It looks like its time to replace your old wooden garage door. You call a couple of different garage door companies, schedule some estimates, thinking you know exactly what you want. The first company shows up and takes a few measurements and being walking over to you and begin asking a few questions. “What style of garage door are you looking for?” “Would you like an insulated or non-insulated garage door?” or “did you want to stick with a wooden garage door, or did you want to look at steel options?”
All these questions can cause a great deal of confusion, but we are here to help walk you through what you need to know about choosing your perfect garage door.
Let’s start with the first question:
“What style garage door are you looking for?”
This question is referring to what you want the garage door to look like from outside. Some examples would be Raised Panel, Carriage House, Full View, etc. (pictured below)
Raised Panel Carriage House
The most common style in most homes is the raised panel garage doors. These styles are typically the most cost effective as come in a variety of options. Long panel, short panel, flush, insulated, and non-insulated are just a few customization options available.
Following raised panel is the carriage house garage door. These styles are typically more expensive than the raised panel but off more of a variety when it comes to looks along with two-tone color options. Homebuilders nowadays are starting to use the carriage house style to raise the curb appeal of the home substantially.
Full view garage doors are an awesome sight. The garage door panels are all glass with aluminum frames. The glass has multiple options such as frosted, tinted, seeded, etc. These types of garage doors are on the more expensive side however the look they give your home will make it worth it.
“Would you like an insulated or non-insulated garage door?”
This is a straightforward question. Most garage door styles come either insulated or non-insulated. For instance, you could choose a Raised Long Panel garage door with insulation or no insulation. The cost difference between the two can easily be made up for over time with the durability the insulation gives the garage door. Imagine over the course of 5-10 years how many times a rogue ball, or maybe one of your teens bump into your garage door. If that door is non-insulated, you’d end with all kinds of dents and bumps.
Put an Insulated garage door in that same situation and those balls and bumps won’t leave a mark. Insulated doors tend to take more damage before needing to be replaced. Along with the fact that if you’re one of those people that like to hang out in their garage (I know I do), its nice when you can keep the hot summer or cold winter air out.
Some homeowners like to keep their garage temperature controlled, maybe for collections, plants, wines, no matter the reason, an insulated garage door would be way more effective, and you have multiple levels of insulation to select from. A garage door professional will go over the different R-values of the garage doors.
No Insulated Mid-Grade Insulation High-Grade Insulation
“Did you want to stick with a wooden garage door, or did you want to look at steel options?”
Back when garage doors were first coming out, all the doors were wood. Once metal started being used, it was the wealthy that had metal garage doors and average person had wooden garage doors. As time went on, metal garage doors became more and more common whereas wooden garage doors have become far and few in between. Most of the garage doors you see today are either steel or aluminum. Most of the wooden garage doors you see are old and out of date. Let’s dive into the different garage door materials and why metal garage doors are more common.
Steel Garage Doors
Most garage doors being installed today are steel garage doors. They are inexpensive, durable, and easy to maintain. Typically, you can find steel garage doors in three different categories, Light duty (27-28ga steel), Medium duty (25-26ga steel) and Heavy duty (24ga Steel). These options will allow you to ensure your garage door can take whatever you (or your kids) may throw at it. Maintaining a steel garage door is simple, pull out a can of silicone garage door lube (Home Depot), spray down all of the hinges, the springs (coils only), and if you have a chain garage door opener, run it and spray the chain as its running.
Most people recommend doing maintenance on your garage door once per year, however we recommend at least twice per year, once at the end of summer and once and the end of winter. This is one of those things that if you are uncomfortable doing yourself, you can call a garage door professional, and they can come out and give your garage door a tune-up.
Aluminum Garage Doors
Aluminum garage doors tend to be less common than most. Even though they are less expensive than the other options, aluminum is much more likely to dent. For the price difference between steel and aluminum, the steel door wins every time due to its durability. If a basketball were to hit an aluminum door, you would see the ball in the door. Most aluminum on garage doors is used for full view garage doors, where the frame is aluminum, but the rest of the door is glass.
Wooden Garage Doors
Wooden garage doors can give your home one of the most beautiful looks however with great looks comes a cost. A real wood garage door nowadays can me pretty spendy. The cost of wood in recent years has skyrocketed, thus the cost of wooden garage doors has as well. These types of garage doors tend to have an unlimited amount of customization options when it comes to how you want the design to look. Some options will include windows, but not all. When looking at wooden garage doors a factor to think about is, do you plan to paint or stain them? This can affect the cost as a garage door that is ready to be stained is more expensive than a garage door that is ready to be painted.
Wooden garage doors also require a lot more maintenance than your typical steel garage door. Every other year if not each year the garage door should be resealed or repainted to avoid water logging or rot of the garage door. Both wood rot and waterlogged sections can cause issues with how the garage door runs and may call for a panel to be replace.
If you’re looking into getting a wooden garage door, make sure you consider the maintenance that will need to be done, or you may find yourself spending a lot more than anticipated.