Getting Smart with the New Generation of Garage Doors

tomorrowlandGarage doors are not something you buy every day; it is something you buy maybe twice or three times in your lifetime, depending on how you use it and the material of your choice. So, when choosing the garage door to buy for your new house or for a replacement of an old worn-out garage door, we have saved some useful tips on getting the right one for you.

If this is your first time to buy one, note that garage doors have evolved so much over the years. It is not the same one you bounced balls at when you were a kid. You’re in for a surprise if you think the new generation of garage doors is still the same as what you grew up to in your parents’ house.

The doors in the market today are more secure, made with better materials, with efficient insulation and require less maintenance; it also comes in many designs that you’ll have a hard time choosing. The range of choices is overwhelming that sometimes homeowners with a big budget would leave the decision to their architects and designers.

First thing you need to consider in buying a garage door would be the material. Most of the new garage doors available are made of steel and insulated with rigid-foam material. Steel backed panels are usually made of 24, 26 or 28 gauge steel and often have two types of finish, the wood-grain embossed and the smooth finish.

For maximum rust protection for steel-made doors, look for a model with a baked-on primer and also with polyester topcoat. This will protect it from rust for many years to come. The warranty for steel doors ranges from 10 years to limited lifetime warranties.

The wood material garage door may have lost its popularity to other materials. This is maybe due to its maintenance factor where you have to regularly paint it and do other maintenance check to avoid rotting and chipping of wood. But still, some choose this material for its classic look and added elegance. Sturdier wooden door are preferred, like the solid Douglas fir material. A warranty for wooden garage doors is usually 15 years.

Another new material in the scene is plastic and it is slowly gaining footing in the market as the material of choice. It is becoming popular because unlike metal and wood, it is lightweight, durable and with minimal maintenance since it is corrosion-free and rot-free. It also runs almost silently and has UV-resistant factor that doesn’t fade or discolor even under sun exposure.

Plastic garage doors also come in a plethora of designs and colors; it is made of high-density plastic material which is the same one used for truck-bed liners. It comes with a 20 year warranty or even longer.

Another thing to consider is the insulation. Living in a country with four seasons will definitely take a toll on your garage. Having  good insulation will not only keep it warm during the cold weather but it also reduces noise and having thick insulation makes the door less prone to denting.

Insulation material can be made of polystyrene with thickness of up to 2 inches or polyurethane with r-values that ranges from 5 to 10, r-values is the rate of heat loss or gain or the thermal resistance of a material. In choosing the best insulation for your door, also include rubber bulb or flange weather sealing at the bottom to keep dirt, debris, water and to make it completely storm-proof.

The look of the garage door matters. It counts up to 30 percent of the overall look of the house. This is something you have to also pay close attention, since this should complement the front exterior of your home. There are a whole lot of designs to choose from, manufacturers have created a great line of designs like contemporary, basic-panel, elaborate, sculpted and modern designs. The colors have remained limited like white, beige and brown but with new players in the garage door industry, some have introduced more bold colors and non-conventional palette.

If you opt to have windows in your garage door, the available windows are the snap-in and the screw-in types in basic rectangular shape, multi-panels and other designs. You may also choose etched or stained colored panes that would let light in but will not give a clear view of what is inside. Check out acrylic panes too for your garage door windows, this type of material is more durable since it doesn’t shatter on impact.

Don’t forget the cost. Since the designs, colors and the decorative treatments of a garage doors differ in so many ways, this can give you a hard time in comparing prices between types and styles. Normally, steel-made doors are more affordable than wood and plastic. If you want to have it customized then it would cost twice as much.

Check safety features. Most steel-made and plastic doors have joints between sections that have shaped edges that keep your fingers safe as it closes. This is a must feature for families with kids, since shaped edges that push fingers out of cracks when closing would prevent injuries. Other safety features that are mandatory for garage doors are the automatic reverse; this is when the electronic eye detects an object while closing the door.

The hardware and installation are factors too. In buying a garage door, you have two options for the spring and track systems, the extension springs which are easier to install and functions in pair that stretches along on either side of the door. You will need about 10 inches of head room for this. The other one is the torsion springs which go over the door that is parallel to the ceiling and works by winding and unwinding when you close or open the door.

The tracks have two choices, the hot-dipped galvanized and the powder coat steel. Hot-dipped is serviceable while the other gives a better appearance and cuts down noise. Steel rollers of high quality, have bearings that are placed in sealed races while the nylon wheels are quieter and durable.

All that we have shared in this article may not be the ultimate guide in choosing the best garage door for your home but we hope it helped you decide. At the end of the day, no matter what we say, it will all depend on you.

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