Rising Stars: Exceptional Values in Steel & Wood Garage Doors

Garage doors increased in price, but advances in paint technology mean that you don’t have to settle for a few basic color choices. However, custom colors come at an additional cost.

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Garage doors can make a big first impression to a homebuyer, which might explain why they’re pricier than they’ve been in years. According to a January 2016 report in Remodeling magazine, the average cost in 2016 to replace a 16-by-7-foot single-layer garage door is $1,652, which includes installation. That’s a 10.4 percent increase, or $156, over the cost in 2013, according to the magazine. The Consumer Price Index over the past 3 years rose about 3 percent.

Manufacturers say prices increased for several reasons.

“When the economy dropped a few years ago, it forced manufacturers to drop their prices,” says Doug Sequeira, who is a co-owner of manufacturer Carriage House Door. “We’re now seeing prices coming back up because of the industry picking back up.”

Higher costs in raw materials, labor and insurance led to the price increase of garage doors. However, the increase isn’t just from the manufacturers. It’s also from the dealers, says Vickie Lents of Entrematic, which is the parent company of manufacturer Amarr.

The good news: If you’re considering selling your home, now you will recoup 91.5 percent of the cost, according to Remodeling. That’s an increase from 75.7 percent in 2013.

“When you invest in a new garage door, you will get nearly all of it back if you are planning to sell,” says Tom Wadsworth, who is the editor of trade magazine Door and Access System. “So, you essentially get a free garage door.”

PALETTE EXPLOSION. Consumers  now can create a unique appearance with today’s garage doors. Previously, you could count the number of available colors for most garage doors on one hand. Only one manufacturer, Martin Garage Door, made a wide palette of optional colors available—77 total. In the past 3 years, at least seven manufacturers boosted the number of color options—three of which did so well beyond Martin Garage Door’s total.

Clopay and Raynor each added at least 1,800 colors since 2013. In July 2015, Wayne Dalton introduced its TruChoice Color System, which has at least 6,000 factory-finish colors. Before, the company typically gave you a choice of up to eight colors for its garage doors, says Sarah Schram of Wayne Dalton.

What’s even better is that today’s color choices carry the same warranty that the standard colors do. Previously, to get a customized look, a contractor had to order a white garage door and paint it himself/herself. However, doing so could void the manufacturer’s warranty for the finish, Schram says.

Although manufacturers were mum when we asked about the cost of all of the custom colors, you probably will pay a lot more to have one. Dealers with whom we spoke tell us that custom colors can raise a garage door’s price up to 35 percent. That means that if you wanted, say, a $500 steel garage door in a custom green gingham to match your shutters, your door could end up costing $675 before installation. Opting for a custom color also can add 2–3 days to delivery times, dealers tell us.

Believe it or not, black is one color that more manufacturers added to their choices. Five manufacturers added black to their color options beginning in 2014. Black costs about 10 percent more than do standard colors because of the technology that’s used in the painting process, according to manufacturers. New paint technologies enable black garage doors to resist fading and heat retention, they say. Consequently, black garage doors retain their color, and the door’s surface also stays cooler, so the paint doesn’t blister and crack, manufacturers tell us.

“That’s a significant thing that’s never been available before,” Wadsworth says.

Obviously, time will tell whether the claims will hold up.

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