Garage doors can be built out of a variety of different materials, with each having their own unique advantages and disadvantages. There’s no one size fits all solution when it comes to choosing the best garage door material and it can have quite an influence on your choice, depending on your budget and personal taste. With so many great options available, we understand that to the average consumer choosing the right garage door material might be a challenge. To help ease you through this decision-making process, we’ve listed a few garage door materials as well some of the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Steel is without a doubt the most popular garage door material covering over 90% of the market. Steel doors come in a range of styles, are long-lasting, low maintenance, and very affordable. Most steel door have lifetime warranties on the finish so you shouldn’t ever have to paint your garage door again. Many are even available with simulated stained finishes that emulate a stained wooden door. While steel garage doors can be dented and can rust, neither of these are huge issues if a better quality door is purchased. Unlike the cheaper models, better quality steel doors are much more dent resistant and are rarely damaged by hailstorms, basketballs, etc. Make sure you regularly maintain your door and remove any standing water caused by snow melt from vehicles as this is particularly corrosive. Last, but not least, if you live in a very cold or very hot climate, choose an energy efficient steel door to help keep heating/cooling bills down.
Wood and Wood Composite
For many people, wood (especially in stained finishes) represents the most beautiful garage door material on the market. Modern wood garage doors are tough, resilient, highly customizable and can be upgraded to provide great insulation properties. Wood garage doors, however, tend to be more expensive and require more frequent maintenance and refinishing than doors constructed out of other materials. Still, they’re a great choice for homeowners looking to increase their home’s curb appeal. Wood composite, on the other hand, offers a similar look to wood with the promise of lower maintenance. Many people mistakenly think a composite door requires no maintenance, which is not the case. Door manufacturers require the composite be maintained every 3-4 years by brushing on a coat of UV protector or the warranty will be voided. This is essentially the same maintenance required with a real wood door. We recommend real wood doors over composite because if you fail to keep up on maintenance and allow the finish to deteriorate you can always sand down a wood door and re-finish it. Not so with composite materials – you will most likely need to replace the door.
Aluminum is inherently rust resistant. In terms of features, aluminum garage doors come close to steel in durability and low maintenance and offer the additional benefits of increased styling options and longer-lasting finishes. Most aluminum doors come with glass inserts in all the sections creating a sleek, modern look that lets a lot of natural light in. While much more expensive than a steel door, for the ultra-contemporary style home there is often no other choice that is as beautiful or makes a statement like an aluminum/glass garage door.
The use of fiberglass as a garage door material is relatively uncommon, since fiberglass isn’t exactly known for its material strength and is more prone to weathering than other materials. The main advantage of choosing fiberglass as a garage door material is its ability to withstand saltwater corrosion better than other materials, making it a wise choice for garages by the coast. The fiberglass is often available in painted or stained finishes, yet despite this, we still wouldn’t recommend installing a fiberglass garage door in a non-coastal area as it does not stand up as well as steel or wood when properly maintained.
If you’re still not sure about what garage door material to choose, get in touch with The Door House Inc. today and we’ll be happy to provide you with an expert, personal recommendation based on your budget and taste.