Every garage door is nothing but an investment which requires serious consideration. Keeping aside a secure access to your garage, it provides a flair to your home. If you are ready to buy one for your home, brace yourself for there are thousands of available styles and options these days. Before you get tempted to buy the first random you see, learn more about each option and see how well each fits into your home and lifestyle.
Here is a list of things you need to consider before making a purchase from wood or aluminum door manufacturers. These will help you decide on one that you will be happy with for years.
1. Materials, Maintenance, and Style
Since it occupies 30% of a home’s facade, a garage door’s appearance is of great importance. One needs to choose a door that creates a statement, with a style and pattern that complements the rest of the home. Choices include wood, composite wood, aluminum and glass, steel, fiberglass, and vinyl. If the home is of contemporary style, you must choose a door that is modern and made of tempered glass panels.
A heads-up on glass: they are quite fragile which makes it a poor choice if you are living in a neighborhood with rowdy residents. Wood is a classic favorite because of its elegance and timeless beauty. However, it is also the most expensive of all door types, and needs to be refinished periodically to be worth the bragging rights. Garage doors made of steel come after wood in price competition. A steel garage door is a fantastic choice as they are virtually maintenance-free and highly durable if you want to install and forget. The only down side to steel is that it cannot be repaired when dented, so if you accidentally hit it with a baseball bat, you may have to live with it or consider replacing the whole thing.
Fiberglass is becoming a popular choice because of its resistance to moisture, warping, and insects. Modern fiberglass manufacturing techniques have made it possible to mimic grain patterns and colors of real wood such as mahogany, oak, and cherry. If you are settling for this material, make sure that you choose double-layer versions since single-layered ones can be brittle.
Composite woods, on the other hand, are made of polystyrene materials wrapped in panels made of wood recycled fibers and resins fused together. It is cheaper and durable since it does not crack or rot and also resembles real wood. Last but not least, vinyl, which is made up of layers of weatherproof vinyl plastic surrounding a foam core. Manufacturers offer lifetime warranties, which is an indication of the material’s durability. Since it is impervious to rotting, insects, and dents, it is one of the most durable options albeit the least environmentally friendly.
2. Horsepower and Motor
When buying you should always check three important elements: horsepower, motor, and drive systems. Automatic door openers need adequate horsepower to lift components. So logically, you need to know the weight, size, and material of your door to determine how much horsepower is needed. Motors come in three sizes: ¾ Horsepower for extremely heavy; ½ Horsepower for double and 1/3 Horsepower, for single When buying motors, you should settle for large ones. Smaller motors tend to be “overworked,” so they are damaged easier with use. Pick motors that have a “soft” start-and-stop mechanism, and need DC power to save on electricity. You may want to consider openers that provide a backup battery in case of power outages.
3. Drive System
The drive system is the mechanism that opens and there are three types: chain drives, screw drives, and belt drives. Chain drives lift garage doors using a metal chain that goes up and down along a set of metal tracks. These are the noisiest but the cheapest of the three drive systems. The screw drive is mid-priced but still produces noise because of its metal-on-metal lifting action. The belt drive is computer-controlled and uses no chain or screws, so it produces very minimal noise. It is also the most expensive of the three.
Read the fine print on warranty offers and choose a brand that can provide you with the help that you need in case something goes wrong. Most manufacturers offer a one-year limited warranty, but there are others offering extended warranties into their marketing pitch. Maintaining garage doors can be costly if you do not know how to maintain it yourself. Look for manufacturers who offer long-term warranties. This is a sign that the garage doors were made of quality materials and were constructed to last.
5. Safety and Security
A homeowner should always make his family’s safety and security a top priority. A homeowner should buy a garage door that provides homeowners with a secure access to their garage whilst preventing injuries. Many valuables are stored in the garage; therefore, should have devices that prevent forced entry such as sensors, automatic lights, locking mechanisms, or reverse-opening capabilities, to name a few. You should also look for safety features that reduce the risk of injury and fire. Compared to polystyrene-insulated garage doors, polyurethane -insulated types have a higher R-value, which means that the latter has better insulation properties.
Garage doors require smart decision-making. Homeowners must remain scrupulous in their hunt since beyond its appearance and appeal, are crucial in keeping family members safe and secure.
The article provides useful information to help homeowners find a garage door that matches their style, cost, operational, and maintenance preference. Having this as their guide will enable homeowners to choose a garage door that satisfies their family’s needs for style, security, and safety