How many of you would agree that the garage door is one of the last things we think about when we think about tackling home improvement projects? If it’s not broken, why fix it, right? This oversight is bit unfair though – especially when the market contains a world of garage door options that are sure to increase your home’s curb appeal. And as a result its value.
In fact, with modest costs and solid returns on investment, a new garage door should be the first home improvement project you consider! According to the 2016 Cost vs. Value report from Remodeling Magazine, the national median cost of a garage door replacement project is $1,652, and recovers 91.5% of your investment should you decide to sell your house. This is one of the highest percentage returns in the report.
Common Garage Door Materials
Wood: Wood offers unparalleled natural beauty and sophistication. It can be customized according to your size and aesthetic requirements, and stands up well against normal wear and tear. The downside; however, is that they are more prone to chipping, fading, and warping than many of the other options available. This simply means that they require regular upkeep. A good alternative to real wood is composite.
Steel: Steel is a better choice than wood simply because it doesn’t require a lot of upkeep. Steel is also much more energy efficient than wood. It can easily be insulated for even greater energy efficiency. The downside to steel garage doors; however, is that they can rust depending on the environment. Scratches should be touched-up immediately to avoid rusting. They are also more prone to denting.
Aluminum: Aluminum is both lightweight and rust-resistant which makes it a good choice for humid environments. Because of its lightweight, aluminum is a good choice for extra-wide openings, because it won’t put too much strain on the garage door opener. They downside to aluminum; however, is that it can be a bit more expensive than many of the other options available.
Garage Door Types
Sectional: Sectional garage doors are the most popular type available. They roll up and down with the help of a garage door opener – and countless other components. Before purchasing a sectional door, make sure to accurately measure the space between the top of the door’s opening, and the ceiling or overhead framing to ensure proper fit.
Swing-out: Swing-out garage doors, while traditionally less common, are gaining popularity in areas consisting of more modern and contemporary homes. They are also a good choice if you need to keep the ceiling clear or if you want a distinctive look. Another option is sliding barn doors.
Common Garage Door Openers
Chain-drive: Chain-drive openers are the oldest type of openers available, which continue to be a popular choice among homeowners, thanks in large part to their perceived value. These openers use a metal chain, must like a bike chain, to lift the door up and down along its tracks. The downside to these openers is that they tend to be quite noisy.
Belt-drive: Belt-drive openers, while appearing almost identical to chain-drive openers, operate with a rubber belt rather than a metal chain. This rubber belt is said to be as strong as a steel-belted tire. They can lift the heaviest doors with the utmost ease. Belt-drive openers also offer very quiet operation – making it a good choice for homeowners with rooms directly above or adjacent to the garage.
Screw-drive: Midway in cost and noisiness are screw-drive openers (also commonly referred to as operators). A screw-drive opener uses a lifting mechanism that moves along a threaded steel rod. There are very few moving parts on these openers, which lends to their minimal maintenance requirement. These are the most expensive types of openers available.