Best Garage Doors – Buyer’s Guide
Your garage door determines the first impression and the curb appeal of your home. In most cases, the garage door is the first face of your home – this is especially true for suburban homes designed in the last five decades or so. Garage doors are designed for drive-right-in convenience with most homes having garage doors occupying up to 30 percent of their façade. Upgrading your garage door is a popular home improvement project that needs careful planning.
Garage door improvement adds the value of your home. If you are ready to shop for a garage door, you will be amused by the wide range of doors available. You might find a single garage door model having more than 1800 combinations – more than 10 design options, different window patterns and different colors, all for a single door model. Choosing a good garage door benefits your home’s value. Ergo, you need to choose keenly. Below are some of the top doors on the market.
Best Garage Doors of 2018
|Product||Insulation||Window||W x H||Type|
|Lux Garage Doors - Model 650||10x7ft||Roll Up|
|Lux Garage Doors - Model 650||9x7ft||Roll Up|
|American Garage Door - TFII-110X90-2W-2FVL|
|American Garage Door - TSIII-110X90-XX-2FVL||+||9x7ft||Dock|
|American Garage Door - IS24-110X90-2W-2FVL||+||9x7ft||Dock|
|American Garage Door - TFII-98X90-XX-2FVL||+||8x7ft||Dock|
|American Garage Door - IS24-92X90-2W-2FVL||+||7x7ft||Dock|
1. Lux Garage Doors Model 650 10-Foot Door – Best Light-Duty Door
The Lux Garage Doors Model 650 is a light duty rolling steel door designed for a wide variety of garages. It comes as a 26 gauge corrugated door curtain fabricated from hard galvanized grade 80 steel. It is further coated with strong and long lasting polyester paint backed by a 40-year film integrity. This paint is guaranteed to last for 25 years without fading. These factors enhance the functional life of the garage door, meaning you do not have to replace the door any time soon.
The door features a patented mini latch with a cover plate constructed from heavy gauge zinc coated steel. This allows you to secure your garage door and keep your car safe. The design aims at smooth operation and durability. You can use it for commercial as well as residential operations. It has been incorporated into the Janus self-storage door thanks to the operation convenience it offers you.
Each roll-up door comes with the needed installation hardware. The door is recommended thanks to its great price, its smooth operation, and its durable build. The door measures 10by7 feet.
- Light duty and easy to install
- Offered with all the needed installation hardware
- Long lasting construction
- Self-storage and easy to maintain
- Cannot fit large garages
2. Lux Garage Doors Model 650 9-Foot Garage Door – Best Value Self-Storage Garage Door
The Lux Garage Doors model 650 9-Foot Garage Door measures 9by7 feet. It shares features with the Lux Garage Doors Model 650 10-Foot Garage Door with the only difference being in their sizes. The door is made to fit garage door spaces 9by7 feet. It is a light duty mini rolling self-storage steel door fabricated for durability and ease of operation.
Like the model reviewed above, this is a 26 gauge corrugated door curtain fabricated from full hard-galvanized grade-80 steel for ruggedness and durability. When installed correctly and maintained properly, the door gives you decades of functional life. The steel material is coated with a long lasting polyester paint with a 40-year film integrity and backed by a 25-year no-fade warranty from the manufacturer.
The door is fitted with patented mini latch with a cover plate engineered from heavy gauge zinc coated steel. The design of the door is geared towards durability and smoothness of operation. You might consider this choice if you need commercial or residential garage doors.
Being a self-storage door, the 9by7-foot door gives you great convenience during installation. The roll-up door is shipped with all needed installation hardware. It is recommended if you are looking for an easy to install garage door that will save you money.
- Easy to install and comes with installation hardware
- Sports a durable polyester paint coat
- Offers smooth operation
- Light duty build limits its use in commercial settings
3. American Garage Doors Dock Door – Best Commercial Garage Door on the Market
The American Garage Doors Dock Door is a 9by7.5 feet garage door, designed for commercial and residential applications. It is thick to offer insulation to your garage. Fitted with U-shaped bottom astragal, the door keeps your garage protected from elements, and this enhances the door’s functional life. Each door includes heavy duty commercial rollers for a smooth operation. The unit comes as a 2-sided door to optimize energy efficiency and durability.
Its tough PVC seals offer continuous thermal breaks on all parts of the door, thereby, reducing thermal transmission. It is fitted with a highly effective polystyrene insulation bonded by 26-gauge substrate for strength and thermal protection. Hinges are made of 14-gauge hot-dipped galvanized steel for durability.
The doors come with flush wood grain-embossed panels for light penetration and enhanced durability. You are offered all hardware needed to install the door. Installation is easy and the door lasts for a long time. If you are looking for an easy to install garage door that sports a rugged construction and provides all features of a good garage door, the American Garage Doors Dock Door might be what you are looking for. This door is good for commercial use thanks to its heavy duty construction and its steep price.
- Rugged construction for durability
- Designed with an insulation coating
- Fitted with wood embossed panels for light penetration
- Sports bottom astragal protecting your door from elements
- Steep price
4. American Garage Doors TSIII Dock Doors – Best Heavy-Duty Door
The American Garage Doors TSIII Dock Doors has the same features as the American Garage Doors Dock Door reviewed above with only a few differences. The door is designed with polystyrene insulation, keeping your garage warm. It is fitted with u-shaped bottom astragal that keeps it safe from elements. With 10-ball commercial rollers, the door offers a smooth operation at all times.
This is a two-sided garage door, offering optimum energy efficiency and durability. It is fitted with a tough PVC seal that offers a continuous thermal break on all door sections. This reduces thermal transmitting and enhances the efficiency of the door. Each door is fitted with heavy duty 14-gauge hot dipped galvanized steel hinges geared towards durability. Its flush wood grain embossed panels enhance penetration of light into the garage. You are offered all hardware needed to install. The door measures 9by7.5 feet, making it match the dimensions of a horde of garage doors.
The door is relatively heavy and might require special shipping, but it is easy to install and offers great services for all garage owners. It is recommended if you are looking for a premium garage door that will offer a long functional life.
- Made of high quality materials for durability
- 2-sided door for energy efficiency
- Fitted with heavy-duty 10-ball rollers for a smooth operation
- Heavy and will incur extra shipping costs
- Relatively expensive
5. American Garage Doors Noninsulated Dock Door – Best Rated 2-Sided Garage Door
This is one of the noninsulated garage doors in the Dock Door series from American Garage Doors. Like other doors in the series, it is fitted with U-shaped bottom astragal that keeps it protected from elements and enhance its productive life. It features heavy duty commercial rollers designed to offer a smooth operation. Each door is offered with a 2-foot depth geared towards maintaining structural integrity in tough dock situations.
The exterior and interior of the door are prefinished and coated with a baked-on polyester primer with acrylic finish. It features the same quality 14-gauge hot dipped galvanized steel for lasting durability and security. Like other doors in its category, it comes with all needed installation accessories. It fits on door spaces of 9by7.5 feet.
The door is recommended when you need security for your dock garage. It sports a rugged construction for use in all conditions.
- Rugged construction for durability
- Heavy duty hinges for security
- Fitted with heavy duty commercial rollers for a smooth operation
6. American Garage Doors – TFII-98X90-XX-2FVL – Best Insulated Garage Door
The American Garage Doors – TFII-98X90-XX-2FVL is an insulated dock door that sports the same great quality of all doors from American Garage Doors. It sports a u-shaped bottom astragal that protects it from elements. It is fitted with heavy duty commercial rollers that enhance its toughness and ensures it operates smoothly. This is a two-side dock door with each side being 2 or 3 feet. Each door is fitted with tough PVC seal, which offers a continuous thermal break on different sections of the door, thereby, enhancing operation efficiency.
For insulation, the door sports polystyrene material bonded by a 26-gauge substrate to provide thermal protection and strength. This offers a solid and quiet operation. The door has 14 gauge galvanized steel hinges for durability. Each door has wood grain embossed panels for light penetration and ease of accessibility.
The door is heavy, but easy to install. This makes it an ideal choice when you need commercial garage doors. It is recommended if you are willing to spend a few extra dollars on a door that offers you great services at all times. The door measures 8 by 7.5 feet.
- High quality materials, for long lasting service
- Fitted with heavy duty commercial rollers, for ruggedness and ease of operation
- Great price-quality ratio
- Heavy and requires more than a few people to install
7. American Garage Door – IS24-92X90-2W-2FVL – Best Noninsulated Garage Door
The IS24-92X90-2W-2FVL is one of the noninsulated dock doors from this American Garage Door. Even though it is noninsulated, the door offers great features for long lasting service. First off, it features the signature u-shaped bottom astragal that keeps it protected from elements. Its heavy duty 10-ball commercial rollers make it ideal for tough dock operations while enhancing a smooth operation. It has a 2-foot depth geared towards maintaining structural integrity in all situations. This further enhances the functional life of the door.
Its exterior and interior surfaces are prefinished and coated with baked-on polyester base and acrylic finish. This keeps the door further protected from elements. Each of its hinges are 14 gauge and made of hot dipped galvanized steel for durability.
You are offered all hardware you need to install the door. The weight of the door requires special shipping and special installation. Once the door has been installed, it offers long lasting performance. The door accommodates modern technological accessories, making it a good choice for a modern dock garage. The door measures 7.5 by 7.5 feet.
- Accommodates technological accessories
- Offers a smooth operation
- Fits most garage door spaces
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Right Garage Door
When your garage door starts sagging, does not operate smoothly, and is generally falling apart, the best remedy is to replace it. Replacing a garage door is advantageous. Replacements enhance safety, security, and convenience. A falling garage door may injure you, it may be a loophole for burglars and it makes it hard for you to access your car. By installing a fresh garage door, your home gains a new appearance especially from the curbside and this gives your home immediate curb appeal.
Materials used for today’s garage doors withstand weathering and can serve you for many decades. Some of the common materials include steel, fiberglass, wood composites, aluminum, and vinyl. Wood, though not as durable as other materials, is a favorite of many home and business owners. Steel stands as the king of garage doors thanks to its durability and adaptability.
Garage Door Technologies
Compared to a few decades ago, garage doors are offered with a wide range of materials. These doors also sport high-tech features. Some of the modern features include:
- High performance insulation
- Energy saving glazing
- Finished interior surfaces
- Baked on polyester exterior surfaces
- Realistic wood grin surfaces on non-wood garage doors
Garage doors have also been upgraded in styles. The carriage house garage doors are particularly popular in recent door designs thanks to their classic look. Most garage doors are created with sleek and contemporary looks with aluminum frames and translucent glass panels.
Garage Door Installation
Most garage doors are offered will all the needed installation hardware, making them easy to install. Again, most manufacturers design doors that you can install with ease without the need for a professional. Nonetheless, unless you are experienced, garage door installation needs a professional. When installed wrong, the functional life of a door is reduced and the door might not operate as smoothly as it should.
Garage Door Options to Choose From
There is a host of garage doors on the market and a high number of manufacturers too. You can choose to buy garage doors with a window section to add a decorative accent to your garage and add light to your garage. You can also pick conventional single glazed or dual glazed doors. Some doors are also fitted with snap-in decorative frames. Your garage needs and your preferences play a huge role in the garage door you choose.
The torsion springs fitted directly above the door and electric door operators enhance the performance of your garage door. While these parts can be bought separately, the adaptability of the garage door determines how they operate.
Garage Door Springs
Tilt up garage doors use extension springs at times – these are springs that stretch and recoil at the door sides. Torsion springs are ideal for sectional doors as they distribute the weight of the door evenly without breaking. Instead of extension springs, choose torsion springs, which, though relatively expensive, offer great strength and last long. If you decide to use extension springs, buy extension springs containment kit to protect you in case the spring snaps.
Garage Door Openers
Garage door openers are electric and some are designed automatic. There are different types and models to choose from. Today’s openers are fitted with rugged motors and offered with lifetime warranties and a host of convenience features. Some of the best features include:
- Photoelectric safety devices to stop and reverse door closing when your car or any other item or person breaks invisible light beam.
- Miniature transmitters to fit on a key chain
- Transmitters that are easy to program and operate with personal code
- Multiple button remove controls that operate over a long range
Picking the Right Garage Door
When you are shopping for a garage door, you need to keep in mind how you want your door to perform and how long you need it to stay functional. For instance, consider the type of weather that the door will be exposed to and whether it will survive and whether you need insulation for your garage. Insulation comes in handy if you will be using your garage as a workshop during winter. Again, if there is a room above the garage, buying an insulated door helps keep the room warm.
Steel Garage Doors
Steel garage doors are the best choice when you need security and durability. They are stronger and more secure than fiberglass, wood, and aluminum doors. Thanks to technology, steel garage doors sport wood grain patterns and durable coatings, making them look like wood without the hassles of maintenance. Steel doors can also have styles that mirror those of wood – flush, raised, or recessed panel. You can also pick steel doors with horizontal ribbed design. Depending on the quality, garage doors are offered at a wide range of prices, making them suitable for different budgets.
Steel doors are resistant to warping, cracking, delamination, and falling apart due to environmental elements. Most of the steel garage doors are made of hot dipped, galvanized steel that does not rust. Others are vinyl clad or offered with a baked-on polyester finish. The door will not rust for decades and some do not fade for more than two decades.
Premium doors are fitted with cores of polyurethane or polystyrene foam insulation. This insulation keeps the garage cool in summer and warm in winter. It also makes the door lighter, quieter, and easier to operate. With insulation, the door is less likely to sag over time.
How to Choose Steel Garage Doors
You can choose a good garage door by checking its thickness and the thickness of its cladding. Most premium doors are 2 inches in thickness and are filled with insulation. A good clad should be made of 24-gauge steel. Inexpensive doors are made of 28-gauge steel, which is a little thinner, but still functional.
The doors might be made of a single skin with a light frame that is visible from outside, or they may feature a double skin that sandwiches an insulation foam between the interior and the exterior panels. When you need a garage door that looks great from inside, a garage door with a double skin comes in handy.
Weatherstripping also enhances the quality of steel garage doors. Premium doors are made of full-width vinyl weatherstripping along their bottom edge, conforming to the floor. They may also have a strong and rigid vinyl weatherstripping the door panel sides, vinyl top cap, and weather seals between different sections.
Buying Fiberglass and Aluminum Doors
Fiberglass doors feature an aluminum frame with fiberglass sections. Fiberglass is light and so is aluminum and this results into a light and easy to install garage door. When aluminum is combined with glass, a great looking door is realized.
Fiberglass doors are translucent, and this opens your garage door up to daylight. The door is also resistant to salt air. Given these benefits, the door comes in handy in areas that need good lighting and resistance to corrosive ocean climates. For more mainstream uses, fiberglass is not a favorite thanks to its poor insulation properties. It also yellows with age and might break during cold seasons.
Aluminum garage doors are available in hundreds of designs just like steel doors. They can be styled to look like wood while eliminating the need for constant maintenance. They do not rust and are relatively inexpensive. You can choose between different finishes and styles to meet your tastes and preferences. The main drawback with aluminums is that it is easily dented.
Buying Wood Garage Doors
Wood doors are charming focal points in a home especially when they are carriage style designed. Wood looks natural, it is affordable and easy to install. When you need to improve the curb appeal of your home and spend less while at it, wood might be a good choice.
Wood expands and contracts. It is susceptible to warping and cracking and because of that, it requires regular maintenance including repainting and refinishing after a few years.
The tilt-up wood door is the most common and the simplest. This can be constructed right in the driveway by applying exterior plywood to a frame. The construction is strong and inexpensive. Roll up wood garage doors are designed with either panel or flush construction. Flush sections are constructed by fastening plywood over wooden frame. Several separate rectangular panels might be fitted into a wood frame to make panel doors.
If the door is meant to be painted, the panels will feature the flat surfaces of hardboard or plywood. They might also feature three-dimensional recessed or raised panels. For three-dimensional types of doors, cladwood made from composites with overlays that are resin impregnated are used. While cladwood may have a 20-year warranty, most wood garage doors have a one-year warranty.
Some wood doors are meant to be stained rather than painted. These doors are made with solid wood panel inserts. The door may sport cedar or redwood among other softwood frames with mahogany, oak, or a host of other hardwood panels.
The garage door you choose should offer you value for money, look great and improve the curb appeal of your home or business premises, operate smoothly, and last for decades. The doors should also accommodate extensions and attachments such as garage door openers. There are lots of garage doors promising to offer all great features. It is up to you to take your time and choose a door that meets your needs.