Garage doors are a surprisingly important yet often overlooked feature of most homes. In straightforward terms of visual impact, garage doors can easily consume 20% or more of the total frontage to a house – which means that garage doors can affect your homes value quite significantly.
When considering replacing (or installing) garage doors there are a few points to bear in mind. Firstly the type of material which will likely be one of three main groups.
These days the most common garage doors are made of metal, with about 80% of the US and Canada markets. Metal doors are invariably steel or aluminium, with the trade off that aluminium is lighter but steel is cheaper. In either case they benefit from a coat of suitable outdoor metal paint, but should otherwise require little in the way of maintenance. Note though that metal doors dent and buckle relatively easily, detracting from their appearance and impairing their operation.
Vinyl and fibre-glass doors have the advantage of being both low in weight and sturdy. Again they can be painted (though some are pre-treated to a specific colour), tend to be more robust where dents and scrapes are concerned and will last for as long as the material resists break-down from ultra-violet light (a decade or two).
Garage doors made from wood trace their lineage back to the very first garages and exude an enduring classic quality. Wood is naturally versatile, attractive and simple to maintain; it can also be either stained or painted so as to coordinate with other wooden architectural features like windows and main doors.
As with all wood products, the quality depends on the specific type of wood and whether it is a composite construction (compressed fibres and laminates) or solid wood. Hence the price can also vary quite widely, but as ever, you get what you pay for and most people consider wood garage doors to be the best.
The second point to consider is where to buy your preferred type of garage door. There is little doubt that having your doors installed by professionals should bring you many years of faultless operation, and you would therefore be wise to request references, evidence of existing installations and generally check potential suppliers have been in business a while, have a good reputation and can provide decent warranties and ongoing support should any problems arise.
Garage doors can be purchased from large stores, door and window companies and garage door specialists. Bear in mind though that the long term durability and reliable performance of your garage doors will depend crucially on the quality of the installation process as much as the doors themselves. Specialist installers of garage doors can be relied on to ensure your doors look great and function perfectly, right from the start and for the years ahead.