Tag Archives: curb appeal

Garage Doors Open Up Homes to Curb Appeal and Value

Garage doors just aren’t what they used to be. The garage door is a fundamental part of the blueprint, structural design and sanctuary of a home. The garage door is one of the most important visual features of a home, representing up to a third or even more of the front. They are now eye-catching, beautiful and — dare we say it? — even “cool.” In a marketplace where enhanced curb appeal, residential diversity, and neotraditional architecture are in demand by municipalities, we’re seeing an onslaught of more unique garage door styles, especially steel, three-section, carriage house-style garage doors.

Carriage house garage doors help us recall the charm of that turn-of-the-century swinging barn-door style, behind which hid a jaunty horse-drawn carriage. Today’s doors may look attractively retro, but they are also durable and they open overhead like any other modern sectional garage door.

Original carriage house doors were made of wood. Garage doors today are made from various materials including wood, composite and steel. Each type offers its own benefits, characteristics and costs.

Most homeowners want affordable beauty with low maintenance. That means a moderately priced, steel, carriage house garage door. Because they are all steel, all the parts expand and contract at the same rate, preventing misshaping of the door. All-steel doors with steel plant-on boards also provide design shadows more readily visible from the curb. Stamped or raised-panel steel doors can only emboss designs to a certain depth, creating less dramatic shadows. This “curb appeal” is what homeowners are looking for more and more consistently.

Homeowners are driving the curb appeal trend by actively expressing their dissatisfaction with living in cookie-cutter housing that cannot show the personality of the owner. With the same front elevations, same tile roofs, same color schemes, and same garage doors, neighborhoods can look plain and uninteresting. Add a few touches of curb appeal — with decorative rock, windows, shutters, wrought iron, or an expanse of unique carriage house garage door — and neighborhoods grow beautifully in character and value.

Carriage house garage doors offer hundreds of design choices which can complement other artistic elements in a home’s elevation such as window shapes, shutters, and trim. In choosing the look of the door, builders can choose among multiple designs using “plant-on” board; solid arches; window treatments; and decorative hardware.

All it takes is one visit to a project using carriage house garage doors to see the future of the industry. No curb appeal product can more effectively enhance the diversity and value of a home than a carriage house garage door.

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Don’t Wait Until Your Garage Door Doesn’t Work… Maintain It!

For those of you who have moved into a new home or have just installed a new garage door, be sure to take the time to thoroughly read the garage door owner’s manual. It may seem like a chore and take time, but one would be surprised at what they can find in most well written garage door manuals. The manual will contain safety and design information to help you insure that your garage door is safe to use and properly installed, and contain information on how to keep your garage door properly maintained.

For example, many garage door manuals will contain helpful tips for painting them. Most companies will tell you to pain BOTH the inside and outside of the garage door to keep everything even, and to never remove any parts of the garage door when painting. If you want to make sure that your garage door is completely covered in a fresh coat of paint, you need to call in a professional to dismantle it so that you can finish the paint job, and then have the garage door installed again. This usually does not happen, but again, do not try to dismantle any of the parts of the garage door. It can lead to a very dangerous situation.

Once you have your garage door installed, it is vital that you periodically lubricate most parts of it. It is often easiest to lubricate the metal parts using silicone spray that can be found at most local hardware stores. However, be sure to never lubricate plastic rollers and plastic idler bearings. It is also suggested that you check for loose nuts and bolts on a monthly basis and if you find something out of the ordinary, call in an expert to help you with your problem. Don’t try anything yourself unless you are licensed and well trained in repairing garage doors.

Also, make sure to check that the door has proper balance by slowly opening the door and making sure that when the bottom of the door is waist high, it does not sway and move in any direction. Finally, using a 2×4 block of wood, make sure that the sensors on your garage works (if it is a remote-controlled door). Place the 2×4 in the pathway of the door and when the door gets somewhat close to the top of the 2×4 it should reverse direction and go back up.

If the garage door is moving, keep your distance and never stand or walk under a moving door. It is important that you set an example for your children and you do not want them under a moving garage door. You should also try to make sure children cannot reach the wall-mounted garage door openers and be sure to hide the remotes. You do not want your children playing with the garage door at all. Finally, if you think you have a problem, call an expert. Never try to fix anything yourself as garage doors are very dangerous and you put yourself in harm’s way when you try to fix it, especially when you don’t know exactly what you are doing.

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Garage Door Windows: Things To Consider

Garage doors, equipped with windows, not only allows for a structural design to be implemented into the garage door but also has the added flexibility of enhancing a garage.

Garage door windows allow for light to come into the garage, making a dark and gloomy space bright and cheerful. This in essence also brings the benefit of making the garage space a more workable and desirable area to use for everything from crafts to handyman type hobbies.

Since, for many houses, the garage is a large space that is viewed from the street, garage door windows can also accent the home. The windows on the garage door can really make a statement and many homeowners have realized this and when looking at garage door window replacement consider changing the windows.

When a consumer begins evaluating the decision to look at garage door window, there are some things to consider. The garage door window ia a way to spice up the garage door. When looking at garage door window consider a tinted glass for the windows. Many homes have garages that face the sun, by tinting the windows the heat in the garage will go down and help keep the part of the house that is connected to the garage a little cooler.

Many companies offer this simple option or you may consider adding an opaque or seedie glass to the garage door. For homes that have a garage as the largest focal point of their home, this can be a way to emphasis the originality of their home and give their garage a quick face lift to improve the overall appearance of the garage door.

If the entire style of the garage door is something that you are choosing to change, keep in mind the garage door windows.

Many homeowners find that the price is worth the new look their home receives. Garage door windows can be a great way to enhance or change the look of the outside of a home while having a lasting effect on your homes appearance.

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Ever Evolving Door Styles

Some things do come back in style if you wait long enough.

Think hip-hugger pants, shag carpeting and, yes, even wood garage doors. The wood garage doors of the 1970s are back in a big way. It’s one of many design trends that have come and gone.

The first revolution in garage door materials happened in the 1980s, when raised panel steel doors replaced wood ones. They continue to dominate the market today, mainly because they’re economical and low-maintenance. But for certain homes — especially custom homes or those with an Old World look — a big expanse of cold steel just won’t do. Frequently the garage door is a major part of the front of a home and people are finding that they can do something more interesting.

For this reason, wood has become the most popular option. But these aren’t the humble wood doors of two decades ago. First United Door Technologies offers wood doors in a carriage-house style that has an old-fashioned craftsman look. Made of the finest wood, they offer a much richer appearance and you can expect to pay four times or more what you would for steel doors.

Just as wood is beginning to catch on, the next wave of garage doors is already approaching. If you have a steel garage door, there are ways to ramp up its curb appeal. You can select different patterns or textures and install windows; and there’s always the do-it-yourselfer’s best tool: paint. But if you want your garage door to be a focal point rather than something to disguise, wood may just be worth its price tag.

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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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Garage Doors Can Make a Change

Updating your curb appeal adds value and beautifies your home simultaneously.

A house with curb appeal stands out from the other homes and is noticed because it provides us with simple visual pleasure every time we pass by.

Here are some ideas that you can use to enhance your home and create curb appeal with your garage doors.

In an era when two-car garages are becoming standard in new home construction and door sizes are increasing to accommodate SUV’s and RV’s, garage door design matters more than ever in distinguishing the look of a home.

They come in a variety of design styles, colors, decorative windows, insulation values, material and sizes. The garage door is the largest working part of a house and often its most prominent feature. So, when you are buying, you want to choose carefully. Garage door replacement is one of the better home improvement projects in terms of recouping value when a house sells.

The right garage door can make or break many of those curb-appeal enhancements and considering the style of your home before purchasing a new garage door is important. If your house is Victorian, Farmhouse Country or Mid Century Modern, it will have an impact of what door style you should use.  Most styles, whether traditional or contemporary, feature a variety of panels, trim and other detailing.

Considering the size of a garage door, it might seem obvious that you should invest in one that’s insulated door is more durable. Always consult a garage door specialist. Quality work should be the norm, not the exception.

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Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!

Did you ever think that a new garage door could almost pay for itself?

Garage door replacement ranked No. 2 in “cost recouped” on a list of 35 common home remodeling projects in Remodeling Magazine’s 24th annual Cost vs. Value Report.

The average midrange garage door replacement cost was estimated at $1,291. Resale value of the project averaged $1,083 – an 83.9 percent return on investment (ROI) at resale. In some cities, such as Charleston, W. Va., Honolulu, Providence, R.I., and San Francisco, the ROI for a new garage door was more than 100 percent.

Upscale garage door replacements were estimated to provide a 69.8 percent ROI – No. 4 among the upscale projects listed in the survey.

What does that mean to homeowners? You can have your cake and eat it, too. A new garage door can add to the beauty of your home as you live in it and enjoy it today, while also providing a high level of payback – nearly 84 cents of every dollar spent on the garage door replacement – when it’s time to sell.

What’s more, garage door replacement was one of the least expensive projects listed in the survey. That means a new garage door may be the quickest, easiest, and least expensive way to enhance your home’s appearance and get a great return on your investment.

In addition to providing a great ROI, a stylish new garage door can add to the beauty of your home. If you have a front-facing attached garage, a new door adds instant curb appeal. An attached garage can make up a third or more of the front of the home. Replacing a garage door can be the difference between a “plain vanilla” home and a stylish, attractive home. After all, haven’t you ever drive down a street you’ve driven down hundreds of times before and notice something “different” about a house that has enhanced its look? Could it have been a new garage door?

If you’re seriously thinking about a new garage door, here’s something else to think about: once you’ve picked the model and style that’s right for you, sit back and leave the installation to the professionals. This isn’t a job for the weekend warrior. A garage door is the heaviest moving object in your home. It is actually a system that includes springs, cables, rollers, tracks and other hardware. Some of the elements of this system are under high tension. If improperly installed, this system can cause injury or even death.

Proper installation and even repair projects are best left to experienced professionals.

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Garage doors don’t often make news headlines

Garage doors don’t often make news headlines. But they did recently, as a woman in Holland, Ohio had a mural painted on her house depicting Oprah Winfrey. The mural was to commemorate the 25 years of her talk show, which ended recently. This shows one extreme example of garage door customization. There are other more practical options to upgrade your home’s exterior using garage doors.

Customized garage doors are an easy way to personalize your home as well as add curb appeal and value. They can make a home look more attractive and inviting, and they are generally affordable.

When deciding on new garage doors, one of the most important things to consider is what kind of material you want to use. The two most popular garage door materials are wood and metal. Wooden doors come in a great variety of colors and textures, from natural wood that can give your home a rustic feel, to popular wood paneling used to make your garage look like a carriage house. Metal doors also come in a great amount of varieties, and can be made to look similar to wooden doors.

A newly popular trend with metal garage doors is to paint them a shade lighter than the rest of the house – this way, there is a clear distinction between the house and garage, but it does not stand out as much as stark white doors would. Another newly popular material to use in garage doors is glass. Glass garage-doors can offer a unique aesthetic appeal as well as maximum light transmission into your garage, and can feature special coatings so that while you can see out, others cannot see in. Combinations of these materials can also be used – whether it be glass and steel or wood and metal, they can offer a sleek look for any contemporary architecture.

If you want to go a more creative route similar to the Ohio woman’s mural, some companies do offer photo tarpaulins which can be used to cover garage doors. Whether you choose a famous work of art, a photo of your own, or one of their 3-D designs (featuring everything from racecars to the illusion that there is an alligator living in your garage), these pieces can become a piece of conversation in your neighborhood.

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A Great Fix-Up Starts with your Garage Door

What’s the one home fix-up project that takes only a couple of hours and yields the biggest bang for the buck of any exterior home renovation?

Here’s a clue: This project adds style, energy efficiency and security to your home and the preparation is easy and mess free – all you need is an Internet connection and a telephone. For most people, the answer does not immediately come to mind: it’s a stylish new garage door.

Think about it. If your house has an attached garage, the garage door may comprise more than one-third of your home’s front facade. If that home is more than five years old, your garage door probably is a solid colored, raised-panel door that looks like every other garage door in the neighborhood.

A new door, quickly and correctly installed by a local professional, will differentiate your home and add style, value and curb appeal. The hottest new style in garage doors is the carriage house design. It’s available in steel, wood or composite materials and in many price ranges.

A garage door is an important home improvement project. It is typically the first thing people notice when they pull into your driveway or pass your house. Doors also offer protection against severe weather and theft, help you save money on heating bills and substantially increase the appearance and value of your home.

A nationwide poll of realtors revealed more than 71 percent felt a new garage door added to the value of a home, even adding as much as four percent of the selling price. That means $10,000 on a $250,000 home, which is a huge deal for people wanting to sell now during a difficult real estate market.

Call a professional for installation. After only a few hours of the pro’s work, you’ll get a stunning home makeover that will make you proud every time you pull in your driveway.

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Keep The Door To Your Castle In Good Shape

Garage doors are an important part of your home. They tend to take a great deal of abuse while protecting your family’s vehicles and all the other tools or valuables you have stored away.

Hockey and baseball players need a target for their shots and throws, and where better than the garage door? All this endless thumping only makes the wear and tear on the door to your garage progressively worse.

Your garage door can increase or decrease the value of your property and your home’s curb appeal, based on how well it functions or how attractive it is. It may even become a great liability or a serious nuisance if it is not fully functional. Take a close look at your garage door. Perhaps it is time to seek out a garage door service company for repair, a new door spring, or a complete replacement.

A door that is not functioning properly is a danger and a liability. An average one is likely to weigh three hundred to six hundred pounds. If this falls on a person or an automobile, it can leave quite an impression. Lessening the dangers of a garage door malfunction is the ideal if you want to protect your family, friends, and pets. Cutting corners by doing nothing could eventually cost you more than the value of your home in a lawsuit.

Since the garage door moves by being hoisted onto metal rails up to often ten feet in the air, it can potentially be deadly. If the garage door spring breaks or goes off track, it is possible that the device could fail to stay up and fall to the ground without warning. Having six hundred pounds of metal land on a friend or relative, could cause a lawsuit being filed against you. It is urgent that you find a reliable, trustworthy, and experienced garage door service company to fix any mechanical problems.

Seriously consider when to pay for a garage door repair versus when to replace it. Of course, repair costs less than a replacement. However, if the repair is not done properly, or the door is too far gone, it can end up being a waste of time and money. There are some parts that can be simply repaired.

The door spring is simple to fix, but does require an expert because of the danger involved. Don’t ever try to make this repair yourself. Other examples of reparable problems include broken cables, garage door opener malfunctions, or broken cables and rollers. A door off of its tracks can be adjusted and made to work as good as new.

The key to knowing when to replace the entire door or when to have a repair done is having a trustworthy garage door service company to consult with. Have experts come to evaluate the problems and weaknesses in your system. Allow them to determine if a section replacement is enough or if a new door should be installed. Whatever you decide, be sure to choose an attractive paint color to add beauty to your castle.

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