How to Choose the Right Garage Door Replacement for Your Home

Garage doors are hard to miss. You can’t help but see them every time you leave and come home. There’s no denying that a garage door has a significant impact on the way your home looks.

If you want to spruce up your home’s exterior and increase curb appeal, a new garage door could be the perfect solution. Garage doors aren’t just about adding to your home’s beauty, though, they also serve functional purposes, too.

That’s why choosing a garage door is no simple task. Many factors go into picking the perfect garage door. It needs to be practical and stylish. It also needs to be durable and match your home’s style.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to choose the perfect garage door for your home.

Garage Door Replacement Value

A recent study by The Cost and Value Report in conjunction with the National Association of Realtors, verified that residential garage door replacement has the best overall return of investment for residential homes. Buying a new garage door topped the list, and for good reason.

With a new garage door, it’s easy to see how home value can increase by choosing a product that complements your property. Take the time to stand back on the street and study your current garage door. Does it accent and amplify first impressions of your property? Or does it make a bit of a sad, depressing statement?

Fortunately, garage doors can be replaced, and improvements can always be made. In fact, purchasing a new garage door can enhance your personal pride and well being, in addition to the exterior improvements that it provides to your residence. A new garage door is a worthwhile investment.

How Do You Use Your Garage?

One of the best tips for buying a new garage door is to consider the primary uses of your garage. Do you only use your garage to park your car? Or do you use the space for a variety of other purposes, like storage or a game room?

A common desire for a home’s garage space is that it will provide options for any preferred use. Sure, a car of two may be parked inside, and out of the weather. However, many families choose to also park recreational toys and vehicles in their garages like bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, even water sports equipment like jet skis and kayaks. In addition, they can function as a large storage space, a home gym, or a spot for your beer fridge. They can be a spot where seasonal clothing hangs out or a storage space for Christmas decorations. The possibilities are virtually endless.

You need to take your lifestyle factors into account when choosing a garage door. Any tips on buying a new garage door need to include asking yourself how you actually use your garage. Are safety and security a serious issue? In that case, you need a garage door that’s strong and offers privacy.

If you use your garage as a workshop, then natural light is a big concern. You’ll want a door with plenty of glass to keep your workspace bright and welcoming. If you need temperature control to protect items from freezing, an insulated garage door is a must. The same goes for soundproofing; your neighbors might not appreciate the kid on the drums or the sound of your power tools at work.

Whether you use your garage in winter should impact your decision. Heated garages are popular in cold climates. Not only can a well-insulated garage door keep the cold out, but it can also help to prevent expensive heat loss. The same considerations apply to hot climates in which summer’s excessive heat needs to be kept out so the garage space can be cooled.

The Best Garage Door Styles for Your Home

A garage door with the right style does wonders for a home’s facade. There are a few major style categories you should know so you can identify and communicate the look you’re going for.

Traditional

Classic style that usually has raised panels, can be simple or decorated

Carriage House

Distinctive historical style with the look of old-fashioned swing or sliding door, typically decorated with wrought-iron hardware and ornamental patterns and often includes two tone paint designs and windows

Contemporary

Modern style focused on clean lines, appearances range from flash solid doors to those with metal and glass construction

Think about your home’s architecture and how to carry it’s style to the garage. Complementary doors consider the size and shapes of windows, the materials and colors used on the exterior, and other design details that give the house its personality. The days of basic garage doors have passed, and there is a huge variety available to ensure your home puts its best face forward with a coherent frontage.

Consider the Material Options

To make an informed decision when buying a new garage door, what materials should you consider? The materials you choose for your garage door can have a significant impact on its durability, appearance and maintenance requirements.

One popular option is steel, which is known for its strength and resistance to dents and warping

Another option is wood, which offers a classic and timeless look, but requires regular maintenance to prevent rotting and warping.

If you’re looking for a low maintenance option, consider choosing an aluminum or fiberglass garage door. These materials are lightweight, resistant to rust, and require minimal upkeep.

Lastly, vinyl is a durable and energy efficient material that can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Why Your Garage Door Color Matters

A new garage door enhances the beauty of your garage and entire house exterior. The right finish increases home value for years to come, while a poor color choice can have an adverse effect. Keep these tips in mind to select the ideal finish.

Avoid Front-Door Competition

Think of your garage doors as backup dancers to the main star of the show, your front door. Match your garage door to the house exterior or window trim to complement, and not outshine, your entry door. Coordinate don’t compete.

Bypass Bold Color

A vivid hue on a front-door can perk up a tired entry, but it’s best to avoid bold color on a garage door. Because garage doors take up as much as one-third of a front facade, intense colors can overwhelm.

Choose a Timeless Color

Yearly color trends come and go, but classic tones pass the test of time. Clean and timeless, white is the most popular color. Consider neutrals like beige, gray, or black, which offer a change from standard white. For exterior with natural materials like stone, warm brown and wood stain are inviting door finishes.

Does My Garage Door Need Windows?

Windows are another choice you need to make. They aren’t required, but windows can add extra character, intrigue and curb appeal to any garage door. They also provide your garage with natural light.

There are all kinds of different window designs to fit with nearly any garage door style. You can have as many as you want in almost any configuration you can imagine. There are also different styles of glass available.

There’s insulated glass, clear glass, textured glass, and tinted glass. Ultimately, garage windows are a matter of style and personal preference.

Insulation and R-Value Options with Garage Doors

When garage door insulation is mentioned, you probably imagine cold temperature locations where your garage is heated half the year. Of course, in that situation you want your garage door to be insulated. The colder the climate, the better the insulation, right? That’s not always the case.

In hot, humid spots you also want your garage door to be well insulated. Insulation doesn’t only stop the heat from barreling out. Well-insulated doors also keep cool air inside. That’s important for energy efficiency, especially when air conditioning is constantly on.

There are two common types of insulation applied in garage door manufacturing. One is rigid polystyrene or Styrofoam. It’s inexpensive and it’s usually glued on the surface after being cut to size from sheets. The second insulation type is polyurethane foam. It’s a much better insulation, as it’s injected in panel spaces and allowed to expand, filling up all gaps.

You get what you pay for with garage door insulation. Polyurethane foam is costlier, but it has better insulating values than rigid polystyrene. This gives a foam-filled garage door superior heat loss and gain properties. In the insulation business, this is measured as an R-value. R-value is the measure of thermal resistance to heat flow. R or resistance, is a rating on the insulation’s thickness and chemical properties, such as being made of rigid polyurethane. The higher the R-value the better the material is insulated.

You’ll benefit significantly from an insulated garage door if:

  • The garage is attached to your home
  • You live in a three or four season climate
  • Winters are frigid, or summers are scorching
  • You use the garage as a workshop, laundry, or other functional space
  • A level of furnished space, like a guest room, exists above the garage

Choose the Right Opener

Selecting the proper opener is essential when purchasing a new garage door. The opener is responsible for the smooth and efficient operation of your garage door, so it’s crucial to choose one that meets your needs.

When selecting your garage door opener there are three main types of garage openers to choose from, and they are:

Chain Drive Openers

Chain drives are the most common type of garage door opener. They operate using a chain that connects the trolley to a motor, which pulls the door open or closed. Chain drive openers are strong and reliable, though often noisy. They are ideal for detached garages. Chain drive openers are budget friendly.

Belt Drive Openers

Belt drive openers operate similarly to a chain drive opener, but use a rubber belt instead. For this reason, operations are quieter.

WiFi powered openers

Also known as smart openers, these are relatively new to the garage door scene, but home owners enjoy their benefits. Some benefits of a WiFi enabled garage door opener include:

  • The ability to open and close your garage door while away from home
  • Push notifications on your all phone alerting you anytime the door is opened (some smart openers will even show you the person entering the garage)

Automatic openers offer several benefits:

  • Safety and Accessibility – Unlike manual doors, automatic openers help people safely open doors regardless of their range of motion, preventing potential injury
  • Convenience – You can open your garage door without leaving your vehicle during inclement weather conditions
  • Lighting – Most openers include automatic lights when the door is in use, preventing stumbles in an otherwise dark garage

Hire a Professional for Installation and Maintenance

Consider hiring a professional for the installation and maintenance of your new garage door to ensure a smooth and reliable experience.

While it may be tempting to try and install the door yourself, it’s important to remember that garage doors are heavy and complete systems require specialized knowledge and tools. A professional installer will have the expertise to handle the installation process safely and efficiently, ensuring that the door operates correctly and securely.

They’ll also be able to provide regular maintenance and inspection services to keep your garage door in optimal condition. By hiring a professional you can avoid safety hazards and costly repairs in the future.

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