Garage door repair can quickly become a complex task if left untreated for any length of time. It’s best to correct small problems before they evolve into much bigger ones. Whether your garage door stops responding to the remote, or it just stops working like it used to; you need to start evaluating whether you can fix it yourself, or when you need to call in a professional.

Common Garage Problems

broken garage door springsGarage Door Spring Broken or Worn– Think about it, the garage door will probably open and close an infinite times each year; depending on how often you use your garage. Eventually like all things, the springs are going to become worn, or no longer as ‘springy’ as their usual selves. The repair can be as simple as replacing the springs, or even performing some essential maintenance on all of the mechanical parts.

Repair prices depends on how technically inclined you are, and how comfortable you feel working with your garage door. You can expect to pay $200 for repairs if you opt to hire the dirty deed out. Of course, the price will depend on where you live and what the going rate is. You may want to consider calling around and asking for quotes. Don’t forget to ask if the price includes the replacement part or not, most of the time it will.

Broken or Frayed Door Cables– Next on the list is broken garage door cables. These cables are another important piece that needs to be carefully inspected overtime. They also play an important role in ensuring that the garage door will open and close correctly. If they become frayed or even snap, due to old age or continuous use, it can cause serious harm and injury to anyone standing around, or even damage your car.

Why risk the bothersome phone call to your insurance agent? Don’t chance it, keep an eye on frays or worn cords. If you hire this work out, be aware that the replacement of the cable isn’t expensive, but the labor and installation fees can range anywhere from $150 to $200.

Bent or Broken Door TracksBent or Broken Door Tracks– You might have been in a hurry and backed up into the garage door tracks in a frantic effort to get to your destination. Fortunately, most of the time, it’s an easy fix. Nothing a soft mallet can’t handle; if you happen to have one laying around, that is. If you do, luck is in your favor.

Simply knock it back into shape with a few thrusts of the mallet. If you don’t feel comfortable performing the task or if the damage is far worse than anticipated, a professional can repair the damage for about $125 to $150 dollars. Again, it all depends on your location and what the going rate is in your area.

Misaligned Safety Sensors– Misaligned safety sensors are cheap to replace and fix, about $50 to $75 dollars each, but they can cause a huge inconvenience. These sensors are critical to ensuring that the garage door functions because they ensure that nothing is in the pathway of the closing or opening garage door. If the sensors detect an obstruction, they won’t close all the way, saving you the costly repair of replacing an entire garage door and its equipment, as well as whatever was in the way of the closing door.

These can be knocked out of place by accidentally bumping into them with a tire as you pull in or out of your garage, or they can even become loose over time. Before calling a pro, try seeing if the sensor simply needs to have the surrounding screws tightened or readjusted. If you can’t tighten them, then it’s time to call in a garage door  pro. They may need to replace the sensor bracket to ensure they line up properly again. A service charge ranges from $50 to $75 depending on your area.

garage door repairGarage Door Repair– Now you may be having a really bad day if you need to replace the entire garage door itself. It happens, in the early morning fog of rushing to work, you accidentally reverse too quickly into a door that couldn’t quite open quickly enough. Depending on the materials, the fix can be easy, but quite costly. Calling around for these types of repairs will depend on two factors; location and the material you want to replace the door with.

Common materials such as glass-reinforced plastic, steel, and wood, range in prices, but they also offer various benefits as well. For instance, glass-reinforced plastic is known as being the most durable and potentially the most attractive. If you have to replace the entire door/s, this is one project where you will definitely want to call around and collect multiple quotes. About five to ten quotes from a garage door repair specialist should suffice.

Hiring a Contractor

Compare Quotes– Now, you have your list of quotes and contractors in hand, what do you do next? First, you eliminate the quotes on your list who are above your budget range. While repairing some issues can quickly add up, you should be able to glance at the list and eliminate at least a few contractors based on price alone.

Please note that the highest price tag doesn’t necessarily ensure that the contractor will deliver the best. Likewise for the cheapest quote on your list. If you’re nervous about prices, settle somewhere in between the lowest and highest quoted prices.

Ask for Proof of Insurance– You’ve eliminated a few players, but now it’s time to dig around and make sure that the company or individual you’re thinking of hiring is insured. You want to make sure that they have both liability, and workers insurance. This will protect the both of you in the event of an emergency or if catastrophe strikes. You can verify this information by viewing their website or even requesting proof of the appropriate insurance.

How’s Their Reputation? – Next, it’s time to get an idea of what the public thinks of the potentially hires/company. You can do so by checking the internet for reviews. Simply type in the business name into Google business page search, and a whole slew of review type websites should pop up. Pay attention to your fellow consumers, they’ve already invested their hard earned money and time into the company, they can potentially help you avoid a less than ethical company.

Don’t be alarmed if you see a couple of negative reviews; it’s not possible to please everyone. However, if you start seeing a huge collection of disgruntled customers, you may want to look at an alternative company.

What’s Their Grade? – Next, check the Better Business Bureau. Some companies may opt for a membership at this ‘report card’ like association. The BBB (Better Business Bureau) assigns a ‘grade’ to companies based on a few factors such as customer service. Try and stick with a business that has a rating of A or B. You can take a chance on lower grades, but it’s usually not advised.

Read the Fine Print– Great, so you’ve picked your contractor and you’re ready to begin the project. Make sure you read the small print carefully and you both agree on the terms. Lastly, don’t forget to agree on the quoted price so future problems about the bill won’t arise.

The Takeaway

Most issues can be troubleshooted over the phone by just about anyone. If the issue is small, a contractor may be able to walk you over the troubleshooting process, via the phone. If you’re an avid ‘do it yourself, you may even be able to find a couple of tutorial style videos on YouTube or a similar video sharing site; but for those more complicated issues, hiring a professional who knows what they’re doing may save you the headache.