Installing a Garage Door
Garage doors can be classified in two styles:
Sectional: multiple panels that roll open/closed on tracks, most popular
Trackless: one-panel, tilt open/closed using hinges, opens out and up
Doors are also available as insulated or non-insulated. Insulated doors cost about 10% more, but are recommended for attached garages.
Torsion springs open/close the door by a twisting action. The springs are torqued and anchored to a bar running through the spring(s). Torsion springs are installed under high tension and need to be handled by a professional.
Extension springs open/close the door with a stretching action. Extension springs are located on each door side above the top tracks.
Extension springs should also be respected, but can be installed by do-it-yourselfers.
Installing a Sectional Garage Door
The first installation step begins with properly framing a rough opening. If you haven't framed for the garage door yet, or need to review, see Garage Door Framing.
Installing Garage Door Panels & Tracks
Fasten the door panel roller brackets and place the bottom panel in the threshold. Check it for level and wedge it in place by toenailing to the side jamb.
Tack up the remaining panels, install the connecting hinges, handle and rollers.
Assemble the side roller tracks. Fit a track over the rollers on one side. Use a 3/4" spacer block between the track and door while tacking the track in place. Once the side track is correctly spaced, fasten it permanently to the back jamb with lag screws. Repeat the process on the other side.
Bolt the top track piece to the side track. After leveling, lag screw the rear track bracket to the nearest roof truss member. Add an additional angle bracket. Level the other side, but don't add the extra bracket, yet. Adjusting one track may be necessary.
Now, check the gap of the top tracks. You'll need to lift the door up about 4', so get a couple partners to help. Once the door is up, clamp a locking-pliers on the track to keep the door in place. Again, check the gap with a 3/4" block. If there's a variance over 1/8", correct the top track.
After the top track is aligned, add the additional rear support bracket.
Connecting Springs & Hardware
Connect the extension springs to the rear bracket. Mount the front brackets that support the pulleys and cables.
Fasten cables to the bottom door hardware (cable anchor) and feed it through the bracket pulley, clevis pulley (attaches to spring) and fasten them to the front brackets. Each cable should have about 2" to 4" of slack.
Fish safety cables through the springs and attach them to the front and rear brackets.
Adjusting the Door
If you're not installing a garage door opener, install the closer hardware and latch plates.
With or without an opener, then adjust the top (roller) hinges to tighten the door to the frame.
If the door closes too hard, or not at all, adjust the cable on the front bracket. Moving the cable closer to the spring will lessen its tension.
Once the tension is correct, install the outside door stops to complete the framing.