Garage doors play an important role in your home. Not only are they a first line of security defense, but they’re a defining element in your home’s look and can save energy.

The average garage door replacement costs between $600 and $2,500. Here are some tips from industry experts for putting your plans in motion and successfully completing a garage door installation.

Do consider curb appeal. Garage doors are among of the largest and most visible features of your house. They have one of the highest returns on investment of any home-improvement project. Plus, they’re a long-term investment that will define your home for many years. So consider your choices carefully when installing.

Do hire a pro. This isn’t the kind of job where you can Google “how to install a garage door” and figure it out in an afternoon. Garage door installation and repair involves a lot of moving parts, specialized tools and carefully calibrated spring tension. You can very easily cause expensive damage to your door (or seriously injure yourself) if you don’t know what you’re doing. Leave this one to the professionals.

Do check the photo eyes if you have trouble. One exception to the DIY rule: checking alignment on photoelectric eyes. Most garage doors feature photo eyes as a safety feature, which deactivate the garage door if they sense an object coming through. They can easily get out of alignment and prevent the door from closing. Pros suggest checking on that first if your door isn’t closing.

Do make sure you have an electrical outlet in the ceiling for the garage door opener. You may need to hire a licensed electrician to run a line if you don’t already have one. Don’t just connect it to an extension cord — that can be a fire hazard and is against building code in many locales.


Don’t ignore regular maintenance. Homeowners should have their garage door maintained at least once every 18 to 24 months, if not once a year, experts say. Garage doors and openers involve chains, lifting weight, and many moving parts. All these elements should be lubricated to add years of life to your garage door.

Don’t forget your local rules. Whether it’s local covenants or municipal laws that call for permits for a garage door, make sure your contractor works under those regulations to avoid unpleasant surprises later. You don’t want to install an expensive door only to find out that your town or homeowner’s association covenants don’t allow it.

Don’t leave clutter where the installer needs to work. Installing a garage door takes a considerable amount of space, which pros say they don’t always get. Some report that they show up at garages that are so packed with stuff, they can’t even get the door open. Installers need to be able to get at least 10 feet into the garage.