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LAST CHANCE TO EARN BIG TAX CREDIT ON A NEW GARAGE DOOR

The four years of tax credit eligibility for qualified garage doors will expire on Dec. 31, 2010. Now is your last chance to save 30 percent off the price of an energy-saving curb-appeal-inspiring garage door, courtesy of the U.S. government.

The savings come from a federal income tax credit, which is more valuable than an equivalent tax deduction, because a tax credit reduces your tax dollar-for-dollar, while a deduction only decreases the amount of income that is taxed. Through the end of this year, the U.S. government is offering up to a $1,500 tax credit for homeowners who buy and install qualifying insulated garage doors. Full details can be found at firstudt.com, the site for 1st United Door Technologies, a manufacturer of residential and commercial garage doors.

The government is encouraging everyone to save energy, and the tax credit is an incentive for homeowners. If your home has an attached garage, you’ve probably noticed that the room next to the garage is typically the coldest room in the winter and hottest in the summer. That’s because the winter’s cold and summer’s heat can enter the house through the garage, which increases the amount of energy your home needs for heating and cooling. That’s why insulated garage doors can make a difference in reducing your heating and cooling bills, and saving our valuable energy resources.

Getting Your Share of the Tax Credit

Tax credits are available for qualifying garage door purchases placed in service by Dec. 31, 2010. A taxpayer may claim a maximum of 30 percent of qualifying home improvement products, and a maximum of $1,500 for qualifying purchases in 2009 and 2010. (Note: the tax credits were also offered in 2006 and 2007.) For example, if you replace two garage doors with two new qualifying insulated doors that cost $1,000 each, you may claim a tax credit of $300 per door, or a total of $600, provided you have not exceeded the $1,500 total over the two years of the tax credit period.

To be eligible for the tax credit:

  •  The door must be an insulated residential garage door, installed on an insulated garage.
  • The door must have a U-factor and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) equal to or less than 0.30, even if the door contains windows.
  • The door perimeter must have a means to control air infiltration.
  • The door must be expected to remain in service for at least five years.
  • The garage must be part of the taxpayer’s principal U.S. residence.

An Appealing Improvement

Beyond saving you tax dollars and energy expenses, a new garage door can also add curb appeal and value to your home. Because an attached garage can comprise a third or more of the front of your home, a new garage door can make a dramatic statement. Over the past several years 1st United Door Technologies introduced carriage house garage doors that reflect the look of days gone by and provide a touch of charm and elegance to the home. A new garage door can also increase the value of your home. One survey shows that 71 percent of homeowners who replaced their garage doors felt that it increased the value of their home.

DON’T Do It Yourself

Garage door installation is best left to the pros. Why? Your garage door is more than just a door – it’s a system that includes springs, cables, rollers, tracks and other hardware. This system is under high tension that can cause severe injury or even death if improperly installed. In short, it’s not a job for the weekend warrior. To properly install, or even repair, a garage door system, an experienced professional is always your best bet.

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Tax Credit for Buying Energy Efficient Garage Doors

According to a report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 40 percent of the current housing stock was built prior to the availability of energy-efficient options.

The Energy Tax Credit for Replacement Windows and Doors (Section 25C of the International Energy Conservation Code) offers a tax credit to homeowners who remodel their home to make it more energy-efficient. The tax credit is given for such improvements as vinyl replacement windows, solar powered water heaters, and energy efficient garage doors. The tax credit covers 30 percent of the first $5,000 spent on qualified home improvements. That’s $1,500 back into your pocket. You can only claim it once in a two year period, so spend your money wisely in 2010 you can claim your tax credit on your federal income tax return.

When selecting your garage doors, you need to be sure that they are qualified for the tax credit. There are many varieties of garage door that qualify so you can shop around and select the one that best suits your needs. The tax credit generated by the stimulus legislation expires on Dec. 31, 2010.

In your selection process, there are some things you need to know about deciding on your new garage door. The R-value or U-factor, are measurements of the thermal efficiency of a door’s insulation. The higher the R-value or the lower the U-factor which means the more energy efficient the insulation. The tax credit is only available for garage doors with a minimum factor of 0.30 installed on a homeowner’s primary residence. You’ll get the most out of your insulated door by purchasing a garage door with a high R-value and low U-factor.

The garage door must also be attached to your primary home residence, be expected to remain in service for at least five years, the door perimeter must be able to control air infiltration, the door must be an insulated residential garage door installed on an insulated garage, and the door must be purchased and installed between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010. The manufacturer of the garage door will be able to provide you with a copy of the Manufacturer’s Certification, which is a certificate qualifying your door for the tax credit.

Replacing your garage door with an insulated door can reduce significant energy loss. Attached garages share one or two walls with the house, so in the winter it could be unnecessarily increasing your heating cost, and in the summer it could be increasing your air conditioning cost. An insulated garage door helps stabilize temperatures and avoid fluctuations from sharing common walls.

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