For a variety of reasons, you’re at the point where you need to buy a new garage door. Maybe your current door is so old that replacement makes more sense than repair. Perhaps you’ve just added a new garage to your home and are now ready to finish the project.
Whatever the case, you should go into the purchase process with a certain amount of knowledge. Here are four tips that will help you when buying a garage door:
1. Know Your Options
There are many things that indicate your personal tastes. The car you drive, the clothes you wear, and not surprisingly, the house you live in. The curb appeal of your home makes a statement about you, and your garage door plays a big role in the curb appeal of your home.
You have many choices when it comes to garage door style. No matter the style of your house, there will be more than one style of garage door to match. In other words, the door you select has to be right for your house, and for you.
Drive around your neighborhood, you’ll see many styles of doors. Take note of the ones you like so you can discuss them with your prospective installer. There are so many doors to choose from, but here are a few examples of the most common garage doors you might be interested in:
Raised Panel Doors
Raised-panel doors have a clean, classic look. They are characterized by symmetrical, raised panels. They are manufactured using a variety of materials, and a choice of many designs.
For modern homes, contemporary garage doors can provide a clean curb appeal to your home. They are often constructed of aluminum and glass. They tend to match well with modern home designs. They can be beautiful, but they’re not right for every type of house.
Carriage House Doors
Carriage house doors, also referred to as “barn style garage doors”, have a rustic look that can stand out and are often the perfect complement to a craftsman style home. It all depends on your preference and your existing home décor.
2. Get a New Opener
Buying a new garage door and not including a new opener is like buying a brand new car with a rebuilt engine. Since you’re spending between $1,000 and $3,000 to have a new door installed, it would be foolish to try to save a couple hundred dollars by keeping your existing door opener.
Even if your current door opener isn’t old, you’ll want your entire garage door installation to be complete in all aspects. For instance, your current opener may not be the perfect match for your new door. It may not be powerful enough to lift the new door if it’s heavier than the old door. Also, it might be time for a drive-type upgrade, especially if you have a chain-drive and you want to quiet the door.
Now would be the time to install a belt-drive opener.
Most importantly, the contractor who installs your garage door is only going to guarantee the parts they install. And that policy will apply to labor too. It will be less expensive to have the new opener installed with the new door, rather than later as an add-on.
Since we’re talking about new openers, you might as well get the latest technology and buy an opener with a smartphone application. Having the ability to see your garage door’s open/close status, and the ability to operate the door from anywhere, is a comforting feeling. Lastly throw in the extra thirty bucks for the keypad. When the batteries run out of juice in your remote, you can hop out of the car and punch in the code.
3. Get Detailed Estimates
Getting more than one estimate isn’t unique to garage doors, but as you now know, there are so many types and styles of doors, made of so many different materials, you’ll need a wealth of knowledge to be sure you’re comparing apples to apples. That means the estimates need to be detailed. Make sure each estimate contains the exact door style and material, whether or not the door is insulated, etc. There are many other things to compare when it comes to the door itself, but you get the general idea.
Finally, when comparing the estimates from the prospective door installers, be sure to have the warranty information included with the estimate. You don’t want to have to negotiate that when something breaks.
4. Choose The Right Installation Contractor For You
After you have all the estimates in hand, it’s time to select your contractor. Some contractors will offer doors from almost any manufacturer you want. Others limit their offerings to a handful of manufacturers. That’s not always a bad thing; if they sell a door that fits your needs, that’s fine. If not, you’ll need to go with another installer. Just be sure to gather all the knowledge you can, so you can help the installer provide you with a garage door you’ll be happy with.
Warranty information is not just important during the estimate comparison. Warranties are very important when it comes to selecting your installation contractor. Contractors will offer warranties that cover parts and labor for different amounts of time, or perhaps only certain parts under certain conditions.
Keep in mind, just because you have a warranty, doesn’t mean the quality is better; only that you don’t pay for the full repair, should you need one, within the warranty period. The thing you need to know is; how long will it take the contractor to come fix your door. After all, you already paid them. Are you now a priority to them? Professional contractors who care about their reputation will come out quickly, others will have you leaving phone messages for a week. You’ll need to do some research in this area to get the full scoop. Word of mouth is usually the most reliable method of finding a contractor with a solid reputation.
With these 4 tips, you should be able to go garage door shopping with confidence and the knowledge you need to communicate clearly with installation contractors. You’re likely to get the best deal if you can demonstrate that you know what your talking about.