8 Things to Know before Buying a New Garage Door

When the time comes to replace your garage door, you want to choose the best option for your home. You need to consider multiple features and accessories, deciding which are necessary to ensure the door operates as it should, lasts a long time, and doesn’t pose a security risk.

Use this guide to help walk you through the buying and installation process.

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How Do You Know You Need a New Garage Door?

The first thing to do is determine if you really need to replace the existing door on your garage. Obvious problems, such as damage or repeated breakdowns, are best addressed by getting a new door. You may be able to correct loud, shaky, or uneven opening, but only consider doing so if the door is otherwise reliable and in good condition.

You may also choose to replace your garage door if the style is outdated or you aren’t comfortable with the level of security it offers. New doors include updated features to increase the curb appeal of your home and offer greater peace of mind for you and your family.

Where Can You Buy a Garage Door?

Home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes sell garage doors and the associated accessories. You can also search local listings for nearby window and door installation companies, or shop for a door online to find just the right style.

What Type of Door Should You Choose?

Garage doors are available in a variety of materials, including:

  • Aluminum
  • Fiberglass
  • Steel
  • Vinyl
  • Wood

If you’re looking for a durable, inexpensive door, steel and vinyl are the top choices. Fiberglass also offers durability, but it can crack in extreme temperature and may not be suitable for some climates. Aluminum resists rusting and is appropriate for areas where rain is frequent. By contrast, wood is susceptible to rot and won’t hold up when repeatedly exposed to moisture.

Panel styles make doors look smooth or add depth to match the look and feel of your home. Flush doors impart a sleek appearance, but if you want a bold style, choose long- or short-raised paneling. Carriage house panels feature crossed wood “beams” for a country-style appearance.

The way a door opens is another important option to consider. Doors may swing out or up, but these styles require a good deal of clearance. Sliding doors are much more common, particularly sectional roll-up doors, or you can choose a door designed to slide open to the side. Safety, convenience, and available space are the biggest factors influencing opening style.

What Accessories are Needed?

Tracks, rollers, and springs are all necessary for proper garage door installation and operation. These accessories are usually included with the door itself, so you don’t have to worry about buying them separately. You also shouldn’t have to replace your current garage door opener if it’s still in good working order.

Depending on the climate in which you live, you may wish to invest in kits to prevent heat loss and weather damage. Insulation reduces the amount of warmth leaking around or through the garage door, helping to lower winter fuel bills. Sealing strips for the bottom of the door prevent water from getting in during heavy rains or flooding.

How Much Do Garage Doors Cost?

When pricing a new door, remember to check which accessories are included and calculate the cost of everything together. Door prices can range from around $250 to nearly $4,000 for various sizes and styles. The fancier you want your garage door to be, the more you’ll pay.

If you choose professional installation, make sure the quote covers the entire job, including the removal and disposal of old materials. As Home Advisor reports, the national average for a complete garage door installation is $1,065, making it more expensive than DIY installation of a low-end door but also taking the burden of installation off you as a homeowner.

What Security Features Should You Look For?

Features and accessories to make the new door on your garage safer may be included or added after installation is complete.

Upgrading the door opener, for example, means you get newer technology designed to be less prone to hacking. Some keypad entry systems offer remote lockout options to keep your home safe while you’re away. If you have a tendency to forget to close the door, timers are available to initiate automatic closure after a given period of time. “Old school” security is also still available in the form of dual lock systems with one lock inside and one outside.

What High-Tech Options are Available?

If you’re a fan of smartphones and smart homes, you can make your garage door a part of your connected network and control it from anywhere. High-tech door openers can be operated remotely using smartphone apps or linked up with other smart home gadgets like Google Home.

In places where storms are frequent, it can be useful to have a garage door opener designed to work even during a power outage so that you can quickly get in or out of the house if necessary. Security camera integration adds another dimension to existing home safety features.

Is Garage Door Installation a DIY Project?

Installing a garage door is a complex job involving a lot of parts, some of which are heavy or pose potential hazards. You have to factor in the time necessary to remove the old door and familiarize yourself with the installation instructions for the new door in addition to the actual installation. Special equipment may be required, meaning additional time and money spent at home improvement stores.

If you’re the handy type, consider the complexity of the project in light of your personal experience and abilities. Assess the time you have available, and work out the total cost of a DIY installation. Remember: a mistake could result in a dangerous situation for you and your family, so make sure you’re completely confident in your ability to perform the job the right way.

Professional installations take the headache out of getting your new garage door in place. Because they have years of experience, professional installers can get the job done in less time. They’ll also handle the removal and disposal of the old door, and are available to answer questions if you need help after installation is complete.

Getting the right combination of appearance, features, and accessories in a garage door results in a setup you can rely on for years. Balance convenience with security to enjoy peace of mind knowing your vehicles and belongings are safe and sound.

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