Installing a new garage door provides aesthetic benefits to a home that improves appearance while increasing safety. Doors to a garage can match the architectural design of a home and enhance its façade. As the largest single object on the front of a house, it usually attracts the most attention. The basic considerations in choosing a door include the size, type of material and opening method, and all of them affect the price of installation that usually includes hardware and an opener. Installation prices range from a low of about $400 for a simple steel door to as high as $3,500 for a solid wood, custom built door, but the typical cost is in the $700 to $1,400 range.
As ordinary convenience that is easy to take for granted, a garage door is usually the heaviest as well as the largest moving object in a home. It is used several times every day for exiting and entering, but it stands as a guardian of a home to protect residents and possessions around the clock. The ease of using it tends to limit awareness of the complexities that make it work. The door and its opener are the most visible parts, but the components that make them work include these:
- Springs - Lifting a heavy object requires a counterbalance, and extension or tension springs provide it. The simple act of holding one hand out to the side when carrying a heavy item in the other demonstrates the need to balance a load. Springs control the door’s weight as it opens or closes, and they react to the momentum that results from the action. Springs carry a high level of tension, and they can seriously harm anyone who is inexperienced in working with them.
- Cables and Pulleys - A pulley is a wheel that has grooves to hold the cables that lift the door. Using a pulley lessens the amount of power that is needed to directly lift a heavy object, and they are an essential part of the mechanical system that makes the door move. They guide the cables and keep them in a track that allows them to provide the necessary force.
- Opener - The motor that operates the opener has one of three types of drives: chain, screw or belt. A belt drive is usually the most expensive, but it operates more smoothly and quietly than the other two options. A door that is operated by a chain drive is slower and noisier than the others, but it is the least expensive. A screw drive is usually moderately priced and requires little maintenance, making it a popular choice of many home owners. Switches for an opener are mounted on a wall, but a remote control is a more convenient way to activate an opener.
- Motion Sensor - An essential safety feature, a motion sensor stops the upward or downward progress of a door when it detects something in its path. It prevents a door from landing on a car that is parked in the way or on a child who may not suspect the presence of danger. Doors can weigh hundreds of pounds, and a motion sensor makes them stop before they can do any harm. The cost to install a door includes these components as well as the tracks, bolts and fittings that make it secure and functional.
Understanding Options Affecting Price
In addition to the choice of material used in construction of a door, the cost to install varies by preferences that owners specify. A door opening that is larger or smaller than the standard width may require modifications that significantly increase the price. Doors that have high wind resistance provide protection from the elements, but they are typically more expensive than those that need less reinforcement.
Decorative accents that include horizontal ribbing, windows and raised panels add to the price, but they offer more appeal to some home owners than one that is serviceable but plain. Wooden and carriage house doors provide a distinguished accent to a home’s façade, and they are at the higher end of the price spectrum. In addition to the cost to install them, wood doors needs regular painting and maintenance that prevents deterioration and warping.
Getting Return on Investment
The National Association of Realtors lists replacing an old garage door with a new one as an effective way to improve a home’s curb appeal. Home owners can recoup the installation prices for a mid-range door by nearly 84 percent and by almost 83 percent for an upscale door. As a way to improve a home's appearance and safety, a new door is a good investment.