Garage Doors

garage-door-torsion-springs-pic1Most homeowners should not attempt to adjust or replace 'Garage Door Torsion Springs'. The problem is that they have to be worked on when the door is down and the springs are under tension. When you release the set screw you have to have a rod in place and be holding it to control the force of the spring. Replacing garage door springs of this type is not recommended for the average homeowner.

 WARNING!! Torsion Springs can be VERY DANGEROUS, Precautions and thorough knowledge are REQUIRED!!! Do not attempt this repair without the proper skills.

There are those die hard do it yourself pros that insist on doing everything themselves. Are you one of those? Well then you should check further online for instructions on replacing garage door springs. Look for torsion springs. Clopay a manufacturer of residential garage doors has some instructions that may apply to your situation , Follow this link to check it out. There is another article that gives you and in depth discussion of this type of spring. The article provides installation instructions for springs and adjustment information, follow this link, to review the article.

I have been in construction most of my life and I personally know a few garage door installers. I have worked on garage door torsion springs and I must confess that it made me nervous. I will not relate some of the horror stories, however, I will say that people have been seriously hurt, messing around with this type of spring.

Hiring a Serviceman for Garage Door Torsion Springs

Before you call a garage door serviceman, write down exactly what the door is doing. Verify by examining them that the springs are broken. Springs either work or the don't, there is not much in between. Write down the width and height of your door and the type of door you have. Ask for a quote over the phone for a cost on replacing both springs. Make sure you specify both. Sometimes they will try to quote you for one spring and want to charge you double when they show up. Replacing garage door springs gets expensive when your taken advantage of.

Call at least three places and try to make sure they are actually different places. Get quotes from all three. If they won't quote it over the phone, call someone else. A door that works, but does not close all the way does not need to be replaced. Make up your mind that you are not buying a new door. You have established that one of the springs is broken. You need to replace them both. You should be able to get them replaced for $150 to $200 unless you have an unusually large door.

Torsion springs have cycle ratings. The minimum is 10,000 with the highest being 100,000. Ask about the cycles and get the longer lasting ones if you can. You will need to weigh the cost of better quality springs and decide if you want to spend the extra money. It should not be a lot more. The labor is the same so it is just the cost of the springs. You don't want to be replacing garage door springs any time soon.

installing-extension-springs-pic1Installing extension springs will be easier if you were able to keep the cable threaded and hanging to the side? Yes, well now you may need to get someone to give you a hand. One person to hold the spring and another to lift and hold the cable assembly. Attach the spring to the hook or clip at the hanger bracket and then lift the spring and the cables up to meet each other.

For related information, see the articles 'Troubleshooting Garage Door Problems' and 'Fixing Garaged Door Openers'.

Carefully put the clevis on the end of the spring and bolt the clevis to the pulley. Do you have to stretch the spring to get them to connect? You may have to move the hook that holds the cable on the bracket back a notch or two. The Spring should be completely relaxed when the door is up all the way. Repeat this process for the other spring.

Installing Extension Springs - The Safety Cable

Next you need to install the safety cable. You may have gotten a new set of these with your springs. The safety cable attaches to the bracket at the door head, probably through a hook and cable clamp. There may be a guide hole on the clevis. Thread the cable through the guide hole and then through the spring. The cable then attaches to the hanging bracket at the end of the track. It does not need to be tight just snug so it does not tangle. Repeat this process for the other spring. When you get this far, you're almost done replacing garage door springs.

installing-extension-springs-pic2With both springs installed you can release the clamps and slowly lower the door. Make sure the pulleys and cables are moving in the right way and do not jump off one or both of the pulleys. Try the door a couple of times. Is it working? Great you are done replacing garage door springs. Is it working but needs adjusting? See the article 'Adjusting Garage Door Springs' for instructions. Did the cables pop off and need to be re-threaded? Then read on, hopefully you took those pictures. Replacing garage door springs is easier with pictures.

Threading the Cable

installing-extension-springs-pic4If the cabling pulled off and needs threading follow these steps. It is still a good idea to get help. Someone to hold the spring until everything is threaded. First attach the clevis and the pulley to one end of the spring. Use the bolt you took out and two wrenches to tighten it up. Next you will want to attach the one end of the spring to the hook on the hanging bracket. If you had a hook or a bracket you should have been able to leave it in place.

installing-extension-springs-pic4Have your partner hold the spring in its approximate location. There is a loop on the end of the cable that hooks to the pin on the bottom of the garage door. The cable next goes to the pulley that is attached to the bracket on the wall. The cable threads to the inside of the pulley. Look at the pictures. The new box for the springs should have a generic diagram. Pictures of your installation would be better. The cable now goes around the pulley at the end of the spring, through the clevis. Next it attaches to the hook at the bracket that is attached to the overhead track. The hook location may need to be adjusted. Don't give up your almost done replacing garage door springs.


You may have had to loosen the clamp on the cable at the hook. Tighten the cable back up and set the hook so that the spring is elevated, but not in tension. Install the safety cables (go back four paragraphs, too much repetition). Repeat the process for the other spring. With everything hooked up carefully lower the door and watch that the cables are staying in place. Does the door close? Yes, good job, now you are done replacing garage door springs. Take a look at Adjusting Garage Door Springs, if your door needs adjustment (the link is three paragraphs back). ,if the door is not closing quite right.

replacing-garage-door-springs-pic1Replacing Garage Door Springs is the only option when the springs break. There are two types of springs on garage doors.

Extension springs are the ones that run alongside the overhead door track and have a pulley and cable attached to them. Torsion springs are mounted over the door and a long round shaft goes through them, with a wheel for the cable on each end. Torsion springs are generally used for larger heavier doors, usually 10' or greater in width.

Without the springs the door is very difficult to lift. If you are here you have determined that you have a broken spring. A broken spring cannot be repaired, it must be replaced. Extension springs could be replaced by a homeowner. Do they just need adjustment? See the article 'Adjusting Garage Door Springs'.

Torsion springs should not be attempted unless you have a good understanding of how they work, feel comfortable doing them and have taken safety precautions. Read on to find out if replacing garage door springs is something you want to tackle.

Replacing Garage Door Springs - Information

What Can You Save?

Replacing the springs is a $150 to $200 job. If you decide to do it yourself you will spend between $30 and $50 for the parts. You could save between $120 and $150 if you do it yourself. An added danger is that the repairman may take the opportunity to try and sell you a new door. They can be quite convincing, when they are done you wonder how you survived this long with you outdated, cheaply made and poorly installed door. I suppose it is true sometimes. A new door could run into the thousands of dollars. Do you really hate your current door? No, well then just fix it yourself or have it repaired.

How Hard Could It Be?

The difficulty level of replacing garage door springs, varies with the type. Extension springs are challenging to replace. Torsion springs are dangerous and should only be attempted by those that have a good knowledge of how they work.

These repairs will have a Difficulty Range of: Clearly This is Work
These repairs require a Skill Level of: Determined Handyman

For and explanation of the terms in this section, see 'How to Use This Site'.

Check the Simple Things!

I wish there was something simple. Either the spring is broken or it is not. If it is broken you have to replace it.

What Can Go Wrong?

With a broken spring your door won't work. You're already in kind of a pickle. The cables for a garage door extension spring can get a little tricky. You may struggle to get them hooked up. Worst case you may not finish the job in an evening. Take a breath and walk away if you get frustrated.

Garage Door Springs - Safety Concerns

garage-door-spring-replacement-pic1DIY Garage Door Spring Replacement requires above average mechanical skills. There are cables, rollers and tracks to deal with. The springs need to be unhooked from the door prior to replacement. This means the entire weight of the door will have to be dealt with. Safety concerns are very real.

The other issue is getting the right springs. You will need several pieces of information before ordering new springs. Getting the weight of the door might be difficult and could involve actually weighing the garage door, see 'Purchasing Garage Door Springs'.

A reputable firm will take care of your garage door spring replacement project for a few hundred dollars. You will not be able to save that entire amount, even if you do the work yourself. You will still have to buy the springs.

 If you do attempt this repair, make sure you are thoroughly familiar with all that is involved. Take adequate safety precautions and be very careful.

WARNING!! Garage Doors can be VERY HEAVY! Take Safety Precautions and get help before you attempt to lower a door that is not hooked to the springs!!!


This is where I tell you to think about hiring this job out. The door is dangerous, the cables can be tricky and the job could take you several hours. You should be able to find someone to replace them for about $150 to $250. Don't think it is worth it? Read the next couple of paragraphs for some tips on calling a serviceman.

Hiring a Repairman to Fix Garage Door Springs

hiring-a-garage-door-repairman-pic1Before you think about 'Hiring a Garage Door Repairman', write down the size and type of door that you have. Verify by examining them that the springs are broken. Springs either work or they don't, there is not much in between. Ask for a quote over the phone for a cost on replacing both extension springs. Make sure you specify both. Sometimes they will try to quote you for one spring and want to charge you double when they show up.

It is always best to replace both springs. Garage door springs are rated for a certain number of cycles. When one breaks the other one won't be far behind.

Call at least three places and try to make sure they are actually different places. Get quotes from all three. Try to get quotes over the phone, even if they are a range of costs. You want to avoid the 'hard sell' of a salesman. Remember, a door that worked before the spring broke does not need to be replaced.

Make up your mind that you are not buying a new door. Get the best price you can for replacing garage door springs. Make up your mind not to be up sold when they come out. I say this as a warning, there are many honest and reputable firms out there. Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference over the phone. Do your friends know anyone? Just an idea.

Hiring a garage door repairman is a good choice if you don't want to tackle a big job like fixing a garage door. Just make sure you only pay for what you need.

Purchasing Garage Door Springs

The following instructions are for 'Purchasing Garage Door Springs' that are the overhead type for smaller doors. These are commonly called 'Extension Springs'. See the article 'Garage Door Torsion Springs' for information on torsion springs. Extension springs are the ones that run alongside and above the tracks. Generally, extension springs are used for smaller doors, 8' or 9' in size.

You are going to need three pieces of information before you purchase your new springs. (1) The size of the gapurchasing-garage-door-springs-pic1rage door, 'Width' x 'Height'. (2) The weight of the door. (3) The length of the old springs.

Use a tape measure to get the width and height of your door. It should be a nominal size such as, 8' 0" Wide X 7' 0" High. The length of the spring needs to be taken when the door is up or the spring is relaxed. Measuring the sum of the two pieces of broken spring will also work.

Getting the weight may be more of a challenge. Many doors will not have the weight on it. You might be able to find the weight on the ID Tag for the door. Another option would be to look the weight of the door up online. To do this you will need to know the manufacturer, model number and style of the door. Use this information to search the Internet for the correct weight.

Purchasing Garage Door Springs - Getting the Door Weight

For doors without an ID Tag, you will need to weigh the door. You can use a common analog bathroom scale for this exercise. You will need one or two short 2" x 4" pieces of lumber to place on the scale.

When one spring is broken, place the scale under the corner of the door on the side with the broken spring. This will give you one half of the door weight. Multiply by two to get the correct weight. If both spring are broken you can place the scale in the center of the door. You may need some help lifting the door. The springs do most of the real work in lifting a garage door. Without them, the doors are heavy.

With the above information in hand, you can get your replacement springs. You can get garage door extension springs from most home supply stores. They come in sets and don't even consider replacing one of them. When one breaks the other is not far behind. Get springs that are the closest to your garage door weight. You can also get them over the Internet. This takes a little longer, but may save you a few dollars. Purchasing garage door springs is not that difficult once you know the weight of your door.

Removing Broken Springs

removing-garage-door-springs-pic1To start 'Removing Broken Garage Door Springs', raise the door as far up as you can and install vice grips or C clamps in the track. You don't want the door coming down while you are working on it. Try tugging on the door to make sure the clamps are tight. With door in the up position the tension in the spring is relaxed and it is safe to work on.

Before you start take a good look at how the cables are threaded and connected. In fact, do you have a digital camera? Take some pictures, you may thank yourself later. Replacing garage door springs is easier if you can look at how they were.

removing-broken-garage-door-springs-pic2Next you will have to remove the safety cable. This cable is there so that the spring will not hurt anyone when it breaks. Remove the cable at the metal hanger near the end of the door track. There should be some type of eye bolt. The cable should have a clamp on it that can be loosened to give some slack in the cable. Pull the cable out of the spring and let it hang neatly off to the side until you are ready to re-install it. Remove the half of the spring that is connected to the eye bolt at the hanger.

The other half of the spring is connected to the pulley via a metal clevis. You will have to use wrenches to unbolt the clevis from the pulley. Hold the pulley in place and put some tape around it to secure it to the cable. Lower the cable down and let it hang in a safe place. By now you should have a new set of springs to install. Replacing garage door springs is pretty hard if you don't get the new ones.


In this series of articles we discussed all of the issues and steps that would be involved garage door spring replacement. This 'Summary' will give you a quick review of what was discussed. In addition, links are provided take you back to articles that you want review again or that you missed.

Hopefully you have been successful in getting your problem taken care of. Either you hired someone to take care of it or you replaced your extension springs yourself.

overhead-garage-door-repair-pic1Overhead garage door repair, can you develop the skills you need? Garage doors are the biggest heaviest doors in any home. No surprise that they often need attention.

See the descriptions below for all the topics or take a quick jump here:

'Adjusting a Garage Door', 'Garage Door Spring Repair', 'Garage Door Opener Problems', 'Weatherstripping for Garage Doors', 'Garage Door Hinges', 'Garage Door Rollers'. Follow these links for more information and instructions.

They also have the most moving parts. Parts can wear out or break, things can get out of alignment. All it takes is one item that is not working and the whole door can be rendered useless.

The garage door springs do the heavy lifting. When the door is down they are stretched. When you lift the door, the springs recoil and lift the weight of the door for you. The door follows tracks and uses rollers to stay in place. The moving parts need to be lubricated and and the tracks need to stay in alignment. There are also hinges that hold the panels together. If any of these items fail, you will need to make an overhead garage door repair. You can get the know how, to repair garage doors without too much difficulty. Read on.

Overhead Garage Door Repair - Finding Help

Below you will find some common problems that you might encounter with your garage door. There is a brief description and a link that will lead you to additional information on garage doors and the related repair issues. Our evaluation sections of the pages will help you to decide if you want to make the repair. The "What Can You Save?"and "How Hard Could It Be?" sections give you a quick overview of the repair. After you have reviewed this section, you can decide if it makes sense for you to attempt your own 'Overhead Garage Door Repair'.

Garage Door ComponentsThe "Check the Simple Things First" section will clue you in to easy fixes to check for. Garage doors, like other household items have simple things that break or quit working properly. Many times something easy will eliminate a problem without the aggravation of an involved repair. In an effort to warn you about what you are in for, there is the "What Can Go Wrong" section. Forewarned is forearmed as they say. Knowing what to watch out for is always helpful.

Overhead Garage Door Repair Topics

Below you will find brief descriptions of the issues you may have run into. Click the link for the related article to find out more information.

Garage Door Spring Repair

The springs are the workhorse of your garage door. Over time, metal fatigue can cause them to break. With a broken spring the door is very difficult if not impossible to lift. For broken springs you will need to replace them. See 'Replacing Garage Door Springs', for more information.

The quality of the springs can vary and the difficulty level changes with the type. You may not want to tackle this repair, but understanding what you will need will allow you to hire someone at a reasonable cost.

Your garage door spring problem might be an adjustment issue. It could be very simple. Take a look at 'Adjusting Garage Door Springs' for more information.

Adjusting a Garage Door

When the door is out of alignment it can bind and not work correctly. Adjusting the garage door may be an inexpensive solution to your problem.

Before you call the repairman, find out if an adjustment is all you need.Find out what you can to adjust the door without doing a complete overhaul.

Repairing Garage Door Rollers

The garage door rollers allow the door to move up and down in the track. They can break or seize up. You can either lubricate them or replace them as needed. Replacing them is not that hard, they are less than five dollars. Ten minutes and you're done.

Use this link to find out everything you could possibly want to know about garage door rollers. There is really not that much to know, but it sounds good.

Repairing Garage Door Hinges

The garage door hinges are used to allow the door panels to move independently of each other. On the sides of the door, they have a sleeve for the rollers built into them. Hinges can rust, seize up or break. This is also an inexpensive and simple repair.

Learn the secrets about garage door hinges that have been passed down through the centuries via a secret code. No, not really, they are pretty easy click the link above for more information.

Garage Door Opener Problems

With a garage door opener, you have no lifting at all, just push a button. It does not eliminate the need for springs. It has moving parts and is also an electrical device.

A garage door opener is one of those things that can have some simple problems that cause it not to work. Check out the simple repairs first. Find out what repairs are practical to make by clicking the link above.

Repairing Garage Door Weatherstripping


For an attached garage you want to keep out both cold and heat. The garage door is a big opening. The weatherstripping will cut down on the air leaks and save you money on fuel. Click the link above and check out this topic.

Overhead Garage Door Repair - Finding Help

We have attempted to provide you with links to the information that you need. Hopefully after examining the specific topics you were able to determine if you want to make your own overhead garage door repair. Many of the repairs are practical for the average homeowner.

Garage Door Weatherstripping Pic1Garage door weatherstripping keeps the cold and heat out of your garage. There are two types you might have to deal with:

Not sure if you are in the right place? See the article, 'Troubleshooting Garage Door Problems' for more information.

The garage door pulls away from the jamb as it opens. It needs something to snug up to when it closes. Additionally, the bottom of the garage door is resting a floor that may not be perfect. There is another seal along the bottom of the door that keeps the air out. In the middle of winter it can be very cold air.

Take a little time and fix up your garage door weatherstripping. It's not that hard and it will save you money.

Garage Door Weatherstripping - Information

What Can You Save?

This is not a difficult job for a service man. Completely replacing the weatherstripping for your garage door could involve $50 to $75 in material. Add to that another $50 to $75 in labor. In this case you will mostly just save the labor. You will need to buy the replacement material when you do it yourself.

How Hard Could It Be?

Working with garage door weatherstripping is not that difficult.

These repairs will have a Difficulty Level of: A Bit of Work
These repairs require a Skill Level of: Handyman

Check the Simple Things!

Weatherstripping is simple. For garage doors, it is not adjustable. When it goes bad, you just have to replace it.

What Can Go Wrong?

Not getting the job done could leave you with a door that leaks a lot more air than it did before. The door will still work, but your heating bills will go up.

Replacing Top and Side Weatherstripping

Replace Top and Side Weatherstripping Pic1Replace top and side weatherstripping on a garage door when you notice gaps or air leaking in. Replacing the top and side weatherstripping keeps cold or hot air from blowing in around the edges of the door.

Even if the garage is not conditioned, it still makes sense to conserve as much heat or cooling as possible.

Over time the key feature of the weatherstripping may dry out, become damaged or be missing. When this happens it is best to replace the entire piece of trim. Use a flat pry bar to carefully remove the damaged section of trim.

Pull out the nails and clean up the surface. Obtain a new piece of trim. Get vinyl, no painting. You will need to use a miter box to cut it to length.

Close the door and make sure the new piece fits snugly against the door. Mark it with a pencil. The old trim may have been a different size and using the old line may not work. Use galvanized finish nails or plated screws to install it. With the new piece of trim in place, check the operation of the garage door. Does it fit against the weatherstrip when it is closed? Yes, well, good, you're done.

Replacing the Bottom Garage Door Boot

garage-door-weatherstripping-link1Replacing the bottom boot on your garage door is needed when you see light under your door. Cold or hot air blowing in below your door is also a sign of a defective weatherstripping boot.

Two situations here. You should have an aluminum track that the rubber boot slides in and out of. Common widths for garage doors are 8', 9', 10', 12', 16' and 18'. Measure your door to get the proper length.

Working on the boot is probably best done with the door up. Slide the old boot out and take a piece with you to obtain a replacement. Slide it in place and trim off the excess. It may take a little patience to slide the boot into place, take your time, it will be fine.

Older doors may have the rubber boot screwed directly into the door. If this is the case you will want to obtain a kit that has a track and new boot. Raise the door to work on the boot. Remove the old boot and clean up the bottom of the door.

Obtain a replacement kit for your width of door. Use the screws provided to fasten the track to the bottom of the door. Slide the new boot into place and trim it with a utility knife. That's all there is to it.


Repairing garage door weatherstripping usually means replacing it. Sorry, nothing lasts forever. Granite lasts a long time, still not forever. Your weatherstripping is not in the same league as granite, sorry. It is not too difficult and we hope you were successful.

The parts for this job are a little expensive, but well worth it when weighed against your heating bills. You may be thinking that you are not heating your garage. When it is attached to your house it is a transitional zone. That cold air matters.


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