Your old garage doors can be an eyesore, cause you headaches, backaches and a lot of stress. Why not finally take the necessary steps to improve the situation? Here are six ways to upgrade, update, or improve upon your old garage doors. Refurbishing the doors saves money vs total replacement, and when you do it yourself, you’re more likely to end up with exactly what you wanted.
1. Switch To Steel
While wood offers you a host of option in terms of design, it tends to be more expensive than steel. Additionally, taking care of steel is much easier, considering you don’t have to paint as often or worry about rotting and chipping. However, if you live in a coastal area, consult an expert prior to committing to steel, as it may rust in that type of environment, or you might opt to investigate the possibilities of vinyl, which not only won’t rust, but is fairly dent-proof, too.
2. Change Your Style
Changing the style of your garage can add instant “Wow!” power to your whole house, as well as increase the value of the property. Consider the popular classic carriage house door, with the tiny windows (faux or not) at the top. How about sliding barn doors for a cozy, old-fashioned look? Doors that swing up or out can give you a unique style, but should be avoided for home’s that go through rough winters, as the drifts will interfere with opening. Steel is versatile in design, too, as you can choose a model that mimics the look of an all natural wood finish. Don’t forget about hardware, as it alone adds distinct character with different shapes, colors and styles.
If you’re thinking about repainting your home or changing up the shutters, entrance or other stylistic aspect, include refurbishing the garage as well. This completes the entire look of your home, giving it a custom look at a fraction of the cost compared to hiring a contractor.
3. Add Insulation To Save Energy And Increase Comfort
Insulation simply makes sense, particularly when your garage is attached to your main home. It’s also relatively inexpensive and easy to install. The doors themselves can be insulated as well, sealing out the bitter cold, which will certainly make warming the vehicles up in January much more comfortable. Even if you choose not to replace your doors, foam insulation panels can be added to keep you warmer.
Insulating the garage also opens the door to other possible uses for the area, such as creating a workshop, art studio or place where people can work out. Refinish the floor to something more comfortable, like carpet over the cement, and there’s virtually nothing you can’t do with the space. If it’s big enough, consider a complete remodel and turning the garage into a small studio. Depending on where you live, a small studio can fetch a nice chunk of change. Screen the tenants carefully, and check with your local legislative body to ensure all of your utilities are up to code. This is one instance where refurbishing the garage will pay you back much more than what you put in.
4. Replace Those Rusty Rollers
When you hear all kinds of squeaking as your garage door(s) lift and lower, you’re likely due for a roller replacement. Rollers are simply the wheel-like mechanism the system uses to move the door up and down. If you’re at all mechanically inclined, you could probably replace them yourself; however, keep in mind the weight of the doors and tension of the springs make for a potentially dangerous project.
5. Invest In A New Garage Door Opener
While a major convenience, especially in inclement weather, your garage door opener should be considered a safety element as well. A correctly operating opener protects vehicles, people and pets from the weight of the door and should respond to any obstruction instantaneously. When the door doesn’t function properly, it’s likely to close without regard to who or whatever is in the way. Fortunately, garage door openers can be relatively inexpensive, with many different options to choose from.
To test the reliability of your new opener after installation, wave something like a broom or shovel underneath; the object should be spotted, initiating an immediate reversal of direction. Test it repeatedly before giving it your full trust with real people or pets and become familiar with how quickly the device responds and reacts.
While you’re involved with the garage door opener, you may want to connect it to your smartphone or other WiFi device for even greater convenience. Next time you’re on your way home, activate the opener from a block or so away and the door should be up by the time you arrive.
6. Increase Security
Since nine percent of all burglaries are conducted through the garage, you need to make sure yours is secure. Unfortunately, all anyone needs to do to learn how to access your home and property via the garage is search through popular videos online. There’s a slew of how-to uploads featuring different types of doors and different models of garage door openers.
Make sure the handle on the release cord of your garage door is not accessible from outside and that there is no way to release it with a mere coat hanger, as is common among thieves. Also, reinforce the access door leading into your home by installing a deadbolt. That way, if someone does break into your garage, they’ll have a tough time making it all the way to pay dirt. The more difficult you make the process of breaking and entering for thieves, the more time it will take them, thus, increasing the likelihood of them getting caught in the act.
As a homeowner, you want safety, efficiency and aesthetic appeal for your property. Fixing up your old garage doors is a great way to accomplish all of those things and more. It will add value to your home and convenience to your lifestyle that makes the effort well worthwhile.