5 Things to Consider When Buying a Garage Door

buying a garage door

Garage doors have a huge impact on the appearance of your house. Sure, architectural details, landscaping, and paint colours all contribute to the character of a house. But nothing ups that all-important curb appeal like buying a garage door that complements the rest of your home’s exterior.

As well as adding visual appeal, garage door installation can increase the value of your home right away. And, with a 95 percent return on investment, a garage door replacement almost pays for itself. What’s more, today’s garage doors are more secure, better insulated, and far stronger than their predecessors, giving you extra bang for your buck.

Are you looking to replace your garage doors? If so, check out this list of considerations to help you make the right choice.

1. Material

The biggest difference between various types of garage doors is the material they’re made from. Here, you can choose between steel, wood, composite wood, and aluminium:

  • Steel – Steel is the top choice for both residential and commercial doors alike. This is because steel garage doors come in a wide range of colours, prices, insulation options, and more. Due to these different choices, the average price for steel double garage doors can range from around $900 right up to $4000
  • Wood – Wooden garage doors were once the top choice for homeowners, but this material has lost out to other materials in recent years. While wooden doors look great, the extra maintenance they need puts a lot of people off.  The average cost of wooden garage doors is from $1,200 to $4,000
  • Composite Wood – This durable, low-maintenance material looks like real wood but doesn’t require the constant upkeep of wooden garage doors. Composite wood is also moisture-resistant so it won’t rot, shrink, split, or crack. The average price of garage doors made from composite wood is between $2,000 and $5,000
  • Aluminium – Aluminum garage door installation is popular in humid environments thanks to its ability to resist rust and corrosion. The average cost of aluminium double garage doors ranges from $2000 to $5000
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Your budget will have likely have the biggest bearing on the garage doors you might be considering. That said, factors such as the climate you live in, aesthetics, and your willingness to keep up with maintenance all come into play when choosing the best material for you and your home.

2. Insulation

If you live in a changeable climate and your garage attaches to your home, it makes good sense to go for an insulated garage door.

Although most garages don’t have heating, they can still have an impact on the energy efficiency of a home, not least because of the heat you can lose through the garage. Insulation also reduces noise and makes your garage door less vulnerable to dents. And, if your garage door faces out onto extreme temperature conditions such as icy winds or baking hot sun, insulation can help regulate the temperature inside the garage.

Our recommendation is to go for polyurethane insulation. It costs around 15 to 20 percent more than extruded polystyrene but it doubles the insulating value of your garage door replacement.

3. Spring Mechanism

Alongside the garage door itself, you’ll need to select the spring and track systems it works with too. The two options here are extension springs and torsion springs.

Extension springs need about 10 inches of headroom and work in pairs, stretching along with the doors and parallel to the ceiling. Torsion springs, in contrast, go over the door’s opening and work by winding up and unwinding in place whenever you raise or lower the door.

Torsion springs are the best choice for heavy or wide doors, but they’re also safer and offer better operational functioning, making them the more popular choice. One downside is that torsion springs need 12 inches of headroom, although you can get special hardware if your garage door doesn’t have the clearance.

If you do go for torsion springs, you also need to select the number of cycles. Standard torsion springs have around 10,000 cycles. Although this sounds like a lot, opening and closing your garage doors an average of three to five times a day will get you to 10,000 cycles in less than five years. With 20,000-cycle springs only around $50 more, it makes good financial sense to go for the slightly more expensive option.

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4. Noise Reduction

Why splash out on a garage door replacement if you’re not going to make it as quiet as possible?  There are two ways to cut the noise of your garage door opening and closing, and they won’t add too much expense to your budget either.

The first is to insist that your garage door installation operative uses nylon rollers. Second, when installing a garage door, you should replace your old opener with a new belt-drive opener. Not only is this kind of opener likely to be quieter than your current model, but getting a new door opener at the same time can also save on labour costs if get a package deal.

5. Installation

While we’re on the subject of garage door services and labour, we must stress that it’s a very bad idea to attempt installing a garage door yourself. In most cases, a replacement garage door comes with installation included in the price. But if not, ask the vendor for recommendations rather than trying your hand at some dangerous DIY.

Although you might save a couple of hundred dollars, garage door installation is a lot more complicated than it looks. There are tons of parts and you’ll need a full day to get everything together. You would also need special counterbalancing tools and a whole lot of physical strength to wind the springs.

Garage door services will deliver your new door and take your old one away, and your garage door replacement will be ready in around four hours. And, in the unlikely event that there’s a problem, you’ll have someone to call to resolve the issue.

Key Considerations When Buying a Garage Door

There’s no doubt that buying a garage door is a sure-fire way to upgrade your home’s exterior.

But, as this list shows, alongside the added curb appeal new garage doors provide, you can also look forward to a quieter, smoother opening mechanism and a better-insulated home. As such, it’s worth considering your options carefully and opting for the best types of garage doors you can afford.

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