What Should I Consider When Getting a Garage Door?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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With so many models, colors, and materials to choose from, selecting a garage door is not the straightforward decision it used to be. Before committing to a purchase, there are a few things you should consider:

Type: A garage door is available either as a tilt-up, also known as a swing-up, or a sectional roll-up. A tilt-up garage door opens by rotating out and upward. They are less expensive but have some disadvantages, such as not being able to operate if objects are placed too close to the door, and letting some snow and water in when it's used. A sectional roll-up garage door has four or more hinged horizontal panels that roll over tracks and lie against the ceiling when the door is open. Sectionals are more expensive and require professional installation, but they don't use up additional garage space and are usually stronger and safer. Automatic door openers are becoming standard, and can be easily used with both types of doors.

Design: Most garage doors can be easily customized with paint or stains. Wood garage doors are typically available in short recessed panel, long raised panel, and flush designs. Optional windows and glass inserts can be added to most doors for practical or for esthetic reasons.


Materials: There are basically four types of material used to make a garage door: wood, steel, aluminum, and fiber glass. Wood doors have a natural look and are usually affordable. They run from $400 to $1000 depending on type of wood and panel construction. But they require regular maintenance to stay in top shape. They can be painted to match the house, or covered with siding to be concealed into the overall design. Steel garage doors come in two choices: single-layer, which is the most economical, and steel-insulated doors. Both are much more durable that wood doors, and won't warp or rust, making maintenance easier and cheaper. Steel doors need to be professionally installed and will run around $1000. The thicker the door, the better the quality and the higher the price. Aluminum doors have the advantage of being lightweight and inexpensive. Rarely over $600, these doors do dent easily and don't look as great, even when painted. Fiberglass doors come in a variety of designs, finishes, and colors. They are not the best options for cold climates because they don't provide good insulation and break easily.

Where to buy: When buying a garage door, it's important to choose a company that offers a warranty on both the product and the installation. While it's possible nowadays to buy a garage door via the internet or through catalogs, choosing a door from a showroom gives you the chance of seeing the actual product rather than imagining what it looks like from a photo. If professional installation is necessary, it should be included in the price of the door, as should be the removal of the previous garage door, if any.


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Post 2

Thanks for all the great advice. I need to get my garage door repaired, especially before winter when I'll have to scrape my windows every morning!

Post 1

I have just purchased two new garage doors. I was wondering if it is agood idea to have them capped? Does it give the doors a more finished look? thanks for your time.

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