Things to Think About When Buying a Garage Door
When it comes time to replace your overhead garage door, the options and choices can seem intimidating. With something that is so large on your home’s exterior, and so frequently used, the decision becomes an important one and one you’ll have to live with for a log time. Here are a few things to think about when buying a garage door.
Glass or No Glass?
Garage doors are available with windows built-in. These usually are only in the top panel of a standard sectional door, but they can be special ordered in the lower panels as well. There are a few factors to consider when thinking about glass in garage doors:
• Light – do you need or want some natural sunlight
• Privacy – do you have any concerns about people looking in through the glass and seeing you or your family, maybe as you work in the garage in the evening.
• Security – Something important to consider here is that it’s possible to know if anyone is home by looking through the glass and seeing vehicles, or none. It’s also possible for a burglar to see if you have anything of value in your garage.
• Aesthetics – The simple fact is that glass often makes that large sectional garage door look much better than it would without it. Sometimes the look alone is a great reason to choose glass in a garage door.
There are a number of styles of garage doors available and they are a very important component of the purchasing decision. Many homes are designed such that the garage door is facing the front of the home. This makes the door one of the most prominent factors in the curb-appeal of the home. This is important for everyday life, but it is also incredibly important for resale value in the event you decide to sell. A few design and style options are:
• Metal, wood, or fiberglass? – While most garage doors are aluminum or steel, there are still a number of companies that make them out of solid wood. Wood is a beautiful material and looks great on a very high-end home but it is also very expensive and prone to rot or insect damage. Metal is more durable and less costly, but often doesn’t quite get the look just right. Fiberglass may be the happy-medium because it is available with some beautiful wood-look finishes, and won’t be susceptible to the damage wood is.
• Raised panels or smooth? – Garage doors can be manufactured with the look of raised panels in the surface. This helps break-up the large are of the door and gives it a bit more of a traditional look. Some homes, however, look great with a smooth door. This might be the case for you if your home is contemporary in style. The best way to decide on this is to look around your neighborhood at similar homes and see which doors really stand-out and look good to you.
• Color and Finish – As stated above, some doors are available with the look of wood grain factory applied. This can be a great asset to the overall look and will save you the effort of painting. Other doors are available pre-finished in solid colors, again to save the effort of painting and to increase the longevity of the door.
Strength and Wind-Load
If you live in an area prone to hurricanes or tornadoes, then this may very well be the most important factor in your garage door selection. Large openings for garage doors are the number-one weak point in a home during a serious wind event. As soon as the door fails under high-wind, the rest of the house is usually quick to follow. This is a result of the sudden pressure change inside the home when the garage door comes off.
With Information Comes Buying Power
Hopefully this information will give you the tools you need to think through that garage door replacement project and decide what your most important criteria are. In any case a new garage door will make your home look much better from the outside and will be an investment you can feel good about for years to come.