So you are thinking of buying a garage door but not sure how to start looking. There is a lot of information and it is a big decision. Buying a new garage door, whether it is for a new home or you’re replacing your old one on an existing home, can be a big investment. Your garage door can take up to 40% of your home’s outside surface area facing the street. So, we have put together a buying guide to garage doors to help you choose the right garage door that best suits your home’s needs.
Garage Door Sizes, Standard or Non-Standard
Don’t just assume your garage door size, especially if your home is an older building. Before you begin to search for a new overhead door, you should measure the opening and the distance from door track to the garage ceiling.
Garage Door Construction Material and Style
Garage doors are made from wood, steel, aluminum or synthetic materials.
Steel Garage Doors
Steel garage doors are versatile in terms of design, insulation, and price as well. Steel doors are durable, economical and have energy efficient performance. These doors can be painted in any color to meet the exterior décor of the home. Steel garage doors won’t warp, crack, delaminate, or fall apart due to the effects of weather. And, because most are made of hot-dipped, galvanized steel that is vinyl clad or given a baked-on polyester finish, they don’t rust or require repainting as often as do wood doors. Most warranties guarantee the door won’t rust for as long as you own the house, but they do not guarantee against fading. The Bad side is steel garage doors do not offer the same type of insulation for your garage as a wooden door does. If you consider, a wooden door is like having a thickness of a solid wall, where steel garage doors are thinner. That also means they are less secure as well.
Aluminum Garage Doors
Aluminum garage doors have a lot of the same advantages as steel garage doors—with the ability to customize your finish with embossing or a paint job. Aluminum single-piece tilt-up doors are fairly popular because they are extremely lightweight, will not rust and are relatively inexpensive—from $400 to $700. The major drawbacks are that aluminum garage door tend to dent pretty easily and do not have insulation.
Wooden Garage Doors
Wooden garage doors can add a very elegant and natural look to your home. They can be a great choice to complement the unique architectural style of the property. Wooden garage doors are heavy, solid and thick as well. Their natural strength makes them last longer; however, they do need regular maintenance. The wooden garage door will need to be Kept treated every 1 to 2 years. If not, they can take on water and swell, causing the garage door to take on more weight.
Fiberglass Garage Doors with Aluminum Frames
Fiberglass garage doors are made with glass panels, mounted on top of an aluminum structure to create a modern and contemporary look. Fiberglass garage doors are very lightweight. They are available with an anodized finish in black or bronze or with a powder coat finish in white, bronze or black. Glass options for this modern garage door include opaque white, opaque black, mirrored gray, mirrored bronze and translucent black. Because of its translucency and its resistance to the effects of salt air, fiberglass doors may work best for locations headed toward the Texas Gulf Coast, where houses need a good light transmission or resistance to the corrosive saltwater. The drawbacks are that Fiberglass doors are less insulated and easy to break, making them less secure for your home.
Garage Door Styles
Function Then Style
With garage doors being made in several different types of materials that can give you a number of options on style, the best advice is to choose your material first based on your needs. Then see what styles are available from that material.
What is Old is New: The Carriage Style Garage Door.
Carriage Style Garage Doors are based on the barn door designs from when people used to store their carriages before cars came about. This classic style has been overhauled to fit the needs of the modern garage door. You can get them in wood, steel or aluminum garage door material. You can even add wood grain to non-wood material to give that classic look.
If you’re considering a new garage door in the Houston area, the Houston garage door experts at Spectrum Overhead Doors will give you a free consultation and help you choose the right style for you.
Garage Door Costs
The investment cost of getting a new garage door can vary wildly depending on the material and style of the garage door. Aluminum garage doors can start as low at around $400. Custom wood garage doors can run several thousand dollars. On average, expect to pay $800 to $1500 for a mid-range 16-by-7-foot door.
Garage Door Opener Motors
It is worth mentioning in a buying guide to garage doors that if you are looking to buy a new garage door for an existing setup, you may want to look at the age of your garage door opener motor. If you have an older model (over 10 years) the new models are much quieter and come with better features such as battery backup and wireless “Smart-Home” features.
Also, if the new garage door is heavier than your old one, for instance, you change an aluminum door with a wooden garage door, that also might be a consideration for changing your garage door opener motor as well.
When you get the garage door and opener motor together, you also get not only the manufacturer’s warranty but the installation warranty at the same time for both the door and the motor, which can help in keeping track of maintenance costs down the line.
You can choose to install the garage door yourself or have a professional do it. If you are in the Houston or surrounding area, we provide a free consultation and estimate. If you are going with a professional to install your garage door, no matter who choose, you want a garage door company with a first-class reputation, who is fully insured, who puts your needs front and center, and who will be there for you should you ever need a garage door repair.
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