Your garage door is a very important part of your home, both for aesthetic and security reasons. A good garage door will provide security for the vehicle or other items stored inside, while maintaining the pleasant looks of your home’s façade. If you have never had to order a new or replacement door before, you might find the thought of doing so a bit intimidating. That’s why we’ve decided to help you out with some great tips on how you can choose the right garage door for you.
What material should I go for?
The most commonly used materials for garage doors are timber, steel, aluminium, and GRP, with each having their own strengths and weaknesses:
- Timber garage doors are usually one of the most expensive options, and there will be a difference in price depending on the type of wood you go for. It is also less durable and will need more maintenance than synthetic materials. On the other hand, timber often has a nicer finish than other materials and it is incredibly versatile, offering many customisation options should you need a bespoke door.
- Steel garage doors are normally the strongest doors on the market. They are also relatively cheap and don’t require much upkeep once installed. They can be customised with many varied finishes too. The drawbacks to steel garage doors only really become apparent in cheaper products, as the steel can be thinner and less secure. Cheaper steel also tends to have poorer insulating properties. It may be wise to reconsider using steel if you live in a coastal area, as the saltwater in the air can corrode the door.
- GRP (fibreglass) garage doors are becoming more popular due to their strength and versatility. They can be adapted to almost any opening mechanism and have many finishes that can be applied for a number of different looks. They are a good choice for coastal residents as the material does not corrode. However, like cheap steel doors, GRP doors can often be poor quality and very thin if bought for a low price.
- Aluminium garage doors enjoy many of the customisation benefits as steel, and they are relatively strong, lightweight, cheap, and they don’t corrode. However, aluminium is prone to denting, so impact can knock your door out of shape.
What mechanism is right for me?
The mechanism that allows your garage door to open is very important, and surprisingly often overlooked. Many people direct their attention towards which material they want and what size door they will need, rather than considering how it will actually open. If you choose the wrong mechanism for your door, you could end up with a product that is wrong for your home.
There are many different types of mechanism that can be used to operate your door, and the one you choose will usually be dictated by the size of the door and the amount of space you have available behind it. For example, a narrow garage with limited space would probably require a roller door, rather than an ‘up and over’ design, as they take up less room. As there are quite a few mechanisms available, you should read up on them with this detailed advice article from Garage Door Opener System. Don’t be afraid to consult with a specialist at your chosen garage door retailer too, as they will be more than happy to dispense valuable advice about your choice of mechanism.
If you are looking to install an automatic garage door in your home, you should check with your garage door retailer to see if there are any motor systems that will work particularly well with the door you have chosen. They may also be able to install the system at little to no charge along with your door.
How secure will my garage door be?
Like many theft prevention measures you can install around your home, a garage door can always be bypassed with the right amount of time and the right tools. But that’s not to say you should just opt for a poor-quality door, as a strong door with a good-quality lock will prove to be both a major deterrent and obstacle to even the most persistent intruder.
Most garage doors come with a good standard of lock, but you should always check to be sure. Look for a lock that is the industry standard: a euro standard cylinder. You should also check that your door has a robust handle attached. While a good lock is essential, it is useless if the rest of the door is constructed with poor quality materials. Ask the specialist at your garage door retailer about the safety testing of any door that you are interested in.
You can find out more ways that you can secure your garage against intruders from this guide published by The Crime Prevention Website. It has specific advice for securing different kinds of mechanism, as well as tips for securing side doors and windows.
How can I prepare my garage for its new door?
Having your new door installed can be a complex or simple operation, depending on how much you prepare. Obviously, any technicians will need access to the area around your door, both inside and out, so making sure that you have cleared sufficient space on is essential.
Take into account the kind of door you have ordered when preparing, as certain mechanisms, like up-and-over or sectional doors, require there to be room for them to function. Ensure there are no shelves or other obstacles in the way before installation.
For more detailed advice on preparing your garage for its new door, you should read Evander’s garage door preparation guidelines. Follow their advice to make sure that you are ready on the day.
Follow our tips and you will be able to find the garage door that will keep your garage as safe and secure as possible. Find a garage door dealer that you trust, listen to their advice, and choose a door that is right for you.
Feature Image Photo Credit: Door Doctor – licence
This guest post was written by Josie Middleton.