Garage Door Buying Guide
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Garage Door Buying Guide

If you’re searching for a Garage Door Buying Guide you are replacing a garage door, or you might be building a new home.  Either way, you want to choose one that will last, look great, and work trouble-free.

Garage door buying need not be stressful or break your bank.  A common question is where to buy a garage door and homeowners have options.  While it is possible to buy and install them yourself it is dangerous.  The garage door springs are under incredible tension and can seriously injure people.

Garage doors can make up most of your home’s façade and be a really big part of curb appeal. Before you buy, you should learn about the options, the cost and how insulated they are.

Curb appeal, first impressions, and much more: your garage door will do it all when it comes down to how your home looks with unique garage doors.  That is true for the suburban homes that have been built over the last few decades. They are designed for drive inaccessibility, and most will have in your face garages that take up 30% of the façade.

It is a small wonder that upgrading your garage door is very popular home improvement. According to Remodeling magazines, garage door replacement is the only project that shows an increase in value compared to prior years.

Garage Door Style & Color Options

If you are ready to check out styles and options for a new garage door, then take a breath. There are so many types of choices that you will be dreaming about garage doors. For example, Wayne-Dalton has 12 design options, 15 colors, and 10 window patterns for the 9700 model alone. When you do the math, that is over 1800 possible combinations.

Garage Door Construction

Manufacturers have certain techniques and methods for putting a garage door together, but below are the basics:

  • Single-layer construction – This a single outer layer of engineered wood, steel or fiberglass. The basic doors are lightweight, easy on springs, and low cost. They don’t insulate very well.
  • Double-layer construction – has an outer and inner layer around the polystyrene board for rigidity as well as between an insulating value of r4 and r7.
  • Premium construction – this has inner and outer layers of fiberglass, wood, or steel around polystyrene or polyurethane insulation for stiffness and insulating values above r15.

Garage Door Materials & Options

There is a variety of materials garage doors are made from and options you can choose.  Which works best for your home will depend on the budget you have, the horsepower of your opener, and what look you want for your home.

Glass and Aluminum Garage Doors

This modern construction is basically tempered, all-glass or acrylic panels that are set in aluminum frames. The choice of frame finishes and types of glass will make it very contemporary.

Heads up: The glass is fragile.

Insulating value: negligible.

Cost is between $1500 to $2000

Steel Garage Doors

Premium steel doors will have outer layers of steel that are embossed to mimic wood grain or even stucco. Overlays like crossbuck and molding designs will make it look carriage doors. Foam cores help to add strength and insulating values.

Many steel doors can be bought with factory-applied finishes. Even though color choices are limited, they are maintenance-free. Steel can also be primed or painted to match your home.

Heads up: Steel may dent

Insulation values: R6 – R17

The cost can be between $750 to $3500

All Wood Garage Doors

All wood garage doors are often made from moisture resistant redwood, cypress, and cedar which give you bragging rights for having the best looking garage doors.

It isn’t as strong as steel or tough like fiberglass, but it still has curb appeal. Wood will come in various prices and levels of quality. The best doors will have all wood panels and frames. You should opt for polystyrene backing to add insulating value and the options for prefinished stains are great.

Heads up: Needs to be refinished every now and again.

Insulating value: R3 – R6

Costs for low quality are between $400 to $700 while premium quality is between $1200 to $4000 or more.

Fiberglass Garage Doors

Fiberglass doors are known for moisture resistance, resistance to insects and even warping as well as changes in humidity. The thick outer skin of the fiberglass will surround a foam core and steel frame that gives it strength and stability.

Fiberglass is great at mimicking grain patterns and colors of real wood like mahogany, cherry, and oak.

Heads up: single-layer versions are brittle.

Insulation value: R4 – R12

The cost is between $1100 to $1800 for a double door.

Composite Wood Garage Doors

This type of construction has a strong insulating core that is wrapped in composite wood. The panels are made from wood fibers and weatherproof resins. Most manufacturers will use recycled wood fibers for the panels which give it a green feel.

They are molded with grain patterns and it can be hard to tell it from the real wood. Unlike wood, composite doors won’t split, rot, or crack. Composite doors will come finished or can be custom painted or stained.

Heads up: Can cost as much as wood

Insulating value: R5 – R8

It can cost between $1200 to $2200.

DIY Composite Garage Doors

Turn your old door into a look-alike with resin and glue on urethane plank kits.

Costs between $1200 to $1400.

Vinyl Garage Doors

There are layers of durable, weatherproof vinyl that surrounds foam insulating but the cheaper models do not have a foam core. They are impervious to insects and rot and are lightweight. The colors go through the layers, so scratches won’t show.

Unlike steel, vinyl is quite resistant to dings. Most will have a lifetime warranty. Despite the high price, in the long run, vinyl doors are more cost-effective than steel.

Heads up: PVC is not environmentally friendly.

Insulating value: R4 – R12

The cost is between $900 to $1500.

Where To Buy A Garage Door

Homeowners have options when buying garage doors.  Hardware stores carry them along with garage door service companies.   Old tracks might be bent, springs may be worn out, and the opener you’ve got may not be strong enough to lift a new heavier door.  When you call on our experienced garage door installation team you get the peace of mind that no matter what condition your system is in, they will help you reinforce or upgrade what you’ve got to work with your new garage door.

When replacing a garage door is a great time to consider a new cedar garage door, smartphone-controlled garage door opener, or any number of upgrades such as garage door windows.

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