When you have a broken down garage door, it feels like your entire garage is “out of order.” Don’t make any hasty decisions just yet; we’ll help you figure out when a repair is adequate and when a total garage door replacement is necessary.

As an added bonus, I've included a few maintenance pointers that will help you get the most life out of your garage door.


The old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", holds very true when it relates to your garage door. If it functions properly and you are still happy with the they way it looks - there is no reason to repair or replace it.

When it isn't working as intended is the time to decide: garage door repair vs. replacement. For most people, the decision comes down to cost. This is a good guiding principle for the first decade of your doors life; after that, the cost indicator isn't as clear.

Garage doors last anywhere between 10-15 years. At this point you'll begin noticing weaknesses in your door, such as:

  • Weak or broken springs
  • Loud, grinding noises
  • Rough or jerky opening/closing
  • Failing or weakened structural integrity (sagging, falling apart at joints)
  • Rust
  • Fading color

While all of these weaknesses can be repaired, their costs will quickly add up as the frequency of these issues become more and more common.

Secondly, garage doors older than 15-20 years can be hard or impossible to find garage door replacement parts for. This will either drive the price of repair up significantly (making replacement more cost-effective), or it will eliminate repair as an option, leaving you no choice but to replace your door.

The Cost of Repair...

If age isn't the cause of damage, then the cost of the repair is an excellent deciding factor. While most standard repairs are fairly cost-effective, there are some instances where replacement is the better alternative.

For example, if there is damage to three or more sections of your residential garage door, you'll be better off replacing the entire door in lieu of replacing individual sections.

As a general rule of thumb, if the cost for garage door repair parts is in the range of $90-$300, I recommend a garage door repair. If a garage door repair will cost more than $300, it's more cost effective for a garage door replacement.


Taking proper care of your garage door will help make sure you get the most life and use out of it. I'd recommend the following steps:

  • Spring & Fall Assessment – Evaluate the overall appearance, functionality, and condition of your door twice a year; if you notice any functionality or cosmetic issues - fix them right away.
    • Springs, rollers and hinges need to be oiled on a regular basis, so check this during your assessment. Not doing so can potentially cut their lifetime in half.
      Tip: use car engine motor oil – new or used, not WD-40 (it actually attracts dust to the parts).
    • Minnesota weather causes stress and deterioration to garage doors - from rust to color fading. Take a close look during your assessment to see if there are any early stages of damage that can be prevented.
  • Annual Maintenance – It's good practice to have a professional inspect your door once a year; they look a little closer and make sure your door is prepared to withstand another year of operation.

These preventative maintenance tips will help you prevent damage and resolve issues quickly, lengthening the life of your garage door. But, replacement can't always be prevented, especially when age becomes a factor. At American Door Works, we can accommodate whichever option you decide is the best solution.