Too Big to Ignore

It might be the largest moving object in your home, but if it’s off the track, or dysfunctional in any way, an 80- to 200-pound garage door could inflict serious damage to your car, your belongings or worse still, a person.

Combine all that with the fact that an old door probably isn’t energy efficient and requires stripping and painting.

Local garage-door dealers and home-improvement experts say that if your door isn’t working properly or if maintenance is way too high, it might be time to replace that door.

There are a few things to weigh when deciding whether replace your garage door. Homeowners should first consider the condition and age of the door. If it’s a wood door that’s been painted many times or is 15 or 20 years old or more it’s time to change it. Use the analogy of an old car. If you’re dumping hundreds of dollars to repair and maintain the door over a period of years, it might actually save money to get a new one.

The majority of today’s doors are made of steel, which is virtually maintenance-free. Steel doors can be embossed with a wood grain so they get the look of wood without the hassle. They are made from galvanized steel that won’t rust. And steel doors are durable. Steel doors will hold up till someone drives into it.

Steel doors also are available with various grades of insulation. Garage doors are a major source of home-energy loss. You should especially consider an insulated door if the rest of the garage is insulated or you heat your garage. Doors come with either polyurethane or polystyrene insulation of various levels, depending on how much it costs.

It also makes the door operate more quietly. Insulation makes the door lighter, easier to operate and there’s less of a chance it will warp over time. People aren’t taking advantage of the amount of installation or energy conservation with a garage door and should now that it qualifies for a government tax credit.

Beyond just the practical benefits of a new door, consider the overall look of the door and what it will add to the home’s curb appeal. A lot of it depends on where the garage is facing but if your garage is facing forward, the garage is a focal point. It takes up a major percentage of your house. A garage door is one great way to make over the outside look of a home for a relatively low cost.

The garage is the cheapest thing to change and gives you the most dramatic return on how much money you spend. Steel doors can come in a variety of styles and colors. Windows also can add a decorative twist to an ordinary door. In addition it brings light into your garage. Garage doors offer a variety of window styles and configurations to suit any taste.

It’s all a matter of what the homeowner wants to spend and what look they want to achieve.

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