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How to Start the Garage Door Buying Process

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Do you need a new garage door? Before you buy a replacement, take a look at the top questions to ask yourself, your family, and the garage door contractor.

What Type of Door Do You Want or Need?

Do you know what type of garage door you want? Does this choice differ from what you need? Before you buy a new garage door, you need to review your (and possibly your family’s) list of wants. After you have an idea of what you want, consult a garage door professional to learn more about what your home needs.

It’s possible your dream door won’t work for your home, region’s climate, or budget. If you’re not sure what you want or need in a garage door, ask:

  • What is your personal style? A door can coordinate with your personal style. Whether you have a contemporary or classic aesthetic, you can find a door in almost every style imaginable.
  • Does your style match your home’s exterior? Ideally your home already matches your personal style. But if it doesn’t, you may need to skip the personal preference and choose a door that coordinates with the curb-facing fa├žade.
  • Is your door of choice the right option for your home? While a glass door may match your modern home, it may not insulate your garage well enough to combat the cold climate. Ask the contractor if the door is the right functional option for your home.

Even though wants may trump needs in your mind, a garage door is more than just an eye-catching accessory. While the visual aspect of the door is important, if the door doesn’t meet your home’s functional needs, it may not protect your interior space adequately.

What Is Your Budget?

Garage doors hit a variety of price points. This means you can find a door to fit almost any home improvement budget.

Even though the prices range from under $1,000 to well over that mark, you shouldn’t go into the door-buying process without a total cost in mind. If you’re not sure how to calculate your garage door budget, consider:

  • The cost of the door. The primary cost you’ll have is the door itself. A garage door contractor can help you better understand the price differences between doors based on style and material.
  • The cost of the installation. Garage door installation is not a do-it-yourself job. The contractor has the experience and equipment necessary to install a new door safely. As you budget for this project, decide how much you can spend on labor and installation-related costs.
  • The cost of extras. Do you want to add glass panels or specialized hardware to your door? If you want to accessorize your door, you need to add extras into your budget.
  • The opener. Do you need to upgrade or install an automatic opener? If you don’t have an opener or the existing one is old or doesn’t work with the new door, you need to create a budget category for the opener and its installation.

Along with the costs of the door, installation, and opener, you may also need to include other related or current home improvement projects. If you plan to update the entire exterior, insulate the garage, or make other major home repairs, frame the garage door part of the project within your entire home improvement needs.

What Does the Estimate Include?

Now it’s time to move on to the next step and get an estimate. While an estimate will provide you with a picture of what the overall job includes, you still need to understand the details of the door contract.

If you’re not sure what the estimate includes, ask the contractor about:

  • The cost of the door. Again, it’s likely this is the primary cost you’ll pay for a replacement service. The door should fall within your budget. If the estimate seems surprisingly high, make sure the contractor knows which door you want.
  • The cost of the opener. If you plan to add a new automatic opener, make sure the price of the opener and its installation are included in the estimate.
  • Possible upgrades. What happens if you choose to add insulation or want multi-pane window panels? Ask the contractor about the price of potential upgrades or additions.
  • The cost of labor. Be sure that the cost of labor is included in your contract. Many door dealers also include the sales tax with the installed door package.
  • Potential service plans. Does the contractor offer a service or maintenance plan? Ask if this price is part of the initial estimate or something they’ll add later.

A lengthy or complicated estimate may include lists of numbers, services you’re not sure about, or jargon you don’t understand. A quality contractor should review the entire estimate (line by line) and offer to answer any questions you may have.

Are you ready to choose a new door? Contact Shank Door for more information.

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