locked out of my garage - help please!

Question: What type of door is it?
Does it have hinged sections that fold? Or is it a solid door that tilts?

More info could be quite helpful to solve problem.

(I’m thinking that if it is the hinged type, you could saw between two sections to take out the hinges. You would then have somehow disable {read: break} the wheel that fits in the track on one side. Repair would only be two hinges and a wheel)

Sounds to me like a problem easily solved by a suitable quantity of high explosives…

Seems to me that you’d want to minimize damage to the door, since that’s a pretty expensive replacement.

When my dad installed his first garage door opener, my parents’ garage had no second door (they’ve since installed one). The opener came with (or possibly this was purchased separately) a thin metal cable that was attached to the release handle on one end, and connected to a key lock core that fit into a hole drilled into the garage door on the other end. In the event of a power failure, you inserted your key into this lock, pulled out the core, pulled on the cable, released the door’s connection to the opener drive, and pushed the door up. If installing a second door into your garage isn’t practical, I suggest a method like this to prevent this problem from reoccurring. An additional remote won’t help you if your opener fails with the door in the closed position.

5cents -

My idea doesn’t put any new holes in the door.

Maybe you don’t understand what I’m saying. The bolt holes are already there. Just drill off the heads on the arm that pulls the door up. IMHO, drilling the bolts will be a heck of a lot less mess than cutting a 6-5/8 hole in the door.

6 and 5/8 hole saw? Yep, you will need a half inch drill for that that.

I don’t know 5cents but you say you use this for recessed lights. It’s a lot different cutting through drywall than wood and or an aluminum clad door.

Nope, you don’t understand. The four or maybe six bolts to be drilled out would be replaced by new bolts. No new holes. None. Just re-hook it up with new bolts in the old holes.

Why not drill four bolts and save the door?

Many (most?) modern steel garage doors use self-tapping screws that go through a reinforcement post on the inside of the door. There is nothing on the outside. If you want to drill out the screws, you’ll be on a fishing expedition.

Some older doors and many wood doors use a carriage bolt (or similar), where the head of the bolt is exposed outside the door. If you have carriage bolts, your idea can work. However, with a carriage bolt, instead of drilling, you can just grind off the head.

You’ll need 1/2" because the shank on the arbor is typically 1/2" on a hole saw this big. Residential steel garage doors are usually pretty flimsy, and cut readily. When my next door neighbor had his garage door replaced, the installer removed the old door sections and chopped them in half (they were 16 feet - I guess 8 feet is easier to handle) with a sawzall in about 5 seconds.

carbide grit, as used for drywall, also works really well on metal, however it’s horrible with wood. “bi-metal” works great on wood, decently on drywall, but not so good on metal.

The hardest part about drilling metal is to keep the drill bit cool. If you smoke the bit, it won’t cut. Water works OK, but oil is better. My guess is that most residential garage doors aren’t thick enough that heat will be a problem.

So the real answer to the OP’s problem is - it depends on the details of your garage and door.

Well, for those of you who are interested (and I thank you all for your advice), no way I can snake anything into the garage to pull the cord. There’s a lip at the top that is surprisingly tight and ain’t nothing goin’ in there.

And yes, it’s a solid door that tilts, not a door with folding slats.

I think the easiest option I have at the moment is to borrow a tall ladder and climb through the one window. It’s got jalousied panes (wow I have no clue how to spell that) so it’ll be easy to get through once I get the ladder up.

Running with Scissors did make a darn good point – it’d be far too easy to get locked in (or more probably get the car stuck inside) in the event of a power outage. Like, if there’s a fire in the area of a major earthquake and I need to drive out, and fast! I think once I get the door working, I’m installing one of those power free cables as well.

I take it by the way my post was ignored that there is no wall mounted opener button inside the garage?

You may want to consider mounting a wireless keypad opener so you wont need to haul out the remote every time you need something from your toolbox.

5cents -

Yep the Devil is in the Details. All the doors I’ve seen have the bolts all the way through.

And yep, if you try to drill the bolts off, you will have to make sure to ‘rest’ the bit to prevent frying it. And oil can help keep it cooler.

An angle grinder is a good idea too. And they are pretty inexpensive. But you may do more damage to the door grinding the bolt heads off than drilling.

All the doors I’ve seen have a release mechanism on the track that attaches to the door. This is the ‘red’ handle every one is talking about. Once you pull the handle, you can operate the door manually. I doubt you need to install anything, you just need to find this ‘disconector’.

How old is this unit?

Good luck.

That’s true, but the likelihood of you being inside the garage when the power goes out is pretty slim. If the car is inside and you are outside, you have the very same problem that we’re trying to solve now. A second door into the garage would be an ideal solution if you could find a place to put it.

HA. Good point. I can’t seem to wrap my head around a garage with the garage door as the only access. The OP was talking about a ‘power free cable’. Not really sure what he means.

Hmm. So he would have to string a cord from the outside to the release. Kinda funky. The release moves with the door, so you would need lots of slack in the cord to move when the door moves.

I would really try to find a way to put a regular door into the garage.

Installing a wireless remote coded entry is a good idea.

Installing a keyed entry is a very BAD idea.

My daughter --who was 16 at the time— found herself locked out of the house. Found a screwdriver, pried off the keyed entry plate, shorted the 2 wires together and voila garage door opened —all in the space of a few minutes.

I figured if a 16 year old girl could figure that out, any crook could too. Disconnected that keyed entry the next day.

If it were me, I’d make a hole in the garage door large enough for me to crawl through. Then afterwards, convert the hole into a small door, like a cat flap, in case this sort of thing happens again.

Maybe you could ask these people, they have a 800 phone nbr:
“All models also include a manual release that will allow you to open the door if the power is out. Some higher-end models include a function that opens the door just a little bit so the cat or dog can get out.http://www.aaaremotes.com/gdobuyguide.html

You really need to add a door.

To make a hole in the wall, I suggest a 1920’s Style Death Ray.

It’s power free, because all it does is release the emergency release. There is one steel cable, not two wires. It does not depend on electrical power. For a garage with no other access, I’d consider it essential.

Here’s one, at the same site referred to by handy http://www.aaaremotes.com/key-release-lock.html. Imagine this installed on the door somewhere, preferably directly below the emergency latch. Unloop the cable and hook it to the emergency release. To open, insert key and turn. The lock will pull on the cable, the cable on the emergency release.

As for ease of break-in, that depends partly on the design of the lock, and also on the installation.


That makes sence. The lock is attached to the door, so it moves with the arm that raises the door.

Unlock and pull the cable to disconnect the door from the opener.

Good idea.

You still need a hole in the wall to use the Sawzall initially.:smiley:

Only if you’re a wimp! Two words: Plunge Cut.

Wait a minute. It’s a one-piece tilting wooden door?

Why not just get a circular saw and cut yourself a doorway in the garage door? Get yourself some doorway casing and nail it in the shape of a doorway, but slightly larger than the cut you intend to make. Use the outline as the guide-track for your circular saw. Use a hand saw to complete the corners.

Then, once you’re in and everything is as you like it, cut the doorway casing to fit over cut you made and nail it shut. Do the same on the back of the door, too.

You can cut it just small enough to crawl inside, if you wish. I’ll give you extra points if you tack a “Beware of Dog” sign on it when you’re done.

Someone who really wants inside your garage the next time is going to have to pry the casing off the front and then hammer the door in, a time consuming, loud job which you might be willing to do if you have to, but a thief likely won’t be likely to try.

You’re giving up the chance to own a giant time capsule?