By Kevin Jones, Director, Brand Management, Overhead Door Corporation
For many people, the idea of replacing a garage door is daunting. It’s a (physically) big purchase that can make a big impact on the look and character of the home.
But if you’re thinking about selling your home or just trying to add some curb appeal, replacing your old door is a great way to go. It will help your house stand out in the neighborhood and, research has shown, deliver a significant return on investment when it comes time to sell (up to 75 percent on average, according to REMODELING magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value report).
But how should you go about it? What should you look for? What is available? There are more choices than you think, especially when factoring in materials (steel, vinyl, wood), styles (modern, traditional, carriage house), energy efficiency (insulated or non-insulated), options (windows, decorative hardware) and colors. To make sense of it all and find the garage door system that best fits your home’s architecture, follow these five steps.
Step One: Understand your options
While you’ll eventually want to visit an Overhead Door distributor showroom, taking the time to research your options online is the best place to start. OverheadDoor.com and even social interest sites like Pinterest are good places to get ideas.
However, to really understand the decisions you’ll need to make, watch these short videos Overhead Door put together on selecting a new garage door. Combined, the six videos go through the basics that will be brought up when you get to the showroom, including brand selection, the impact a garage door can have on curb appeal, the style options and material choices available, insulation benefits and even price considerations.
Step Two: Determine your door material
One of the most important factors to consider is door material. All doors are not created equal, and each material used in construction has its own pros and cons. For example, while a steel garage door will last a long time, it can also be dented, something to keep in mind if your kids play ball in the driveway. Wood doors are beautiful, incredibly strong and can be custom designed to perfectly complement your home’s architectural style, but they require routine maintenance and can be more expensive than other garage doors on the market. And, if you live in an area subject to strong winds, you’ll want to consider doors with high windload ratings.
Step Three: To insulate or not insulate
If your garage is adjacent to any kind of living space, such as a bedroom or living room, it’s a good idea to choose an insulated garage door; it may help to keep those rooms more comfortable, especially if you live in a climate with extreme winter or summer temperatures. Not only that, insulated doors tend to have quieter operation, a significant plus if a bedroom is located next to or above the garage. Do you have a detached garage? If so, a non-insulated door will probably do just fine as long as you’re not in a region with extreme winter temperatures or there is nothing stored in your garage that could be damaged by freezing such as paint and caulk.
Step Four: Try on some doors
The fun starts after you’ve determined the basics of what you want in a new garage door. When visiting the Overhead Door website, you’ll find styles ranging from utilitarian to ornate, carriage-house to modern.
For many people, imagining how a new door will look on their home can be difficult. We’ve heard this from many of our customers, so we created an online visualization tool to make the process easier. Our DoorView® Design Center allows you to upload a photo of your house then place many kinds of doors onto your home until you find the one you like. For each door, you can choose among window, color, panel and decorative hardware styles. If you just want to browse on the fly, the online tool also contains a variety of sample homes in many different architectural styles.
Step Five: Time to buy
Now that you’ve done your research, you can walk into your local Overhead Door showroom as an informed customer. Even better, you’ll be able to choose a door that truly matches your home and helps it stand out.