What's the first thing that everyone sees when they drive up to your house? Most of the time it's your garage door. And if your garage door is old and dented and maybe the paint is peeling off its panels, it makes the whole house look shabby and dated.
And what about your front door? Does it add something to the appearance of your house or does it look crooked or chipped and tired? And maybe that old door looks like an inviting and flimsy target for a burglar.
Bringing these doors to life can add sales appeal to your home. In fact, year after year, in Remodeling magazine, the annual Cost vs. Value edition says that installing a new garage door is one of the improvements you can make that will almost pay for itself when you sell your house. So here is the latest information from experts on trends in buying a new garage door or front door for your home.
- A new steel garage door can be ordered and hung in less than a day, according to Darrell Peruch of A-Authentic Garage Doors in Phoenix.
- A two-car steel door, 15 by 7 feet, without insulation can cost $1,100 plus $85 per hour for installation; the average install is about three hours. An insulated steel door of the same size will cost $1,350 plus installation, according to Peruch.
- Steel is generally the material of choice in Arizona for garage doors, probably because wood is harder to maintain in the heat and sun and is also very expensive. Fiberglass is rarely used.
- The latest thing in garage doors is the full-view, aluminum framed, and glass-paned door, Peruch said. These doors, very popular in contemporary looking homes, can cost $6,000 or more each, plus installation. They call them "full-view," but actually most of them have a smoky finish on the glass to prevent people from seeing into your garage.
- In many subdivisions in Arizona, homeowner's associations dictate what kind of garage door you can install and what color it can be. So, if you want to make a change, check it out with the association first.
- One good reason for replacing a really old garage door is that you want to replace the overhead opener as well. Those that are 15 years old or more can have outdated security codes that burglars can more easily access.
- After you install that new door, don't forget about the driveway. If it's chipped and dirty, it may need some work as well.
- The most popular front entry door choice in Arizona is fiberglass, according to Sal Sucato of Dun-Rite Windows and Doors. That's because it's weather-resistant and energy-efficient. It can be made to look like stained wood or can have a smooth finish that can be painted. "Fiberglass will last a lifetime and you won't need to do any maintenance for 10 years," he said. A typical fiberglass front door can cost $2,000 to $5,000.
- Steel doors are generally much cheaper, he said, perhaps $170 a square foot. But steel is mainly used on side or back doors, "not on a front door that people will see all the time."
- On most expensive homes, the front door will most likely be made of wood. They're high quality doors, but they need special maintenance at least once a year. Better ones can be refinished if they've been damaged by the sun and heat. They are hard to take care of in Arizona. There are very short warranties here on wooden doors, Sucato said.
- If you want to replace your present front door with a larger one or add sidelights, you usually have to redo the framing around the door which means hiring a skilled contractor.
- You need to install a quality door lock to keep burglars away. Use a lock with a one-inch or longer than one-inch deadbolt and a one-eighth inch reinforced metal box strike plate. The strike plate is the metal piece that the lock's bolt slides into.
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