Garage doors are indispensable pieces of equipment. They make up a large portion of your home’s façade and are the largest pieces of moving equipment in your home. You not only want your home to look nice, you also want to be proud of it, so you should be looking for a garage door that:
- Boosts the appearance of your home;
- Is efficient, works well and does not require a lot of maintenance;
- Is durable.
But how can you choose a door and have it fitted to your satisfaction when you don’t know anything about garage doors? Don’t worry about it, most people feel a bit lost when confronted with the many options, so we’ve come up with this list of the five most important things you need to think about before buying a new garage door.
What type of garage doors are available?
Garage doors are generally available in three different materials: metal (steel and aluminum), wood and vinyl.
- Metal garage doors are the most popular option (they account for 85% of the market in North America). Steel doors are the lowest cost option and are available in many different colours, whereas people generally choose aluminum doors as they are lightweight. Both steel and aluminum doors are insulated and do not require a lot of maintenance. They are available in a range of styles to suit any tastes, including contemporary, modern, carriage house, classic, ranch, mixed panel, ribbed and flush styles.
- Wood is the traditional garage door material, it’s naturally beautiful and very versatile. Wooden doors can be painted or stained to any colour and finish you like, there are low price wooden doors and very high price wooden doors (the higher the price, the better the quality). Unlike metal doors, wooden garage doors require a significant amount of maintenance.
- Finally, garage doors are also available in materials such as vinyl and fiberglass. Vinyl garage doors require zero maintenance and are scratch‑resistant. Although the initial cost is higher than metal and wooden doors, the long‑term cost is lower. Fiberglass doors are the most expensive doors, they are made to look like wood such as oak or cedar without the maintenance.
Who should I buy my garage door from?
The North American garage door industry is not closely monitored therefore you may come across uninsured companies that do not provide their employees with workers’ compensation. You should look for:
- A professional and courteous company
- A company happy to provide customer testimonials on request
- A company that provides their employees with uniforms and clean vehicles
- A properly insured company
- A company that will provide you with written warranties for both the materials and the labor
More importantly, you need to select a company that trains their technicians. There are more garage door related accidents than lawn mower and snow blower accidents combined each year. Avoid garage door related accidents by choosing a company with well‑trained technicians who are certified in safety procedures.
When should I buy a new garage door?
Of course, you’re not just going to invest in a new garage door for no reason. The most common reason for changing your garage door is because it no longer works properly and poses a potential risk. Garage doors are heavy moving walls that, if not working properly, can pose a significant risk to your family.
It’s not something you hear about every day, but the accident rate for garage doors is higher than you think. Replace your garage door before you contribute to these statistics.
Another common reason people replace their garage door is to improve their curb appeal. If your garage door is old and rusted, it can create a poor impression of your home and your lifestyle.
Perhaps you want to change your door because the panels are starting to deteriorate and you’re growing tired of the maintenance.
Where can I buy a garage door?
There are many garage door retailers out there, from big‑box companies to door and window dealers, to garage door specialists. We strongly advise buying your garage door from a specialist. Garage door installers learn their trade on the job, that’s why they know the best techniques from installing doors in the most challenging circumstances.
Once you’ve selected your company they might send a representative to your home, or they might invite you to their showroom so you can see exactly what you’re investing in. Specialist companies employ their own fitters are technicians and will guarantee their materials and labor. Most also maintain inventories meaning your new garage door can be fitted quickly! They strive to their motto: Quality work, time after time.
Understanding your warranty
If you’ve done business with a garage door specialist, your door will more than likely come with a warranty. As with any purchase, you need to make sure you understand just what this warranty covers. Garage doors have many components: sections, insulation, windows, hardware, garage door opener… Find out if your warranty covers all parts and labor. Tip: read the small print, that’s normally where you can quickly find out what is not covered! Check that everything your representative has mentioned is actually covered in the warranty.
Last but not least…
Investing in a quality product will only get you so far: a garage door’s performance and durability also depends on quality installation.
Contact us at 616-453-0164 if you have any questions about the content of this article. We guarantee our work to ensure your satisfaction. We respond to service calls in just a few hours. If you’re looking for a new garage door, you can also send us a request for a free quote.
Why not try out our interactive online Design Centre to create your own garage door? Simply upload a photograph of your home and see which garage door looks best.