We’re starting a new feature on the blog to highlight upgrades from actual Ivory Homes home builders. This week’s topic is garage doors. While this might not be an upgrade that homeowners have at the top of their lists, new garage doors can add considerably to your home’s curb appeal and comfort. It can also add to your home’s value. Many homes feature larger garages that are front and center, so it’s part of your home that people notice first. As one garage door manufacturer puts it, “the garage door is your new front door.”

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report is an annual study that “uses input from nationwide Realtors to compare the average cost for 35 popular remodeling projects against the value those projects retained at resale. The study found that a new garage door “delivers the highest return on investment and has the maximum impact on curb appeal.”

If you’re building, consider upgrading to a garage door with windows. These doors not only have more style, but they allow natural heating and light into your garage. The windows also make your garage feel less claustrophobic. Here’s a side-by-side of Ivory Homes Ambelside design, the one on the right has the windows upgrade:

Also consider insulating the interior walls and door itself. Have you ever seen people leave their garage doors open a few inches in the summer? That’s because it can get pretty hot in there, especially if your garage gets a lot of direct sun. The opposite is also true, garages can get cold in the Winter. Insulating the walls moderates the temperature and is better for you and the things you store in your garage (even your car). It also makes your garage door stronger and less likely to bend or break during extreme winds that Utah can get sometimes.

Speaking of garages, another upgrade you may want to consider is painting the garage floor. It helps keep your garage cleaner and has a nice finished look. And if you’re really OCD, you might want to consider garage floor mats instead.