Choosing a Garage Door

buying a garage door A new garage door not only offers homeowners a way to protect your vehicles from the elements, it provides a fresh new look that increases a house’s curb appeal. If you’re in the market for a new garage door, you’ll benefit from taking your time and selecting a door that suits your needs.

What You Need to Know

  • You’ll need to know the dimensions of your garage and the height of your current automobiles or those you may need to accommodate in the future.
  • Look for a combination of quality materials and good service when choosing a garage door. Once it’s installed, a garage door isn’t an item you want to return to the store because it’s defective. Professional installation and good on-site service are important factors in choosing a garage door.
  • Account for future maintenance and potential problems. Wood garage doors are inexpensive, but they may require a new coat of paint every couple of years. Thin metal garage doors may dent easily and dark-colored garage doors may bow if subjected to direct sunlight during the hot summer months.
  • When looking for an insulated garage door, look for one with a U-factor or a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) equal to or less than 0.30.

Step 1

Measure the rough opening in your garage for the new door. In addition, measure the distance between the top of the door to the ceiling, the depth of the garage and the interior wall space on either side of the opening. The garage door company will need all of these measurements to help you choose the right door.

Step 2

Consult two or more garage door dealers for quotes on the door and the installation fees. Compare not just the cost but also the quality of the door and the dealer’s warranty.

Step 3

Choose a garage door that complements your home’s architecture while providing adequate protection for your automobiles. You may select flat or recessed panels, built-in windows for light or insulated panels to reduce noise and temperature fluctuations.

Step 4

Select a garage door tall enough to allow high-profile vehicles to enter. A standard, 7-foot-high door may not allow an SUV or a large pickup truck to drive into the garage.

Step 5

Examine a cross-section of an insulated garage door in the dealer’s showroom if possible. Inspect the appearance of the urethane foam and notice whether it is firmly attached to the door’s interior. Crumbly foam, large bubbles or gaps may indicate low-quality insulation.

Step 6

Pay attention to the way the garage door operates. Inexpensive garage doors may feature one or more large springs that contract when the door opens. However, if you want to install a garage door opener, consider a door with a torsion spring system for ease of operation.

Step 7

Once you’ve determined which door best fits your needs, consult a local garage door service company to help install it. Professional installation is recommended, as garage door problems are especially annoying and cumbersome.

Tips & Warnings

  • A panel section with windows is heavier than a plain panel and the weight difference may affect the operation of a garage door opener.
  • Depending on when you make your purchase, an insulated residential garage door installed in an insulated garage may qualify for valuable government tax rebates.
  • Read the door’s warranty before installation. Installing the door yourself may void the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Avoid purchasing a garage door from a door-to-door salesman who doesn’t live in your community.

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