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How-To Windows & Doors
Hometime Logo Dean Johnson
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Trans 1) Basic Window Styles Trans
2) Window Glazing
3) Door Options
4) Installing and Replacing Doors
5) Fitting a Door Blank
6) Framing for a Window
7) Installing a Flanged Window
8) Replacement Window Insert Units
9) Skylights & Roof Windows
10) Garage Door Installation
  11) Glossary  

Garage Door Installation

Garage doors are available insulated and non-insulated. Insulated doors cost about 10% more, but are recommended for attached garages.

Torsion springs open and 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 may need to be handled by a professional.

Extension springs open and 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 easier and safer than tension springs.


Framing Jambs & Installing Panels

Installing garage door pannelLike windows and doors, installing a garage door begins with framing. An appropriate header and trimmer studs are needed to support the span of the garage door opening. The rough opening should be about 1-1/2" wider than the actual door to accommodate the jambs.

Top, side and back jambs fasten to the framing to complete the rough opening. Install the header jamb first. In some cases this takes two 2x6s or larger lumber. To span the length of the opening, header jamb joints can be mitered instead of butted.

Screw side jambs to the trimmers for the correct opening width. Install back jambs flush with the corner side jambs. The door brackets will mount to the back jambs, so make sure they are square.

Fasten the panel roller brackets to the panels and place the bottom panel in the threshold.

Check it for level and hold it in place with a toenail into the side jamb. Tack up the remaining panels and install the connecting hinges, handle and rollers.


Hanging Door Tracks

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 it 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 installed side track. After leveling, lag screw the rear track bracket to the nearest roof truss member. Add an additional angle bracket.

Repeat the leveling process on 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.

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 project.

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