Choosing a Garage Door With 10 Easy Steps In Mind
Choosing a garage door can be a difficult task. There are so many different styles of garage doors out there; where do you even begin? The garage door is basically the first impression of a house, so it offers a major glimpse into what the rest of the home is like. When picking out a garage door, there are ones for more practical uses and ones that are more aesthetic. Here are some things to keep in mind while picking out a door:
- Choosing a stock, semi-custom or custom door: Stock doors are completely re-built and ready to go, all you have to do is install it. The most straightforward garage door out there is a pre-stamped or aluminum door that easily fits into a standard garage opening. All the hardware comes with it too, so all you need to do is bolt it into place. This is the cheapest one out there since this is the most basic kind of door on the market. So if you want to step it up a notch with a door that has nicer aesthetics, check out a semi-custom or custom door.
Semi-custom doors- These doors still come with pre-assembled hardware, but with a bit more variety in features. Some come with side window panels, thicker door framing and different features for opening and closing.
Custom doors- Just like the name, a person can choose all sorts of features for their custom garage door. Borrow elements from an older architecture theme, like installing a rounded door, go with a split door opening or install stained wood paneling using metal strapping to hold it in place. But keep in mind that the more you customize your door, the more expensive it is going to get. Exceptional installation methods required will add to the cost, too.
- Don’t forget about the weather- The conditions your door is going to be exposed to can majorly affect what type of door you should put in. Wood doors do well in dry and barren areas and just need an annual oiling to preserve its quality. Keep in mind that if you live in a place that gets a lot of snow, metal door parts will rust and wood will wear out and break down over time. Plus, insects and pests can lead to a wood door’s deterioration. So even though a wood door may look more aesthetically pleasing, an aluminum door is most likely to last longer.
- Before getting too far into customizing your door, make sure it will fit in the garage’s cavity. Having to modify a house or building to fit the garage door will add some expense and add a great amount of time to the installation of it. Avoid this costly mistake altogether by planning ahead. The first thing you should do is measure the size of the opening and then measure the door size to match.
- Make sure you have all of the hardware you need…Top-loaded garage doors need really strong springs to act as counterweights and make it easier to lift the door when opening and closing. When purchasing a garage door, make sure that at least two garage door springs are included in the hardware kit. If there is only one spring and you install it, then you are running a huge risk of it breaking, which would cause the door to slam down and potentially damage something or someone.
- Beware of HOA rules: If you live in an HOA, make sure you educate yourself on the rules of what you can or can’t install. HOAs can regulate how homes look to maintain a uniform and consistent feel for the neighborhood and property value, so you want to make sure that your garage door plans are approved by them. Otherwise, you could get sued and have to reinstall an acceptable garage door on your own dime.
- If you do too good of a job on your garage, it may catch the eye of a county assessor who may decide to come out and reevaluate your property value. In most places, real estate property tax is based on the last price of the home when it was sold. If you decide to change the structure and need to get building permits, that tips off the assessors. If you have significantly improved the home, it can permanently increase the property tax rates. So it may just be better to go with a standard garage door to benefit you and future owners in the long term.
- It’s nice to have an aesthetically-pleasing door, but make sure it’s secure! Your door must have a solid barrier from entry into your home along with protecting your things. Most modern door-makers have already considered this, but make sure that the one you want has the level or protection and security you need. Burglars often look for the weakest part of the garage to gain access, so don’t give them that opportunity to break into your home.
- Since garage doors are pretty big, manufacturers may only have a certain brand or type of door in stock. Semi-custom and custom doors are oftentimes built on site, so in gaging costs keep in mind that you may have to get the door and/or special features shipped to you.
- The garage can really affect how hot or cold your house is, so it’s good to consider a garage door with added insulation that can help stabilize the temperature of your whole house and reduce the strain of the HVAC system and energy costs. Look for a garage door that has an R-value (the measure of thermal efficiency) above 10 if you live in a colder location. What’s nice is that even standard aluminum doors can be insulated after they are installed and foam cut panels are readily available at hardware stores at little cost.
- Look for a warranty- Since there are moving pieces and parts of a garage door that are used often, good garage manufacturers should include warranties with their products. Always buy a garage door with a warranty in case something goes wrong with its design and needs to be repaired.
When choosing a garage door, it’s just as important to be educated on everything that goes into the door you want and the costs involved with installing, restructuring and availability/shipping.