Its not every day that you shop for new doors for your home and your garage door is probably last on your list for replacement but either through age and wear or through damage there are times when you will need to replace your garage door.
Getting the best deal on a new garage door means you need to understand what your options are and how you will get to the overall price. Although Garage Doors are pretty easy to install the job is not for everyone. Doing the work yourself really means working slow and smart or having a friend that can help hold things in place while you make attachments.
You will also have to decide if you can save your garage door by making a repair or if you will need a full or partial unit replacement.
Buy New or Repair what you have?
We will get into prices later but you should consider repairing your garage door if the damage is not extensive and if the parts are available.
Garage door damage can range from replacing locking mechanisms and rollers to replacing panels and runners that were ripped off the wall because you thought you were in reverse when you were in Drive.
When your original door was installed the contractor should have provided an operation manual that will allow you to contact the manufacturer. Even if contractor that installed the door is no longer in business there is a high likelihood that the manufacture is.
However even if you can’t track down your manufacturer you can still buy parts that are compatible with your door.
Will you install your door yourself or hire someone?
Although installing a garage door is not the most complex project it can be dangerous. The Springs that assist you in lifting your door are very powerful. If you need to replace the springs or install a different type then you must fully understand how to protect yourself and take all safety precautions necessary to get the job done without injury.
Because of this you might want to consider hiring out the install of your garage door if you need to replace the springs.
Most of the other parts are very easy to install once you have correct measurements.
If you are hiring a contractor you have two options. You can work with a dedicated garage door installer or you can hire through your local supply center that has a list of contractors that they work with.
In both of those instances you should price the overall cost of the door and install, look for discounts and products not available to the average retail customer and check for references.
It is always important that you get a parts and labor warranty in addition to a manufacturer’s warranty just in case your contractor retires.
Material Options in Garage Doors
Most garage doors are made of light weight press steel panels that are connected with hinges and placed in a roller track.
Steel doors come in a variety of styles and options that can give the appearance of wood from a distance and include optional window panels to let in light.
You can also add insulation to reduce heat loss in the winter or a hot garage in the summer.
Another material you can select is wood core with a vinyl or fiberglass covering.
Many manufacturers of vinyl or fiberglass products rate the life of their product however the visual appearance may degrade to a point where you end up painting it due to UV Rays causing a chalky surface which is not attractive.
Steel Doors must be painted however you can normally get about 10 to 15 years between paint applications depending on your location.
Insulation is not a necessity in most areas of the country however if you see a number of days where the temperature is below freezing and store your vehicle indoors to keep the fluids warm you will definitely want to get a insulated door or add insulation to your current door.
Garage Door Spring Types are available in a dual spring that is located along the ceiling of the garage placed parallel to the door channels or a single spring that is located above the door opening.
The type of garage door spring that you choose will probably be dependent on availability for the size of the door you are installing. Whichever type of spring is installed you want to make sure that is secured with a safety cable or other device to prevent injury or damage if the spring fails.
Final Note on Garage Door Selection
The type of door that you think you want may not be the best one for your home. Always remember that function is more important then visual appeal.
If you live in a location with a moderate risk of crime or if your home is vacant because it is a vacation home then you probably do not want to install glass panels.
If you live in an area where insulation is required then you probably want a sealed panel rather then applying insulation batts after the door is manufactured.