Garage doors last a long time, so if you need to buy a new one now, it's entirely possible it's the first time you've looked for a garage door in a decade or more. If this is your first home and you're replacing the garage door that came with the home, this might be your first garage door shopping experience ever. There are more choices out there than you might think. You'll see doors made of wood, steel, vinyl, and even aluminum and glass. It can be tough to know which one is the right one for your home. However, examining your priorities can help you figure out which door is right. If the following points are important to you, a steel door might be the right choice for you.
You Need A Low Maintenance Door
You have a house to keep up with, a job to go to, and a family to care for. You certainly don't have time to spend fixing scratches and dents in the garage door, or glass that smudges and breaks. Luckily, a good steel door is difficult to damage. Wood is a softer material and is easily damaged, and while vinyl is virtually maintenance-free, it can also look plastic-like and unattractive. Steel can give you a more attractive door without any of the work.
For the least amount of maintenance, choose a heavy steel door. Steel thickness is measured by gauge, and the lower the gauge number, the thicker the metal. So, if you have a choice between a 22 gauge door and a 25 gauge door, choose the 22 gauge door. It won't be dented or scratched through casually use – you'd really have to work to damage it. To avoid rust, pick a steel door with a fiberglass overlay.
You Want a Variety of Appearance Options
Aluminum and glass doors look best on very modern homes – there aren't too many of these doors that won't look jarring on an older home. Wooden doors come in a variety of designs and styles, but they still always look like wood, and depending on the style of the door, painting it when you get tired of it may not be a good option. Steel gives you variety and flexibility when it comes to appearance.
Steel doors come in a wide variety of colors, and can even be painted to look like other materials – it's perfectly possible to buy a steel door that's designed to look like wood, if that's what you're looking for. The factory paint that comes on steel doors is usually suitable for repainting, so if you paint the house and want the garage door to match, all you have to do is paint the door too – no need to buy a new door just to update your home's look.
You Want Quality at a Lower Price
All garage door materials come in a range of prices. The trick is getting the highest quality material for the lowest price that you can. Sure, you can get an aluminum door installed for between $400 and $700, but it will be thin with little insulation and will dent easily. You can get a wooden door for around the same price, but it will be made of soft, easily damaged wood.
A good steel garage door will cost somewhere between $750 and $1200, including installation. A wooden door of comparable quality will start at $800 and go up from there – the most expensive wooden doors will run as much as $3000. Vinyl or aluminum and glass can be even more expensive. If you're the type of shopper that always looks to get the most bang for your buck, steel is the best value available.
Steel garage doors have a lot of benefits, and by narrowing your options down to one material, you'll speed up your shopping experience. The sooner you get your new garage door picked out and installed, the sooner you can get back to your busy life.