How to Choose the Best Garage Door

How to Choose Your Garage Door: Learn how to choose the best garage door for your space

How to Choose the Best Garage Door

How do you choose the best garage door to complete your garage? Follow our step by step guide and become a garage door expert.

So you’ve figured out your theme, your floor and more. But what about the outside? The garage door is a very important factor to completing your dream garage.

Related content –> The Best Garage Flooring of 2017

What Are the Important Factors?

Chances are this is the first time you’ve had to purchase a garage door. It’s not something like shoes that you purchase multiple times per year. You’re probably wondering where to start.

Don’t worry, we’re going to take you step by step through safety, sizing, materials, appearance and more.

Related content –> Garage Flooring Buyer’s Guide

Garage Door Safety

Do you remember back when people were getting trapped in refrigerators? It’s crazy the scary things that can happen with technology and appliances that we never consider. That’s why garage door safety is the most important thing to consider when choosing your garage door.

The good news is, like refrigerators, garage door safety standards have come a long way. You can no longer even get a garage door that doesn’t have the technology to detect something in its path and prevent it from crushing whatever that may be.

Remember when you could close the garage door from inside the garage and then run under it before it closed? Yeah, those days are gone.

We’ll talk a little later about more of the safety features. But it’s worth stressing in its very own section that safety is always the #1 concern.

Related content –> How to Create Your Dream Garage

Garage Door Sizes

Something you would never consider until it’s time to buy a garage door, but not all garage door openings are built the same. The good news is, as with regular doors, there are a few standards that most garage doors fall into.

These standard sizes will fit your average car, truck, SUV, etc., but they will not fit your big ol’ toy hauler.

One Car Garage Door Sizes

  • 8’x7’
  • 9’x7’
  • 10’x7’

Two Car Garage Door Sizes

  • 12’x7’
  • 14’x7’
  • 16’x7’

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Garage Door Construction

Not all garage doors are constructed the same. This primarily comes down to one thing – what’s it made of? Let’s talk about it.

Material

Just like a traditional front door, you have lots of options or your garage door. And these days, things are not always as they seem.

One of the hottest trends in the flooring world has been deception. Lookalike floors in less expensive, lower maintenance materials. Garage doors are doing the same thing – offering you multiple looks in almost every material.

So what should you be looking for in a garage door? Well, obviously who enjoys sunsets and long walks on the beach. Just kidding. This isn’t your eHarmony profile.

You want a garage door that’s durable, dent and fade resistant, quiet and attractive.  Okay, maybe this isn’t so different from online dating…

Okay, okay, back to business. Here’s what you have to choose from.

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Steel Garage Doors

I mean, steel just sounds like it’s going to be hardcore, doesn’t it? And, it’s true, it is. They’re strong and durable, yet light and quiet – a great combination, if you ask me.

Steel is not exactly known for its insulation properties, but luckily many steel doors can be insulated with foam to keep the harsh temperatures outside where they belong.

The downside to steel is it can rust pretty easily, especially if you live in a wetter environment.

Aluminum Garage Doors

Would you believe that aluminum is typically pricier than steel when it comes to garage doors? It seems like it would be the bargain option, but a good quality aluminum garage door is pretty darn top of the line.

Aluminum can also be insulated and offers the same dent-resistant properties of beefier steel. However, aluminum is much better in wet environments than steel and far less likely to rust.

Wood / Wood Composite Garage Doors

Like wood flooring, wood garage doors are the real deal. While these other materials can mimic the wood look, at the end of the day, nothing quite compares to the look and feel of solid wood.

Just like wood flooring, the best look doesn’t always offer the best features. Wood doors are heavy, and high-maintenance, often requiring much more work down the road.

The good news is wood composite, similar to composite decking, gives you the closest resemblance to a wood look, but in a lighter, easier to maintain material. If you’re really set on wood, we recommend going with a composite rather than the real deal.

Vinyl Garage Doors

Just like vinyl floors, vinyl garage doors seem to be virtually indestructible! Built to stand up to kids, weather and more, vinyl is the low-maintenance garage door option.

Of course, you can’t always get the exact look you want with vinyl, which is the one downside. But man, these babies are built to last.

Fiberglass Garage Doors

A fiberglass garage door also offers a realistic wood look without the weight and maintenance of a solid wood garage door.

Fiberglass is popular in temperate areas. It’s great in the rain, but it does not love the cold. In fact, super cold environments can cause the door to turn yellow or even break over time. So if you live in Alaska, this is not the garage door for you.

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Insulation

First thing’s first: Do you actually need to insulate your garage door? Well…it depends.

If you live in a harsh climate and plan to spend a lot of time in your garage, it’s worth springing for the insulation. Obviously, you don’t want to invite the guys over in the middle of July only to have a sweat fest happening in your garage.

However, if you are just parking in your garage, insulation could be keeping in things you don’t want like fumes and chemicals.

If you are insulating, the good news is that most new garage doors come with built in insulation. We recommend going that route, is possible.

If you are stuck with an older garage door or can’t find an insulated one you like, there are lots of great DIY tutorials out there using inexpensive materials like foam to keep you safe from the elements.

Related content –> Brainstorming Your Dream Garage

Garage Door Features

Remember when getting a new car boiled down to just speed, looks and reliability? Now, you can go for things like cooled seats, built in massagers and even cars that basically drive for you.

We are living in the era of bells and whistles and, these days, the more the better. So why shouldn’t your garage door have bells and whistles, too? Just take a look at some of your options.

Automation

Okay, so automation is technically more about your garage door opener. But it’s a thing you can do with your garage door so we’re gonna talk about it anyway.

There are tons of automation features for your garage door and the good news is that if you decide to go for automation, most devices will do all of them.

Lights, closing, deliveries, you name it, it can be automated. check out one of the many automated garage door openers if this is something you think you might be interested in. Most of them connect with apps on your phone, Alexa or Google Home.

Safety Features

Remember how I was like “YOU MUST MAKE SURE YOUR GARAGE DOOR IS SAFE!!!” up above? No it’s time to discuss what makes it safe.

There are three main safety features you want to look for when choosing your garage door.

  • Manual controls. This means you can manually open and close your garage door in an emergency if it breaks or you lose electricity.
  • Motion detection. This is how the garage door senses that there is an object (or human) in its path. It is very important.
  • Auto-reverse. Okay, so your door can detect objects. That’s cool. But it doesn’t matter if it can’t, upon detection, automatically reverse its path to keep from crushing those objects. This one’s a biggie.

Now, having all these features is great, but you also need to make sure you’re regularly testing your garage door to make sure all features are working properly. Better safe than sorry!

Related content –> How to Design Your Dream Garage

Garage Door Aesthetics

How to Choose Your Garage Door: Learn how to choose the best garage door for your space

Now for the fun part! Although things like safety and materials are, in my opinion, more important than the way your door looks, we all know that choosing the look is the exciting part.

There’s a lot to discuss, so let’s take a look.

Color

So the truth is many people end up painting their garage door down the road anyway. Color is important, yes, but it’s not permanent. You can always update it later so don’t worry too much about it being perfect right away.

Unless you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, your color options are really endless. Personally, I love a garage door that works as an accent to complement the rest of the house. You can still do this even with a neutral color.

If your house is painted in light, bright colors, consider a deep, rich brown garage door. Alternatively, if you have a darker home, you can do a bright white garage door.

If you want to get really fancy, there are some beautiful turquoise and pastel yellow garage doors I’ve seen. These definitely make a statement, but I love a good statement.

Windows

Do you like a garage door with windows? I think it looks so beautiful and elegant. Okay, maybe “beautiful” and “elegant” aren’t things you want in your man cave, but they are a great way to compromise with the other in your life that may be slightly more style-conscious.

You can go for no windows, a few top windows, huge sweeping windows or anything in between. Look around and see what you like and what will look best with your home.

Hardware

Is it just me or is picking out hardware the most tedious task in any project? I remember picking the hardware for our cabinets. It’s just so hard to picture how everything will look on the finished product.

I recommend seeing if you can grab a few samples or at least measure the hardware to see how much space it will take on the door and give you a better idea of what you need.

You can choose different colors, finishes, styles, you name it. There is something for everyone.

Related content –> 4 Ways to Beef Up Your Garage Decor

How to Make the Decision

How to Choose Your Garage Door: Learn how to choose the best garage door for your space

The time has come: decision time! Determine which things are most important to you then just searching your options. Take pictures, hold them against your house and get a few different quotes.

How to Choose Your Garage Door: Learn how to choose the best garage door for your space

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Jade Brunet
Guest

I did not realize that there were so many different kinds of garage doors. I am glad to know that aluminum garage doors can be insulated. My neighbors say that a new garage door can improve your property value if it is of good quality and appealing to the eye.

Thomas Pindall
Guest

I have a neighbor who was considering on getting a new garage door, and wants to know what to look for. It’s a good thing that there are garage doors that provide proper insulation to keep the temperature at a reasonable level. This should help my neighbor decide on what garage door to get to keep his garage cool in the summer, and warm during the winter.

Annika Larson
Guest

This fall, my husband and I are hoping to update the look of our home with a new garage. We want to make sure we choose the right look and style to add to the aesthetic appeal of our home. Like you said, windows look so beautiful and elegant, so I will have to talk to my husband about this option.

Scott Adams
Guest

I like that you talked about how important it is to make sure that your garage door has a motion sensor to let it know if someone is underneath. I have been looking for a garage door to put in my new house, and I wasn’t sure how to choose one. I can see how it would be good to have one with a sensor because my kids will run underneath the garage sometimes.

Ashley Maxwell
Guest

My husband and I are considering replacing our garage door because it’s old and really loud, and we are considering our options. Thanks for your comment about how there are many materials to choose from, so you should think about what kind of door you want. I like how you said that they should be quiet and durable as well.

Larry Weaver
Guest

Thanks for suggesting not to worry about the color of garage doors right away because they’ll likely be painted over down the road. I’ve been looking to get a new garage door installation in my home, and I want to get something that has a similar color scheme to my home, but I won’t worry too much about it. Motion detection is a feature I would like to get in a garage door, so I’ll be sure to look further into that option for installation.

Deb Pearl
Guest

My husband and I are getting a garage soon and we really need to choose a door. There are so many options though we don’t know what kind to get! I’m glad you mentioned that just like wood flooring, wood doors are heavy and require more work down the road. That is great that getting composite is a great substitute if we really want to get wood! Thank you for the information!

Dan Moller
Guest

We’re currently having our house renovated and I wanted to include the garage among the areas that would be upgraded. I think it would be good to adapt to the newest technology when it comes to it and employ automation with it for the extra convenience of being able to control the garage door using a smartphone. As for the materials, either a vinyl or aluminum doors would be great for their durability and minimal maintenance requirements.

Amanda Drew
Guest

My current garage door is a bit warped and doesn’t shut all the way. So I want to get a new garage door to replace the broken one. I like how you point out that you can use them as an accent for the rest of your house. I’ll have to keep that in mind as I choose one.

Alex
Guest

Thanks for this useful information!

Georgia B
Guest

Wow, I had no idea there were so many features available for garage doors these days! My husband and I moved into an old house, and the garage door is one that you have to manually drag up to open. After trying to use it for a few months, we’ve decided we want to invest in an automated on! It’s amazing that even within this feature, there are so many possibilities like including lights and connecting with apps on your phone!

Ashley Turns
Guest

Thanks for letting us know that we should focus our search on residential garage doors that have motion detection so that we can be sure they won’t close on anything or anyone. My husband and I are having issues with our residential garage door, so we’ve decided that it might be time to get a new one. Since we have little kids running around, we will definitely have to choose a gate that can detect objects and people.

Gerty Gift
Guest

I appreciate that you mentioned insulation as an option for the doors, but to make sure that it is a necessity before splurging on something like that. My husband really enjoys spending time out in the garage and doing different projects. This is probably going to be an important addition to our home.

Hannah Neilson
Guest

You make a good point when you say that you need to consider the size of a garage door. It would be good to consider this because it would ensure that it fits well. My husband and I are looking for a garage door, so we’ll have to consider the size.

Kyle Wayne
Guest

I like that you talked about making sure you get a garage that has a high tech sensor to ensure child safety. My neighbor is looking to get a residential garage door installation and wants to get a good door. I’ll be sure to talk to her about hiring a professional who will put a good sensor in.

brrllc.com
Guest

This was an awesome post! Thanks for sharing 🙂

Ridley
Guest

Thanks for the great tips for choosing a garage door. I like how you said that most doors nowadays are very safe. As long as we get a modern design, I think we’ll be pretty safe with our three kids.

Michel Jonson
Guest

As we are about to shift a home and our new home has a good garage, so I think it would be wonderful to install an insulated garage door as the opening and closing of that variety of the door are very smooth. Thanks for sharing that very useful information with us!

Hannah Neilson
Guest

Thanks for the advice about finding a garage door that is durable. It would be smart to consider what material will give you the most durable, longest lasting garage door. My husband and I moved into a home that has a really old garage door that needs to be replaced. When we replace it, we’ll have to find a durable replacement for it.

Jon Wood
Guest

Very very informative and effective writing. I must say all the mentioned points are making some sense and Helpful for many individuals like me, who do not have much idea about the garage doors. Well done, Thanks for sharing such a helpful stuff.

Vivian Black
Guest

When we bought the house we are currently in, our garage always felt cold and drafty in the winters, making it hard for us to find any motivation to clean or organize any of our belongings during the cold months of the year. I like that you mentioned the option to insulate your garage door, specifically if you live in an area with a harsh climate or if you will be spending significant time in the garage. Thanks for helping me understand the importance of insulation in a garage door that will allow my husband and I to keep our… Read more »

Hazel Owens
Guest

My husband and I have been thinking about updating our garage door since it’s not very pretty, at least to me. I didn’t think about looking at how safe a garage door is before buying, especially checking if it had manual controls to close the doors by hand in case the motor stops working. This is something I’ll have to keep in mind as we ask companies about the types of garage doors the sell.

Millie Hue
Guest

Wow, I never knew that using aluminum doors for our garage is better since it has the same features of a stell but is more resistant to rust. With that in mind, I might have to tell my husband to tell the contractors that he will be hiring to use aluminum instead. We have to change our garage door because it has been damaged over the years. We can’t afford to lose some of our belongings in our garage that is why we need to hire contractors as soon as possible. Thanks for the information!

Georgia B
Guest

I didn’t know there were so many options when it came to opener automation! My garage door is getting old and will likely need to be replaced soon. I’d love to get a garage door opener that could also have lights programmed to come on with it!

Bethany Birchridge
Guest

Thanks for pointing out that you’ll want o make sure the garage door you choose has good security and runs safely. My current garage door is having problems closing, so these tips will help me find a great one.

Heidi Bookenstock
Guest

My garage door was recently damaged in a storm so it’s time to look in to getting a new one. I’ve never had to pick out a garage door before so I’m super grateful for this article helping figure out where to start. I had no idea there were so many different sizes, I’ll have to measure my old one and figure out what I need.

Penelope Smith
Guest

This is some really good information about choosing a good garage door. My parents have been thinking about getting a new garage this summer. So, I like that you pointed out that getting one with windows will help make the garage look more elegant.

Gerty Gift
Guest

I liked that you mentioned getting a garage door that is insulated. My husband loves spending time in our garage, but has to stop in the winter. I think that a feature like this would really help to make a difference in his life and it would be a nice surprise for him.

Ashley Maxwell
Guest

I like how you said that garage doors can be made from varying materials from aluminum to wood. Thanks for mentioning how aluminum is good in wet climates. My husband and I are looking for a new residential garage door; thank for the tips.

Kit Hannigan
Guest

It sure is nice that you talked about how Aluminum offers the same dent-resistant properties of beefier steel but in a much rust-resistant form. If I was living in a pretty rain-heavy area, I’ll definitely remember to stay away from steel garage doors and start looking at Aluminum garage doors instead. This article about choosing garage doors will definitely help me out a lot in the future. Thanks!

garypuntman
Guest

I might have to consider getting a wood composite garage door. It’s nice that this can look like wood, but is lighter and easier to maintain, like you said. This sounds like the perfect option for me.

Kit Hannigan
Guest

I’m glad that you talked about how steel would make for a strong, durable, and lightweight garage doors. My goal is to get a replacement for my old garage door that went out of commision just recently. I would think these qualities and a nice, dark coat of paint will definitely complement the modern look that I am going for

Sam Gibson
Guest

My wife and I are looking to buy a house that will need to have a new garage door installed. I like how you suggested that a vinyl garage door are virtually indestructible and can stand up to kids, weather, and more. Since we don’t have the time, tools, and experience, we’ll want to hire an experienced professional to do it for us.

Shane Taylor
Guest

Thank you so much for the post!
Actually i am going to buy a door for my garage and your post make my mind set.
thanks again keep posting

Gerty Gift
Guest

I like that you mentioned insulation being a big factor. My husband loves to spend time in the garage doing various projects. It’s difficult for him to get things done in the winter because it gets too cold in there. I’m sure that he would be ecstatic to have a door with more insulation so that he can feel free to spend more time in there throughout the year.

garypuntman
Guest

I need to find a new garage door for my home. It’s good to know that you should make sure you consider safety features when finding a garage door. I like the idea of getting a door that detects if something is in its path that prevents it from crushing whatever that may be, like you said.

Taylor Anderson
Guest

My garage currently doesn’t have a door, so I’ve been thinking I should get one. It was helpful when you mentioend that vinyl garage doors are sturdy and easy to maintain. Thanks for the great information on the different types of materials for garage doors.