Re: Garage door reviews - or how to shop
Wider openings need better bracing or roll-up doors. Cheap doors sag the panels when open from insufficient bracing. This is usually an option not normally used in most installations but it's a good idea. Chain drive and belt drive openers are fine when tensioned correctly. Use motorcycle spray chain lube on the chain models once every couple years, more often in humid locations. Keep toothed belts clean and apply nothing to them. Chain lube works great for the rollers too.
Side springs absolutely must have the safety cable properly threaded through them, and they do stretch or break occasionally but work OK on lighter doors. These are far easier for a DIY'er to deal with. Though not really a tough job, I rate these as 6-7 on a DIY scale of 10 because of the many details which need careful attention to get a top-notch result. After you do one they're pretty easy. Coil spring types need the coil brackets very securely fastened, and when winding be very sure to insert the winding rod fully into the hole every time- it's like a bullet if it slips out (and so are unrestrained side-springs when they break)
Someone mentioned using a retail-store installer, and I never recommend going this route for anything. First, you'll pay too much- the installer gets his pay and the store skims a profit on top of that. The installers are just local guys and often not the best in their trade(s) since the stores offer pretty low per-job pay scales. The only advantage to going this route is installment payments may be available through the store if you can't get that any other way.
And someone else mentioned the run-around from items bought from a 'big box' store. Forget the manufacturer and deal with the store directly. You'd be surprised how many 'new' packages the sell that have parts missing because their sales staff 'borrowed' some to appease a previous customer who lost of ruined parts from their kit. Pocket door kits are the worst for that but it can happen with anything. Accept nothing from a store that is not in it's sealed and unopened factory box with no damage of any kind evident to the box. If you complain loudly enough, the 'bog-box' store will either 'borrow' the parts you need from the next kit or swap it out. Manufacturers know all this, and they didn't make a mistake which is why they often give you a run-around when they find where you bought their stuff.
I can't recommend brands save that the Clopay models I've sen do seem to be a better than average door, but more than anything the installation is what makes the biggest difference with garage doors. If you aren't certain you can do a good job of it, get a few bids from local garage door contractors- their professional installation isn't very costly and they can get the job done in a few hours or less versus it being your Saturday or weekend project.