7 Things to Know Before Buying a Garage Door

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A good garage door can last a long time, so investing in a good one is often a good idea. On the other hand, it’s something you won’t buy very often, so it’s better to prepare ahead, figure out your options, and make the best possible choices.

The 7 tips below will help you in this process:

1.The Different Types and Different Costs

Garage doors come in different styles and can use various different materials. There are two main considerations in choosing the right style for you: the character of your house and how the garage door can fit, and your available budget.

Below is an overview of the popular garage door materials and the average costs, to help you make your choice:

  • Steel: one of the greatest advantages of steel garage doors is that they offer the broadest options from insulation types, color finishes, designs, and there are also various price ranges to choose from. Steel is generally the least expensive option (but the premium ones can be the most expensive), and a 8×7 single door will cost around $400 to $2,000. 
  • Wood: wood garage doors are typically made of moisture-resistant woods like cypress or cedar, and since wood is the easiest to shape, you have the most versatility, design-wise. A 8×7 wood garage door can cost $700 to more than $2,000.
  • Aluminum: aluminum is naturally rust-resistant so it’s generally a better choice than steel for humid areas. The average cost for a 8×7 aluminum door is $800 to $1,000
  • Composite material: durable and require less maintenance than wood, composite wood is moisture resistant so it won’t crack or rot. Can be painted or stained, and is insulated. The average cost for a 8×7 composite door is $600 to $1,100.

This can give you a rough estimation to fit your budget so you can narrow down your choices.

2. Get a Salesperson To Come To Your House

Every garage door has different details that can be extremely significant like headroom sizes, opening shape and size, side clearance, and so on. Different design details can also significantly affect price.

So, instead of ordering your garage door over the phone or via online chat/email, it’s better to have a salesperson to come over. They can help take a detailed measurement and can even provide design suggestions.

Reputable garage door makers will gladly provide this service and will give you an ‘in-person’ quote. By covering all the necessary details, you can avoid unnecessary mistakes. 

3. Pay Extra Attention To Insulation

Insulated door can be a significant investment at first, but it can help you save energy in the long-run, making it a better long-term investment. 

If your garage is attached to the house, an insulated garage door can help reduce both noise (which can affect a room above the garage) and utility bills. 

If you do decide to invest in an insulated garage door, however, you might as well decide to invest another 20% extra to get a polyurethane installation, as opposed to the more affordable polystyrene. 

Polyurethane doors can insulate twice better than a polystyrene door, while only costing 10 to 20 percent more. Meaning, you have a better long-term investment with polyurethane.

4. Understanding The Wind Safety Factor

Garage doors, due to its size and common placement, are especially vulnerable to wind damage. So, if you live in a hurricane-prone or windy area, make sure to buy a garage door that is durable enough.

In this case, the garage door must have a heavier gauge tracking, extra bracing, and other necessary hardware to enhance its strength. 

You can ask your garage door manufacturer for a “storm-ready” door. This type will typically come with a built-in passive reinforcement, so you wouldn’t need additional set-up before a hurricane. 

5. Things To Know About Wood Garage Doors

There are many benefits of buying a wooden garage door: they are very versatile, design-wise as you can basically shape it to anything you want. They look very luxurious, especially when they are new, and they are generally very durable and safe.

However, wooden doors will require special care and maintenance, so if you decide to invest on one, be prepared to also devote some time and money. 

First, wood finish would only last a few years before you’ll need a recoating. If you wait too long and the damage already done, you will need to sand off and apply the finish from zero. 

Wood materials are also susceptible to water damage, as they can crack or even rot with prolonged exposure to water. 

This is why composite-wood doors are often the better option, as they are more affordable and are not as vulnerable to humidity. Composite doors look very similar to natural wood from a distance, while you get the extra longevity and ease of maintenance.

6. Don’t Forget Your Opener

If you are installing a new garage door, you might as well consider replacing a new opener. Check out the condition of your opener, and if it shows signs of aging or is already giving annoying noises, you might as well replace it.

Installing the new door together with the new opener can save you on installation fees, or even the overall price as you might be able to negotiate a package deal for both.

7. DIY is Not Always The Best Approach

Yes, the labor costs for installation can cost you up to a few hundred dollars. However, installing the garage door on your own can be very complicated, especially if it’s your first time.

The garage door comes with a lot of different parts, and it can take you at least a whole day just to put them together. Also, the installation process can be dangerous and will require special tools (which can cost you more in the end). 

In most cases, it’s better to just hire a professional to install the door, and if there’s any problem after the installation, you have someone other than you accountable.

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