How Do I Know Which Garage Door to Buy?

A garage door isn’t an everyday purchase.  It’s not even a yearly purchase.  Garage doors are meant to last your home for decades, so when it comes to buying a new garage door, what do you need to know?

carriage garage door

As it goes, there are multiple options that go into buying a new garage door.  Garage doors have numerous features and you’ll have to decide on which ones to settle on before making the purchase.

Decide The Garage Door’s Material

Garage doors are available in an array of materials and choosing one will impact your overall costs and aesthetics for your home.


Aluminum garage doors are cost-effective, but you do have to consider that the material does dent more easily than others. The reason why aluminum doors dent more easily is that they are lighter than steel. Its properties are rust-resistance and it excels against caustic and humid environments.


Steel is perhaps one of the most common materials used for garage doors. Because of its popularity, steel garage doors come in a wide variety of colors, insulation levels, and varying prices.  With a steel door, you’ll probably see the widest, most varied selection of doors. Steel garage doors are built to last which means that you’ll worry less about maintenance. On top of that, steel is well insulated which saves you on energy bills.


You can’t beat traditional when you opt for a wooden garage door.  Wood doors are typically crafted from moisture-resistant wood and can be tailored to unique designs. However, you do have to deal with more maintenance and upkeep.

Composite Wood

Faux wood is solid compromise between the distinctive look of real wood yet without the maintenance that comes with it.  Composite wood is much more moisture-resistant, preventing rotting, splitting, and cracking so it will last much longer.

Decide How the Door Will Open

man opening the garage door with the clicker

Another feature you’ll need to decide is how the door will open.  Garage doors can retract on a track system, which is the most common, they can swing-out in a carriage style, or in other cases, garage doors can tilt upward.

Tilt-up garage doors are the easiest to construct, especially if the material is wood.  However, you do face the issue of the material requiring maintenance and not lasting quite as long as steel or fiberglass.  Tilt-up doors aren’t as common these days, which is something to consider for the architectural style and resale value of your house.

Swinging carriage garage doors have begun to make an emergence.  While this rustic, barn-style is beautiful these doors do require a lot of space to open and close.  An advantage with this opening and closing function is that you wouldn’t need to worry about the track system or heavy-duty springs, which are often a cause for door malfunction.

Retractable garage doors are widely available in all different kinds of materials.  They rely on the track system and torsion springs to operate. While problems do arise with all of its working parts, an average DIYer can often troubleshoot them quickly.

Opt for Insulation

Garages usually aren’t heated and with the constant opening and closing of your garage door, you’ll want to conserve energy as much as possible.  That’s why you’ll absolutely want to consider buying a garage door with insulation, especially if your garage is attached to your home or you have a living space within your garage.

Insulation makes your home more energy-efficient.  You’ll end up saving on monthly energy bills, and not just in the winter, but during the summer, too.  Insulation helps regulate the temperature and having a garage door with insulation is worth the extra cost for an investment.  Insulation’s effectiveness is rated by its R-value and the higher the R-value, the more efficient the insulation.

Don’t Skimp on the Door’s Springs

garage door springs in operation

When buying a new garage door, another worth-your-buck upgrade is going to be the torsion springs.  These two springs are responsible for lifting the heavy door up and down.  When a door refuses to open and you hear an ear-shatteringly loud bang, the springs have broken, and it happens more often than you may think.

Typically, a standard set of torsion springs are rated for 10,000 cycles.  Most homeowners have to replace their torsion springs every few years (if you think about it, you could open and close your door six times a day, which is average, and that means you’d hit 10,000 cycles in less than five years).  Shelling out an extra $50 to upgrade to torsion springs that handle 20,000 cycles is worth it.

How Do I Know Which Garage Door to Buy?

As long as you’ve got a list of the features you want in your new garage door, pinning down the make and model is just a matter of staying in your price bracket.  The best place to start is to call your local garage door installation company for a quote and a professional can help guide you to the perfect door that meets all of your needs.

Keep in mind that a new opener won’t be included with a new garage door, but it’s something you may want to ask for anyway.  Your garage door opener has a limit on its lifetime, and if its time for a new door, then it’s probably time for a new opener.

With great products, services and installation, Feldco is the #1 company in the Midwest for garage doors. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.

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