“When you look at a garage door from the inside, there are hinges
up the left side of the door, up the right side and in the middle section,
and they all have names and numbers.”
Replacing a garage door hinge is not as potentially dangerous as replacing a torsion spring, but there are steps that must be taken to do it properly and safely. If your garage hinge is broken, your door may work poorly or not at all.
Identify which garage door hinge needs to be replaced. While this may seem elementary, it’s not as simple as pointing and saying, “that one.” When you look at a garage door from the inside, there are hinges up the left side of the door, up the right side and in the middle section, and they all have names and numbers. Here’s the way things lay out:
- Along each side of the door, from bottom to top, the first item is not a hinge but a “Lift Bracket.” The lift bracket is connected to your garage door’s lift spring with a lift cable. The cable is under high tension when the garage door is closed, so the tension must be relieved BEFORE attempting to replace the lift bracket (more on this later).
- Moving up from the bottom, the next item connects your bottom panel with the next panel above it and it is called “Hinge #1.”
- The next hinge above Hinge #1 is Hinge #2, and so on moving towards the top of the door.
- The top item along the sides of the garage door is the “Top Roller Carrier.” It gets this name because it carries the top roller along the side of the garage and it is not a hinge (I know, duh.)
- All hinge locations in the center section of the garage door, away from the sides, use Hinge #1.
NOTE: When you purchase a new garage door hinge, you will typically see a number stamped directly into the metal indicating the type of hinge it is. Try to buy hinges that are the same brand as those already on your door.
If that is not possible, compare your current hinge to the replacement and try to match them as closely as possible. If you are buying your new hinge at a local hardware or home improvement store, take the old hinge with you to be certain you get the correct replacement hinge.
How much do they cost?
For residential doors, expect to pay from under $2.00 for a light weight, 18 gauge steel or cheap plastic Hinge #1, to $3.00 or $4.00 for a heavy duty Hinge #4 in 14 gauge or 11 gauge steel. For taller doors, you may need a Hinge #5, #6, etc., and the cost typically goes up a little as the hinge number gets larger.
FYI, for a small difference in cost, it’s foolish (in my opinion) to buy a cheap hinge when a heavy duty one might cost $2 or $3 more.