A brief overview of the main considerations for buying a new steel garage door.
If you’re looking for a new garage door, you may be feeling overwhelmed by all the options. One way to narrow down your search is by door material. Wood, steel, and fiberglass are the most common ones, and of these steel is considered by many the best value. Steel doors are quite strong, require little maintenance, and also look great on almost any home. Read on to learn more about buying a steel garage door.
Understanding Steel Gauge
The thickness of the steel on the door is an excellent marker of quality. Remember, the higher the gauge, the thinner the steel. A low-end door might be made of 28-gauge steel, while a high-end one would be more like 24-gauge. There will also be differences in construction quality between the low-end and high-end choices. You can probably find basic 28-gauge steel garage doors starting at $600 plus labor, while a premium-quality 24-gauge one will be closer to $1,000. In general it is worth spending more for quality because you will recoup 75 percent of the cost in increased home value.
Insulated or Non-Insulated?
Thick insulation is another sign of a quality steel garage door. Insulation not only helps keep temperatures in the garage more comfortable, but also help make the door quieter and less likely to sag over time. Most insulated garage doors will have double-skin construction, meaning the insulation is sandwiched between two panels, which is nice when aesthetics inside the garage is a concern.
Quality steel garage doors come with a finish that will not rust or require repainting, though some colors may be at risk of fading over time. Look for doors with hot-dipped galvanized steel panels that have been clad with vinyl or a baked-on polyester finish.
While steel garage doors are typically limited to standard rectangular garage openings (as opposed to arched ones), beyond that you can customize your design a great deal. Choose the number of panels, the design of the panels, the shape, style, and number of windows, and of course your color, finish, and hardware. You can even find options that imitate the look of painted wood pretty convincingly.
Choosing your Garage Door Opener
Often, your existing garage door opener can be adjusted to be used with your new steel garage door. However, if your garage door opener is old anyway, you might want to consider replacing both the door and the opener at the same time. This will save you an additional service visit later, and also enable you to invest in a newer, quieter, and more reliable garage door opener.