Your garage door is an integral part of your home. It’s one of the first things people see when they pass your house, and it’s the largest piece of moving equipment in your home. Home owners don’t want ugly garage doors that stick out like a sore thumb. They want:
- A garage door that ties together their home’s look;
- A garage door that works, is efficient and requires little maintenance;
- A garage door that will last for years.
So, you’re in the market for a new garage door, but you don’t really know how to choose one. We know that many home owners panic when faced with the task of buying a new garage door, we want to make the process easier, so we’ve listed the top five things you need to consider.
Let’s start with the type of door
Typically, garage doors are available in either metal, wood or vinyl.
- Metal garage doors (generally steel or aluminum) make up 85% of the market in North America. They are the most popular choice because of price (steel doors are the least expensive) and weight (aluminum doors are lightweight). They can be ordered in a wide range of colors and styles to suit all tastes. They are also insulated and require little maintenance.
- Before the boom in popularity of metal doors, wooden doors were seen everywhere! Although they require more maintenance than metal doors, they are naturally attractive and versatile. Wooden doors may be painted or stained. They vary greatly in price and quality; at the lower end of the scale we have wood composite doors and at the upper end of the scale we have solid wood doors. Whichever wooden door you choose, you will need to set aside time to maintain its appearance and performance.
- There are other materials available, such as fiberglass and vinyl. You will not need to carry out any maintenance on vinyl doors and they are even scratch-resistant. Vinyl doors are initially more expensive than metal and wooden doors, but in the long-term the cost is actually lower. Fiberglass doors are the most expensive doors available, they are very low maintenance and have a very attractive look (often designed to look like expensive solid wood doors).
Next, you need to consider where you take your business
We wish it was at easy as opening the Yellow Pages and picking the first name you see, unfortunately the garage door industry in Canada and the US is not strictly monitored. If you pick just anyone, you might end up with a company that is not insured and doesn’t provide their employees with workers’ compensation.
Here are some things you should look for in a company:
- Professionalism and courtesy;
- Able to provide references upon request;
- Provides their workers with uniforms and clean trucks;
- Has adequate insurance;
- Provides written warranties for materials and labour.
Above all, you should choose a company that trains their technicians. There are so many garage door related accidents each year, many can be avoided if you deal with a trained and certified technician.
When do you need to think about replacing your garage door?
There are several reasons you might consider replacing your garage door. This most obvious, of course, is that your garage door no longer functions properly. When garage doors stop working as they should they can pose a serious threat to you and your family. Replace your garage door before you become another statistic.
Secondly, you might change out an older garage door for a new one simply to improve your curb appeal.
Finally, you might just be sick to death of maintaining your deteriorating door!
Now, where can you buy garage doors?
As we’ve already mentioned there are tons of retailers out there. We thoroughly recommend dealing with a garage door specialist to avoid any nasty surprises. Specialists provide their own installers. These installers have learned on the job just how to carry out their trade, which is why they know the best ways to do things.
The company might send someone out to your home or invite you to their showroom to see their range of products. Specialists will guarantee both their materials and labor and often maintain stock so you can get your new garage door installed quickly. Their motto is: Quality work, time after time!
Talking about warranties – what should it include?
These days, almost all garage doors are guaranteed. But it’s no good handing over money for a garage door if you don’t understand what this warranty includes. As we’re sure you know, garage doors have a lot of different parts from decorative hardware to the lifting system. You need to know if your warranty covers all of this and the labor used to install it. We suggest checking the small print, it’s where you usually find exclusions!
One last thing…
It’s no good buying an expensive garage door if you’re not willing to invest in a professional installation. The long-term durability of garage doors depends just as much on quality installation as the quality of the materials.
Give us a call at (603) 833-7135 if you have any questions. We pride ourselves on ensuring your satisfaction and can respond to a service call in a matter of hours. If you prefer, why not send as a request for a free quote.
Have your tried our Design Centre tool yet? Just upload a picture of your home and play around with the garage doors to find the right fit for you.