Choosing the Right Garage Door
Here’s a secret most home-builders won’t tell you: Home-buyers don’t think about a garage door unless it’s broken. The thought is, the door only needs to be functional, it doesn’t need to be beautiful.
It’s that prevailing attitude that leads builders to install the same white, stamped-metal, un-insulated garage door on home after home in neighborhood after neighborhood. If you live in one of these neighborhoods, your house probably looks a lot like every other one on the block, especially if the garage door is street-facing.
READ how we transformed a cinder block garage and a homes curb appeal by adding cedar clapboards, trim and a new garage door.
But the upside is that a dramatic improvement to your home’s curb appeal, and possibly a leg-up on the competition if you’re planning to list your house in the near future, is just a garage door replacement away.
That’s because the garage door makes up a significant portion of a home’s facade on many contemporary houses. By changing out the garage door, the home can look dramatically different. Not only that, but three years of surveys have found that garage door replacement consistently delivers a good return on investment (up to 75 percent on average) when it comes time to sell.
What kind of garage door should you buy?
What kinds of garage doors are even available? How to Choose a New Garage Door?
There are more options than you think, especially when factoring in materials (steel, vinyl, wood), styles (modern, traditional, carriage house), energy efficiency (insulated or non-insulated), options (windows, decorative hardware) and colors. To make sense of it all, it’s best to start with the basics.
While you’ll want to eventually visit a garage door dealer showroom, taking the time to research your options online is the best place to start.
Where To Get Garage Door Ideas
Browsing garage door manufacturer sites and home renovation sites like Houzz.com is a good place to get ideas on how to choose a garage door. However, to really understand the decisions you’ll need to make, watch these short YouTube videos from Overhead Door Corporation.
Combined, the six videos offer a primer on everything that will be brought up when you get to the showroom, including brand selection, the impact a garage door can have on curb appeal, the style options and material choices available, insulation benefits and even price considerations. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming, so researching before you buy will deliver the best results.
Quality Construction Matters
Outside of price, one of the most important factors to consider is door material. All doors are not created equal and each material used in construction carries its own costs and benefits. For example, while a steel garage door will last a long time, it can also be easily dented, especially by kids who like to play ball in the driveway.
Wood doors are beautiful and incredibly strong, but they require routine maintenance and should be thought of as furniture for your garage. And if you live in an area subject to strong winds, you’ll want to consider doors with high wind load ratings.
After you’ve done some initial research to determine your price range and material preference, click on over to garage door manufacturer websites to see what kinds of doors and style options are available. Today, you can find styles ranging from utilitarian to ornate, carriage-house to modern. This is where choosing your door can get tricky.
For many people, imagining how a new door will look on their home can be difficult. But many garage door manufacturers have thought of this and have come up with a cool tech solution: online visualization tools.
At Wayne-Dalton.com, for example, it’s possible to upload a photo of a house into the website’s Garage Door Design Center, which then allows a visitor to place many kinds of doors onto their home until they find one they like. For each door, you can choose among window, color, panel and hardware styles. If you just want to browse on the fly, the online tool also contains a variety of sample homes in many different architectural styles.
Once you have an idea of the type of door you want, it’s time to go shopping. By doing your research beforehand, you’ll walk into the showroom an informed customer and walk out with the door that truly matches your home and helps it stand out from the neighbors.