Findings in REMODELING Magazine's 2020 Cost vs. Value Report show that replacing a garage door not only improves a home's curb appeal, the project generates the best return-on-investment (ROI) when it comes to recouping cost at resale.

The report indicates that spending $3,695 for an upscale garage door replacement can yield an estimated $3,491 at resale - a 94.5% return on investment.

In 46 of the 100 individual markets, an upscale garage door replacement actually recoups more than 100 percent of its cost.

For 31 years, the annual Cost vs. Value Report has compared costs for 20 of the most popular professional mid-range and upscale remodeling projects in 100 U.S. markets to how much real estate professionals believe the investment will improve a home's resale value.

The average payback nationwide for the 20 projects in the 2018 Report ranges from as high as 98.3% to as low as 47.6%, depending on the type of project.

The three projects with the highest year-over-year increase in value are "curb appeal" projects - work that can be seen from the street: garage door replacement (up 18.6%), wood deck additions (up 17.7%) and manufactured stone veneer installation (up 15.7%).

Garage door replacement ranks high because it is relatively inexpensive, yet it has a significant impact on a home's curb appeal and perceived value, especially if there are multiple doors facing the street. Realtors say, if shoppers don't like what they see from the curb, chances are they won't waste time going inside.


Garage door replacement tops the list of home improvement with the best return on investment at resale, but homeowners hoping to get the biggest bang for their buck need to invest their upgrade dollars wisely by choosing a design that fits the architectural style and price point of their home.

In January, residential garage door manufacturer Clopay partnered with an independent research firm to conduct a nationwide survey to gauge realtor perceptions about the garage door category, and to determine if garage door appearance made a difference in the listing price they would assign to a house. Here's what they said:

  • 70% of Realtors agree that a new garage door helps sell a home faster.

  • Over 80% of Realtors believe a new garage door can impact home value.

Realtors viewed before and after images of different homes featuring a variety of garage door styles ranging in price from inexpensive to high-end. Respondents were asked to assign a selling price to each of the houses and were alerted that the only difference in the photos of each house was the garage door.. Respondents were asked to assign a selling price to each of the houses and were alerted that the only difference in the photos of each house was the garage door.

Realtors estimate that upgrading a garage door can increase the perceived selling price of a home by up to 4%, depending on the style. With the average U.S. home price estimated at $206,300 in 2017, this can mean an incremental increase of $8,000 to $14,000, just because of the garage door.

Like flooring, cabinets, countertops and appliances, garage doors have evolved from functional to fashionable. Homebuyers see nicer garage door designs on TV, on showcase homes, and in new residential developments and they expect their home to be on trend.

Hiring a design professional is one way to get the right look. Another option is using an online visualization tool like Clopay's Door Imagination System. Homeowners upload a digital photo of their home to Clopay's website to try on and customize any of the garage door styles the company offers until they find the perfect match.

"Seeing the impact different garage door designs have on their home gives buyers more confidence in their decision, better curb appeal, and the potential for a better return on investment long-term," says Pat Lohse, vice president of marketing for Clopay.

Read more about the REMODELING 2020 Cost vs. Value Report to find out the average return on investment for renovation projects in your market.


Garage doors are a key way to add style and curb appeal to your home. They can take up to 40% of your home's exterior, which means it's important to make it count! “It can instantly add character, depth and visual warmth to your home,” architectural designer Elyse McCurdy says.

Looking to take your door to the next level? Match it to your home’s architecture. “It’s such a big part of your house, so you want it to look authentic,” custom builder Marnie Oursler says.

Keep reading to see the garage doors we've paired with six popular home styles, and get inspired to work some curb appeal magic of your own.

1 - Classic Craftsman

If your home features tapered columns, a low-pitched roof, and natural colors with mixed materials, try a garage door with clean verticle lines and rectangular windows.

Wood or faux wood is best for this style, according to design experts. Natural wood offers a wide variety of options, so take inspiration from your surroundings; there are also plenty of stains available! If you decide on a painted color, match it to your home's exterior trim so that everything ties together.

Tip: Consider budget, upkeep and your region’s climate when choosing a garage door. Insulated composite and steel can withstand extreme temperature changes, with moisture- and UV-resistant composite performing better than steel in coastal locales.

2 - Farmhouse Fresh

This look has lots of natural light, vintage flair, and usually a crisp white palette with black accent details. Complement a farmhouse-style home with a garage door in a wood tone or painted gray, white, or black. Crossbuck panels like the ones above can mimic a more rustic barn door, if that's the look you'd like.

If your home is in more of a modern farmhouse style, a glass garage door can provide a sleek, contemporary contrast. The black accents above tie into the accents and metal roof on the home's exterior.

3 - Refined Rustic

With a home featuring natural materials like stone, wood, and earth hues, design experts suggest wood or faux-wood garage doors. A carriage house style in a rich wood tone is beautiful! Rustic doors often look best in a solid version versus one with windows in it.

The home above has handcrafted wooden doors with cross bucks for a frontier feel. To achieve the look of real wood without the upkeep, select high-quality wood-effect composite. This durable material resists moisture and won’t rot, warp or crack.

Tip: In its 2020 Cost vs. Value Report, which you can download free, the website Remodeling reports that a garage door upgrade brings a 95% return on investment, on average. Clopay, a garage door manufacturer, reports that it can also increase a home’s list price by up to 4%. Check with your real estate agent for local information.

4 - Modern Minimalist

Modern architecture is all about clean lines, horizontal plank designs and smooth materials such as wood, aluminum and steel. Glass-paneled doors are in keeping with the emphasis on indoor-outdoor connections, and they are often designers' favorite style for modern homes. It's great to have natural light in garages, especially when tied in with black frames similar to the rest of the window trim.

The wood-effect composite doors seen here feature horizontal planks with aluminum inlays, complementing the home’s crisp lines and wood siding. Wood doors with long, stacked rectangular windows on one side also suit modern homes.

5 - Timeless Traditional

The best of yesteryear's details and trim offer enduring charm in this style. Square-edge, raised-panel designs are also popular for traditional garage doors with window mullions that mirror those used on the house.

Try a color such as peacock blue or bright yellow as a nod to Victorian vibrancy. Make sure the door’s colors complement your home’s exterior, trim and front door.

Tip: Choose an insulated garage door to keep your garage 10 to 20 degrees warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, helping you save energy. Insulated doors also are quieter, more secure and more durable.

6 - On-Trend Transitional

Modern meets traditional in this style. Think sustainable elements, natural materials and options like a pitched roof, as well as clean lines. Garage doors with black aluminum frames and frosted glass, as seen here, work well, as do simple wood or faux-wood designs.

Oursler echoes the focus on simplicity, favoring unfussy traditional doors for transitional-style homes. You want your garage door to complement your home, not work against it.

With so many design and material options to choose from, you can easily find a garage door that complements your house’s architectural style. And matching your garage door to your home affects curb appeal in the best way possible!

Which garage door suits your style? Upload a photo of your own home and try out different looks using Clopay’s Door Imagination System.


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