What to Consider When Choosing a Garage Door for Your Home

Three garage door options

When you’re in the market for a new garage door, the choices can be overwhelming. There are many styles to choose from, and various aesthetic features to take into consideration. It is important, however, to look at the functionality of the door you choose. While your garage door is an external design feature of your home, it is important to consider your budget, location, and what elements may affect its appearance and performance over time.  

Price

When choosing the perfect garage door, there are many factors to consider. The first thing that comes to mind is typically budget. While it is important not to pay too much, it is just as important not to pay too little.  A low price guarantee usually means that you will be sacrificing something, such as the quality of the product, the level of service that you will receive, or the professionalism of the installation itself.

Another factor to consider is the return on your investment or ROI. According to the 2018 annual cost vs value report for home improvement projects, a garage door replacement will yield up to 95% ROI. Whether you are planning to sell your home or are simply looking for some home improvement renovations, you will be increasing your home’s value.

Steel is the most affordable of all and provides the best overall value of all the materials. Most major manufacturers offer a limited lifetime warranty on steel doors for rust-through and delamination, but not for surface rust.

Design

An experienced garage door dealer can help guide you through the design process because ultimately you want a door that is pleasing to look at and that complements the style of your home. A Colonial style home will best be served by a more traditional style door, whereas a contemporary will require a modern sleek design.  Most garage door dealers offer an online door designer to help you envision what your new door will look like on your home by allowing you to upload a photo of your home.

Maintenance

Keeping up with your garage door maintenance can play a large role in extending its longevity. The type of maintenance your door may require can change based on its material. For instance, certain wood doors need specific oil treatments to protect them against the elements, whereas some garage doors can take a normal scrubbing to clean them.

Sun Exposure

If your garage door is in a primarily sunny location, the continuous heat and light may be detrimental. Sun exposure can cause paint to fade, and garage doors are no exception. If you have a door that requires painting, you may grow tired of having to give it a fresh coat after particularly hot and sunny summer seasons. If you choose not to repaint the door, you are then faced with a potential eyesore. 

Beyond painting, doors may be susceptible to additional damage from the ultraviolet radiation in sunlight depending on the material they are constructed of. Vinyl rubber seals, which work to keep water and critters out of your garage, may turn brittle after long term exposure to hot summer days.

Shade Exposure

If your garage door is in a location that is quite shady, you might not have to worry about the destruction of the sun, but that doesn't mean it doesn't come with its own set of concerns. Places like the East Coast experience all four seasons, and therefore experience snow and rain. This residual moisture can prove to be problematic. While your door may be kept cool from the shade, it is also likely obstructed from the suns drying rays which can cause mold and mildew. Besides not being visually appealing, mold and mildew can produce unfavorable smells, and cause the door to have to be replaced sooner than you normally would.

Water & Moisture Exposure

Like any other part of your house, your garage door can be susceptible to water damage. Water damage can come in more forms than just rain or flooding directly. If your driveway is not pitched away from your house, water may pool by your garage door, building up moisture which can eventually cause erosion, or mess with the grading of your yard. Additionally, if the water gets high enough, it can create pressure to disrupt any rubber sealing meant to keep out water. If there are any gutters that empty into an area near the doors, this can escalate the potential for these issues, as can the cold or frigid conditions of winter.

Vinyl doors are the best choice for coastal locations since they cannot rot like wood and could result in surface rust on a steel door if the door is not properly maintained and kept free from salt build up.

Vinyl doors are more expensive than steel but do allow you to custom design your door to avoid that cookie cutter look and be different than your neighbor.

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If you're concerned about choosing the right garage door for your home, we suggest reading up on why we recommend using ones with Versatex trimboard. We understand that there are a lot of conditions to account for when identifying what garage door is right for you. Our team members are qualified to assess your garage situation and recommend what doors best suit your location. To have one of our experts reach out to you, please fill out our contact form.