In the life of your garage door, you may find that one of the panels needs replacing sooner than the others. It may have been dented or damaged. It may just be particularly worn compared to the rest of the door after many years of use. Whatever the reason for the outlying panel, replacing the one panel is an option – though there are many considerations.
The Age of the Door
Garage doors tend to last about 25 years. So, if yours is still young, simply repairing the panel might be best. With a newer door, it will also be easier to find a suitable replacement. The new panel needs to match in terms of style, size, and weight. You can always paint the door to make the colors match once the new panel is installed. With an older door, finding a good match may be tricky and garage door mechanisms may have been updated, so a full update may be a better bet.
How the Panel was Damaged
If the damage is cosmetic from normal wear and tear, it may be easier and cheaper to use products such as wood filler or paint to cover up scratches, rust, cracks, or warps. If, though, the damage was more severe – for example, the door was hit by a car – then the damage may be affecting more parts of the door than just the obviously injured panel. The mechanisms may have been compromised. In that case, while you may be able to simply change the panel, you also will want to look for any other signs of damage that need attention.
The Cost of the Replacement
If you are comfortable changing the panel yourself – which is complex, but certainly not impossible! – then you will save on labor. Otherwise, it may be cost effective to get a whole door replacement, rather than only a new single panel (especially if you need more than one panel replaced). It is certainly worth inquiring!
If you do decide to replace the panel, make sure you get the right one for your door. Beyond appearances, check the make and model to ensure that the new panel will fit and maintain a smooth operation of your door. Also, be sure to address any damage swiftly. Do not continue to use the door until you can handle the repair. For example, even a small dent may lead to cracks which can let in water and speed rusting. Minor damage can turn major before you know it!
So, yes. If you have examined the issues and feel single panel replacement is the answer, you can do it yourself. But be careful! The bottom panel, for instance, is likely connected to your spring system, which is under extreme tension and could cause serious injury if mishandled. Which is exactly why we are here for you!