Whether you’re buying a garage door for a home you’re building or replacing the one you already have, the amount of options available to you can be overwhelming.
It’s an important choice with far-reaching consequences, requiring you to look at more than just the price tag.
A door that seems inexpensive upfront could end up costing you more money down the road, either in repairs or having to totally replace it much sooner than you should.
Your best bet is to compare different features, and then make your decision based on that comparison.
Here’s what you need to think about when you’re faced with the monumental task of purchasing a new garage door.
Features worth comparing
Here are the characteristics that are most important for you to spend some time researching:
- Styles. Your garage door has a big effect on the curb appeal of your home. There are a lot of styles to choose from, but these are your general options:
- Carriage house panels make a big statement when added to traditional doors.
- Flush panels are slightly textured but flat. They add some interest without being overt.
- Long raised panels add depth to the look of the door and can make a difference in the overall look of your house.
- Short-raised panels, like long raised panels, add depth, as well as a bit more visual interest.
- Door construction. Steel doors are the most popular option, as well as being the most economical. They come in three different types of construction.
- Single layer doors are made from a single sheet of galvanized steel. They are the least expensive option.
- Double layer doors are insulated with polystyrene or polyurethane and have a layer of galvanized steel on the outside. The extra layer makes the door more soundproof and better able to withstand extreme weather conditions.
- Triple layer doors have the same construction as double layer doors with the addition of an extra layer of galvanized steel. This option is the strongest, most soundproof and most secure of all garage doors.
There are other materials that garage doors are made out of:
- There’s nothing like wood to add a feel of richness and luxury to the look of your home. The downside to a wooden garage door is the maintenance. They have to be repainted or stained every couple years. They also tend to be more expensive than other options.
- Wood composite gives you the look of wood without the maintenance and with some added durability. Caring for wood composite is as simple as washing it down periodically with a mild cleanser and a lint-free cloth.
- Hardware. Smaller additions to a new garage door, like hinges and handles, can make a big impact. It can also save you some money if you go with a less expensive door with some added hardware to give it some character and make a style statement.
- Function. It’s becoming more common for the garage to be an extension of a home’s living space. The area can be used for a workshop, a laundry area, or even a playroom for the kids. You should consider if this might be a possibility for you. If it is, you’ll need to choose a door that:
- Has the best insulation.
- Has a bottom seal to keep wind and rain out.
- Has weather seals.
You can keep from getting overwhelmed in the process by looking at each feature individually and making the choice that fits best with your home’s style and your needs.
What garage door features are the most important to you?