Garage Doors: Which Type is Right for You?

A new garage door can dress up a home and it provides a nice return on investment for resale value. What type of garage door is best suited for your home? Before purchasing a new garage door, consider your budget, the style of the door, and also climate and weather which will affect the longevity of the door. Is the garage door’s material suited for the climate where your home is located? Think about the opening and amount of clearance and which style of door is best suited for it. In addition, think about the door track and hardware as well as the type of electric door opener. Do you want a solid door or one with windows? Consider the installation cost and door maintenance. Before making a purchase, and to protect your investment, do some online research and visit a few retail stores or garage door service companies to learn about garage doors, cost of installation, maintenance, and style.

Style of doors:
Swing out garage doors (carriage house) are generally made of wood but could be made of other door material such as steel.
Swing up garage doors are made of solid wood or wood composite, fiberglass, vinyl, steel, or aluminum.
Roll up garage doors are made of fiberglass, wood, aluminum or steel.
Sliding garage doors (barn door style) are made of wood, vinyl, metal, aluminum, and other materials.
Compact doors fold up or fold to the side and are made of wood, metal, glass, vinyl, and other composite material.

Listed below are five types of garage door materials and the pros and cons for each type. Most popular are wood and steel.

Solid Wood and wood composite doors:
Pros: Sturdy, stylish, paintable, and attractive with curb appeal. They add charm and elegance to a home.
Cons: Solid wood doors are heavy and expensive. Over time, after a period of years, the wood will eventually deteriorate in wet climates. Wood composite doors are lighter, less expensive than solid wood, but again, over time they will eventually decline due to inclement weather. Add to that, wood doors require regular maintenance for refinishing and repainting of the doors.

Steel doors:
Pros: Sturdy, paintable, and made of galvanized steel. They are lower maintenance than wood doors.
Cons: Inclement weather causes the doors to rust and, and if damaged, they will dent.

Aluminum doors:
Pros: Sturdy, durable, paintable, lightweight, dent-resistant laminated panels, and heavy-duty frames.
Cons: Expensive, but comparable to other garage doors with heavy-duty frames.

Fiberglass doors:
Pros: Sturdy, durable, will last for several years. This type of door can be customized to look like wood or be kept as transparent to allow light to filter into the garage. The doors hold up to coastal weather.
Cons: Over time, the fiberglass will yellow and cold climates can cause the doors to crack and break.

Vinyl doors:
Pros: Comparable cost and sturdy with low maintenance. This type of door is dent resistant and easy to clean.
Cons: Few choices of color and design.