Modern garage doors come in an endless variety of styles, materials and prices. Features like the strength of the door, its durability, maintenance requirements and its insulation and air-tightness may be important.
You may not need an energy-efficient and expensive garage door.
If the garage isn't attached to your living area, and you don't need a comfortable garage, consider a simple steel door. Steel doors are very strong, durable and relatively inexpensive.
Be aware of the possible pitfalls: insulated garage doors may fall short of expectations; the door seals and a poor door installation can render insulated doors very ineffective.
Low-priced wood garage doors warp and break easily, while premium wood garage doors are expensive and high-maintenance.
Steel garage doors are a better overall choice (just choose an insulated one, if you also want some thermal comfort). Though you may also consider fiberglass, aluminum or vinyl garage doors, they haven’t any significant advantage over steel garage doors.
If you intend to use your garage for ends other than car parking and storage, consider a two- or three-layer steel garage door with a polyurethane core.
These doors offer strength, relatively low prices, durability, low-maintenance, multiple designs and colors - and also some degree of energy-performance.
Unfortunately, new garage doors aren't as efficient as advertised (their insulation value if far below the R-values claimed by door makers) and if they are leaky - as it is often the case - they will not provide a significant degree of comfort.
If you only use your garage for storage and car parking, you may only need to insulate the wall(s) between the garage and your living space...
Buy a wind-reinforced garage door if you live in a hurricane-prone area. This type of doors look like common garage doors but are designed to withstand high-winds. In the USA and Canada prefer doors meeting ANSI/DASMA standards.
New garage doors have finger safety systems, electronic-eyes and anti-drop safety mechanisms, making them much safer.
New steel garage doors (and fiberglass and other types of doors) are largely free-maintenance doors. They do not need to be refinished or repainted regularly like wood garage doors.
When selecting a garage door, the brand and the manufacturer matter – unless you just want a very basic and cheap garage door.
Strength, durability, maintenance, ease of use or energy efficiency are important, and top manufacturers are the best positioned to offer them…
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