Garage doors are important. They protect your vehicle, possessions, and home, while also providing a convenient way to enter and exit. So, if you’re replacing an old garage door or installing a brand-new one, your first priority should be making sure it’s installed correctly.

Mistakes made during installation are potentially costly. With misaligned or gapping garage doors, your home becomes vulnerable to break-ins. An unstable garage door might fall suddenly, injuring you or your family. Ultimately, a poor installation will result in premature repairs and replacements.

Whether you’re considering a DIY repair or searching for the right company, at DoorDorks, we think it’s important to be aware of the common errors made during garage door installations to avoid them

The Importance of Proper Garage Door Installation

A properly installed garage door will elevate your home in serval ways, including:

  • Security: Garage doors can be extremely dangerous. Made of heavy panels, unexpected falls will cause crush injuries or even death, and severely damage your vehicle.  They also provide security to your home.
  • Functionality: Having a garage door makes entering and leaving your house extremely easy. But, if your improperly installed garage door stalls or get stuck on the tracks, it’ll delay your entire day.
  • Aesthetics: When you get a new garage door, you can customize it to fit the aesthetics of your house. Choose from different colors, materials, window or trim enhancements, opening types, etc., to enhance your property.

But, to benefit from all of the perks of new garage door installation, it needs to be put up well. The best way to ensure a good quality job is to set up a professional garage door installation.

Having an expert install your new garage door is the safest option and guarantees the longevity of your door, limiting your future costs for repairs.

7 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Installing a Garage Door

Before trying out a DIY garage door installation, you need to do thorough research, including what errors you might make and how to avoid them.

And, if you’ve decided to take the safer route and hire a professional garage door installation service, it’s also important to know about the common mistakes so you can evaluate companies before choosing. Don’t be afraid to ask what materials they use, what training their experts have, and how they ensure a good quality installation.

1. Choosing the Right Materials and Components

Anyone can go out and buy a garage door installation kit from their local hardware store, but it’s unlikely that those materials are high-quality and fit the garage door industry standards.

Choosing good materials for every part of your new garage door is important for durability and smooth operation. This means the tracks, rollers, panels, opener components, and hardware should be compatible and high-grade.

A professional installer will have easier access and be better informed on what the best materials are.

Without high-quality materials, your garage door runs the risk of completely falling apart, stalling, falling and causing harm, and endless other problems.

It’s also important to consider the environment where you live when selecting materials, specifically for the door panels and any weather-proofing elements. If you choose a local company, they will be experts in guiding your design choices and choosing the right materials.

2. Proper Tools and Equipment

In the same realm of choosing appropriate materials, having the right tools and equipment for installation is necessary.

Some of the crucial tools are:

  • Basic wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, hammers, etc. 
  • Drills. 
  • A ladder. 
  • A level to ensure your tracks are straight and aligned.
  • Winding bars for the torsion spring.
  • A torque wrench to ensure the hardware is at the correct tension.
  • Cable tensioners for the lift cables.

It’s also necessary to have the proper safety equipment, such as glasses, gloves, hearing protection, and a hard hat. Crush injuries are frequent during garage door installation, so make sure you always know where your body is in relation to moving parts. And, the torsion spring can easily break and cause death, so protect your head.

A professional installer will already have access to all of these materials, lessening the burden of collecting them all.

3. Following Manufacturer’s Guidelines

If you choose to install a garage door yourself and buy a kit, it’ll come with the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Reading these thoroughly before beginning and following each step will increase the likelihood that your garage door will be installed properly.

Choosing to deviate from the recommended guidelines by skipping steps or using different hardware will likely result in a malfunctioning garage door and damage to you, or vehicles, or even the structure of your house. Then, you’ll need to spend more money on repairs and replacements.

You might like: How to Fix a Garage Door (and General Maintenance Tips)

4. Ensuring Proper Alignment and Leveling

Precise alignment and leveling during installation are vital for a working garage door. If the tracks and panels are misaligned and unlevel, the rollers will not run smoothly and uneven stress be placed on all parts of the door. This stress will cause issues and structural damage, accelerating the need for repairs.

Let’s go through the step-by-step instructions for ensuring proper alignment:

  1. After compiling materials and precisely measuring all of the garage door openings, install the vertical tracks. Before screwing anything, ensure the vertical tracks are perfectly straight with your level.
  2. Assemble the door panels, ensuring they are level before attaching them with hinges.
  3. Attach the rollers to the doors while making sure that they fit in the vertical tracks.
  4. Install the horizontal tracks parallel to your ceiling. Use your level to make sure they’re straight. It’s also important to make sure the horizontal and vertical tracks are aligned.
  5. Finish installing the springs and cables, making sure they’re all level and aligned.

5. Checking and Testing for Proper Functionality

If you fail to test and check your newly installed garage door, issues will arise when you try to use it.

Thoroughly check all of the hardware is securely installed, meaning there are no loose screws or bolts.

It’s also common to check the balance of the garage door by manually opening and closing it, validating that the cables and springs are perfectly tensioned to hold the weight of the door.

Then, you should check that your opening system works and the door runs smoothly. If it is sticking or refusing to work, there may be a motor problem or alignment issue. If you’re unable to solve the problem, don’t hesitate to reach out to garage door service companies.

Lastly, it’s vital to check the safety features. Never use yourself or your vehicle to ensure the stopping methods are operational, instead use something less vulnerable, such as a cardboard box.

6. Weatherproofing and Insulation

To increase the longevity of your garaged door, it’s important to weatherproof it. And, to better your household’s energy efficiency, insulate your garage door.

It’s common to incorrectly and insufficiently seal your garage door, leaving the material vulnerable to wind, rain, and sun damage. This will not only ruin the aesthetic of your door but lead to structural damage and cause your door to break apart or operate incorrectly.

If you don’t insulate your garage door enough, your home is susceptible to losing energy due to the need for more heat in your garage. If you’re storing important valuables in your garage, adequate insulation is necessary.

The best way to properly weatherproof and insulate your garage is to seek guidance from local garage door experts. They’ll have familiarity with the weather conditions and what weatherproofing materials you need. They’ll also know how to insulate your door.

7. Maintenance and Regular Inspections

A professional garage door installation has a long lifespan if you perform regular maintenance and inspections. Without these check-ins, you’ll find small problems and dirt turning into larger, repair-needing issues.

Luckily, you can easily find help at DoorDorks.

Here’s a list of regular maintenance tasks you should perform:

  • Inspect your garage door and all hardware, looking for small issues or loose screws.
  • Lubricate the rollers and tracks.
  • Clean off dirt and dust that can impede smooth operation.
  • Check your garage door’s balance by manually opening and closing it.


Garages can be tricky. With so many moving parts and elements that need special care during installation, it’s common to make costly mistakes. So, to increase the chances of a successful installation it’s important to know about and avoid these mistakes.

The best way to achieve an operation and safe garage door installation is by hiring a professional. But, if you want to give it a go, make sure yourself, make sure you’ve done thorough research and know who to contact if problems arise.

Interested in an installation? Contact DoorDorks! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What common mistakes should I avoid when installing a garage door?

When installing your garage door, avoid low-quality materials, gather the proper tools and equipment, ensure alignment, don’t deviate from instructions, and ensure regular maintenance to extend the lifespan of your door.

What are the consequences of improper garage door installation? 

Improper garage door installation can result in malfunctions in the operation of your door, sudden falls causing injuries or damage, and the need for premature repairs and replacements.

How important is it to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines during installation?

It is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines during new garage door installations. Deviating from these instructions will cause problems and lead to damage. You may need to restart if you don’t follow these guidelines.

Why is regular maintenance important for a garage door?

Regular maintenance is vital for a garage door, as small problems can turn into much larger issues leading to damage or inconveniences.

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