Nationwide, there is only one home improvement project that shows increased returns on your investment during the downturn of the economy: steel garage door replacements. All the projects cited in Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report, 2010-2011, showed declines in ROI. But swapping out your existing 16x7-foot garage door for a new, steel 4-section garage door will return nearly 84 percent of the total cost.
Based on an average outlay of $1,291 for the door, new steel tracks and the use of your existing opener, you'll see an added $1,083 in resale value, according to Remodeling Magazine. In an era where homeowners feel like they're tossing money into a voracious pit, a simple home improvement project like this one pays dividends.
You'll want the project to include installation of new tracks made to fit the exact model of the door you're buying. According to New England's Door Systems, Inc., you may risk voiding the manufacturer's warranty by using your old tracks.
Need insulation? Speak with contractors
Of course, the magazine's project specifies an uninsulated, single-layer door. Double layered garage doors have an outer skin of galvanized steel , backed with polyurethane or polystyrene. Polyurethane is injected into the door and while more expensive, has a greater insulation capacity.
For around $100, you can buy a garage door insulation kit made of reflective foil insulation or foam insulation panels. You can find kits at local home improvement stores from Dow, Prodex or Falcon Foam. If you're bringing in garage door contractors to handle the work, it's a great time to inquire about insulation.
When considering foam, the higher the R-value, the better the insulation. PanelFoam kits come with laminated-plastic faces that protect the expanded polystyrene panels. Kits come ready for tool-free installation for single doors. So, remember to price two if you have a double-door replacement.
The writers at GarageHowTo.com suggest adding insulation if you do more in your garage then simply park the car and race into the house. The insulation adds strength to the entire door assembly, cuts down on exterior noise pollution and can add to the thermal envelope that surrounds your house.
Winter is coming. While there are few general remodeling projects that pay great dividends right now, replacing and insulating your garage door is a straightforward way to add value to your home.