Most of us don’t pay any attention to garage door frames because, well, they’re garage door frames. But when they get broken? Then you have a big problem that requires your immediate attention. After all, a broken door frame means that your garage door becomes pretty useless as well. If you don’t do anything about it, you run the risk of intruders entering your garage or even the inside of your home.
Sadly, some homeowners don’t seek professional help fast enough because they worry about repair costs. If you’re one of them, then you’d do well to cast away those fears. Contrary to popular belief, having your garage door frame fixed won’t cost you a fortune, at least most of the time.
With that said, it shouldn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with the attendant factors that may affect the repair costs involved. In this article, we discuss each factor in great detail so you’ll know what to keep your eye on as you manage your budget and seek for professional help.
When you’re ready for it, we encourage you to use the form at the top of this page in order to get quotes from competing contractors to easily lower the cost to replace a garage door frame, or repair it for that matter, if it is possible.
To DIY or to Hire a Pro
One big consideration you have to make in regards to garage door frame repair costs is whether to do it yourself or hire a professional. In cases where issues with your door frame are only minor, choosing the former option could make sense. But if the damages prove too severe or complicated, the only logical option is to hire the services of a professional. Not only is it safer, but it also saves you more money in the end as a garage door frame replacement may be needed.
If you choose to go DIY, it’s crucial that you know the risks involved. Below are some considerations you need to mull over before you dive into it.
- You could get yourself hurt. This is not meant to scare you, but it’s a possibility every DIYer needs to acknowledge before picking up his or her toolbox. It can’t be emphasized enough, but make sure that you take every safety precaution available. You don’t want your garage door to fall right on top of you, do you?
- You could make it worse. A garage door frame is composed of many parts, all working together to keep your garage door secure and running smoothly. In your efforts to fix it, there’s a lot of room for mistakes. You could end up hammering a few shims out of place or crack a rotted garage door wood frame, in dire need of repair.
- You may require a permit. You might be breaking the law if you insist on fixing your garage door frame yourself. So make sure to check your state or city laws in regards to home improvement jobs that may require a contractor’s license. Such laws were put in place to protect the interest of homeowners, and it’s your duty as a citizen to comply with them.
Common Issues with Door Frames and Their Fixes
Minor issues with garage door frames require simple repairs. In such cases, it’s not a bad idea to fix the door frame yourself. You’ll be able to save money if you can pull it off. Below are minor issues with garage door frames that you may DIY to your heart’s content.
- Split Door Jamb. First, remove the broken pieces of the door jamb, and then put them back on with wood glue or carpenter’s glue. Cover the affected area with a block of wood and gently hammer the glued pieces into the door jamb. Wait for the glue to dry and smooth it down by sanding. You can apply auto body filler for better results.
- Sticking Door. Simply sand off the door or the door frame’s sticky areas. You can also apply some coats of varnish to the affected areas to prevent swelling caused by humidity.
- Sagging Door Frames. Sanding the upper section of the door may provide a temporary fix. If you want a more permanent fix, replace the screws attaching the upper hinges to the door jamb with 3-inch deck screws.
- Drafty Garage Door Frame. Applying weather stripping around your doors and frames should keep the draft out.
Other garage door frame issues
Below are other garage door frame issues and the corresponding repair costs involved.
- Dents in the garage door frame. Small dents can be fixed via DIY. But some are big enough to require professional help. In such cases, expect to pay at least an hour of labor at $75.
- Roller or hinge replacement. Sometimes rollers or hinges get worn down through overuse and need to be replaced. Expect to pay around $12 for a new roller or around $10 for each new hinge.
- Damaged exterior door jamb. Replacing an exterior door jamb may cost you around $120, and that’s only simple door jambs made of wood. Metal door jamb may cost you slightly above $300. If you add paint matching into the equation, you’ll have to pay an additional $150.
Is the Garage Door Frame Rotted?
If your garage door frame is showing signs of rot, the first thing you need to do is check the source of the problem. Wood rot can spread and may cause significant structural damage, which is why it’s absolutely necessary to have a carpenter fix them as soon as possible.
A rotting garage door is not a pretty sight. But it can easily be fixed if only a small portion of the structure is affected. A contractor or a DIYer only has to cut or saw away some of the rotted parts and then splice it up with a new door jamb using a Dutchman or a wood patch filler.
Here are the items you need to have to patch up a rotted section of a garage door:
- New door jamb
- Brick mould
- Garage door seal
To maintain consistency in design, it’s ideal that you use the same type of material in replacing the damaged portion.
Let’s have an estimate of the repair costs involved in repairing a rotting exterior door frame
As always, the costs involved depend on the severity of the damage. But if we were to have a rough estimate, repairing a garage door frame with a rotting exterior may cost you around $120, $400 at the most.
As you can see, it’s not very expensive. Usually, you’ll spend more money dealing with the source of the problem. Water damage is nothing to scoff at, so you’d best treat the source of the problem as soon as possible. Installing a storm door ( which costs between $400 and $600) might be the best solution if you don’t want to experience the same issue again in the near future.
Is there structural damage?
Your garage door frame’s structural integrity is what keeps your garage door intact and functional. If it’s compromised in any way, then you have to call a contractor ASAP to have it fixed or replaced. For one, a broken door frame renders your garage door useless, and it also poses safety risks to anyone who comes near it.
A garage door frame is a structure of many components. If one component is put in a state of disrepair, there’s always the possibility that there could be structural damage to your home’s construction framing. As such, it’s always better to rely on the expert opinion of a professional contractor in such matters. After all, they should have a better understanding of how each of these components work together. That said, it doesn’t hurt to do inspections yourself.
Here are preliminary steps in determining if your garage door has any structural damage.
Step 1: Inspecting the frame for wood rot.
It’s not difficult to check for signs of wood rot. The tricky part is to determine how far deep into the wood the rot has spread. You can check by pressing the wood with a long piece of hard object (such as a screwdriver) to determine the wood’s “give” or softness. Remember, the more rotted the wood frame, the higher the chances of structural damage.
Step 2: Check for pest infestation
Wood-boring insects are notorious for causing structural damage to wooden fixtures. Powderpost beetles, termites, and carpenter ants, for example, can feast on your garage doors without your knowledge. To determine if there’s pest infestation in your garage door frame, check the surface for small holes. You can also press the surface with your thumb or tap it with a hammer to see if it’s hollow from the inside.
Step 3: Check for signs of foundation damage
Foundation damage is one of the leading causes of garage door failure. Most instances of foundation damage are caused by bad weather. If left unchecked, they can get worse, causing further damage to your garage and virtually making your home unsafe. If the doors are too tight or too loose, that’s a sign that there’s foundation damage. You can check for further signs by being on the lookout for exposed gaps near where the walls meet with the door and the door frame itself.
How about the garage door frame material?
When a garage door frame suffers severe damage, there’s a big possibility that the door needs to be fixed or replaced as well. Obviously, the materials used in building the garage door frame and the garage door itself have a large bearing on the repair costs involved.
The more expensive the material, the more expensive it will be to repair. As such, you can get a pretty good idea on how much you need to pay for repairs by comparing the prices of each material.
It should be noted that labor costs would vary since the type of material used could influence the extent of the repair work.
Custom Wood. Wood brings a lot of curb appeal to any home. While wood’s more expensive than most materials, its durability and long shelf life more than make up for it. Replacing a wooden garage door typically costs between $135 to $155 per panel.
Wood Composite. If you prefer materials that are eco-friendly, wood composite should do nicely. For one thing, it’s mostly made of recycled materials. It’s also a good option for those who are on a tight budget. You can have it painted for some added curb appeal as well. It will only cost you between $50 to $150 to install a wood composite door per panel.
Steel. Steel is one of the cheapest materials you can use for garage doors, or any home fixture for that matter. It’s also the ideal choice if your garage requires more insulation. Steel garage doors cost between $135 to $155 per panel.
Aluminum. Aluminum is a popular choice among homeowners because of its strength and durability despite being lightweight. It’s also much easier to install than most metals. It costs about $175 to $200 per panel to repair aluminum garage doors.
How big is the garage door frame?
The bigger your garage door frame is, the higher the price you need to pay for repairs. Of course, that’s relative to numerous factors, such as the type of material, dimensions, or the extent of the damage. Another thing that deserves consideration is the time it will take to repair the damaged area. Because surely, a contractor will take more time to resolve the problem if the affected area is large.
If the door frame’s damage is structural in nature, a full replacement might be in order. This means you’ll have to replace the garage door as well. Needless to say, the size of the door frame AND the door itself needs to be taken into account when making an estimate of the overall repair costs.
How garage door styles affect repair costs
It shouldn’t surprise anyone, but the style of your garage door frame can significantly impact repair costs. Here are the most popular garage door styles and the possible repair costs involved.
- Sectional Garage Door: This garage door style is the most commonly used on account of its versatility and reliability. Made of panels that were connected together, a sectional garage door opens and closes by sliding across a track. This type of garage door takes up little space and can be controlled easily using a garage door opener. Wheels and other moving parts used to assemble sectional garage doors are cheap, making repair jobs accessible. Sectional garage door repairs cost around $128.
- Carriage Garage Door: As the term implies, carriage style garage doors mimic the look of carriage doors found on horse-drawn hearses. It has that rustic Victorian aesthetic that makes it visually appealing. The way they swing outwards from the sides may be an annoyance, but no one can deny the rustic, Victorian aesthetic that it brings to a garage. On average, fixing carriage garage doors costs $133.
- Traditional Garage Door: These are garage doors many of us grew up seeing. These are one-panel garage door systems that swing upwards by way of a spring mechanism. Repairs can be a challenge due to the size and weight of the doors, not to mention that they require a lot of room to operate. Damaged one-panel garage doors can be repaired at an average cost of $172.
Location also counts
When making an estimate of repair costs, it’s important that you take into account your home’s location. Part of it has to do with pricing (both material and labor) relative to where you live. Some states or cities charge more than others, after all.
Think about the surrounding areas
Let’s state the obvious: the bigger the affected area, the pricier it gets when it comes to repair costs. The worse the damage… well, you get the point.
But it’s not just the damaged area that requires your attention. Damage, in general, has a cumulative effect. If the damage is small, chances are the surrounding area or components won’t be impacted. But if it’s big, then there’s a possibility that the ceiling, floor, and walls have been impacted as well. The same rule applies whether the damage to the frame was caused by an accident or caused by water damage.
And make it a point to call a professional if the damage to your garage door or frame (as well as the surrounding areas) is too big. Damages caused by natural disasters or major accidents will require the expertise of construction contractors. A professional will have the knowledge, materials, and the skills needed to ensure that the integrity of the entire garage (not just the door) is preserved and sustainable.
When making an estimate of the repair costs, it’s important that you make some wiggle room for additional expenses. As established, damages can be cumulative, and there’s always a chance that you might pay for extra labor and additional materials.
Other factors that might figure into overall repair costs include:
- Resizing the door opening
- Reframing the door’s exterior
- Addressing possible damages to electronic components (if you’re using an electronic garage door opener)
Now that you have at least a rough estimate on how much you need to spend to have your garage door frame fixed, you can already tell how important it is to save a bit of money for future repairs.
Garage doors need to be in good shape 24/7 because of the added security they provide your home and family. Even minor damages require your immediate attention not only because they can develop into more serious issues, but also because they pose security risks. It’s better to be safe than sorry, even more so when it comes to security.
Using the form on our site, it’s very easy to get free garage door repair estimates from competing contractors. When you notice potential problems, it’s better to go ahead and get them addressed as quickly as possible, and by doing so you may be fortunate enough that the garage door frame only needs to be repaired, as opposed to being completely replaced, and getting competing quotes will also help in lowering the cost you end up paying for the project.