A garage door is probably one of the hardest working doors in your house. If just one person leaves your home and comes back each day that’s 730 times a year that the door goes up and down. Multiply that by multiple people and multiple trips per day, and we’re looking at thousands upon thousands of times that the door has to work properly. If your garage door is starting to show its age, it may be time to think about replacing it.
Granted, replacing your garage door isn’t the most fun way to spend your home improvement dollars, but a malfunctioning garage door can quickly throw your day into a tailspin if you can’t get your car out of the garage. Being proactive and replacing it before you have a major malfunction will save you from a stressful situation.
When replacing your garage door, you need to consider the type of door you want to purchase. The door’s material will determine the looks, durability, energy efficiency and cost. Here are four of the more popular options for garage doors.
Steel is the most popular option for garage doors, for many reasons. It’s strong, requires almost no care and will last for years. A sensible choice would be a dent-resistant 24-guage steel sections door. One thing to keep in mind is that if you live close to the ocean, rusting is a possibility. Aluminum metal is another possibility. It’s lighter weight than steel and doesn’t rust, but it is more expensive. Steel doors rate well for energy efficiency. If the door is foam insulated, the R-value (measure of thermal resistance) can be as high as 17. Prices: $250-$2,500.
Wood garage doors give you the most style options, in terms of shapes and decorative add-ons. You can buy a wood door in either paint grade or stain grade. Engineered woods and wood-fiber boards are often used to make paint grade doors, while stain-grade doors are made of solid wood. Naturally, wood doors need the most maintenance, requiring periodic painting/sealing/staining. They can be insulated up to R-10. A general contractor will tell you that wood doors are usually the most expensive of your garage door options. Prices: up to $10,000.
Fiberglass or Vinyl
Fiberglass garage doors resemble wood doors, but they aren’t nearly as heavy as wood, and you don’t have to worry about them rotting as you do with wood. They also won’t rust or dent easily like steel doors do. Vinyl doors are a good energy-efficient choice because they have a stiff foam core. Both of these doors are prone to color fading, although they can be painted or stained. Both can also be insulated to R-12. Prices: fiberglass starts at $1,500 and vinyl at $600.
Composite garage doors are made from cellulose fibers that are fused with resins. What you get is a sturdy material that doesn’t crack, warp, rot, rust or dent. These doors can be insulated to R-8. Prices: start at $1,500.
If you’re not sure what type of garage door is right for your home and locale, discuss it with your local home remodeling expert. They should be able to help you pick the right choice that fits your home’s architecture, location and your budget.