Nobody can realize how hard it is to choose a new garage door unless they have tasted the marathon of hunting down the best prices and trying to find the most suitable materials. And if such tasks weren’t enough, there is an ongoing enrichment of garage door materials, opener models, designs, and choices to make garage door replacement even more difficult.
Of course, this is good news! Having an abundance of options for the best garage door installation is good. But let’s be honest. It’s a tad more confusing. So here we are trying to make things a bit simpler for you by pinpointing the main differences among garage doors.
Commercial or residential garage doors?
Let us just make clear that there are differences between residential and commercial doors. Although there is a wider choice of materials when it comes to home applications, most commercial doors are made of metal. And they are also sturdier. Not that residential garage doors are not durable. But it depends on the material you choose. Their commercial counterparts ought to be strong since they must protect the working area and provide the required thermal efficiency. They must be extra strong because most of them are oversized. And that’s one more difference. Commercial doors are often designed up to 20 feet tall.
Garage door types
The type of the door is one of the biggest differences among garage doors. If we are talking about commercial doors, most of them are rollup or sectional doors. Apart from these types, residential ones can also be one-piece or traditional carriage doors.
- The most popular type is sectional doors. Overhead garage doors hardly occupy any valuable space and can operate with either regular or jackshaft openers. They leave a big opening, can come with windows, are made in any material, and can be insulated.
- Carriage style doors are practical when you want to keep the ceiling clear, but you must have space outdoors since the hinged doors open outwards.
- Roll up garage doors are excellent for commercial facilities where high security is an issue. But they cannot be repainted easily. So if you want to be able to change the color to take care of the material and if you want garage door windows, it’s best to stick to sectional doors.
- One-piece doors are not very practical since you need space in the ceiling and outdoors. Another disadvantage is their actual structure. If the door is damaged, you must replace the whole thing and not just a panel like with overhead doors.
Residential garage door materials
- Wood is the traditional material and offers charm, warmth, and elegance. But it is susceptible to elements and requires frequent maintenance.
- If you like wood but don’t want to deal with its problems, invest in composite garage door installation. It will look like wood but will have the advantages of steel doors.
- Steel garage doors are the most durable ones as long as they are made of stainless steel. They can be insulated and painted.
- Aluminum doors are resistant to all weather conditions but not as strong as steel.
- Glass garage doors are superb in terms of looks. They are combined with aluminum frames and so they are weather resistant. And you don’t have to get clear glass. There is always the option of milky glass. And glass is tempered for safety purposes.
- Vinyl is a nice option. It will crack if you hit it hard.
Energy efficient garage doors
Most doors can be insulated. The r-value determines how much thermal efficiency they provide. The higher the number the better. Between polystyrene and polyurethane, the latter is better. It is injected in between the panels and is better distributed along the surface providing higher thermal efficiency. Insulated garage door installation is a bit more expensive, but you save later.