Park your Car, behind a Garage Door - But what kind of door?

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Garage doors add a beautiful design element to your home's exterior as well as provide a safe, secure and easy access to your garage. Today's garage doors come in a variety of types and styles, and are available in different materials, depending on your needs and tastes.

Types and Styles

There are two types of garage doors commonly used in home construction.  The first is the tilt up type which is a single panel that tilts out and up when opened.  The second is the sectional roll up door.  It is made of four or more horizontal panels that are hinged together and mounted on rollers in tracks on either side of the door so the sections can roll up and straight back.  While the tilt up door can be 25% to 35% less expensive than the sectional door, the sectional one is preferred by many because it takes less headroom in the garage, a car can be parked directly in front of it, and it is more weather tight, fitting behind the opening rather than within it.  Either type of garage door can be purchased in one of three styles - flush, raised-panel or recessed-panel. Materials When selecting a garage doors for you dream home, there are four types of materials available to you.

Wood is preferred by many for its natural look and affordability.  A wood garage door can be stained or painted any color to complement the color scheme of the exterior of your home.  Conversely, it will expand and contract with the weather and needs repainting or refinishing every couple of years.  If you plan to stain your garage doors, be sure to purchase one made of appearance-grade wood to ensure the wood grain showing through the stain gives a beautiful look to your door.

Steel provides a much stronger and more secure door than any of the other materials used today.  They won't warp, crack, delaminate or fall apart due to weather.  They are now available with wood grain patterns to complement your home's appearance, and most are hot-dipped in vinyl or have a baked-on polyester finish for ease of maintenance.  These finishes prevent rust and don't require frequent repainting.  Premium quality steel doors are insulated with a core of rigid polystyrene or polyurethane foam to maintain temperature control in the garage as well as making the door easier to operate and less likely to sag or warp over time. While the limited maintenance of the steel garage door is a plus, it can be dented and difficult to repair.

Aluminum garage doors are gaining popularity as they enjoy many of the same advantages as steel doors such as the wood grain embossing and durable finishes while being lightweight.  They are relatively inexpensive, but are very easily dented.

Fiberglass doors have an aluminum frame with fiberglass sections and are very lightweight.  There primary attraction is that they are resistant to salt air corrosion, and are very translucent allowing light into the garage.  While these features can be of a benefit to you, it is important to also know that this material is a poor insulator, yellows with age and breaks easily, especially in cold climates. Garage doors are a distinctive element in the exterior design of your home.  Whether you are refreshing the exterior of your current home or are designing a new one, the right garage door is available for you.

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