Charlotte, NC is  a bustling market for new homes, business construction and restoring old homes.  Charlotte’s real estate market is booming. Our company has been a part of this growth by installing and repairing over 50,000 garage doors since 2001. In this span of time, we have had no issues with the county inspections office. We have done this by making sure that our clients buy the right doors, and have permits in place, if needed. Keep in mind that we are not general contractors, so we do not supply permits, but we provide the information and resources for you to easily apply for permits if one is needed for your project.
When your garage door starts acting up, more often than not it is telling you it's time to do a bit of maintenance. So, before hitting the panic button, try these simple repairs. First, examine the rollers and tracks. If you can't remember the last time you cleaned them (and they look the part!), give them a good brushing and then add some lubricant. Next, perform these simple garage door maintenance tasks.
Note that I am measuring a spring that is fully relaxed because it is broken!. The length of the relaxed, unbroken spring is the specification of interest. It is harder to measure unbroken springs on an intact door because the springs should not fully unwind, even at the top-of-travel. If you can't be certain of the spring diameter from indications on the cones, then you have to go through an unwinding procedure to relax them fully for measurement, or perhaps reckon the size from measuring the somewhat smaller diameter at the nearly unwound condition when the door is at its top-of-travel (although one should not attempt to raise a door with a broken spring).

The most common grade of torsion springs have an expected life of about 10,000 cycles. The hardened and tempered steel experiences tremendous forces each time the door opens or closes. Gradually, the steel fatigues with each flexure, and eventually cracks and breaks, usually releasing its stored energy in an instant with a horrific "sproing" noise or bang. If you average about two car trips per day, opening and closing the door a total of 4 times daily when you come and go, then that expected life becomes 2500 days, or only about 7 years. If you have an automatic opener, then if you're like me, you tend to cycle the door even more frequently, and can expect the need for spring replacement even sooner. Moreover, my three-car garage has three doors, so on average I can expect a repair job every few years. Over a lifetime, it is very economical to do these repairs myself.

With good looks, modest cost, and solid return on your investment, a new garage door is the Triple Crown of curb appeal projects. According to the “Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the national median cost of a garage door replacement project is $2,300 and recovers 87% of your investment if you sell your house — one of the highest percentage of recovered costs in the “Report.” 

One might stack lumber or arrange some other low platform for a steady footing, instead of the ladder. The aluminum ladder shown here is the splendid 16-foot Krause Multimatic, which carries a Type 1A Industrial rating (300 pound working load); I highly recommend it. However, product liability apparently forced this company into bankruptcy in September 2000 and the company ceased operations in June 2001; see (this Web site went dead sometime in mid-2002). The world is a dangerous place.

(The Wahl correction factor accounts for additional stress in the material due to shear forces, although these forces do not contribute to the spring's torque. These shear forces become significant in designs using a low spring index, which is to say, a relatively thick wire for the coil diameter. The correction factor is applied to scale up the stress S to better predict the fatigue lifetime of the spring.)
"We had an unusual repair requirement. We have horizontal sliding steel doors on our 1950's equipment shed. The upper track was damaged by a roofer's forklift while they were loading supplies onto the roof. The track is made out of very heavy steel, not like the track in today's doors. Toby, responded to my request very quickly and came out of his way to inspect the damage. Although it was not something that he had encountered before, he was able to fix the track and the door is operating better than it has in years. Thank you."
Trading wire size for length, diameter, or cycle life: Now we are really going to save you some money, if you just recall your high school algebra class (and I don't mean that cute cheerleader who sat next to you). If you further understand the role of the 4th power of the spring wire size (letter d in the formulas above) in the numerator of the spring rate formula, and how to increase or decrease d to compensate for changes in length, diameter, and cycle life, then you're qualified for elite spring calculations. Matching springs is a matter of equating the 4th power of the proportion in wire size change to the proportion of change in the diameter or length or the product of both diameter and length. However, it is usually best to only increase wire size when substituting a spring, since this does not derate the cycle life. If you observe that the formula for bending stress is proportionate to the inverse 3rd power of the diameter, then physically a proportionate increase in wire size will result in a dramatic increase in cycle life of the 3rd power of that proportion. Trade-off example: Yawn with me while we ponder my original spring once more. Let's say I was in a fit of engineering mania, and wanted to replace my spring having a 0.2253 inch diameter wire (d = 0.2253) with a 0.262 wire version (d = 0.262). How much longer is the spring with equal torque rate, assuming we use the same coil diameter? The proportion of this change is 0.262/0.2253 = 1.163, and the 4th power of that is 1.83. This means the length must increase by a factor of 1.83 (again, not counting dead coils). Recalling that the length in Example 1 was 102 non-dead coils, the heavier wire spring must be about 1.83*102 = 187 coils, which when adding 5 dead coils and multiplying by the wire size to get the overall length, is (187+5)*0.262 = 50 inches, versus 24 inches in the original. So using this heavier wire more than doubles the length (and thus the mass and thus the cost). While the cost about doubles, the stress goes down by the inverse 3rd power of the wire size proportion, or 1/(1.163**3) = 0.64. Sress is favorably, non-linearly related to cycle lifetime (halving the stress more than doubles the lifetime), so this decreased stress should more than double the expected lifetime of the spring. While the up-front cost is more, the true cost of an amortized lifetime is much less. In short, per cycle it is cheaper. Ah, the wonders of engineering calculations! Conclusion: Observe that the stress formula (and thus the cycle lifetime) depends only on wire diameter (d) for equal torques. Thus the only way to improve cycle lifetime is to use heavier wire. For equal torques, heavier wire size, due to the exponents in the formulas, increases cycle lifetime much faster than it increases mass (and thus cost), physically speaking.

This is the electric opener which operates this door. I'm picturing it here because you pull the rope to disconnect the trolley, run the trolley under power to the fully-open position, and then disconnect power before working on the door. Then you should lock the door down with either the security lock or with Vise-Grips or C-clamps. This avoids the door lifting when you don't expect it as you are applying spring adjustments. It you were to foolishly overwind the spring without the door locked down, you could possibly find the door trying to leap up to the raised position when you aren't prepared. That would likely knock your grip off the winding rods, with potentially disastrous results. I like to work under the safety principle that serious accidents should be physically possible only when you make two or more stupid mistakes at the same time.
The technician, Robert Helton, was very pleasant, helpful, and professional. He repaired the garage door opener expeditiously and explained why it hadn't worked properly. He also checked the chain mechanism and the door itself and showed me how to manually work the door should I need to do that in the future. I was very pleased with this repair work.

The salesman-disguised-as-technician trick: In this trick, you arrange for a service call to your home, perhaps paying a small fee up-front, and a neatly uniformed man arrives in a very technical-looking truck, carrying an impressive tool kit. He carefully examines your door, perhaps using some impressive testing devices to lend weight to his expertise. He then condemns your door as not worth repairing, and tells you, to his sincere regret, that you must have a new one. In fact, this technician is not a technician, but a salesman who only sells, and does not repair, doors. Even if he doesn't sell you, he is doing well just collecting fees for service calls that are no more than sales visits. He doesn't actually have to ever fix anything, and he may not even be capable of doing so himself. He's an expert at selling, which genuine technicians are not. In the worst case, when you refuse to buy a whole new door, he might refuse to follow up with a visit from an actual technician, either outright, or only with an unacceptable delay ("we're too busy to get a guy out until next week", when your car is trapped). If you find yourself closing in on this situation, then politely invite him to leave, and try someone else. That is your right, and in fact the only power you have to bargain in such circumstances. At that point, he may offer to promptly bring in his competent colleague, who will turn up lacking charm and looking awful, but might actually do the work, possibly at a fair price. If so, you will have beaten a legal variation of the classic illegal bait-and-switch (see below). The switch was attempted, but not required, which makes this legal. This is a hazard of any direct-sales situation. Because it rarely appears in everyday retail sales, it can surprise the unwary.
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Since 2015, we’ve tested a variety of devices such as smart locks, video doorbells, DIY home security systems, thermostats and more. We use these testing experiences to inform our evaluations of other equipment. As time and resources allow, we occasionally test new types of products, but there are still some circumstances where we’re unable to conduct in-house tests. When testing isn’t possible, we conduct thorough research using the same standards we apply to our in-house tests – this is the case with smart garage door openers. We’ve reviewed garage door openers since 2011. 

Weight and cost: The 24-inch-long spring has a calculated weight of 8.4 lbs, not counting the winding cones. At less than $1/lb wholesale, and $3/lb retail for fabricated steel products, this spring should sell for about $8 to $25 (2005 prices) each, depending on the market and source. Since a pair is required, the expected cost for a pair is $16 to $50.
A standard residential door raises 7.5 feet, but since the door goes horizontal this is equivalent to raising the whole door for half that distance, or about 3.75 feet. So if the door weighs, say, 150 lbs, then the energy supplied by the springs is 3.75 * 150, or about 563 foot-pounds. This is like throwing a 50-lb sack of cement up a 11-foot flight of stairs. Or catching a 50-lb sack of cement dropped from 11 feet up.
Bringing simple convenience to your home the Chamberlain Bringing simple convenience to your home the Chamberlain 1-1/4 HP Garage Door Opener provides instant garage access at your fingertips. Featuring innovative built-in smartphone control and battery backup this system ensures that you're never locked out of your home. Boasting a steel reinforced belt drive the B970 features anti-vibration technology ...  More + Product Details Close