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How to Replace Garage-Door Panels

Step-by-step instructions for repairing damaged sections

The bottom of a garage door can come in for serious wear and tear. Here's how to replace damaged sections with new panels:

Materials and Tools:

ladder
hammer
vise clamps
ratcheting nut driver
power drill and bits
knee pads
scrap 2-by-4-inch boards
four-panel garage-door section

Steps:

1. Raise the garage door and disconnect the power to the automatic garage-door opener if applicable. Also disconnect the center arm if the door has an opener.

2. Undo the tension springs from the turnbuckles holding them in place. There's a lot of tension in the springs, so be careful.

3. Carefully lower the door. Use a scrap 2-by-4 to prop it 3 or 4 inches off the ground to make removing the bottom panel easier.

4. Attach a couple of vise clamps to the garage-door tracks just below the bearings for the second panel. This will hold the upper part of the door in place when you remove the 2-by-4-inch prop to get at the center bracket of the lower panel.

5. With the ratcheting nut driver, loosen the bolts on the brackets holding the bottom panel in place. Save the center bracket between the first and second panels for last.

6. Place another 2-by-4 on edge beneath the door to brace the bottom panel when you lower it. Carefully remove the 2-by-4 propping the door at the center. The vise clamps should hold the upper part of the door in place.

7. Loosen the bolts holding the bottom panel to the center bracket and carefully remove the panel and replace with new panel. Line up the bottom corners in the cable anchors, and use the hinges and brackets as templates for drilling holes for bolts.

8. Once all the brackets are attached, pre-drill holes and mount the new handle. Raise the garage door and re-connect the tension springs and garage door opener (if applicable).

9. Prime and paint the door.

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