Have you recently purchased a home and are in the process of updating it with a new garage door? Perhaps you’ve realized that the garage door on your current home is really showing signs of its age, and it’s time to invest in a new one. Whatever the case might be, you’ll find a host of different options out there when it comes to garage door styles, designs, sizes and even types. How do you make an informed decision here? Actually, there are a few important tips that will help make sure that you’re able to choose the right door for your home.
We’ll start off with one of the most obvious considerations to make – how the garage door will tie into your home’s aesthetic. In the past, this was usually accomplished by choosing a door that was the same color as the house, or by painting the door the same color as the house. However, today, there are more ways to achieve that than ever before. You can choose doors that are designed to resemble your front door, that include the same trim colors and elements as your home, and more. Think about how you want to tie into your home’s overall aesthetic, and how different styles and designs will help you achieve that goal.
Now that you’re thinking about how you want the garage door to tie into your home, it’s time to start considering how each style on the market can do that. Traditional and raised panel garage doors are the most common, and have the fewest options when it comes to customization. Beyond that, you’ll find carriage house style garage doors, which can be rustic, or elegant depending on your installation hardware and color choices, and there are contemporary garage doors that can give your home a sleek, minimalist look if that’s what you’re going for. It’s highly recommended that you work with a professional garage door company to help ensure that you’re able to get a good idea of what each door design would look like on your home.
The construction material for your garage door will affect quite a few things, including the weight of the door, the door’s appearance, and even how long it will last. Aluminum is one of the most frequently used materials on the market, and it offers excellent weight to strength ratio. It’s also rust proof. However, it’s not as strong as steel, which is the most common choice for construction material. Fiberglass doors are lightweight, but not as strong as steel, and there are also wood doors on the market if you really want to go the traditional route.
What will you use the garage for? If it will be simply for storage, or for protecting your vehicle, then you have only a few other things to consider. However, if you will be using it as a crafting or hobby area, as an office, a yoga studio, or anything else, you’ll want to consider things like the amount of light let in by the garage door windows, the level of protection offered by the weather stripping seal and insulation in the door, and more.
Most garage doors come with at least a couple of windows, although they’re often small and placed high up to prevent them being used to enter the garage. You have many other options, though. One interesting trend on the market today is to install windows in the garage door that tie into the design of your home’s front door and/or the windows on your house. However, there are other options, including large glass panels, decorative windows that tie into your home’s historic architecture design, and a lot more. Think carefully about the number of windows, their placement, and their impact on both interior illumination and temperature control.
Insulation is a very important consideration with any garage door. The higher the R rating, the more stable the interior temperature. That will help lower your utility bills over the course of the year. It will also help make the garage more comfortable when you’re using it.
Garage doors can be customized to any degree that you want, but you’ll need to work with the right garage door manufacturer, and the right installation company. How custom do you want to go?
We mentioned wood doors above because they are an option on the market. However, they’re really best left alone. They’re heavy, not particularly durable, and they are not as strong as steel or even aluminum. With that being said, they are among the most beautiful options out there.
While most of your decisions will involve the aesthetics and construction of your garage door, you do need to think about how it will open. The door will operate on a set of rails, and a set of springs will be used to offset or counterbalance the weight. It will be tempting to go with a cheap set of springs, but these are usually only good for about 10,000 openings. Paying just a little bit more gives you a set of spring with double the lifespan.
Finally, think about the warranty that comes with the garage door. The manufacturer should provide a warranty on the materials and workmanship of the door for at least one year. However, some companies do offer longer warranties. The garage door installation company should also provide a warranty on their installation work and labor.
With these tips, you should be well prepared to enter the market and choose the right garage door for your home. Whether you’re going the utilitarian route, want something elegant and evocative, or you’re thinking sleek and minimal, there’s a perfect door out there for you.