It probably goes without saying, but when you invest in a garage door you want it to last a lifetime. When you do your research, you’ll select a quality product that will hold up against everything life throws at it.
If you’re in the market for a garage door but aren’t sure where to start, read on – we’ve put together this list of five handy things to know before you buy.
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1. Avoid The Wood
Who doesn’t love a wooden door – when it’s new! If you’re unwilling or unable to spend time and money on maintenance, your wooden door won’t keep its quality finish or shine for very long.
Wood finishes need recoating every few years, and if you neglect this crucial bit of TLC you’ll need to remove all the existing finish and start all over again.
If you want the look of wood without the hefty price tag and maintenance commitment, there are alternatives:
- Embossed steel: Comes with a realistic wood-grain appearance – and is priced at less than $1,000.
- Wood composite overlay/fibreglass skin: Provides the look of real wood with the stability, durability and long life of plastic
2. Don't Skimp on Springs
If you’ve ever wondered what helps your garage door rise easily and descend slowly, it’s springs.
Most garage doors work thanks to torsion springs, which usually sit coiled above the door. Standard springs are considered to perform approximately 10,000 cycles, and while this sounds like a lot, if you open and close your door several times a day you’ll easily rack up this number in under five years.
For just an extra fifty dollars when you purchase a door, you can get a spring that’s rated for 20,000 cycles – twice the lifespan of your typical torsion spring.
3. Be Shy of D.I.Y
If you’re a DIY-lover and think you’ll save money installing the door yourself, think again. Garage doors might look easy to install, but in reality, they come with a heap of parts that take a long time to put together and to put together right.
A crucial part of the installation is winding the spring, and you’ll need particular tools and a fair bit of elbow grease to do it safely. When you hire a professional installer, your new door will be installed efficiently and safely, your old door will be removed, and you’ll have an expert on call if you run into problems.
4. Consider Your Window
Garage doors and quality windows – it’s really a match made in heaven. Not only do windows add great style, they also offer useful, practical light for your garage space.
When choosing glass:
- Use insulated glass if you have a heated garage
- Install your glass in the top panel to maintain security and privacy
- Match your glass to the rest of your home’s windows
- Don’t install glass behind an angled-cornered garage door
5. Select Superior Steel
If you’re going for an uninsulated steel garage door, you’ll need steel that’s at least 24-gauge. Why?
Many cheaper doors are made from steel that’s 25-gauge or thinner, and when steel’s thin your door might cop a dent. Insulation reduces the risk of denting as it offers a protective backing for the steel – so if you’re not opting for the insulated route, thicker steel is the way to go.