Garage Door Material Options: Which is the Best?
There are many ways to make a garage door, none of them are created equal. It all begins with the materials that are used, specifically the base material for the door panels themselves. Is one of the various types of metals (steel, aluminum, etc.) the best for building quality, long-lasting garage doors? Are wood garage doors the best for homes?
An argument can be made that the decision comes down to personal preference; which type of garage door material do you value most for your home? While this is true, there are some undisputable facts about each garage door material, ones that can make an objective case for one material over another.
Which material is best for your garage door? Find out the pros and cons of using each one.
Metal Garage Doors: A Common and Diverse Material
Many garage doors, for both commercial and residential homes will be made from some type of metal. Depending on the metal, the properties and pros and cons can drastically change. Steel is much more durable than aluminum, for example, but it’s also much more expensive.
The pros of steel garage doors include:
- Greater durability than aluminum
- Better insulation than aluminum
- Better security than aluminum
The pros of aluminum garage doors include:
- Lower cost than steel
- Lighter weight than steel (requires a lower cost garage door opener)
- A higher resistance to corrosion and rust when compared to steel
Overall, the cons of using metals as a garage door base material include:
- Less curb appeal: it’s easy to spot a fake woodgrain finish
- The potential for rust to accumulate (especially in humid or coastal areas)
- They can be dented is hit by flying debris, vehicles, etc.
There are a range of composite materials (fiberglass, etc.) that can be used to build newer garage doors for homes and businesses. These types of materials can be reliable and affordable when used in garage doors, and they have a few key benefits for homeowners:
- They are lightweight
- They offer a good amount of insulation
- They are fairly low maintenance
- They are naturally resistant to rust, corrosion, and moisture
Some of the cons of using fiberglass include:
- Limited range of styles and colors, offering less customization
- Higher price; they can be more expensive than aluminum and steel
- Low durability: fiberglass is far more susceptible to denting and damage than steel. They can also crack if hit hard enough.
- Less security, the doors can be penetrated easier than steel doors
- Low lifespan: these types of garage doors can become brittle over time, causing them to crack
Wooden Garage Doors
Garage doors made from wood are known for their natural beauty, which can be shaped into a completely custom garage door that is like no other. Wood garage doors come with many benefits:
- Aesthetic appeal: for those who love the warm and homely look of wood, nothing will bring more curb appeal to your home than a genuine wood garage door. There are no woodgrain patterns or finishes with this type of garage door material.
- Superior customization: while you have some limited customization options with metal and composite doors, wooden garage doors—with custom millwork, panels, windows, and more—can be designed to fit in the architectural style of your home, no matter the period.
- Insulation: wood is a natural insulator; metal a natural conductor. When you combine layers of wood with the right foam in between them, nothing will insulate your garage space better.
- Repairability: wood can be mended; metals and composites need to be replaced. This helps increase the lifespan of your garage door even if it becomes damaged.
- Durability: wood does not bend, dent, or become brittle like other materials.
- Longer lifespan: when you use the right wood that, your door can last a lifetime.
The cons of a wood garage door include:
- Maintenance: all beautiful things need a bit of TLC during their lifetime. It’s important to keep your wood garage door sealed with the right type of paint or stain finish. This also means you have the option of changing its color throughout its life.
- Weight: wood garage doors are heavier than composite and aluminum, but comparable to steel garage doors.
- Cost: beauty comes with an investment, but since wooden garage doors can last a lifetime, it can be the best (and last investment) you make in a garage door!