While we often spend thousands of dollars to remodel a kitchen or invest in smart home technologies, we often neglect the one feature that makes up 40 percent of our home’s frontage; the garage door. A garage door replacement is one of the top home improvement projects you should consider if you want the biggest benefits.

Here are some of the questions we’re frequently asked about garage door replacement.

Repair or replace?

It all depends on the condition of your garage door. In most cases, a simple repair can have your garage door operating smoothly again, especially if the system is relatively new. But, if the damage is so severe that repair is not advisable, replacing the garage door completely is your best bet. We talk about your garage door replacement options and costs in the following few sections.

A steel or wood door?

Each material has its benefits and drawbacks. Wood garage doors add natural warmth to a home. These doors complement many architectural styles. The drawback? They require frequent refinishing. Steel garage doors are low maintenance. Steel can be insulated for efficiency. They can also be constructed to look like wood. The downside? Steel doors that have not been treated on the outside with a fiberglass overlay or backed on polyester topcoat tend to rust. Choosing between steel and wood really is a matter of preference.

An insulated or non-insulated door?

If your garage is adjacent to any kind of living space, such as a bedroom or living room, it makes sense to choose an insulated garage door. A significant benefit, insulated doors tend to operate with little-to-no noise, and keep the garage 20 degrees’ cooler or warmer depending on the season. The more you use your garage for things other than just parking your car, the greater the need for your door to be insulated.

How much does a garage door cost?

Garage door costs vary widely. To give you an example, let’s say you want a single, uninsulated garage door in steel without windows, professionally installed. Remodeling magazine reports that this can cost you about $1,749 with a 76.9 percent return on investment. For a wood door of the same size, the installed price can vary between $2,000 and $4,000 depending on the quality of the wood, and the desired finish.

What is the life span of a garage door?

The average garage door should last well over 20 years, depending on construction quality, maintenance, and climate conditions. Automatic garage door openers typically provide 10-15 years of reliable service. The single most important component to consider, however, is the spring mechanism.

Standard torsion springs have a design life of 20,000 cycles, while extension springs should last between 5,000 and 10,000 cycles. A cycle represents opening and closing the door one time. If for example, you open and close the door 4 times a day (national average), the life expectancy of a 10,000-cycle spring would be about 7 years.

Obviously, the more the door is used, the sooner the springs will break. When they break, let an experienced garage door professional replace them. Do not attempt to make this repair yourself! Broken garage door spring replacement an extremely dangerous job due to the amount of tension the springs are under.


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