How to Install a Garage Door
Fix Garage DoorWhen i bought my house several years ago it came with this old 1/2 horse power Sears garage door opener. It worked, sort of. The remote control was the biggest problem, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. For some reason whenever it got cold outside the garage door remote wouldn't work. The other big problem with the opener was that it was made before the days where little kids getting crushed was a concern. There were no safety sensors and when you pressed the button to shut the door, it shut. It didn't stop for anything. After installing my new opener i realized that there might have been an adjuster knob but i'm not sure there was one. The final thing wrong with the old opener was that it was loud. I tried spraying WD-40 on the gears and chain but when it was running the whole garage used to shake. This is what the old garage door opener looked like.
So whether your garage door opener is broken or old, a new opener will make a big difference. Here's pictures and steps of how i installed my new garage door opener. First i had to lower the old garage door opener from the ceiling brackets. The Sears opener was really heavy. Though i'm not saying that it was a bad thing. Back then everything was made out of steel, which is why it lasted this long. I'd be surprised if my new opener lasted as long.
I had to climb up and remove 2 bolts, then lowered the opener onto a ladder. After unhooking all the wires i then i went to the other end near the door and removed the cotter pin.
Craftsman Garage DoorAfter reading lots of reviews I decided to buy a Craftsman 1/2 hp, chain drive, garage door opener. It was a good combination of value and reliability, costing less than $145. It came with 2 remote openers, an outside keypad, a wired button to open and turn on the lights and infrared safety sensors.
Here's what the Craftsman opener looked like.
Another company i was looking at was Chamberlain, but their garage door openers seemed to be more cheaply made. More expensive openers used a belt drive and had battery backup. They usually cost more than $250. The belt drive is suppose to be quieter, for people who have rooms above their garages. Typically if you live in an apartment or condo type of house. I was never that bothered by the noise so i didn't need the belt drive. I guess the battery backup must be for the rare occasion when you don't have any power but need to get your car in or out of the garage. You could always just pull the cord and manually open the door though. So that's another thing i didn't need.
The garage door motors also come in 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 horse power but for the size of my door i just got the 1/2 hp motor. I figured it would work since that's what i already had. The new opener was about half the size and also half the weight as the old Sears opener.
This is what it looked like when it was all assembled. I have to say that when i opened up the box it looked very daunting. I was worried that i wouldn't be able to put it together correctly, but it turned out to be much easier then i thought. Just connect the arm to the opener, then attach and correctly tighten the chain.
How to Install a Garage Door OpenerOne big advantage i had was that this was not a brand new garage door install. All of the brackets and holes were already in the right place. So all i had to do was remove the old hardware and install the new ones. Otherwise i would have had to do a lot more measuring and figuring out were everything went. Also many people have to reinforce their garage door with some metal angle iron. Mine was a dual wall door so it didn't need reinforcement, i just mounted the bracket arm directly to the garage door.
Here's the point at which i had the old Sears garage door opener down and the new Craftsman garage door opener ready to go in.
This is what i was talking about when i said i had it easy. These 2x4's were already in place and the bracket was already mounted. So i just removed the old one and put this bracket in the same spot. I didn't have to bother with the instructions for height and angle of door adjustments.
After the bracket was attached i just had to lift up the arm and chain and connect it to the wall with the cotter pin.
This is what it looked like before i attached the motor to the ceiling. I needed the ladder for the front so i had to use a sturdy shelf to hold up the motor.
Garage Door InstallersGetting to use the existing steel brackets was super easy. Otherwise i would have had to locate the studs in the ceiling then cut, build and attach the frame. But since it was already there i just yanked on it a bit until the holes lined up with the new Craftsman garage door opener motor mounts. Then i just plugged it into the outlet that was already in the ceiling.
This is the new button that is wired to the opener. The gray part is the open/close button and the bottom is for the lights.
Since the old garage door opener didn't come with safety sensors i did have to cut and attach 2x4's to act as spacers. There were options that these could attach directly to the door wheel track but i just figured that this would be easier and be out of the way. These go on each side and will prevent the door from closing if their beam is interrupted.
The final thing i did was adjust the force and travel that the door closed with. They were adjusted on the garage door motor with 2 different twist dials. I had to watch a few youtube videos and use a bathroom scale to make sure it closed with the correct amount of force.
But that was it. It was a fairly easy weekend project. Now we can park in the garage without having to get out of the car and push the button from the inside. And thanks to the big shelf i built in the garage, there's enough space to fit a car easily.