Home and Garden

DIY Garage Door Repair vs Professional Repair: When to Call for Help

June 22, 2020

If your garage door refuses to open or close using the control buttons, it needs to be repaired. But some repairs need to be left to the pros.

In recent years, there has been a big upswing in homeowners tackling home renovation projects. Installing or improving a garage door is a common task many choose to take on to increase the curb appeal and functionality of their house.

A garage door is kind of a unique part of the home because some parts of it are simple and some are very complicated.

This is why DIY garage door repair should only be attempted in a few situations. Other than that, it’s better to hire a professional to make sure the job gets done correctly. We’ve broken down those scenarios for you to check against before you begin!

DIY Garage Door Repair You Can Do Yourself

It’s empowering to handle a repair job on your own, there really isn’t much that is more satisfying.

Not to mention all of the money-saving possibilities that come from not hiring someone else to do the work for you. But there is a risk that the project will cost you more in the end if you don’t handle it correctly.

It’s helpful to take a good, realistic look at your skills and abilities before taking on a big DIY project.

Can you follow directions? Are you patient enough to not rush through the process? Do you have the tools necessary to get the job done? Are you physically capable of handling the repairs? All of these things should be considered before you begin.

The good news is, there are many DIY garage repairs that can easily be done by most people.

Frame Damage

Most garage doors have wood trim around the opening, this closes the gap between the wall and the door frame. The frame around the exterior is usually more decorative to match the design.

This wood trim can get damaged over time, either from a major incident or just from regular wear and tear over time.

Most of the time this damage will look like little holes, cracks, or chips. Those can easily be filled with wood filler, sanded down even, and then painted to match. Occasionally a space of trim may need to be replaced, but even that can be handled by a novice DIYer.

One can easily figure out how to fix a frame garage door and save themselves money by handling those repairs on their own.

Checking for damage to the frame regularly can help to keep the damage at a minimum level that you can handle on your own.

Loose Hardware

A garage door has many moving parts and those parts are connected together by screws and other hardware.

Sometimes after repeated use, these pieces of hardware loosen up a little bit. This usually isn’t a problem initially, just causing some shakiness or squeaking. But if things aren’t tightened back up it could lead to major problems you might not be able to handle on your own.

Tightening the screws really only requires the right tools and very little skill. The key is to make sure you have just the right size screwdriver and to not go too far in tightening.

Dead Batteries

One of the most common garage door problems is that the remote doesn’t work to open the door.

Not only is it one of the most common, but it’s also one of the most frustrating problems. The whole point of a garage door opener is to be able to easily open it at the click of a button. When that doesn’t work it takes a lot of the functionality out of a garage.

Luckily, this is usually the easiest fix; changing the battery! Anyone can handle that level of DIY!

Paint Upgrade

There might come a time when you need to repaint your garage door. Either because the paint has now has become old and is chipping or just because you want a different look.

This type of repair project does require a little more skill than some of the other garage door projects. But most will be able to handle it.

The key to success in this project is to prep the area completely so the actual painting process can move smoothly and get a beautiful result. That kind of prep includes fully cleaning the area, taping off the areas you’re not painting, and getting the right type of paint.

Garage Door Repair You Need a Professional For

It’s really great when you can handle a garage door DIY and get the results you’re looking for. But for those times when you’re not sure if you can get the job done on your own, it’s best to call in a professional.

Most handyman services cover garage door repairs and there are plenty of garage door companies that offer repairs as well.

Your garage door is a very important tool for your everyday life. An average garage door opens more than 1,500 times every year. Think of how inconvenient that could be if you broke the door even more attempting a repair.

If you’re on the fence about your abilities, hire a professional!

Initial Installation

The initial installation of a garage door should be handled by someone with experience. It’s really important that the door is hung straight and evenly, to begin with.

If the installation is off at all then the door won’t be able to open properly and you’ll run into major problems. But a trained professional will know how to hang it the right way so that nothing will be out of sync.

There is also a lot of mechanical parts involved in a garage door. Setting each of those up to work right and together can be a little tricky.

Getting everything set up just right in the beginning helps to increase the life of your garage door. If you use a professional service, they also often offer a guarantee of their work as well. This will give you the confidence you need when starting out.

Spring Issues

A critical part of a garage door’s ability to automatically open is the spring. This part is usually pretty reliable and doesn’t have many issues.

Occasionally the spring will get worn out and needs repairs. Garage door spring repair is usually a job you’ll want to leave to the pros. The spring can actually be dangerous to repair and can catch fingers easily.

You’ll know you need to call in the repair service for the spring if the door seems to be having more difficulty opening than normal. This could look like it going slower, coming up unevenly, or its jerking and not running smoothly.

When this happens a repairman will be able to fix the problem and get your door running again soon!

Full Replacement 

Sometimes there’s just no fixing a garage door (hopefully not because you’ve messed up an attempted DIY repair!).

If you need a complete replacement of either the whole system or a specific mechanism, it’s best to treat that as an initial install and use a professional. When you’ve seen a garage door install before, you may be tempted to handle it yourself.

The pieces are heavy and have to be installed with exact precision. This isn’t a skill that most people have. And that isn’t taking into account the tools needed to make sure everything is calibrated correctly either.

It’s in everyone’s best interest to get the job done right the first time by using a certified professional.

Importance of Getting Your Garage Door Fixed 

The garage door is a sometimes overlooked aspect of your house. We rely on it so much every day that it’s easy to take it for granted.

There are many problems with a broken garage door. But the main one is the security level if it won’t close all the way. This will leave your garage vulnerable to intruders and theft. That vulnerability extends beyond the garage to your house. Especially since most house doors from the garage aren’t designed to be as secure as an exterior door.

You’ll also be in major trouble if your garage door won’t open and your car is inside!

That’s a real nightmare situation. Even if you don’t keep your car in the garage, it being stuck closed isn’t helpful in accessing what you do store inside.

A broken garage door is a real safety hazard. These are big pieces of machinery and shouldn’t be handled carelessly. The problems should be addressed quickly to decrease the opportunities and chances for injury.

Get Your Garage Door Fixed

A garage door is used multiple times a day. It’s a modern convenience that makes a big difference in the productivity and efficiency of daily living.

Keeping up on maintenance and repairs will help you to keep your garage door in working order. Some DIY garage door projects are easy to handle and put off the need of using a professional.

But when a professional is needed, it’s money well-spent to get everything back working correctly.

If you’re the DIY-type, check out our other articles for inspiration and ideas!

DIY Garage Door Repair vs Professional Repair: When to Call for Help was last modified: by

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