Replacing a garage door is a great way to add curb appeal to your home. It’s also one of the home improvements that actually produces a great return on your investment when selling your home. To help you get started with choosing a new door, we have put together this step by step guide to help lead you through the buying process.
Materials & Budgets
Garage Doors are made from a wide variety of materials. However, typical garage doors are made from either steel, steel with composite overlays or wood. The choice in which material to choose is generally made when setting your budget for your garage door replacement. Steel doors are the most widely used and the least expensive of the three types. Steel doors come in insulated and non-insulated models. They also come in colors that mimic the look and style of real wood carriage doors. Steel doors start at around $250. The next most expensive model is steel doors with composite overlays. Composite overlay doors give you the sharp lines and custom look of wood doors, but they require less maintenance. Composite doors start at around $1000. Last, but certainly not least expensive is custom wood doors. Custom wood doors are a beautiful option on the right home, but their high ticket price and high maintenance cost has caused them to fall out of favor with some. Custom wood doors start at about $2700 each. Keep in mind when buying a wood door that stain grade models will require regular refinishing.
Determine Your Size
If you are shopping for a new garage door then you must know your door size to get the best deal. Don’t always leave this task to a garage door salesman. On many occasions, we have had customers call our offices to get quotes using the take off of a local garage door company. The customer’s trusted the measurements of their local guy, but was sorely disappointed when we arrived with a door that was too big for the opening. It’s a standard trick to quote you a price on a slightly bigger model to keep you from shopping apples to apples. Be empowered when shopping for a replacement garage door. Use our handy guide to help you get all of the right measurements.
Check Your Local Building Code
In some counties, a building permit is required before replacing your garage door. You may also need to buy a garage door that has a wind rating. You can learn more about windratings and which garage door to choose, here. If you are taking down and installing your new garage door yourself, you may need to consider one more thing. If you have a garage door with lead based paint there needs to be special care taken in the removal and disposal of that door. Wearing the right protective gear and proper disposal of the door is a must.
You Get What You Pay For
Garage Doors, like everything else, is a get what you pay for proposition. A non-insulated model may seem like a good cost effective option, but if quiet operation and controlling the temperature in your garage is important then step up and buy and insulated model. Steel garage doors are like a heating element. They heat up from direct sunlight and they transfer that energy right into your garage. This may not seem like a big deal now, but walking into a breathtakingly hot garage that causes instant sweating on a hot day is not my idea of a good value.
After the Installation
After your garage door is installed, it may still require tweaks and adjustments once the spring system settles in. We often see customers upset because they went with a door company because they saved them $20, but after the guy has their money, he no longer answers their calls. We try to do a perfect job every time, but garage doors are sometimes unruly creatures. Getting the couter-balance system to operate and synchronized perfectly with your garage door opener takes skill. Even something as simple as weather changes can effect the performance of your door. Make sure to check references on anyone that installs a new garage door. Garage doors are a very large moving object and they require regular maintenance. Make sure that you get the right warranty from a reputable door dealer before agreeing to a new installation.