The garage door is an integral facet of every home. In many ways, it is the face of home itself, the single largest and most visible piece that everyone sees. It also happens to be the single largest moving piece of equipment in your home. And as a homeowner, you definitely want to be proud of your home, so you’ll definitely want to make sure that you have a garage door that:
- Adds to, and even improves, the aesthetic of your home’s appearance
- Works as efficiently as possible while requiring as little maintenance as possible
- Is able to last for years and years, surviving hardships and abuse
It’s understandable that you don’t know that much about garage doors, though. And that’s okay, don’t worry about it. It’s totally normal. But how can you choose a door and have it properly installed, to your satisfaction, without all the right information? Make sure to keep reading along and find out five of the most important things that you should keep in mind before following through with purchasing a garage door.
What kind of doors are there, and what kind should I buy?
Garage doors are usually made from one of three different types of material, including: metal (such as steel or aluminum), wood or vinyl.
- Garage doors made from metal (steel/aluminum) are among the most popular today on the North American market, accounting for roughly 85% of all doors. Also noteworthy, the cost of a steel door is lower than an equivalent door made from another material. Aluminum doors, on the other hand, are often chosen for their lighter weight. Steel doors can be fabricated in a wide variety of colors, specifically to your choosing. Also, metal doors can be ordered in a variety of styles including: modern, contemporary, classic, carriage house, ranch, mixed panels, ribbed or flush.
- Garage doors made out of wood have, traditionally, been in circulation for the longest period of time. Wood is highly versatile, and offers a natural kind of beauty, and may be stained or painted for an even more customized appearance. The quality of wood doors tends to vary greatly, from wood composite to doors of solid wood construction. Another factor to consider is that wood doors are available in a very wide price range, with higher prices reflecting higher quality. Also, keep in mind that should you choose a wooden door you will spend quite a bit more time and money on the maintenance and upkeep of it.
- Many other materials are available for you to consider, such as vinyl and fiberglass. Garage doors made of vinyl are virtually maintenance free, and almost completely scratch resistant. The initial cost of vinyl doors is often much higher than doors made of others, but it tends to balance out in the long-term, saving you money on ongoing maintenance and upkeep. Lastly, fiberglass doors tend to be some of the most expensive doors available on the market. But they also tend to be highly versatile, and can be made to simulate a rich wood appearance (such as oak or cedar), which is typically one reason why many consumers buy them.
Which company should I buy my garage door from?
Unfortunately for the average consumer, the garage door industry in the United States and Canada is not very strictly monitored. There are a number of fly-by-night companies, lacking insurance and guilty of questionable practices, that don’t even provide their own employees with worker’s compensation.
When choosing a company to purchase your garage door, be sure to look for one that
- Affects a courteous and professional business demeanor
- Has extensive references available from past customers, immediately upon request
- Employees staff and technicians with professional uniforms, and functional, clean work trucks
- Is bonded and carries sufficient insurance and liability
- Supplies you, the customer, with a written approval and warranty for both materials and labor
Of the highest importance, though, is to choose a company that provides its technicians with comprehensive training. Every single year there are more and more garage door related accidents, more than lawnmowers and snow blowers put together—much of it due to faulty installation. This can all be avoided by choosing a garage door company that staffs employees who have been trained and certified in proper safety procedures.
But when should I buy a new garage door?
You should first begin considering buying a new garage door if and when your old one no longer works properly, or has in some way begun to present a potential hazard to your home and family. Your garage door is essentially a very heavy, moving wall that over time can pose a greater and greater danger.
The rate of accidents involving garage doors is probably quite higher than you might think, so you should definitely consider replacing yours before it has a chance to add to those statistics.
Another great reason for getting yourself a new garage door is to heighten the appeal and visual aesthetic of your home. Remember, it’s the first thing anyone sees when they come up to your house, the biggest single feature of your entire property beyond the yard or roof. Doors that are damaged, covered in dents, stains, cracks and peeling paint create poor first impressions and may give the wrong idea of your home and lifestyle.
Also, maybe, you simply want something different to get away from an old and tired garage door that you don’t want to keep throwing time and money at maintaining.
So where do I buy a new garage door?
You’ll have an awful lot of choices when it comes to actually purchasing a new garage door. There are a huge number of retailers, from big-box stores and dealers, to garage door specialists. But it is very highly recommended that you spend the time to research dealers beforehand, and deal with garage door specialists with verifiable reputations. Professional garage door installers learn their trade on the job, in the field, and it’s how they acquire special techniques—the kinds of techniques that allow them to install garage doors under even the most difficult of circumstances.
This is the kind of company that can send a sales representative directly to your home, and that may also have a show room where you and your family can visit to see firsthand what exactly you’re going to buy. These kinds of companies make sure to employ their own installation teams and specialists, and guarantee all materials used and labor provided. They also make sure to maintain exacting inventories, to better complete your installation quickly. The emphatic motto is, “Quality work time after time!”
Warranty — What do I need to know?
Practically every garage door comes with a warranty, or should. You need to make sure you’re aware of just what’s being promised to you when you purchase one. Garage doors are complicated things with numerous components such as: individual sections, insulation and decorative windows, moving hardware and the electronic opener. Make sure to find out if the written warranty includes each and every part, as well as the labor involved in the installation. Sometimes, when going over the fine print, you might find things the warranty does not cover. Make sure you double check everything being promised to you.
At the end of the day if you can just remember one thing make it this: a garage door’s overall performance and lifespan depends just as much on the quality of its installation as it does on the product itself.
Please contact us at 506-455-3667if you have any questions. We proudly guarantee our work to ensure you, the customer’s, complete satisfaction. And we typically respond to service calls within a few hours. You’re also welcome to send us an online request for a free quote.
One final note, if you do plan on changing your garage door, check out our interactive online Design Centre, where you can create your very own garage door. Just upload a photo of your home, and change its existing garage door.