A car backed into the garage door can be an embarrassing and stressful situation. Damaged vehicles and garage door sections are costly to repair or replace. The decision to have a new garage door installed versus trying to repair your current overhead door system can be tricky. Before making a decision you should weigh a few important factors. Door age, number of sections damaged and the ability to make repairs on your own are important factors to consider.
How Old is Your Garage Door?
Much like an automobile, garage door value decreases with age. Garage doors last between 15-25 years with normal use. Garage doors fade, chip crack and peel the longer they are exposed to the elements. Overhead doors older than 10 years should probably be replaced completely. Finding replacement sections for an older door can be difficult or impossible depending on the brand. Even if you are lucky enough to find matching panels, you may end up paying a high price for a hard to find product.
How Many Sections Were Damaged?
Most 7ft garage doors are made up of (4) 21 inch tall panels, while 8ft tall doors are made up of (4) 24″ panels or a mixture of (2) 21 inch panels and (3) 18” panels. The amount of sections you damage is important in determining whether to repair or replace the garage door. Most manufacturers make it cost effective to replace the complete door as opposed to just select sections. As a general rule of thumb, if more than one garage door panel is damaged its best to replace the entire door.
Can You Install the Panels Yourself?
It may not be any cheaper to replace 2-3 sections as opposed to the complete door. The amount of time and labor needed to install a few sections is likely the same as a complete set of sections. If you can buy panels yourself from a dealer replacing a few sections would be cost effective.
Double Car Door Example:
16×7 Vinyl Back Insulated, Raised Panel Solid Door
Complete Door ( Includes track, springs, hinges, rollers etc) – $600.00
Full Set of Sections (4 panels) – $475.00
Labor to Install Door – $175.00
Bottom Panel (Seal Included) – $150.00
Intermediate Panels (each) – $130.00
Labor to Install Section (each) – $75.00
Spring Change (two springs) – $250.00
A complete door installed (including labor) would cost about $800 and sections only would cost $675. Installing one section (labor included) would cost $225.00 and two sections would run $430. Having a third section installed would cost $635. Putting money into a 15 year old door is a poor way to invest money. Your money is better served getting an entire new door – especially when a new door comes with a fresh pair of torsion springs. New torsion springs represent a value of $250.00 or more.