If you are like most homeowners, you do not give too much thought to your garage door — until there is a problem. Garage doors can be expensive, and you are unsure if your garage doors can be repaired or if a complete garage door replacement is necessary.
Before you take on the expenses that come with a complete garage door replacement, consider these common garage door issues, and if the problems are a sign, you should replace or repair the garage doors.
Most garage doors are fitted with different types of garage door springs, typically torsion springs or extension springs. The constant opening and closing of the garage doors over the years will wear the springs, and eventually, the weight of the door will not be supported evenly. There are several telltale signs that your garage doors are not even.
For example, the broken garage door will appear uneven while opening and closing, the door will take much longer to open and close than usual, and the door might make a strange noise while opening and closing. The added stress on the springs causes the noise.
Contact a professional to repair your existing garage door immediately if it is uneven. The lack of evenly distributed weight on an uneven garage door will eventually cause wear on the door’s other components, including the couplers, sprockets, gears, and the door itself.
If the springs are worn, and the old garage door is still in good shape, the springs can be replaced. However, if there is extensive damage to the door itself and most of the components, it is probably worth having the entire system professionally replaced.
Most modern garage doors are constructed from a series of panels. Unfortunately, if you have an overzealous teenager with a heavy foot or suffer a nasty storm, the panels can easily be damaged. If only minor damage to a single door exists, having an entirely new garage door installed is not necessary.
Repairs to these minor dings and dents can often be made to an existing garage door in a matter of hours.
However, if there is severe damage to one or more of the panels impacting the door’s functionality, and the doors are older and out of style, it is best to consider installing replacement doors.
Your Garage Door Has Suddenly Stopped Working
Nothing is more frustrating than rushing to your garage to leave for work on a busy morning only to find that the garage doors are not working at all. Unfortunately, there are several reasons why the garage doors will simply stop working altogether.
Often, the reason your doors are not working is simply that the batteries in your garage door opener are dead. The most foolproof way to figure this out is to try and open the door with the wall-mounted garage opener. If you press this button and the door opens, chances are all you need to do is replace the batteries in your remote!
The steel tracks are out of alignment
Any minor damage to the metal tracks can cause the doors not to open. If the tracks are out of alignment even slightly, the garage door system will not operate properly. In some cases, a buildup of dirt, debris, or dead leaves in the tracks will cause the garage door to fail.
Start by cleaning the tracks with a soft-bristled brush. If the doors still won’t open and if you see any damage to the tracks or they are bent or out of alignment, call a professional to handle the repair. The overall cost of having the tracks repaired or replaced will be minimal compared to having the entire garage door system replaced.
The photo eye is misaligned
Otherwise known as photo sensors or electric eyes, your garage’s photo eyes look like small cameras. These sensors are installed a few inches off the ground as a safety mechanism. If the sensors pick up any movement while the garage doors are closing, the doors will stop automatically and return to the open position.
If the photo sensors are out of alignment, dirty, or damaged, your garage door will not be fully open. Because a failing photo eye is a safety hazard, repairing or replacing the sensors is a job best left to the professionals.
Garage door technology has improved very dramatically over the last few years, and in addition to being unsightly, your older garage doors might actually be costing you money. For example, if you have a heated, attached garage, the substandard insulation in your existing door will impact your home’s energy efficiency.
Wood garage doors were all the rage a few decades back. Unfortunately, while wood models can look elegant, the maintenance required can be expensive. A newer steel or aluminum door does not require a fresh coat of paint every few years and is far easier to maintain.
Finally, an older door is also a safety hazard because older doors do not have the modern safety features of today’s models, including photo eyes. If your door does not have a photo eye feature, having the system replaced is the best option, especially if you have pets and small children.
How Does the Garage Door Affect Curb Appeal?
You are leaning towards a total garage door replacement but are unsure if the expense is worth it. However, if you are even considering putting your house on the market in the future, realize that replacing your existing system with newer, state-of-the-art garage doors not only increases your home value but it is also an excellent way to boost the overall curb appeal of your house.
Let’s face it: A dirty, dingy, and dinged garage door is a major eyesore. No prospective buyers want to pull up into your driveway to see a garage door with outdated hardware and in need of a new coat of paint. Instead, upgrade to a new, insulated, low-maintenance garage that will improve your home’s facade and draw in potential buyers.
Garage Door Replacement Cost: Types of Garage Doors
You are ready to upgrade your old, dingy, broken garage door but are unsure which type of replacement door to choose. There are a few popular choices that will work the needs and budget of just about all homeowners.
There are several pros and cons that come with choosing to upgrade your current system to a new steel garage door. A steel garage door cost is definitely a pro, as these doors cost far less than other models, including wood. A steel door is easy to maintain and install, comes in a variety of colors, and if any repair is necessary in the future, it won’t typically cost you a small fortune.
Be aware that many of the most cost-effective steel doors are inexpensive because they are hollow. Installing a new garage door insulated is critical, especially if you have a heated garage attached to your home and want to maintain the temperature inside the garage interior.
A garage door company can help you determine the best type of steel door for your home and budget.
In the past, wood was the standard for doors because of the material’s durability and elegance. There are several pros to installing a wooden door. For example, a wood door will perfectly complement your house’s exterior if you have an older, more traditional home. Wood doors are also very durable and weather resistant.
However, there are several significant downfalls to this door style. For example, the cost of maintenance for a wood door is much higher than for other types of materials, including steel. Repairs are more expensive, and wood typically requires more maintenance, including painting.
Peeling paint is an eyesore, which means you will need to have your wood model repainted every few years to maintain its aesthetic appeal.
Steel or other types of metal doors and wood are great investments. However, aluminum is the better option for you if you want something more affordable that will last several decades. Aluminum is lightweight, relatively easy to install, and comes in various colors and styles.
The lower cost is excellent, but you should be aware of several downsides to aluminum models. For instance, aluminum is less durable, and if you live in a state that is prone to high winds, cold temperatures, ice, and snow, aluminum is not always the best choice.
Aluminum is also prone to dents and dings, so you will need to factor in the many potential costs of repairs into any final overall budget.
A material that is on par with aluminum and steel, fiberglass is also lightweight, easy to install, and will last for several decades. The lightweight nature of fiberglass means that the door will put less strain on the garage door system’s moving parts, including the tracks and nylon rollers.
Like steel and aluminum, fiberglass is less expensive than wood and requires less maintenance. Fiberglass will provide slightly better insulation than aluminum but is not as durable as steel. If energy costs are a factor, and your choices are narrowed down to fiberglass and aluminum, fiberglass is the better choice.
Garage door styles
In addition to the traditional sectional garage door and roll-up style garage door, a handful of other style options are available.
Side-hinged garage door
As the name would suggest, a side-hinged garage door has two large doors that open up from the side, much like a barn. These are a great option if you want your garage to stand out or your home is a more modern style. This style is also more expensive than section or roll-up models, so figure this additional cost into your final budget.
Slide to the side
A slide-to-the-side model resembles a traditional sectional garage door but with one main difference. The slide to the side garage door is hung on the wall and lays flush with that wall, whereas a sectional door is suspended from the ceiling above the door opening. New tracks will be installed at the inner wall of the garage.
Both a side-hinged garage door and a slide-to-the-side model can be purchased from a home improvement store or as custom designs, depending on the garage’s dimensions.
If you want your house to stand out from the other homes in the neighborhood, replace your garage door with these newer, state-of-the-art models.
How Much Will It Really Cost to Replace My Garage Door?
You are ready to have your outdated, damaged garage door replaced with a beautiful new door, but there is one final consideration: the cost. As with any other type of home improvement project, the overall cost of a replacement garage door can vary widely, depending upon the material, style, and if you are replacing the entire system or just the door.
The national average cost of a replacement garage door is around $1,200. Metal models are typically less expensive than wooden varieties, and a sectional garage door typically costs less than a side-hinged or slide-to-the-side model.
Additional Costs and Considerations
In addition to the material and style, several other considerations will impact the overall price of your new garage door.
Just like your house, a primary way you can keep the temperatures in your garage comfortable is to opt for a protected door. The r value of the door insulation will impact the overall price of the garage door. However, one of the best investments you can make in your garage is to install a new garage door that is well-insulated.
Adding windows is a great option if your goal is improved curb appeal. Frosted glass will provide more privacy, and insulated glass will provide you with the beauty of a glass door without impacting the comfort of your garage’s interior.
A garage door featuring windows is often more expensive, so keep this in mind if you are on a tight budget.
Finally, while you create a budget for your new door, you need to factor in the cost of labor. Sure, you can replace your damaged garage door on your own, but why take on that heavy lifting when you can hire an experienced contractor who is familiar with garage door replacements?
Additionally, a professional is familiar with local building codes and will ensure that your damaged garage doors are replaced with a new model that meets your local codes.
The Final Verdict?
You are ready to replace your old, dingy garage door with a newer model that will boost your home’s aesthetic. However, you need to ask yourself one final question: Is installing a new garage door worth the money? If your existing door is old and not worth fixing, the obvious answer is yes.
If you are thinking about selling your home and want to boost the look and value of your home, then a garage door replacement is also a great option.
There are also newer styles of garage doors that are more energy efficient and can help save you big money on your monthly energy bills. This is especially important if you spend quite a fair amount of time in your heated garage or if your existing garage is attached to your house.
In the end, you can see that, in many instances, getting a new garage door professionally installed just makes sense!