Your Garage Door: An Invaluable First Impression

With warm weather months here, it’s the perfect season for the annual ritual of performing a spruce up around your home.

Planting gardens, improving the look of your lawn and maybe applying a fresh coat of paint to the window trims are on your to-do list. An appealing exterior offers an invaluable first impression to neighbors, friends, and – if you’re trying to sell, which many do prior to the beginning of school in the fall – perspective buyers.

In fact, small-scale exterior projects are the most profitable during resale, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). One exterior feature that greatly contributes to this first impression is the garage door, and updating it can drastically improve your home’s “curb appeal.” If you’ve looked into replacing a garage door, you know that it can be an overwhelming task with so many styles and materials from which to choose. It’s important that your choice complements the architecture of your home as well as your lifestyle. In other words, you don’t want a door that sticks out like a sore thumb or one that requires more maintenance than you’d prefer.

So how do you make sure that you pick the right garage door? Follow these simple steps: pick a material, choose a style and find a good dealer.

When selecting a material, decide what material best fits your home and lifestyle, whether it be the natural beauty of wood or the durability and low maintenance of steel. Wood doors offer a classic, handcrafted look that won’t go out of style but will require more frequent upkeep. Steel doors need the least amount of maintenance.

Once you’ve selected the material, it’s time to choose a style. Doors are available to match any architectural style and there are plenty of easy-to-use online tools to assist in picking a style to help find the perfect door to match the style of your home.

Once you’ve chosen a design, you’ll need to select a color and any decorative hardware desired to enhance the door’s beauty. Steel doors often come in pre-painted colors, but they also can be customized with exterior latex paint. Wood doors generally come in their natural finish and can be easily stained or painted. Wood composite doors are sold painted or primed and ready to stain or paint. Depending on the style you choose, you may also have the option to add decorative hardware or decorative windows.

Finally, it’s important to find a reputable dealer who can provide pricing for the correct door size needed and installation and removal of the old door if you’re purchasing a replacement door. Garage doors are sold sized to specifically fit your garage door opening. An important, but often neglected step, is enlisting a professional dealer to measure your door to ensure that it will be correctly sized. Make sure that your local dealer is authorized, fully insured and has a good local reputation. Never try to repair or install a garage door yourself – it can be extremely dangerous.

Investing in a new garage door is a sure way to improve the look of your home’s exterior, as well as improve energy efficiency and protection. You can also take comfort in knowing that this purchase will add value to your home and will be an important asset should you decide to sell.

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