2021 Garage Door Buying Guide

Before buying a new garage door, learn about the options, cost and how well they are insulated before you buy. Garage doors may be a large part of your home’s facade and a major part of the curb appeal.

The purchase of a garage door provides a way to freshen up your home’s exterior, whether you’re a new homeowner or you’re renovating an established home. Finding the right mix of functionality, fashion, and affordability for a garage door is an important part of the process since most homeowners replace theirs only once in their lifetimes.

Our buying guide contains example garage doors, a guide to garage door materials, a glossary of garage door terms, a comparison of garage door models, insulated garage doors, and much more to assist in determining which is the best door for your home. If you’re ready to replace your garage door, we can also help you measure and install it correctly.

How do I choose the right type of garage door?

Your garage door style is more important than all the other features because it is a reflection of your personal preferences and home style.  While there are some garage door styles that complement certain architectural styles, such as full-view doors and carriage-house style doors, the choice is ultimately yours.

What to Look for in a Garage Door Finish

You can customize the garage door’s appearance by choosing the type of finish you would like. Choose from 1,500 custom colors from Sherwin-Williams® to create a bold hue that stands out in your neighborhood or a natural wood texture that complements your home.

It is important to remember that the garage door is an integral part of your home’s exterior, so make sure you choose something that increases your home’s curb appeal and value. Depending on what finishes will work best in your area, the climate will play a major role. We can advise you as to which finishes are best suited to your area.

Windows on garage doors: When are they required?

It adds charm and character to a house to have a garage door with windows. By putting windows on your garage door, your home will look unique and sophisticated. Plus, you won’t need to reach for a light switch in the dark, since natural light and bright colors will fill it up.

Almost any home style can be matched with customized garage door windows in your garage. If you live in high-wind areas there is even impact resistant glass. So, whether you live in a brand new contemporary or a 100-year-old farmhouse, see for yourself how a garage door with windows would enhance your home.

How much should I budget for replacing my garage door?

Many homeowners consider their garage door options based on their budget.  Material, insulation, style, hardware, number of doors and sizes, and more are among the factors that affect the cost of a garage door.  The most important factors when choosing a budget for a new door are the door’s aesthetic value, its insulation value, and its durability.

If you are looking for the least expensive option for your single-car garage door, then the $300 model without installation is perhaps the least expensive option available.  The doors can be a good choice when the door will require a moderate temperature, the door is not required to operate silently, and it will only be touched lightly.

A big hit through the years with homeowners has been carriage house, modern, and classic raised-panel garage doors.  A single-car garage door can cost under $1,000, and a double-car one can cost more than $4,000.  A door made with these materials is usually more energy efficient, durable, quieter to operate, and can add to the curb appeal of your home which can ultimately increase resale value.

It’s no secret that homeowners are concerned about their energy costs, but many overlook the impact of installing an insulated garage door on both utility bills and comfort. As one of the largest entrances to the home, the garage is vulnerable to a significant amount of heat loss. This should make raising energy efficiency a high priority.

Does my garage door need to be insulated?

Its high R-values, up to twenty four, assure consistent comfort in adjacent rooms next to or above the garage, and it expands to fill the entire garage door.

What is the best material for a garage door?

A combination of your style preferences, maintenance needs, and durability may influence the material you choose for your garage door.  We offer our Ultra-Grain finish that gives the appearance of wood without the maintenance. Steel garage doors can be a great choice when it comes to durability.

Nothing compares to the classic appearance of a wooden garage door when you are looking for a natural look.  With door styles ranging from a raised-panel to modern, we offer many choices of wood-grains.  If you are looking for a door with a distinctive exterior, opt for a custom door with fully handcrafted ornamentation that will make your home unique to others.

Aluminum and glass are excellent choices when clear lines and natural light are required.  Our glass privacy options come in various degrees to make sure you get the level of privacy you want. We can provide modern door options that will update your home while also bringing more light into it.

Is there a recommended size for my garage door?

One of the first things to think about when you buy a garage door is its size. For most single-car garages, the door measures 8 to 9 feet wide and 7 to 8 feet high.  Doors for garages with multiple cars are 16 feet wide, with an average height of 7 to 8 feet.  You may need a garage door that is 10 feet or higher in height or longer if the garage is being used by a taller vehicle, such as a heavy-duty vehicle or recreational vehicle. We offer a variety of garage door sizes, as well as garage door collections that can be made to the size you need.

Garage Doors that are Wind-Resistant

You are probably required by your local building codes to have a garage door that is wind resistant if you live in an area prone to hurricanes or high winds. Garage doors are typically the biggest entryways into your home. If strong winds breach them, the air pressure builds inside the garage, increasing the risk that the walls and roof will collapse.

Several WindCode® doors are available from Clopay, so you can make the right choice for what’s required in your location. Also included in the doors is a built-in reinforcement system, making them Storm Ready®. There’s no need for extra posts, pins or installation if you lock the door. It’s just a simple close and lock process.

You Can Choose From Various Options for Garage Door Tracks

Picking an appropriate track for a new garage door is often overlooked when purchasing one. During smooth travel of the garage door, the rollers are housed within the tracks. You should make sure the tracks are sized properly for your garage, allowing sufficient headroom and sideroom for the door to operate.

For a wide range of garage layouts and installation needs, Clopay offers a range of track options. There are multiple options available, such as a standard radius, vertical lift, and high lift, and tracks that follow the pitch of your roof if you need them to, or that don’t interfere with handles or windows. It is best to do some research before purchasing a new garage door on which track options would best suit your garage.

Do I need to hire a professional to install my garage door?

The cost of hiring a professional for garage door installation may be a worthwhile investment for some homeowners, but many opt to install their garage doors themselves. The installation process of a garage door by a professional garage door dealer can be substantially faster than if you did it yourself, making your daily routine less disrupted.

You’ll also get a one-year installation warranty on garage doors from Clopay, Amarr, Safeway, or Wayne Dalton if you choose Brand Garage Doors to replace your current garage door. Our installation guarantee is outlined here.


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