The Great Garage Door Buyers Guide [Infographic]

North Hatley Garage Door
With a seemingly never-ending stream of options, picking the right garage door for your home can be a daunting task. You want a door that’s not only safe and durable, but stylish as well. There’s a fine line between wants, needs, and practicality, and The Great Garage Door Buyers Guide is here to help!

Garage Door Materials

California Model Garage Door

Our California Garage Door Model

Garage doors tend be constructed out of 7 different materials, each with their own advantages and disadvantages:

1. Steel

• Most popular garage door material
• Long-lasting & minimal maintenance required
• Risk of denting and rust (in the case of poor-quality galvanization)

2. Standard Wood Veneer

• Inexpensive
• Tends to lack insulation
• Requires frequent maintenance and refinishing

3. Handcrafted Solid Wood

• Potentially high visual appeal
• Requires frequent maintenance and refinishing
• Expensive

4. Glass & Acrylic Fully Windowed

• Can be very stylish and provides plenty of light
• Ideal for a studio or exterior dining room
• Heavy, so needs a robust hardware system
• Uninsulated

5. Aluminum

• Rustproof and lightweight
• Requires very little maintenance
• Ideal for doors close to the sea (salt air)
• Easily dented

6. Fiberglass

• High durability
• Low maintenance
• Limited customization options

7. Vinyl

• Damage resistant and lightweight
• Poor insulation
• Environmentally unfriendly

Garage Door Construction

Garage Door Construction
Once you’ve settled on the material of your door, it’s also important to consider the door’s construction. Single-layer doors tend to lack any insulation. On the other hand, double-layer doors usually feature some polystyrene insulation, and triple layer-doors often have polyurethane/polystyrene insulation.

Polyurethane is actually a liquid spray which expands and hardens, and it’s usually injected into the door panels in order to fill the entire cavity. Polyurethane provides double the resistance of polystyrene since it sticks to walls, and it offers better energy savings as well.

Polystyrene is the material that your typical coffee cup is made of. It is shaped to fit door panel cavities but cannot guarantee complete coverage.

The Garage Door Opener

A chain-drive garage door opener is easily the most common one. It uses a chain and trolley system that moves along a metal bar, opening and closing the door. The metal on metal contact is responsible for its high noise level, but chain drives tend to be more affordable than belt drives.

Belt drives work fundamentally the same as chain drives. However, instead of using a chain, belt drives use a – you guessed it – belt. The belt is usually composed of fiberglass, polyurethane, or steel-reinforced rubber.

There are also jackshaft openers which mount along the wall beside a garage door, saving you precious space. Jackshaft openers are even quieter than the belt or chain drives, but their costs are higher.

LiftMaster 3265 Garage Door Opener
LiftMaster 8500 Garage Door Opener
LiftMaster 8557 Garage Door Opener

Consider the Future!

Garage doors are supposed to last more than a decade, so make sure to carefully consider your investment. Take into account your needs and wants, but your budget as well. Arm your home with the best door possible, but feel free to explore your preferred aesthetics as well.

Garage Door Buyer's Guide Infographic
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