Buying & Installing Garage Door Replacement Panels

Replacement panels are an attractive alternative when it just isn’t in your budget to buy a whole new garage door or when there are special circumstances that require a repair, retrofit or upgrade but not a complete replacement. Since one damaged panel can ruin the look of your entire door (and if extreme enough might even negatively impact the door’s operation and the energy efficiency of the entire garage) a replacement panel is often the ideal solution.

Consider the door insulation R value

Even if the garage door is in good repair, swapping out existing door panels with higher “R-Value” insulated replacements is typically well worth the investment. A good rule of thumb to follow is to match the panel replacement’s “R-Value” (at minimum a 12 on the standard scale is recommended) to the R-Value of the rest of your home.

Garage door insulation is an effective way to get the most use from your garage and improve the overall energy efficiency of the entire property. Bottom line—you will save significant amounts of money on heating and cooling bills! There are insulation kits available that enable the DIYer do to the job themselves—but it is also worthwhile to investigate having a professional installation done by the supplier of your replacement panels.

Whatever your reason—from functional to aesthetic considerations, replacement garage door panels are increasingly available in more colors, materials and styles than ever before, Depending on the material your garage door is made from, you can combine a repair job with a significant “eye appeal” upgrade AND improve your energy consumption all at the same time.

Finding the right panels

Before you call a dealer, make sure you hunt down the paperwork you got when the door was installed. If you don’t have that, you’ll have to take a look at the door. Try to come up with the following:

  • Brand Name – your door’s manufacturer
  • The model number
  • Color and any significant design features
  • Door width and height of each section (panel)
  • Whether or not the panel is insulated
  • Have a camera ready – take some pictures of the panel. Most sources will have a website, and you cna email them pictures instead of reciting model numbers, etc over the phone.

Brand Name

Normally on a sticker. Look on the inside of the door, and the end of the door panels. Record all of the information on the sticker, or just take a picture of it.

Panel Info

It is usually better to measure the garage door opening rather than the panel width, but do both – it only takes a second. Now measure the panel height, and make note of the color, and whether there are any features: windows, unusual trim, etc. Insulated doors will either have a steel back or a vinyl coating over the insulation – note this as well.

NOTE: If you have managed to damage two or more panels, you may find that it is cheaper to just replace the entire door. Be sure to ask about this.

Now you’re ready to call your dealer and ask for a quote.  Be sure to get pricing for both dealer installation and delivery, and a DIY price.

Here’s a list of manufacturers with links to their websites, and phone numbers.

If you can’t get an exact replacement, you’ll have to go aftermarket. Any decision to swap out the existing garage door panels with replacements should begin with a careful evaluation of the scope of the project. Identify the features you intend to incorporate with your upgrade or repair and you will simplify your search for the best type of replacement for the job. You must be sure to shop for  panels that will work with your existing rail and garage door opening systems—you may be limited by size, weight and lift capacities of the existing hardware and mechanisms.

In general, panels constructed from metal—ideally insulated dual layer steel– are the best and most cost effective replacement option. Steel is durable and secure, not subject to rust or rot and eliminates the maintenance headaches of wooden panels. A recent innovation is the fiberglass composite door—which is lightweight and resistant to rot and mildew—but may not provide the same level of security and energy efficiency as either steel or wood.

How to replace a garage door panel

Depending on the style of garage door, panels often slide into and out of the rails making the removal and replacement of one or two

Replacement begins by detaching the hinge from both sides of the panel being taken out. You may then slide the panel out of its rails. It should be noted that depending on the style of door it may be necessary to remove several garage door panels to get to those that require replacement. This fact may impact your decision of whether to do the work yourself or opt for professional installation.

Once the old panel has been removed, reverse the process by sliding the new panel into the track and tightening the bolts or screws holding it in place. Attach the hinges and you are done!

By understanding your options and clearly defining what you want, it is easy to find the perfect replacement panels. Further you can potentially reduce your cash outlay for the project by researching any available tax credits available on energy efficiency upgrades and never forget in the case of damaged panels, to check out any existing warranty on your original door, as well as your home insurance policy.


  1. Larry Wilson says

    I’m looking to replace my top garage door panel because it is bent. Is there any way to get just the one panel.?

    • admin says

      HI Larry,
      I am sorry – we don’t have a single garage door panel solution. We do sell a kit with 2 insulation panels, though. If that is what you need, you can find it here: Garage Door Insulation Panels

      Here’s the description:
      Extra Panels For Metal Garage Doors
      Perfect for oversized Garage Doors or Replacement Needs.
      Contains 2 panels (each 1 1/4 x 20 1/4 x 54)
      Falcon Foam Extra Panels……………… $35.00

      UPS Ground shipping is free in the 48 states!

  2. Chris says

    I have a 14′ X 7′ wooden garage door. It is built in horizantal sections. The bottom section is rotting and I want to replace it. Are there 14′ sections availble for replacement?


    • admin says

      Hi Chris,

      I think you are going to have to get a replacement panel made. The best way is to take an intact panel or section to a shop and have them measure / duplicate it.

  3. HAZEL says


    • admin says

      Hi Hazel,
      You’ll have to look on the door itself and see if you can find a manufacturer name somewhere. Check the sides and bottom edge as well if you can. Once you know who made your door, you’re good to go. Just look them up online and find the nearest service center or dealer. If you can’t find the name, take few pictures with your phone and head over to the largest garage door dealer in yoru area. Chances are, they’ll be able to help you out.

  4. Stacey MacDonald says

    We have a wood rool up garage door that needs panels replaced after 27 yrs of weather beating on it as well as a great deal of hot sunshine. It has been well maintained through the years, but it needs to have new panels.

    I want to do the replacing myself, instead of buying a new door, as the hardware is all good and would be easier for me to replace panels.

    Would thes be available? Thanks Stacey

    • DIY Garage Door says

      It depends. First look on the door for a manufacturers label or insignia – hopefully there will also be a model or serial number. Then Google them and see if your door is supported. The advantage you have over most owners of really old garage doors is that you can actually have a carpenter come out, disassemble a panel, and make you some new ones.

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