Garage Door Material Options

Garage Flooring OptionsLike any part of your property, you are provided many options in building your garage.  From attached to detached, a pressing concern among homeowners—second to garage door style—is the material of which your garage door is made.

From Aluminum to Wood, and every option between, each type of garage door material has its benefits to homeowners.  Today, we would like to share with you the common types of garage door material available to homeowners today.

Steel Garage Doors

Steel, the most popular material for garage doors, is reasonably priced, durable, low maintenance and available in just about any style you like.

Related: Garage Door Panel Design

The best steel garage doors are made of two layers of galvanized steel, the surface of which is either primed and painted with a tough topcoat finish or clad with a composite material. Steel doors can be painted to match your home and are available with or without insulation. The downside of steel doors is that they can be dented and are subject to corrosion, especially in coastal areas.

Pros: Reasonably priced, durable, low maintenance, paintable, allows design options

Cons: Lower priced varieties easily dented, poor insulation

Aluminum Garage Doors

Aluminum doors share many of the characteristics of steel, with optional faux wood texturing and long-lasting finishes. Aluminum is lighter and less expensive than steel, but it is more likely to dent.

Pros: Cheaper than steel, lighter than steel, corrosion free, many design options, easy to install, less pressure on garage opener spring, recyclable

Cons: Easily dented

Fiberglass Garage Doors

Fiberglass garage doors represent a small segment of the market, but do have benefits for homeowners. They do not rust but can break upon impact.

Related: Choosing the Right Garage Type

Fiberglass panels, which are encased in aluminum frames, can be painted and offer greater resistance to dents than thin steel.

Pros: Dent resistant, crack resistance, lightweight, will not shrink or expand due to changes in temperature or moisture, translucency offers increased light into garage, many design options

Cons: Can break upon impact, poor insulator, can become brittle in extremely cold conditions

Vinyl Garage Doors

Promoted as being ‘kid-proof’, vinyl doors are difficult to dent or break. Typically built upon steel frames, these too are filled with polyurethane insulation. Vinyl doors look similar to fiberglass doors but are available in fewer colors. They are very durable and require little maintenance aside from an occasional hosing.

Pros: Rust proof, more noise resistant than other options, dent proof, crack proof, easy to maintain

Cons: More costly than steel, become brittle in cold climates, can fade or become chalky from long periods of direct exposure to sunlight, fewer design options or manufacturer options, painting a vinyl door can violate warranty

Wood Garage Doors

The first garage doors were made with wood, and wood continues to appeal to those seeking traditional styles and materials. Wood doors are offered in a variety of styles, which can include windows.

The lowest-cost option is painted wood with flat hardboard panels. Stain-grade wood doors cost more, but offer the warmth of natural wood that can make a big difference in the curb appeal of a house.

Related: Garage Door Replacement

Wood is a better insulator than steel, but insulated steel doors provide better energy conservation. Wood doors need to be maintained and refinished regularly.

Pros: The option that other doors imitate, ultimate in style and design, many custom options available,

Cons: High maintenance (sanding, painting), potential to rot, generally more costly, short warranties, not meant for exposure to direct sunlight, heavier

Wood Composite

Composite doors are made with recycled wood fibers. They offer the strength of steel with the looks and texture of wood, and they can be painted or stained. Composite doors are superior to solid wood in resisting rot and splitting.

Pros: provide the strength of steel and the look of wood, dent resistant, rot resistant, design options, paint, low maintenance, environmentally friendly,

Special thanks to Bob Villa and About Garages for their garage door material advice.  Blue Sky Builders has been helping homeowners throughout the Chicagoland area to make the smart garage decision.  Learn more about what we can do for your next home project and read these related materials to learn more about the garage building process.

Contact Blue Sky Builders today for an estimate on your new garage!

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