Garage Door Opener Installation Tips
Can I really install a garage door opener myself?
Oh, you sure can! I would have thought differently ten years ago, but today, all of the major opener manufacturers... Genie, Sears, and Stanley... have really made their machines reliable and easy to install. Not as easy as boiling water, mind you, but if you have the ability to stand on a ladder, use some basic tools, and follow instructions, it should be a piece of cake for you!
- Measure the clearance from the top of your garage
door to the ceiling at the door's high point of travel.
If you have less than 3 inches of clearance, you will most likely have to either notch the top of the door to clear the garage door opener track, or get a special kit (available from Sears, and probably most home stores), that will actually replace the top roller brackets with special low clearance ones. Be sure to get this kit if you are unsure, or your project may come to a screeching halt. You can always return them if you don't need them!
- You will have to purchase something to mount the
garage door opener on, both at the wall above the door and at the ceiling.
The manufacturers usually give you straps to hang the opener, but nothing to attach the straps to! I usually use perforated angle iron at the ceiling, which looks good on both finished or unfinished ceilings. At the wall over the door, I lean towards a piece of 2x4 or 2x6 framing lumber, cut long enough so it bridges two studs with a little extra length so you can center it at the final location of the mounting bracket. The "centering" is purely for aesthetics... as long as the wood is firmly nailed or screwed to the studs, you will have adequate strength!
- Don't use a hacksaw on the opener body hanging bracket the
manufacturer's give you!
Thin steel is always more easily cut with a pair of straight compound snips, available at any hardware store. Snip on one side first, then the other side, then bend back and forth till the bracket breaks in two. If you don't have a pair, it's about time!! (Of snips, I mean!! Sorry.)