Note from the hosts: We’ve covered curb appeal and garage doors previously, I know, but I couldn’t pass on this post from Kevin Jones, Director of Brand Management at Wayne Dalton. Below >> Four Tips for Choosing a New Garage Door. Enjoy! ~jb
If your home was built sometime within the last 20 years and your garage faces the street, chances are high that your garage door looks just like nearly every one of your neighbors’ – a white, stamped-metal garage door with no insulation.
If you’re thinking about selling your home or just giving a much needed boost to your home’s curb appeal, then replacing that boring door is a great way to go. Not only will it help your home stand out, but research has found that garage door replacement consistently delivers a significant return on investment (up to 75 percent on average) when it comes time to sell.
But how should you go about it? What should you look for? What is even available? 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 and find the garage door that best complements your home’s architecture, follow these four steps.
#1: Understand your options
While you’ll eventually want to visit a garage door dealer showroom, taking the time to research your options online is the best place to start. Garage door manufacturer and home renovation web sites like Houzz.com are good places to get ideas. However, to really understand the decisions you’ll need to make, perhaps watching some short videos (these from Wayne Dalton) may also help. Combined, the six videos linked here 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.
#2: Determine your door material
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 dented, especially by kids who like to play ball in the driveway. Wood doors are beautiful, incredibly strong and can be custom designed to perfectly complement your home’s architectural style, but they require routine maintenance and can be more expensive than other garage doors on the market. And, if you live in an area subject to strong winds, you’ll want to consider doors with high windload ratings.
#3: To insulate or not insulate
If your home’s garage is connected to any kind of living space in your home, such as a bedroom or living room, it’s a good idea to choose an insulated garage door; it may help to keep those rooms more comfortable, especially if you live in a climate subject to extreme winter or summer temperatures. Not only that, insulated garage doors deliver quieter operation, which turns out to be a significant plus if a bedroom is located adjacent to or above the garage. Do you have a detached garage? If so, a non-insulated door will probably do just fine as long as you’re not in a region with extreme winter temperatures.
#4: Try on some doors
The fun starts after you’ve determined the basics of what you want in a new garage door. Visit 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.
For many people, imagining how a new door will look on their home can be difficult. But many garage door manufacturers have realized 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.
Time to buy
Now that you’ve done your research, you can walk into a garage door showroom as an informed customer. Even better, you’ll be able to walk out with the door that truly matches your home and helps it stand out from the neighbors’.