These days in the remodeling business the big buzzword on everyone’s lips – including ours – is return on investment (ROI). And everyone – including us – has been referencing the 2015 Remodeling Magazine Cost vs Value report which analyses which renovation projects are the best in terms of its value when a property is sold on.
The report concluded that one of the most valuable things you could do when upgrading your home is to invest in new garage doors. The results suggested that getting a new garage door could lead to a massive 88.4% ROI! Fantastic! Everyone rush out and get new doors pronto!
But, of course, the devil is in the detail. Bearing in mind that the report also states that the average cost for a mid-range garage door replacement is around $1600, this kind of remodeling project needs to be taken in the context of your existing garage door (is it actually in need of replacement?) and the location of your home (do all my neighbors have better garage doors than mine?).
In the words of the very canny Jason Van Steenwyk at RealEstate.com:
“keep your BS detector on at all times, and work the numbers yourself. Decide if the typical financial projections even apply to your individual property to begin with.”
If, having carefully assessed your situation, and you decide that it is definitely worth investing in a new garage door, then the next thing to do is to carefully consider exactly what kind of garage door will offer the best return. This may not be quite as simple as you would think – you may well be surprised by the incredibly huge range of choice.I recently researched one garage door manufacturer who offers 12 different ranges of door with up to 150 different style choices in some of those ranges!
Having said that, common sense dictates that the clever investor looks to spot the most popular lifestyle and design trends as these will likely appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers. As cited on the Bob Vila Garage Doors 101 article, because
“cars have grown more important to our lives, they have gained equal prominence in residential floor plans… In the day-to-day life of today’s home, the garage is so central that many people use it as the primary entrance!”
So you really do have to put as much thought to the style of the garage door as you would the front door. And when it comes to garage doors, the most popular style today is the carriage house style (see an example of this style above). I imagine that the appeal lies in the fact that the carriage-style is a classic aesthetic that blends easily with most traditional home designs. They also just look a lot nicer than a plain slatted garage door. Of course, if you have an ultra modern contemporary home the carriage-style may look out of place – opting for a sleek paneled style may be better for you.
After you’ve decided on style, you then should consider the material: wood, aluminum, steel or vinyl? Most styles can be achieved in any of the main garage door building materials; even the carriage-style can be done with imitation wood-look products, or with wood-clad steel door structures. For investment purposes, you should always opt for materials that are the most hard-wearing and robust and the least in need of time-consuming maintenance.
Next of crucial importance to get the most for your money, is to factor in your local environment and make sure that you’re choosing a garage door that is suitable for the elements that might prevail through the year. If your home is sited on the coast, then it’s imperative that you choose rust-resistant vinyl doors and if you are in or close to a hurricane zone be sure to get the most wind load tolerant reinforced garage doors available. Most modern garage doors are also very well insulated – which could be reason enough to replace your garage door as its large surface is a prime area for heat loss in your home.
Finally, you must put some thought into the actual mechanical operation of the garage door. My own understanding of human beings is that we’re fairly lazy, so a garage door that can automatically open and shut, without me having to leave the car, is always going to win over ones that are manual. (The good news, by the way, is that you can get carriage-style garage doors that are automated!) Different automating systems will require different types of clearance – so be sure to research all the different options to make the most of your budget.
So, in conclusion – yes, it might be a great idea to invest in a new or replacement garage door provided you spend your budget wisely. So do the homework; be sure that your home will benefit from an upgrade; and then make the right choices to maximize the investment.