Repair vs. Replacement: Options for Old Garage Doors

Aug 3, 2016 | Maintenance

Many newly constructed homes have attached garages that can house at least two cars. But older homes – those built when a family usually had one car instead of two or three – may have only detached single-car garages (if they have garages at all).

Sometimes, old garages are so small that they have rarely been used as intended – they became storage sheds, and all the moving parts of the garage door were ignored for years. So if new owners move in and intend to park in the garage, they may need to make some repairs before that can happen.

It’s rare to find an old detached garage that’s wired for electricity, which means garage doors must be manually opened and closed, and rusted parts may make doors extremely difficult to open. Repairing or replacing the garage door can alleviate a lot of aggravation, but deciding which option is best takes some careful consideration.

  • Overall Costs
    Replacing a garage door will be costlier than repairing a broken spring. But the components in old garage doors may deteriorate gradually, requiring repeat emergency repair costs that can really add up over time.

    A garage door repair technician can tell you which repairs are necessary and urgent, and which parts will likely need to be replaced in the near future. If you don’t want to worry about parts going bad or potentially being unable to get in or out of your garage, a new door may be the best choice. With a new door installation, the entire track system is replaced, so the door operates smoothly.

  • Vehicle Size
    A garage built in the 1920s wasn’t designed to house an SUV and a riding lawnmower, so the doors tend to be quite narrow. Provided the garage is wide enough, you may be able to reconfigure the entrance to accommodate a wider door. That project can be expensive, but it can also reduce the risk of dents and scratches on your car from bumping into a narrow door frame.
  • Aesthetics
    Old wooden garage doors may show signs of rot or maybe warped to the extent they always look a little off-kilter. Replace decaying doors to increase your home’s curb appeal and market value.

    If wooden doors seem to be in good shape but just need minor repairs, you might want to keep them, especially if their architectural style complements your home’s exterior. A new coat of paint or stain can freshen-up faded doors.

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