How to Choose a Garage Door for Your Home

Date: November 18, 2020

Are you interested in purchasing a garage door for your house, but aren’t sure where to get started? With a wide range of options available, it can be difficult to identify the right door for your property. At Artisan, we understand why the choice of garage door is important to homeowners, and we’re here to help. Our blog on how to choose a garage door contains key questions to ask yourself to find the door of your dreams.

Am I Looking for a Garage Door to Match My Home Style?

If you want your garage door to seamlessly match the rest of your home, it’s important to account for your home’s exterior design. We’ve put together some tips to keep in mind for each home style below:

  • Colonial homes work well with two-tone, traditional doors in a swing style.
  • Contemporary homes are enhanced by minimalistic doors with sleek lines in neutral colors.
  • Craftsman homes benefit from doors with panel details, simple decorative hardware, and windows.
  • Farmhouse homes pair perfectly with carriage-style doors accented with buck overlays and divided window grilles.
  • Mid-century modern homes work well with simple doors that have vertical windows.
  • Ranch homes often have a modern flair that’s complemented by doors with plenty of vertical elements and windows.

Do I Have a Particular Garage Door Material in Mind?

Whether you’re focused on aesthetic appeal, durability, or maintenance levels, there’s a material for you. That’s why there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what type of garage door is best. Here is an overview of some of the most popular garage door materials, along with Artisan’s product offerings for each.

Glass

Glass garage doors typically feature large glass panels that are framed in heavy-duty aluminum. You can often choose from a variety of specialty glasses, like decorative, reflective, and tinted. If you’re interested in a premium aluminum-framed glass garage door, check out our Panorama series.

Vinyl

Also known as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), cellular vinyl comes in both rigid and flexible forms. Like real wood, vinyl can be milled and shaped with standard woodworking tools. We offer three vinyl garage doors: Prelude 2, and Symphony.

Rhapsody Swing Style

Urethane Composite

Like cellular vinyl, urethane can be used to create molded garage doors that offer the look of real wood. It can also be milled, shaped, and routed with traditional woodworking tools. We offer three urethane composite doors: Rhapsody, Quartet, and American Farmhouse.

Wood

When it comes to curb appeal, you can’t beat the warmth and sophistication of a wooden garage door. You can choose from a variety of wood species, like Spanish cedar, Douglas fir, red grandis, and many more. We offer two all-wood doors: Medallion.

Wood Composite

These engineered products blend wood fiber, plastic, and binding agents for an authentic, real-wood look. Wood composite materials can be milled using standard woodworking tools and come in brands like Tricoya® and Extira®. We offer two wood composite doors: Benchmark and Benchmark 2.

Am I Interested in a Specific Finish?

When it comes to finishes, garage doors break down into two main categories: stain-grade and paint grade. Here’s a closer look at each:

  • Stain-grade doors use high-quality woods that look beautiful when stained or painted.
  • Paint-grade doors use lower-quality woods or composites that are only suitable for paint. You can choose from traditional paint or faux stain paint that mimics wood species like mahogany, walnut, and driftwood.

We’ve also broken each finish type down by the door material(s) it’s compatible with:

  • Vinyl can be left unfinished, primed, or painted in light colors.
  • Wood can be primed, painted in light or dark colors, or finished with a real or faux stain.
  • Wood composite can be primed, painted in light or dark colors, or finished with a faux stain.
  • Urethane composite can be painted in light or dark colors or finished with a faux stain.

If you opt for a painted garage door, it’s important to understand light reflectance value (LRV). This number indicates how much light a given color absorbs or reflects. Light colors have an LRV of 60 or up, while dark colors are rated 40 or below. This is because dark colors absorb more light and heat up quickly, while lighter colors reduce heat buildup, fading, and peeling.

Do I Have a Limited Budget?

Your budget will also play a major role in determining what type of garage door is best for your home. Real wood doors are typically the most expensive option, while wood composite, vinyl, and urethane composite are on the more affordable side. However, the costs associated with purchasing a garage door vary greatly based on your desired level of customization.

Does My Garage Door Need to Be Weatherproof?

Depending on where you live, you may need a garage door that can withstand more extreme weather. A door’s weatherproofing quality is typically determined by the material it’s made of. Let’s take a closer look at each:

  • Glass doors are best for homes located in warm or temperate climates where there won’t be much cold air trying to get into the garage. Glass is also a decay-, rot-, and insect-resistant choice. Keep in mind that salt can damage a glass door’s aluminum framing if you live in a coastal region.
  • Vinyl doors are a great option for areas with extreme weather since they can handle freeze and thaw cycles. They’re also highly moisture-resistant and won’t twist or warp. Best of all, vinyl is an insect-, salt-, fungi-, and rot-resistant option.
  • Urethane composite doors can withstand extreme temperature fluctuations and are also ideal for coastal areas. Urethane composite is also resistant to decay, insect damage, cracking, and peeling.
  • Wood doors aren’t as weatherproof as other materials and do best in temperate areas with low-to-moderate moisture.
  • Wood composite doors are an ideal all-weather option that won’t shrink or expand from humidity or warp in cold weather. Due to its man-made nature, wood composite is also impervious to rot and insect damage.

It’s also important to consider a garage door’s insulation levels. Glass isn’t a good insulator, and vinyl tends to absorb excess heat. Your best bet for a well-insulated door is a real wood option.

Stains offer a beautiful natural finish for your garage door.

What Maintenance Level Am I Looking For?

When it comes to what to know before buying a garage door, it’s key to understand each product’s maintenance level. If you’re like most people, you’re looking for a low-maintenance garage door that won’t take up much of your time. While glass, vinyl, wood composite, and urethane composite are all relatively low effort, maintaining a wood door can be a bit more labor intensive. However, the beautiful and authentic look of real wood is worth the work for consumers who choose that option.

Note: Artisan is preparing to introduce a finish system with a three-year factory warranty. If an additional topcoat is applied within the first year, this warranty is extended to seven years. Through this system, wood doors become much more low maintenance. We also have plans to offer a new line of wood doors made with newer wood technologies that carry a 25 year guarantee.

If you purchase a wood composite, urethane composite, or vinyl garage door, simply wipe it down when it looks dirty. A glass garage door can be cleaned with a standard glass cleaner and a towel. The topcoat of a real wood door should be refreshed every year. Use a mild detergent and soft cloth to clean your wood door, then rinse it with a garden hose or low-pressure sprayer.

Now that you know how to choose a garage door, it’s time to purchase one for your home! Visit our Door Design Gallery or contact us today to start designing the door of your dreams.

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