In the words of Southern California based home improvement writer and real estate agent Marc Lyman, there are few things that dominate the facade of homes more than their garage doors. That can either work for a home’s curb appeal, or it can work against it.In the case of Marc’s 1930’s Spanish style home, the garage door was most definitely working against it, and desperately needed replacing.
Like many homeowners, Marc had never purchased a new garage door and quickly realized that today’s garage doors are both functional and fashionable. He documented his garage door replacement journey on his website HomeFixated.com.
If you’re wondering what to expect when you’re expecting a new garage door, click here to read his full review. Marc walks you through just about everything you need to know about buying a door and might even entice you into action with some inspiring before and after shots!
Lyman estimates his original un-insulated garage door was installed around the 1960’s or 70’s. He says it turned into a giant radiator when the California sun hit it, so energy efficiency was important.
For those of you who prefer the Cliff Notes version, we’ve put together a list of Lyman’s 5 tips for successfully buying a new garage door.
1. Shop virtually, buy in reality.
Take some time to shop online, but definitely visit a local showroom with a good selection of doors to narrow down your options. What looks good online, doesn’t always look good in person. Being able to see various door styles can help you rapidly eliminate styles you don’t like and start focusing on the styles you do.
2. Try the door on your home before you buy it.
How is that possible? Online design tools.
Marc says Clopay’s Door Imagination System was indispensable in his decision-making process. Upload a picture of your home to the Clopay website, design your door, and see how it looks.
You can mix and match various doors styles and colors, see the door with windows and without, even save them to an Idea Book you can share with friends and review again and again until you make a final decision.
3. See what your favorite garage door looks like installed on real homes. Ask your Clopay dealer for reference homes and do a drive-by. Seeing garage doors installed on homes in the real world was very helpful to Marc.
4. Make sure the construction material matches your lifestyle. After much debate, Marc chose a Clopay Canyon Ridge Collection faux wood carriage house door over natural wood.
Clopay Canyon Ridge Collection, Design 11, ARCH 4 windows, Pecky Cypress Cladding with Clear Cypress Overlays in a Walnut finish.
Since his garage gets Western exposure with lots of Southern California sun, he ultimately decided going with a wood garage door was just a recipe for lots of maintenance.
His original wood door wasn’t insulated and turned into a giant radiator when the sun hit it, so energy efficiency was another important factor. The Canyon Ridge door features Clopay’s Intellicore insulation technology with an R-value of 20.4.
Although it’s made with durable composite materials that won’t rot, warp, or crack, a faux wood door still requires some upkeep. If you have a factory finish applied, Clopay recommends you re-coat with a layer of exterior grade, UV-resistant, clear protective topcoat as needed.
5. Accentuate the positive with decorative windows and hardware.
Marc’s goal was to replicate a traditional wood door and blend with the Spanish style of his home as much as possible, so he included some wrought iron details.
Windows can soften and add character to an otherwise bland expanse of garage. Some people like the look of windows, others don’t. The choice comes down to what you use your garage for. If you use your garage for a workshop, game room, or living space, then having natural light and a view outside can be a big bonus.
Here are some final thoughts home improvement enthusiast and professional Realtor Marc Lyman posted on his blog.
“If you have an ancient garage door like ours that offered more ‘curb repulsion’ than ‘curb appeal’, I hope my makeover might nudge you into taking the plunge for a new door. Whatever your budget, there are appealing options available in styles galore.
Depending on how hideous your old garage door might look, I think it can even make sense to invest in a door when you’re planning on selling your home. Small details often contribute to whether or not a home is enticing enough to a buyer walk into, which might ultimately lead to an offer. The garage door isn’t just a small detail either, it’s often a huge element that’s hard to overlook when it isn’t up to par.
If you’re not planning on selling, prioritizing your garage door might be the single most significant change you can make to the appearance of your home. And, even at the high end, you’ll spend far less money than you would on a kitchen remodel or many other projects that consume far more time and energy. Do it, and your neighbors will not only envy you, they’ll appreciate what you did to spruce up the neighborhood.”
Ready to take the garage door makeover plunge? Click here to get a free design consultation from a Clopay dealer in your area.