How to Replace a Garage Door for Fresh Curb Appeal

Switching out your garage door can be an at-home DIY project. These tips and tricks will guide you to success and keep you safe.

Give your home exterior a fresh look with a new garage door. While a damaged door is certainly a reason for replacement, a new garage door can also invigorate your home's appearance, add curb appeal, and even increase security. Plus, it's a project with a good return on investment: According to data from Zonda Media's 2021 Cost vs. Value report, homeowners can expect to recoup 94% of the cost of replacing a garage door when selling their home.

"Since 2010, garage door replacements have consistently ranked among the top five household renovation investments in the annual Cost vs. Value Report, keeping with the trend that exterior home remodeling projects provide better ROI over most interior renovations," says Christian Morrow, senior brand marketing manager for Overhead Door Brand.

Many garage door retailers and showrooms offer installation services, but with a little bit of know-how, the right tools, and attention to safety, homeowners can also complete this home improvement job themselves.

close up of a shingle house with blue garage door and side door
karamysh / Adobe Stock

What to Know Before Installing a Garage Door

Installing new garage door panels is intensive work and requires a great deal of caution and a partner or two to help assemble all the parts and bear the load.

"Even the lighter-weight garage doors can weigh hundreds of pounds, with an older garage door weighing as high as 450 pounds," says Morrow. "In addition, garage door spring systems are under extreme tension and can be dangerous to remove without the proper training and equipment. For these safety reasons, we recommend consulting with a reputable, experienced garage door installer."

Justin Evans, Clopay residential products director, says a professional installer can remove and install a door in a few hours, while DIYers should plan on dedicating 8 to 10 hours to completing the project.

When it comes to choosing a door, know that some types will be easier for DIYers to install than others. Michael Brickner, president of Precision Door Service, a Neighborly company, recommends looking for an easy wind system garage door.

Tips for Taking Good Garage Door Measurements

For homeowners tackling this project themselves, start by taking good measurements, which include measuring more than just the opening itself. Evans says to pay attention to these four spots.

Door Opening

Measure the width and height of the door opening in feet and inches to determine the garage door size you need.

Side Room

Measure the side room on the left and right of the door. Different types of doors require a minimum space on each side of the door for installing the vertical track. Consult the specs that come with your door to determine how much space you will need.


Measure the headroom, which is the distance between the top of the door opening and the garage ceiling. Ten to 12 inches is required for the spring installation. If you have limited headroom, special hardware is available, says Evans, but it is sold separately and must be ordered with the door.


Measure the backroom, which is the distance from the garage door opening to the back wall of the garage. Door height plus 18 inches is required.

How to Replace a Garage Door

Each situation will be different, depending on how your current garage door is installed and the mechanical design of your new door. But Morrow says professional installers tend to follow these steps for replacing a garage door.

What You Need

The tools needed to install a garage door will vary, depending on the type of door you are installing. Additional tools may be required for spring installation. Consult the information provided by your garage door's manufacturer for any additional items needed.

  • Work gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • "C" clamps or locking pliers
  • Hammer
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Socket set
  • Wrench set
  • Drill and bits
  • Staple gun
  • Sawzall
  • Winding bars
  • Cordless impact gun
  • Stepladder
  • Sawhorses to support the door sections while attaching hardware
  1. First, carefully release the tension from the springs, lower the old garage door, and remove the panels one-by-one. This process will vary slightly depending on if the door uses torsion springs (mounted on the header above the door) or extension springs (above the upper roller track).
  2. Next, disassemble the garage door operator, including the tracks, laser sensor and all the brackets holding the system in place.
  3. Replace and prepare the rough opening frame.
  4. To ensure a proper fit, level the door, trimming off the bottom of the panel until it is as flush to the concrete floor as possible.
  5. Install weatherstripping to complete the bottom panel, providing a weather-tight seal to protect the home's interior from the elements.
  6. Once the lower panel is ready, attach the hardware, including the corner brackets and hinges. Evan recommends topping sawhorses with non-abrasive carpet or thick towels to prevent scratches.
  7. Now the tracks and rollers are ready to be placed, with the rollers fitting neatly in the track and the track secured to the new garage door frame.
  8. Next, put together the tension rod assembly and attach the panels. Now the panels should slide smoothly down the track via the rollers.
  9. Once satisfied with the movement of the rollers on the track, fasten the tracks with screws.
  10. Position and install the end bearing to hold the tension rod, fasten all the hinges, and install the cable and springs.
  11. Finally, put together the operator support by attaching the rail of the operator to the bracket and mounting the motor.

Tips and Tricks to Keep in Mind

Throughout the process, take your time and follow the instructions carefully, says Brickner. He also recommends saving yourself transportation woes and having the garage door delivered to your home rather than trying to transport it in a pickup.

Evans says DIYers should watch videos from professionals and manufacturers. These videos will provide a better understanding of the project and any nuances specific to your door's system.

Above all, keep safety in mind. "There are lots of moving parts, heavy equipment, and dangerous circumstances that make a garage door an extremely difficult project for an inexperienced DIYer," says Morrow. "One of the most common challenges for garage door installation is maintaining proper safety precautions, which is why only experienced professionals should attempt this project."

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles