Garage Door Considerations
New garage doors are available in several styles and materials, ranging from simple units made of aluminum to decorative teak wood models with custom paneling, thick weatherstripping, and heavy gauge stainless steel track.
Garage Door Styles
- Roller Garage Doors: A great option for garages with space issues, roller garage doors are made from horizontal narrow strips of aluminum attached to a frame that rolls around a drum above the door. Highlights include a lightweight design and easy maintenance.
- Sectional Doors: These doors are segmented into panels along the width of the door. Each panel is hinged to the next, allowing the door to open and close with a minimal amount of clearance between it and nearby objects. Tracks and rollers provide smooth operation. When opened, the door is stored overhead.
- Up and Over Garage Doors: Also known as tilt up garage doors, this older design is made from one solid piece (as opposed to numerous sections). When opened, the door swings out and up and is stored overhead. Up and over doors require adequate clearance in front of the garage, so make sure you have a large enough driveway to accommodate one.
- Swing Hung Garage Doors: Swing hung doors are hinged at the top of the garage and swing out and up. Because they’re not stored overhead, these garage doors are a good option when ceiling space limits other installations. As with up and over doors, a driveway that provides adequate clearance is required.
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Garage Door Materials
- Steel is a popular choice for garage doors due to the material’s affordability and durability. Commonly sold in thicknesses between 24 gauge and 28 gauge, steel garage doors can be coated with fiberglass and other materials to provide additional rust and weather protection. Steel’s lightweight construction makes the metal excellent for manual garage doors.
- Aluminum is a lightweight material that doesn’t rust, making it perfect for garage doors. High end aluminum garage doors have rugged frames with laminated aluminum panels. Less expensive options have aluminum frames with fiberglass or polyethylene panels.
- Wood garage doors typically have solid hardwood panels with a surrounding plywood structure. The heavy weight of these doors usually necessitates an automatic opening mechanism.
Note that sectional, up-and-over, and swing hung garage doors are available in wood, steel or aluminum construction. Roll-up doors, due to their design, are only available in aluminum or, in some cases, light-gauge steel.
Other Garage Door Options
Garage Door Openers
Garage doors can open either automatically or manually. Automatic garage doors are largely preferred because they operate via remote, so you never have to leave your car to open or close the door. Manual doors offer better security than automatic doors, however, since they can be locked by hand from the inside. They are also easier to install and repair.
Garage Door Insulation
An insulated garage door makes sense if the garage is being used primarily as a workspace. But it can reduce ventilation and result in vehicles exhaust, paint fumes, and other chemicals entering the attached home, so carefully consider whether this option is right for you.
Garage Door Installation Costs
The following garage door prices are based on an average 16 x 7 foot automatic sectional garage door. Manual doors, if available, will be approximately $200 to $500 cheaper.
- A light-gauge aluminum garage door costs $900 to $1,300 installed, while heavy-duty aluminum doors can cost as much as $5,000.
- Most wood garage doors cost $1,100 to $1,500 installed, but custom doors made from premium wood can cost up to $10,000 installed.
- Steel garage doors cost $1,200 to $1,600 installed. Less expensive models have thinner metals and are single-skinned, while pricier models have thick metals and are often double-skinned and made with premium weatherstripping and insulation.