5 Factors to Consider When Installing a Garage Door
Making an upgrade to your existing garage door can add $10,000 or more to the real estate value of your home. There are few other ways to get that kind of return on your home improvement investment.
Many homeowners that make this change, do it themselves. If you plan to try your hand at installing a garage door at your home, there are a few things you should consider, first.
- Types of Garage Doors
Selecting a type and style of garage door comes first. There are a few decisions that need to be made at this step.
These days you can readily find garage doors made of steel, aluminum, composite wood, or fiberglass. Each material has it’s benefits and distinct look.
Whether you want the lighter weight fiberglass option or the upscale look of wood, consider how each material lasts, looks, and costs before making the right selection for your home.
If you have a garage workshop, like to spend time in your garage socially, or just like your car to be safe and warm you might consider insulated doors for your garage.
Typically homeowners with insulated garages opt for higher values of insulation in their doors, as well(R12 or above). Even if your garage is not insulated and you don’t use it for much at all, you should consider at least a light insulation (R6).
If you are trying to increase your home’s value with new doors, it is important to consider style. There are countless options available to customize the look of your garage to that of the rest of your house.
Maybe you want an arched door or a door with accent windows. You can get doors of any material with a wood grain look or a multi-paneled facade. Different colors can go a long way to make a garage door look more valuable or better suited to a home.
Finally, think about the hardware on your garage door’s exterior. Black brackets and iron handles can make a big difference.
If you are planning on replacing your garage door springs, you need to do your research, first.
There are two types of spring systems common to most garage doors. Knowing the benefits of each spring type and which spring works best for the door is important.
Torsion springs are the most common types of springs in residential garage door systems. These are either one or two self-contained spring systems sitting above the garage door opening, mounted on the center of a shaft.
These springs are common because they contain the spring assembly safely in a housing unit. If these springs snap, there is little chance they will lash out and cause potential injury.
These are complicated units to work on can be moderately difficult to install.
Extension springs are mounted at each side of a garage door system, usually above the pulleys. They look more like the springs you might find around your house and they extend and contract to open and close the door.
These springs are very easy to install and require little space. Extension springs are louder than torsion springs and potentially more dangerous in the event of a snap.
As a result, this is the less expensive option between the two. Unless you have space limitations or unique system parameters, it is not always advisable to use this type of spring in your home garage.
- The Opener
How old is your garage door opener? When replacing your doors, it is a great time to consider changing out the old opener as well. The motor in a garage door is made to last between 10 and 15 years.
If you’ve never done so, replacing your opener can give you the opportunity to add some impressive features available on some newer models.
Smart home capabilities, advanced safety features, and even voice activation might be good fits for your home situation. Look into the options and see if it makes sense to add one of these to your shopping list.
- Health of the System
Whether you’re installing new doors because something has not been working correctly, because the doors themselves were damaged, or because you just wanted an upgrade, it is important to check the rest of your system.
Normal wear and tear over time can cause several of the elements in the garage door operating system to get damaged or need maintenance over time.
Check to see if the roller tracks are in good condition. Look for bends or kinks in the tracks that might impede the door’s path. This may also be a good time to spray some WD40 (not grease) in those tracks to keep things moving smoothly.
If you are leaving the existing springs in place, make sure they are working to carry the weight of your existing door. If the door is jerky when opening or closing or if the door hangs crooked at all, you may have a spring problem.
It is important that you do not attempt to service your springs unless you have experience and the proper tools to do so. They can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing.
The cables on the side of your current doors should be kink and fray free before using them on new doors. Check around the pulleys to see that they are coiling smoothly as the door lifts.
Look at the pulleys, too. If they don’t spin properly, if they cause kinking in your cables, or if they have visible physical damage, they may also need to be replaced.
You will likely be replacing the mounting brackets along with the doors. If not, make sure they keep their integrity when you remove and reinstall them.
- Installing a Garage Door is Hard, Have Help Ready
Find a professional handyman or garage door installer that you trust. Price out their services before beginning your installation.
Go ahead and give it a shot yourself, but if something goes wrong: If you get confused. If you need repairs done on your spring or tracks. If any of these things come up, do not hesitate to call that for backup.
If you make a mistake during installation, you can do costly damage to your system. You can also injure yourself, as some of these parts are heavy and others are under significant tension.
Know when you’ve reached the limits of your abilities and swallow your pride if you must.
Check it Off the List
Installing a garage door does not have to be difficult. If you take the time to do the research and take care with the steps involved, you can make a big change to your home’s facade without breaking the bank.
To read more about how to improve your home and add value to your sale, visit our blog now.