The best home improvement for less than $5,000

(BPT) – Curious which home improvement costs less than $5,000, delivers the highest return on investment and has the maximum impact on curb appeal?

According to the latest studies, the answer is a new garage door.

A garage door replacement is one of the best value-returning home improvement investments, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report. This exhaustive annual study uses input from nationwide Realtors to compare the average cost for 35 popular remodeling projects against the value those projects retained at resale.

Of all the home improvement projects that cost less than $5,000, a mid-range and an upscale garage door replacement rank second and third as projects that deliver the most value at resale.

The true front door

A mid-range entry door replacement ranks first. However, the curb appeal of an entry door can’t compare with the impact of a front-facing two-car garage door. This door commands almost six times more visible space than the entry door. The curb appeal impact is even greater when the garage door is a $2,800 upscale model.

The conventional wisdom of yesteryear suggested that a home’s front entry door was the center of curb appeal attention. Realtors of the 1980s would commonly recommend spending extra dollars on an upscale front entrance.

But today, as front doors are used less and garage doors are used more, home improvement experts recognize that a front-facing garage door commands much more impact and curb appeal than a front door that is often shrouded in shadow.

‘The most noticeable architectural element of today’s home is the garage door,’ says Gale Steves, former editor-in-chief of Home Magazine, a primary conduit of home improvement ideas to its 4 million readers.

If you plan to stay in your home and improve its value, Steves recommends focusing on the curb appeal of the home, making it as attractive as possible from the street. For front-facing garages, she recommends upgrading an old garage door to a new carriage style door that offers attractive styling that complements the home’s unique character.

Paying for itself

In the 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, the typical cost for an upscale garage door ($2,791) delivered an estimated value at sale of $2,315, equating to an 83 percent return on investment. The $1,534 cost for a mid-range garage door replacement had an estimated value at sale of $1,283, or 84 percent of the original cost.

In several cities, an upscale garage door actually returned more than 100 percent of its cost.

In a separate study, more than 71 percent of Realtors nationwide felt that an attractive new garage door added as much as 4 percent of the selling price. That’s a bump of $10,000 on a $250,000 home, which means that a new garage door can pay for itself.

Choosing the right design

Before you begin your garage door project, make sure you see the wide range of new styles available. The right one will complement and enhance your home’s personality.


The one-day makeover

A local professional door dealer can help you find the right look for your home and install the door correctly, quickly and safely. This delivers a stunning home makeover in only a few hours, with no clean-up and no mess.

But don’t try to install the door yourself. It’s a complex and dangerous task, performed with springs under extremely high tension.

With a small investment of time and money, a stunning new garage door can make your home the envy of the neighborhood. And you can be confident that your investment will pay off in the short and the long run.

Amarr Brings Trento Collection to North America

NORTH CAROLINA – Amarr Garage Doors has recently introduced the Trento Collection by Silvelox. Amarr’s Trento Collection features Italian-designed garage doors with a unique two-section overlap technology that has no tracks, springs or rails. The Trento Collection is made of Okoume marine-grade hardwood with a patented overlap opening system. It has a double counterweight system along with an integrated opener. The Trento Collection is crafted in Italy by Silvelox and is available exclusively in North America through Amarr.

“The Trento Collection features garage doors that function and look unlike any others on the market,” Amarr marketing director Vickie Lents said. “The Trento Collection is the ‘wow factor’ that many homeowners and car enthusiasts have been waiting for in a garage door.”

“As the door opens, the door leans back, folds in half, splits into two panels, and the lower panel rests under the upper panel in the fully open position.

With its operating system neatly tucked into the headbar, the Trento Collection’s compact footprint is ideal for applications with garage headroom, backroom and side-room limitations,” she said. “The doors are perfect for historic and brownstone homes, and underground parking. With the resulting clean interior of a Trento door, this collection has strong appeal in rooms with indoor/outdoor living, as well as commercial applications such as open-air restaurants. In many instances where space is a premium, garage doors from the Trento Collection can be installed where previously thought impossible.”

“Amarr is offering a variety of sleek, modern Silvelox designs in the Trento Collection, in addition to various carriage house style doors created especially for Amarr’s North American market,” Lents added. “Doors in the Trento Collection are available in a variety of wood stains and paint colors.”

Trenton Collection


From Garage Door News November 2013

Canadian Housing Starts Forecast to Remain Stable in 2014

ONTARIO – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) expects total housing starts to be stable in 2014, as fundamentals, such as employment growth and migration, continue to support the Canadian housing market, according to CMHC’s fourth quarter 2013 Housing Market Outlook, Canada Edition.

“In the new home market, builders are nevertheless expected to limit the number of housing starts while inventories of unabsorbed units, completed and under construction, are drawn down,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist for CMHC. “In the resale market, home buyers have been motivated to advance their purchases and lock-in pre-qualified mortgages given the recent moderate increase in mortgage rates. It is expected that existing home sales will increase modestly in 2014 with improving economic conditions,” added Laberge.

On an annual basis, housing starts are expected to range between 179,300 to 190,600 units in 2013, with a point forecast of 185,000 units, down from 214,827 units in 2012. In 2014, housing starts are expected to range from 163,700 to 205,700 units, with a point forecast of 184,700 units.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sales are expected to range between 439,400 to 474,000 units in 2013, with a point forecast of 456,700 units, about equal with the 454,005 in 2012. In 2014, sales are expected to range from 438,300 to 498,100 units, with an increase in the point forecast to 468,200 units.

The average MLS price is forecast to be between $372,300 and $383,700 in 2013 and between $374,100 and $396,300 in 2014.

CMHC’s point forecast for the average MLS price calls for a 4.0 per cent gain to $378,000 in 2013 and a further 1.9 per cent gain to $385,200 in 2014.

How To Add Value To Your Home With The Best Garage Door

Compared to old-fashioned garage doors, modern garage doors are much more enduring, comfortable and safe.

Residential garage doors are designed to look handsome and offer high-tech features like automatic door openers and built-in safety features. Canopy garage doors are great alternatives to automatic doors, and can be uncomplicated to use when kept in good condition.

If a traditional look is important to your house, the side-hinged, double doors are an attractive option.

Where limited driveway space is a difficulty, sectional garage doors are the right choice as they open and close vertically, allowing cars to park within inches of the door without curtailing operation.

Custom made garage doors can be created to your own specifications.

Look Over Different Garage Door Plans

Free garage door plans are available online from most big name manufacturers. Design a custom garage plan that encompasses everything you want in your garage, be it a heated garage or imaginative window alternatives; there’s nothing you can’t incorporate into your plan.

The most useful part about planning your own garage door system is the option of installing it yourself. However, if you design the opening and door size to a standard size this will make it less expensive and easier to install. Also, free garage plans are a great method to troubleshoot for difficulties before they arise.

When designing a garage plan, first determine what your family needs.

Can I Install a New Garage Door Myself?

The installation of an updated garage door, whether as a replacement or a renovation to your property, is straightforward. Doors come in a factory fitted steel frame ready for quick and simple on-site installation.

All adjustable fixings are provided. Read through the installation instructions for carefully. Garage doors are large and ungainly and are therefore ideally handled by two people, which makes positioning and fixing much easier and safer.

However, the installation of a residential garage door can be technical, and probably it is not acceptable as a do-it-yourself project for the less experienced handyperson.

Ensure the Long Life of Your Investment

Getting hit by vehicles and the lack of maintenance are the leading causes of garage door damage and the need for replacement. To properly maintain your garage door you should wash painted steel surfaces several times a year. You also need to paint or refinish wood surfaces as necessary, lubricate the rollers, bearings, pulleys, and springs once a year, and make proper adjustments to all systems. Consult the installation manual for your model.

Each of the three typical garage door materials has its own benefits.

Wood doors are well insulated and have an appealing look. The downside is that wood expands and contracts and can warp or crack as it weathers. You will find that it needs re-painting or refinishing every couple of years.

Steel doors are very robust and give great value for your money. Today’s steel doors have the look of wood without the maintenance. They come in several quality grades so you can pick the one that suits your budget and location.

Fiberglass, (or GRP), garage doors are also very low maintenance and can offer a timber effect without the maintenance of real wood. This type of door is both light and resiliant.

To clean steel and fiberglass garage doors wash both the exterior and interior twice a year using water mixed with a half cup of mild laundry detergent.

Remember that garage doors are often the largest visible part of your house, other than the siding. A clean and well maintained garage door will help keep the ‘curb appeal’ of your house, as well as it’s value!

Garage doors are now offered by manufacturers in a variety of styles that go far beyond the traditional paneled look. That makes replacing your garage doors are an effortless and cost effective way to add to your home’s value and improve your homes look.

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