Garage Door Styles
You’ve got multiple options if you’re in the market for a garage door. There are choices to fit any architectural style and work in most budgets. This garage door buying guide introduces today’s styles as well as the materials from which they are made.
Garage Door Styles
Here’s an overview of what you’ll find as you shop for garage doors in 2012 and beyond.
Overhead Sectional Garage Door: These remain very popular because they are affordable, efficient and move up and out of the way. Most are operated by a garage door opener with a durable motor and can be controlled with a remote. When up, they provide plenty of clearance for your vehicle and aren’t in the way. Some have windows and they come in a variety of materials, colors and distinctive styles.
Sliding Garage Doors
Used more often for pole buildings and barns, they can also be employed on garages. The door is attached by rollers to a large, covered rail that extends from above the garage opening to the side. They are often used when extra high clearance is needed, for example on a garage bay used for a large truck or RV. Drawbacks include the fact that they needs lots of wall space for the rail and so wont work on a small garage. In addition, while some are attractive, many of them look like a barn door!
Carriage Swing-Out Doors
These are very stylish and give any garage an upscale look. Made from wood or steel, they are often beautifully appointed. The drawback is that they might be in the way of other activities when open, but this isn’t a major concern for most homeowners.
Bi-Fold Swing-Out Doors: These are a type of carriage door that takes up less space. Each door folds in the middle. There is more hardware included and more craftsmanship, so they are proportionately more expensive than standard carriage garage doors.
Not used as much as they once were, these single-panel doors simply swing out and up when open. They provide good head room but can be tricky to operate manually. Most are used on single garage bays.
Garage Door Materials
What the door is made from will greatly affect its appearance and performance. Here’s an overview of the most popular options today.
Steel Garage Doors:
Usually made from lightweight steel that combines good strength, these are very common today. They provide good security and often have small windows. Steel garage doors are usually sectional doors but might be single-panel doors too. Steel garage doors need very little maintenance certainly less than wood garage doors, though if they get scratched through the paint, quick touch-up is need to avoid corrosion. Steel doors can be insulated and some come with lifetime warranties.
Aluminum Garage Doors
These remain a very cost-effective choice when price is the main factor. However, in recent years, new aluminum garage door options have been introduced with enhanced appearance and performance. They feature tough, corrosion-resistant panels that are impact-resistant and heavy-gauge extruded frames. Aluminum garage doors are also very low-maintenance and can be insulated. .
Wood Garage Doors
Wood lends a touch of class to any garage door. It is fairly heavy, but this can be overcome with mechanized operation using a garage door opener. The wood construction often has a hand-crafted look to it and can be finished with stain or paint in virtually any color. Common woods for solid-wood doors are cedar, redwood and mahogany for their natural weather-resistant features. However, wood garage doors require more frequent maintenance than steel or aluminum and have shorter warranty periods.
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