Garage Door Design Tips

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Are you spending home improvement dollars on the wrong door?

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ow often do you use the front door? Not often, right? When Americans come home from work or school, the front door now takes a back seat to the garage door.

"The garage door is used more often, it commands more curb appeal, and price-wise, it's a great bargain," says Jim Lett of ABE Doors & Windows in Allentown, Pennsylvania. A past president of the International Door Association, Lett sells both garage doors and entry doors.
Lett says this major paradigm shift means more homeowners are investing in impressive garage doors with substantial curb appeal instead of front entry doors, which are used less and often shrouded in shadows.

The primary entrance

A national survey by Harris Interactive reveals that the garage door is indeed the door used most often to enter U.S. homes. Forty-five percent of homeowners with garages say the garage door is the primary point of entry into their home. The front door came in a distant second at 35 percent.

The front entry door is used so little, many homeowners no longer even carry a key to that door. The new house key to today's home is the remote control to the garage door.

The battle for the front

"For decades, garage door guys were jealous of the attention given to the front entry door,"
says Gordon McGraw, a garage door dealer in Eugene-Springfield, Oregon. "But that's changed."
Real estate agents used to tell people that the front door is the most important element to spruce up, because it's the first thing visitors see, he says. "But that's not true. A front-facing garage door is clearly much more dominant."

Best door bargain in the house

While the garage door is significantly larger, research shows it's also more affordable. The average installed garage door sale is only about $1,500, while a much-smaller fiberglass entry door runs about $2,800, according to the Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report ( In that same report, the cost of an upscale garage door was only $2,800 compared to $7,300 for an upscale front entrance.

"It's crazy, but the garage door delivers five times the curb appeal, yet it costs less than a comparable front door," says Lett. "I always encourage garage door customers to go for the upscale models. It's well worth every dollar. You shouldn't settle for a plain-Jane garage door."

Unprecedented choices

The last 10 years have seen manufacturers introduce an unprecedented variety of dynamic new garage door styles. It's now common for garage door dealers to offer dozens, if not hundreds of carriage house designs, the hottest new look. Visit to see a wide variety of new designs from many manufacturers.

Today's garage doors are widely available in durable low-maintenance steel, and some new steel doors have a paint finish that looks exactly like real wood. Besides steel, the industry also offers innovative designs in aluminum and fiberglass. Gorgeous custom wood garage doors are also available as a premium choice.

Welcome home

Today, when America comes home, it's not through the front door. In terms of use, convenience, and visual appeal, the garage door is the new front door of the American home.