To buy a garage door like an expert, here are a few ideas that will help you find the right garage door for your home.
Most people look into cost, appearance and functionality when they select a door for their home. However, the safety rating, warranty, adaptability and value need to be a part of the conversation. The appearance of the garage door should not only match the color and architecture of the home, it needs to also be coordinated with the style and color of the roof.
Here are some considerations for the homeowners.
With so many options, the choices can be overwhelming. You don’t have to buy a garage door that matches your home or trim. There are doors with squares, windows, patterns and options. Your garage door can be an accent to your home’s design.
Although most manufacturers have two or three colors, others have dozens of factory baked-on colors. The main focus would be what will look best with your home to bring out the features you think are important.
Material and Design
Embossed, ribbed and flush designs are available in steel doors. Garage doors can also come in steel, copper, glass, and aluminum. Each metal comes with multiple prices and options. When you are in the showroom, ask the salesperson to show you the doors in the same price range to help you compare all the choice.
Steel doors are industry favorites. Hi-tensile steel is best in at least 25-guage for protection from denting. Lower quality steel doors may be fine, if your door does not take much punishment. Ensure that you inquire about the gauge of steel used and whether the paint is sprayed on or baked on. Of course customized doors are also available, but they do come at a premium price.
Windows can bring natural light into your garage. A wide variety of windows can be selected to accent your door.
While some people may think that insulation is optional in a garage door, they often find that having a more constant temperature in the garage increases the time they are able to use them for hobbies and activities.
Lightweight polystyrene foam can be added to most doors. An insulated door is generally quieter and can have a more attractive interior.
One doesn’t think of springs when comparing different garage doors. The spring is an under-appreciated part of a garage door. Springs are often the first part of the garage door to need service or replacement.
On the low-end springs operate between 5,000 to 10,000 cycles. Higher end doors have springs that will last up to 30,000 cycles or more.
Replacement costs can be between $150 and $250. Checking the warranty is the way to evaluate the quality of the spring. A one year warranty is the tip-off that this is a lower end spring.
The hardware on a garage door should last as long as your garage door. Take a look at all the hardware to make sure they have the look of quality. Are they coated to resist rust and wear? One of the best coatings is G-60 zinc. Poor hardware could be your clue that the door isn’t the quality that you want.
Industry standards ensure that your door will resist most wind storms. However, if you live in a high wind area, you will need to be sure that you buy a higher end door to make sure they have good struts and solid construction.
The warranty is often the first indication of a good product. One year and limited use warranties are difficult to assess, if your door fails. A company with a lifetime warranty usually has excellent customer service and will help you resolve your quality issue.
It is crucial that you look for a garage door warranty that covers moving parts for at least 15-20 years, and that covers torsion springs for at least 5-10 years or more.
Every year there are thousands of injuries associated with garage door use according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. There were around 17,000 incidents attributed to garage doors, many involving children.
A finger caught in a section joint can be broken or severed. Some manufacturers have stepped up and narrowed the size of the gap in the joint or blocking access. Other manufacturers only use these measures in their higher priced models. Take a look at the joints when choosing your door.
The track hardware and the cable used to move the door can have gaping holes or points where a child can stick their finger through. A moment of play could cause serious injury. If you have young children, safety may be the overriding factor when choosing a garage door.
Garage Door Opener
Finally, the actual mechanism that opens your door needs to be considered. They usually are driven by a belt or chain drive with a ½ or 1/3 horsepower drive. Power, noise level, and the warranties are the most important areas to consider when choosing the opener.
Ask for a demonstration of the opener opening and closing and actual garage door before buying. Also, look for at least a 10-20 year warranty that covers all parts.
Once you have your door selected and installed. There are some DIY projects that can help you get your money’s worth. Check out this video for your first project.