Your garage door is more than 20 years old and you wonder if you should replace it. It rattles and shakes when it opens and closes. You're afraid it might get stuck when you're about to leave for the airport or when the kids need a speedy ride to school.
Experts say that the average door should last from 15 to 30 years and your automatic garage door opener can keep working from 10 to 15 years. Your garage door is remarkably resilient, even though you open and close that door several hundred times a year.
If it refuses to open or close, does that mean it's a goner? Not necessarily, according to Darrell Peruch of A-Authentic Garage Doors in Phoenix and Las Vegas, especially if the door isn't very old and has been operating well up until now. First, check the batteries in your remote door opening device and check the sensors on the sides of the door to make sure they're aligned. If the door still doesn't work properly, call for servicing.
Of course, there are reasons why you might need to replace your garage door or opener. Here are 4 of the most popular reasons:
1 | Your garage door is old and lacks safety features
Perhaps you are missing an auto-reverse system - a device that came along in the 1990s. Or maybe the auto-reverse doesn't work anymore. Having the system means that the door will stop closing and go back up if it hits something or when the electronic beam operated by sensors on each side of the door is broken by an object. You should probably test this system every six months. Lay a 2-by-4 on the floor right under the open door and close it. When you press the close button, the door should automatically reverse when it senses that object in its way. You can even try putting your hand in front of the photo eye.
2 | You or someone else hit the garage door with a car
If only one panel was damaged or cracked in the accident, you might be able to save the door. But if it was knocked off track and multiple panels are damaged, the door may need replacing. Storms can sometimes cause this kind of serious damage for garage doors.
3 | You need repeated repairs and adjustments
Sometimes your door bounces up several inches after closing. The springs don't operate carefully and need replacing. The door sags on one side and needs rebalancing all the time. The cost of those constant fixes may mean it's worthwhile to replace the door.
4 | Your aging door looks shabby and out-of-date, and you're hoping to sell your house soon
In fact, having a new garage door installed is a key way to improve your home's curb appeal, an important factor when you're about to hit the real estate market. It's one of those improvements that might increase how much someone will pay for your house. After all, for many homes, the garage door is the largest architectural feature on the front elevation of the house. Most homeowners go in and out of our garage door more often than they use the front door.
You might even want to buy a new garage door that has more distinctive features, including decorative hardware to match the style of your home.
What will a replacement door cost? According to Peruch, the typical unpainted steel door with some insulation and no windows will be about $1,500 in price. A wooden door could cost about $3,000 and would probably have to be special-ordered, a six-week process.
A new steel door could be brought in and hung in less than a day. Although wood might seem hard to maintain in the Arizona sunshine, Peruch says that it can wear well if properly maintained.
What Are Some of the Newest Features in Garage Doors?
Communicating with your garage door:
Among the possibilities are automatic garage door openers that are Wi-fi compatible, so you can open or close the door by using your smart phone.
Using overhead space:
Most garage door openers are installed in the ceiling above the center of the door in a style called a trolley door. But if your garage ceiling is 12 feet high or more, you can use jackshaft openers on the sides of the door instead. That means you can you use the space above cars for storage. However, you would have to use a lift system to move bikes or other storage items above the cars.
In Arizona, it's always valuable to insulate the garage door so that it helps keep some of the heat under control. Insulated doors are becoming more and more common.
Openers and remotes that are 15 years old or more can have outdated security codes that burglars can more easily access. New ones have rolling codes that change regularly.
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