How to install a roller garage door

0.2 opening 1

Find an opening in need of a garage door

This post shows how we install a typical roller garage door. There happen to be two roller garage doors here.

We found the openings in need of garage doors in the vicinity of Cambridge.

It was a moderately gloomy and warm Summer day in England; it could have been winter, spring or autumn. We drove a few hundred miles to install these two doors, so I thought to make use of the day with an edifying and bloggable set of 73 photographs. I have also typed out some helpful comments, next to each photograph. My thanks to my photographer.

1.0 a van

Use a van to carry tools and the door to site

The manufacturer might deliver for you.

1.1 The drills

Needed: some HSS and SDS drills and drivers

The HSS high speed steel combi drill is used for opening up circular holes into the steel or aluminium parts of the door. You need a selection of drill bit sizes - particularly 4.5, 8, and 13mm. The torque driver has the advantage of applying torque relative to the pressure of the finger on the trigger. The SDS slotted drive shaft drill is for hammer percussion rotary into brick or concrete. Use SDS drill bits for this machine.

1.2 The tools

Needed: a selection of tools in a tool box, with fixings

Tools needed are relatively few in number, but should include saw horses, ladders, pop rivet gun, large screwdriver, spanner set, allen key set. Maybe an angle grinder or hack saw.

2 The curtains

Lay the curtain out carefully

Don't lay it on uneven ground. This is 0.5mm aluminium, and it will buckle with pressure at specific points. It is said that the polyeurethane core is meant to insulate the door; but, actually, its chief purpose is to give body to the flimsy aluminium. It is soft. Meaning dents in the finish. After a few years you might get dents in this door, but not on the first day, when you hand it over - that will spoil your day! Slats can be replaced from the one or two hidden at the top, but it takes a bit of time and care to take a dented slat out and put it at the top of the roll. Lay it out carefully and don't unwrap until it's needed.

2.1 Door

Lay out the guides channels and shaft

Keep the workplace orderly, so you can get the door(s) installed quickly and find your bits and pieces.

3.0 measre floor to ceiling

Measure the opening

Measure the height from floor to ceiling - on both sides of the door, left and right. It is necessary to use a level of some kind. The sum is as follows:

Width: You wont' be able to change the overall width of the door. You have, rather, to make the guide channels lie symmetrically, with equal overlapp on both sides. So take the width of the opening, then the width of the door; take away one from the other and divide by two. The result is the distance from the opening to the back of the guide channels, for both sides.

Height: Draw a line across the lowest point of the ceiling. This line must be level. Run a tape down from this line to the floor on the left, and on the right (using a level again). Your highest point must not be different for both sides. But, your lowest point (the floor level) might differ from left to right. If the floor is not level, you must cut the guides down with an angle grinder.

Basically, the roll and shaft must be level, and must fit under the ceiling. If the floor is not level, then cut the guide channels so that, if the roller and motor shaft are to be level, and the floor is not level, then one leg must be longer than the other.

Ensure that you triple check your measurements and levels before proceeding.

3.1 Laser level

A laser level will show you easily whether the floor is level

3.2 distance

Use a laser distance measurer if you are alone

3.4 distance 2

A good laser distance device

4.0 openig guides

Cut the guide channels open at this point

4.1 cut guides

Cut the guide channels to ensure the motor barrel will be level

4.2 drill through guide with 8 1

Drill through the guides with an 8mm bit

Holes through the face of the guide channels, as shown (or, through the sides, for reveal fit). Space the holes for fixings at around 400mm; but space them so as to miss any mortar lines in the substrate you are going to fix into.

4.3 drill front of guide with 13

Drill a 13mm into the front skin of the guide channels

The other skin of the guide channels, onto which the fixing will make a clamp, should be left at 8mm.

4.4 bin bag

Put any rubbish away as you go along.

5.0 put plate on guide

Slot the end plates onto the guide channels

The picture shows a door which does not have a full enclosure. These are just the end plates, and no enclosure has been supplied. Often, the endplates are affixed to a 1mm roll formed enclosure  - in which case, put the whole enclosure up and slotted into the guide channels.

5.1 lay up guides

Use clamps to hold the door in place

Ensure you equalise the door over the opening, symmetrically.

5.2 check level of guides

Use a laser or spirit level to ensure the guides are perfectly upright

Measure the width across the channels; should be the same at top as at bottom, and as per the manufactured size. If the guides are too far apart, then the curtain will perhaps come out during a strong wind. If the guides are too close, the door won't move properly. You generally only have a 10mm space for error in this matter, and every millimeter matters.

6.0 wood fixing drill

Fixings for hard wood

6.0 wood fixings

Impact driver for screwing them in.

These are self-tapping wood screws with a Pozi head, so they go in without a pilot hole, and don't split the timber as they make their way in.

6.1 brick fixings

The fixing kit for brick or concrete

6.2 concrete screw

Concrete screws

These have an 8mm outer diameter, and tap their way in. Drill with a 6mm SDS bit. These don't need rawl plugs, so once you put the guide channels up, simply drill through the holes in the guides, then screw them in.

6.3 sds drill

6mm bit into brick

6.4 using packers garage door

Use packers where necessary with brick

If there is a gap more than a couple of millimeters, use shims or packers so that the guide doesn't collapse when you tighten the screws. Fill in the gaps later with silicone, or, a PVC trim or similar - to make the whole thing look nice.

6.5 fix guides

Impact the screws in. Ensure that they clamp the guides tight

Any loose fixings which won't tighten up will have to be dealt with creatively.. by removing the guide and thinking up another method of fixation: resin, rawl plugs.. etc.


If the guide channels or plates are not fixed on appropriately, the door might have some kind of catastrophic collapse or failure in future times.

6.6 brick fixing

Pay close attention to the fixings

The door's level of safety and security depends on the soundness of the fixings.

6.7 guides in place


7.0 prep motor plate

Get the motor barrel ready for installation

7.1 dummy plate

The non-motor end looks like this

It should already be up at this point. Notice the fixings into the timber to clamp it onto the substrate. Fixings through the plate will share the load of the door. Note: a roller door load presses downward on to the guides; also, tries to fall forward since it is out of balance relative to the guide channels. So it must be pinned back with fixings.

7.1 motor plate

The motor plate. Holes pre-drilled ready for the motor

7.2 1 lift barrel

Put the motor shaft up and lay it onto the lip of the plates

7.2 2 insert brake end

Insert the floating shaft into the brake

7.3 brake and allen

Loosen the allen bolt to allow the square shaft to go into the brake

Safety brake roller shutter

Ensure it goes all the way in, then move the allen clamp back to ensure it never comes out again

If this is not done with care, the motor shaft and the whole door will come out one day, on some unsuspecting head! Take care here.

7.5 motor in place

Use allen key and spanner to tighten the motor to the end plate

7.6 screws for motor

As above

7.7 secure motor and brake ends
7.8 hole for override

Drill a hole for the override bar, so that the override bar will slot into the motor

7.9 override handle

The override bar and eyelet

7.10 drill for cable

Needed: rivet and gun, with cable clamp

7.10 pin the cable

Use a clip / clamp to hold the wire against the plate

The motor wire is 4 core 230V 3A+. If the door rubs against it during operation, it will cut this wire. Fix it back as shown.

aluroll teleco panel parts

Open up the control panel kit

aluroll panel kit

Here are buttons, and machine screws, etc.

8.2 drill panel back

Prepare holes in the panel so as to tie it near to the door

8.3 prep panel

Do any preparation work for the controller while it is still easy to work with

8.4 attach panel

Attach the panel to the wall, 300mm or so from the door edge, 1300mm from floor

curly cable on garage door

This clip is for a wired safety edge, helical cable

8.6 tubular motor wires

Feed the motor wire in to the panel

roller shutter teleco control panel wired

Wire it up. Copper can arc, so ensure all copper is stuffed inside the terminals

9.0 barrel with bubble on

Wrap some bubble wrap around the motor barrel

It is now time to drop the curtain over the motor barrel. So, some muscle and tender care are both required. Don't scratch the curtain while it is being dropped over the motor barrel. It will now be necessary to let it roll up and over the barrel, and then down through the guide channels. This will be done manually.

9.1 prep curtain

Take the bubble wrap off the curtain

9.2 lift curtain up

Carefully lift the curtain up, carefully

roller shutter chester

Look mean moving it around toward the opening and then up the ladders

Plan the movement in advance and clear the area. Position the ladders below the motor barrel so that you can walk up the ladders and up to the position where the curtain can be unfurled slowly over the barrel and down into the guides.

9.4 carry roller shutter curtain

Mean and stressed at once!

9.5 lift curtain in place

Get up the ladder and roll it down into the guide channels

9.6 curtain half over

Lower the curtain into the guides only half way

9.7 put autolocks on

While it is halfway hanging down and halfway in the guide channels, slide the top locks on

9.8 drop curtain

Allow the curtain to drop fully, under control, and space the top locks out equally

9.9 kit for attaching curtain

This is the kit you need for attaching the top locks to the motor barrel

9.10 kit for attaching

These 'selve' top locks need a large flat blade screwdriver

9.11 screw driver and autolocks
9.12 drill barrel

Drill a pilot into the barrel for the machine screws

selve tye autolocks

Impact the screws in, to secure the top locks

putting curtain into guide channels

Once the door is attached, use the power from the controller to open the door

setting limits roller shutter tubular motor

Now set the limits

Contact me if you want advice about what this means. Or how to do it. Generally, we are now going to make the door move and stop only at exact positions: fully closed and full open. If the door passes beyond the correct open position, it will travel around damaging itself; if it travels beyond the correct closing position, the top locks will break. So, set the limits to the motor run.

Buttons or caps on roller shutter

Hammer the cover caps onto the guide channels holes. Must be 13mm holes

Guide channels roller shutter

Cover caps

Note, the holes and caps are aligned - not all over the place, machine gun style

safety edge garage door

The door safety edge has a curled wired cable. Wire it into the panel appropriately

wiring roller garage door

As shown

warranty roller garage door

Put the lid onto the control panel

wiring roller garage door

Clip the 230V cable back. The wiring was to be finished later, so here the cable is left long, but tidy

override garage door

Check whether override works

Garage door chester

Clean up and sign the job off

That's it. Some companies supply a CE mark to affix to the door, others don't. Sign a delivery note or something like that - and make your way home.. with no call backs, no claims on your 5 year warranty, and some word of mouth work off the back of it!

The job took around 4.5 hours. We drove through Cambridge on the way home, the photographer and I. I bought a book by Soren Kierkegaard (Concluding Unscientific Postscript) from the University Press bookshop; my photographer got some more photos and some souvenirs.

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