Blog > Category Post > Posted: 2020-Mar-26, Updated: 2020-Sep-28

Thinking about a garage door replacement? Things to consider

Replacing your garage door is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to enhance and rejuvenate the front of your home. Not only will a new garage door increase your home’s curb appeal, but it can also make your garage warmer and more inviting.

Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your garage door buying experience.

What should a garage door do?

A garage door is no longer just a garage door, it’s an extension of possibilities that can change the way we see and live in our homes. However, there are some obvious features that you should expect.

  • It should stop the wind
  • It should help insulate the interior of your garage
  • It should provide brightness and beauty
  • It should increase curb appeal
  • It should contribute to home energy efficiency
  • It should keep little pests and bugs out

Setting a Budget

Depending on the door size, pattern, colour, insulation thickness, window type/style and other options, the price for a single car garage door (including installation) could vary from as little as $1200 to over $5000.

Size

If you are replacing a garage door, you are limited to existing size unless you are willing to reconstruct the garage framing. Changing two double doors into one, or one door into two poses structural and width issues that are usually not practical. Garage door manufacturers typically sell doors in standard widths ranging from 8 feet to 20 feet and heights from 7 feet to 8 feet.

Style to match your home

There are countless choices that homeowners can make when selecting a garage door which can make it difficult when trying to find an appropriate match for the home. With the help of design expert, you can design a custom garage door that matches your home and balances functionality with visual appeal.

Colours

When looking at colours, you may want to ensure that the garage door is not the focal point of your home. If your window trim is coloured, consider matching that colour, or find a colour that works with the colour of your siding.

Garage Door Style

There are several door styles available: Contemporary; Ranch; Victorian… You will typically want to match the architecture of your home. A traditional-style home may want to prevent the garage door from standing out, but more contemporary styles may want to implement a unique style with extra features that contribute to the home’s overall design. Ask your sales representative what they think and why? An experienced garage door specialist will confidently help you make the right choice.

Garage Door Windows

Garage door windows let the light in and add a new design dimension to your home. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to get carried away with windows, but you’ll want to make sure that you do not over-design. Garage door windows are customizable and available in designs that will match almost any home style. Choose a garage door window that will complement not overpower the style of your home.

Durability

Insulated residential garage doors are constructed differently than older single layer garage doors. Instead of using thin steel sheets wrapped over-frame panels and no insulation, insulated garage doors can have single or double layers of steel, vinyl or fibreglass.

Wood is often used for garage doors because of its ability to withstand more damage (however it is more susceptible to the effects of inclement weather) and ability to be painted over whereas metal doors tend to show more dents and other types of damage. The style of the home can greatly influence the type of materials used in garage door construction.

Durability usually has a direct correlation to the warranty period coverage.

Insulation

A decade or two ago, insulated garages were almost unheard of, in fact, builders rarely insulated exterior outdoor garage walls and the thought of insulating a garage door just seemed like wasteful exorbitance. Today, things have changed, and the trend towards home energy-efficiency make garage and garage door insulation an essential part of the green equation.

Manufacturers typically offer three basic types of garage door constructions at three different price breaks:

  • 1-layer door will have no insulation - a single layer of steel (easily damaged, loud operation, prone to denting and rusting, least expensive option)

  • 2-layer door will have a layer of steel with insulation behind it backed by a layer of vinyl to keep the insulation in place

  • 3 layer door will have 2 layers of steel with insulation sealed in between in a sandwich type of construction (best insulation option, durable and quiet)

An insulated garage door will not make your garage warm but it will make it warmer - very often this will mean the difference between cold and freezing in winter, even in a poorly insulated garage.

Depending on the layout of a home, an attached garage may have up to 3 walls and a ceiling that is potentially exposed to extreme seasonal temperatures.

These interior garage walls are typically less insulated (if insulated at all) than exterior walls and although they are somewhat sheltered inside the garage, can still pump up energy costs and decrease the usability of the garage space.

Replacing a non-insulated garage door with an insulated door can dramatically reduce heat loss through the garage and stop the radiant transfer of temperatures through the walls and doorways of any rooms next to the garage, even if your garage is unheated.

Energy Efficiency

With the garage being the largest entry to most homes, it is one of the most susceptible to heat loss, which makes it a good opportunity to increase your home energy efficiency.

Because garages are typically unconditioned spaces (not heated or cooled so it’s the same temperature (roughly) as outdoor air ), there is no ENERGY STAR specification for garage doors. However, an energy-efficient garage door can be gaged by its weather and airtightness along with the type of materials (metals, fibreglass, wood) and insulation used. Just because a door is insulated does not necessarily mean that it is energy efficient.

Polyurethane foam is believed to be the best insulator currently available on the market, followed by Polystyrene. Weather seals and thermal breaks should be located at the bottom of the door, around the perimeter of the door and between the door panels.

If your garage is well insulated and there is no supplemental heating it could stay between 5°C and 8°C in the winter, depending on how you use it.

Ask your sales representative about the insulation options of R-8 to R-16 (the higher the number the better) and what’s best for your home.

Another thing to consider when thinking about the energy efficiency of your garage space is the garage door opener. Garage doors openers are always on (phantom draw). If you are buying and energy-efficient garage door, you should consider checking ratings and consumption for the products that are available. Be sure that you are buying an opener that is right for the size of the garage door it will be operating.

At the time this story was written, EnergyStar rated garage door products were not available at Natural Resources Canada.

Considerations

To insulate or not to insulate - An energy-efficient garage door sounds like a great idea doesn’t it? But there are a few things you should consider before you choose to buy one. It may not be advisable to insulate a garage, depending on what you store in your garage (paints, cars, chemicals…) and how you use it (workshop, storage location). An airtight garage may be prone to fumes leaking into your home.

Never leave a car running in a closed garage, and always open the door when you start your car.

Installation

As with almost everything you buy these days, installation and service are important considerations. When contracting to have a garage door installed, check reviews, warranty and choose a company that has been around and will be around for years to come. Look for companies warranty their installation and installation materials for life, this usually means that you will get superior installation and attention to details.

Remember to ask your contractor plenty of questions, this will ensure that you will get exact results that you are expecting.

Got questions on a garage door installation?

If you would like more information on a garage door installation, talk to one of our garage door installation experts. Contact Us.