Whether you’ve only recently purchased your first home or you have been living in your own house for years, you may feel blessed to have skated by with only minimal repair and maintenance needs. Indeed, some of the biggest headaches for homeowners come from a leaking water heater, a malfunctioning air conditioner or even a burned-out well pump, especially when these breakdowns happen in the middle of the night.
However, when it comes time to repair or replacing your home’s garage door, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the various options available. Read on to learn more about the issues and features you’ll want to take into account before making a final decision on your home’s new (or newly repaired) garage door.
#1: How Long You Plan to Stay
One of the main drivers behind your final decision should be the expected length of time you’ll spend in this house. You may plan to spend years or even decades in your current home without feeling the need to change much about it. However, if you feel that this home or this location is not the best place for you, you may already have plans to move within the next few years.
This anticipated length of stay may affect both the price you’re willing to pay and the features you’re willing to pay for on your new garage door.
If you don’t want to stay in this house for very much longer, you may not want to invest a great deal of money in a top-of-the-line door. Just be warned that you may need to do more maintenance on a cheaper door—but it should still last you very well while you’re in the house.
On the other hand, if you expect to live here for years to come, you may prefer a sturdier model that should need very little servicing or repairs for decades, thereby reducing the likelihood of you having to repair or replace the door again in the future.
#2: Size and Specifications
As a general rule, larger and more complex garage doors (including those with windows or special shapes or designs) are more expensive than smaller and simpler garage doors. If you’re working on a limited budget and don’t have much in the way of extra garage door funds, going with a window-free model that folds up manually (rather than a hinged door that is electronically hoisted onto a track) can provide you with the most cost-effective option.
The size of your home’s current garage door may also dictate the repair-versus-replace decision. If your door is a custom or unusual size that is all but impossible to buy “off the rack,” even pricey repairs may wind up being far less than the cost of a new door, making repair the smarter choice. Those in search of a much more basic door in a common size may be able to buy brand new without even blinking at the price.
#3: Neighborhood Crime Rate
Another factor you’ll want to consider when shopping for a new garage door is the general quality of the neighborhood, especially if you use the garage for storage of potentially valuable items like sporting or camping equipment, tools or electronics that could become a siren song for would-be burglars.
Garages are one of the most common points of entry for thieves for a number of reasons. First, while you probably take care to lock their outside doors, you may not remember to regularly lock the interior door going to the garage; this means that once a burglar has gained access to the garage, he or she can take his or her time traveling through the rest of the house without the risk of alerting passersby.
Many garages also have doors facing away from the street, which, like bushes planted closely around the perimeter of a house, can provide burglars with a relatively private area for them to attempt to enter the home.
If your home is in a neighborhood with a fair number of vehicle or home break-ins, you’ll likely want to select a garage door without windows; even the relatively small windows in a typical garage door can provide a would-be burglar with a good look at the garage’s contents. You may also want to investigate doors that are reinforced with steel or another metal, making them much heavier and harder to force open.
On the other hand, those with homes in relatively crime-free areas won’t need to worry much about reinforcements and may instead be able to select a windowed door that is more aesthetically pleasing.
Regardless of what type or model of garage door you eventually choose, thinking through these considerations before you buy can ensure that you make the best use of your money while providing your home with a safe and serviceable door.