Designing a Custom Garage Door

Step 5. Choose a Material

Garage Door Materials
Garage doors are available in many different materials, giving homeowners the flexibility to create a garage door that complements and enhances the facade of their home. Each of these materials have advantages and disadvantages, so keep in mind not only the design you are looking for in a garage door, but also the climate / location where you live, the functionality of your garage door, maintenance requirements, and upkeep, when choosing a material.

Here is a quick summary of each of the garage door materials available:

Steel

Steel garage doors are the most popular material for garage doors. Besides being a reasonable option in terms of price, here are some other defining advantages of steel garage doors:

  • Durable; stronger than wood
  • Insulated – energy efficient and noise reducing
  • Won’t warp, crack, delaminate or fall apart
  • More economical
  • Low-maintenance
  • The optional embossed wood grain textures give the appearance of a “custom wood” garage door
  • Can be painted a custom color with latex paint
  • Often come with Lifetime Warranties

Standard Gauge Metal Garage Doors vs Heavy Gauge Metal Garage Doors
When deciding on a steel or metal garage door, remember to review the options available to ensure that the door you choose provides the durability, insulation, and security you require. This is when you weigh in Standard or Heavy Gauge Metal Doors:

Manufactures build two basic gauge metal garage doors, with the two most common metal gauges: 24 and 26 gauge. With gauges, the lower the number, the thicker the gauge, meaning for garage doors the 24-gauge steel option is thicker or heavier than 26-gauge steel. Two other differentiators to understand the gauge difference is that the 26-gauge door dents more easily and does not provide as much of a sound barrier.

Aluminum

Aluminum garage doors share many of the same characteristics of steel, and still a great option for budget-conscious projects.

Doors normally measure 12 feet or less.

  • Costs less than steel
  • Lightweight
  • Recyclable
  • Less wear on mechanisms
  • Optional faux wood texturing
  • Long lasting finishes
  • Can dent easily

Wood

The very first garage doors were made of wood and still carry that same elegant style to this day. For those seeking a traditional look and material, wood doors are perfect, offering a variety of styles in various wood types including Cedar, Redwood, Hemlock, Poplar, and more. The warmth of natural wood can make a big difference in terms of curb appeal!
Hardboard panels are the more economical choice, with stain-grade wood doors being the less expensive option.

    Here are other characteristics of wood garage doors:

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Reliable performance
  • Better insulator than steel
  • There are custom styles to compliments your home’s architectural style
  • High Maintenance – Must be properly sealed and resealed every two years
  • Warranty is usually only one year
  • Wood doors usually have shiplap connections that can pinch down on fingers.

Vinyl

Vinyl garage doors are engineered to provide an elegant look that is almost maintenance-free and that will last a lifetime. One of the great advantages of vinyl garage doors is that they do not rust, fade, crack, or dent. These doors are the perfect choice for homeowners living in coastal regions since they are resistant to both salt air and sand. Here are some more advantages of vinyl garage doors:

  • Lightweight durability
  • Low Maintenance
  • Corrosion and rot-free
  • Operates almost silently
  • Doesn’t fade because contains UV-resistant additives
  • Many manufacturers offer 20 year or longer warranties

Fiberglass

Fiberglass garage doors offer greater resistance to dents than thin steel. They are composed of panels encased in aluminum frames. Fiberglass is very light and is more resistant to salt-water corrosion than other garage door materials, which makes it a good choice for coastal locations. It can be painted to match the exterior of your home. Here are more characteristics of Fiberglass garage doors:

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Resistance to salt air corrosion
  • Poor insulator
  • Yellows with age
  • Breaks in the cold temperatures

Designing your Garage Door
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