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Garage Clutter Busters

Install a Garage Door Opener

Home repair expert Henry Harrison demonstrates how to replace a garage door opener. On his elbow grease scale of one to four, Henry gives this job a two.

More in Home Improvement

  • Time


  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Remove the Old Door Opener

Before getting started, carefully read all directions. Unplug and remove the old garage door opener. Removing the opener is a two-person job.

Disconnect the sensors and loosen the bolts holding the motor to the bracket, while a friend disconnects the hardware at the garage door. Remove the bolts and together lower the assembly.

Remove all old brackets and clear a space in the garage to assemble the new unit. Lay out all the pieces, screws and hardware and follow each step in the directions methodically. Do not even think about taking any shortcuts.

Step 2: Measure, Mark and Mount the Bracket

Find the centerline of your garage door and extend that up to the header (Image 1). Mark the holes for the mounting bracket, using a torpedo level to make sure everything's nice and level.

Put on safety glasses and drill pilot holes for the bolts, then mount the bracket using a socket driver (Image 2).

Step 3: Align the Track

Attach the front of the track to the bracket, then rest the motor housing on the top of a stepladder. Eyeball the track and make sure it's at a 90-degree angle to the garage door.

Step 4: Secure the Motor and Finish Installation

Once it's aligned, attach metal hanging straps to motor, then secure the other end of straps to the ceiling joists or rafter.

Secure the track and opener arm at the garage door.

Install motion sensors about 4"-6"above ground level. Connect the wiring for the sensors and switch. Plug in the opener and test the machine.

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