Garage Doors

Garage Door 101: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a New One

Buying a new garage door is a significant investment that can enhance the safety, functionality, and curb appeal of your home. As Kent Mohler, a garage door expert, says, “The garage door is the largest moving object in most homes, so it’s important to choose one that is safe, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing” (Source: Clopay Door Blog). This comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know before making your purchase, ensuring you make an informed decision.

Understanding Your Needs

Before buying a new garage door, it’s essential to assess your current one. Identify any issues you’re facing, such as noise, difficulty in opening or closing, or aesthetic concerns. Understanding these problems will help you determine what features are most important in a new door.

Our old garage door was a constant source of frustration. It was noisy, difficult to operate, and detracted from our home’s curb appeal. When it finally broke down, we knew it was time for a replacement. This experience taught us the importance of choosing the right door to meet our needs.

Types of Garage Doors

Sectional Garage Doors

Sectional garage doors are made of panel sections connected with hinges. As the door opens and closes, wheels at the edge of each panel roll inside a vertical track. These doors are popular for their durability and ease of use.

Roll-Up Garage Doors

Roll-up garage doors, often used in commercial settings, are a practical choice for residential properties with limited ceiling space. These doors roll up into a coil above the opening, saving space.

Side-Hinged Garage Doors

Side-hinged doors swing open and closed from a hinged frame on either side of the opening. These doors are a great option for those who prefer a traditional look and have sufficient driveway space.

Tilt-Up Garage Doors

Tilt-up doors, also known as up-and-over doors, consist of a single solid panel that tilts up and into the garage. They are simple in design but require more space than sectional doors.

Mark Westerfield, a garage door industry expert, advises, “When choosing a garage door, consider the style of your home, the climate you live in, and your budget. There are many options available to suit your needs and preferences” (Source: Overhead Door Company of Atlanta).

Material Matters


Steel garage doors are durable, low-maintenance, and come in a variety of styles. They can be insulated to improve energy efficiency, making them a popular choice for many homeowners.


Wooden garage doors offer a classic, natural look. While they require more maintenance to protect against the elements, their aesthetic appeal is unmatched.


Aluminum doors are lightweight and resistant to rust, making them ideal for humid climates. They can be less durable than steel but are easier to operate due to their lighter weight.


Fiberglass garage doors are resistant to dents and corrosion. They are a good choice for coastal areas but can be prone to cracking in cold weather.

John Wardell, a garage door manufacturer, emphasizes, “A new garage door can significantly improve the curb appeal and value of your home. It’s a worthwhile investment that can pay off in the long run” (Source: Amarr).

A study by the Department of Energy examines the energy performance of different garage door materials and insulation levels, providing recommendations for improving energy efficiency (Source: Department of Energy).

Insulation and Energy Efficiency

Insulated garage doors help regulate the temperature inside your garage, making it more comfortable and energy-efficient. This is particularly important if your garage is attached to your home or used as a living space.

Types of Insulation

  • Polystyrene: Offers basic insulation and is more affordable.
  • Polyurethane: Provides superior insulation and strength due to its dense composition.

Living in an area with extreme temperatures, we opted for a polyurethane-insulated door. The difference in the comfort of our garage was noticeable immediately, and our energy bills also saw a reduction.

The Energy Efficiency of Garage Doors study by the Department of Energy highlights the benefits of insulated garage doors in improving home energy efficiency (Source: Department of Energy).

Safety Features

Automatic Reversing Mechanism

An automatic reversing mechanism ensures that the door stops and reverses if it detects an obstacle. This feature is crucial for preventing accidents and injuries.

Motion Detectors

Motion detectors can enhance security by turning on lights or triggering an alarm when movement is detected near the garage door.

Rolling Code Technology

Rolling code technology changes the access code each time the remote is used, preventing code theft and unauthorized access.

Garo Kertenian, a garage door technician, says, “A well-maintained garage door can last for decades, but neglecting maintenance can lead to costly repairs and safety hazards” (Source: Precision Garage Door).

The Home Safety Council Study identified garage doors as a potential safety hazard for children, highlighting the importance of choosing a garage door with safety features like automatic reversing mechanisms (Source: Home Safety Council).

Style and Design

Matching Your Home’s Architecture

Choose a garage door style that complements the architectural design of your home. This can enhance your home’s overall appearance and increase its value.

Color and Finish

Consider the color and finish of your garage door. Many doors come in a variety of colors and finishes, including wood grain finishes that mimic the look of real wood.

Windows and Hardware

Adding windows or decorative hardware can give your garage door a unique look. Windows can also allow natural light into your garage, making the space feel more open and inviting.

Angie Hicks, co-founder of Angie’s List, advises, “Do your research and get multiple quotes from reputable garage door companies before making a purchase. Be sure to check online reviews and ask for references” (Source: Angie’s List).

We chose a garage door with a wood grain finish and decorative hardware to match the rustic style of our home. The new door significantly improved the curb appeal and received many compliments from neighbors.

Cost and Value

Garage door prices can vary widely based on materials, insulation, and additional features. Set a budget and get multiple quotes to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

A new garage door can provide a high return on investment (ROI). According to the Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling magazine, a garage door replacement often recoups a significant portion of its cost in increased home value (Source: Remodeling Magazine).

A survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that a new garage door is one of the top home improvement projects that appeal to buyers and can increase a home’s selling price (Source: NAR).

Installation and Maintenance

Professional Installation

Hiring a professional for installation ensures that your garage door operates safely and efficiently. Proper installation is crucial for the door’s longevity and performance.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance can extend the life of your garage door. This includes lubricating moving parts, checking the balance, and inspecting for wear and tear.

Mark Westerfield, a garage door industry expert, recommends, “Regular maintenance is key to keeping your garage door in good working order and preventing costly repairs down the line” (Source: Overhead Door Company of Atlanta).

After having our new garage door professionally installed, we scheduled annual maintenance checks. These routine inspections have kept our door operating smoothly and prevented any major issues.


Choosing the right garage door involves considering various factors, including material, insulation, safety features, style, and cost. By doing thorough research and consulting with experts, you can find a door that meets your needs and enhances your home’s value. Remember, as Kent Mohler says, “The garage door is the largest moving object in most homes, so it’s important to choose one that is safe, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing” (Source: Clopay Door Blog).

With the right information and preparation, you can make an informed decision and enjoy the benefits of a new, high-quality garage door for years to come.

Nyla Rose

Say hello to Nyla Rose, a special person who helps people make their homes pretty and comfortable. Mary went to the University of Creativity to learn all about making spaces beautiful.

For more than 10 years, she’s been sharing her smart and fun ideas about home decorating with people all around the world. Mary loves to talk about cool DIY projects, how to decorate on a budget, and choosing the perfect items for your home. Her friendly tips and stories are loved by many because she makes home decorating easy and joyful!

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