Choosing the Garage Door That's Right For You Choosing the Garage Door That's Right For You

Most of us don't spend too much time thinking about our garage doors . However, since garage doors make up about one third of a home's frontage and all real estate agents will tell you the importance of curb appeal in making a first impression, perhaps we should spend a little time considering them. If your garage door is past its “best before date” here's some ideas on choosing the new garage door that's right for you.

How much maintenance are you willing to do?

  • While wood doors give a home a rich, traditional appearance, they need regular maintenance including painting or staining every few years to keep their attractiveness.
  • Steel and fiberglass doors require much less maintenance (usually just a scrub brush along with some soap and water) but they obviously lack the visual appeal of wood.

Some building codes include garage doors

  • In some areas of the country, particularly where high winds are common, local building codes often include “wind load” specifications that garage doors must meet or exceed. Understanding your local building code requirements will ensure you don't end up choosing a door that doesn't conform to the local code.

What's going behind the door?

  • Don't just consider the size of your vehicle today, speculate on what you may want to put in your garage in the future. Many trucks and full size SUV's wont fit through the old 7' standard size garage door height.. Many single and double garage doors are available in a wide range of heights (7', 8', 9') and widths (7', 8', 9') so plan ahead.

Other material considerations

  • Besides maintenance the material your door is made for is important. For example, steel doors are heavy and can be dented or scuffed if hit with balls or a tree branch. Fiberglass while light weight could potentially crack in extreme cold.

Design options

In addition to size and material, there are other design considerations for your new garage door, including

  • Color - Do you want to choose a color that matches the color of your home's trim or a more neutral color that to blend your door with your home's siding.
  • Windows - Garage door windows are available in myriad shapes and sizes and can be an attractive addition to a door. However, while windows look nice and allow light into your garage, in some cases allowing a direct view into your garage could be a security concern
  • One way to come up with some design options for your door is to take a drive and look at your neighbors garage doors. Making note of doors you like will help narrow your range of choices.

Don't forget about the warranty

  • Some garage doors come with a lifetime warranty which indicates how confident the manufacturers are with the quality of their product. Choosing a door with a lifetime warranty can be a great selling feature, even if you aren't planning on staying in your home for years.
Murray Anderson is a veteran freelancer whose work has been appeared in books, newspapers and newsletters as well as on numerous web sites in both the United States and Canada. He writes on a wide range of topics including home, consumer, and personal subjects as well as general business and Marketing specific topics.

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