We hear that DYI work with the garage door can be dangerous (very dangerous) and never attempted. Are these people just trying to convince us to spend more money by hiring a technician? We’re grown-ups, we know how to be careful, and we know how things could go wrong. We’re handymen. We can fix it and save money that way too.

We interviewed our CEO, Dan Watkins, about his experiences with the garage door business. Specifically, we wanted to know his early experiences, how it was like when he was learning to become an experienced technician, what stories he saw or heard happening, what dangers he experienced himself, if any, and what are the common misconceptions people have about garage door repair.

Here is Dan’s story. Please express to your thoughts and ask questions in the comments to the blog post.

“There are many people out there that fancy themselves handymen around the house. Others are just trying to save a buck or two in these grim economic times. Normally this is the prudent thing to do. Heck, if you screw something else, you can always try again or call a professional out to get it done right. But, there is one job you never want to try on your own… changing the springs on your garage doors. This is project that should only be performed by an experienced garage door technician. If you try doing this on your own, you could lose something much more important than your money… your life!

When I began learning the garage door business from my Uncle, who owns a garage door business in Michigan, he constantly harped on how dangerous garage door springs can be if you are not very careful and know exactly what you are doing. He told me stories about people who had been killed or seriously injured while replacing torsion springs. In fact, my other Uncle who had been in the garage door business for years had broken his thumb by changing springs. With so much evidence of the dangers of changing springs, I always have taken great care and concentration while changing thousands of springs in my lifetime.

Ironically, when I went to change the springs in my very first customer’s house (many years ago) here in Metro Atlanta Georgia, I head/saw my first of many horror stories. The last time the customer’s springs broke, the gentlemen of the house tried to change out the springs himslef. His reward for “saving” the family a few bucks was a result in a lifetime without a thumb.  Since then, I have met a couple of other “Handymen” that have tried to save money by changing their own springs. These people have lost fingers or spent time in the emergency room. These aren’t just my customers, I’ve heard numerous stories about technicians or customers that have had worst done to them because of the tension that is applied to people’s faces, heads, arms, etc… at the hands and mercy of torsion springs.

At times I’ve thought, “How can that have happened?” the reality is, if you don’t know what you are doing, A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G is possible. You could be using the wrong tool or have yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even if you know what you are doing, bad things can happen. My technicians risk their lives every time they change a set of springs. They may stay focused and position themselves in the correct way to limit their risks for any mishaps. So, the next time a spring breaks at your house, don’t be foolish enough to attempt to fix it yourself, “Handyman.” Leave it to the professionals. Your life and livelihood is much more important than saving a few dollars.”

So before you attempt a DYI repair for our garage door, think twice. Think of what you are risking and if it is worth saving a few bucks for it. Ask for an estimate on your repair before you decide to save money.