Not So Much Do-It-Yourself Garage Door Repair
A typical garage door repair can cost from as low as $100 to almost $500, but it usually falls in the $250 range. You might be surveying a broken garage door, scratching your head, and thinking, “Why not just save the money and fix it myself?” Well, let’s look at a few common issues and determine if this is a wise course of action.
A crooked garage door is rather easily fixed. It is usually a result of one of the door cables coming off the drum. To fix this, however, you need a cable puller. You attach this device to the cable on the good side of the door and crank it until there is a little slack on the bottom. Then, reset the other cable in the drum and go back to release the cable puller and come along from the other side. The issue with this type of garage door repair is that unless you do this for a living, the odds of you having these specific tools in your toolbox are slim. A cable puller costs around $100 and, unfortunately, has no other practical household uses like a wrench or screw gun. My advice: call a professional.
A noisy garage door is indicative of steel rollers moving inside metal brackets. This is also an easy fix, for the most part. These steel rollers can be replaced with quieter nylon rollers that offer similar durability. The middle garage door hinges can be taken off one at a time, being held by four screws. Once off, the steel roller slides right out of one hole – but be aware that the other hole is for pivoting. Slide the nylon roller in and replace the hinge. The roller on the top of a garage door is usually held with a quarter-inch nut and comes off just as easily. The tricky part is the bottom roller. After detaching the garage door opener for safety, you need to raise the door about halfway to where the upper and lower brackets meet, bend the bracket to free the bottom of the door, detach the rope from the roller, and then pry it out. This can be rather cumbersome for your average DIY-er. If you’re up to the challenge, it can be done, or you can live with just one noisy roller on either side. Alternatively, you can call a pro.
The simplest and most common problem is with the garage door opener. The first thing to check, as obvious as it may be, is to see if it’s plugged in. If it is, you might try unplugging it and replugging it, as this may reset the sensors. Also, the sensors on the sides of the doors may have dusty lenses that can be wiped with a damp rag. Another overlooked solution is to check the batteries in the remote. You may need to reprogram the remote, which may mean tracking down the owner’s manual. Beyond that, pick up the phone and contact a professional.
Garage door repair, for the most part, goes well beyond the skill involved in changing a light bulb. Many videos online offer tutorials in fixing common issues, but between tools, time, and cost, there’s a reason for the yellow pages.