you'll have at least 15 inches of space here for the door to open overhead and allow for garage door opener rail support.
  4. Backroom: The distance between the front and back of the garage ceiling is necessary to ensure your garage has space when a garage door is fully opened.  The distance should be equal to or greater than the total height of your garage door plus 18-50 inches depending on if you have a garage door opener.

A professional garage door dealer will confirm these measurements during an onsite check to determine what type of track system is required for your garage door to operate correctly.

Select the garage door for your home

Choosing the right garage door for your home is the best part of upgrading its exterior. Your garage reflects your style whether you want the door to blend in or stand out with the current look of your home. The beauty is that you get to choose the look the your desire (as long as it doesn't go against your local HOA).

Garage Door Styles

Amarr stocks the latest styles and classic go-to garage doors that will fit any look you may be going for. You can choose a standard door or customize one. If you plan on building your garage by hand, let's take a look at some styles you could choose from for inspiration:

  • Traditional garage doors: For a timeless, easy-to-match look, a traditional garage door could be your best choice. Leave room for windows near the top of the door, and transform your garage from dark and drab to bright and unique.
  • Carriage door: If you want your home to call forth a familiar look from long ago, create a carriage door style with hinges and knobs to symbolize when garage doors open forward instead of up.
  • Modern garage doors: Adding windows isn't new, but making your garage door only windows is! Use tinted, weather-proof windows for an all-year-around style you can count on.

A glass garage door can be just as safe and private as a metal door, and still invite light and openness to your garage. A glass garage door can be just as safe and private as a metal door, and still invite light and openness to your garage.

Garage Door Materials

If you're planning on building your garage door by hand, you'll need to decide on the material you're comfortable working with and how long your garage will last as a result.

Garage doors such as steel and aluminum are ideal for longevity, durability and low maintenance. If your garage is detached, you may only need a single-layer garage door without much insulation as long as temperature control in the garage is not critical.

However, if the garage is attached to your home, you'll need to ensure it's fully insulated so you're not wasting valuable energy during summer or winter.

If you choose to work with wood you'll need to prepare for treating the wood well and near constant maintenance. The material will also be heavier than a metal door so the installation phase may be more strenuous.

A new garage door adds to your home's value and curb appeal. Even if you're not looking to sell your home, it's still the top home improvement investment based on return on investment.