building a custom garage door

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Different Garage Door Materials

May 15, 2020


In the world of garage door customization, the materials used to create a door can make or break a design. Choose the right materials and anything becomes possible; this is on top of having a higher quality finished product. Choose the wrong materials and design and manufacturing can become a struggle, all the while resulting in a lower quality product.  

What materials are available on the market for garage doors, and which ones are the best for fully custom garage door designs? There are many options to choose from, but not all are created equal. Here’s a list of garage door materials and how suitable they are for both modern and traditional custom designs. 

Vinyl Garage Doors

Vinyl, despite all its popularity in everything from siding to garage doors, is the most budget-friendly material choice. It also results in some of the lowest quality garage doors on the market. They are used in mass-produced new home builds and to replace doors for little money on existing homes. While vinyl garage doors may seem attractive to everyday homeowners, they are not a great material for designers looking to custom build a door for homeowners that want some a bit higher end. 

In short, vinyl makes for a poor customization choice, and we recommend staying away from it when designing a door. 

Wood Garage Doors

When a skilled craftsman gets ahold of the right species of wood, there is nothing that cannot be created. Wood is a durable, beautiful, and versatile material that can be shaped and worked into custom design. When a garage door is built from the ground up using the right wood materials, nearly any custom design is possible. Add in custom garage door features like windows, hinges, handles and walk-though doors and the result is a highly customized, high quality finished product. 

Wood makes for strong doors that are resistant to wind and storm damage, it has natural insulating properties that protect homes, and it can be used in traditional, timeless garage door designs as well as inspiring modern garage door designs. 

Composite and Woodgrain Finishes

Composite materials and faux wood use engineered materials that resemble wood or are finished with a woodgrain texture. While these lightweight doors are generally durable, long lasting and look decent enough, there are several drawbacks to using them: 

  1. They cannot be shaped into custom designs as well as wood can. 
  1. All the engineering in the world cannot reproduce the authentic look and warmth of real wood garage doors. 

The only real pro of using the material is less maintenance for the homeowner. Learn more about the differences between wood and composite doors here. 

Wood is Preferred Across the Board

Nothing beats the customization options in the inlays, millwork, etc. that can be achieved by manufacturing garage doors out of wood. There are limitless designs that can be made and the finished product is guaranteed to be more authentic and high quality. 


Ready to begin designing a wood door with Cambek? Contact our team today!

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