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Buyers Guide to Choosing a Garage Door

A new garage door ranks as one of the top three exterior home improvement projects most likely to improve a home’s resale value. Installing a new garage door is a simple, and relatively inexpensive, way to upgrade your home’s exterior appearance, especially if your current door is faded, cracked or dented from years of use.

Garages — and their doors — used to be an afterthought when it came to home construction. But today, garages are an essential feature of just about any home. In a survey of new homes built in 2014, 61.9 percent of all new homes were constructed to include a two-car garage. Another 23.5 percent of new homes were built with a garage that was large enough to hold at least three cars. That means that in 2014, 85.4 percent of all new homes were built with a garage.

Why are garages so important today?

Americans are increasingly likely to use their garages as their primary point of entry into their home. The convenience of not having to fumble with keys, avoiding foul weather and unloading groceries in proximity to the kitchen are all lifestyle factors that have contributed to this trend.

It’s easy to decide that it’s time to replace your garage door. You may even have been contemplating a replacement for some time, but you just weren’t sure where to start. Let us help you!

With our garage door buying guide, you can select a beautiful, durable garage door that will fit your budget. Here’s what you need to know:

Most Popular Garage Door Styles

Because most garage doors cover nearly a quarter of your home’s exterior, the first thing to consider when you’re shopping for a new door is the style you’re looking for. The right garage door will compliment your home’s architecture and improve its curb appeal. According to the National Association of Realtors, if you replace your garage door before you sell your home, you’ll recoup upwards of 87 percent of your costs when you sell.

So how do you decide which is the best garage door option for your home?

1. Traditional Raised-Panel Garage Doors

These doors are called “traditional” because this design has been the go-to garage door for a long time. It’s probably the door you picture when someone says the words “garage door.”

Identified by a series of rectangular raised panels, these overhead doors can be customized by changing the size or direction of the panels, as well as adding windows or other embellishments. These doors are a great choice to pair with a ranch style home or a two-story home that was built with a clean, but traditional, architectural style. They’re available in a variety of materials, which makes them a convenient and cost-effective option for any budget.

2. Carriage House Garage Doors

Often referred to as “Barn Style Doors,” these doors are gaining in popularity because their rustic look pairs well with a variety of types of homes, including historic properties, Craftsman-style homes and Mission-style homes. While some people prefer these because of their old-fashioned look, others enjoy them because they are in line with current trends toward farmhouse decor.

Carriage House Garage Doors look like the old swing-out doors you’d find in a barn or Victorian carriage house, but they are constructed to function like a modern overhead door that goes up and down with a click of a button. They’re easy to customize with windows and hardware and can come in a variety of colors and materials, which means you can easily tie them in with your home’s existing decor.

3. Contemporary Garage Doors

We find contemporary garage doors to be incredibly versatile. Some of our commercial clients have been known to use these doors as dividers in their stores or restaurants. But, in this case, we’re looking at the contemporary garage door as it pertains to a home.

These doors are typically constructed with an aluminum frame around big, beautiful glass windows. You’d be most likely to install a door like this on a modern home that’s full of clean lines and fresh design, something we’re known for here in California.

Wondering how a door full of windows can be safe and energy-efficient? These beauties are designed to provide the highest level of security to any home with a variety of options for privacy and light transmission through the windows. You can also pick the size and number of windows you want on a door like this, so you always have control over your privacy. And, while they are often constructed with an aluminum frame, a wood frame and insulation are also options that will improve its security and durability.

Choosing the Right Type of Garage Door Material

Once you’ve selected the style that’s right for your home, then it’s time to consider the best garage door material. Why is the material important? Garage door materials will determine the upfront cost, as well as how much time and money you’ll spend maintaining it over the years. It also plays a big role in how durable your door is.

1. Steel

Steel doors are a popular choice among buyers today because they offer gorgeous style at an affordable price. Steel doors are available in a wide variety of styles and offer many ways to customize their appearance, ensuring that your garage door will be the talk of the neighborhood when it’s installed. Steel doors are even available with wood composite overlays, which means you can get the appearance of wood at the cost of steel and without all of the maintenance that comes with a natural wood door. And, steel holds up well against wind, rain and heat, so you can be sure it will stand strong against the elements.

So what’s the downside to a steel garage door? Steel does dent, so it may take a beating if you have kids who like to ride bikes or shoot hoops in the driveway. And, bare steel can rust, so if the finish comes off anywhere on the door, it’s critical to promptly repair it to avoid damage from rust.

2. Wood

There’s nothing like the beauty of a natural wood door. Installing a natural wood door, especially to compliment a natural wood front door or other rustic home elements, is an excellent way to up the wow factor on your home. They are a great option for a larger, more elegant home because of their upscale appearance. But, besides their appearance, wood doors are strong, durable and won’t easily dent — a bonus if you’re worried about those kids we mentioned.

Wood doors do cost more than a steel door, but that’s because many of our wood doors are built to order and can be customized to match your preferences. Wood doors also need to be refinished every couple of years to keep them looking gorgeous.

3. Aluminum

Aluminum doors are lighter than steel or wood, so they are a good choice for oversized doors because they’ll put less of a strain on your springs and garage door opener. They look especially fantastic when paired with glass in a modern-style garage door, and they are less expensive than their heavier counterparts. They also hold up well to the elements.

The downside to aluminum doors is that they’re prone to dents, so it’s necessary to pick a higher-grade aluminum if you are concerned about dents occurring. They typically cost less than other materials, but the final cost depends on the type of door you choose, especially if you opt for glass as well.

Do I Need an Insulated Garage Door?

There are several types of garage doors on the market today, and many of them also include an option to add insulation. Our clients often ask us if they should purchase an insulated garage door. After all, it’s California. We aren’t exactly facing extremely cold winters around here. But insulated garage doors are about more than just avoiding winter weather. In some cases, you may find that an insulated garage door provides other benefits.

An insulated garage door is a garage door that’s been constructed with insulation in between the layers of steel or wood. Including insulation in the construction of a garage door does allow it to act as a barrier to outside temperatures. But, besides that, it also makes it stronger and better able to block noise, a bonus if you live along a noisy street.

An insulated garage door is also one way to improve your home’s overall energy efficiency. It prevents cold air from coming into your garage, and ultimately your home, on colder days and keeps the summer heat from coming in as well. This means it’s keeping your home cooler and taking the strain off of your air conditioner. It’s also an effective way to keep the temperature inside of your garage more comfortable, a bonus if your garage doubles as a workshop or you store valuable equipment, such as a lawn mower, inside.

However, an insulated garage door isn’t for everyone. It’s more expensive than a non-insulated door, and it won’t be very effective at improving your home’s energy efficiency if other steps aren’t taken as well. What does that mean?

Basically, an insulated garage door is only energy efficient in conjunction with other things. Have you repaired or replaced old windows? Have you replaced old weatherstripping around all of your exterior doors and upgraded your home’s insulation? Have you searched for and repaired cracks and holes that might be the source of air leaks in and out of your home? If you answered “no” to any of those questions, then an insulated garage door isn’t going to solve your problems. Adding or replacing the insulation in the wall that connects your home and your garage is often a better way to improve your home’s overall energy efficiency.

Still not sure if you need an insulated garage door? King Door’s team of experienced sales representatives can help you decide whether or not an insulated door will benefit your home.

Standard Garage Door Sizes

The last thing you’ll need to look at when you’re picking a garage door are the garage door sizes. Not all garage doors are standard size, which means that knowing the size you need is critical in choosing the right door for your space.

There are a variety of garage door sizes on the market today, and the size of your door will depend on several things — the age of your home, the size of your garage and whether you have one or two doors covering the facade. But don’t worry! There’s a door on the market to fit everyone’s needs.

Standard garage doors are 7 feet tall, but if you’re in the middle of building a home, you may have the option to raise the height of the doors, especially if you’re looking for the headroom to park larger vehicles inside of the garage. Your contractor can advise you on your options for altering the size of the garage doors.

If you are replacing an existing door, the first thing you need to do is measure your door to determine whether it’s a standard height or oversized. Don’t panic if it is oversized. We still have plenty of options to fit your needs!

The standard width of a single-car garage door starts at 8 feet. The standard width of a double-car garage door starts at 12 feet. Both can increase in size, but if you’re looking for a door that’s more than 20 feet wide, you’ll likely have to custom order it, so you’ll need to factor the wait time into your plans for a replacement.

A lot of people don’t realize that a door’s thickness is also a consideration when you’re looking at size. The thickness of a door impacts its durability, as well as its insulation, so if you’re looking for those two things, then it’s important to spend a little more for a thicker door. Your sales representative can talk with you about options for thickness and what works best for your needs.

Contact King Door Company for Your Next Garage Door

When it’s time to select the best type of garage door for your home and your budget, you want to work with a team of experienced professionals who are invested in helping you choose the best door for your home. Serving Kern County since 1985, King Door offers a wide variety of high-quality, beautifully designed Clopay doors, showcased in our Bakersfield showroom. Honored with Clopay’s Presidential Award in 2017, we have a reputation for walking through the entire process with our clients — from picking a style all the way to installation.

If you aren’t in the market for a new door, but you need garage door repair, we’ve got that covered too. Offering same-day service and 24-hour emergency repair, we’re committed to keeping you safe and keeping your garage door operating the way it was designed.

Need an estimate on a new door or service on an existing door? Don’t wait. Contact us a call today!

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