The Perfect Garage Door for You
Updated: Oct 31
Whether it’s because of your budget or basic accessibility, choosing the “best” garage door for your needs can be quite a hassle, especially when the available options prove to be considerably overwhelming.
Not to worry though! We will guide and help you with the first necessary step – asking the right questions! At the end of the day, the so-called best or perfect choice boils down to a matter of priority or convenience.
Insulation or Pass?
To get the more obvious part out of the way – Insulation is optimal if you live in a climate where rain and snow are common. The intimidating part is when the average joe is introduced to the term “R-Value”.
The short version is that this value type refers to the level of insulation, with higher values naturally denoting better insulation. However, it can get a bit more complicated than that. Manufacturers will take advantage of our primal “bigger number means better” bias, even though an R-32 garage door is not twice as effective as an R-16 one, contrary to popular belief.
The improvement is only incremental – by around 3 percent, so make sure you don’t fall for this common customer trap. Still, if you want the best of the best, even if it’s only a small increase in efficiency, make sure to go for R-20 to R-32 value doors.
Style and Appearance
Sometimes you would like to spruce up the small things in your life, totally understandable! More often than not, garage door colors are limited to basic white, brown, or grayish palettes. However, services like Clopay and Amarr offer some more interesting options, especially if you like that retro wooden texture look.
As for the panel design – choices can vary between the classic four-panel look to the southern-themed Sonoma paneling, or perhaps even some unusual custom engravings. What looks good depends mostly on the size of the garage door itself, along with the surrounding exterior walls and indents of the building.
Windows, or lack thereof, are also a part of the decision-making process. You might want to ditch them or opt for colored panes if you’re more conscious of your privacy. In addition, windows may come in the standard rectangular or square variety, but for those looking for a snazzy option – sunburst and multipaned patterns exist!
Sadly, the choice will come down to
whether it’s available in the material that’d be most appropriate for your living space – laminated glass will be better for thermal insulation, unlike the admittedly sturdy acrylic.
Materials and Budget
And now comes one of the two defining factors. If you’re a budget-oriented person or you just lack the necessary funds for a huge garage door project, then it ultimately falls on costs versus returns. Every single type of material has its pluses and minuses – with some more than others.
Steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and glass offer poor insulation. Yet, they also have the upside of being low maintenance, with glass and aluminum being the more stylish and modern choices of the four. Aluminum, steel, and vinyl will be your go-to cheaper choices, while wood and glass will weigh a lot more on your wallet.
You might also have your reservations about which brand to choose. Clopay focuses its brand identity on customization, so it won’t be your first choice when thinking “budget-friendly”. Amarr, on the other hand, offers eco-friendly, reasonably priced options due to its recycling program. Other brands may have customer-friendly repair and maintenance services based on long-term plans and deals, with the caveat being that they’re more likely to work with a limited number of contractors and installers.
Opening and Closing…With Finesse!
The final component of choosing a garage door goes back to its main, central function – opening and closing. After all, what use is a mechanism if it lets you down from the get-go, which is why you owe it to yourself to carefully consider which sliding method fits your necessities, circumstance, or just pure stylistic needs.
Sectional doors are the most popular choice for suburban Americans, yet they only offer low-maintenance and customization benefits, whilst their durability and longevity can be questionable in some cases. Roll-ups are generally the better choice for heavy usage and resilience but can be a costly choice for most. “Slide-to-the-side” versions are the best option for people who don’t want too many sensitive moving parts, such as balancing springs or automatic motive parts.
These aspects above should be key in helping you make the best choice for yourself. Once you weigh your options and prioritize what fits your living space needs the most, don’t be afraid to go around and ask some installers for their opinions and advice in making the right decision.