Choosing a new garage door isn't as simple as taking the measurements and placing an order. Garage doors are made in one of three primary materials – steel, wood, or plastic. Although your choice is somewhat dependent on your budget, you also need to look at the individual benefits of each material before making a final choice.
Steel is by far the most preferred material for a garage door because it is both durable and attractive. Most steel doors are backed by rigid foam insulation, which helps moderate the temperatures in the garage. This is especially important if the garage is attached to the house, because it will minimize thermal loss.
The best steel doors have a baked-on primer, which resists chipping, weathering, and rust. You can get a steel door in nearly any color or custom design, even wood grain looks that are almost indistinguishable from the real thing. It's even possible to repaint a steel door if you ever alter the exterior color of your home.
Plastic is a newer option that is almost as low maintenance as steel. Plastic won't rot or corrode, and its lighter weight puts less stress on automatic garage door opener mechanisms. This makes the doors almost silent when you are opening and closing them.
When opting for plastic, choose one made from UV resistant materials to cut down on weathering concerns. You are more limited in design and color, since plastic doors don't typically come in custom designs and you can easily repaint them. Fortunately, there are a variety of panel designs already on the market.
Wood used to be the main material for garage doors, but it has fallen in popularity due to its ongoing maintenance needs. Wood can rot, splinter, and weather quickly. It requires periodic restaining or repainting. In areas where the door is exposed to extreme weathering, you may need to repaint as often as every two years.
Wood is also heavy, which can stress automatic openers or make the door difficult to open manually. Wood is beautiful, though, and you can customize the door to your exact specifications. If you do opt for wood, choose a naturally rot-resistant variety that has been further treated to prevent damage.
After deciding upon the material, you get to have fun looking at the aesthetic options. All three materials come in paneled varieties. You can also play around with window designs, color, and trim choices to ensure the look of the garage door complements the exterior of your home. For more information, visit sites like http://www.1garagedoors.com.