As we all know, when it comes to making a change to our homes, the decisions you make can have a huge impact on the curb appeal of your home, especially when it comes to picking a new garage door. There are all kinds of options when it comes to garage doors. Different manufacturers, models, colors, styles, etc....
There's a few ways you can decide what kind of door fits your home before you even call the experts to come out. I'll list them below and explain why these can help narrow it down for ya.
One quick and easy way is to use the Door Vision Pro desktop app. (I'll post the link at the end). This program is through C.H.I. Overhead Doors, a garage door manufacturer, and it allows you to take a picture of the front of your home or whichever side the garage door is on. You can then upload the picture into the program and select different models and styles of C.H.I. doors and overlay them over your existing garage door. This program allows you to see what the different styles of doors look like on your home. I've added links below for some of the different manufacturers that have similar apps.
Another way to help narrow down your options, is to determine whether or not you want an insulated door or non-insulated. By doing this, you can dramatically narrow down your options. Every style of door comes with roughly 3 styles of insulation; Non-Insulated, Vinyl Backed Insulated, Steel Backed Insulated. All of these options can serve a different purpose. A non-insulated (which i will never recommend) is perfect for the person who wants a super cheap and flimsy door (These doors remind me of pop cans). The Vinyl Backed insulated is the next step up. These have some insulation with an R-Value of 7.94 and can help to keep your garage somewhat temperature controlled. These types of doors are good for people who would like insulated but don't still want to be semi cheap. Last but not least is the Steel Backed Insulated. these doors are one of the sturdiest options with a steel sheet backer, followed by insulation followed by more steel. Steel Backed Insulated doors have an R-Value of 9.65. if properly installed, these doors are perfect for people who must keep their garage temperature controlled as well as people with some new drivers in the home. They can withstand a decent amount of impact force before damage occurs. The picture above shows all of the options for insulation and R-Values.
Once you have figured out both what style of door and what type of insulation you want, its time to call the experts. Most likely they will want to schedule an appointment to take some measurements and go over options. You can let them know what kind of door you want over the phone but most of the time they cant give you a price right then, only because cost varies depending on multiple measurements. Once they come out and take measurements and confirm they can get the door you want, you're all set to go. If you haven't made a decision by then, the professional can make recommendations based on a few questions.
Door Vision Pro (C.H.I.)
Northwest Doors Inc.
http://www.nwdusa.com/app-tour/ (download links are at the bottom right of this page)