Best time to do this project: Since it is outdoor work, it is ideal to replace garage doors during warm, dry weather. That said, unless you are painting or installing a more elaborate custom feature (like a pergola), the weather does not matter too much — as long as it’s not freezing and you’re not in the middle of a thunderstorm, your pro should be able to tackle the job in a few hours.
Permit required? Maybe. Because it is essentially an exterior wall, some cities do require a permit for replacing a garage door and opener. Any reputable pro that you hire should be able to tell you whether or not you will need a permit for the work; if you are still not sure, contact your city or county government agency and ask.
- Wood offers the widest range of design options and works well in all climates; it is the most expensive.
- Steel is typically less expensive than wood, but because it can rust, it should be avoided in coastal areas.
- Aluminum costs more than steel but does not rust, making it a good choice for coastal homes.
- Tempered glass in an aluminum or wood frame is well suited to modern and contemporary homes.
- Fiberglass and vinyl are budget-friendly options and will not rust, but design choices may be limited and these materials can crack in cold weather.
- Sectional: The most common type of garage door; rolls up and down on tracks.
- Sliding: Barn-style garage doors (as shown here) slide open to the side, requiring a wider garage wall to accommodate the door when open.
- Swing-out. Double doors that swing outward when open are not a good choice for cold climates, as snow drifts can block the doors from opening.
Typical project length: If you are purchasing a standard-size garage door and it is in stock, it could be ready as soon as the next day. Custom doors may take a month or two to arrive. Once you have your new door, a pro can have it installed it in a single morning.
For a smaller update, new sconces cost $100 and up each, plus installation; new hardware costs from $5 up to $100 or more per piece, depending on the materials used. Painting or staining can be done as a DIY project for only the cost of materials.
- Pair a traditional home with an arched garage door with paned windows.
- Update your Spanish colonial with a wooden garage door with iron hinges.
- Add a rustic barn-style garage door to your farmhouse.
- Accent a Craftsman home with a wooden garage door with rectilinear windows and trim.
- Match up a modern home with a sleek glass-paned garage door.
- Wave a broom handle under your garage door as it is closing. The door should “see” the broom with the built-in motion sensor and roll back up immediately.
- Test pressure sensitivity by placing a roll of paper towels under the door before closing. As soon as the door reaches the paper towel roll, the pressure sensors should “feel” it and roll the door back up.
- Browse photos of garage doors to get an idea of the style you want.
- Ask for recommendations from friends and neighbors, and find garage door pros on Houzz.
- Have a pro do the measuring, especially if your garage door is an unusual size that requires custom doors.
More: 7-Day Plan: Get a Spotless, Beautifully Organized Garage