When you think about your next home improvement project, what do you dream about? Do you imagine redoing your kitchen with all new stainless steel appliances? Re-landscaping your front lawn? What if we told you that you could add one to four percent to the total value of your home in mere hours with one simple renovation? Would you do it?
Updating your garage door usually isn’t the first thing homeowners think of when they renovate. But when it comes to boosting your home’s curb appeal and recouping your investment with a spike in property value, a garage door makeover is one of the smartest investments you can make.
We sometimes forget about the impact that a snazzy garage door can have on our home. When you picture a garage door in your mind, what does it look like? Most of us think of a plain metal roll-down door — probably in white or another neutral color. Even on bespoke custom builds, builders often treat garage doors as a utilitarian afterthought.
It is a mistake to disregard the potential of a beautiful garage door. Your garage door can up anywhere between 20-40% of a house’s facade, and it can either enhance or detract from the value of our home. Luckily, today’s homeowner has plenty of options that can fit any budget or architectural style. Why settle for an eyesore when you could enjoy a modern aluminum-and-glass entrance or handcrafted cypress stunner?
For most Americans, the garage door is the primary entrance to their homes. We spend a lot of effort making our home’s front entrances inviting, with manicured front lawns and elegant foyers, but most of us reserve our front entrances for guests. When you arrive home after a long day at work, you probably skip the front door and click your garage door opener. You deserve an entryway every bit as inviting as the one you offer to your guests.
A Renovation That Pays for Itself
Building professionals repeatedly list garage door renovations as one of the smartest financial investments you can make in your home. According to a recent study, replacing your garage door is one of the top five best renovations you can make from a cost vs. value standpoint. Garage renovations are so cost-effective that many builders recommend updating the garage door if you’re looking to sell your property.
The average homeowner recoups over 91% of the cost of a garage door remodel in the increase in their property value alone. That statistic doesn’t even capture the savings in energy costs that come with installing a well-insulated and weatherized door.
In addition to being a smart financial decision, a garage door makeover is quick and won’t disrupt your day-to-day life like other renovations. Redoing your kitchen can include eating off of Styrofoam for weeks. And undertaking a big landscaping project can include waiting for grass to grow. Our team at Cookson Doors can replace your boring steel door with one of our stunners in mere hours!
Some Things to Consider
Before choosing a garage door, it’s best to think about a few things. Where is your garage located in your home? And how do you use this space?
Most of us use our garages as a place to store our cars, but many of us also use this unique indoor/outdoor space for other activities. Maybe you spend a lot of time in your garage using it as an auto shop, band practice space, or recreational man cave (or lady cave).
Unless you’re putting an old-school photography darkroom in your garage, there’s no reason to leave it in the dark. Many of our door styles come with optional windows to allow for natural light. Choose across-the-top windows to bring a little bit of sunlight into your home woodshop, or choose full-door windows to show off that vintage Ferrari you’re working on — we can all dream, right? A door with frosted or patterned glass is a great option if you want your privacy. You won’t have to change out of your PJs to retrieve something from the car.
Unless your garage is completely detached from the rest of your house, you should also consider the level of insulation — also called the “r-value” — of your door, as well as how well it seals against air infiltration, water intrusion, and curious critters. Even if you don’t plan on spending a lot of time in your garage, it’s important to think about how your garage door affects the temperature and air quality in the rest of your house. This is especially important if you spend a lot of time in your garage, or if you have living space above your garage. Because hot air rises, a sweltering garage can turn upstairs bedrooms into an oven in the summer.
Especially in extreme climates, modern homes include a thin layer of insulation in all of their exterior walls to keep residents cool in the summer and toasty in the winter. Just like smaller doors and windows on the rest of a house, garage doors are a huge swath of space that can’t be insulated with the same thick batts or layers of fill.
We offer products with a variety of insulation options. You can tell how strong a product’s insulation is by its r-value, a number that describes a material’s resistance to heat transfer between indoor and outdoor spaces. Products with a high r-value will keep you comfortable during all seasons, and save you money on your heating and cooling bills. Having an energy efficient garage door can help you qualify for more savings through special government incentives.
You should also consider how well your door seals against air penetration and against pests — the furry sorts, the creepy crawly types, and annoying neighbors. A deteriorating door is more than an opening for animals of all sorts — it’s also an open invitation to thieves. Fortunately, our sturdy, quality doors offer unbeatable security, and our professional installers are trained in sealing your door against unwanted weather and critters.
Maintaining Your New Door
At Cookson Doors, we love seeing our customers’ faces light up when they see their garage makeover. We know you’re going to enjoy your new door for years to come, and we want that fabulous first impression to last a lifetime.
When making design decisions, it’s worth thinking about how much maintenance you are willing to invest in your new door. Are you a DIYer who loves getting your hands dirty and improving your home? Or are you more of the “install it and forget about it” type?
Much like other building components, garage doors come in many different materials that require different levels of maintenance. Wooden doors, for example, hold up best with regular painting or sealing to protect them from the elements and maintain their natural beauty. Metal and faux-wood doors only require an occasional cleaning to keep them looking sharp.
When picking out a door, you should think about what styles look best with your house, and also what kind of environment your door will be exposed to. Garages that face south get an especially intense dose of sunlight, so it’s important to choose a durable door with a fade-resistant finish. If your region gets heavy rainfall or if the termites in your area are especially ravenous, a metal or composite door might be a smart alternative to natural wood. Installing gutters over your garage door is also a good decision in wet climates.
Not sure which types of doors best fit your home and your lifestyle? Don’t worry — our representatives are more than happy to share their expertise to help you find the door for you.
Choosing Your Materials
When choosing a new garage door, the first thing you need to decide is what kind of material you want. With everything from wood to glass, Cookson Doors is proud to offer the perfect door for every home.
When planning your garage makeover, think about how the materials of your new garage door will match with the rest of your home. A glass and steel door that looks sleek on a modern-style house will look out of place on a Craftsman-style design. A rustic Cypress door can upstage synthetic siding products on a modest bungalow. Some materials like steel have a better reputation than budget-friendly vinyl or aluminum, but it’s important to remember that quality workmanship is equally as important as fancy materials. A high-quality door from one of our Value product lines can improve the overall appearance of any house without breaking the bank.
In older homes, the garage is frequently an add-on. Many homeowners struggle to find garage styles that integrate seamlessly with their vintage digs. If you want your modern garage to match a classically-crafted home, consider a natural wood door in either a roll-down or carriage door style. Not only does Cookson offer a wide variety of pre-made wood doors, we can also help you design a custom, handmade wood door that will make the neighbors take notice. Share your garage design ideas with us, and let us make you a one-of-a-kind creation that nobody will share. Your imagination is the limit!
If you like the beauty of natural wood, but are nervous about the upkeep, our composite faux wood doors might be the perfect option. Molded from real cypress, mahogany and pecky cypress wood, our Clopay faux wood doors mimic the imperfections that make wood doors naturally beautiful, while offering the low-maintenance durability of synthetic materials, and one of the highest r-values in the industry. Our customers say their doors look so much like natural wood that their neighbors have no idea they’re not!
Carriage-Style, Roll-Downs and More
Once you’ve nailed down what kind of material you want, you should consider whether you’re interested in roll-down, carriage-style, or faux carriage style doors. Most garage doors are “roll-down” style sectional doors. They are composed of several horizontal panels and are designed to roll up into the garage when the door is opened. A roll-down door is convenient, space efficient, and great for homeowners interested in a classic or modern look.
Looking for a bit of flair? A carriage-style door is a set of oversized double doors designed to swing outwards when the door is opened. Often made out of wood or faux-wood and resembling a castle or stable entrance, a carriage-style door is a bold statement that is sure to make your home stand out. Keep in mind that the wide swing on a carriage-style door will require a little bit of extra space in your driveway.
If you want the drama of a carriage-style door with the convenience of a roll-down door, we offer many roll-down doors with design features that mimic a set of carriage-style doors. These doors are designed to conceal the separated panels that allow the door to retract into the garage. Details like faux strap hinges and dramatic handles that flank a molded center provide an old-fashioned look. Our carriage-style roll-down doors are so convincing that nobody will know you have a modern garage — until you click your automatic door opener.
Is That Your Final Decision?
A garage door renovation is an investment, and it’s only natural to worry whether a door will look as good on your garage as it does on the computer screen. If you want to take a closer look at our quality doors and check out the finishes in person, stop by our showroom during business hours.
You can also check out the Clopay Door Imagination System online tool, where you can upload a photo of your house, and virtually “try on” different doors to get a sense of which door designs will work best for your house. Not sure if a sleek, steel and glass model will look right on your classic bungalow? With the Clopay Door Imagination System, you can let your imagination run wild and figure out what door will best complement your home.
We also recommend taking a drive around your neighborhood to see what garage doors you like on houses similar to yours. Seeing a door in person will show you how it will actually look once it is installed, and checking out various styles gives you a sense of how well various materials hold up over time. You might be surprised to find what colors and materials look good together — or relieved that you won’t be making the same mistake as your neighbors!
Contact a Cookson Doors representative and ask to be directed to other happy customers. The difference a garage door remodel can make in a home’s curb appeal is something you have to see to believe.