Garage doors come in a variety of styles and materials to match most any house. The different materials have a wide range of advantages and disadvantages because of their durability, strength and how insulated they keep your home.
Most garages are used for much more than just storing your car. Most become an additional storage space for all manner of sports gear, seasonal decorations and even an overflow pantry. Many times the garage is also home to a work shop. When choosing the materials for your garage doors all these uses need to be taken into account.
Also remember that the garage can typically take up from 1/3 to 2/3’s of the front face of your home so the choices you make in styles and materials will reflect on the value of your home.
Steel is a very popular choice for doors. It comes in different thicknesses that improve its’ durability. The thicker it is the harder to dent – think bouncing basketball. Because they can be embossed with a wood grain they are a very viable alternative to wood.
While they can be painted they can also be vinyl coated with a wide variety of colors that are guaranteed not to peel. Steel also won’t crack, rust, warp or fall apart because of weather.
While the steel itself is not a good insulator the garage doors can be bought with insulated cores. Not only does these help keep out the cold in the winter and heat in the summer, it also insulates sound which means that they will operate quieter.
If there is a downside to steel it would have to be that it can dent. And once damaged can be very difficult to repair.
While wood isn’t as durable as steel it is still a popular choice because of its’ natural looks and cost. Because wood can expand and contract from the heat and cold it is prone to peeling and warping. Because of this weathering a wooden garage door will probably require painting or refinishing every couple of years.
If the garage doors are meant to be painted to match your home, a composite wood product is a good choice. As strong as steel, composite wood is made of recycled wood splinters and resist rotting and splitting far better than normal wood doors.
If you are intending on finishing rather painting your door, using a high grade appearance wood can create a stunning look for your home. These doors can be made with cedar, redwood, oak or mahogany. While these doors are beautiful, remember that they are going to require a lot more maintenance and are among the most expensive type of garage doors.
Aluminum is quite popular because it is lightweight, won’t rust and is inexpensive. However it also has a major downside in that it dents very easily and is a poor insulator.
Fiberglass garage doors usually have a aluminum frame with fiberglass panels. It is lightweight like aluminum and translucent. It is also resistant to salt air corrosion. For this reason fiberglass garage doors are sometimes chosen for areas close to the coast line.
It is not used very much though because it yellows with age and can be broken extremely easy, especially when it is cold. It is also a poor insulator.
So there you have the four basic types of materials for garage doors. Each has its’ own pluses and minuses. They range in price from aluminum as the least expensive to ornamental wood as the costliest.
When choosing the material for your garage door make sure that you consider not only the initial cost but the expected life of the material and the maintenance that will be required to keep it looking good.