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Don’t Overlook The Garage When Getting Your Home Ready To Sell

There’s a lot of talk about curb appeal being the driving force drawing buyers into your home. It makes sense. If the house looks a mess from the outside, what buyer would want to set foot inside?

Well, maybe your house isn’t quite a mess. You have taken the time to fix-up the landscape, power-washed the house, and even painted the mailbox. But did you overlook what can be the biggest eyesore — the garage? It’s the largest architectural element on the house. So it really, in this day and age, is impossible to dismiss the garage door as an important architectural element.

But the garage door is more than an architectural element. It can be a trigger point for buyers. They’re driving down the street in a tract-home neighborhood and suddenly they spot a custom wooden garage door. It’s striking and different and often gives them reason to stop and take a closer look, maybe even come inside.

If you have a house that has a nice garage door, it sets the stage for the fact that everything else in the house is going to have attention to detail and it really does differentiate homes that are on the same street. With some exterior paint and a unique garage door, the house really becomes a semi-custom house. Swapping out an old steel-style, raised-panel garage door that once was so very traditional is a huge improvement to a home.

It is interesting that you would go past these $5 or $6 million houses where the architects and designers pay such critical attention to detail to the stucco color, the stonework, and the rooftop. Then for the biggest element, they would just put this wide raised-panel steel door because the consumer wasn’t educated on how important the garage door can be in really just buttoning up and completing the design of a house.

However, these days, custom wooden doors aren’t just for multi-million dollar homes. People in tract homes are making the switch either for their own benefit, a faster sale, or a potential gain in the value of the property. There is definitely an increase in the property value commensurate with the investment that you make in the garage door. And then there is the perceived value. For every $5,000 of door that you put in, you get four times that dollar in perceived value.

What makes wooden garage doors so special is not only the escape from conformity but also the fact that they function like traditional automated steel doors. They work exactly like a standard upward-acting sectional garage door. They segment on a track and they use a conventional residential garage door opener. Only from the front elevation do we try to design the doors to look like they’re the old fashion carriage garage doors that swing open.

The added decorative hardware, including handles and hinges, helps create the effect of an old-fashioned-garage door.

But not every garage door works with every style of home. You should really take a close look at your architectural style before you decide on the right garage door. Homeowners should match their home architecture to a garage door that is architecturally congruent. That way you’re making the whole house just look that much more custom and fitted.

Then next vital thing to look for in custom doors is to choose the appropriate material. It’s very, very critical that the lumber you select is designed and can last and can be durable for an exterior application. Typically that lumber would be mahogany, cedar, or redwood. Teak also works well outside but is very expensive.

You should also note that with wooden garage doors there may be a little more maintenance depending on how much sun exposure the door gets. It’s recommended that you use a resin-based product to finish the garage door rather than a varnish. A varnish is a really difficult product to maintain because when it fails, you have to strip the wood back down to the bare wood and you have to re-start the process from scratch and that becomes cost-prohibitive for these doors. Resin-based products are easier to clean. New product can also be applied directly over the old.

Whether or not you decide to replace your garage door, it’s important to make sure it at least is working properly.

Besides the garage door looking good, it’s really an appliance on the house that has to operate efficiently, reliably, and without [failure] every single day. The key concept to remember is that a garage door shouldn’t just house your car and all your stuff that won’t fit in your home. Instead it should help to entice buyers to want to see more of the house.

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Time for a Garage Door Makeover

Maximizing every inch of space within a home is a sound strategy for any efficient homeowner.

Garages, traditionally thought of as strictly a storage space, have evolved into a far more functional and attractive part of the house that can be enjoyed by homeowners and guests alike. The garage has typically been a junkyard. People have usually just hid stuff behind the door.

As budgets have tightened, however, garages have become an increasingly-popular spring home improvement project for homeowners looking for an upgrade instead of an overhaul. An effective way to de-clutter one’s garage is to install cabinets, which can be elevated off the floor and hung directly on the wall. Designed to have maximum strength and durability, cabinets are an effective means of storage and open up significant amounts of floor space, thus creating an opportunity for a flooring upgrade.

While many homeowners will continue to utilize the garage for automobile storage, others may find the garage to be an ideal place to create a work area or a workout space. As a result, rooms within the home that were previously used for such functions will now be available for use in other ways. ompleting the garage makeover with a new door is an effective way to enhance the overall look of a home’s exterior.

The most recommended type of garage door is a carriage house style garage door, or barn-style door, to those looking to enhance the appearance of their home. The doors can be customized with different colors, windows and trim and are a low-maintenance option for homeowners.

The garage door is a major focal point.  A carriage house style garage door is a cost-effective way to change the look of the front of the house. A new steel garage door, be it a carriage house or a more affordable alternative, can greatly reduce the amount of required maintenance for a homeowner as opposed to wooden doors that are heavier and require painting or staining every year. With a steel garage door, all you need is soap and water.

Aesthetically, the durability of steel garage doors will greatly enhance curb appeal. Such doors will not dent, peel or need to be painted, allowing the garage to serve as an attractive part of the home’s exterior.

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Garage Doors Are Our Friends

Many times, garage doors are simply another part of the home that serves a simple purpose – for you to get in and out of the garage.

Yet there’s more to these moving structures than lots of people don’t even realize. These entryways serve many purposes, and at the end of the day, you should be sure to take advantage of such benefits to ensure you’re getting the most out of your property.

Convenience
It’s one thing to have a special place to park your car, but it’s another thing if getting in and out of that space is an ordeal. Garage doors can be opened manually, but it’s so frustrating to have to pull up to your home, get out of the car, let the structure up, get back in your car and drive in to the space. Some may simply think that’s no big deal, but if it’s raining or snowing, you won’t be so eager to get outside your car to let up the structure. So the great thing is that most garage doors are installed with garage door openers so you can just drive up to your home, click a button, and the structure goes up.

Business All sectional garage doors work in the same way – e.g. they have vertical tracks on each side of the garage door opening so that the door can slide up. The sections of the door are hinged together and this enables it to fit around the 90 degree angle formed by the roof and the front wall of the garage. It then sits in a horizontal position next to the ceiling. Most sectional doors go up automatically although they can be manual if you really want to get out of the car and open the door four or five times a day, every day. Those who have used the automated sectional garage doors swear, when you want to let it down, just click the button again, and you’re done.

Beauty
Although beauty may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of your garage doors, there are a ton of options you can consider. Some people like to get really detailed when it comes to their moving structure. There are some gorgeous types of wood you can choose from, and some people take it as far as getting carriage doors to really make an impact. No matter what you’re thinking, this structure can really help give your home a punch of curb appeal.

Protection
All homes don’t come with garages. Having such a structure allows you to do so much more to the space as well as offer protection against outside elements. You won’t have to worry about getting caught in the wind and rain since the structure keeps all that out. When wind starts blowing, debris, rain, and snow can get under the covering and get to you. Then you’re wet and frustrated. Fortunately, if you have an enclosed structure with a door, you’re sure to be out of harm’s way.

Uniqueness
Many neighborhoods put in the same garage doors with each home. Nothing’s wrong with this if you don’t mind blending in. But if you want to really stand out, you could possibly put up a completely different entry to your garage. However, some areas have homeowners’ associations that have to okay such changes, so get approval first. Once approved, you can start shopping for a variety of materials from steel to wood. Different materials work for different needs, so keep this in mind. But the bottom line is that you can get something that is truly unique and may have the neighbors talking for weeks.

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“An ounce of prevention is worth more than pound of cure”*

Your garage door is most likely the largest moving piece of machinery in your home. Some of them weigh in at several hundred pounds. Replacement costs can be high, especially when coupled with a new opener. Take a look at the following things you can do to ensure yours lasts as long as possible. 

  1. Get Professional Service. Just once year, have a professional come to perform some simple maintenance on your system. It should cost less than $100 to have a company adjust both the opener and spring system if needed. In addition to any work done on the springs and opener, this type of service will typically include a check for wear and tear, as well. Some companies provide the option of a service plan, which can help reduce the cost. The springs are the heart of the counter balance system, and can relax over time. An improperly balanced spring system can damage the opener, and pose a safety hazard. 
  2. Lubricate Some aerosol type spray on the moving parts will do the trick. Not only will regular sprays reduce wear and tear, but it can make everything a little quieter, as well. Pay attention to the tracks, rollers, hinges, etc. While you’re there, give everything a quick once over to check for wear, making sure nothing is loose, no cables are frayed, etc.
  3. Know Your Opener They are fairly simple mechanisms and don’t require many tools for maintenance. Some may need to have the chain or belt tightened occasionally. Check your manual for these types of maintenance procedures, as well as how often to lubricate the moving parts. Other settings a homeowner should be familiar with are the sensitivity (sometimes called a force setting) settings. This feature of the motor controls how much force will be applied to open or close the door. The owner’s manual will have instructions on how to achieve a good setting. Close attention is needed, as this will affect how safely everything operates.
  4. Keep It Clean It may sound pretty basic, but keeping the area around the opening free of debris, and other items can solve major problems before they start. A rake, baseball bat, or other similar item can cause serious damage if caught in the path of the door or hardware. Spiders also love to build webs inside the lens openings of safety sensors. Make sure yours are free of any obstructions or debris.
  5. Keep It Painted If you’ve got wood on the exterior of your home you already know it needs to be painted or sealed against the elements in some way, but don’t forget about the garage door. Rot or insect related damage is a common cause for repairs. The bottom section is the most commonly afflicted part. In severe cases, this can cause a safety hazard since the bottom section is under pressure from the counter balance system. Make sure to keep yours properly sealed.

That may seem like quite a bit to follow through on, but in reality it can save you time and money. This is a case where an ounce of prevention is worth more than pound of cure. Maintaining your garage door and opener costs very little compared to the hundreds of dollars it would take to replace them. 

* Ben Franklin

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Let the Sun Shine In!

Did you know that it’s easier than you think to transform your existing garage door from bland to beautiful?

Most homeowners don’t give their garage doors a second thought, but just adding a set of windows can change the whole look of the front of your house. If you’re looking for an exterior remodeling project that gives a real bang for a few investment, maybe it’s time to give your local garage door specialist a call.

Here’s a quick overview.

What installation involves:

You don’t have to get an all-new door to enjoy the many benefits of having windows. In most cases, your local garage door dealer simply removes the top section of your door and adds a set of decorative glass panels. There are several designs to choose from: one of which is just right for your house’s unique style.

Why adding windows is a great idea:

1. It greatly enhances the curb appeal of your house: instead of just having a large blank surface that looks like everyone else’s on your block, the door becomes part of your home’s exterior aesthetic. Doors with windows are a lot classier looking than their plain counterparts. If you are trying to sell your home in this tough housing market, every little improvement helps.

2. It adds natural light to your garage’s interior: If you keep a workshop in a corner of your garage, having extra windows is a real bonus. You don’t have to turn on lights during the day every time you enter the room.

3. Plenty of styles to choose from. There are lots of different styles to suit everyone’s tastes.

Concerned about privacy or security? There are various types of glass that are available that can obscure the ability to look thru the glass including tinted or seedie glass. There’s also the options of using double-strength glass or clear Lexan® for strength and durability. Solar and insulated glass are great options for improved protection against solar heat gain.

If you’re ready to add a touch of class to the front of your home, adding door windows is a simple and cost-effective way to make a real difference. Contact your local licensed and insured dealer and see how easy it is to transform you door from dull to dramatic.

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Garage Door Check-Ups Save You Money

At least once a year you should examine the garage door(s) on your property. To insure for proper operation and the longevity of your investment, we recommend that you pay-attention to your garage during daily use. When you find time to do a relatively simple walkthrough, follow these steps:

1. Disengage your opener by means of the emergency release and manually open and close the door. During this time, the garage should operate smoothly without making loud noises. If you can open your garage door with one hand, make sure that it’s not flying up or slamming shut.

2. Check the cables and chain, torsion springs, rollers, and track. As you look at those, also go over the hinges and mounting brackets because sometimes screws come loose.

3. Perform preventative maintenance by having a good lubricant that is made for garage doors. Remember that WD-40 is not a lubricant. With your garage door closed, place a tiny amount at each point on the door where there’s a moving part. When you’re finished, manually open and close the door to work the lubricant in. Don’t forget the bearings on a torsion spring (which is located above the door when closed).

Garage door systems will last about 10-20 years. Like anything else that you use, if there’s high usage and poor maintenance, you can’t expect that your investment will last long. Appropriate care will help to increase the lifespan of your garage door and opener system. If something is wrong when you are performing a walkthrough it is important to repair it promptly. Garage door maintenance is a good way to prevent costlier future repairs. If you have a demanding schedule or cannot perform the maintenance yourself, hire professionals to do it.

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Carriage House Garage Door to Compliment Your Buggy

While you might not own a carriage, would you use your garage to create the sense that you do?

When choosing a plan for your garage access, the number of options that you have is nearly limitless. One of the most interesting and elegant styles is one that resembles the door of a carriage house. While a lot of us have taken relaxing carriage rides, we might be less familiar with a carriage house. What exactly is the style of these storage areas for carriages, and why have they inspired carriage house doors?

These houses were the place where carriages that horses pulled, were stored. As you undoubtedly have noticed, carriages aren’t as common today as they were in the past. But there’s that old saying that what’s old is new again. Many people choose garage doors that resemble the door of a carriage house, to add a touch of elegance and style to their homes.

How do they work? They open overhead like the majority of today’s garage doors. This differs from the authentic doors, which opened outward. But that is not to say that this style of door doesn’t look authentic. In fact, they often are adorned with ornamental pieces such as handles and doorknobs, to give them an authentic look.

When choosing between the various options of garage doors that resemble the entrance of a carriage house, here are some of the options that you have:

1. Materials

The original doors of were made of wood, so elect that material if you want your garage door to be as authentic as possible. However if you are searching for a more durable material that’ll call for less maintenance, then you can also find such garage doors made from steel.

2. Operation

If you fancy the experience of opening the door of the real thing, then choose a door that opens manually. But if you want to have modern convenience, you can also find models with an automatic garage door opener that gives you the dependability of today’s overhead garage door.

3. Styles

Carriage house garage doors are obtainable in a wide array of styles. This will ease the ability to complement the design of your house. Even if you don’t have a house and carriage, it can make a wonderful addition to your garage!

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Garage Doors – Worth the Investment

Garage doors can be a benefit to your home and they have the ability to enhance the style of your Residence.

With marketplace conditions in their present state, with people losing their properties, it is extremely hard to possess a clear vision of what we should look forward to in the future. In real estate, however, there is a saying, ‘what goes down should come back up’, and for this kind of business, those who are ready for the turn will capitalize substantially.

When remodeling entry doorways and or kitchen counter tops, people don’t seem to have a problem searching for the best, for this, as they know, will only add to their property value. Imagine, for example, a $400-$8,000 investment that has a custom made garage door covering more than 30% of the front of your residence.

In case you would like to go the extra mile and decide to invest $1000 or even $3000 more for a custom, handcrafted garage door, what comes to mind is the added worth that this modest investment will bring to your gorgeous household.

From an investor’s perspective, it appears a little juvenile – not to look at the first item individuals see when they drive up to your residence when they are considering a purchase. Just research what the professionals are saying about the relationship between home values and their curb appeal.

Some authorities say the garage door may not be the very first item you imagine dressing up when you’re putting your home up for sale, but it is certainly worth giving it some prerogative. If you genuinely think about it, the garage door could be the single largest moving object in a residence and if it faces the street, you know it plays a huge part in the overall look of your house. It is incredibly important to understand that curb appeal can be a critical factor in marketing a home. If a prospective buyer does not like the view of your house from your street, chances are, he or she won’t waste time coming inside, and that may be one thing you, as a seller, shouldn’t ask for.

In a new study field, realtors nationwide were asked to figure out if garage door visual appeal made a difference in the selling price they would assign to a house, nearly all of the agents interviewed agreed that a brand new garage door enhances curb attractiveness and 75 percent believes it adds importance to a residence. In reality, most have recommended that a homeowner replace their garage door when listing their home for sale, especially if the present look of the garage door was broken, in bad condition or rotted. Just about half stated visual appeal was a big reason, mainly because the age or design garage door detracted from the home’s curb appeal.

The regular selling price for a brand new garage door is based on the size of the garage door as well as the material it is made from. The most favorite look in garage doors is the ‘carriage-house’ model door. The doors look like old-fashioned swing-out doors but act like modern roll-up doors with an electric garage door opener. The selections for style, color and materials are virtually endless.

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The Existence of Garage Doors

One prominent feature of most American homes is the existence of a garage which is used to store the family car or as a storage area for tools.

It has also become popular as the place where most famous bands have been born. In most of these homes, the garages also feature doors which keep those stored inside safe. The kind of garage doors homeowners should install in their garages would depend on the function, space and materials preferred by the homeowner.

There are different types of doors a homeowner may choose from. These types differ from each other according to their material composition and the manner in which they open and are stored. The most popular materials used to make them are wood, aluminum, vinyl, and steel. There are different types of garage doors: the sectional door, up-and-over door, round and corner door, swing hung door, and the roller door.

The sectional type opens up vertically then folds back horizontally to be stored parallel to the garage floor. The garage needs to have a roof for this type of door. Up-and-over ones are similar to the sectional types in that they also fold back towards the garage roof. The difference is that they need to be swung outwards to be opened before they are stored towards the roof.

The round and corner type is also similar to the sectional type except that it opens sideways, making it unnecessary for the garage to have a roof. Swing hung types open like normal doors do. This requires a large area for the door when it swings open and is not advisable for homes with short driveways. For garages with a smaller area, roller garage doors are best. These types of doors simply roll up instead of moving from the floor to the roof like the sectional types.

Garage doors may be opened manually or may be equipped with electric garage door openers. Garage door openers are most convenient especially during bad weather because the driver won’t need to get out of the car to open the garage door.

Because garages are not only used for storage but also serve as protection from bad weather, they need to be maintained regularly to ensure that they last long. For example, if the door is made of wood, the homeowner should regularly paint and stain it for protection against the weather. The moving parts of the door should be oiled at least once a year to ensure that the door opens and closes smoothly.

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The Biggest Impact on a Home

For something that has been so prominent in the design of new homes over recent years, the garage door has generally been seen as a Plain Jane.

But who cared, really? It was just a two-, three- or four-car structure to house the occupants’ vehicles. No one expected anything so utilitarian in nature to be a thing of beauty. But that has been steadily changed due to an amazing trend that started to gain traction in the garage door industry. That trend? Curb appeal.

It’s a phrase the garage-door industry has been using for a while. In the door industry, people like to refer to the garage door as the largest moving object in the home. In today’s home, it’s become the focal point. As the home shrinks, the garage door becomes more prevalent, particularly when it faces the street. The garage door makes up from 50 percent to 80 percent of a home’s front elevation. Viewed from the street, that’s a big part of the home.

Homeowners haven’t traditionally spent much money on the garage door, despite its prominence or its 25- to 30-year lifespan. Homeowners are realizing that a handsome garage door has a huge impact on a home’s salability thereby increasing home values and beautify neighborhoods.

That means builders also face a choice: Either install a garage door that meets neighborhood standards, move the garage to a side entry, or put it in the back, where it won’t be readily visible from the street. Like great front-yard landscaping, a good garage door design, like a carriage house style door, enriches the appearance of the home and generates tremendous value. If all homes on the block have them, the entire street and neighborhood become more valuable.

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