Garage Door Repair - How To Hire

Automatic garage doors are a ubiquitous part of suburban and urban living. Not just a modern household convenience, garage doors are also an important security component for many homes. So when a garage door isn’t functioning properly, a prompt solution is essential. For some homeowners, a simple garage door repair, such as tightening loose hardware or lubricating moving parts, can be a weekend DIY project, with the right tools and the right safety measures in place. Larger problems with the garage door’s cables, springs or motor will require the help of a trained, experienced garage door professional, whether the problem warrants repair, or requires a full garage door replacement. Here’s how to determine what kind of garage door repair you need, and how to hire the right pro for the job.

  1. Look and listen for signs of problems with your garage door.

  2. Repair smaller problems yourself if you can.

  3. Don’t risk your safety by trying to tackle a major repair.

  4. Start your search for a repair company and ask these questions.

  5. If you need to replace your door, look for these features in a new one.

Look and listen for signs of problems with your garage door.

Numerous signs can indicate problems with a garage door. These include:

  • Strange sounds, such as grating or squeaking, that are unrelated to normal garage door use
  • Noticeable areas of wear such as rust spots, or tracks that are no longer adequately affixed to the ceiling
  • Slow response time for the door to open when using the garage door remote
  • Sagging or uneven doors
  • The garage door shakes when it is opening
  • The garage door has fallen entirely off its tracks

If the problem isn’t apparent or repairs seem potentially complex or challenging, a garage door repair company can be an invaluable resource.

ExperTip: Don’t take risks with a shaking or off-track garage door. A garage door that shudders upon opening or is visibly off its tracks is a dangerous situation that requires immediate professional repair. Garage door accidents are responsible for upwards of 20,000 injuries annually, and multiple deaths, including small children and pets. Do not let yourself or a family member become one of these statistics.

Repair smaller problems yourself if you can.

Particularly if you’re comfortable with home repairs, and have essential tools on hand including work gloves, a ladder, silicone spray lubricant, a screwdriver set, and eye protection, you can do basic garage door repairs yourself. These may include:

  • Cleaning and lubricating rollers, tracks and axles
  • Tightening bracket screws and bolts
  • Cleaning and realigning sensors
  • Replacing weatherstripping

Don’t risk your safety by trying to tackle a major repair.

Because of the size and weight of a garage door, and because proper function of the door is essential to your family’s safety and your home security, these garage door repairs are best left to an experienced professional:

  • Replacing broken springs
  • Replacing cables and pulleys
  • Replacing door panels
  • Replacing wheels
  • Repairing automatic openers
  • Installing a new garage door

Functionality—or lack thereof—is the most telling sign that a repair or replacement may be necessary. A door that can still go up and down but does it slowly, loudly, or in a way that isn’t balanced or level may be in need of repair. Doors with more serious mechanical problems, very old doors, and doors that show significant amounts of wear and tear should be replaced rather than simply fixed. A garage door repair company can help assess the state of a garage door and make appropriate recommendations.

Start your search for a repair company and ask these questions.

A good repair company is able to fix garage door problems at a fair price in a responsible way. Before choosing a repair company, be sure to ask:

  1. Are your technicians properly licensed and insured? Can I see proof?
  2. Will you provide a written estimate?
  3. Do you provide a written warranty or guarantee on any work done, and if so, for how long after the repair?

Don’t consider just one garage door repair company. Solicit bids from several respected names. Compare and contrast repair services, and evaluate service plans as a part of your decision-making process. And be sure to look out for red flags such as pushy representatives or no listed physical address.

ExperTip: Check your state’s licensing requirements to ensure your garage door repair company meets them. Twenty-nine states license door repair contractors working on residential properties, and 16 states require that garage door repair technicians successfully complete at least one exam—10 states require one exam and six states require two exams.

The cost of garage door repairs depends on what needs to be fixed, how bad the damage is, how long the job will take, and whether you need parts replaced. The average cost ranges between $100 and $300, though costs vary by location, too. Some average repair costs for various garage door parts are summarized below.

  • Repairs to chains: up to $200
  • Repairs to openers: up to $200
  • Repairs to springs: up to $300
  • Repairs to tracks: up to $300
  • Repairs to sensors: up to $100
  • Repairs to the door panels: up to $800

It’s important to note these are averages, so your costs might vary. Contact a professional door repair company to get a quote for the cost of your repairs.

If you need to replace your door, look for these features in a new one.

Buying a new garage door is a big commitment, so understanding the most important points of consideration before shopping is essential. Keep these factors in mind when evaluating doors:

  • The cost of purchase and installation relative to your budget
  • The door’s material; wood looks nice but can age faster than the alternatives
  • The method of insulation used to control airflow, and potential savings on energy costs
  • The quality of hardware, such as springs and cables
  • The condition of the opener and whether it needs to be replaced as well
  • The security features included and how these will help protect your home
  • The reputation of the company selling the door and the employees who will be handling installation

The cost of a garage door depends on the material, size, and features. It ranges from around $600 to about $1,500 on average, including  labor, to install a single or double garage door. However, additional design elements, specialty materials, windows, and other features can increase the cost of a garage door.

Ready to speak to a professional? Here is our list of the best garage door repair companies near you.