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.
Every time you leave or return home, you can’t help but notice the garage door. But how often do you really look at it? If you’re like most, you rarely pause to consider the impact your garage door has on the appearance of your home. Indeed, ever since the rise of the automobile, the garage door has become the dominant feature of most home exteriors. Paint colors, architectural details, and landscaping all contribute to a home’s character, but make no mistake, curb appeal inevitably suffers if a garage door appears worn, out of date, or simply doesn’t complement the rest of the house.
But this isn’t just about aesthetics. The right garage door can directly benefit a homeowner’s bottom line, both right away and over the long term, so a garage door should never be an afterthought. Instead, view a new garage door as an opportunity to give your home an instant facelift in a highly cost-effective way. If it’s been years since you shopped for a garage door, you may be pleasantly surprised by how much things have changed. Garage door manufacturers like Clopay now offer an astonishingly wide range of durable, low-maintenance materials and styles, with all the options you need to customize a door that will suit your home perfectly.
1. CURB APPEAL
When viewed from the street, the garage door can account for as much as 40 percent of a home’s facade. Because it’s so prominent, the garage door can make or break a visitor’s first impression. If your battered old door has seen better days—or if it never really matched your home in the first place—then it may be sending the wrong message about you, your style, and your priorities as a homeowner. By upgrading to a new garage door that perfectly captures your design vision, you can instantly transform your home’s curb appeal. As simple as that sounds, there are a lot of factors to consider. With its online Door Imagination System, Clopay makes selecting the perfect door not only easy, but actually fun. After you upload a photo of your home, you can experiment with different combinations of garage door designs, finishes, and hardware, so you can see exactly how each would look installed on your house. From timeless carriage house style doors to sleek and streamlined contemporary models, Clopay provides plenty of options. Because when it comes to curb appeal, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach.
2. ENERGY SAVINGS
In a busy household, the garage door gets opened and closed so frequently that temperatures inside the garage go up and down like a rollercoaster. That isn’t such a big deal in a stand-alone, rarely used garage. It’s a much different story, though, when the garage is attached to the house, or if your garage doubles as a workshop, laundry, or utility room. Here, the temperature matters, not only for your comfort, but also for your energy bills. After all, temperatures in the garage can affect those of adjacent living areas. Check your next utility bill. If it’s sky-high, your garage door may be at least partially to blame. Fortunately, there’s a simple, cost-effective solution—garage door insulation. An insulated garage door ensures substantially more stable temperature levels. In fact, on a cold winter’s day, an insulated door keeps the garage 10 to 20 degrees warmer than it would be otherwise, according to a study by Clopay engineers. If you’re hoping to raise the energy efficiency of your garage and your home, be sure to double-check the insulating properties of any door you’re considering. Another reason to opt for a door from Clopay: The company gives you the freedom to choose the type of garage door insulation best suited to your needs—polystyrene or foamed-in-place polyurethane (ideal for regions with cold winters and hot summers). No matter which you choose, you can count on greater comfort and savings with an insulated garage door.
3. RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Everyone knows that home improvement adds value, but from a return-on-investment point of view, a handful of projects are known to pay you back when it’s time to sell. It may surprise you to learn that out of all the most commonly completed home remodeling projects, garage door replacement ranks near the very top of the list in terms of cost-effectiveness. In its annual Cost Vs. Value Report, Remodeling magazine reports that at resale the average homeowner recoups 94.5% of the amount spent on a garage door upgrade. Of course, maintenance goes a long way to safeguard your return. All garage doors require annual maintenance to keep them running smoothly. Take note, though: Not every garage door on the market is built to last, and some require ongoing finish upkeep to retain their beauty through the years. Look for insulated models constructed in durable, low-maintenance steel or composite, so you can enjoy all the benefits of your new garage door without any hassle.
Gone are the days when homeowners expected garage doors to do nothing more than open and close. Today, we insist on eye-catching designs that complement the colors and architectural style of our homes. At the same time, savvy homeowners know that the garage door can maximize comfort and energy efficiency. Finally, more and more homeowners look to garage door replacement as a reliable means of boosting home resale value. Times have changed, and in the modern home, garage doors play a central role, both aesthetically and practically. Let Clopay, with its history of service and commitment to American-made products and design innovation, help you transform the look of your home by giving you the tools and the confidence you need to take the next step.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
This article has been brought to you by Clopay. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.