5 Curb Appeal Lessons from a Gorgeous Garage Makeover
Hit "refresh" on your facade with these 5 easy improvements that will transform your garage door and brighten up the rest of your home's exterior, too.
This article has been brought to you by Clopay. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.
Nothing sours a home’s first impression like a garage that’s seen better days. Fortunately, sprucing up that focal point can really amp up curb appeal. Even better, if you go the extra mile and replace a rickety, aging door with a new, smoothly functioning one, you’ll enhance your daily life in the process. Getting everything right may take a little planning, though, and you’ll need some ideas to get started. (For this Wisconsin home, it took three years to get all the details in place!) If you need some inspiration before you embark on a makeover project of your own, check out the before-and-after photos of this extremely successful project, and read the story—from the garage door experts at Clopay—that highlights the simple moves behind this impressive transformation. Steal the best ideas from these homeowners, and in no time at all you’ll be bursting with pride every time you pull up to your home.
1. Redo the Driveway
A turf driveway is virtually guaranteed to look patchy, brown, and shabby; worse yet, it can also lead to drainage problems. To have yours properly paved, solicit bids from a few reputable contractors, and be sure to check references before moving ahead. After removing the current driveway, the contractor will examine the existing base and, if necessary, grade appropriately for drainage. The contractor will then install and mechanically compact a base, subbase, and the asphalt to create a driveway that’s smooth, attractive, and long lasting.
2. Choose a New Door That’s Appropriate for the House
For old-world charm and modern convenience, these homeowners opted for a classic carriage-style door that operates with the ease of an overhead door—like this beauty from the Clopay Grand Harbor Collection. This particular door boasts more than just good looks: Its steel frame is protected with a paint job that’s just as tough (baked-on primer and top coat), so it will stand up to the elements and the rigors of daily use. Optional insulation can provide extra energy efficiency when you heat up the ol’ garage workshop during winter months.
If you’d like to see the difference a carriage-style—or any style!—door could make on your house, simply use Clopay’s nifty visualization tool. Upload a picture of your garage, and try on as many doors as you like. Once you select the perfect set, professional installation requires just one day, but experienced do-it-yourselfers who plan ahead can take on this project successfully. (It’s a two-person job, however, mainly because doors are heavy!) Clopay offers easy-to-wind torsion and extension spring systems, called EZ Set Springs, along with simple installation instructions for the DIYer. One caveat: If your existing door has a torsion spring, hire a pro to remove it.
3. Add a Pop of Color
While these homeowners went with a traditional white for their new doors, when you replace a garage door, you can choose to make a statement with a bold shade or opt for something subtle. Use paint wherever you want to add excitement: on a side door, as these homeowners did, or on the trim around the garage door, or on the garage door itself. If paint isn’t your style, perhaps a natural stain and finish will provide the right refresh for your house.
4. Improve with Planters
Flowers and greenery make for a great facade. While these homeowners kept a bright, manicured strip of lawn alongside their driveway, they also perked things up with a few planters. Containers are an efficient and flexible choice, because they’re so easy to change. You can switch out plantings with the seasons or according to your whims. Place containers between or next to the garage doors, and fill them with easy-to-maintain foliage that suits the growing conditions of your region.
5. Dress It Up with Design Details
Simple touches can go a long way toward giving your home’s exterior a finished appearance. Replacing an old light fixture can let you skew the tone modern or romantic, depending on the style you choose. You can even add fixtures for better overall illumination, which will have the benefit of letting you feel safer when you pull up to the garage at night. Yet another idea creative DIYers may wish to borrow from this before-and-after: mounting a pergola on a pair of milled brackets in a style that echoes other exterior details, such as millwork on a porch or deck.
For this Wisconsin home, as the before-and-afters prove, five basic upgrades added up to a major transformation that really spiffed up a tired facade. Now it’s your turn!