Many homeowners on tight budgets overlook the option of replacing and upgrading their garage doors – one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways of achieving eye-catching renovation results.

Often accounting for more than half the street frontage of a typical family home, new garage doors can both enhance the look and increase the value of a home.

The findings in the Remodelling 2010-2011 Cost vs. Value Report show that garage door replacement projects not only deliver instant gratification in terms of a home’s physical appearance, the projects yield the biggest return-on-investment when it comes to recouping cost at resale.

In fact, midrange garage door replacements top the list of home improvements, coming in at No.2, in the national average.

The publication issued its 24th survey, conducted yearly to determine the return-on- investment for the most common residential remodeling projects. Nine of the top 10 value yielding projects ranked by realtors in the 2010-11 report are exterior replacement jobs.

Small, inexpensive changes that make a big impact – like updated garage doors – bring more reliable returns. The report indicates that, on average, spending $1,291 on a garage door can yield a $1,083 ROI – nearly 84 percent.

This is the first year Remodelling magazine has included garage door replacement projects on both its midrange and the upscale project lists. Both projects rank high in their respective categories, for two main reasons: they are among the least expensive projects in the survey, and they improve the overall facade of the home in a way that can affect a potential buyer’s first impression and, consequently, a home’s resale value.

“Many buyers judge a house by its exterior,” says Marty Dewald, a real estate veteran with a 21-year track record as a top producer for Comey and Shepherd. “A remodelled kitchen and bath can help sell a home, but curb appeal is what brings buyers through the door. If they don’t like what they see from the street, chances are they won’t waste time going inside.”

In a separate survey conducted by Stratamark Research, real estate agents nationwide said replacing garage doors on a home can increase the asking price by up to four per cent. Despite the decline in housing values, the Cost vs. Value Report and other surveys reinforce that homeowners can continue to improve their homes in ways that will pay off at resale. Smart exterior upgrades not only increase curb appeal and perceived home value, they improve energy efficiency – another important factor as homeowners look at ways to reduce the long-term costs of owning and maintaining a home. Door replacement can be done in less than a day and the visual gratification is instant.

“Garage doors are a major exterior design feature, especially if the garage faces the street,” adds Dewald. “An upgrade doesn’t necessarily cost a lot but it makes a big first impression, considering 73 precent of the nation now enter their home through their garage.”

PT Doors offers an extensive range of residential and light commercial garage doors manufactured in timber and varies types of steel. PT Doors also offer other decorative features such as glass windows.