You may recall from last year (here) that our garage door was reaching the end of its life. The hardware including the rollers, track, springs, and pulleys were all worn out and starting to fail. That made this winter quite the chore because although our door would open reliably, it would not shut without a dozen or more attempts. Each time it started to come down it would seize and you’d have to open it all the way and try again. Disconnecting the door from the opener and closing by hand wasn’t much better. The door and springs were so far out of balance it was darn near hernia inducing.
The door had called it quits, and I finally came to terms with the fact that I would have to spend money on it. I hate the thought of spending money on a garage door that faces the backyard. I do not believe that it adds anything to the resale value of the house. By the time a perspective buyer made it back to the garage they will have already decided if they want to buy or not. With a sad wallet, I called out a company that specializes in repairing and replacing garage doors.
The gentleman that came out for an estimate started identifying all of the worn out hardware components and their respective replacement prices. By the time he had finished the total had reached five or six hundred dollars. Then he mentioned that a brand new door with hardware starts at $700. Hmmm, prolong the life of a busted door for another 10 years or completely replace it and get another 30 years? That one was a no brainer. Once we settled on replacing we talked about the different options. We have a detached garage so it was a pretty easy process. We ended up selecting an uninsulated 24 gauge traditional steel panel white door. The 24 gauge metal is slightly more expensive and durable than the company’s most basic door so we should get improved longevity from it but it was still on the cheapest end of the spectrum. The final install cost was $938.
We could have added a row of windows for another $200, but I didn’t feel that was a good investment for the above stated resale reasons. All in all I felt that we got a reasonable deal on the door. Buying a door ourselves at a big box store would cost about $650 for an equivalent door. I would estimate that it would take me an entire weekend to install which would put my labor rate at $18/hour. While not a terrible use of my time, I could think of several things that I would rather be doing than swearing at a garage door.
The company that we hired sent two guys, the owner and a helper, and they did the complete replacement in just over two hours. I asked them how many doors they do a week and they said 4-5, so they know their stuff!