Monthly Archives: February 2013

Install Your Own Opener? Or Hire a Professional..?

Should I buy and install my own opener to save money? Or call a professional garage door repair technician?

There are many different brands of garage door openers, but at Complete Garage Door Service we only recommend two different brands. Linear and LiftMaster are the brands we offer based upon manufacturer’s warranty, company rapport, reliability, and quality.Complete Garage Door Service Opener Installed

If you shop around with the local building supply chains (Home Depot, Lowes) the openers they sell come in a box with a lot of assembly is required. For these supply chains, packaging takes precedence over quality.

The box store rails come in pieces rather than one long solid rail, which was the industry standard before the supply chains needed the entire opener to fit in one snug little box good for the drive home in a Ford Fiesta, but little else. Sectional rails are OK initially if the garage door is in good working order. As the torsion springs stretch and begin to lose their lifting power, it is the duty of the garage door opener to compensate for that to a limited extent. When the opener is forced to compensate, the rail will bow and flex, putting strain on the chain or belt drive.

As you might have guessed the sectional rail flexes a lot more than a solid rail the more your rail moves in ways it shouldn’t the harder it is on the opener sometime causing it to damage its self. This also affects how the opener reacts to coming into contact with an obstruction. Openers are designed to only put so much pressure on the down travel motion. If you have a multi-piece rail from the box store, it has more flexibility than the more rigid single piece rail. This flexibility cause the opener to exert more downward force before stopping a moving back up. This can cause more damage to the garage door opener motor, shortening its lifespan.

Why get the box store opener? Well for the obvious reason it is cheaper right? Maybe, but after factoring in installation, time spent attempting the install yourself, and potential for creating more problems with the door itself, the cost differences begin to dissipate. One of the most common mistakes I see from “do it yourself” home owners while installing their own openers is using the wrong force settings, the location of the rail, J-arm angle, lack of a support strut (which in the best case scenario causes undue stress on the top section of the door and the worst case it destroys the whole door). Many times new installers will make a series of minor mistakes leading to significant premature wear of the door and opener.

We have asked many homeowners if they would have rather called in a professional to install a garage door opener and a majority of the time, they would rather have called us first. Usually saving themselves money, as more repairs are often needed to fix the problems caused by a “handy-man” installation.

Give us a call, or visit our website, we are always happy to answer any questions you have!