Garage door buyer’s guide

Garage doors don’t have to be expensive, but they do require an investment so it’s wise that you make the right choice. When you are looking for a garage door there are a number of things you need to consider: price, materials, looks, and how you use your garage.

How you will use the garage is usually the last thing people think about when they buy a garage door, but it should be the first. Your car is not the only thing you should be thinking about when shopping; in fact, a lot of people don’t even use their garage for their car! If you use your garage as a storage room, you probably only need something simple. If you use your garage as a clubhouse, hobby room, or “man cave” you will definitely want something with windows and not only slits. If security is an issue, you will probably not want a door that has windows as someone can break the window and use a contraption to unlock one of the side windows. Don’t laugh, we’ve seen it happen.

Materials on your door relate to how you use your door. For instance if you use your garage as a hobby room and you live in a cold climate, you will need a door with insulation. But if you do buy a door you will need a metal door because wooden doors do not have space for insulation. Otherwise materials will have to be chosen for other reasons. For instance if you have a ranch or prairie style home you will probably go with a wooden door since it will harmonize architecturally. However, metal doors now come with vinyl or latex veneers and it can even simulate wood grain finishes. If you live in a hot climate and security is not as much of an issue, you might think of an aluminum or fiberglass door. They have the added benefits of being cheap and lightweight.

Curb appeal or “looks,” “aesthetics” is related to the choice of materials. Wood is the ideal for most homes because of it’s natural warmth. Wood comes in many different textures and colors; in fact many doors made of other materials are often textured to look like wood. But wood is not the only game in town. Modern homes for instance can benefit greatly from glass and aluminum. Aluminum doors are not the prettiest but if properly maintained they are not unattractive.

Price is usually what most people think about first when buying a garage door. Fortunately there are garage door for every budget. There are some really cheap ones for $150, but we would consider those a bad deal. Realistically think about at least $400 for the door itself; as for the high end, the sky’s the limit. It’s not uncommon for someone to spend $4000 – $5000 or more for a custom carriage house door.