A garage is more than a utilitarian space — it also plays a significant role in the appearance of your home’s exterior. If you’re not satisfied with your current garage door, getting a new one is a great way to increase your home’s curb appeal. However, today’s selection is nearly endless and choosing the right garage door style can be overwhelming. If you don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place to learn how to pick the right garage door for your home.
What to Consider When Choosing A Garage Door
When shopping for a garage door, here are a few steps you can take to help narrow down your selection:
1. Determine the Dimensions of Your Door
Measure the height and width of your door frame.
2. Determine Your Budget
Several factors influence the price of a garage door. There are a variety of materials available, from the more affordable steel to the more elegant wood. There are also many options for customizing doors. The size of the door and the material are the two factors that most influence the price.
Steel is one of the more affordable materials, with steel door prices ranging from $650 to $1,700. Wood garage doors are more expensive and, depending on the wood type and treatment, cost between $2,000 and $10,000.
3. Look at Many Garage Styles
Most garage doors fall into one of three style categories — raised-panel, carriage house or contemporary. Take a look at examples of each and see which one style goes best with that of your home, as the garage door you choose will have a large impact on the look and feel of your home. It’s also a good idea to research their material makeup and maintenance requirements.
4. Decide How You’ll Use the Space
Will you just park your car in your garage, or are you planning to use it as a living space? How you intend to use this space will help you select a door that best suits your needs.
It will also help determine the insulation capacity needed for your garage door, which is measured by R-value. The higher the R-value, the higher the thermal efficiency of your door. A door with a high R-value will keep heat inside during the winter months and cool air inside during the summer months.
If you plan to spend lots of time in your garage, we recommend you choose a garage door with a higher R-value. A well-insulated garage door is also essential if there is a living space next to or above the garage.
Garage Door Material
Choosing the most appropriate material for your garage door will depend on a variety of factors, including the climate where you live, your lifestyle and your visual tastes. Deciding on a material is one way to narrow down your selection. Three popular materials for garage doors are:
Wood has historically been the traditional material for garage doors. Homeowners looking to give their homes a rustic appearance often opt for this material. Just like wooden floors, wooden garage doors have a beautiful appearance and offer a sophisticated look. It’s easy to customize, as wood can easily be cut into any shape or size that you request, and it’s resilient, so it’s not going to dent under pressure.
Steel doors are a popular option among homeowners who want an attractive door without all the maintenance requirements of their wooden counterparts. They have a modern, sleek look, and they’re relatively affordable but don’t require much maintenance. With the nearly endless designs and styles available, there are many customization options. Steel doors are often built with high R-values, featuring polystyrene or Intellicore® insulation technology.
3. Faux Wood
Another option is a door with faux wood overlays that emulate the beautiful texture of real wood such as cypress and mahogany. These doors also feature a strong, energy-efficient insulated steel base and boast an impressive R-value of 20.4.
Garage Styles That Match Your Home
Garage doors are a prominent feature of a home’s exterior and can make up a third of the entire front facade. So it is well worth your while to give much thought to this feature. If you make the right choice, your garage door style will complement the style of your house.
Just like there are nearly countless home styles, they are also many styles of garage doors. Below we’ll go over the most common styles available:
This is a popular style of garage doors — so popular, in fact, that they’ve become the standard and the style that comes to most people’s minds when they think of garage doors. Raised-panel doors are often made of steel and feature R-values ranging from 6.3 to 18.4.
2. Carriage Style
This is another popular style that works well with a variety of different home styles. Generally speaking, they mimic the appearance of the doors of old carriage houses, but it is not uncommon to find them even on contemporary houses. Although the original carriage doors were manually swung open from the center, modern carriage doors open conventionally and still offer the same charm and beauty of the original doors.
Also known as “barn style garage doors,” carriage doors have a unique look that pops and can complement homes of various styles such as the craftsman or mission style.
3. Contemporary or Modern
Contemporary garage doors are characterized by classic functional details and clean lines. One popular customization option for this style features tempered glass panels, which can be clear, frosted or tinted, and frames made out of aluminum. These doors go particularly well with modern home designs that feature high-tech materials and clean lines. These doors are particularly suitable for mid-century or modern-style homes.
Advantages of Garage Door Windows
Many homeowners decide to install windows in their garage doors. There are several reasons for doing this, including:
- Natural Lighting: This is perhaps the most obvious advantage. Allowing sunlight to enter your space will give it a more pleasant, welcoming feeling. A sun-filled garage is also great if you want to spend more time there or convert it into a useable room such as a gym or workshop.
- Visual Appeal: Windows make the exterior of your home more appealing. Many homeowners choose to match the windows of their garage with the windows on the rest of their home, which will make your home feel more unified.
Garage door windows feature a variety of glass types, including clear, rain, seeded, frosted, obscure and insulated. Clopay doors feature UV-protection, come in heights of 12 and 16 inches and are available in both plain and more decorative styles.
Does My Garage Door Need Insulation?
Each garage door material offers a certain degree of insulation, so another way to narrow down your options is by deciding how much insulation you’ll need. Insulation is designed to keep the heat inside when it’s cold outside and the air conditioning in when it’s hot outside.
If your garage is detached and you’re not planning to store anything that could be affected by extreme temperatures, then choosing a door with minimal insulation capabilities is an option.
If your garage connects to your house or you plan to spend some time living or working in it, then you should look for garage doors with a good R-value. This value measures how well a particular material impedes the transmission of heat or cold. The higher the R-value is, the more effective the material will be at insulating your garage.
Guide to R-Values
Below is a guide to what certain R-values mean for garage doors. It is important to consider the climate of your region as well as how you will use your garage:
- 6.5: Doors with lower R-values provide a great platform for efficiency and offer protection from the elements outside. This is a good starting point.
- 7.0 – 9.0: If your garage is attached to your house but not heated, a garage door with an R-value of at least 7.0 is recommended. R-values in this range are most suitable for the Southeast, where summers are hot and winters are mild.
- 10.0 – 13.0: Doors with this rating offer a good degree of insulation and will help keep your heat in. This is an excellent level of insulation and is good if there is a room above your garage. This range will increase your home’s thermal efficiency and lower your energy bills.
- 14+: Doors with at least a 14 R-value are recommended if you use your garage as an extra room. Highly-insulated garage doors are also recommended if you live in the Northeast, where weather extremes are common.
Contact Consolidated Garage Doors
If you live in Kane, DuPage or Kendall counties and are looking to buy the perfect garage door for your home, you won’t have to travel far. At Consolidated Garage Doors, we are the leader in our industry. We handle sales as well as installation and service. Our family-owned business has a combined 240 years of experience with garage doors. Providing quality service every time is of the utmost importance to us, and we adhere to IDA’s Code of Conduct.
We have proudly served our community for decades and developed many long-term relationships with clients. We are the longest-running Master Authorized dealer for Cloplay as well as a ProVantage Authorized Dealer for Liftmaster. We offer a wide variety of door styles and types, and we get our doors direct from the factory. We can help you design custom or semi-custom doors for your new build or remodel.
You can browse our doors styles by coming to visit our showroom, which is conveniently located in Batavia, Ill. Our showroom features the latest styles of doors in wood and steel, with or without windows. Whether you’re looking for a traditional, contemporary or modern feel, we have the garage door for you.