Garage Doors Buying Guide: What to Know Before Buying a Garage Door

A garage door takes up so much space that it becomes the face of the house. And if this face becomes old and cranky, it will put you in a bad mood every time you look at it. If that’s the case, it is definitely time to renovate! Even if your house looks new and modern, an old and worn garage door damages the curb appeal. However, how do you choose a garage door? There are way too many options on the market, and if you are not a door expert, you might get lost in the numerous designs.

When looking for a new garage door, you might be puzzled by modern designs, materials, and other innovations. No worries, this article presents a small guide on what to look for when buying a garage door.

Garage Doors Buying Guide: What to Know Before Buying a Garage Door

How to Choose the Right Dealer

Before you start looking for a garage door, you need to decide on a good and professional door provider. Choosing a garage door is an important decision since you will not be replacing it again any time soon. A right supplier will help you with taking measurements, picking a design, and installing the door. Here are some tips on how to select a perfect door provider.

Customer Service

Make sure that your supplier provides a customer service where a representative arrives at your house and takes measurements. Certainly, you can do it yourself; however, if the result doesn’t fit, you will have to pay for these mistakes because you aren’t a door expert. Contact the company and ask them to assist you with every detail and give you helpful tips about what to know before buying a garage door.

Door installation

Although installing the door yourself will indeed save you some money, you should definitely consider referring to experts. The garage door provider should offer a door installation service, so you can avoid amateur mistakes and prevent any potential damages to the door. Installing a garage door is a bit more complicated than putting together IKEA furniture. You’ll get multiple parts that you need to go through, understand their use, and put together. On top of that, door installation requires a lot of arm strength and can be quite dangerous. A professional will tackle this task quickly —in under four hours — and additionally, you will have someone to contact in case of a problem.

A website with door designs

A professional garage door supplier will have a modern and easy-to-use website to buy a new garage door with a great selection of designs. Moreover, some dealers have a door finding tool on their websites. This tool enables you to upload a picture of your garage and try different styles, materials, windows placements and designs, and even hardware. This allows you to play around with various designs until you find something you prefer. Finally, the website will automatically calculate such a door’s cost, which you could print out and show your dealer later to get a good deal.

Garage Doors Buying Guide: What to Know Before Buying a Garage Door

How to Choose the Material

Choosing a suitable material is a crucial step of the guide to buying a contemporary garage door. There is no such thing as one perfect material for all because it severely depends on your area’s climate, budget, and how frequently you use your garage. Read on, and we will help you to figure it out.


Buying a garage door made of steel is a good investment due to its durability and security. Nowadays, steel can be embossed with wood-grain decoration to resemble a wood door. Steel doors don’t crack or delaminate because of the weather, and they don’t require as much maintenance as wood doors do. Steel doors don’t rust and thus don’t need continuous repainting — however, steel doors dent, which can be quite challenging to repair.

Insulating value: R-6 to R-17

Cost: $750-$3,500.


When buying a garage door panel made of wood, you need to consider constant maintenance implications. Although they certainly do look fantastic and create the perfect curb appeal, they don’t come without a downside. Natural finishes last for several years before they start to fall apart. Besides, wood doors are more sensitive to the weather and begin to crack and warp very soon.

Insulating value: R-3 to R-6.

Cost: $1,200-$4,000 and up.


Going for fiberglass doors is one of the most practical garage door buying tips due to their lightweight. They are also a good choice if you live in a coastal area with salt air and humidity since they are resistant to ocean climates. Unfortunately, fiberglass doors break easily and turn yellow with age. Fiberglass doors don’t rust and are very lightweight; however, they dent easily, especially in the cold weather.

Insulating value: R-4 to R-12

Cost: $1,100-$1,800.

Garage Doors Buying Guide: What to Know Before Buying a Garage Door

How to Choose the Insulation

What to know about buying a new garage door? — Consider insulation layers carefully. Good insulation will drastically cut your energy expenses and make your door quieter. R-value defines the insulation level — the higher is the number, the better is the insulation and quieter is the door.

Polystyrene and polyurethane are two types of garage door insulation. Polystyrene comes in sheets that are sandwiched between the door panels but don’t fill the cavity completely. Polyurethane, on the other hand, is foamed-in-place and expands till it covers the entire cavity leaving no gaps. Because of this, doors insulated with polyurethane look thinner and present a higher R-value, while polystyrene-insulated doors look significantly thicker and show a smaller R-value.

Single-layered construction

Single-layered doors are simply the outer layer of fiberglass, wood, or steel without any insulation layers. This makes them lightweight and affordable. However, the insulating value is negligible.

Double-layered construction

Double-layered construction offers a layer of polystyrene pressed between the front and back panels. The insulation level of such doors lies between R-4 and R-7.

Premium construction

Premium doors entail a thick layer of polystyrene or polyurethane sandwiched between the panels for a high insulation level — R-15 and higher.

Garage Doors Buying Guide: What to Know Before Buying a Garage Door

What to Look For When Buying a New Garage Door

Besides the material and the insulation layers, there are other helpful tips you should consider.

Door springs

Most garage doors come with torsion springs; however, don’t go for the most affordable ones. It’s better to spend a few bucks more and buy the longer-lasting ones than save a little and be forced to replace them every few years.

Door Openers

There are some important safety guidelines that modern door openers have to comply with:

  • The automatic reversing feature means that the mechanism will stop closing the door when it detects an obstacle underneath it;
  • Rolling code technology will protect you from possible intruders by generating a new code every time you use the opener;
  • The manual release will come in handy during a power outage when the technology lets you down, and you will have to open the door manually.

Garage Doors Buying Guide: What to Know Before Buying a Garage Door

We Can Help You

If there are more questions not covered in our garage door buying guide, direct them to the professionals. STIGarageDoor is a company that specializes in the installation, replacement, and maintenance of garage doors. We have over six years of experience in garage doors repair and insulation. Our experts can assist you at every step, starting from taking measurements and finalizing the design to door installation and continuous customer service. Contact us, and we will choose your dream door.

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