The garage door is one of the first things visitors see when on a property. Up to 30% of the front façade of many properties is taken up by garage doors. They play an essential role in the overall appeal of a building; they can enhance or impair its curb appeal.
Garage doors not only help secure a property, but they also boost energy-savings and improve the home’s value, explains Compass Management Team. This is why upgrading the garage door is among the top-rated home improvement projects.
For homeowners who want to change their garage doors, this article outlines the most important things they should know.
Garage door material
The first consideration should be the material from which the door is made. In the past, most doors were made of wood, but today many new materials are available.
1. Wood doors
Wood garage doors are still the first choice for many homeowners. Nothing beats the natural beauty and elegance of wood.
With wood, the landlord has access to a lot of unique designs because it is easily customized. The major drawback of wood is that it requires a lot of maintenance; the natural finishing wears off and the doors need to be recoated every few years. Furthermore, they can be expensive.
2. Steel doors
Steel is one of the most popular materials. This is partly because they come in a range of colors, but also because most doors come with an insulating core of foam.
Steel doors are durable and need little maintenance. One of steel’s biggest draws is it can be styled to mimic wood. And, they cost a fraction of the cost of wood doors.
3. Aluminum doors
Aluminum is gaining more use in the manufacture of garage doors. It is lightweight and rust-resistant. Because it does corrode or rot, aluminum serves well in areas with a humid or caustic environment.
Aluminum doors often incorporate semi-transparent glass panels to achieve a classy contemporary look. The main problem with this material is that it dents easily.
4. Composite wood doors
These doors have panels of wood fibers and weather-resistant resins, with an insulating core of polystyrene. They deliver the look and feel of wood without its maintenance troubles.
They are moisture-resistant and do not rot, split, or crack. Homeowners who buy composite wood doors get the coveted wood finish, energy efficiency, and durability.
5. Fiberglass & Vinyl doors
Fiberglass doors have an outer fiberglass skin, an inner core of foam, and steel frames. They are resistant to moisture, and insect attack, and last as long as steel.
Vinyl doors also feature an inner core of foam. They are lightweight and scratchproof. The best thing about vinyl is that it does not dent easily.
Garage door opening mechanism
The second most important feature when buying garage doors is how the door will open. There are three main options for how garage doors open.
1. Tilt-up doors
Tilt doors do not have sections but are made of a single solid piece of material. They won’t bend or roll to open; they are lifted by spring-loaded hinges.
Most tilt-up doors are not automatic and if they are automatic, they consume a lot of energy. Tilt-up doors are somewhat noisy and cars must be some distance from them when they are opening.
Conversely, they are inexpensive and easy to maintain. But their waning popularity means they could depress the resale value of a property.
2. Swinging carriage doors
These have a rustic barnlike appearance and swing outwards to open, like barn doors. Their advantage is that they dispense with the need for overhead tracks and heavy-duty springs. This means owners have less maintenance to worry about.
They also allow more headroom inside the garage. The major problem with carriage doors is that since they swing outwards, the home needs to have a larger driveway. And cars cannot park close to the doors when they are opening.
3. Retractable doors
These rely on track systems or torsion springs that pull the door into the garage. They can be “Up & Over Garage Doors” or “Slide to the Side Garage Doors,” depending on whether the doors are retracted to the side or ceiling of the garage.
Their major issues with them are maintenance and space. The track system and springs need regular maintenance. And depending on the door style, a whole section of the garage wall or the entire ceiling may be taken up by the door’s operation.
On the good side, however, they offer a wider opening for large vehicles and the doors are out of sight when the garage is open. They are also very attractive and highly popular.
Finally, one more thing to take into account before making a final decision is insulation. If the garage is part of the living space, the garage door should be insulated. A garage door that is attached to a home, but is not insulated, will impair the energy conservation capabilities of the rest of the property.