Whether you are building a new house from the ground up or renovating your existing home, buying garage doors is an important component that can elevate your home’s curbside appeal. In addition, you can amplify your home’s exterior by changing your garage door design. After all, this is the largest moving piece of equipment that takes up a huge space outside your home. Thus, finding the best garage doors that offer form, fashion, and functionality is your best bet in ensuring you invest in a quality piece that lasts for the long haul.
However, buying your garage doors is not as simple as it seems. There are many factors to consider apart from design. You must look at materials, insulation, windows, and a whole lot more. Hence, you need to read up on these elements to ensure you make an informed choice that you will be happy with. After all, buying a garage door is not the same as other objects that you can readily replace or exchange on a whim. Here is everything you need to know about buying and finding the best garage doors for your home.
The Reason for Garage Door Replacements
Apart from custom builds, you can readily replace your garage doors to give your home a new look. Most homeowners do so because their existing garage doors look old and decrepit. If your current garage doors look worse for wear, investing in a new one is in order. It will help make your home look more beautiful and inviting.
Apart from that, most real estate agents recommending replacing a garage door for a quick sale. These large appliances can change the look of your home and increase its property value. And most realtors agree that making this change can sell your home faster. After all, apart from aesthetic appeal, functional garage doors proffer protection and convenience for the occupants.
Setting the Right Budget
For most homeowners, the budget plays a huge role in the garage door you buy. After all, the amount of money you have set indicates what kind of door you can buy. Besides, the price of your project will depend on many different factors. These considerations are:
- Number of doors
Remember, the cheapest choice is not always the best as it can affect the durability of the door. Most homeowners combine a variety of factors from visual appeal to insulation to set their budget. With so many options out there, you can certainly find one that will not break the bank.
If money is tight, you can find a single-car garage door with no installation for around $300. Buy the materials and do the rest of the work yourself if you are handy with these types of projects. Though they are cheap, these doors function well and do a good job in moderate climates.
In contrast, you must allot more money if you want to amplify your home’s exterior appeal. You can deck your garage with an attractive modern panel, carriage house, or traditional wood grains. These can range in price from a thousand dollars to $4,000 and more for customized doors. With the more expensive price tag, you can expect:
- Quieter operations
- Energy efficiency
- Quality materials
Choosing the Most Suitable Style
When choosing the style of your garage door, this is commonly based on your home design or personal preference. Noteworthy, some architectural designs pair well with specific garage door designs. For example, a Victorian-style home will complement a carriage-house garage door style. In contrast, a modern house will work best with full-view style contemporary garage doors.
Ultimately, the choice of style is yours to make. There is no right or wrong answer here because each person’s taste is different. The key is going with what you love. For example, if you prefer traditional raised panels, then go right ahead. You can also seek the help of your designer if you want door style suggestions.
Selecting the Door Finish
Since your garage door takes up a major chunk of your home’s exterior, you must pick the best finish that helps to increase your home’s value. Picking the garage door finish is a fun project because it can give your home a unique appeal. You can choose from the following examples:
- Natural wood look
- Show-stopping bold hues
- Customized tints
You have a lot of finishes to choose from so take your time. The climate where you reside can also influence what type of finish you get. Your garage door supplier can give suggestions on what works best in your town.
Factoring in Garage Windows
Windows in your garage door adds a dose of class and character. In addition, these openings add a touch of welcoming. They can provide your home with a unique look since not every home opts to have windows on its garage doors.
Apart from style, garage windows offer functionality. With this, you no longer need to grope in the dark looking for light switches. On top of that, they add a healthy dose of natural light which can make you feel positive.
Remember, garage door windows come in a broad range of styles and designs to complement your home theme. So, whether you live in a modern home or a newly refurbished turn of the century farmhouse, you can certainly find a garage door with lovely windows that suit your tastes.
Furthermore, you can also customize the garage door windows to fit your needs. To illustrate, if you live in a high-wind environment, you can opt for glass that is highly resistant to impact to assure durability.
Figuring Out Insulation Needs
Choosing insulation for your garage doors can have an impact on your energy costs and comfort level. Since your garage door is the largest point of entry and exit to your home, it is the area that is also the most susceptible to heat loss. Thus, choosing insulation can be an opportunity for increasing your comfort and energy efficiency.
If you commonly use your garage as a workshop, investing in insulation can help. Apart from protecting you from the elements, especially during wintertime, insulated garage doors also proffer better climate control for rooms adjacent to or above the garage.
Picking the Best Garage Door Materials
When you select the material for your garage door, it is a combination of your preference, longevity factors, and maintenance considerations. If you are looking for superior durability, steel garage doors are an excellent option that will weather the test of time. However, it is a bit pricey, and it can affect insulation as steel is a conductor.
Meanwhile, if you prefer an all-natural look, nothing will beat a hardwood garage door like one made of oak. Make sure you buy a premium-quality piece that will weather all the elements. After all, your garage door takes a beating with frequent use and constant exposure to the environment. Alternatively, a composite garage door that gives the appearance of wood but without its more sensitive upkeep is also an excellent choice. You can enjoy the look without compromising longevity.
Another option if you want natural light and clean lines is a garage door made of aluminum and glass. With this piece, you can enjoy modernity with stunning views. Moreover, the glass allows you to bring a little bit of the outside within your garage.
When choosing your garage doors material, you can pick from a catalog. Another option is designing a full custom door that will be uniquely yours. Of course, your chosen material will affect the garage door pricing, so it would be best to speak with a garage door consultant for guidance.
Determining the Right Size For the Best Fit
Another important consideration when buying garage doors is the size. Take note of the most common garage door sizes:
- Single car: 8 to 9 feet wide and 7 to 8 feet height
- Two cars: 16 feet wide and 8 to 8 feet height
If you want your garage to house a larger and taller vehicle like an RV or truck, you can customize the height to fit 10 feet or taller. So do not fret if your garage is non-standard in size because you will find a broad range of choices. Besides, you can also customize the door to suit your specific size requirements.
For best results, always measure the actual size of your garage door. Use a tape measure and do it twice or thrice for accuracy. You can then take the figures to your garage door dealer or compare them with an online retailer catalogue. Take note of these details if you measure your existing garage door:
A. Height and Width
The rough opening measures the height and width of the frame opening. Take note of these:
- Do not include the stop molding in your opening measurement.
- The rough opening measurement must equal the same size as the door.
B. Left and Side room
The side room is present in all garages. It measures the distance allotted on each side of the door to pave the way for attaching the vertical track. Take note of the following:
- A minimum of 3 and 3/4” must be available on each side for both extension and torsion spring system
- A minimum of 4 and 1/2” must be available above the opening for the torsion spring attachment
The headroom is the much-needed space that you find above the garage door. It is necessary for the overhead tracks and springs. You must ensure that this space is free from obstructions to open the door with ease. Take note of the following measurements from the top of the door opening to the floor joist or ceiling:
- Minimum 12” for torsion springs
- Minimum 10” for extension springs
If headroom is low, you will find low headroom options to accommodate certain restrictions.
This is the necessary distance from your garage door opening extending to the back wall of the garage. The minimum measurement must equal the height of your garage door plus 18” to provide room for people to move around your vehicle.
Assessing Specialty Features
If you live in regions prone to high winds or hurricanes, municipal building codes may stipulate that your garage doors must be resistant to wind. Remember, the garage door is the biggest entry and exit into your home. If it becomes compromised due to strong winds, it can create internal air pressure. If this builds up, the force can increase the chances of a wall or roof collapse.
Thankfully, you will find various wind-resistant garage doors that are rated to withstand various wind speeds. You must find one that meets the requirements of where you live. Furthermore, you can also opt for storm-ready doors that contain additional reinforcements to withstand super strong winds and typhoons. It proffers additional door locks that are already built-in into the whole system. There is no additional setup and having this door assures your house can sustain high winds.
Selecting Appropriate Track Options
People often overlook the tracks when buying garage doors. However, you must choose an appropriate track that will house and guide the garage rollers. This mechanism ascertains the smooth opening and closing of the doors. You must select a track that:
- Fits the garage
- Allows for proper headroom
- Assures sufficient side room
Before choosing your garage door, you must also research the different track options that will suit your chosen door design. You will find many different track options out there. It comes in variants to suit your garage layout and lifestyle needs. The most common track examples are the standard radius, vertical lift, and high lift.
Finding the Best Garage Door Specialist
If you are a handyman, you can attempt a DIY installation and order the materials online. However, since garage doors are extremely heavy, weighing around 300 pounds, you need a professional team to assist you. The best team has the skills, knowledge, and equipment to get things done fast.
Call our Coastal Garage Door team if you need help with your garage door. We can offer you advice on door designs and help with installation to guarantee minimal disruption in your daily routine. Check out the gallery of our finished work as well as our online catalog.