A Guide to Garage Doors
The perfect garage doors are the key to enhancing the entire look of your home and adding curb appeal to your property. The impact is everything in upping the appearance and value to your home. Garage doors are a stable return on your investment and an excellent summer project that will give your garage an immediate face-lift.
Whether you use your garage as a second entry to your home, as a storage unit, a place for your vehicles, or as a workspace, your garage door should operate smoothly and look like a cohesive part of your home. There’s a lot to look for as you search for a garage door replacement. Here’s a guide to the styles and materials you’ll come across in your search.
Garage Door Types
There are four basic types of garage doors, several with different opening mechanisms.
- Swing out
- Swing up
- Roll up
- Side to side
You may already have or are at least familiar with the popular roll-up garage door. It’s a popular option in most modern designs.
- Swing Up & Swing Out
Both are a great choice for homeowners looking to keep the ceiling of their garage open, or those looking for a classic and distinguished look.
What Style is Right for You?
As you shop for your new garage door, make sure to settle on a style that suits your house. For example, if your house is of a traditional style, pick a style of door that is cohesive with that. Going for a classic look doesn’t mean compromising modern conveniences. You can still purchase modern roll-up top doors, for instance, that mimic the look and feel of more traditional doors.
Whether the styles are keeping with the traditional or bordering contemporary, there will be plenty of trim, panel, and detailing options. If you’re looking for a sturdier design, choose doors with true paneling or framed construction. Doors that utilize the decorative elements of a paneled door, but only use nails or glue at the face of the facade won’t have the same lasting power.
If you’re looking to add a touch of warmth or an inviting nature to your doors, choose a design that uses glass windowing. This will bring light into your garage and is an excellent choice if you use your garage as a work or living space.
How long will your door last? What kind of weather will it need to withstand? How much maintenance will it need annually? Your answer to any of these questions will greatly determine what material you should seek for your new doors.
Steel is a very popular material choice for doors at the moment. Sturdy, hard wearing, and low maintenance, steel provides durability at an affordable cost to the homeowner.
As a material, wood offers the appeal of a traditional look that other materials can only mimic. Although wood doors sport beauty and craftsmanship, this material needs extra care. Every few years you’ll need to repaint or restain the facade to keep the material intact. More frequent refinishing will be required if you live in states with harsher climates. Wood is almost always the most expensive material option, depending on insulation factors, decorative elements, and quality of the wood.
If you like the look of wood, but want a material that requires less care, look to fiberglass. Wood grain fiberglass designs will give your garage doors a natural-looking finish without the potential of rot and warp. It’s as durable as steel and only requires surface maintenance every few years depending on how much sun exposure they receive.
Cheaper aluminum doors are relatively uncommon to see at present, although the material itself is loved for its unique look and rust-proof nature. Expensive, heavy-duty aluminum doors will last a long time with general maintenance, but the price tag is high. Lesser expensive doors sporting aluminum frames are a great choice if you’re in need of a light-weight garage door option, or long side-to-side doors.