Choosing a garage door that meets all requirements and doesn’t stand out like sore thumb when it comes to the exterior of your home isn’t an easy task at all. Remember, a front-facing garage door takes up almost 20% of the front façade. A worn-out, beat-up garage door can damage curb appeal, which creates problems if you put up the property for sale.
Take a look at the most common garage door materials:
Wood offers a charm and authenticity that other materials merely mimic. Wood doors can be made locally in whatever size you need, and they stand up well to bumps from basketballs. The downside is that they require frequent repainting or refinishing, especially if you live in a damp climate.
Wood doors can range from being
moderately priced to expensive, depending on whether they consist of a
lightweight wooden frame filled with foam insulation and wrapped in a plywood
or hardboard skin (the cheapest) or are true frame-and-panel doors made of durable
mahogany, redwood, or cedar. Wood doors usually carry a short warranty, perhaps
only one year.
Metal is a better choice than wood if you don’t want to spend much on maintenance. Steel leads the pack because it is relatively inexpensive yet tough. Bare steel rusts and gets dented, so you need to touch up scratches promptly, and get them fixed respectively. Minimize this risk by choosing doors with sturdy 24- or 25-gauge panels rather than 27- or 28-gauge (the higher the gauge number, the thinner the metal). You can also opt for a steel door with a fiberglass overlay, which resists dents and doesn’t rust. Fiberglass will need periodic repainting or re-staining, though, because the color fades over time.
High-quality steel doors may have lifetime warranties on the hardware, laminations between the steel and any insulation, and factory-applied paint. Budget doors tend to have shorter warranties on some components, such as paint and springs.
Inexpensive aluminum doors, once common, have largely been replaced by sturdy counterparts with heavy-duty extruded frames and dent-resistant laminated panels. Rugged and rust-proof, these are a wonderful choice if you are willing to spend $10,000 or more on a garage door.
Less expensive aluminum doors have aluminum frames and panels made of other materials, such as high-density polyethylene. Due to its light weight, aluminum is a good choice if you have an extra-wide double door; it won’t put as much strain on the operating mechanism.
Study the pros and cons of each material so you can make an informed decision about the proper garage door for your home!