How To Choose The Right Garage Door Material
With a variety of materials available to design and build garage doors, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option. In order to choose the right garage door material consider the specific needs you have. Here is a brief summary of each material and suggestions on how to effectively compare them to meet your building needs.
Steel doors are often the most reasonably priced, demand the least amount of maintenance, and are available in almost any style or texture you can imagine. Steel can also be painted and designed to mimic wood. These reasons alone make steel the most popular choice when selecting garage door material.
So what are the disadvantages of this material? When shopping for a steel garage door, there are two things you must consider. First, steel is inherently a very poor insulator. So if your goal is to reduce noise and conserve energy, an insulated door may be a smarter choice. Second, the steel panels of garage doors vary in thickness. Low- cost doors usually equate to thin panels, 27- or 28-gauge steel. While these doors are inexpensive and suitable for many garages, the steel will not effectively hold up against impact–for example, from basketballs and baseballs. If this type of activity is prevalent in your driveway, this may be something to consider. If that is the case, garage doors are available in thicker steel. Midlevel doors offer 25- or 26-gauge steel (the lower the gauge number, the thicker the steel). Top quality doors use steel that is at least 24 gauge and commercial-grade doors use even thicker steel. Steel garage doors are also available in thicker steel on the outside and thinner on the inside.
Aluminum and steel doors share many similar characteristics. An added feature is that Aluminum also offers an optional faux wood texturing and long-lasting finishes. While Aluminum is actually lighter and less expensive than steel, it is twice as likely to dent and need repair.
The first garage doors relied heavily upon wood to complete their construction. Today, wood still continues to appeal to those seeking traditional styles and materials. Wood doors are available in a variety of styles and can even include windows. While wood is naturally a better insulator than steel, an insulated steel door does ultimately conserve more energy.
On the low-cost side of the spectrum, wood doors are available in painted, flat hardboard panels. On the other side, 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. Regardless of which side of the spectrum you may choose, all wood doors need to be maintained and refinished regularly.
Composite doors are made with recycled wood fibers. They are a type of hybrid between steel and wood doors. These doors offer the strength of steel with the looks and texture of wood. They can be both painted or stained. Composite doors are more effective than solid wood in resisting rot and preventing splitting.
Fiberglass garage doors represent a small segment of the market. It has a greater resistance to salt-water corrosion than any other material, thus making it a logical choice for most coastal locations. However, its poor insulation and tendency to fade from weather exposure excludes it as an option for most other regions.
The panels are encased in aluminum frames and can be painted. These panels provide a greater resistance to dents than thin steel.
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As we just examined, when choosing a material for your garage door there are several aspects that must be considered. It is important to consider each aspect to ensure the best material is being selected to meet your specific needs. We can help guide you through the selection process. If you have questions, contact us.