A common material for a new garage door is steel sheet formed or stamped to look like a raised panel wooden door. Steel doors are available in uninsulated, insulated, and double skin steel. A design mimicking carriage house doors has become popular since early 2000s, and many manufacturers clad the exterior of a steel door with composite, vinyl boards, or other trim to give it the appearance of wood.
Installing an overhead garage door requires a few tools and a friend to help. First, the lower door panel needs to be set up in the center of the doorway. The remaining panels and tracks are held in place with hinges, brackets, and screws. Set up an easy-to-install torsion spring system to ensure that your door lifts properly for many years to come.
Using your drill, add tension to the torsion spring. This system uses a single spring for a double door, but many manufacturers use two springs for a double door. The painted line on the spring acts as a gauge for the number of turns you put on the spring. To keep the bar from turning while you’re adding tension, attach a locking pliers to the bar on both ends of the spring. Apply lubricant for garage doors to the spring.
Mechanical garage door openers can pull or push a garage door with enough force to injure or kill people and pets if they become trapped. All modern openers are equipped with “force settings” that make the door reverse if it encounters too much resistance while closing or opening. Any garage door opener sold in the United States after 1992 requires safety eyes—sensors that prevent the door from closing if obstructed. Force settings should cause a door to stop or reverse on encountering more than approximately 20 lbs (9.07 kg) of resistance. Safety eyes should be installed a maximum of six inches above the ground. Many garage door injuries, and nearly all garage door related property damage, can be avoided by following these precautions.
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Another key safety feature to prevent entrapment from garage doors is the “electric eye” sensor system found on many more modern garage door systems. Sensors placed on either side of the garage door’s track system about 4 to 6 inches off the ground transmit an infrared beam of light during a door’s closing operation. Should anything break the beam during the closing operation – including adults, pets or other objects – the opener should automatically stop and reverse the closing operation.
Fiberglass and vinyl garage doors are composite units, combining a steel core behind a fiberglass or vinyl skin. They have also polyurethane insulated base sections, or other type of foam insulation. These premium doors can match steel garage doors, and be a realistic imitation of wood (namely fiberglass units), but they may be more expensive than steel units.