Whether you’re upgrading to better protect your home from the elements or want to elevate its curb appeal, the Texas garage doors you choose will make a big difference. The key is finding a design that perfectly complements the style of your home.
That includes the material, style and color. Here are some tips to help you navigate your options.
The material used to construct a garage door plays a large role in its durability and functionality. Newer models are stronger, more insulated and require less maintenance than older doors. Steel is the most common material used in modern garage doors. Look for 24-ga. steel panels with an embossed wood-grain pattern and a baked-on primer and polyester topcoat for maximum rust protection.
Fiberglass is another popular option, particularly in coastal areas due to its resistance to salt-water corrosion. The material is lightweight, durable and a good insulator. It’s also fairly easy to customize.
However, the biggest drawback to fiberglass is its poor color retention, as it fades with prolonged sun exposure.
Garage doors account for as much as 30% of a home’s front facade, so giving thought to their look is a smart move. Well-chosen, they can nicely complement a home’s architecture; poorly chosen, they can become a real eyesore.
Fortunately, today’s homeowners have many more choices than ever before. Leading manufacturers offer garage door styles that will match any major, well-recognized American architectural style (Cape, Colonial, Victorian, Ranch, Craftsman) or a wide range of European styles, including northern European Tudor and southern Mediterranean.
If you’re looking to add a touch of elegance, consider a carriage-style garage door for your traditional home. Or, to suit a ranch home with open-concept living spaces, opt for the contemporary Madison or Stockton door with optional windows. Single-panel doors are the easiest to maintain because they have fewer components than sectional models, which are designed with seams that interfere with the overall appearance of the door. They can be wiped down and lubricated with lightweight motor oil twice per year.
Insulation is another factor that adds to the durability of your garage door, protecting internal parts from weather damage. It also helps the door maintain its appearance and function longer by reducing the impact of extreme temperatures on its moving parts.
The type of insulation you choose depends on the local climate, your home’s underlying energy efficiency problems and whether you use your garage as an outdoor workspace. If you plan to store chemicals in your garage, for example, you want an insulated garage door with a fire-resistant, eco-friendly material like rock wool or cellulose.
If you live in a cold climate, consider a garage door with an R-value of at least 40. You can find kits with rolled fiberglass or foam board insulation designed to fit into the channels of your garage door. These are easy DIY projects. Alternatively, you can purchase a kit with precut R-4 expanded polystyrene (EPS) panel foam that snaps into the garage door’s horizontal rails.
Burglars are three times less likely to target homes with a security system, so don’t overlook the importance of beefing up your garage door’s protection capabilities. The entry door connecting your garage to the rest of your home offers easy access for thieves and could be a gateway into your valuable possessions.
Choose a garage door with double-skinned metal panels and a sturdy steel frame to increase the strength of the door. If your garage is attached to the rest of your home, install a door alarm that will notify you if someone is attempting to break in.
Secure the door leading to your home from the garage with a lock that requires a key to open. Additionally, consider a door wedge to block the door from being forced open. Regularly inspect the garage for any vulnerabilities. This is especially important during transitions from one season to another when ice, snow and cold weather can weaken the weather-stripping.