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5 Steps to Finding the Perfect Garage Door

When it's time to shop for a new garage door, how do you know where to begin? There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing the perfect garage door for your home. Garage doors should not only be functional and installed with safety in mind, but they should also complement the architecture of your home and fit into your budget.

In this article, we are going to look at the most important aspects of choosing a new garage door. Whether you wish to replace an old garage door in need of major repair or boost your home's curb appeal, we are happy to help you narrow your options and pick a door you're sure to love for many years. 


1. Consider Design 

Owning a garage boosts a home's value by thousands of dollars. People want a garage on their property to protect their cars from the elements, store household maintenance tools or use as a workshop. Some homeowners imagine turning their garage into a living space or a place to socialize with friends. A garage with a well-maintained, attractive and reliable garage door increases a home's value even more.

According to a 2017 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors, a new garage door makes a difference in ways homeowners may not realize. For example, home sellers recovered 87 percent of the cost of a new garage door. When you consider this statistic, it's easy to see a quality garage door is a worthwhile investment.

A new garage door also brings homeowners joy. Forty-one percent of homeowners reported a greater desire to be home after installing a new garage door, and 44 percent felt a greater sense of enjoyment when at home after installing a new door. The report ranked new garage doors as the third-highest project most likely to add value to a home.

40% percent of homeowners

To make the most out of your investment, you want to keep the design in mind. Make sure to pick a door that complements the style of your home and adds curb appeal. When your home looks good, you will not only enjoy it more as a homeowner, but you'll also be more likely to sell your home fast if you put it on the market.

People looking to buy a new home will not have any interest in a house that does not capture their attention right away, so it's essential to create a great first impression. An attractive, functional garage door that blends in with your home's style is a sure way to stand out from other homes and entice potential buyers.

When choosing a garage door design, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your home's exterior materials
  • Your home's color scheme
  • The color of trims and doors
  • The architectural style of your home

The garage door should not draw more attention than other aspects of your home. Instead, a garage door should match the other design elements of your home and seamlessly blend in for an overall stunning look that makes onlookers pause to take notice.


2. Insulation or No Insulation?

An insulated garage door consists of two layers with insulation between the layers, while an uninsulated garage door is a single layer. A lot of homeowners might not consider insulation when it comes to garage doors, but as the largest opening in your home, it's something worth considering. A well-insulated garage can help reduce energy costs and provide a greater level of comfort.

Reduced Energy Costs

If you are not sure whether an insulated door is a better option, consider some of these benefits.

  • Comfortable temperature: An insulated garage door will help reduce drastic temperature changes in your garage, such as overheating or letting in too much cold air, which can also impact energy costs. You'll enjoy greater comfort when you need to pack holiday decorations away, for example, because an insulated garage door keeps the garage 10 to 20 degrees warmer on a cold day.
  • Noise reduction: With a well-insulated garage door, you can enjoy building things in your home workshop with less worry about disturbing the neighbors, and friends or family will enjoy the peace when lounging on the lawn. An insulated garage door serves as a barrier and helps protect the inside and outside of your garage from too much noise.

Your insulation needs also depend on your situation. Consider the following when deciding between an insulated or uninsulated garage door.

  • If your garage is attached or detached: How do you use your garage? Is it detached or attached? If your garage is separate from your home, you will not need to consider affecting the rest of the home's energy system as much, so an uninsulated garage door might be satisfactory. However, if you use your detached garage as a livable space or wish for extra privacy and noise reduction, insulated is the way to go.
  • If there is living space above the garage: An insulated garage door can help reduce the vibrations that occur when a garage door opens and closes, helping reduce noise and distractions for anyone living above the garage. An insulated garage door will also put less strain on the heating and air conditioning system for the living space above.

It is up to you whether you think an insulated garage door fits your home and situation best, or if an uninsulated door is all you need. Our quiz will help you decide which type of door will make you a happier homeowner. 


3. Consider Durability and Purpose

You certainly want to consider durability when choosing a new garage door. A garage door helps protect your home from the elements, such as rain, wind and snow. If you choose a material that is not very durable, you'll wind up having to replace the door or repair dents or other damage to the door.

Steel is a popular, low-maintenance material to choose for a garage door. Wood doors are also a durable material, but require more maintenance than steel to stay in tip-top shape. However, wood doors also complement many different architectural styles and are timelessly appealing.

Wood Doors

How do you know which material will help you get the most out of your garage? First, ask yourself how you use your garage. For example, although steel is a great garage-door material, it can also dent upon impact depending on thickness. You probably do not want to use a steel garage door as a backboard for a basketball hoop, and instead opt for a more kid-friendly material like vinyl.

Take the garage door quiz below to find out what material is best for your garage, considering what purpose you ask your garage to serve. While one garage door might be fine for a workshop, another one would be best for a room you use for socializing. 


4. Consider Maintenance Requirements

You may have found the perfect garage door for your home considering cost and design — but how do you feel about maintaining the chosen material? Perhaps another overlooked aspect to garage door shopping is maintenance. Some materials are easier to maintain than others, so you need to consider whether you enjoy maintaining parts of your home, or if you'd rather keep maintenance to a minimum.

For example, steel is easy to maintain, and you can even paint it to match your home's color scheme. However, depending on the thickness of your steel doors, it can become dented and would require repair. Lower-cost steel doors use thinner panels that are more vulnerable to denting, whereas thicker doors are tougher against impact. Other materials and their general maintenance requirements include the following.

  • Wood: Wood offers great insulation and adds curb appeal to a lot of homes, but requires regular maintenance to stay fresh-looking and protected from moisture.
  • Wood composite: Wood composite is a durable material made of recycled wood fibers. Wood composite looks like wood but is easier to maintain and is resistant to moisture.
Garage Door Material Maintenance

If you like to purchase items that are maintenance-free, you want to consider this when choosing a garage door. Our quiz below will help you find out what's right for you maintenance-wise.


5. Determine Your Budget

Budget is perhaps the most crucial factor in deciding which garage door to buy. Depending on your budget, you can choose a garage door that can add a lot of value to your home by increasing its curb appeal. Even if you are on a limited budget, you can still find a door that is durable and appealing.

Knowing the style of your home and the design you want will help you narrow down your options and pick a door that suits your budget. For example, if you want a rustic look or a touch of old-world charm, a wooden garage door may complete the style you wish to achieve.

Also, consider garage door performance and if you want to invest in a single-layer, double-layer or triple-layer garage door. Let's look at each one.

  • Single-layer: A single-layer door refers to an uninsulated steel, or wood door. A single-layer door might be a good choice for households on a low budget that only need a door to protect their cars while storing them in the garage.
  • Double-layer: A double-layer door includes a layer of insulation and a thin back for high durability, soundproofing and better energy efficiency.
  • Triple-layer: Homeowners who have more room in their budget might want to invest in triple-layer garage doors. Triple-layer garage doors include a layer of steel or wood, followed by a layer of insulation, and then another layer of steel or wood. Triple-layer doors offer a high-level of soundproofing, protection from the weather and temperatures changes, and long-lasting durability.

Garage doors can range anywhere from $600 to more than $10,000! In most cases, you will see a return on your investment when you buy a new garage door. Decide how much you want to spend on your new door, and realize a limited budget does not mean you cannot enjoy a garage door that will add value to your property and make you feel happy to be home. Similarly, it might be worth spending extra on the perfect door for your home and lifestyle, especially if you want to maximize curb appeal.

Take Our Quiz to Find the Right Garage Door for Your Home

Still not sure what garage door is the best for your needs and budget? Take our short quiz below to determine the best garage door for you and find a door you can depend on.

When you're ready to start shopping for your new garage door, reach out to Garage Door Specialists, Inc. As an award-winning garage door company with a flair for design and more than 30 years of experience, we can help you make a memorable first impression with a great door that boosts curb appeal and protects your home and garage. 

We offer a variety of door styles to complement your home's color scheme and architecture. Here's a look at a few of our most popular garage door collections.

  • Reserve Wood Collection Modern Series: As a mix of handcrafted beauty and sleek design, our Modern Series garage doors offer a versatile contemporary look with optimal durability.
  • Reserve Wood Collection Custom Series: Our Custom Series puts the power of design in your hands. With a custom door, you can enjoy the freedom to design the door of your dreams in the type of wood, color and style of your choice.
  • Reserve Wood Collection Semi-Custom Series: Classic, natural and perfect for historic or traditional homes, our Semi-Custom Series garage doors offer carriage-house design in your choice of cedar, redwood or hemlock.

Curious about other design styles or materials? Browse our wide selection of Clopay® garage doors for quality and beauty you can trust. Need help picking a style to work in harmony with your home? Our Design Consultants are excited to help you choose the perfect door. We also offer interactive design tools to help you visualize your ideal grand entrance.

If you're looking for a dependable, design-focused Clopay dealer in the Chicago area that specializes in residential garage doors, contact us today or request a quote!

1. How important is it to you that your garage door be a design element of your home, and/or maximize it’s curb appeal?

2. Is your Garage

3. Which of the following best describe the way your Garage is used?

4. Any of the following sound familiar! Let us know which one best describes you.

5. Which of the following best describes your current interest in purchasing a garage door?