Which Garage Door Material Is Right for You?

When it’s time for a new garage door, you have several different options. You may be familiar with wood and steel doors. But did you know there are many other types of materials available, including aluminum, fiberglass, and plastic?

Each material has different pros and cons to meet the needs of different homeowners.

When you look for a new garage door, you hope to keep your new garage door for life. Thus, it’s important to make the right choice.

The questions below can help guide you to the garage door material that would best fit your wants and needs.

1. How important is it that your garage door has the appearance of wood?

    a) very important           b) somewhat important          c) not very important

2. How important is it that your garage door can withstand wearing out or getting damaged?

    a) not very important           b) very important           c) somewhat important

3. How important is it that your garage door is well insulated?

    a) very important         b) somewhat important           c) not very important 

4. How important is it that your garage door has a light weight?

    a) not very important           b) somewhat important           c) very important

5. How important is it that you pay the lowest price?

    a) not very important          b) very important           c) somewhat important

If you answered mostly:

a’s) You’d do best choosing a wood garage door. Wood fits the look many homeowners expect in a garage door; wood doors look natural and charming. Wood is a very good natural insulator as well, protecting your home from the elements.

However, wood is usually the most expensive material and requires the most maintenance. It needs regular repainting and refinishing. It may also warp or crack due to temperature or weather conditions, and it can sustain damage from water or pests.

Don’t completely rule out wood, though—many types of wood doors can resist damage. Wood composite doors—which are made of recycled wood fibers—resist rotting and splitting better than typical wood doors.

If you answered mostly:

b’s) You would probably prefer steel or aluminum. These tough materials require little to no maintenance and are usually the most affordable garage door options. Because of their strength, they often carry a lifetime guarantee.

Aluminum is very lightweight, so it doesn’t strain your door’s operating mechanisms. This feature makes it a great choice for extra-wide double doors.

However, these doors aren’t impenetrable. Steel doors may rust or dent over time. Aluminum doors are less likely to rust but more likely to dent. Make sure to choose a properly insulated door so outside temperatures don’t sneak through your garage door.

If you prefer the look of wood, you’re in luck. You can find steel and aluminum doors that are painted to mimic wood’s look.

If you answered mostly:

c’s) You should consider fiberglass or plastic doors. Both options come with an attractive, modern appearance and structure.

Fiberglass is less likely than wood to warp and less likely than steel to dent. It’s also excellent at withstanding damage from water and insects. However, it does not have the best insulation, and it may buckle under cold temperatures.

Plastic is less common, but it’s becoming increasingly popular. Some people prefer plastic garage doors because of their extremely light weight. These doors also don’t experience rot, rust, or fading like other materials do.

Talk to a Garage Door Expert

If you’re still unsure which garage door material is right for you, talk to a garage door expert. He or she can walk you through your different product options and pricing. If you find a product you like, ask about its warranty. Also, make sure it has adequate insulation.

Once you’ve made your choice, ask the garage door expert to install your brand new garage door.