Garage Doors Buying Guide


This specialist, unbiased purchasing guide will help you discover the best garage door for your home. Includes info on costs, steel garage doors, wood garage doors, and more.

Is your garage door sagging, almost difficult to lift, or simply typically falling apart? If it is, maybe now is the time to replace it with a new one that’s easy to run and keep.

Not only can a brand-new garage door offer safe, secure, and easy access to your garage, but it likewise can renew and revitalize your home or business’s overall look, particularly if it can be seen from curbside. Garage doors are made from steel, wood and wood composites, fiberglass, vinyl, and aluminum. Though each of these has its benefits, steel and wood doors are without a doubt the most typical.

All the garage door materials are gone over in depth listed below. However here is a fast introduction.

  • Wood is a traditional because of its natural appeal, accessibility, and easy customization. But it simply doesn’t last as long as other products and thus requires fairly constant care.
  • Steel garage doors have ended up being incredibly popular due to the fact that they’re strong, fairly affordable, and low maintenance. In addition, advanced steel garage doors do an excellent job of mimicing the look of wood.
  • If you’re interested in among the other materials used for garage doors, please see Fiberglass & Aluminum Garage Doors, below. For associated information, likewise see: Hurricane-Proof Garage Doors and Screen Doors for Garages

What’s New with Garage Doors?

In addition to using a significantly broader choice of durable materials for their manufacture, garage doors have actually become high-tech, with high-performance insulation and energy-saving glazing, ended up interior surfaces, baked-on exterior surfaces and more. Some non-wood doors have been offered very reasonable wood grain surfaces that will accept a stain– it is difficult to discriminate between these and genuine wood.

In terms of style, carriage-house garage doors have actually ended up being preferred because of their traditional appearance. For a streamlined, translucent modern appearance, aluminum framed doors with nontransparent glass panels are tough to beat.

How Much Does a Garage Door Cost?

What is a normal price for a new garage door? The answer depends on many elements. Since there is an exceptionally broad range of styles and qualities of garage doors, rates are all over the place … from about $400 for a low-end wood composite door that you should install yourself to $9000 or more for a fully filled high-end door with setup.

On the average, anticipate to pay $800 to $1500 for a mid-range 16-by-7-foot door, installed. Upscale garage doors balance about $2700. If you’ll want an automatic door opener, include $200 to $300, if you have it installed at the same time as the door. These figures don’t include tax or the cost of oversight by a general contractor if the job is being done as part of a bigger building project. The only way to really determine a price is to determine what you desire and get quotes– it’s wise to get at least 3.

The good news is that you get a solid return on your investment when you set up a brand-new garage door. According to Improvement Publication’s 2013 Cost vs. Worth Report, a $1500 garage door returns 75.7% of its cost when you offer your home.

Where to Buy a Garage Door

You can buy garage doors at Home Depot, Lowe’s, or other significant home enhancement centers. The best way to shop these doors is to check out the company’s site, use any online style tools they use, then set up an in-store consultation (with some, a consultation isn’t required) so you can see samples first-hand. You’ll need fundamental measurements of your garage’s door opening (or your existing garage door). Prior to in fact purchasing a door, the installer may need to verify your measurements. With most home improvement centers, you’ll pay in advance; financing is available.

Another alternative is to purchase a garage door plus setup through from independent a regional garage door company. The majority of these garage door business are distributors of doors made by significant manufacturers– they buy and configure pre-made door areas and deal with installation. Some likewise produce customized doors themselves.

Some regional dealerships sell just one manufacturer’s garage doors; others offer a range of makes. It’ses a good idea to do your homework prior to talking with dealers by going online or contacting major manufacturers and requesting product details so that you can compare features. Some of the biggest garage door makers are Clopay, Wayne-Dalton, Raynor, and C.H.I. Overhead Doors. You can find regional dealers through their Website.

Though some garage door business have display rooms, a lot of will send a salesperson to your home to discuss your requirements, show you brochures from the lines they carry, and determine your old door. The best method to discover trustworthy dealerships is to get recommendations from neighbors or buddies. Otherwise, discover the length of time the business have stayed in business. A lot of stand behind their craftsmanship and products. Get composed price quotes from two or 3.

About Garage Door Installation

Some home enhancement centers sell garage doors that are created for do-it-yourselfers to set up. If you buy a door to install yourself, make certain that it includes total and easy-to-follow guidelines. See How to Install a Garage Door.

Should you set up a garage door yourself? Unless you’re an accomplished do-it-yourselfer, most likely not. You need a helper, the work needs several woodworking tools and abilities, and the heavy-duty springs can be harmful to deal with. The job will probably take you a little more than a day, whereas a professional installer will can typically do it in about 5 hours. Setup generally adds from $250 to $500 to the cost.

Garage Door Options

A host of alternatives are available through the majority of garage door producers. You can order window areas for a decorative accent and to include daylight to a dark garage. Windows might be standard single glazed or, for insulated doors, dual glazed. Some doors have snap-in decorative frames.

Garage door springs. Tilt-up doors often make use of extension springs, the type that stretch and recoil at the sides of a garage door. Torsion springs– a shaft spring and drum assembly across the top of the door– are much better for sectional doors. Torsion springs disperse the door’s weight equally and can not break and fly off the way an extension spring at the side of a door can (they can break, but they stay put). Extension springs are less expensive, but most dealerships prefer to set up the much safer and more trusted torsion springs. Keep in mind: Extension springs should be protected by an extension-spring containment package– if a spring snaps, this will assist safeguard you from major danger.

Garage door openers. Perhaps among the most enticing garage door choices of all is the automatic operator. Today’s garage door operators have rugged motors with lifetime warranties and numerous other features:

  • Photoelectric safety devices that will stop the closing door and reverse it to the employment opportunity if an invisible light beam is broken by your car or– worse– by a child.
  • Mini transmitters that fit on a crucial chain.
  • Transmitters that operate only with an individual code you program into them.
  • Multiple-button push-button controls that will run appliances and lights in addition to the opener.

How to Choose the Right Garage Door

It’s important to think about how the door must perform and how long you wish to make sure that efficiency. The type of weather and exposure it will have to survive and whether it needs to help insulate the garage. Will you be utilizing the garage as an extra room or a workshop? Is there a space above the garage? If there is, you need to get an insulated door.

The following information will provide you buying advice for the significant types of garage doors.

How to Buy a Steel Garage Door


Steel garage doors are much more powerful and more safe than wood, aluminum, or fiberglass ones. Thanks primarily to brand-new innovations that allow for embossing metals with wood-grain patterns, plus new durable finishes, today’s steel doors rival the look of wood without the maintenance headaches.

Steel doors won’t warp, crack, delaminate, or fall apart due to the effects of weather condition. And, since many are made from hot-dipped, galvanized steel that is vinyl clothed or offered a baked-on polyester finish, they don’t rust or need repainting as often as do wood doors. The majority of service warranties guarantee the door won’t rust for as long as you own your home, but they do not guarantee versus fading. On the downside, steel does damage and can be hard to repair.

Premium-quality steel doors have cores of rigid polystyrene or polyurethane foam insulation. Not just does this insulation assistance keep the garage warm in winter and cool in summer season, however it makes the door lighter, quieter, and easier to run. Plus, it is less most likely to droop over time.

You can typically determine a steel door’s quality both by its density and the thickness of its cladding. A premium door is frequently a complete 2 inches thick, filled with insulation, and outfitted in 24-gauge steel. Less-expensive doors are thinner and made from 28-gauge steel (the lower the number, the thicker the metal).

Doors might be single skin, with a frame that reveals from inside, or double skin, sandwiching the foam insulation in between panels on both outside and inside. If looks inside the garage matter, the double-skin construction is not just much more long lasting however also attractive.

Weatherstripping is another measure of quality. The best-made doors have a full-width vinyl bubble weatherstripping along the bottom edge that complies with the floor. They also have stiff vinyl end caps along the sides of the door panels, a vinyl top cap, and weather seals in between each section.

Styles mimic those of wood doors– flush, recessed panel, and raised panel. You can also get metal doors with a horizontal, ribbed style.

For an average-size steel door, anticipate to pay in between $750 and $1,200 installed.

Fiberglass & Aluminum Garage Doors


Fiberglass garage doors really consist of an aluminum frame with fiberglass sections. Like aluminum, fiberglass is very light-weight.

Other advantages of fiberglass are its translucency and its resistance to the effects of salt air, which is why fiberglass doors are sometimes chosen for areas where light transmission is essential and for corrosive ocean environments.

Nevertheless, for more mainstream uses, fiberglass isn’t really a popular material due to the fact that it is a bad insulator, it yellows with age, and it breaks reasonably quickly, especially when cold.

Aluminum garage doors have taken pleasure in a number of the very same advances as steel garage doors– wood-grain embossing and durable finishes are typical. Aluminum single-piece tilt-up doors are relatively popular since they are extremely light-weight, will not rust, and are fairly inexpensive– from $400 to $700. Unfortunately, aluminum has a significant disadvantage– it’s very quickly dented.

How to Buy a Wood Garage Door


Wood is preferred more for its natural look, price, and simple tooling than for its durability. Since wood expands and contracts and can warp and crack as it weathers, it demands routine upkeep– repainting or refinishing every few years.

The most convenient to develop and most inexpensive kind of door is a tilt-up wood door. In a lot of cases, it can be developed right in the driveway by using a skin of outside plywood– generally 3/8 inch thick– to a frame of Douglas fir, spruce, or a comparable softwood. Or, the frame and plywood can be covered with siding to match your home.

This type of flush construction is rather strong, steady, and cost effective. For a 16-by-7-foot flush wood door, you can anticipate to pay from $400 to $700.

Areas of roll-up wood doors might have either flush or panel construction. Flush areas are made by securing a plywood panel over a wood frame, like a little variation of the flush door explained above. For panel doors, makers fit several different, rectangle-shaped panels into a wood frame. The skeletal framework is built of fir or some other typical softwood; panels are made from a variety of products.

Panels for a door that is implied to be painted might be flat surface areas of plywood or hardboard, or they may be three-dimensional raised or recessed panels. Cladwood, made from composites with resin-impregnated overlays, or wood lookalikes such as Masonite’s SureWood raised panels, are frequently used for the three-dimensional type.

Cladwood composite panels come with a 20-year guarantee, but a lot of wood doors are warrantied for just one year. Set up, an average-size (16-by-7- foot) paint-grade sectional door typically costs from about $800 to $1,000.

Appearance-grade wood doors– those that are meant to be stained instead of painted– have solid-wood panel inserts. These doors might be all cedar, redwood, or might have softwood frames with oak, mahogany, or other wood panels. When buying among these, make certain to find out whether the panels are made from a single, solid piece or from a number of widths edge-glued together (given that the joint in between glued-up lengths may reveal).

Appearance-grade wood doors are the most expensive offered. One with redwood panels will run about $1,500; an all-cedar or oak-paneled door might cost $2,000 or more.


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Morris T. Parson, Tech Support

Leading specialist in electronics and engineering. Author of dozens of articles on various topics from the world of hi-tech. Sound independent analysis of products, exploring new niches and global trends is his special passion.

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