As your house ages, so does your garage. If your garage door is approaching 20 years old, it may be time for a replacement. Even if your garage door is only a few years old, if it is not functioning properly, it may be hazardous and replacing it should be considered; particularly if patchwork repairs are not holding up. If you are thinking about installing a new garage door, keep these specifics in mind:
Should I Do It Myself? – Garage doors are heavy and can cause serious injury if they come crashing down without warning. Before you take this on as a DIY job, be sure to have at least one helper standing by as well as the necessary skills to accomplish the job safely. Hiring a professional may up your total cost, but it is simply a wise investment if you can't do the job properly without one.
What Type of Door Should I Install? – Garage doors come in a variety of styles and materials. You will first want to establish your budget and then consider the level of care and maintenance that works best for your needs, as well as the level of noise reduction required plus energy efficiency. You should also take your area's weather patterns into account to determine the wind load your garage door may have to withstand. Other factors to take into account are your garage's proximity to your living quarters and the overall style of your home's exterior. You will then need to decide between the most common materials used, which are wood, wood composite, fiberglass, aluminum and steel. Other factors to take into account include deciding which spring type, extension or torsion, will work best for your particular project and the amount of insulation you want your garage door to have.
What About Safety? – The safety and security of your family is the overriding priority, both for the installation procedure and also for the life of your garage door. You'll want to consider, for example, the feasibility of including storm-shielding impact or decorative glass windows, as well as the type of locking system to use. You'll also want to think about who will have access to opening and closing the garage door so you can put safeguards for children and pets in place. The Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association has published a full list of garage door safety guidelines that you can access here.
Should Energy Efficiency Be a Priority? – Unless your garage is a completely separate structure from your living quarters, insulating its door will be a pivotal factor in both energy usage and indoor air temperature throughout your entire home. Insulated garage doors may cost more initially, but ultimately yield a significant savings on those pesky energy bills year round.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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