To DIY or Not To DIY
In the home improvement world there’s a common recommendation regarding garage door spring repair: always leave it to the pros. This is sound advice, but it’s not as hard-and-fast as most sources claim. The fact is, a handy homeowner who’s competent with tools and has a basic understanding of mechanical systems can replace either type of garage door spring. The procedures are pretty simple, but they involve many steps that must be done in the proper order, just like the pros do it. It’s also critical that you get the proper size replacement spring. If you think you’re up to the task, look at online tutorials by garage door pros to see what’s involved. There are helpful videos explaining how to measure your old springs and order the correct replacement size as well as how to do the job from start to finish.
DIYers are generally steered away from working with torsion springs because installed springs are always under tension. To safely remove a torsion spring, you have to control the tension by holding the spring with a solid metal winding bar, then you loosen the spring from the rod and manually unwind the spring using two winding rods. The spring is potentially dangerous until it is fully unwound. By contrast, extension springs have little or no tension when the garage door is fully open.
In any case, working with big, heavy springs (not to mention big, heavy doors) is inherently dangerous. Always take precautions to prevent injury if a spring suddenly slips, come loose, or breaks, and always be aware of what is affected by a spring’s tension: namely, pulleys, cables, and doors.
Professionals can replace garage door springs in an hour or two. When you hire a pro, make sure to ask about the quality of the springs they will install. They may well offer several grades of springs to choose from, at a range of costs. Top of the line springs may be guaranteed for life, while economy springs can be expected to last perhaps five years under normal use.