Purchasing a home that needs a considerable amount of work can be a good way for buyers with rehabbing experience to save a significant amount on the purchase of your home. Many of these fixer-uppers have been through the long, sometimes messy process of foreclosure and may have been left vacant and suffered from exposure or vandalism during that time.
One of the areas that often requires repairs or renovations on these fixer-upper homes is the automatic garage door. If you have just purchased one of these homes, here are three common garage door problems and how you can most easily address them.
The garage door that no longer leads to a garage
If a previous owner has converted the garage into additional living space, they may have left the automatic garage door in place. This can happen if their intent was to someday return the space to use as a garage or if they had financial or cosmetic concerns that prevented them from removing the door and filling the space with a permanent exterior wall.
If you have purchased the home and plan to once again use the space for parking, you will need to first remove the interior wall and ceiling that currently conceal the door. Once this has been done, it is best to have the existing door professionally inspected and serviced to make sure all components are still intact and working properly.
The garage door that has been damaged by vandals
Vacant houses, especially those that may have appeared to be abandoned due to a foreclosure, are often favorite targets for vandals. Common types of damage to the garage door that might result from vandalism include:
- marring and damage caused by attempts to pry the garage door open
- damage to glass or trim on the door
- damage to garage door handles or keyholes
- damage to entry keypads
If the damage is limited to cosmetic issues, replacing one or more panels in the door may be enough to return the door to service. However, if the vandals were successful in prying the door open and making entry into the home, the entire door may have been warped or extensively damaged to the point that replacement will be necessary.
Be aware that if the garage door was breached, burglars looking for salvageable wire and other items to sell may have been inside both the garage and home and removed wiring, as well as the opener system for the garage door.
While vandalism that only resulted in some scratches or dings on the door can often be repaired with some touch-up paint and a thorough cleaning and buffing process, more serious damage will probably require professional assessment and repair. When speaking with the garage door repair company, be sure to ask them to estimate the cost to repair the current door as well as the costs to replace it with a new door and opener system. If the damage was extensive, opting for replacement may offer the most value.
The garage door that qualifies as an antique
While increasingly rare, there are still homes equipped with the heavy, awkward manual garage doors that were common features several decades ago. With no motorized components, these vintage doors rarely wear out. If the fixer-upper home you purchased has this type of door, replacing it with an electric, motorized opener system and an insulated, modern door will add convenience and market value to your home.
When purchasing any home equipped with a garage door opener system, new homeowners should consider having it professionally inspected by a reputable garage door service soon after closing on the home. In addition to making sure that the door functions properly, the garage door service technician can make sure that safety features are working properly, help you change opener codes, and answer any questions you may have on maintenance and operation.
Reach out to a residential garage door repair technician to learn more.