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How to Choose a New Garage Door

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

Did you know that the garage door on your home is now considered a major exterior design feature? Replacing a plain door with one that really suits your architecture is a great way to enhance curb appeal, and it’s a home improvement project that generates one of the best returns on investment when it comes to resale. If you’re looking to do your home a service with a new garage door, here’s what you should keep in mind as you search for the perfect fit!

Clopay Coachman Collection

The Coachman® Collection from Clopay® offers beautiful carriage house style with steel and composite construction. Despite their historical looks, these doors open with modern overhead operation.

An Appropriate Design

A garage door with the right style does wonders for a home’s façade. There are a few major style categories you should know so you can identify and communicate the look you’re going for:

Traditional – Classic style that usually has raised panels; can be simple or decorated.
Carriage house – Distinctive historical style with the look of old-fashioned swinging or sliding doors; typically decorated with wrought-iron hardware and ornamental battens, and often includes two-tone paint designs and windows.
Contemporary – Modern style focused on clean lines; appearance ranges from flush, solid doors to those with metal and glass construction.

Think about your home’s architecture and how to carry its style through to the garage. Complementary doors consider the size and shapes of windows, the materials and colors used on the exterior, and other design details that give the house its personality. The days of super basic garage doors have passed, and there is a huge variety available now to ensure your home puts its best face forward with a coherent frontage.

Clopay Canyon Ridge Collection Limited Edition Series

The Canyon Ridge® Collection Limited Edition Series provides the look of real wood without the maintenance concerns. An Intellicore® insulated steel base gives these doors one of the highest R-ratings around.

Energy Efficiency

Everybody concerned with household energy efficiency and saving on their energy bills should consider an insulated garage door. Many people think of their garages as exterior—they aren’t connected to the HVAC system in most cases—but an attached garage is a potential source of drafts because of the sheer size of its doorways, and if you live in a very cold climate, insulated doors can help prevent heat loss so your car has an easier time starting up. Be sure to invest in quality seals to get the most out of it!

Insulation does more than reduce thermal exchange, so it has plenty to offer people who live in milder climates, too. The thicker core has a soundproofing effect, and the door is less likely to be dented and damaged due to its solid, multi-layer construction. All in all, an insulated garage door is more durable and is a great choice for the long term.

Clopay Avante Collection

The Avante™ Collection is bright and perfect for contemporary styles. The aluminum frame is rust-proof and there are many panel options so you can create the best look and level of privacy for your garage.

Material Considerations

Just as with other exterior finishing products, garage doors can be made with different materials. Style, efficiency, cost, and durability all come into play when selecting a door, and each material offers qualities that you’ll find attractive, as well as some options so you can build the perfect solution. Here are the four materials you should be familiar with:

Steel – The most widely used material, steel garage doors are a very broad category. They are available in all three major styles, with insulation ranging from none to multiple layers, and come with a large range of price points.
Wood – Authentic wood doors are available in numerous species, including cedar, redwood, and meranti. They offer the most flexibility in terms of design options and can be personalized. Wood is typically the most expensive to buy and, depending on climate, will require regular maintenance.
Composite – With the grain patterns and colors of real wood and incomparable durability, faux wood composites are growing in popularity. These doors can be stained and painted, have insulation options, and are becoming another premium option.
Aluminum – Used in conjunction with wide glass panels, doors with aluminum construction are suited to modern styles. Solid aluminum and composite panels can also be fit into the frame for privacy, but most homeowners opt for one of many types of glass to complement the contemporary aesthetic.

If you’re ready to explore the possibilities for your garage, use a tool like Clopay’s® Door Imagination System to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect door. Just upload a picture of your house and you can test different looks before you buy! It’s best to leave the actual ordering and installing to a professional to ensure it’s done correctly, so find a local dealer when you’re ready to take that step. Work together and you’re sure to come up with a gorgeous garage door that completes your exterior design!