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Replaced Garage Doors Lately?
Old 08-24-2013, 08:25 PM   #1
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Replaced Garage Doors Lately?

Our garage has 2, wood garage doors that are the raised-panel, rolling (not tilting) kind, with fanlight windows which I like very much. They are in plain, square frames, which we just replaced with composite (AZAK) last year. The doors need replacement due to age and wear (the interior wood pieces are actually starting to crack). Just wondering if anyone has experience with getting garage doors replaced. We will not be doing the installation ourselves, even though we know some homeowners do.

The garage is side-entry, and the doors are not seen from the front of the house.

What material would you recommend - wood, steel, or some other material?

What would be a non-ripoff-price for door and installation? I realize labor costs can vary greatly, depending on where you live, but a few examples would be so helpful.

What should we be aware of when contracting to have the doors installed, and what to be aware of during installation?

Thanks for your help!

Amethyst
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:17 PM   #2
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I would recommend insulated steel doors. Personally, I would not have windows in the door. My garage does have windows.

The garage door sytem has three components:
1. The door
2. The track, spring and cable
3. The door opener

Most of the big box home improvement stores have doors, openers and installers. Overhead Door Company is a national company that does it all. There are many independent dealers. You will have to compare prices and products. If you purchase remote openers, I would recommend that you buy as many as you need. The new opener will have two and you can buy more. There's probably an APP for that.

I would recommend that you replace the spring in any case. A broken spring can spoil your whole day if it drops the door and/or you can't get your car out. Your trim appears to be white. The steel doors are white. Perhaps you can get by without painting.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:30 PM   #3
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I would recommend insulated steel doors. Personally, I would not have windows in the door. My garage does have windows.
Agreed. I have owned homes with both steel and wood doors, and repaired both (including winding the springs). Steel doors are much lighter, and thus easier on the springs and tracks. You can buy them insulated, or add insulated panel inserts, so they have better insulation than wood.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:06 AM   #4
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I bought a new steel door about 18 months ago and it cost about $1100 for door and opener. The house (we had just bought it) had previously had a pretty door with glass at the top similar to yours. We asked about replacing that and were told that the more decorative doors were much more expensive (I think over $2000 if I recall right).
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:50 AM   #5
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My only experience with this was replacing a similar but double size door (2-car garage) when we bought this house in 2004. Total cost including installation was $1,700. That was in Ohio, nine years ago, so that may give you a reference point.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:31 AM   #6
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Depending on the design, I would NOT mess with the spring itself, I'd leave that to a professional. Especially on a heavy wooden door, there is a lot of tension sprung into the spring to allow lifting.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:58 AM   #7
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Depending on the design, I would NOT mess with the spring itself, I'd leave that to a professional. Especially on a heavy wooden door, there is a lot of tension sprung into the spring to allow lifting.
I did a lot of research on springs (torsion type). The first time ours broke, I just "called the man", and they came and put new springs on. What I found out later was that springs are rated for a certain number of cycles (and then it will fail/break). Of course the springs rated for the low number of cycles are less expensive (and will also be more likely to drive future spring replacement business), so installers are likely to install this type of cheap spring.

After around five years, the "new" spring broke. I got on the internet and ordered a set of springs that was rated at a number of cycles that would outlive me. There were a little more expensive, but a slam-dunk decision if you include labor.

I installed them and wound them myself. I studied a lot before taking on the job, and had the right tools for the job (most problems occur because the novice is not using proper fitting bars to do the winding).

With respect to the OP's question, the old springs will probably work fine with the new door. But if the springs will be replaced, I'd ask the installer for spring options (a list with price and number of cycles). Installation should be the same, it's just, basically, how big the spring is (bigger lasts longer because it doesn't stress the metal so much...the same energy put into more metal).
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
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Just replaced two separate wood doors this May. Door options were: steel outside only, steel outside with insulation glued on, two side steel with insulation inside. We went with the insulated two side. We opted for no windows as that added significantly to cost. Our openers were only 3 years old so didn't need replacement. Tore down the old rails and put in new. Hauled away trash. Total cost $1700. The new doors are much lighter and much less strain on the rails. No springs on these. Had springs break twice before with the wood doors. Both times DW couldn't get to work because she couldn't lift the wood door. Very happy with the new doors. It only took them 3-4 hours for the whole job.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:48 PM   #9
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Thumbs Up to what Sengsational said above. Materials and door type are up to the individual, but definitely spring for (sorry) the highest quality springs you can afford. This is the part most likely to fail in the future, so this is not the place to skimp.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:03 PM   #10
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It's more important to check your existing spring rating (by its color code if applicable). If the spring is too strong comparing with door weight, the opener motor would have to work harder when door is closed. That might not be what you want.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:21 AM   #11
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My mom had a single bay garage door replaced last summer. We went with steel and no windows because it was less expensive. IIRC it cost her ~$750.
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