There’s a lot involved in owning a home. You’re not expected to know everything, especially when it comes to garage doors. But if you own a home long enough, eventually you’ll probably have to replace the door. Most homeowners install a new garage door at least once in their lifetimes. And when it’s time to decide on the right door, it’s a good idea to research the possibilities. What kind of door do you want? What material do you want it made from? How much should you spend? Is insulation important?
The good new is garage door installation has one of the highest returns on investments for all home repairs — 97%, virtually dollar for dollar. Do your research. Save your tax return. You might even consider getting a home improvement loan from your local bank.
There are 4 basic types of garage doors, and each opens differently. The ideal one can depend on any space limitations, your style preferences, and budget.
Swing-out carriage type doors or sliding barn doors have a nice traditional appeal, especially if you stick to an authentic design. And yes, you can still use a traditional opener on these doors. These doors are great if you need to keep the ceiling clear, which might be handy if you want to use the overhead space for storage or to hang ladders or tools.
Sectional roll up doors are much more standard. These doors require about 14 inches of space between the ceiling and the door. If you don’t have enough room, you can install a low-headroom track for about $100 more. You can also get additions if you have a garage with an extremely high ceiling.
You can also get garage doors that swing out or move from side to side. These side to side doors are handy if you have ceiling issues, but you’ll need enough space on the side to accommodate the size of the door.
Choosing the right style will naturally depend on your taste, but it’s also important to choose a door complements the style and window trim of the house. Craftsman houses, for example, look great with craftsman swing out style of doors. A more traditional house might look better with a carriage door. What better place to store 850 horsepower of raw Porsche?
Sturdiness is also a priority. Since most people only install a new garage door ever 20 to 30 years, you want this baby to last. Frame-and-panel constructed Garage doors are known to last. They can take a beating, especially considering some winter rain storms Sacramento has been getting hit with lately. Many roll up doors have glass specially designed to be shatterproof. Ask your local garage door company about what’s available.
Insulation & the R-Value: What You Need to Know
If you are considering getting a new door, how big a priority is insulation? Even with the warmer winters we get in Sacramento, it’s something you might consider. Keep in mind that insulation also keeps out the heat. You’ll save money on cooling costs, especially if the garage is attached to the house.
As you look at insulated doors, you’ll probably come across R-value pretty often. This measures the door’s resistance to heat flow. It’s essentially a measurement unit of insulation. The higher the R-value, the more insulated your door is.
The rate of your R-value will vary widely with the type of material used as insulation. The two most common materials are Polystyrene (styrofoam) and polyurethane (spray foam). Polystyrene is inserted into garage doors in panels. It cannot be an exact fit, which limits its insulating capabilities. Polyurethane is sprayed into the door as a foam. It expands and bonds to the surface for a more insulated seal. Polyurethane also has the advantage of being noise absorbing, which can be especially handy if your garage is located near a living room or a bedroom.
Most polyurethane doors have an R-rating of 12 to 18. Talk to your garage door professional to see which is the best door for your needs and climate.