what to buy: wood or steel garage door?


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Old 08-26-06, 05:42 PM
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what to buy: wood or steel garage door?

our house built by another family came with a 16'X7' wood door. it gets waterlogged in the winter and this past winter broke a torsion spring...i think due to weight.

it needs to be painted. i pressure washed it today and noticed the flat panels are that MDF stuff and they got banged up by the pressure washer.

so, my question is: paint it or replace it with steel?

why do people do wood these days? nostalgia? no other exterior door is wood on the house.

any and all comments are welcome.
 
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Old 08-27-06, 04:56 AM
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I would replace it with a steel door, it looks better, lasts longer and just think, no more painting it. Springs only last about 10 years depending on the door useage. It probably broke because of age. Some people still do buy wood doors, Mostly Rich people wanting Custom made wood doors (very expensive) and people wanting to match another wood door that is already installed. Regular everyday wood doors cost more than steel. I would go with a steel Clopay or Raynor door
 
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Old 08-27-06, 05:03 AM
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IMO the only reason to use a wood door is looks and while some wood doors may look better they still have a shorter life span and more upkeep than a steel door.

A metal door will still need painting, even if the factory color is acceptable sooner or later that finish will deteriate and should be painted to both prevent rust and to keep it looking nice. They won't need painting as often as wood. A metal door also isn't prone to the moisture changes that affect wood.

If you do decide to keep your wood door awhile longer, sand the rough areas and prime them with oil base primer. Finish coat can be either latex or oil base.
 
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Old 08-28-06, 05:17 AM
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thanks for the feedback. my wife wants me to keep the wood door. less upfront cost.

my new question is a painting one: like i said, the panels seem to be that MDF (or similar product) and when i hit it with the pressure washer, i gouged the panel. when i picked at the peeling paint, it pulled off in a big chunk leaving some of the panel still covered in paint, and some not.

is this paint factory appllied and can i still paint over it with 1/2 of the panel covered still?

do i use an exterior spackle to smooth out the edges?
 
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Old 08-28-06, 05:23 AM
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There shouldn't be a problem with paint sticking to any part of the door. Be sure to use primer on any of the bad areas. Exterior spackling will be fine, if there are any areas too deep for spackle, prefill them with durhams rock hard putty.

While some wooden doors come pre finshed from the factory most are painted after installation. Prefinsihed doors still need to be repainted at some point.
 
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Old 08-28-06, 05:27 AM
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if i were to replace door, can i use existing spring system or do i have to buy a new one?

thanks again for all feedback
 
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Old 08-28-06, 05:31 AM
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While I have painted thousands of garage doors, I have never installed an overhead door. I assume it would be best to install all new hardware when replacing the door. I don't know for sure but I think new hardware comes with the new door.
 
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Old 08-28-06, 06:54 AM
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If you have at least 2' of headroom, install an aluminum roll up door. While not as cheap as a sectional door, they are virtually maintanence free, have no exposed spring works and you don't lose the space on the ceiling where a standard garage door is 'stored' when it's up.
 
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Old 08-28-06, 08:10 AM
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interesting idea about the aluminum roll up door.

do they make these in residential appearance? i am afraid of it looking too comercial.

also, are the insulated?
 
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Old 08-29-06, 04:41 PM
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Forget the rollup door. Will cause you more trouble long term than a standard sectional. Depending on what type of door - replacing springs would likely be impractical / cheaper to replace the door. Self storage style doors may have accessible springs, but... We call them mickey mouse doors for a reason.

It is possible to get steel doors that look like the old carriage style, wayne dalton, garaga, clopay and others are quite good these days at copying that overall style.

If it's the stained wood look you want, look at some of the new fiberglass doors (wayne dalton 9800 is the one I'm familiar with) looks like stained wood, feels like wood, ages similar to stained wood products. I'm sure some other manufacturers make similar.

Springs generally can't be reused - and why would you want to? The hardware is a very small portion of the cost of the door. And if there were problems down the road, it's best to have a full system - few questions on warranty.

Springs are based on door weight, drums, door height, lift - change any of those variables (and lift could change as track radius' standards have changed over the years) and the springs will need to be replaced.

Most quality steel doors will not need painting. A good baked enamel will last for decades. Same with most of the basecoat/clearcoat systems. In fact most manufacturers warranty the door's finish for 25years - life.
 
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Old 08-30-06, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by MoreBeer
Forget the rollup door. Will cause you more trouble long term than a standard sectional. Depending on what type of door - replacing springs would likely be impractical / cheaper to replace the door. Self storage style doors may have
Not sure what kind of problems you might expect, I've had my roll up for nearly 10 years now and it's needed ZERO maintanence other than spraying the connecting chain about once a year with WD40. The biggest drawback is cost, a 16x7 rollup with lift would likely cost in the $2000 area, my 8x8 was nearly a grand at the time (no labor, as I installed myself). You can get insulated ones, but they will be even more expensive.
 
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Old 08-30-06, 05:15 AM
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as always, i appreciate the many differing opinions. they all help in the decision making process.

at this point, i am thinking about repainting the wooden door. parting with close to $1K right now is hard to swallow given we have some repairs needed to bathroom as well as a new water heater.

however, if after i prep the door i realize it is not in good shape, i might buy a new one.

i am leading toward clopay because their website is so user friendly.

i walked around an upscale neighborhood of new homes and i noticed that most (practically all) of the garage doors don't have windows.

is this a cost thing for the builder?

i was planning on going with a higher qualilty steel door with windows.

if you know of any online companies that sell to public, please advise.

also, clopay sells the torsion springs that can be installed by DIY. it costs extra but not needing a service guy sounds great.

any opinions?
 
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Old 08-30-06, 05:18 AM
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Nice to hear its working for you, but I wouldn't advise it to anyone.

Pricing alone tells me you've got the self storage style door. Which are inexpensive for rolling doors, I hope your springs are exposed - as if they are buried inside the barrel you are going to have a nightmare when it comes time to replace the springs (usually you replace the door, occasionally its cheaper to replace the barrel itself - assuming you can get parts).

Changing springs on rolling doors, is virtually never cheap or easy.
 
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Old 08-30-06, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by robert smith
i walked around an upscale neighborhood of new homes and i noticed that most (practically all) of the garage doors don't have windows.
is this a cost thing for the builder?

Yes, doors without windows are cheaper plus the builder doesn't have to pay anyone to clean the windows prior to closing. Other than that it comes down to personal choice.
 
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Old 08-30-06, 04:17 PM
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Robert - I have the Clopay insulated steel doors. I don't have windows, but I did get the user friendly torsion springs. I have installed many doors with extension springs and a couple with manual torsion springs that were wound by hand with a couple of bars. The Clopay EZ wind wins hands down. All you need is a 1/2" drill. It's simple, quick and most important - safe.
My 9X7 doors cost just under 2K and I installed both, by myself, over a weekend although two people would have made it easier, especially when installing the track.
 
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Old 08-31-06, 10:24 PM
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WD's torquemaster spring systems even a bit easier than the clopay - but either one for a DIY'er is safer than torsion springs (Yes, I work for a dealer who handles both brands)

Installing the doors really is a 1 man job. Just have a couple pieces of rope handy. Loop over the trusses (or through punch if ceilings drywalled) tie a loop roughly at the height the back end will be (usually door height + 9-10" ballpark) slide the back end of the horizontals through the loop, it supports the back while you install the front. Adjust later when you install your backhang.

Windows vs. no windows is a personal preference / style thing. Let your wife decide But realize most dealers can offer you 1-200 different options for windows if you really want, from pretty to security and just about everything in between.
 
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Old 09-01-06, 01:09 PM
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Are they steel doors or are they aluminum? I always thought the metal ones were made of aluminum.
 
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Old 09-01-06, 01:14 PM
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If I'm not mistaken all the metal garage doors I have painted have been steel.
 
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Old 09-03-06, 01:26 PM
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A metal door could be any variety of materials, Steel, aluminum and copper are the most common these days...

I wouldn't be overly shocked to see someone offering stainless or titanium doors for the coastal markets in the future. More likely titanium, it's got an awesome natural finish.
 
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Old 09-05-06, 05:15 AM
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morebeer,

who is WD? when you say their spring system is easier?

thanks
 
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Old 09-05-06, 05:39 AM
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I think it's Wayne Dalton.
 
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Old 09-05-06, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by robert smith
morebeer,

who is WD? when you say their spring system is easier?

thanks

I would stay away from Wayne Dalton doors, In My Opinion go with Clopay, Holmes (which is Clopay) , Raynor, C. H. I. or Amar doors. And I would stay away from those easy set or torque master or any thing you wind up with a drill. Most are made of plastic. Stay away from extension springs on a 16X7. It will work but not the greatest. What ever door manufacturer you decide to go with do your self a favor and get it with a real torsion spring system. If you decide to install the door yourself, call a qualified door mechanic to come and wind the spring(s) up. I would not go with a steel roll up door, a good one is very expensive and you would need to use a commercial garage door opener with it (not cheap)
 
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Old 09-05-06, 05:11 PM
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Doorman and I will undoubtedly choose to disagree on Wayne dalton products. He sounds like I did when I was first introduced to their products - Not much about them I liked. After years of dealing with them, I'd rather deal with WD than anything else (in a residential application anyway).

The Wayne dalton torquemaster systems been around for at least a decade now - Yes it contains plastic parts. But other than a bad manufacturing run last year; I've yet to see any failures of the plastic components - that wasn't directly attributable to incorrect installation/service (ie using hammer drills/impact drivers to wind)
 
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Old 09-06-06, 10:02 AM
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"Most are made of plastic."

That comment is a bit misleading. I have Clopay EZ set torsion springs. The only plastic is a portion of the winding unit. The Spring, torsion tube, set cone, cable drums and mounting brackets are all metal.
My doors are 4 years old, used daily and so far, trouble free. I'm happy with the easy set torsion springs. If the one plastic part does fail, I'm confident that I can do the repairs myself. As a confirmed DIYer, that's a big deal to me.
 
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Old 09-06-06, 10:07 AM
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the only thing i have heard is that when WD first came out with the Diy'er springs, they were terrible and often broke down within a year.

however, this person told me that if clopay had a version of DIY'er springs, they must have worked the bugs out by now.

i just hope that in the long run, these types of springs keep me from having very expensive service calls to my house
 
 

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