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Garage door replacement
Old 04-28-2008, 09:40 AM   #1
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Garage door replacement

Our house currently has a wood (compressed particle board?) garage door that is extremely heavy. For the 13 years he have lived in our home, I've needed to constantly tighten down the nuts and bolts of the support frame to this door.

We've already had to replace the support overhead tension (spring) system once, and since that time we've had one of the two overhead springs snap/break.

This morning, we lost electrical power, and with just one spring working it required both my wife and I to open the garage door to get the cars out of the garage. Once we started the door back down to close up the garage, the weight of the door took over and slid down the last 4 feet. The door crashing down caused a vibration that was felt throughout the house.

We've talked about replacing this garage door in the past, and today's episode is a reminder of how unsafe this door can be. We've decide to replace the door with a lightweight metal garage door. We may or may not need to replace the door tracks. We will be replacing the garage door opener.

For those who live in the Bay Area (San Jose, CA), what is the approximate price range to pay for the purchase and installation of a new garage door and garage door opener?
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:13 AM   #2
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How wide is your garage?
Is your door a segmented, roll-up overhead door (I think this is the case, since you referred to to "tracks"), or is the single-piece type common in SoCal?

I don't live in your area, but in the midwest a garage door, with installation, costs less than $2000. Add couple hundred for an opener. But, you can spend as much as you want (real wood, windows, etc add up).
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:18 AM   #3
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I had a thread on this last year.

I went ahead with a high quality (and R value) door with windows and new tracks which ran me $1600 with installation. We're happy we went ahead and did it.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:25 AM   #4
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It is a roll-up overhead door. I've already received a handful of estimates online and on the phone, and the prices range from about $900 for a basic setup to $1200-$1600 for a good quality, insulated lightweight metal door and opener to over $2000 for a premium setup.

I think something in the $1200-$1600 range is going to work for us. These estimates give us an insulated metal door (sufficient for the brutal San Jose, California weather ), a new spring system, a new garage door opener, and the haul-away of the old door and opener.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:29 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by saluki9 View Post
I went ahead with a high quality (and R value) door with windows and new tracks which ran me $1600 with installation. We're happy we went ahead and did it.
I think this is in line with what I have heard this morning. We are looking for a door without windows, so that will lower our cost some. Also, since the weather in our area is quite mild compared to most of the country and the garage is detached from the entrance to our house, we probably don't need too high of an R value for the door. We will probably get more benefit from the insulation in that it will make the metal door a bit quieter.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:31 AM   #6
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Great. It sounds like your garage is attached to/under your living space. Our garage is under our living room, and we went with an especially quiet opener (using links, like a belt) instead of chains or a screw system. If noise/vibration s an issue, this might be worth looking into while you are changing the opener.

Good luck!
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:39 AM   #7
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Great. It sounds like your garage is attached to/under your living space. Our garage is under our living room, and we went with an especially quiet opener (using links, like a belt) instead of chains or a screw system. If noise/vibration s an issue, this might be worth looking into while you are changing the opener.
Yep. We have a breezeway between the garage and the side entrance to the house. The garage sits under the master bedroom.

One of the installers mentioned going with a better opener system like you described. Our current opener is a screw drive system. That and the heavy wood door makes for a lot of noise and vibration. I meet with this particular installer tomorrow afternoon to see what our options are and to get an in-person estimate.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:49 AM   #8
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Lowes and Costco both regularly run deals on garage doors.

Check here...
Hammer Network - Garage Doors

I also put in one of the chamberlain belt drive openers last year. Very nice. It still makes plenty of noise in the room above the garage, but its a lot quieter than the old chain drives and works very smoothly.

That was another lowes special. The 3/4 horsepower unit, an outdoor keypad, a pair of remotes and an inside switch that has lights and a motion sensor were about $129 IIRC. No brainer since the new keypads and remotes cost about $80-90 all by themselves and our old openers remotes were shot. I really like the sensor on the indoor keypad that flips the openers lights on when it detects motion in the garage.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:53 AM   #9
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I think this is in line with what I have heard this morning. We are looking for a door without windows, so that will lower our cost some. Also, since the weather in our area is quite mild compared to most of the country and the garage is detached from the entrance to our house, we probably don't need too high of an R value for the door. We will probably get more benefit from the insulation in that it will make the metal door a bit quieter.
The windows cost $350 so you're talking probably around $1200.
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Old 04-28-2008, 05:15 PM   #10
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I tend to favor doors that have torsion springs rather than the extension (tension) springs. The torsion springs mount over the top of the door and make for less clutter on the garage ceiling and they tend to be quieter.

To keep noise down make sure to lubricate the track yearly so the door runs smoothly.

Properly installed good quality overhead doors should be balanced and take very little effort to open by hand and make less work for an opener.

If you ever have to open and close a door by hand, use the grips that are provided and do not slow the door by placing your hands anywhere near the open joints. About ten years ago a neighbor lady got her fingers caught in a door and I had to lift the door so she could get free, not something I ever want to have to do again.
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:24 AM   #11
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Great. It sounds like your garage is attached to/under your living space. Our garage is under our living room, and we went with an especially quiet opener (using links, like a belt) instead of chains or a screw system. If noise/vibration s an issue, this might be worth looking into while you are changing the opener.

Good luck!
If noise is a consideration, our opener is a Craftsman model that uses a belt drive system (just like a fan belt in a car) that is extremely quiet. The door insulation (which we don't have) also dampens the sound of the moving door. Our doors are 8ft wide lightweight metal.
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:07 PM   #12
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If you ever have to open and close a door by hand, use the grips that are provided and do not slow the door by placing your hands anywhere near the open joints. About ten years ago a neighbor lady got her fingers caught in a door and I had to lift the door so she could get free, not something I ever want to have to do again.
This happened to my dad about 15 years ago. The spring snapped and he instinctively put his hand out as the door cam crashing down and he got his finger caught between the panels. No one else was home so he had to lift the door himself and take himself to the emergency room....
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:12 PM   #13
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By the way, some of the newer doors have inter-sectional designs that limit your ability to get a finger or hand caught in them.
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:51 PM   #14
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This happened to my dad about 15 years ago. The spring snapped and he instinctively put his hand out as the door cam crashing down and he got his finger caught between the panels. No one else was home so he had to lift the door himself and take himself to the emergency room....
Ouch! I had my garage door replaced 3 years ago, and the installer told me about a job he did once where the homeowner met him with a cast on his arm. Turns out he stuck a screwdriver in the torsion spring to help hang the new door, and the screwdriver was still stuck into the 2X4 it hit when it flew across the garage. The homeowner fell off the ladder and broke his arm trying to get out of the way of the screwdriver missile..........
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Old 04-30-2008, 06:37 PM   #15
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Those Torsion springs are not to be messed with. Neighbor's snapped and his car looked like it had hail damage on the trunk
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Old 04-30-2008, 06:47 PM   #16
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The in-line springs (usually associated with single-piece garage doors) are dangerous, too. If you've got them in your garage, be sure they have the safety cable installed in the middle of them. If not, when they snap they are like missiles, they frequently pierce the garage ceiling/roof and go quite a distance skyward.

Basically, I guess it takes a lot of stored potential energy to be able to counterbalance a garage door.
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:23 PM   #17
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Oh yes, do not mess with the garage door springs. At all.

Also, do not mess with the torsion bars on a '69 plymouth with a really, really rusty frame.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:19 PM   #18
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I'll reiterate a few points made above:

1) Any garage door should be balanced - it should NOT drop fast when you close it manually. Your current springs are not doing the job.

2) The in-line type springs def need the safety cable threaded through them to keep them from flying if they do break. That is easy and cheap to do. And those in-line type can be replaced easily by the homeowner. I've done mine (they weakened, didn't break). No waiting for service, cheap (they have them at HD), easy (with the door all the way up, they have almost no force on them - just pull the cable to tighten).

I prefer the in-line for those reasons.

Torsion springs - for pros only.

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Old 04-30-2008, 10:09 PM   #19
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I had new torsion springs installed about 5 years ago after one snapped - (heavy wood 16' garage door)

the last few months my garage door opener won't work on open or close properly - if you continue to hold the button down it will eventually open (or close) after lots of stops & starts

I'm guessing the torsion springs slipped? Don't seem to -they've marks on them that are still lined up - but the door is heavy to lift up - why would this be a problem going down though?

Considering adjusting the torsion springs myself (I'm pretty handy - you should see the things I've taken on) I am aware of the danger factor there.

I've checked all the fasteners, tracks, screw drive opener seems to be OK - installed myself 8 years ago. Could be something else?

(I'm pretty darn cheap & have to determine something's really beyond my doing before I'll pay the "pro's" - just got done pulling the tilt/trim hydraulic unit off my outboard & replaced the motor for $85 -friend of mine had the same job done for $600 last year)
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:58 PM   #20
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Yeah definitely have the door installation done by the pros, Ours cost about 2000 for a high end extra wide model wyuth high R value a couple years back. The opener was about 250 or so, plus about 100 to install. I am very happy with the opener, it runs with a belt instead of a chain or screw type drive, and it is very quiet. This is important for me as I often leave before the rest of the family is awake on the weekends to do the shopping.

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