how to pick the right garage door

Your garage door is one of the most valuable components of your property. In fact, the right garage door can increase the curb appeal of your home by up to 50% and your home’s total home value by at least 3%!

You can pick the right garage door for you by defining the design style, insulation or R-values, window treatments, safety features, mechanical design, cost, and warranties offered. Don’t forget to look for maintenance issues. Check out “green” doors or doors made from recycled materials, and verify building or neighborhood code requirements. 

Garage Door Considerations

how to pick the right garage door

Shopping for the right garage door for your home needs to be a careful decision. It’s as much a part of home design as the shingles on your roof or your siding. Determine the right garage door for your home by analyzing what the most important element of your door is for your lifestyle. Also consider your goals for curb appeal, and how much the door’s design will integrate into the rest of your home’s design.

You do not want to put a high-end carriage garage door on a simple bungalow. Nor do you want your high-end home to have a basic steel garage door. Who you are, your home’s architecture, and how visible your garage door is to the street are questions to weigh when choosing a door.

Next, consider about noise reduction. If your garage is attached to your home, or if there is living space above or adjacent to the garage, how quiet do you need the garage door to be?

Durability is a huge issue. If you are using your garage to park cars, store items, or as a workshop or laundry area or as a play area for children, factor these requirements into your garage door decisions.

Maintenance should also be a big factor in your decision. Just like the rest of your home, annual garage door maintenance keeps the look of the door exceptional and keeps it working properly. There are maintenance free exterior garage door products available, but they too need to be cleaned with professional garage door lubricant and serviced on an annual basis.

How To Pick The Right Garage Door

how to pick the right garage door

Picking the right garage door means considering the following:

  • Insulation - Garage door insulation is highly valuable. The trend today is to use your garage as more than storage and parking. Garages can also function as gathering points and workspaces. High R-values, or the thermal property of insulation, reduce noise, provide energy savings and keep the garage door quiet. Garage doors are manufactured using polystyrene or polyurethane foam as the insulation medium.
  • Materials - The material you choose for your garage door determines how long it will last. Think about the punishment your door will take. How often do you plan to use the door? Steel garage doors are durable and only need occasional cleaning and touch up. Vinyl doors last a hold up to harsh weather, are resistant to dents. and never need to be painted. Love the look of wood? If you are looking for a garage door that looks like wood (without the maintenance) take a look at fiberglass surfaces manufactured to look like natural wood grain. Wood-looking doors combined with steel and insulation are excellent. Faux wood doors have the beauty of real wood doors without the maintenance issues. Trendy doors made from aluminum and glass give your home a sophisticated look. Paint aluminum doors in many colors, choose a different finish and tint, with the glass obscured, or keep the glass clear. It is impossible to insulate glass, and you may not want to consider a glass door if you live in a cold climate. Real wood garage doors are expensive and require maintenance, but they are the envy of anyone who does not have a wooden garage door. The beauty and craftsmanship of real wood garage doors is unsurpassed.
  • Windows - Windows add value and style to your garage door. They add natural light. If you want to use your windows as actual lookout points, add them to the third panel from the bottom. If your windows are for decoration only, add them to the top panel.
  • Cost - Cost is of course a factor when choosing a garage door. Browse through garage door catalogs or showrooms. You will be amazed at how affordable garage doors are. The most exclusive and expensive garage doors are custom wood doors. Fiberglass doors are mid-range in price, and steel doors overlaid with vinyl are even more budget friendly. You can choose uninsulated steel doors manufactured in a single sheet at even lower cost, and low-grade wood doors are always for sale. Add value to your home by maximizing its appearance. If your garage door is the first thing potential buyers or guests see, choose a door that complements the architecture of your home.
  • Operating Design - Garage doors use counterbalance springs to lift and close. The garage door opener does not lift and close the door; it provides the push to get the door moving. The garage door springs are important. Springs wind up tightly when the door is closed and unwind as the door opens. Look and see if the springs are under tension. Springs under tension can be dangerous. You can purchase a garage door that encases garage door springs inside a steel tube. If the spring breaks, the tube will contain most of the danger. 
  • Warranties - Most garage door manufacturers offer a one-year warranty. You will pay more for warranties that last longer, but they are worth the price. Warranties offer peace of mind and promises that the manufacturers stand behind their design and construction. Fill out and submit your garage door warranty as soon as you bring the door home. If anything happens to your door, for any reason, you should be able to have your door replaced at no cost.

          Garage doors are prominent features of homes. Don't settle for ordinary doors when extraordinary doors are readily available. Modern garage doors come in different colors, designs, insulation values and sizes. Great garage door choices will give your home curb appeal, drama, and set your home above the rest!