Garage doors come in a variety of materials. Each has various advantages, shortcomings, and cost considerations. Here’s a brief breakdown on some of the most common garage door materials and what you need to know to select the best option for your new garage door.
Steel Garage Doors
There’s a reason steel is the most popular material for garage doors. It’s affordable, durable, and low maintenance. It can be painted a variety of colors. Even older steel doors can look brand new after a fresh paint job. Like the natural look of real wood? Steel is available in textures that mimic wood.
The main drawback is steel is a poor insulator, so consider getting decent insulation that has an R factor of at least 16. Even in temperate areas like El Dorado Hills, an insulated door can minimize your heating and cooling bills, especially when it comes to air conditioning.
Though steel is highly durable, pay attention to thickness. Low quality and less expensive doors have thin panels of 27- or 28-gauge steel. These won’t stand up to impact, say by a kicked ball. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the steel. Higher quality doors will have 25- or 26-gauge steel, and your best doors at least 24-gauge. You can get commercial overhead doors that have even thicker steel.
Aluminum Garage Doors
Aluminum doors are very popular for commercial businesses where the garage door is an aesthetic feature of their business, say a restaurant or brewery that wishes to have rolling garage doors to enjoy the sunny weather of California. Modern and higher quality aluminum doors are not prone to denting.
Wooden Garage Doors
Wooden doors have a natural, authentic appeal. They come in a variety of styles, including carriage style doors for the true traditionalists. Popular woods including cedar, redwood, fir, and meranti (luan). They can be a bit pricey and require more upkeep and maintenance. They’ll need to be sanded and painted regularly every few years. Wooden doors may be factory-stained, painted or finished on-site.
Wood Composite Garage Doors
Composite wood garage doors include a wood frame covered with sheets of fiberboard. Some of the higher quality composite doors feature fiberboard skins with realistic detailing like overlays and grooves that stimulate the natural appeal of wood. These types of doors can be insulated for better energy efficiency.
Fiberglass Garage Doors
These doors are not as popular as steel, but tend to be less prone to denting. Fiberglass doors are generally encased in aluminum frames, especially commercial overhead garage doors. These doors are light but may fade in sun exposure. They are salt resistant, so ideal for surviving the wet winters of Granite Bay, California.
Vinyl Garage Doors
The beauty of vinyl garage doors is they’re “kid proof,” i.e. less prone to dents or breaking. They are typically built on top of steel frames that are typically insulated. Vinyl garage doors are highly durable and require little maintenance. They tend to be available in fewer colors than fiberglass.