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Pros & Cons: Which Garage Door Material is the Best?

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When selecting the perfect garage door, the choice of material plays a crucial role. Each material option offers unique benefits, influencing durability, aesthetics, and maintenance requirements. In turn, those can affect your home’s security, energy savings, maintenance costs, style, and even noise inside your home.

In this brief guide, we'll decode the various garage door material options, from steel to wood, helping you make an informed decision that complements your home's style and meets your specific needs.

Thinking of replacing or repairing your Garage Door? Check out our blog on Most Important Factors In Buying A Garage Door & A Cost Comparison: Garage Door Repair vs. Replacement for further reading.

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Steel Garage Doors: Durability Meets Style

Cost: $-$$

Climates: All

Steel garage doors are an ideal choice for homeowners seeking a resilient installation. Not only are they low-maintenance and cost-effective, but they also offer a range of color options to suit your preferences. Additionally, many installations allow for the integration of insulation, boosting their R-value for improved energy efficiency. With proper maintenance, steel doors maintain their integrity, remaining free from dents or rust. Steel garage doors offer extensive design possibilities and are a cheaper and more practical alternative to authentic wood.

Pros Cons
Very Durable Low R-Value (Not a natural insulator)
Cost-Effective & Affordable Susceptible To Corrosion And Rust Without Proper Maintenance
Low-Maintenance Moderate Resistance To Dents
Customizable, Numerous Options  

Advantages of Steel:

  • Durability and Longevity: Steel garage doors are renowned for their exceptional strength and ability to withstand the test of time.
  • Resistance to Weather and Environmental Factors: They provide excellent protection against harsh weather conditions, making them an ideal choice for regions with extreme climates.
  • Low Maintenance Requirements: Enjoy the benefits of a low-maintenance garage door that retains its beauty and functionality without constant upkeep.
  • Range of Color Options: We offer various color options for all our residential garage doors.

Considerations for Steel Garage Doors:

  • Low R-Value: Consider the R-value of the door, which indicates its insulation effectiveness. Enhance energy efficiency by choosing insulation options that keep your garage comfortable year-round. Steel doors are not a natural insulator.
    • R-value is a measure of a garage door's insulation level. It indicates how well the door will regulate the temperature in the garage. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. For example, R-16 is better than R-12.
  • Susceptible To Corrosion And Rust Without Proper Maintenance: In places where they use a lot of salt for de-icing in winter like Oklahoma, you might notice rusting at the bottom of your steel garage door. To keep it in good shape, we suggest giving it a good wash at least twice a year to get rid of dirt and grime. This will help it last longer!

Aluminum & Glass Garage Doors: Modern Aesthetics and Durability

Cost: $$-$$$

Climates: All climates.

*Note: aluminum is sensitive to extreme heat, which affects its durability.

Aluminum and glass garage doors bring a modern and visually appealing touch to a wide range of design settings, whether indoors or outdoors. With options for anodized coatings, a palette of over 150 powder coat colors, and a selection of glass styles, full-view aluminum and glass garage doors can be tailored to perfectly match your specific vision.

Pros Cons
Resistant To Rust And Corrosion Low R-Value (Not a natural insulator)
Allows Maximum Light Into Garage Not Fully Waterproof
Low-Maintenance Less Durable
Customizable Privacy Issues Depending On Glass Type

Advantages of Aluminum:

  • Lightweight and Corrosion-Resistant: Aluminum garage doors are known for their lightweight nature, making them easy to operate. Additionally, they are highly resistant to corrosion, ensuring long-lasting durability.
  • Modern Aesthetics and Sleek Design: If you're looking to achieve a contemporary look for your home, aluminum garage doors offer sleek, clean lines that can complement modern architectural styles.
  • Low Maintenance Requirements: Enjoy the convenience of a low-maintenance garage door material that retains its visual appeal without needing frequent upkeep.

Considerations for Aluminum Garage Doors:

  • Low R-Value: Consider the R-value of the door, which indicates its insulation effectiveness. Enhance energy efficiency by choosing insulation options that keep your garage comfortable year-round.
  • Not Fully Waterproof & Climate Suitability: Consider the local climate and environmental conditions to ensure that aluminum suits your specific area.
  • Less Durable: Because aluminum is lighter than steel, it is also less durable. Strong winds or hail can cause dents in aluminum, which are difficult to fix without a specialist.
  • Privacy Issues Depending On Glass Type: Consider how opaque you want your windows to be for your comfort level.

Fiberglass Garage Doors: Lightweight and Durable

Cost: $-$$

Climates: Warm, humid climates

For the natural wood look without the upkeep, consider fiberglass garage doors. Some options even mimic wood grain textures and panels. Ideal for hot climates, these lightweight doors are easy to open manually. Applying a clear protectant every few years will keep your door looking stunning.

Pros Cons
Lightweight & Durable Must Be Replaced If Damaged
Allows Light Into Garage Susceptible To Wind Damage
Low-Maintenance Has Tendency To Crack Or Yellow With Age
Customizable Noise With High Winds

Advantages of Fiberglass:

  • Resistance to Environmental Elements: Fiberglass garage doors are highly resistant to moisture, salt, and environmental factors, making them an excellent choice for coastal or humid climates. They won't warp, shrink, or corrode from moisture.
  • Lightweight and Durable: Enjoy the benefits of a lightweight garage door material that is also incredibly durable and able to withstand the elements.
  • Low Maintenance: Fiberglass garage doors require minimal maintenance, making them a convenient option for homeowners seeking a hassle-free solution.

Considerations for Fiberglass Garage Doors:

  • Damage: An important consideration is that fiberglass cannot be repaired if damaged; the garage door must be replaced entirely. These garage doors are susceptible to wind damage and also tend to crack or yellow with age.
  • Noise: High winds can not only damage fiberglass but also evoke a noise that many find irritating.

Vinyl Garage Doors: Durability Meets Affordability

Cost: $$-$$$

Climates: All

Vinyl garage doors are an excellent choice for coastal homes due to their strong weather resistance, rust-proof properties, and long lifespan with proper care. The material is not only durable but also cost-effective, making it a smart investment. Maintenance is a breeze as vinyl maintains its color throughout, eliminating the need for touch-ups. It is also highly resistant to splitting and splintering and can withstand extreme temperatures. Additionally, coatings can be applied to prevent color fading over time, ensuring your garage door looks great for years to come.

Pros Cons
Durable & Weather Resistant Low R-Value (Not a natural insulator)
Energy Efficient Cannot Be Repainted
Doesn’t Rust & Low-Maintenance Can Become Fragile & Noisy in Low Temperatures
Cost-effective & Affordable  

Advantages of Vinyl:

  • Durability and Resistance to Elements: Vinyl garage doors are known for their exceptional durability and ability to withstand various weather conditions, including moisture and extreme temperatures.
  • Low Maintenance and Longevity: Enjoy the benefits of a low-maintenance garage door material that is resistant to rust, rot, and pests, ensuring a long lifespan.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Vinyl garage doors offer an affordable option without compromising on quality or durability, making them a budget-friendly choice for homeowners.

Considerations for Vinyl Garage Doors:

  • Low R-Value: Consider the R-value of the door, which indicates its insulation effectiveness. Explore insulation choices that provide energy efficiency benefits, helping to regulate the temperature inside your garage.
  • Can’t Be Repainted: Remember that once you choose a color for your vinyl garage door, you'll be committed to it for the entire lifespan. Painting over it can be challenging, as the old color may show through or significantly alter the final look, potentially causing the door to be mismatched with the rest of your house.
  • Fragility, Noise, and Climate Suitability: Consider the local climate and environmental conditions to ensure that aluminum suits your specific area. Also, consider the eco-friendliness of vinyl as a material and explore options that align with your sustainability goals.

Natural Wood Garage Doors: Timeless Elegance with Custom Options [Not available from Moore Overhead Door in Oklahoma]

Cost: $$$-$$$$

Climates: Best in mild climates

Wood overhead doors offer a wide range of choices in wood grains, colors, and finishes, making them some of the most aesthetically pleasing products available. They provide a timeless appearance that complements various architectural styles. Many people opt for wooden garage doors due to their eco-friendly nature and distinctive look. It's worth noting that wooden overhead doors can thrive in milder climates, but they may require regular painting, staining, and sealing to maintain their optimal condition and prolong their lifespan.

Pros Cons
Beautiful, Rustic Look Heavy And Difficult To Operate Manually
Natural Insulator Requires Regular Maintenance
Various Overlay Designs May Warp, Swell Or Rot
Field-Staining To Achieve Desired Look Expensive

Advantages of Wood:

  • Natural Aesthetics and Warmth: Experience the timeless beauty and inviting warmth that wood garage doors bring to your home's exterior.
  • Customization and Design Flexibility: Enjoy the freedom to create a custom garage door tailored to your unique style and preferences.
  • Timeless Elegance: Wood doors exude a classic charm that never goes out of style, enhancing your home's curb appeal for years to come.

Considerations for Wood Garage Doors:

  • Maintenance and Care: Learn about the essential maintenance tasks required to preserve the beauty and functionality of your wood garage door.
  • Environmental Impact and Sustainability: Explore options for sustainable wood sources and finishes that align with your eco-conscious values.
  • Cost and Budget Considerations: Understand the investment associated with wood garage doors and explore options that fit within your budget.

More Information

Visit our contact page, call 405-799-9214, or email to schedule a repair. You can also design a garage door specifically for your home on our website.

Further Reading

  1. How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Garage Door?
  2. Tornado-Resistant Garage Doors
  3. DIY Garage Door Repair vs. Hiring a Professional
  4. Garage Door Buying Guide by Home Tips
  5. Overhead Garage Door Types by HomeAdvisor

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