It's a simple matter of fact that the majority of houses face the street and as a result so do their garage doors. So when looking at a house from the street (or a photograph taken from the street) as the vast majority of prospective house purchasers do, the garage doors can occupy as much as a fifth or even a quarter of their field of view of the frontal elevation. That's an awful lot of eyeball real-estate.
It is equally beyond dispute that as humans we place a huge amount of store on impressions and king of these are first impressions, which are formed in seconds from apparently scant information, but which frequently last as if set in stone. And first impressions apply to houses no differently – that initial brief glance of the front of your house sets an impression in any prospective buyer that is almost impossible to budge, whether it be good or bad.
Obviously then, what any sensible home owner wants is to create a really positive first impression of their property since it will help push past any potential shortcomings that may become noticeable on closer inspection, but necessarily because reversing a poor first impression is all but impossible. No matter how fabulous your interior décor, if you've messed up that basic basic then you're sunk.
But making sure your garage doors are doing the best possible job handling the 20% or so of the frontage they're hiring is only one reason to give them serious attention. Once most home buyers move beyond taking in what is right there in their face, they look for potential in a building and garage remodeling is often top of their list.
Garage remodeling is simply one of the least expensive, fastest and simplest ways to conjure up space in many homes is rivals traditional house extensions as a primary home improvement strategy. Many potential buyers will almost certainly consider the potential that a garage offers beyond simply storing cars and gardening equipment. One of the few factors available to estimate the useful of any garage is, guess what, that bit that takes up one entire side of the space – the garage doors.
And even if a prospective buyer actually intends to keep the garage for its original purpose and park their cars in it, a surprising result from a recent survey of homeowners revealed that for many the garage door is used in preference to the main entrance as the exterior door of choice. The reasons given cited superior security and ease of operation (many modern garage doors are of course equipped with remote control openings).
So your garage doors get in your buyer's face and then help create that vital first impression, plus they can help later in the process with a tick in the box for versatility and potential to expand the living space. But what are the best garage doors to go for?
Arguably the most important feature to consider in any door is how good it looks and how well it goes with the rest of the property's frontage. A solid block of vinyl is hardly visually appealing and metal doors dent and deform all too easily. Wooden garage doors however are a natural material that lasts attractive even with age.
Even given today's choice of cheap, lightweight synthetic materials, wooden doors are still first choice for most architects, builders and homeowners. Not only do they lend a touch of quality, but it's also considerably easier to match wood types and colors to existing timber features such as entrance doors and windows.
Metal doors by contrast are forever collecting dents and are concrete to twist and buckle (even a kid kicking a ball against a metal garage door can damage its appearance), and of course steel will inevitably rust. Fiber-glass and vinyl, although clearly lightweight and fairly robust will degrade due to exposure to ultra-violet light and eventually become brittle and crack and pose an environmentally unfriendly disposal problem.
But look behind any set of garage doors to see the whole story literally from both sides. Only solid timber doors look as good from the inside as well as outside – not just a thin outer shell concealing (not very secure) latch mechanisms on the inside. Wooden garage doors will also take the sort of proven, quality locking mechanisms used for standard solid wood entrance doors. And finally, solid wood offers much greater insulation properties than steel or vinyl. These are points that are vitally important to any potential buyer considering your garage as a secondary living space.