Hardware, Installation
When you buy a door, you'll need to select spring and track systems as well. There are two kinds of spring systems. Extension springs are simpler to install. They function in pairs, stretching along either side of the door, parallel to the ceiling. They need about 10 in. of headroom. Torsion springs go over the opening of the door. They work by winding and unwinding in place when the door is raised or lowered. The torsion spring distributes the weight of a door more evenly than do extension springs, making them better suited for extra-heavy or wide doors. They require 12 in. of headroom, although special hardware is available for doors with low clearances. There are two choices in tracks: hot-dipped galvanized or powder-coated steel. While the former is perfectly serviceable, the latter gives a more finished appearance to the mechanism and can cut down on the noise of the door for just a few dollars more. On higher-quality steel rollers the ball bearings are housed in sealed races. Nylon wheels are quieter and more durable than steel wheels. An innovative roller alternative comes from Overhead Door. The Ultra-Glide system utilizes C-clips that slide silently along a coated steel tube. Installation. It's best not to mix and match parts for a garage door. You run the risk of incompatibility between track and door, which could lead to a serious failure of the door, and replacing just one component of the door system can void the warranty. Many homeowners prefer to entrust door installation to an installer/dealer, who will get the job done in about three hours and haul away the old door, too. If you have the time, tools and interest, you might want to do the work yourself. Plan on devoting 8 to 12 hours to the project; for at least a few of those, you'll need a helper. The equipment list includes a drill with 1/4- and 3/8-in. bits, hammer, screwdriver, measuring tape, C-clamps or vice grips, level, socket wrench, pliers, stepladder and saw horses. Clopay has developed a very helpful instruction kit, complete with videotape, for both torsion and extension systems. Wayne-Dalton is another company with strong support for the do-it-yourselfer. Regardless of who does the installation, you'll quickly appreciate the lift a new door gives to your home.
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