At some point during the process of renovating or living in your dream home, you’ll have to select a garage door. This is a pretty big decision considering that garage doors are one of the first things you see when you pull into a driveway. Your choice can elevate your curbside appeal and make life simpler.
There are a few factors you need to weigh up, including garage door mechanisms and materials. Once you get a handle on the pros and cons, you’ll be able to settle on the best fit for your aesthetic and functional needs.
Garage Door Types
Canopy and Up-and-Over Doors
Canopy garage doors swing out before they move into the garage, which works if you’ve got a roomy driveway. Just be careful when opening a canopy; you don’t want it to hit any person or thing standing in the way.
Wide doors tend to be too heavy for the torsion spring used in this mechanism, so if you’re going big, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Here are more checks in the pro column.
- A lack of moving parts makes for a long-lasting door
- Fast and simple installation
- One solid slab can be safer
Sectional Overhead Doors
Sectional overhead doors are popular in America and Europe because they work with most opening shapes. This kind of garage door comprises at least four panels that are split horizontally. As a result, they’re smooth as butter when they open up and quiet to boot. They seal well, are super secure, and finding the right size shouldn’t be an issue.
Many people go the overhead route because it presents fewer risks by not swinging out like an up-and-over door. Instead, each hinged section moves through a curve before the entire door is parallel to your garage floor. Additional positives include:
- Energy efficient
- Insulated double skinned panels filled with foam
- Generally made of durable galvanized steel
- Optimal use of space
Roller Shutter Doors
Roller shutters are classic. Usually made from horizontal strips of insulated aluminum, these doors wrap around a rotating drum when they open. The mechanism means you don’t need a lot of space, but the thicker the slat, the more room the roll will require. It’s worth remembering the following about roller shutters:
- Don’t swing out
- Free up ceiling space
- Are hard-wearing
Another OG garage mechanism, side-hinged doors have been around for a long time, and nostalgia has made them trendy again. Think of the saloon door in every Western movie that consists of equal-sized halves. The distinct style is beloved, and while the barn door effect is intensified with wood or GRP, steel looks great too and the two doors don’t have to be equal in size.
Side-hinged doors move outwards on a subframe, and they don’t enter the garage at all. Traditionally manual, automation is possible. Depending on the design, security can vary, so you might want to keep bicycles and chest freezers here, rather than an expensive car. Still, when the doors can move past 90°, the drive-through dimensions can fit large cars.
- Best for frequent pedestrian access
- Pre-hung so installation is a cinch
- Easy maintenance
- Treated high-quality timber is strong and weather-resistant
- Glazing and insulation can customize the door to your liking
Garage Door Styles
Slab doors can look sleekly minimalist. Tempered glass marries so well with an aluminum or timber grid pattern, this style has surpassed storage functionality to encompass a range of lifestyle spaces such as kitchens or lounges. The unconventional approach is decidedly modern, light-filled, and airy as the garage feels like a giant window.
With up-and-overs, the slight shelter the overhanging door provides when open allows for some breezy sun-bathing. Double-height spaces, in particular, work well with garage doors that lift and don’t swing out and benefit from the air circulation. You can also use overhead doors as opposed to single panel slabs in nontraditional spaces.
Don’t let privacy concerns put you off. You can choose from different glass types, tints, and opacity treatments for one-way views or no views at all.
So named because they resemble horse carriage houses, carriage doors today can swing open or fold open. While not ultramodern, you can’t go wrong with this stylistic choice. And you can fake the look with single panels.
The raised-panel style is the one most people are familiar with and think of as traditional. It has raised square or rectangular panes, and windows can replace one or more panes to let natural light inside the garage.
Regional and Historical Flair
The U.S. and Europe are awash with aesthetics specific to a particular time and place. These architectural styles go well with modern homes looking to add charm. Whether you opt for Prairie doors or Tudor doors, you’ll be pulling a piece of the past into your 21st-century abode. An overhead door should work for whatever design takes your fancy.
Garage Door Materials
Aluminum doors are perfect for manual mechanisms; they’re thin and not heavy. They’re cost-effective, and you can paint an aluminum door any color your heart desires. They’re also low maintenance and ideal for seaside homes because they’re less likely to rust. On the downside, aluminum dents easily.
Rust-proof and impact-resistant, fiberglass garage doors also do well against inclement weather. They epitomize low maintenance. Fiberglass is lightweight but muffles noise well.
Glass garage doors are tougher than you’d imagine, and you don’t have to expend too much effort to preserve them. But high costs make them pretty exclusive.
Glass Reinforced Polyester (GRP)
GRP is well-liked across the pond for its natural insulation and resistance to warping and shrinkage.
Steel is affordable and promises simple maintenance and longevity. The disadvantage of a steel door is that accidental bumps of your car against the exterior can add up and look subpar over time. On its own, steel is not a good insulator and can rack up your electricity bill, but that’s easily fixed with add-on insulation.
Vinyl doors are fairly immune to dings and cracks, and they don’t cost an arm and a leg. These wood-like doors don’t insulate well, though, so it’s best to use them in regions with pleasant climates.
Modern iterations of wooden doors are gorgeous. A Scandi facade, for example, with its mix of textures is the height of contemporary elegance. Match your garage door to your front door to carry the theme. But remember that high-quality timber is expensive, and upkeep can be costly too. You have to prime and seal the wood for it not to degrade, and the high maintenance can be off-putting to some.
Here, fiberboard sheets cover a wood frame for a wood look without the prohibitive price tag.
Important Factors to Bear in Mind
From paint colors, and door finishes, to going remote or manual, you have choices related to form and function. You can also compare these aspects:
Does your garage door manufacturer offer a guarantee against splitting, rust, and cracks?
If you have little kids, you may want to look for pinch-resistant features. When your garage door closes, pinch-resistant panels and hinges push fingers out of the way and prevent injuries.
Smart Garage Door Controllers
If you’re interested in IoT and high-tech additions, chat to your garage door service provider. The ability to check and close a garage door from anywhere is helpful if safety is an issue in your area.
Smart controllers can integrate with security cameras for real-time feedback. You can remotely find out the temperature in your garage. Or you can share access if you’re out of town and a loved one wants something in storage, for example.
Service Provider Customer Satisfaction
Poor construction and installation can cause problems and unforeseen expenses down the line. The good thing about purchasing just about anything these days is the access you have to honest third-party reviews online. But there are also fake reviews on the internet, so be wary.
Don’t just look at testimonials on the provider’s website. Do solid research. Check social media, make some calls, and schedule viewings. Make sure you garage door installation is great from start to finish.
Choose a Reliable Garage Door Provider
We hope this overview of what’s on the market has inspired and informed you. From the classic raised-panel look with overhead functionality to side-hinged doors for some throwback style, there are lots of options out there.
Speaking to a professional will ease your mind and help further narrow down your options. Contact veteran-owned OGD™ for more information about residential and commercial garage doors and superior service nationwide.