It’s getting hard to find garage doors

The garage door shortage is causing serious delays for builders — and there’s no end in sight.

Garage doors don’t get much attention, unless you crash into one (which this writer may or may not have done recently).

But these days, garage doors are top of mind for builders and aspiring homeowners across the country.

Garage doors are becoming harder and harder to find, with prices up 2x-3x in the last year, and lead times up from weeks to months, according to The New York Times.

So what’s going on?

A couple of well-documented macro factors are at the core of the problem:

  • The housing market: Record prices are pushing folks away from cities, where the need for a car and garage increases.
  • The supply chain crisis: Garage doors often contain components that have been in short supply, including spray-foam insulation, polyurethane, and steel.

Short supply is a big problem since, in 2020, 90% of new US homes had a garage.

Now builders are in a bind

The shortage is causing massive delays in homebuilding. One builder says it used to take 20 weeks to build a house; now it takes 20 weeks just to get a pair of garage doors.

But the situation has sparked some creative solutions:

  • Using cheap replacement doors as placeholders until the permanent doors arrive
  • Passing provisions allowing for plywood sealing in place of garage doors, like they did in Sacramento

BTW: If you’re feeling inspired after all this garage talk, check out this list of 50 ideas to make your garage door way cooler than a piece of plywood.

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