Choosing the Right Garage Door
- Help with garage doors
- What affects the garage door cost
- Whether an electric garage door is for you
If you’re in the market for a new garage door, or you’re looking to replace your current setup, it pays to shop around. How do you know that the garage doors you settle on will be right for you? Whether your ideal door is based on colour, design or for better security, we’ve got you covered.
Garage doors come in all shapes and sizes, and this article will guide you through how to decide which will be best for you. It all depends on the aesthetic of your home and how it will fit in with your budget and style. A new garage door can cost a fair bit, but there are ways of making it more affordable if needs be.
What Factors Affect My Choice?
First of all, let’s consider what the main factors are when choosing garage doors. As well as the width of the garage opening and how much room you have, these are the main elements to think about.
If you’ve only got a few hundred pounds spare, you aren’t going to look for an electronically operated garage door that’s made of wood. The cheapest material for garage doors is steel, and the least expensive design is the standard up and over door. If you’re looking for better security, it pays to spend a little more though.
More durable garage doors are available on the market that can prevent break-ins, such as side hinged and sectional doors. Electromagnetic locks can be incorporated for top-of-the-range security, as they don’t have moving parts and can last longer than standard locks. Electric garage doors can also add more security by preventing manual operation when not in use.
Anything with moving parts will require regular maintenance, and garage doors are no different. If you like the idea of an electric garage door, you’ll have to be prepared for the additional maintenance. Manual garage doors will still require lubrication to keep them in perfect working order.
Perhaps not as important for some, having a garage door that’s slightly insulated can make a huge difference, depending on the use you put your garage to. If you have a utility room in your garage, for example, you’ll find it much more bearable if you have an insulating barrier to keep the heat in.
If you are after a specific coloured door, this could limit which style you can choose. Metal doors can be customised in a variety of shades, while you can be limited to colour with other garage doors. You may want to match the colour and material of your front door or completely offset it with a contrasting shade.
What Materials Do Garage Doors Come In?
The most widely used material for garage doors, steel is solid and weathers well. This makes it cheap and suitable for any budget. It’s also used in all styles.
Aluminium resists degradation and can help insulate a garage. Light and affordable, it can be used in roller garage doors, sliding, folding and round the corner doors. Though it is easier to dent than other materials, it’s the best and most secure option for the roller design.
Heavier and requiring more maintenance due to weathering, wooden garage doors are extremely secure. They are more expensive and only available for up and over, side hinged and sectional designs.
Glass Reinforced Polyester (GRP)
A more modern material, GRP is incredibly durable and much lower maintenance than other options. Choosing GRP for garage doors gives you an insulated garage that’s lighter and easy to look after.
Garage Door Styles
Up and Over
Perhaps the most iconic garage door opening, the up and over style can either leave a canopy when opened or retract entirely into the garage. The physical effort required to open these can be a hindrance to the elderly and less able, but they can be automated to get around this. Up and over garage doors open into the drive, which can limit you in its operation. It cannot be opened, for example, when a car is parked right up to it.
Sectional panels are lifted up and curve over below the ceiling space. Without being limited to a single panel like up and over doors, they can operate with a car in the way. They are slightly more complex, costing a little extra.
If you think of coach house doors, you can visualise a side hinged garage door. Quick and easy to operate, they can be the most silent to use. Also opening into the drive, the side hinged design operates like a normal door, but can be customised to be split in a number of places, whether half and half or otherwise.
Compact, lightweight and incredibly secure, roller garage doors can be an impressive addition to any home. Opening electrically and vertically, the small sections roll together and tuck away neatly into a coil above the garage opening. It saves drive space and operates even with a car right up close to it.
Sliding and Folding
Similar to bi-folds, these can bring a modern touch to any home. These stylish garage doors can be made in steel, aluminium or timber, so are able to cater to most tastes.
Round the Corner
Requiring the most amount of room, round the corner doors open horizontally in joined sections. Guided by tracks, they can be heavier than other doors without compromising on their ability to function.
Electric Garage Door
You may wish to automate your garage door, which may be the right option for you, but you should be prepared for an extra cost. As well as the motor and guiding cables, the system will need to be installed by a professional, which will require labour.
Whichever option you go for, you might decide to add a personal touch and include glazed panels. These aren’t typically used for visibility as they are usually small, obscured or high up, but they can make your garage doors look more appealing. Most doors can be fitted with glazing panels or fitted with decorative inserts, helping you show your creative flair.