Garage door installation can be a significant investment in your home, and it’s important to know what you’re dealing with when it’s time to get estimates. Doing a little homework before calling for an estimate can save you a lot of hassle later. Having a general idea of what you want in advance can help you ask the right questions and understand the estimates you are given.
Materials and Options
Making the right choices for your new garage door include not only materials, but style issues like lites (windows) and color, and function issues like the type of door, insulation, and a door opener. It’s important to understand that every choice comes with a trade-off, so think about long-term issues like maintenance time and expense, too.
- Door Materials – Residential garage doors come in aluminum, vinyl, steel, fiberglass, and wood. Aluminum, vinyl, steel, and fiberglass doors are segmented doors that roll up; wood can be either segmented or a solid door. Segmented doors are less resistant to break-ins, but easier to remove in case of emergency or a power outage. Fiberglass and wood are the materials most resistant to break-ins, though steel is significantly better in this regard to vinyl or aluminum. Vinyl and aluminum require the least maintenance, steel and fiberglass require more maintenance, and wood requires the most maintenance of all.
- Lights – If you use your garage as a workshop or craft area, or spend a lot of time out there for other reasons, you may want some natural light. Choosing optional lites in your garage door gives you that light and a nice style boost from outside. The trade-off with lights is that they’re easier to break than the rest of the door, so think about where you are placing them.
- Insulation – Wood and fiberglass have pretty good insulating properties on their own. Aluminum, vinyl, and steel have very little. If you spend time in your garage during winter, or your garage door spends a good deal of the day in direct sunlight during the summer, or you store temperature-sensitive materials like paint in the garage, you may want to consider opting for insulation on your garage door. In addition to thermal insulation, your insulated garage door will significantly reduce outdoor noise, and increase the strength of the door significantly.
- Door Opener – Choosing a garage door opener powerful enough to easily lift the door you want is top priority, but consider whether you want one that can integrate into a home security system, or can be remotely controlled from your phone.
Do I Really Need That?
When you request an estimate for garage door installation, be sure to ask that the estimate specify which items are required for the installation and which are optional. Get estimates from two or three reputable companies, then compare carefully; you can’t just look at the bottom line. Make a spreadsheet or a chart to ensure that you are comparing equal materials and service. If you’re in the Salt Lake metro area, call The Garage Door Man for a straightforward, easy-to-understand estimate on your garage door installation.