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Installing a New Garage Door Can Give Your Home a Lift

Despite its hanging in there through life’s ups and downs, it’s time to replace your garage door. A new garage door can improve the look of your entire home, but what should you expect to pay?

Garage door installation — not including an opener — costs about $2,300, on average, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, or NARI. But the cost of your new garage door will vary depending on where you live, the size and type of door you choose and who installs it.

Keep reading to find out how much a garage door should cost, the factors that affect cost and tips to make it more affordable.

» MORE: How to avoid costly home renovation mistakes

Garage door cost breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of factors in the final cost of your new garage door:

Size

A standard single-car garage door is 8 to 10 feet wide, while a two-car garage door is 12 to 18 feet wide. Garage doors also come in different heights and thicknesses, and in general, the bigger they are, the more they cost.

Type

Most homes have sectional or roll-up garage doors, which tend to be more affordable. Other types include the one-piece or swing up, the swing out or carriage-house style and sliding garage doors.

Materials and hardware

  • Steel: Durable and low-maintenance, steel garage doors are a popular residential option. But steel doors are also heavy, hard on an opener and easily dented. Steel is typically one of the most affordable garage door materials. The cost of a steel, two-car garage door generally ranges from $750 to $3,500 depending on the style and construction.
  • Aluminum: Lighter than steel, aluminum is rust-resistant and well-suited for wider doors. Though generally affordable like steel, aluminum is a poor insulator and bends easily. The cost of an aluminum two-car garage door typically ranges from $1,500 to $2,000.
  • Wood and composite wood: Solid wood garage doors are heavy, require upkeep and are expensive. Composite wood garage doors are lighter and less expensive than solid wood, but not as durable as metal or synthetic materials. The cost of a wood or composite wood two-car garage door generally ranges from $1,200 to $4,000.
  • Fiberglass: Resistant to rot and rust, fiberglass doors are light and available in many looks. Fiberglass is generally affordable, but it yellows with age and sometimes cracks in extreme temperatures. The cost of a fiberglass two-car garage door typically ranges from $1,500 to $2,000.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl garage doors are lightweight and low-maintenance and can take a beating, making them ideal for high-traffic homes. Vinyl is prone to fading, however, and style options are limited. The cost for a vinyl two-car garage door generally ranges from $900 to $1,500.

An automatic opener with infrared safety beam, if not already installed, may be required for proper door function. The cost to install a garage door opener may range from $200 to $650 depending on horsepower and features.

Professional installation

Hanging a garage door isn’t for the average person, says Jim McGrath, CEO of Doors Galore in Clayton, Ohio. For starters, garage doors are heavy and difficult to move into place without the right equipment. The powerful springs and cables required to operate the door are dangerous if handled incorrectly.

Hiring a professional installer may cost about $200 to $500 of the total job, depending on your location and complexity of the work, but it’s faster, safer and comes with a warranty.

» MORE: When is it best to hire a home improvement pro?

How to plan your garage door installation

1. Have a goal in mind. Is your current door malfunctioning and you need a full replacement, or are you hoping for a better price when you sell your house? Your reason for buying a new garage door should guide style choices and how much you spend.

2. Hire the right installer. Compare quotes from at least three garage door installers, including a chain like Lowe’s or Home Depot, to make sure you’re getting a good deal, McGrath says. Make sure the price includes parts, labor and disposal of the old door.

The best installers are licensed and insured and warranty their work, says Linda Anderson, owner of Coast Garage Door Co. in Seaside, Oregon. Ask for examples of past projects and make sure they follow local building codes.

3. Think about the weather. Extreme hot or cold, high winds and corrosive coastal air take a toll on garage doors. Talk to your installer about the garage door materials and hardware that make sense for your climate.

4. Keep it simple. An garage door with windows, custom colors or keypad locks may seem exciting but will cost more. Aim for a door that matches the look of your house. Simple, durable doors are generally the most affordable.

Reasons for garage door replacement

  • Your current door is damaged. Repairing an old garage door’s tracks, springs and rollers can cost hundreds of dollars. Your money might be better spent on a brand-new door, McGrath says. Replacement means a new warranty and ensures the door meets current safety standards.
  • You want to increase energy efficiency or security. The garage may be your home’s biggest entrance or serve as an extra room. If you want to conserve energy or feel safer, a new garage door with extra insulation or an open-door alert system may be the answer.
  • You want more curb appeal. The garage door is a prominent part of your home’s exterior, whether the garage is attached or detached, Anderson says.
  • You want to increase home value. If your door is faded, dented, rusting or otherwise showing its age, a new one may help you sell your home at a higher price. An upgraded garage door recovers up to 87% of its cost in added resale value, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The article Installing a New Garage Door Can Give Your Home a Lift originally appeared on NerdWallet.