A garage door plays an integral role in the comfort and style of your home, so it must provide functionality, security, durability, good looks, and economy. The modern garage door comes in a wide array of colors and styles to match and enhance any home's fa��ade. Manufacturers offer doors with or without windows in decorative treatments ranging from carriage, to country cottage, to clean-lined modern.
The majority of new residential garage door installations consist of sectional roll-up doors made of steel. Roll-up door sections are attached with hinges that allow the garage door to lift and open as it travels up a vertical track and onto a horizontal track. They employ a tension spring system that provides the necessary strength to properly balance and hold the weight of large, two-car garage doors. An alternative to a sectional roll-up is the single piece tilt-up garage door, often found on older homes.
Tilt-up doors consist of a solid panel that tilts up and back via an extension spring system. Tilt-up doors are generally less expensive than roll-up doors, but have a slight disadvantage in that they require clearance space in front of the door to operate.
Garage Door Materials
While steel's lightness and relative economy have made it the popular choice among homebuilders, garage doors are also available in many other materials. Wood has long been a favorite door material. It is highly customizable, and with a little care, it is very durable. Wood however is very heavy and not appropriate for every situation. New vinyl doors that provide greater dent and corrosion resistance than steel are gaining in popularity, though they command higher prices. Aluminum, composites, and fiberglass are also available.
Purchasing a Garage Door
Before purchasing a door, make sure that it meets all local building codes. For energy efficiency, your best bet is a three-layered construction door that sandwiches expanded polystyrene insulation between outer and inner door layers. Also look for weather sealing features around the door's perimeter. Avoid dark colors in locales where high temperatures are common, as they absorb heat that may cause the door to bow outward.