Choosing a Garage Door
Your garage door is a significant investment in your home. It adds impact to the appearance of your home, and the style, color and condition are important to the value of your home. When you shop for or upgrade a garage door, there are a few things to consider.
There are a number of different garage door styles. Most will grace any style house, so pick one that you like the looks of and can afford. There are lightly textured flush panels and panels with raised beveled edges that add interest and depth. Windowed garage doors look expensive and classy; a step above the average door.
Most garage doors come in standard colors, but they are easy to paint. Choose a neutral, accent, or complementary color, or add details like subtle shading in the bevels to add a little flair. It's a good idea to check out some painting guides before getting too crazy with color. Your HOA may also have a standard color book to consider. While something as big as a garage door can be a tempting canvas for a 60's style Peter Max masterpiece, it is also the first thing people will see driving down the street. So, check the colors of your neighbors' garage doors and also check with your homeowner's association for guidelines before picking up a brush.
Materials and Construction
Most modern garage doors are constructed from steel, but you can also buy wood doors with an old-world look and feel, much like the doors that once adorned Victorian-era carriage houses.
- Steel garage doors are far more common, and come in different types of construction. The cheapest garage door option is a single-layer steel door. These have no insulation and are stamped from a single sheet of thin steel.
- Double layer steel garage doors have a steel face on the outside and polystyrene or polyurethane insulation on the inside. The backing adds soundproofing and helps insulate the garage.
- Triple layer steel garage doors come in several insulation layer thicknesses and have a second sheet of steel on the inside of the door. These are great for homes in extreme weather.
Not all garages are strictly used for storage and yard equipment. For many families, the garage is an extension of their living space. Do you use your garage as a workshop, office, playroom, or mancave? If so, you might want to consider an insulated door for effective heating and cooling. If you live in a moderate climate, shop for a door with an R-value of 3. R-value defines thermal resistance. In the frozen north or the scorching south, look for an R-value of 10 to help keep your heating and cooling where it belongs, inside your house.
Existing garage doors can also be insulated with flexible weather seals between panels and at the sides and bottom of the door.
Your garage is a useful and intrinsic part of your home, and choosing the right garage door can enhance both the value and the usefulness of the space.