By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Painting an old dented and nicked garage door is one upgrade that improves its appearance, but replacing an old door with a new one can turn heads in the neighborhood especially when the garage is at the front of the house and clearly visible. While you can hide a less than perfect garage door with your car parked in front of it, a new steel door is designed for years of daily use. When you shop, you’ll find a variety of styles and materials in today’s garage doors and find one to complement the architecture of your home that operates efficiently and effortlessly.
A garage door company will replace a standard two-car garage door for $1,009, which includes a good quality steel door and its installation. You can buy the door for $630 and install it yourself, pocketing 37 percent, but it’s a lot of work. If you have carpentry experience, figure it will take you a solid day of work, longer if you're a beginner. Sure, you can replace a garage door, but we don't think you should. This is a job best left to an installer who does it every day and who has the experience to get it right the first time. It's not assembling the door panels and installing them that's tricky; it's the springs that provide the lift that opens the door, which are best left to a pro.
Sound too complicated and time consuming? Here's a link to Home Advisor, a free referral service that matches homeowners with local contractors.
If you decide to do the job it requires having a helper to remove the old door, hold up and install the new track and hardware, and last, but not least, lift and position the new door sections in place.
To watch a video of what's involved click here www.thisoldhouse.com.
Safety Tip: Be careful handling the counterweight springs, which are under substantial tension, especially when the door is down.
The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to replace a garage door with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.