I was on my way home tonight, having one of my normal conversations with my brother about something in his new home. I enjoy these conversations because my design, construction and building background usually allows me to give him a bit of advice with some home project that he may involved with. Tonights discussion revolved around installing a garage door opener after a garage door opener selection has been made.
Installing a garage door opener is not one of the most difficult projects but like many things, the installation time, and possible future door damage, is cut down considerably ofter you learn the tricks of the trade. There are two tricks that are not explained very well, and can cause some considerable door damage while installing a garage door opener.
One trick is that you have to install a horizontal garage door stiffener to the top of the garage door before a garage door opener is attached. From the factory, garage doors are meant to be lifted from the bottom, and the power of an ordinary garage door opener can actually bend the top panel of the garage door. A garage door stiffener is usually recommended to be a 1-1/4 x 1-1/4 13 gauge steel angle. Although you should check your garage door manufacture’s instructions for exact sizes. Sometimes, if you are lucky, the garage door stiffener may be built in, but don’t expect to see it.
Garage Door Opener
Another area that need to have special attention is how the garage door opener is attached to your ceiling. An important step is to make sure the garage door opener is securely connected to some type of ceiling framing. This could consist of a ceiling joist, ceiling floor joist or for roof truss. After your connection to the ceiling is made, make sure that there is no horizontal sway and add a “Z” Brace or cross member to lock it all together.
With those two tips aside the installation of your garage door opener should go pretty smoothly, that is if you follow the instructions that come with you particular garage door opener.