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Garage Doors 101: Knowing the Basics before Buying

Garage doors are an important investment for your residence or business. Before thinking about buying one, it’s imperative to first think about what kind of garage door you will need. A garage door involves so many vital aspects of your property. Security, functionality, convenience, and ambiance all factor into making a good garage door choice. There are so many different garage door models and materials to choose from, though, that It can sometimes become very confusing when trying to figure out what exactly is going to be the best fit for you. Below are some basics that will help you to decide what type of garage door you’re going to need, plus, provide some helpful tips on what to consider first before going out and buying a new garage door.

Standard Garage Door Materials

The first choice you will need to make is what kind of materials you will want to use for your garage door. Wood, steel, and lightweight aluminum frames with glass panels are continuing to trend as the most popular garage door materials that people tend to use. Wood veneer has mostly taken the place of solid wood garage doors, due to its cheaper price, lighter weight, and modern improvements in veneer quality. Steel is usually less expensive than wood and offers an array of faux finishes and patterns in which to choose from. The weather conditions in your local area are going to be a big factor to consider when choosing the proper garage door material. Example: Fiberglass is a prime material in wet locations with a lot of salt content in the air (Coastal regions) because of its corrosion resistant properties – Wood is a poor choice in consistently wet locations, due to its susceptibility to swelling and rot.

Wood: Requires regularly scheduled maintenance and repairs.

Steel: Strong, inexpensive, and corrosion resistant.

Aluminum: A lightweight material which has all of the advantages of steel, without all of the heaviness of steel. Downfall: It’s easily dented or bent.

Fiberglass: Corrosion and weather resistant. Downfall: Poor insulating properties in cold weather conditions.

Insulation and R-Values

An R-value is a system of measuring a garage door’s insulating capabilities. The insulating value of a garage door will usually be placed right after the door’s listed dimensions. Example: 16’ x 7’ R-value 6.5 – The higher the R-value, the better the garage door’s insulating abilities are.

Three Garage Door Recommendations for Assorted House Styles

  1. Modern Contemporary – Steel paneled or metal framed, glass-paneled garage doors are the best choices for this style of house. The window panes come in frosted, colored, and pebbled, guaranteed to give that popular modern look.
  2. Ranch Style – Simple garage door finishes are the best way to go for ranch style houses. Plus simple hardware and standard ranch style windows as well. This helps to blend in the garage door with the overall exterior of the entire home.
  3. Victorian, Georgian, and Colonial – Wood paneled garage doors have a classic and timelessly popular look that fits the best with these types of homes. Appropriately themed hardware for your garage door that matches the unique look of these style of houses is also recommended.

Three Important Things to Think About Before Purchasing a Garage Door

  1. Know Your Usage Requirements: Always factor in how much usage your garage door is going to have. Rarely used garage doors have longer estimated lifespans. The higher the garage door use that you’re going to need, the higher the garage door rating should be.
  2. Know Your Opening Requirements: Whether you will require an automatic opening system or only need a manually opened garage door will make a big difference in cost. Automatic garage doors cost more, but, they’re a good thing to have in high crime areas and in cold or rainy climates.
  3. Know the Best Available Price: Make sure to get your money’s worth by first doing some pricing research before going out and buying a new garage door. Shop around both online and in person. By getting out and vetting a business or service provider in person, you can get a full picture of how that business works, how professional they are, and very importantly, view their appropriate documentation yourself, such as licensing, insurance, and bonding credentials.

Now it’s Time to Buy

Now that you know some of the basics about standard garage doors and have decided on a certain model that best fits your needs, it’s time to hit the marketplace and find the best deal and the most competent and professional installer. Always make sure to immediately get your bid, contract agreement, and project start and completion date in writing from your chosen installer. This way you’re better protected legally if something goes wrong. There’s nothing worse than a project that’s aggravatingly stuck in limbo due to a contractor. By covering all of your bases first, your garage door purchase and installation will be guaranteed to be a successful home run for both you and your property.

Get in touch with New York Gates today at 718-614-0616, they’re the top professional gate and garage door manufacturers, installers, and repair specialists in New York City.
E-mail them at with your project specifics and NYG will reply right back to you with detailed answers to your specific questions.


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