If you are in the market for a new garage door, one of the most important things to consider is the building material. The material you choose will not only depend upon the style/look of your home, but on the cost of the product and the maintenance required to take care of the door so that it lasts. Luckily, there are various garage door materials and styles to choose from.
Wooden Garage Doors
Wood garage doors are the most expensive and hardest to maintain. Wooden garage doors can be completely customized. The most common types of wood used for garage doors are alder, fir, cedar, and redwood.
Wood will need to be periodically refinished, repainted, and sealed. This keeps it looking its best and to keep it weatherproof. Wood can also rot, mold, or split. It is also susceptible to damage from termites and other insects. Wood is not the best insulator. It is also a very heavy material and can put a lot of strain on springs, tracks, and other mechanisms.
Wood Composite Garage Doors
Wood composite has the look of real wood without all the maintenance. The material is made from recycled wood and plastic fibers. It is lighter, less expensive, and last longer than real wood. It is also easier to maintain. Wood composite will not rot, mold, or split. It is also impervious to termites and other insects. Garage doors made from wood composite have the strength of a steel door. They can also be painted, stained, and insulated.
Steel Garage Doors
These doors are made from two layers of galvanized steel with a layer of insulation in-between. Steel is lower maintenance than some other garage door materials and it is easy to clean. It is also impervious to weather, temperature fluctuations, and termites.
Steel doors are prone to dents. The material can also rust if it is not properly maintained. To prevent it from rusting, the steel must be periodically painted. Also, cover up any scratches to the paint.
Steel doors with fiberglass overlays are available. The fiberglass overlay will help resist dents and rusting.
Aluminum Garage Doors
Garage doors made from aluminum are perfect for double bays because the material is lightweight and will not put as much of a strain on springs, tracks, and other mechanisms. Aluminum is resistant to rust and corrosion, although it can be dented. It is also impervious to termites and other insects. Because it is lightweight and malleable, aluminum doors can be embossed with designs and textures. They are also available in a variety of colors.
This type of garage door is considered eco-friendly because the aluminum can be recycled.
Fiberglass Garage Doors
Like aluminum, fiberglass garage doors are lightweight. They are also less expensive than most of the other garage door materials. The fiberglass can be customized and can be designed to mimic other material such as wood. Fiberglass is noncorrosive, but it can break/become brittle in colder environments. The material can also become discolored after prolonged exposure to the sun.
Vinyl Garage Doors
Vinyl is like fiberglass but much more durable. The material is extremely hard to dent or to break. It is also easy to clean and the maintenance is minimal. Vinyl garage doors are available in a variety of color and design options. The material is weather resistant and usually comes with internal insulation.
Translucent Garage Doors
Like glass, translucent garage doors are made from aluminum or fiberglass panels that are set into an aluminum frame. The doors are lightweight, and the numerous transparent panels allows in natural light. These doors look best on homes that have modern or contemporary styles.
Glass Garage Doors
Glass garage doors are made up of glass panels that are set into a heavy-duty aluminum frame. The glass can be clear or semi-transparent. It can also be tinted, etched, or have a mirrored exterior. The glass panels allow in more natural light than any other type of garage door material. Glass is easy to clean, though it can shatter with heavy impact. The aluminum will not need to be painted or stained.
Glass garage doors are very heavy and will put additional strain on springs, tracks, and other mechanisms. Glass garage doors are also expensive and are not insulated.
If you are interested in replacing your garage door—or building an attached or detached garage— give us a call at Shakespeare Home Improvement Co. for a free estimate. To see examples of the garages we’ve built in the past, click here.