If your garage door is damaged or letting in too much cold air, it's probably time to replace it. Or maybe a new garage door is part of a larger remodel project or even new build. Whatever the reason, you're on the hunt for a new garage door.
Companies offer so many options in garage doors that making a choice may seem a little overwhelming. However, your personal priorities can help you settle on the material, style, and upgrades for a garage door.
It's human nature to reach for the price tag when you're shopping for anything. Naturally, you probably have to stick to a budget.
Concerning style, stock doors are the most budget-friendly. Stock doors can come in different styles and materials, and there are a few customization options.
Semi-custom options are the next step when it comes to cost. With these doors, you choose panel styles and glass inserts from a given selection. Again, you have different material options.
Custom garage doors are the most expensive. You have the most choices for style and material in this range.
In terms of materials, wood and wood composite doors are the most expensive, while aluminum and steel are less expensive. Fiberglass and vinyl, both relatively new materials for garage doors, are mid-range in cost.
If cost is a prime factor, you'll want to consider energy efficiency as well. A garage door's insulative values can impact your utility bills.
In this case, wood and wood composite doors offer the best insulative values on their own, while fiberglass and aluminum don't offer as much in energy efficiency. Steel doors on their own often don't offer good insulative value, but many steel doors feature a sandwich construction with insulation in the core. That construction can add to the cost, though.
Less common materials for garage doors include glass and vinyl. Unless you get a fully-customized glass door with insulated glass, these doors don't offer great insulative value. Vinyl doors, on the other hand, feature a foam core similar to those in insulated steel doors.
Perhaps you have children, or you just know your garage door will see some abuse. In that case, the durability of your chosen door will affect how long it stands up to your lifestyle demands.
In terms of durability, you can't beat steel for withstanding dents. It's the strongest option - This Old House recommends looking for 24-gauge steel for maximum strength. That said, steel can rust over time without the proper maintenance.
Concerning standing up to wear and tear, a wood composite is durable. What's more, it's relatively easy to repair. The same goes for wooden doors - scratches and scrapes can be repaired with sanding and repainting. They do require regular upkeep, though.
Vinyl, aluminum, and fiberglass doors require no upkeep. Of the three, vinyl doors are the most durable - they're very difficult to dent or break. Conversely, aluminum doors can dent more easily, though they don't tend to break. Fiberglass doors don't dent, but they can break on impact.
Naturally, aesthetics are a matter of taste. However, there's a reason most garage doors are fabricated to resemble wood, and that's because wood is generally considered a beautiful building material.
In fact, if aesthetics are a main priority for you, wooden or wood composite doors are a good way to go. You have the most customization options with wood, including having the material naturally stained to showcase the graining. In that vein, fully custom doors are also the ones that best relate to aesthetic values.
In terms of choices, you have the fewest choices with vinyl and fiberglass. Aluminum and steel doors have come a long way in terms of style and color options. Naturally, stock doors offer you the fewest customization options, though there are some very attractive stock garage doors available.
Take stock of where your priorities lay, and use that to drive your garage door selection process. Visit Artex Overhead Door Company to explore your options further.