They say that there are as many types of garage doors as there are types of garages. The truth is, there are virtually more choices when it comes to garage doors than the type, layout, and size of garages.
If you are currently on your garage construction or refurbishing and you want to know what type of garage doors you can choose from, this post shall run it down for you.
In this article:
- Types of garage doors
- 1. Sectional garage doors
- Garage door styles
- Garage door materials
- Types of garage door opener
- Garage door configuration
- Factors to consider when buying a garage door
- What is the most popular type of garage door?
- How much should a new garage door cost?
- What is the lightest garage door?
- How thick should a garage door insulation be?
- Are garage doors hard to install?
- Can garage doors be painted?
- Can used garage doors be sold?
- Is there a standard size for garage doors?
- Can garage doors be frozen shut?
- Is replacing the garage door a good investment?
- How long should garage doors last?
- What is the cheapest garage door?
- How much is the installation cost for garage doors?
- How often should a garage door be serviced?
- Can a garage door overheat?
- What are the common causes of garage door damage?
- Do car insurances cover backing accidents on garage doors?
- Why do the hinges of the garage door break?
- How many times a day can you open and close the garage door?
- Is it okay to leave the garage door open all the time?
Types of garage doors
As has been mentioned, you would be astounded to know that there are more types of garage doors than you think. Here are some of the most common garage door types for you to choose from.
1. Sectional garage doors
This one is very identifiable for its multi-sectioned look. Typically, it comes with at least five panels, separated by hinges in each panel.
Whenever the garage door is opened, the panels are hinged in and then slides up and sit under the ceiling.
2. Roller garage doors
This one is usually found in commercial settings but when it comes to garages with limited ceiling space, this is the right option for you.
It is basically made of 2-3 steel slats which roll around a drum on the door’s opening. They are specially designed for heavy usage and can be built without spring so that it would be corrosion and rust free.
3. Side-hinged garage doors
This is another older style for garage doors. As the name suggests, they open and close from a hinged frame on either side of its opening.
They look like larger barn doors and come in wood or galvanized iron material. They are also perfect for garages with limited headspace. There are now automated versions of this garage door type.
4. Side-sliding garage doors
If you love the simplicity of a section door or a roller type without having to compromise the limited headspace, this garage type is the best option for you. The reason for this is evident in the name…it slides to the side.
5. Slide to the side garage doors
As the name implies, this one bends to one side and then sits parallel to the wall. It is considered as one of the original garage door types for garages with limited ceiling space.
They feature a built-in retractable motor for a more automatic operation instead of springs.
6. Tilt-up/up and over canopy garage doors
This one is one of the more modern types of garage doors. Like the side-hinged garage doors, it is made of one solid piece and does not have visible sections.
They come in a pivoting mechanism, tilting up as they open. When it is fully open, it looks like a canopy, extending out of the house.
7. Tilt-up/up and over retractable garage doors
This one works like the tilt-up and over canopy garage doors. Unlike it, the door is suspended entirely from the frame and does not protrude extending out of the main house like the tilt-up and over canopy.
The main downside of this is that they are harder to operate than the other garage door types.
Garage door styles
The style of your garage door provides the aesthetic impact that you are eyeing for. It lays down the visual cohesiveness of your garage with the main house and of course, adds personality to the general look of the house.
This one is still the most popular garage door style. From the usual suburban panels, to modern, rustic, and automated, you can bring a lot of different flair to your garage door.
The up-and-over design can still be chosen but modern paneled garage doors now infuse more thermal efficiency.
2. Carriage house double garage doors
This one is a subtype of the paneled garage door but with a more traditional look and a swing out mechanism.
The double fitted windows lined near the ceiling always gives us the classic look but they are no longer as in-demand as before.
3. French style garage doors
For maximum curb appeal, French style garage doors are also something to look out for. They can be multi-paneled or single-paneled. The only downside to this garage door style is their lack of insulation.
Mostly made of solid wood, traditional garage door styles still remain a popular choice nowadays.
The woodsy look and muted colors of traditional garage doors are perfect for a tonal balance in your home exterior.
Bungalow homes would benefit a lot from a Craftsman garage door style. You can have a country look for your garage in no time with the addition of faux hinges, cross beams, as well as handles. Aside from being functional, it also adds a lot of visual impact to your home in general.
If you want a more Mediterranean and hit of stylish revival for your garage door, the Mission style is the perfect choice.
Featuring decorative nail heads, iron strap hinges, and metal handles, the Mission garage door style gives off the timeless beauty of Spanish colonial homes.
Built for minimalist looks and clean, crisp, lines, the modern garage door style is one of the most workable ones to go for.
You can go for Japanese shoji screens, combos of metal, steel, wood, glass and more. Stripping your garage style with just basic details help in maintaining the clean and cohesive look of the home’s exterior.
It might be considered as the most informal looking garage door style but it never disappoints in terms of overall look.
You can go for the distressed style, unstained, knotty or rough-sawn wood and still have an appealing, down to earth garage door reminiscent of farmhouses and the countryside.
Garage door materials
The choice of material for garage doors is as important as choosing the style and type of the garage doors themselves. The material determines the durability, insulation and maintenance of the garage door.
Even for garages, wood gives a lot of timeless looks. They give a very homey and inviting look and could work in any type of exterior style.
While very workable, it is not the most perfect choice in locations where harsher outdoor elements are present as they are vulnerable to warping, expanding and rotting. They are also more costly to maintain in the long haul.
If you want to veer away from wood, aluminum is a durable choice for your garage door. Unlike wood, you would never have to worry about rotting, warping, and expanding.
You can also coat them off with anti-rust and corrosion finish for a more low-maintenance option. Perhaps, the only downside is that it absorbs heat. So, if you have an attached garage, a high electric bill during summers is something to watch out for.
If you want to fuse in aesthetics, durability, and energy-efficiency in one, you can go for a steel garage door.
It can be customized to any garage door style or type and could be painted using various materials from wood grain finishes to paint. They are also very low maintenance so everything is sufficed for when it comes to steel garage doors.
If you want to add a more contemporary flair to your garage door, going for a glass material is the classiest material you could use. While it is low-maintenance and is good in insulation, it has the tendency to crack and break, leading to costly repairs in the long run.
To enforce more durability with the contemporary look of glass, a cheaper yet sturdier option would be fiberglass.
Aside from being lightweight, it also offers a quiet performance compared to the more traditional materials. Aside from this, it is also low maintenance since it does not expand, warp, or rot.
For a more outdoor element friendly and cheaper garage door material with the look and finish of wood, opting for a composite garage door material is a good choice for you.
They are typically made of fiberboard on a wood frame. Its other upside aside from being a cheap option is its insulation capacity. As such, they are more energy-efficient than most garage door materials.
Types of garage door opener
When it comes to convenience, you have to choose the type of garage door opener well. It is also important to be able to compare and contrast each garage door opener from each other so that you can choose the best that would satisfy your needs and preferences.
1. Belt drive
This one is still the most famous garage door opener because of its very quiet operation. Hence, if your bedroom or living room is near the attached garage, having this installed is a great option.
While it requires regular maintenance, the only thing that you really have to look out for is the rubber belt.
2. Chain drive
Compared to belt drive, this one is noisier but is more affordable. They are the best choice for lightweight doors such as aluminum. They are also very low-maintenance and you just have to check their chain and just keep it well-lubricated.
3. Screw drive
If you have heavier garage doors, this is the option that you should consider. They operate the garage doors by using a threaded rod to lift it.
This is also the best option for double doors, or those that are large and wide. Its simple construction makes it a low maintenance garage door opener.
4. Direct drive
This is considered as the quietest garage door opener in the market. It opens the garage door through its stationary chain made of steel.
It has a simple construction, with fewer moving parts compared to other garage door openers. It is also less likely to be damaged and is very low-maintenance.
5. Smart openers
These are relatively new in the range of garage door openers but if you want ergonomic and remote operation for your garage doors, smart openers are very good investments.
You can install an application to monitor movement around the garage area and just tap on it if you are already by the curb instead of going down from the car to open it yourself.
6. Swing-out carriage garage door opener
For your carriage garage to swing out, you would need to install a motorized opener on the garage door. With this, you can have the traditional swing-out mechanism but with minimal noise.
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Garage door configuration
Your garage door configuration is most of the time defined by the size of your garage and its opening. There are two main garage door configurations which is the following:
1. Single bay door
This one works well with both small and larger cars. Its main benefit is the fact that you would not have to worry if the other door is stuck or fails to open. However, on the downside, you would not have enough strength to lift it up if the garage door opener fails.
2. Double door
The main upside of double doors is that they can be raised and lowered at once, hence, perfect for homes with larger cars. Aside from this convenience, you only need to install one garage door opener. You can stylize your double door anyway you want it.
Just because they are just garage doors would mean that accessories should not be installed along your garage doors. Here are some of the most common accessories which you can line up in your garage doors.
This is a default accessory to most garage door types. Depending on the style of your garage door, you can choose from an array of light styles to complement the garage door’s vibe.
The soft glow of lantern lights by the garage are perfect for traditional, Mission, and rustic styles.
Related: 42+ Best Garage Lighting Ideas
To add function and decorative appeal to your curb, you can frame your garage door with pergolas. Make sure that it is wide enough to avoid obstructions by the entrance. This structure is also good in adding shade and in adding visual impact to your curb through climbers.
Note that you will be needing different types of hardware to set up your garage door well. An incomplete or low-quality set does not only affect the functioning of your garage door but could also be hazardous for you and your family.
Always consult your contractor or the hardware personnel for a list of the hardware pieces that you should buy.
This could add to the upfront cost but an insulated garage is always worth the investment.
Keeping your garage at a well-balanced temperature regardless of fluctuations in climate is beneficial in keeping your car at its best performance. This should be a must-have for people living in locations with harsh weather conditions.
Factors to consider when buying a garage door
Aside from all the essentials that we have covered so far, you should also know some of the most important factors to consider when buying a garage door. So, before opting for one or in finalizing a garage layout, here are some things to consider:
When it comes to sizes, colors, and designs, there is an endless list to choose from for garage doors. For this, always consider the structure and architecture of your home.
This should also be the basis of what accessories to install and what extra features you should include.
This one has something to do with the materials used for the garage door. While all garage door materials have their own test of durability, you would want a garage door material that could withstand outdoor elements and could last for a long time. Know the weaknesses of each material before you opt for one.
Going for a smart garage door opener is not always a requirement but if you have some money to spend, it is always a good investment. When it comes to openers, there are only two things that should be in mind: quiet operation and ease of operation.
4. Upfront cost
Always consider your budget range. Aside from constructing the garage door, there are other inclusions in the upfront cost.
For this, you have to consider installation costs, labor costs, added expenses for the special features and others. If you are not prepared for these, you can always go for average garage doors.
This one is geared towards the opener and hardware set of your garage door. Some are more costly to maintain than others while some take years before the next maintenance check is required.
Motorized openers need lubrication and repairs are inevitable. Hence, you should also consider the garage type and operation to suit your capacity for maintenance costs.
5. Energy efficiency
It is in this factor where insulation is considered a good investment. Note that the temperature inside the garage could have an effect not only on the parked car but also on the other items that are stored in your garage.
If you do not want your garage to dent on your electric bill during harsher climate conditions, keep it energy efficient through door insulation.
What is the most popular type of garage door?
The most popular type of garage door would be the sectional garage door. The conventional paneled section connected through hinges always offer a timeless look and functional taste for garage doors. They can be single, double doors and more.
How much should a new garage door cost?
Depending on the design, layout, accessories, and style, a new garage door has an average cost of $1300-7000. For instance, single door garage doors can range from $1000-1300. Double door garage doors, on the other hand, can cost $1500-4000. The excess of the range goes to installation and labor costs.
What is the lightest garage door?
The lightest garage door would be fiberglass. As such, it is typically the material used in building manually opened doors. Motorized drivers as well as automatic openers are also easier to install in fiberglass garage doors.
How thick should a garage door insulation be?
The average garage door insulation should be 1-3-inches thick for Styrofoam sheets and 24-26-gauge for metal sheet insulation.
Are garage doors hard to install?
Yes. With the hardware set needed to be installed and the panels that need to be assembled by the hinge, it is not a DIY job that could be done in just a day. Unless you are a skilled handyman, you should always opt professional installation.
It has been noted already that wrong installation of the garage door could lead to costly repairs and can even pose a hazard to you and your family.
Can garage doors be painted?
Whatever material they are made of, garage doors can be painted. Like usual painting jobs, it all starts with a primer and then paint. The best time for garage doors to be painted is when the temperature is moderate or when the air is dry.
Can used garage doors be sold?
Interestingly, yes. There is an actual market facilitating the buying and selling of second-hand garage doors. The good thing is that the garage doors need not be working to be sold.
The facilities that buy broken garage doors repair them and upgrade them and then sell the refurbished garage door.
Is there a standard size for garage doors?
Yes. In terms of width, an 8-20ft range is a good measurement for garage doors. Single door garages are at 8-10ft. Double door garages are in between 16-20ft. As for the height, the average range would be 7-9ft. This is standard to all garage doors, both for single and double door garages.
Can garage doors be frozen shut?
Yes. Rain and long winters can cause garage doors to be frozen shut. The good thing is that there are measures which you can employ so that this would not happen or at least prevented.
During winters, it is essential that you shovel up ice buildup on the garage door. This would protect the hardware set mounted in your garage door.
An old seal or an unlubricated drive could also be affected when a garage door is frozen shut. Since these are harder to replace and they come with a price, regular checkup of these parts should be done especially before and after winter.
Is replacing the garage door a good investment?
Yes. According to real estate consultants, you can recover 95% of the cost of replacing garage doors once you plan to resell your home. It is one of the upfront views seen in the home’s exterior and its curb appeal cannot be denied. It also elevates the price point of the home to up to 4%.
How long should garage doors last?
Most garage doors are said to last at an average of 15-30 years, notwithstanding your location, the maintenance tips that you employ and the general environment where it is built. Usage is also one of the main indicators of garage door longevity. The quality and hardware set is also vital.
What is the cheapest garage door?
In reports, the cheapest garage door would be embossed steel with faux wood-grain finish. This costs less than $1000. This one really looks like real wood. But if you want a more upgraded look, go for glass or fiberglass.
How much is the installation cost for garage doors?
Standard, single garage doors would range from $600-1500 while a double car door would cost $800-2500. Labor costs would be at $300 and above and the price range for a new unit of garage door would be $300-1200.
How often should a garage door be serviced?
Professional service and upkeep, maintenance check of twice a year is recommended. One of these two checking and tune-up should be done during fall in preparation for winter. Make sure that all drives are checked and all gears are lubricated accordingly.
Can a garage door overheat?
Yes. Garage door overuse can cause overheating. The reason for this is that the opener becomes overworked and shall begin to emit heat every after use. This is particularly true for automatic garage doors.
What are the common causes of garage door damage?
Preventing future damages and maintaining the garage door start with knowing the most common causes of repair. For you to be able to take heed of what could be the cause of damage, you should know the following:
- Broken springs: Pressure could wear out springs and pressure come from garage door overuse. Once the spring is broken, the entire garage door would not work anymore. While they can be replaced, they are challenging to install so make sure that the spring is intact and have it checked if you suspect damage.
- Broken cables: The cables are the ones responsible for the opening and closing of the garage door so it is imperative that they are in good condition, always. However, excessive opening and closing could also lead to damage. Other than that, they also become weak with age and if left unattended could snap, causing the garage door to fail.
- Worn out rollers: Garage doors owe their smooth gliding from their tracks. Issues on the garage door not being opened properly or issues on being stuck could be an indicator that the rollers are already worn out. Greater signs of worn-out rollers cannot be easily detected. As such, jerky movements from the garage door should be taken as a sign for you to have it checked by a professional.
- Worn out hardware: Like all else, the hardware set of the garage door can be worn out too. When it happens, expect it not to work properly. The tightness and looseness of the hardware set should be checked every now and then to prevent garage door mishaps. You can also have it checked by professionals, especially the movable parts of the hardware.
- Misaligned track: With a lot of movement, the track of the garage door can be misaligned. And if not abated immediately, it could only worsen in time. Signs of misaligned track would also be jerky movements, being stuck, or not opening or closing right. To keep this problem at bay, do not heavily shut the garage door and make sure that all maintenance tips are employed every now and then.
Do car insurances cover backing accidents on garage doors?
Fortunately, yes. While car insurance policies vary state to state, most locations require liability coverage from motorists. This covers damages inflicted by motorists on the property of others.
As such, when a backing accident happens by the garage door, you can avail full or partial coverage from your insurance policy depending on the gravity of the damage inflicted.
Why do the hinges of the garage door break?
The hinge is usually listed as a part of the hardware set of the garage door. When it breaks, it is usually due to impact from the car or when the garage door is shut. It could also wear out due to age.
If you suspect that the garage door hinge is already broken, dented, or damaged, it would be best to replace it immediately.
How many times a day can you open and close the garage door?
It is advised that garage doors should be opened and closed 1500 times a year for it to achieve a longevity of 15-30 years. This means that the average closing and opening of the garage door every day should be 3-5 times only.
Is it okay to leave the garage door open all the time?
No. For the most part, leaving the garage door open all of the time could be an invitation for animals to niche inside. And we are not just talking about pets. Squirrels, birds, and other critters could also niche there since it is also a storage area for the home.
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Garages are nothing without garage doors for the most part. With what we have covered here, we have established that garage doors are something that should be meticulously chosen, must be based on different factors, and must be well-thought of, layout and design wise.
More than their value on curb appeal and visual impact, your garage doors should meet the needs and preferences of your family.