Ultimate Guide to Choosing the BEST Garage Door for YOU!
What is Important?
Chances are this is the first, maybe second, time you’ve had to purchase a garage door. It’s not something like shoes that you purchase multiple times per year. You’re probably wondering where to start. Don’t worry! We’re going to take you step by step through safety, sizing, materials, appearance and much more.
Garage Door Safety
Garage door safety standards have come a long way over the years. You can no longer even get a garage door that doesn’t have the technology to detect something in its path and prevent it from crushing whatever that may be.
Remember when you could close the garage door from inside the garage and then run under it before it closed? Yeah, those days are gone. We’ll discuss more of the safety features a little later on… Because, it’s worth stressing in its very own section that safety is always the #1 concern.
Garage Door Sizes
Not all garage door openings are built the same! The good news is, as with regular doors, there are a few standards that most garage doors fall into. These standard sizes will fit your average car, truck, SUV, etc., but they will not fit your big ol’ toy hauler. Don’t fret if your door opening doesn’t fit into one of the following “standard” categories… Special order doors are also available!
One Car Garage Door Sizes
Two Car Garage Door Sizes
Garage Door Construction
Not all garage doors are constructed the same. This primarily comes down to one thing – what’s it made of? Let’s talk about it…
Just like a traditional front door, you have plenty of options or your garage door. And these days, things are not always as they seem. One of the hottest trends in the flooring world has been deception… Lookalike floors made in less expensive, lower maintenance materials. Garage doors are doing the same thing – offering you multiple looks in almost every material. So, what should you be looking for in a garage door? You want a garage door that’s durable, dent and fade resistant, quiet and attractive. Here’s what you must choose from.
Steel Garage Doors
They’re strong and durable, yet light and quiet – a great combination! Steel is not exactly known for its insulation properties, but luckily many steel doors can be insulated with foam to keep the harsh temperatures outside where they belong. The downside to steel is it can rust easily, especially if you live in a wetter environment.
Aluminum Garage Doors
Would you believe that aluminum is typically pricier than steel when it comes to garage doors? It seems like it would be the bargain option, but a good quality aluminum garage door is pretty darn top of the line. Aluminum can also be insulated and offers the same dent-resistant properties of beefier steel doors. However, aluminum is much better in wet environments than steel and far less likely to rust.
Vinyl Garage Doors
Just like vinyl floors, vinyl garage doors seem to be virtually indestructible! Built to stand up to kids, weather and more, vinyl is the low-maintenance garage door option. Of course, you can’t always get the exact look you want with vinyl, which is the one downside. But, they are truly built to last.
Fiberglass Garage Doors
A fiberglass garage door also offers a realistic wood look without the weight and maintenance of a solid wood garage door. Fiberglass is popular in temperate areas. It’s great in the rain, but it does not love the cold. In fact, super cold environments can cause the door to turn yellow or even break over time.
Wood / Wood Composite Garage Doors
Like wood flooring, wood garage doors are the real deal. While other materials can mimic the wood look, at the end of the day, nothing quite compares to the look and feel of solid wood. Just like wood flooring, the best look doesn’t always offer the best features. Wood doors are heavy, and high-maintenance, often requiring much more work down the road. The good news is wood composite, like composite decking, gives you the closest resemblance to a wood look, but in a lighter, easier to maintain material.
First thing’s first: Do you actually need to insulate your garage door? Well…it depends. If you live in a harsh climate and plan to spend a lot of time in your garage, it’s worth springing for the insulation. However, if you are just parking in your garage, insulation could be keeping in things you don’t want like fumes and chemicals. If you are insulating, the good news is that most new garage doors come with built-in insulation. If you are stuck with an older garage door or can’t find an insulated one you like, there are lots of great DIY tutorials out there using inexpensive materials like foam to keep you safe from the elements.
Garage Door Features
We are living in the era of bells and whistles and, these days, the more the better. So why shouldn’t your garage door have bells and whistles, too? Just take a look at some of your options…
There are tons of automation features for your garage door and the good news is that if you decide to go for automation, most devices will do all of them. Lights, closing, deliveries, you name it, it can be automated. Check out one of the many automated garage door openers if this is something you think you might be interested in. Most of them connect with apps on your phone, Alexa or Google Home.
There are three main safety features you want to look for when choosing your garage door.
- Manual controls. This means you can manually open and close your garage door in an emergency if it breaks or you lose electricity.
- Motion detection. This is how the garage door senses that there is an object (or human) in its path. It is very
- Auto-reverse. Okay, so your door can detect objects. That’s cool. But it doesn’t matter if it can’t, upon detection, automatically reverse its path to keep from crushing those objects. This one’s a biggie.
Now, having all these features is great, but you also need to make sure you’re regularly testing your garage door to make sure all features are working properly. Better safe than sorry!
Garage Door Aesthetics
So, the truth is many people end up painting their garage door down the road anyway. Color is important, yes, but it’s not permanent. You can always update it later so don’t worry too much about it being perfect right away. Unless you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, your color options are endless.
Do you like a garage door with windows? You can go for no windows, a few top windows, huge sweeping windows or anything in between. Look around and see what you like and what will look best with your home.
You can choose different colors, finishes, styles, you name it. There is something for everyone. Ask for samples if you are unsure of what you might want!
How to Make the Decision
The time has come: decision time! Determine which things are most important to you then just searching your options. Take pictures, hold them against your house and get a few different quotes. Our experienced sales staff would be more than happy to assist you in your garage buying endeavor! Call the experts at Rowe Door Sales Company at 570-655-7701 or visit our showroom today!