Can You Measure Up to a New Garage Door?

Do you need to install a new garage door to replace the old one? Twenty years is the recommended life span in the industry for an automatic garage door.

Unless you are a DYI standout, just removing the old door may take you to the limits of your patience. For starters, you’ll have to relieve the tension in the torsion spring, which means securing the spring in its shaft. Don’t forget to jam something between the top of the door and the frame when it’s all the way down.

Then you’ll need to secure the winding cone to methodically start releasing the tension. Using a steel rod to keep the cone stable, you loosen the set screws holding the cone and then, relying on your exemplary manual dexterity, you wield two rods. One exerts continual pressure to hold it in place and the other, inserted in one of the holes of the winding cone, loosens the spring a quarter turn at the time. Keep alternating.Image result for Can You Measure Up to a New Garage Door?

If all goes well, you’re ready to remove the door and disconnect the existing opener. There are hinges to remove, as well as the tracks along the door frame. Tracks are painfully resistant to extraction because of the hardcore hardware, including bolts, used to secure it for years of operation.

Or… you can go to a professional who sells and installs new doors. Most will give free quotes. That means it’s not costing you anything to figure out how much the whole thing is going to cost.

And here, courtesy of Hathazi Garage Doors of Cream Ridge, NJ, is the line you should be looking for in that free quote: “Remove and haul away the existing door, track, and hardware…”

So what can you do before you set out in quest of your purveyor and installer of a new garage door?

You only need to know how to use a tape measure. The size of the garage door you’ll need should be the same dimensions as the rough opening.

Here’s how to get the numbers you should take to the dealer if you want a head’s up on what door you can afford:

  • measure the width and height of the opening or the dimensions of the existing door;
  • measure the space between the top of the door opening and the ceiling, known as the headroom. Standard installation requires between 10 and 14 inches depending on you’re unit;
  • measure space on the side of each door for the vertical tracks and springs. You’ll need at least 3.75 inches, and finally
  • measure the backroom, or distance from the door opening to the back wall.


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