Installing a new garage door can increase your home's curb appeal, save energy, and keep your family safe
When planning exterior home renovations, you might not be so quick to think, “let’s get a new garage door!” In the past, replacing a garage door might have been a relatively overlooked upgrade, but things have changed.
Replacing a garage door does more than add curb appeal—it’s actually the home project that gives you the highest return on investment at resale. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2021 Cost vs. Value report, the national average for garage door replacement is $3,907, with a $3,663 resale value. That’s a whopping 93.8% cost recouped.
How Do You Buy a Garage Door?
Trying on garage doors isn’t easy—or is it? Homeowners can get a feel for different materials and styles by visiting a highly rated dealer’s showroom, or scheduling an on-site appointment with a local garage door pro.
Here’s the thing about garage doors: there are a ton of different styles and materials to choose from—probably more than the run-of-the-mill model you’re picturing in your head. The latest technologies allow companies to even take a photograph of your house and display different door options via a tablet or smartphone, so you can pick the one you know looks best.
“There are the garage door remote clickers and the smart-phone directed openers, but the best solutions we’ve seen enable people to open the doors via a remote control in their vehicle, an app on their smartphone, and an electronic lock mounted outside the garage,” says Bob Tschudi, Angi Expert Review Board Member and general contractor based in Raleigh, NC. “That way, there are many ways to get in if any of the technologies break down.”
Some factors to consider when choosing a garage door include:
Garage door panel replacement costs an average of $1,200, though it typically ranges between $400 and $2,400.
Whether you want an insulated door, which can increase your home’s overall energy efficiency
If you want windows in the door
What style you prefer
If you’re buying a new garage door but not sure where to begin, check out these tips to help you get started.
Choose Your Materials Carefully
Again, garage doors aren’t just a boring greige sheet anymore. The material you choose can make your home stand out from the rest of the houses on your block.
A note on safety: Some people want to replace their garage doors as a DIY project, which is entirely possible. However, unlike other home improvement projects, most garage door systems have highly loaded springs that, if handled improperly, can seriously injure you. If you decide to tackle this project, use extreme caution.
Aluminum Garage Door
Aluminum is rust-resistant and ideal for humid environments. The typical cost for a 16’x7’ double garage door is $1,500 to $2,000. To give it more of a modern look, you can replace the solid panels with frosted glass, though that can raise costs.
Steel Garage Door
Steel doors have a wide range of color, insulation, and prices. The average cost for a 16’x7’ double garage door is $750 to $3,500.
Wood Garage Door
Wood garage doors are typically made of moisture-resistant cedar, redwood, or cypress. This material is also the most flexible for custom designs, but, depending on where you live, they can require more maintenance because of the climate. The average cost for a 16’x7’ double garage door is $1,200 to $4,000.
Composite Wood Garage Door
If you want the high-end look of a wood garage door without the hassle of maintenance, faux wood composite is your go-to. It’s moisture-resistant, so it won't rot, split, shrink, separate, or crack. It’s also insulated and can be painted or stained. The average cost for a 16’x7’ double garage door is $1,200 to $2,200.
Consider Wind-Load Garage Doors
Obviously, you don’t want your house to blow down. A breach in the garage door during a hurricane or tornado can cause a buildup of internal pressure, resulting in a blowout of the roof and supporting walls, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
If you live on the coast, be mindful of building code updates. If your garage door is more than 6 years old, it might need replacing. Some states, including Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Utah, Nevada, and California, all have wind-load reinforcement requirements for garage doors.
While there’s no such thing as a tornado-proof or hurricane-proof door, there are wind-rated options that will help secure and add value to your property. The exact wind-load requirements for garage doors vary depending on local building codes, but for example, in Florida doors must withstand winds of up to 150 mph.
But homeowners shouldn’t worry about wind-rated doors affecting their home’s curb appeal. There are numerous code-compliant design options that can complement your house, so you don’t have to sacrifice style for safety.