Garage Additions: Time running out to earn tax credits on new garage doors

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(ARA) - The tax credit eligibility for qualified garage doors will expire on Dec. 31. Now is your last chance to save 30 percent off the price of an energy-saving curb-appeal-inspiring garage door, courtesy of the U.S. government.

The savings come from a federal income tax credit, which is more valuable than an equivalent tax deduction, because a tax credit reduces your tax dollar-for-dollar, while a deduction only decreases the amount of income that is taxed.
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Through the end of this year, the U.S. government is offering up to a $1,500 tax credit for homeowners who buy and install qualifying insulated garage doors. Full details can be found at, a non-commercial home improvement resource dedicated to garage doors and garage door openers.

The government is encouraging everyone to save energy, and the tax credit is an incentive for homeowners. If your home has an attached garage, you've probably noticed that the room next to the garage is typically the coldest room in the winter and hottest in the summer. That's because the winter's cold and summer's heat can enter the house through the garage, which increases the amount of energy your home needs for heating and cooling. That's why insulated garage doors can make a difference in reducing your heating and cooling bills, and saving valuable energy resources.

Getting your share of the tax credit:
Tax credits are available for qualifying garage door purchases placed in service by Dec. 31. A taxpayer may claim a maximum of 30 percent of qualifying home improvement products, and a maximum of $1,500 for qualifying purchases in 2009 and 2010. For example, if you replace two garage doors with two new qualifying insulated doors that cost $1,000 each, you may claim a tax credit of $300 per door, or a total of $600, provided you have not exceeded the $1,500 total over the two years of the tax credit period.

To be eligible for the tax credit:
* The door must be an insulated residential garage door, installed on an insulated garage.
* The door must have a U-factor and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) equal to or less than 0.30, even if the door contains windows.
* The door perimeter must have a means to control air infiltration.
* The door must be expected to remain in service for at least five years.
* The garage must be part of the taxpayer's principal U.S. residence.

An appealing improvement
Beyond saving you tax dollars and energy expenses, a new garage door can also add curb appeal and value to your home. Because an attached garage can comprise a third or more of the front of your home, a new garage door can make a dramatic statement. Need proof? Check out the before and after images at to see how new garage doors can enhance the look of a home.

It's all about style. Over the past several years, manufacturers have introduced carriage house garage doors that reflect the look of days gone by and provide a touch of charm and elegance to the home. If your home has a more modern look, contemporary doors that boast bright colors, opaque glass and aluminum, or a range of metallic finishes might be more your style.

A new garage door can also increase the value of your home. One survey shows that 71 percent of homeowners who replaced their garage doors felt that it increased the value of their home.

Don't do it yourself

Garage door installation is best left to the pros. Why? Your garage door is more than just a door - it's a system that includes springs, cables, rollers, tracks and other hardware. This system is under high tension that can cause severe injury or even death if improperly installed. In short, it's not a job for the weekend warrior. To properly install, or even repair, a garage door system, an experienced professional is always your best bet. can point you to the qualified professionals nearest you through a handy ZIP code search function..

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