When designing your dream home, you’ve imagined nearly every room from top to bottom. You know exactly what color you’re going to paint the downstairs bathroom, and you know just the perfect light fixture that will hang in your foyer. Every cabinet handle has been chosen, and every paint color has been considered, but did you even think about which garage door you’re going to choose?
The garage door is by no means the most important feature of your home, but it is one of the first things your guests and neighbors will notice. If it doesn’t match the style or colors of your home, it will stick out, and if the material is of low quality, you’ll be replacing it before you know it.
So what should you know about choosing a garage door? What are some things to keep in mind when choosing colors, styles and materials? Find out what you need to know below:
Living in a Material World
Not all garage doors are created equally. Depending on the type of material you chose, you might end up putting a little more work into maintaining your garage door than you prefer, but in the end, it’s up to you.
The most common material is easily fiberglass. It’s durable, and it can be molded to look like wood. People often choose fiberglass because it’s so easy to customise. You can get it in nearly any color you want, and they come in all sorts of cool and unique designs.
On the other hand, real wooden garage doors are sleek and stylish. You can order them in redwood, cedar or hemlock, but wooden garage doors do come with a bit of upkeep. Be prepared to make time for repainting and re-staining as this will keep your door in the best possible condition.
Steel doors are also an option. They’re often less expensive than fiberglass and wood, and they offer added security to your home. In addition, their upkeep is very easy.
Layers Upon Layers
Now that you know a little bit about the materials that will make up your garage door, you should also know the types of construction options or layers. There are three to choose from: single layer, double layer and triple layer. All three have positive and negative traits.
Single-layer garage doors can be constructed out of wood, fiberglass or steel, and they’re usually very inexpensive. Though they offer very little in terms of insulation, this is a good option for detached garages or for families who just want to protect their cars.
Double-layer doors offer a little more in protection and price. They have an added layer of polystyrene board and a very thin black cover. Because this option has more insulation, it’s more energy efficient and traps sound better. Musicians will be able to practice in the garage without disturbing too many neighbors.
The best option is almost always the triple-layer door. Often considered the gold standard of garage doors, triple-layers have an add layer of insulation in the middle of the material of your choosing (wood, fiberglass, steel). This makes for maximum energy efficiency, structural integrity and soundproofing, Of course, this option is also the most expensive so be sure your budget has a little wiggle room if you’re considering a triple-layer garage door.
Why Bother with Insulation?
Not every garage needs to be insulated so for some homeowners, a triple-layer door is a waste of money.
First ask yourself what your primary and secondary need for your garage is. The primary need is usually to house the cars and keep them safe, but this can vary. If the secondary need is for storage, then you probably don’t need to insulate your garage. No one is going to be spending extensive time out there, except maybe to grab the boxes of holiday decorations.
However, you might have a car fanatic, musician or home repair guru in your home. If that’s the case, you might need the garage as a band practice space or a haven for your car lover to spend time tinkering with his or her car.
For them, insulation might be more practical. Since they’ll be out there at all times of the year, the space might as well be able to keep them warm in winter. Otherwise, you’re going to be spending a fortune warming up a garage that rapidly looses heat.
If your garage is detached from the home, insulation is definitely not needed, unless your family’s Mick Jagger plans on practicing at all hours of the day.
Style for the Win
Though all of these aspects we have discussed thus far are important, you should also take into consideration the style of your home. Choosing the wrong garage door that clashes with your home can make your home the eyesore of the neighborhood.
Nowadays, garage doors are becoming customisable, giving homeowners all types of cool options. For Mission-style and Mediterranean homes, it’s important to keep with the Spanish theme and further bring out the architectural details. Choose a wooden door with wrought iron hinges, handles and accents to highlight this style.
Modern homes nowadays are looking for new ways to use lights to further complement their houses. Anodized metal frames with frosted or clear acrylic inserts allow you to use the lights from your front windows to enhance the features of your home.
Farmhouses and French country styled homes benefit greatly from a wooden garage door. They bring out the country character in farmhouses when properly stained and finished with an additional coat of polyurethane.
French country homes often paint their garage doors a different shade from the front door. While the color on the front door remains bolder, the neutral color of the garage door helps to bring this style out.
Picking out the perfect garage door is not a random decision that is decided last minute. It should be carefully thought out for present uses and those down the line. Do you have young children now who will be driving in another five or six years? A more insulated garage might be better, especially as their hobbies evolve. Maybe you plan on retiring in a few more years and want to sell. There won’t be a need for insulation or anything that is going to need additional upkeep.
So make smart decisions when buying your garage door. It’s going to last you a while so be sure you love it!