choosing the right

garage door

[the complete guide]

As every family progresses, most will someday purchase a car or other automobile. And in some cities and states, having a suitable parking spot is one of the prerequisites before acquiring any automobile. Garages exist for this reason, and garage doors aid in the protection of automobiles. However, garage doors offer more than just an open/close functionality to keep cars and other items in your garage secure from the elements. Irrespective of the standard features they provide, your home or business may require a garage door that adds value and utility.

In addition, installing a new garage door is one of the three leading home exterior enhancement projects most likely to increase a home's market value. Having a new garage door installed is an easy and relatively affordable way to improve the esthetic of your home's exterior, particularly if your current door has faded, cracked, or been dented over time.

Without a doubt, a garage door is one of the most important components of our homes and also one that's most often overlooked. It is a key component of any home: we utilize it every day to exit or access our homes besides protecting our automobiles and other things within.

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Replacing or installing a new garage door is one of the most cost-effective home improvement projects that can provide significant benefits. It is a popular home improvement project in the United States since it is very economical but has a big influence on a home's curb appeal and perceived worth, notably if many doors are facing the street. According to realtors, if buyers don't like what they see from the curb, they are unlikely to walk inside. Additionally, replacing or installing a garage door not only improves curb appeal but can also provide the best return-on-investment (ROI) in terms of recouping costs upon resale.

Although garage door replacement is among the highest-ranked home improvement projects with a great resale value, homeowners who want to get the most bang for their buck should invest their upgrade expenditures wisely by selecting a design that complements their home's architectural style and sale worth.

For many people, purchasing a new garage door is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It's a great opportunity to improve your home's functionality, value, and style. And any homeowner knows that picking the right garage door is a difficult task.

It's easy to recognize that your garage door needs to be replaced. You may have been thinking about a replacement for a while but weren't certain where to begin. That's why we've put together this buying guide to walk you through the entire process, from choosing the best options to deciding where to buy garage doors and everything in between. Continue reading to get the knowledge that will help you in making an informed decision.

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how to shop for garage doors - Things to know before buying

Are you planning to replace your garage door? If that's the case, you might be tempted to buy the cheapest one or the first one that catches your eye. However, a garage door is a significant investment that should not be taken for granted since most garage doors cover approximately a fourth of your home's exterior, complementing its architecture and increasing its curb appeal. It might be not easy to shop for a new garage door as it is an investment in your property and something that will be noticeable for many years. Since most individuals only buy one or two garage doors in their lifetime, they are unfamiliar with its ins and outs. A well-design garage door can last for decades, if not a lifetime. So it makes sense to invest a little more time and effort in making the finest decision possible, rather than settling for a low-cost one that will not stand the test of time.

Furthermore, irrespective of what you are looking for in a garage door, your top priority is to get what will guarantee a well-functional and secure garage. You will most probably pick a new garage door over a used one because a brand-new one has a system that hasn't been subjected to the wear and tear that can jeopardize your home and security. It would be best if you also think about how you'll profit from today's innovations, as well as esthetic appeal, safety, and performance: many modern garage door materials can survive the elements for years, while high-tech garage door openers and photosensors increase safety.

Aside from that, you will want to choose the type of insulation as per the condition of the climate and weather in your location. Additionally, some people use their garage as an additional living space. If that is the case, then the door with insulation is essential for this. Overall, the garage door features you choose will have an impact on the general performance and durability of your garage. With that said, here are some fundamentals to think about before heading to the store for a new garage door:

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style

Your home's appearance can be substantially enhanced with garage doors; as a result, you should select a style that matches your home. The following are some of the most prominent garage door styles:

Traditional styles with elevated panels; some have a top row of glass panes.

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carriage house
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The Style that resembles barn doors, these have doors that normally open from the center and offer a rustic appearance that works well in modern homes. Similarly, they seem to open from the sides yet, like typical sectional doors, swing from the base to the top.

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contemporary
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These door styles feature stylish designs, opaque glass in non-symmetrical portions, and other unique features. Contemporary doors are more expensive than traditional doors and have a more modern appearance. Besides, they are typically made up of a mix of glass and metal.

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raised-panel
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Lots of homeowners love the appearance of wood for their garage door. Notwithstanding, wooden garage doors need more upkeep and are often more costly than garage doors made of other materials. So, if you prefer the attractive look of a wooden garage door but considering the many advantages of having a steel door, you can opt for a steel type that is coated to look like a wooden garage door. In a nutshell, choose the style that best suits your home.

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size

Some smaller homes feature a garage door that is typically 8 feet wide while some are 9 feet wide for a bit of additional clearance. However, it may be a couple of feet less if you're using a single-car garage for a non-standard automobile such as a golf cart

In addition, a two-car garage is usually x2 of the width of a single-car garage. Normally, they are 15 to 16 feet broad (about 4.6-4.9 meters). This space is large enough for one vehicle to enter or exit while the other is stationed — given that the other vehicle is parked, allowing appropriate clearance. However, it is not a good idea to try to enter or leave the garage with both automobiles simultaneously because clearance will be a bit limited.

Furthermore, the average width of a three-car garage is 32 feet (9.8 meters wide). If a two-car garage is x2 of the width of a single-car garage, a three-car garage may appear to be just a third the width of a two-car garage. Nevertheless, the extent of clearance needed between the car in the middle and the cars on either side must be considered. Although a garage door as wide as 32 feet can be purchased to match a three-car garage, most people prefer installing two standard 16-foot or 15-foot garage doors.

You should also think about the distance between your garage door and the ceiling to ensure that your desired door(s) can open completely. Consider any accessories you may have on your vehicles, such as a roof rack, side mirrors, or a basket.

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cost

There's no denying that pricing will be in your thoughts while you look for the perfect door. Despite the fact that there are numerous variables of garage door installation to consider, you ought to select the ideal door for your requirements. This is a big decision that will affect your home's curb appeal and the functionality you'll utilize on a daily basis. So, when it comes to price, it needs to be noted that you should get more than a single quote. And the cheapest option isn't always the best one.

As with most homeowners, saving money is a key objective. The cost of a garage door is determined by several factors, including its size, style, insulation, material, hardware, the number of doors installed, among others. The non-insulated, single-car garage doors are the least costly ones.

Conversely, the door, excluding installation, could cost some hundred dollars. However, expect spending many thousand dollars on the upper echelon of elegance and appeal. With this, you can get quieter operation, more longevity, and energy efficiency for this price. Not to mention the possibility for a future boost in resale value.

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type

Know which type of garage door opener you should get; You'll have to determine which type of garage door opener to buy in addition to a garage door. The following are the four different types of garage door openers:

Chain-drive opener: this type of opener features a chain that links the trolley to the motor. Because of the metal-to-metal friction and vibration, chain-drive opener systems are clunky and loud, but they are the least priced type of garage door opener.

Belt-drive opener: they operate quietly because they use a rubber belt instead of a chain. Besides, they provide a smoother motion than chain-drive.

Screw-drive opener: this system is the noisiest of opening a garage door but easy to maintain since it lacks components.

Jackshaft-drive opener: They are well-suited to garages featuring low or high ceilings, and they work for big doors, keeping the ceiling free for overhead storage. They are, nevertheless, more costly than the other types.

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types of garage doors

There are many different types of garage doors from which to choose. From famous classic canopy garage doors, sectional garage doors, and a host of others, each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages in terms of style and functionality.

The type of garage door you buy can have a significant impact on the appearance of your home. Admittedly, garage doors can take up anywhere from one-third to three-quarters of the front of your house, so it’d be a good deal to make sure yours looks beautiful and meets your needs. The five different types of garage doors are listed below:

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sectional garage doors

Sectional Garage Doors are quickly becoming one of the most preferred garage door options in the United States. Their security features, strength, and safety are only a few of the numerous reasons for their popularity. Since they are made up of different parts that open vertically, they are referred to as 'Sectional' doors.

As a result, sectional garage doors can be fitted to practically any form of opening (rounded, arched, etc.). Typically, this type of garage door will have 4-5 panels with hinges between each panel. The section of the garage door will hinge and slide up and rest at the base of the garage ceiling when the garage door opens.

A sectional garage door typically moves vertically up a rail until it gets to the top of the garage door entrance. Then it will start bending and running parallel to your garage ceiling along the horizontal trail.

This type of garage door comes with modern designs and offers a variety of styles, finishes, and colors, enabling you to customize it to your liking. Sectional garage doors also feature great elements like windows, thermal insulation, and ventilation grilles. Although you can manually operate sectional garage doors; however, they are best when connected to an automated opener that's tailored to the specifics of the doors, including weight, height, and the number of panels to the garage door.

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pros of sectional garage door

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It saves space

Since sectional garage doors typically open and close vertically, it allows more space to be used for other things. This is ideal for garages or entrances with limited space, as it enables automobiles to be parked against the door without requiring space to 'swing out' whenever the door is opened. It is an excellent option for garages with huge vehicle access requirements or limited entry dimensions.

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Operation choices

Due to its superb construction, faultless design, and cutting-edge components, you can manually or automatically operate sectional garage doors, while staying quiet and comfortable in both circumstances. Sectional garage door panels are safe to use, featuring an anti-entrapment design between the pieces to avoid finger trapping and a variety of other safety measures that comply with all current regulatory requirements.

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High-quality material

Sectional doors are generally made of galvanized steel; however, they can also be made of aluminum or wood. Some steel door producers offer woodgrain finishes, which combine the security and insulation of steel with the esthetic appeals that only wood can provide.

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Insulation

A sectional door is a great way to insulate and preserve your items if your garage is used as a space, including a gym, an office, or even a workshop. This type of door is designed to keep the garage at a steady temperature, making them ideal for settings where temperature control is important. An insulated sectional door, if installed correctly, will provide a high U-Value and, as a result, will lower heating expenses in surrounding rooms.

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Security

Sectional doors with double-skinned insulation provide excellent security. A sectional door, coupled with a superb electrical operator, can be nearly tough to get into, particularly without sophisticated tools and a lot of noise.

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It's Perfect For Small Driveways

In areas where driveways are limited, it is critical to install the appropriate garage door size to provide you with convenience in tight spaces. Having just the standard garage doors can make it difficult for you to seamlessly park your car without damaging the body. But by installing a sectional garage door, you can drive straight up to the door since it does not open in or out; rather, it opens upwards. This is a huge advantage, specifically if you have a large vehicle. You'll have ample space inside to park any car without risking damage to the door's body.

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Durability

A sectional door's effective and spectacular design offers remarkable strength and stability that can not be found in other doors, even at sizes larger than average.

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Attractive

Sectional garage doors offer varieties of colors and styles; they can be both modern and classic. Besides, you can effortlessly recreate your home's design to form a uniform effect while closing or opening the doors. Not to mention the option of adding windows to the uppermost part of the segmented panels of the door to make it look even more elegant.

cons of sectional garage door

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Ceiling space

Since sectional garage doors utilize horizontal tracks, they take up lots of space from the ceiling. Notwithstanding, many homeowners will not consider this as a disadvantage since the additional floor space they get outweighs the disadvantage of losing some ceiling space.

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Permits dust and dirt into the garage

Dust and dirt can easily pass through any of the panels or sections and then into your garage, making it challenging to maintain the neatness of your garage.

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More bits and pieces

The average sectional garage door has a lot more components and parts than the conventional hinged garage door. This emphasizes the necessity of frequent preventative maintenance and measures to make sure all parts are adequately lubricated and cared for.

It has a high likelihood of becoming stuck when being close or open. This is owing to the fact that the panels and portions do not operate properly together.

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More Expensive

In general, sectional garage doors are more expensive than traditional hinged garage doors. However, they can increase the value of your home (if you consider selling it in the long run), making them an excellent investment — some homeowners state that they'd never contemplate getting a good deal on a home without a sectional garage door.

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Installation

Due to the numerous components of the mechanism, installation can be difficult, and professional help is usually suggested to guarantee safe and smooth functioning.

What is the cost of installing a sectional garage door?

Sectional garage doors are usually more costly than other types of garage doors, and they are available in a variety of conventional styles or can be custom designed to your specifications. They are the most common type of garage door, with standard sectional doors costing between $700 and $2,500, while custom sectional doors can cost much more than that.

What is the installation process of a sectional garage door?

Sectional garage doors were primarily intended to be installed behind the opening, with the position of the springs and guides limiting their placement. However, with the use of tailored installation tools and alternate gear system options, these doors can now be installed in-between the openings. Any aperture can also be accommodated with specially designed, customized fascias and paneling.

The sole space requirement for sectional garage doors is the headroom required for the curvature of the rails, followed by the parallel storage of the door panels when the doors are open.

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Garage door parts and accessories

Whether you're setting up a new garage door or fixing an existing one, you have first to understand the fundamental parts and components of the system. On most types of garage doors, there are a few interconnected elements that perform simple activities, and after you understand the different garage door parts and their functions, you'll be able to comprehend what allows the door to move up & down, side by side, and how. The below is an overview of each of the primary garage door parts to help you get more acquainted with their names and basic uses:

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Springs:

Garage door springs are an important component of any garage door system. These include torsion springs that are made up of drum components and shaft springs above the sectional doors and extension springs on the edges of tilt-up doors that expand and recoil to give lifting power. Torsion springs are often more efficient in evenly distributing weight and supporting a greater amount of weight. They also prefer to stay put when they break, rather than flying away and causing significant damage and harm. Springs store elastic potential energy that can generate enough force to balance the door's weight. That's why, when you manually lift a garage door, you are not carrying anywhere close to the entire weight of the door.

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Door Opener:

A garage door opener is an automated device that uses switches on the garage wall to close and open the garage door. The majority of them also come with a portable radio remote control that the homeowner can use to close and open the door from a close distance.

The operator is the most visible portion of the opening process aside from the door itself. It usually comes in the form of a box that hangs from the ceiling and has a cord that extends to plug into a socket. The garage door opener usually receives signals from the remote and the switch whenever you press the button to open the door. It houses the motor, which generates the energy required to start the mechanism. In addition, garage door openers act as an operator, handling the door's weight and ensuring that nothing gets in the way as it closes. When shutting a garage door, the opener will help identify anything in the door's path in case it requires a backtrack to prevent hitting an object. So, if your door opener is not working correctly, it's possible that its safety features aren't as well.

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Tube:

The tube is the bar that runs at the top of the door which helps in holding the garage door torsion springs in place. It does not move, yet its presence enables the springs to work as they should. It also offers support and aids in the maintenance of spring tension. If the torsion tube breaks, it must be changed right once or your door will have serious problems.

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Drums:

The drum is a round part of the garage door mechanism that is situated on either side at one end of the track. The door's weight is supported by a spring that is likewise connected to the drum. And the drum aids in the winding and unwinding of the door cables, which perform practically all of the hard lifting for the garage door. The drums revolve when the energy stored in the springs is discharged. And since the drums are connected to the cables, the cables also move as a result of the rotation. In addition, garage door drums tend to collect dust and dirt over time; hence, the reason why a professional check on a regular basis can be so beneficial. With periodic cleaning, you can extend the life of your drums significantly.

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Cables:

Metal lifting cables on both sides of the door serve as a connection spot between the door itself and the opening system. Each garage door cable is connected to the bottom of the door at the base and the top to the drum. The cable is rolled up as the drum turns. And as the cables are dragged upward, the door is lifted as well. The purpose of the garage door cable is to keep the high-tension springs secure. Your garage door's springs are strong and hold the strain required to lift and close the door. These springs experience the typical wear and tear with time, and worn springs constitute a safety hazard since they can break.

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Tracks and rollers:

So far, we've looked at garage door components that lift the garage door. However, if that door isn't kept on a defined course, it may collapse through the ceiling or careen off to one side. This is prevented by the use of door tracks and rollers. Rollers are just small wheels that run the length of both sides of the garage door. They are installed in metal tracks that trace the route that the garage door must follow during opening and closing. The garage door rollers travel along the inside of the tracks when the system lifts the door, keeping it going straight up and down. As a safety mechanism, your garage door can not open if it ever comes off this track.

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Safety sensor

Garage doors are enormous and hefty, and if not adequately monitored, they can be a safety threat. As a result, garage doors are equipped with photo-eye safety sensors, designed to prevent any mishaps. The photo-eye is made up of two sensors, one on either side of the garage door aperture, mounted on the wall at the base. These sensors are facing each other, and one sends a beam of light into the other's lens. The door will work correctly as long as this beam remains intact. When the second sensor is unable to sense light — which can occur if something is obstructing it — the door will not be able to close.

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Weather seals:

A garage door's primary purpose is to protect your automobile and home from the effects of snow, rain, insects, and other natural factors. If it fails to accomplish this function, the entire system will be rendered ineffective. That's why garage doors are equipped with weather seals on the sides and base. The door seals insulate the garage from the elements by bridging the small space between the walls and the door. Furthermore, regularly checking the weather seals is a good idea as you might not detect if they become damaged right away, unlike the other components of the garage door. So, if you discover any damage, you should consider replacing them with new seals.