Garage doors can be made from many interesting materials and combinations of them, including steel, vinyl, wood, and composites. They can also incorporate glass windows. With the sky being the limit for garage door customization, how do you decide what materials are best for a new garage door for your home or business?

This short guide describes the advantages of these materials so you can learn more about them and the potential trade-offs when comparing one material with the others.

Steel Garage Doors

Steel has the distinct advantage of being extremely tough and durable. When compared to wood, vinyl, and composites, it resists damage better. In a collision accident, a steel door may only be bent instead of breaking entirely. This is a fairly easy repair.

Vinyl Garage Doors

Vinyl is popular because it is a low-cost material that looks good. It requires little maintenance as well. However, it is a bit more delicate than steel and will crack if hit hard enough. Otherwise, it holds up well and stays lovely-looking for a long time.

Wooden Garage Door

A wooden garage door may be part of the overall aesthetic design for the home. Carriage-house are popular designs for stately-styled abodes, as a wooden garage door gives a home a vintage, classy look. Wood is also strong if pressure-treated with special chemicals that help preserve the wood, make it more fire resistant, and create a deterrent against pest damage.

To learn more about wooden garage doors, check out Clopay’s page about them. We’re proud to stock this brand, as it makes a wooden garage door that goes above and beyond the competition in many respects.

Composite Garage Doors

Composites are materials that are made by using adhesives to hold laminated layers of materials together. They are usually a little stronger than a solid wood door and hold up better.

Composite materials can be worked with using the same methods as those used for solid wood. They can be sanded, painted, and finished. Composite doors are usually less expensive than using solid wood and preferred for their added durability.

Glass In A Garage Door

Windows are a very attractive element for a garage door There are two main concerns, though, if you’re looking to incorporate windows into your design. One: is the energy efficiency of the door lowered because the type of glass is not a very good temperature barrier? If the windows use double-paned glass, for instance this energy loss is less.

The other consideration is the ability of a stranger to look in through the windows of the garage door to see what is inside. If the window glass is clear, this may add some security risk to the property, which needs to be addressed. As an alternative, there are many decorative glass materials that are attractive but relatively opaque.

The Big Question: Carriage House or Overhead?

One of the biggest decisions you’ll make when it comes to your new garage door installation is its orientation—how it opens, in other words. Carriage house garage doors slide back horizontally, while overhead garage doors retract vertically and store themselves near your garage’s ceiling.

Which one is right for you? That entirely depends on your situation; neither is inherently better than the other. We’ve written an entire blog on the differences and what those mean for the door’s functionality and style, so check it out to begin to determine your individual right route.

Keep in mind, though, that your garage door can be made to mimic one style while, in reality, operating as the other. If you’ve got space concerns that mean a carriage-house is out of the picture, for instance, a door that opens upward can often be made with faux hinges and the like to give it that coveted, luxurious look.

Insulated or Not?

We’ll just go ahead and answer that question for you: always buy insulated if you can. We detail exactly why in our blog post on the topic. In short, though, these garage doors are awesome. They can pay for themselves in the long run in energy savings and are therefore great for the environment. Not to mention that, because they can control the temperature of the garage, the space becomes much more viable as a home gym, hobby room, and more.

On top of all that, they drastically reduce the sound the garage door makes while operating. Clopay cites an approximate three-times reduction in operating noise levels with its signature insulation line. Garage doors should always be quiet, but when you invest in insulation, you’ll get that benefit to the max!

Contact Door Power for High-End Garage Door Repair, Installation, and More

There are many styles, colors, and finishes that your new garage door can take—and we’re here to help you navigate them all. Consult with the experts at Door Power by calling 952-467-3199 or simply fill out your information on the request form.