Boost home value: entry and garage door replacement

January 11, 2012

With homes remaining on the market considerably longer these days and bringing fewer dollars from homebuyers, you might be thinking about which home improvement projects to undertake for a good return on your investment. Replacing the entry and garage doors in your home is a good place to start if you are looking for a minor improvement that can really pay off when it's time to sell.

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Doors first, clean garage later

When you're getting ready to sell your house, garage door replacement, in particular, should move to the top of your list, according to Lori Manley, a mortgage broker with Cascade Residential Mortgage in Portland, Ore. "The garage door is one of the largest, most visible elements of a home," Manley points out. "If you want to instantly enhance the overall look of your home's exterior and increase its value, replace your garage door before listing your house. After all, what's the use of a clean, organized garage if the door itself is warped, cracked, broken or in need of painting?" Manley says.

Think, "curb appeal"

What do your front door and garage door say about your home? Are they out-dated or painted so bright they make your house the odd one on the block? You may love your lavender-painted front door and your garage with the antique car painted on it, but will it appeal to homebuyers with more conservative tastes? Think about what changes you can make to your entry and garage doors that can increase your home's curb appeal and bring homebuyers into your house. What might appeal to the largest number of prospective buyers who browse the Internet looking at listings or drive down your street looking for homes in your neighborhood?

Door replacement and your bottom line

The good news is that sprucing up your home's curb appeal with a new entry door or garage door makes "cents." According to recent findings in Remodeling Magazine's 24th annual 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report, entry and garage door replacement is the least expensive home remodeling project and, in fact, could return more than 82 percent of costs when you sell your home. Updating a garage door or spending money on a new steel entry door can bring returns of 84 percent and 102 percent, respectively, when a house is put on the market.

For a small investment, that is a mighty big return.


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