How to Choose a New Garage Door
Choosing the Perfect Garage Door
Your garage door is one of the most prominent elements of your home’s façade. A quality garage door not only adds convenience and style, but also increases the value of your home with that all-important curb appeal.
Understanding a few key aspects of garage doors like materials, style, insulation, and performance will give you a good head start to selecting just the right door for your home.
Garage Door Materials
The material your garage door is made of affects its durability, insulation level, ease of maintenance, and style options. Some materials are better for locations with extreme temperatures or weather, and some materials are easier to customize for a one-of-a-kind garage door.
Steel Garage Doors
Ease of Maintenance
Steel garage doors are generally the most popular choice due to their durability, flexibility, and affordability. Steel doors can be done in many different styles with various levels of insulation and require little to no maintenance.
Steel garage doors can vary significantly in terms of price and quality. A lower-priced model may be made of lower quality steel or have less insulation, and both of these issues can make your door less energy efficient. For this reason, it’s important to consider both price and quality to get the best overall value.
Wood Garage Doors
Authentic wood garage doors have an unmatched warmth and beauty. You can choose from many quality hardwoods, paints, and stains to perfectly fit your home. If you’re adding a garage door to a historical home, a wood garage door is often the most architecturally accurate option. Did you know that Rhode Island has 18 towns with historic zoning requirements?
The main drawback to wood doors is the amount of upkeep they require. To prevent them from absorbing moisture and rotting, wood doors require yearly maintenance, including sanding and painting. Additionally, wood tends to be more expensive than other garage door materials.
Aluminum Garage Doors
Ease of Maintenance
Painted, anodized, or wood grain finishes make aluminum an incredibly versatile material for your garage door. Aluminum doors tend to be less expensive than steel doors and don’t rust, but they’re easier to dent.
You can also choose glass panels in an aluminum frame, which creates a sharp modern aesthetic and lets natural light into your garage.
Aluminum doors perform best in locations that don’t experience extreme heat.
Vinyl Garage Doors
Ease of Maintenance
Vinyl garage door openers are an excellent choice if you live in an area with extreme weather or wind. They do a fantastic job of sealing out the elements and will never dent, rot, or warp. The only maintenance required is the occasional hose-down. Vinyl is one of the more lightweight garage door materials.
The main downside of vinyl doors is their limited style and design options, though their sheer durability can easily make up for the lack of customization.
Fiberglass Garage Doors
Heat & Humidity Resistance
Ease of Maintenance
Allows Light In
Fiberglass are a good substitute for wood garage doors, especially in hot and humid climates. Fiberglass can mimic the texture of wood without shrinking, warping, cracking, or rotting.
Fiberglass doors perform best in warm, humid climates. They’re much more delicate than other materials and can be damaged by wind and hail. If you live in a windy or storm-prone area, we recommend choosing a different material.
Wood Composite Garage Doors
Wood composite garage doors are a more affordable alternative to wood garage doors. They’re more resistant to moisture and weather, and require much less maintenance.
Wood composite doors are made from recycled materials and can be formed into almost any shape or style. They look like real wood doors when painted or stained, but have the strength of steel doors.
Garage Door Styles
A garage door’s style refers to its shape, panel type, and overall aesthetic. While some styles are more readily available in certain materials, you can always order a custom garage door if you’re set on a specific material and style combination.
View our garage door gallery for more examples of garage door designs.
Traditional Garage Doors
Traditional style garage doors easily suit most homes. This is the most affordable style, available in raised or recessed panels with various color and accessory options. It’s hard to go wrong with traditional!
Carriage House Garage Doors
Carriage house garage doors mimic the look of a historical, swinging carriage house door, but with the modern functionality of an overhead door. They’re gorgeously customizable to suit your home’s architecture.
Contemporary Garage Doors
Contemporary garage doors are sleek, clean, and minimal. Available in aluminum, glass, or flushed panel designs. Modern homes are perfectly complemented with simple panels and many options for color, finish, and window types.
Garage Door Insulation
Garage with Living Space Above
An insulated garage door keeps your garage warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It can also help to soundproof your garage.
Garage door insulation is measured in R-value – a higher R-value means more insulation, but it also means higher costs. It’s important to understand what R-value is right for your home so you don’t overspend on unnecessary insulation.
Higher R-values are most important for:
- Areas that experience very high or low temperatures
- Garages that are attached to your home
- Heated garages
- Garages with a living space above them
- Homeowners with concerns about energy efficiency
If you’re looking for highly insulated garage doors, start with steel, aluminum, or vinyl doors. These doors are packed with layers of insulation
Wood, wood composite, and fiberglass doors have lower R-values and require additional steps to keep them insulated. Additional garage door insulation can be achieved with things like DIY insulation kits and weather stripping.
At Precision Garage Door, we offer doors with single, double, or even triple layer construction, capable of creating just the right amount of insulation for you.
Garage Door Wind & Impact Performance
If you live in a coastal or storm-prone area, your garage door needs to be able to withstand strong winds, hurricanes, and other weather events.
Many top brands offer wind load or impact-rated garage doors designed to withstand strong winds and storms. These doors are manufactured with reinforced tracks, brackets, hinges, rollers, and more.
If your existing garage door isn’t wind resistant, there’s no way to turn it into a “storm ready” door. It’s important to be aware of your door’s wind rating so you can replace or reinforce it as needed.
In a pinch, garage doors can be equipped with wind load reinforcement. This reinforcement is installed before a storm and removed once the storm is over.
Every homeowner has different needs when it comes to the insulation and performance of their door. If you have any questions about your insulation needs or wind load requirements, please give our trained professionals a call!
Upgrade Your Garage Door
Choosing the right garage door can be a bit daunting – that’s why we have fully trained professionals ready to help from design to installation.
We repair, replace, and install all major brands of garage doors.