With the high and rapid development of the vehicle industry, cars have not only become an indispensable part of our lives but also of residential plans. Almost all family houses built in the last half-century have garage doors and these are usually the first architectural element your eyes are drawn to. It is actually common to see it being used as a primary entrance.
The two main factors should be the main focus when choosing a garage door: design and durability. A good-looking door will undoubtedly increase your home value (extremely important if you are looking to resell or rent it) and is sure to turn some heads. Durability is also of interest, as you will want your investment to last as long as possible.
I. The most Popular Garage Door Designs
Now that we’ve established the importance of garage doors, let us take a look at some of the most popular designs out there:
1. Sectional garage doors
Popular because of their ‘low-profile’ characteristics, meaning that they do not occupy much space when folded, these garage doors are comprised of panel sections connected with hinges. Opening or closing the door will trigger sets of wheels on the edge of each panel to roll inside a vertical track on each side of the door opening. Because the hinges between panels can bend, the door can be moved parallel to the ceiling (in open position) or completely vertical when closed.
Both insulated and non-insulated options are available and they are usually made from steel.
2. Roll-up garage doors
A good option for when ceiling space is unavailable for various reasons are is simply not big enough. This design is made of steel sections that can roll around a drum above a door opening. This type of garage doors are usually used for commercial purposes (re-stocking, transportation, etc.) and are made to resist intensive use. High-performance variants can be made to prevent freezing, rust or corrosion.
3. Slide to side garage doors
The operating mechanism is simply explained by the name, this type of garage door bends to one side of the wall and sits parallel to it. They are equipped with lower trolleys that allow movement and are comprised of panels sufficiently flexible to mold on the walls.
As one of the first garage doors design, it is quite old as is generally considered an alternative to garages that do not have enough ceiling space.
4. Side-hinged garage doors
A classic design, they can swing open from hinged frames on either side of the opening. Similar to barn doors, they are usually made of wood but in commercially available types, steel is preferred.
A good option when your garage has obstructions or limited room space. You can find them in pre-hung frames (made of steel usually), but they can also fit into existing openings. Automation is possible, with additional hardware.
5. Tilt-up canopy garage doors
Those garage doors are made of one solid piece attached to a pivoting hinge mechanism that makes tilting into the garage possible. The tilt-up canopy garage door sits parallel to the ceiling, partly in the garage interior and partly outside.
6. Tilt-up retractable garage doors
Similar to the canopy design, this one also lifts up and retracts into the garage. The difference is that this design is suspended independently from the frame so it does not sit outside the garage.
The tilt-up retractable garage door requires more space, is more difficult to operate, and are usually more expensive.
These were some of the popular designs, did any of them catch your interest? Inquire about it to our agents if so.
II. Best Material for Garage Door
Next, let us look at some of the materials used in garage doors, to help you select the best garage door for your home.
The classic choice, wood was the first material used for garage doors and has now become the go-to for most people seeking traditional style designs. It comes in many variants so you can be sure you can find one that fits your needs. Those options include cedar, redwood, fir, mahogany and meranti.
Wood is a very good insulator, but keep in mind that it needs to be maintained and refinished regularly. In those types of doors, wood is built in layers mainly to prevent warping.
Besides many customization options, wood is a renewable material, therefore environment-friendly, an important characteristic that has received a lot of attention lately. You can be sure that it will never go out of style and that it will last a long time if properly maintained, even more so since you don’t need to worry about cracks or dents due to its heavy nature.
2. Faux Wood
Are you considering wood for your garage door but it is a bit too expensive for your budget? You may be interested in faux wood garage doors, which provide a similar natural, warm and friendly look. As the name implies, those doors aren’t actually made of wood, but from different materials that may include fiberglass, composite, or steel. What gives them the similar look to wood is the wood grain stains on top.
You can make your garage door stand out just by applying a faux wood finish, which is sure to increase curb appeal and the value of your home overall. By adding faux hardware, you can achieve an even more authentic look; this includes door handles, hinges, and latches.
Maintenance is also easier on these types of doors, usually only an annually fresh coat of stain or paint is needed to keep faux wood garage doors in top shape. We should mention that this process is also rather fast and overall more convenient than caring for a real wood garage door.
3. Composite Wood
This type of garage doors are usually comprised of a wood frame covered with sheets of fiberboard and a polystyrene core. Higher quality variants will provide higher density fiberboard that can support realistic details, like overlays and grooves to make your composite wood garage door look even more like real wood. As with the previous category, this model seeks to provide the natural appeal of wood while being less expensive than actual wood.
While durable and requiring little maintenance, composite wood garage doors are highly dependent on the quality of the fiberboard sheets. If their quality is low, the door may be susceptible to cracks or dents.
Undoubtedly one of the most exciting developments in garage doors has to be the glass garage doors. They are visually stunning and add sleekness and cleanliness to your house your guests are certain to never forget. This is the most evident and the most appreciated advantage: curb appeal. Opting for this kind of garage door is sure to increase the overall value of your home and turn some heads in the process.
Glass garage doors are a perfect option for those who may have converted their garage doors into home space or a gym, bringing in natural light and making space feel more welcoming and bright. The same applies if you have not done any functional modifications to your garage.
These types of doors are usually equipped with tempered glass so you do not need to worry about security.
Little maintenance is another advantage of this type of door, no painting or refinishing is needed so only a simple glass cleaner product and some cloth is enough to keep them looking good.
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Steel garage doors can be found in most home styles (traditional, contemporary, and even rustic) and are usually combined with small windows arrange across the top or downside. Many color options are available, including wood tones.
These doors are resistant to denting, cracking, and warping due to the material properties of steel. Steel is extremely strong and durable and offers great protection against any sort of security concern (be it weather or thieves). Many modern variants are also equipped with a keypad for extra security.
Steel garage doors provide great insulation and energy efficiency, so they are perfect if you plan on storing any objects or plants that require a constant temperature in the garage.
Comparing to other materials, these doors are rather budget-friendly, but this may not be the case for highly-customized models.
A popular option for all kinds of doors and windows frames, aluminum provides a balance between strength, durability, mass, and design. Aluminum garage doors are very easy to install due to their reduced weight. This also helps with the door’s mechanisms, since they do not have to be subjected to high stress every time the door is opened or closed.
Garage doors made of aluminum are resistant to rust and corrosion due to the material’s natural properties. Due to said properties, aluminum doors are also easy to emboss and design, providing a myriad of customization options while also being easy to recycle.
This type of door is usually found in contemporary style homes and may be seen paired together with small glass panels.
An overall more affordable option (than steel) with a multitude of paint colors and finishes available. Keep in mind, however, that thin aluminum panels are more likely to bent than other materials.
Certainly not a very popular option, fiberglass is uniquely suited for specific environments and preferences. It is very light, minimizing the stress on door mechanisms and it is easy to manually lift which is beneficial for installation. In this regard, a steel core is usually inserted in fiberglass garage doors to add more strength and durability.
Fiberglass is rather affordable (in the price range of aluminum) and it has an interesting mix of properties. It provides better insulation than aluminum due to sandwiched layers of fiberglass shells and high-quality ones can even be better insulators than wood. A good energy-efficient option, overall.
Fiberglass garage doors require very low maintenance, so you will not need to invest much time or money in their upkeep. They are also a very good choice for those living in humid environments as fiberglass is corrosion-resistant and won’t contract or expand due to temperature changes. Moisture will also have no effect on it, so no waring or rotting is to be expected from this material.
Many colors and designs are available to choose from, and you can even add for faux-wood finish to create that natural feel wood provides.
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Vinyl is actually a popular material for garage doors, let us see why.
Vinyl garage doors are very sturdy and highly resistant to damage. If, however, scratches occur, they are less likely to be noticed than other materials.
A highly versatile option, this type of door is a good choice for homes near the sea. They do not rust, warp or rot over time due to humid conditions, so salty air and wind are not a source of damage for them. Overall, a highly durable option.
In terms of maintenance, little is required for vinyl garage doors. Usually, some common cleaning products, a bit of water and a piece of cloth are enough to keep them looking good. Generally, they are not very good insulators, but more expensive models can come with a system that can rival even wood in this area.
Vinyl garage doors have a sleek look and many customization options are available, like panel designs and even small windows integration. Not many colors are available for this type of door though, they usually come in white or gray.
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As we have seen, many options are available when browsing for a garage door. It is up to you to decide which one is best for you based on your situation, preferences, and budget. You may have noticed that choices that balance durability and costs exist, so it may all come down to your preferences. Keep in mind that the climate you live in can affect your garage doors and it is good practice to keep this into account if you want your door to last long.
You also always have to option of talking to our agents and ask for advice regarding your choice of a garage door. We are always happy to help, so do not hesitate to contact us.
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