You think you need a new garage door, so all you have to do is go out and pick one, right? Not exactly. There’s a lot more that goes into picking a new garage door than you might think. From the R-value (insulation) to HOA regulations to the capacity of your opener, you need to look at many important factors before making a final decision.
When choosing a garage door, the first thing to think about is the type of door you want and/or need. Most garage doors roll up and down, but swing-up and swing-out options are also popular choices. However, if you have large piles of snow that form around your garage, it’s probably not practical to have outward swinging doors. If your driveway slopes down toward the garage, a swing-up door may not even work. A traditional sectional door takes approximately 12” of overhead space and may not fit in low-ceilinged garages. You will have to match the type of door to your specific building needs.
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Once you’ve chosen a type of door, now you can pick out the style. Sectional garage doors can be traditional solid panels, wood veneer, modern and sleek, windowed or windowless, etc. Swing-out, carriage-style doors can be rustic with antique hardware or more subdued and contemporary. Choose a style that suits the aesthetics of your both your neighborhood and your home.
The color of your garage door depends a lot on your preference and goals. For street-facing garages, a powerful pop of bright color will help your house stand out on an otherwise bland block. Less prominent garages will not make as big an impact, even with a bright color. Popular options are to match the garage door to the front door, shutters, or trim color. Don’t forget to check with your HOA for any restrictions.
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No matter how much you love the idea of something, the practicality of it could be very different than you imagined. When looking for the right garage door, make sure it will work on all levels. If you live in a particularly cold or hot place, a door with no insulation is not going to keep your garage at the right temperature. Wind rating, impact resistance, lift capacity of your opener, size of the garage, and many other factors go into choosing the correct garage door—especially from a practicality standpoint. Check your homeowner’s insurance and consult with a garage door professional to see what is required in your area.
Replacing your garage door is one of the best things you can do for the curb appeal and value of your home. On average, an owner recoups 98% of their investment, but only if you invest in an upscale garage door that increases both aesthetics and efficiency. No other home improvement project showed as high an ROI as replacing a garage door. Make sure the door you choose compliments the look of your home and your neighborhood.
Home security is important to think about when choosing a garage door. While some doors have exterior handles and locks, others are only raiseable by remote or through the interior. If you plan on using your garage as an additional living space or man cave, you may choose to stay away from doors with windows that allow a view of what’s inside. Security can be increased with the use of smart-home cameras and openers.
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Of course, the opening mechanism is just as important as the door itself. After all, a door is just a wall unless it opens. The opener should be matched to the type and style of door you choose. A heavy new door may put too much strain on a worn out opening mechanism. When you choose a new door, it’s a good idea to match the lifting capacity of your existing opener to the weight of the new door.
Choosing a new garage door can be fun or it can be stressful. Make sure to think of each aspect of your choice before purchasing. It’s also a good idea to seek out advice from a local garage door professional. They will be able to answer any questions you may have and help you choose the right door for your needs and wants.