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4 Questions That Can Help You Choose a New Garage Door

You’re ready to upgrade your garage. But you’re not sure which door is the best option. Before you invest in a new model, take a look at the top questions to ask a garage door contractor.

Can You Use the Old Garage Door Tracks?

Even though your old door has seen better days, the tracks and other hardware don’t look old, worn, or out of date. Does this mean you can save money by replacing the door and keeping the tracks?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. While the tracks may seem like they are in top shape, it’s possible the mechanical parts of your door have wear, damage, or other issues that aren’t obvious to a novice. A new door paired with an old track could cause serious safety issues or premature wear for the entire system.

Along with safety and the ability to function effectively or efficiently, a new door may not fit an old track perfectly. This mismatch could affect the alignment. If you’re not sure whether you will need to replace the track or other mechanical components when you install a new garage door, ask a professional. The contractor can inspect the track and recommend the next steps to take.

Should You Choose an Insulated Garage Door?

Now that you know more about the mechanical parts of garage door replacement, it’s time to turn your attention to the door itself. There are a few different garage door materials to choose from. These include steel, aluminum, wood, wood composite, and fiberglass. Each type of material provides a different degree of insulation.

Solid wood doors offer a high degree of natural insulation, but steel and aluminum do not. This means you may need to select a door that includes an added layer of interior insulation. This layer can help to prevent heating/cooling losses and increase the overall efficiency of your home.

Insulated doors are rated with an R-value. This value measures the insulation’s resistance to conductive heat flow, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. A higher numerical R-value equals a higher degree of insulation. As you review models, the contractor can provide you with information on the R-value of each garage door.

If you have an attached garage that directly connects to your home, you may need a higher R-value door. A lower R-value could allow heat to escape in the winter or the hot air to enter during the summer months. These types of heat transfer scenarios make it harder for your home’s HVAC system to work efficiently. The result is a compromised interior comfort level and higher heating or cooling costs.

What Style Garage Door Should You Choose?

The contractor can’t tell you which style door to select. But they can use their knowledge and experience to help you find the best garage door for your home’s overall aesthetic.

Like with materials, you have style options. There are several different styles of doors to choose from. These include plain slab doors, raised panel models, carriage house doors, wood plank styles, and glass-front garage doors.

The style you choose should coordinate with the exterior of your home. If you don’t have plans for an exterior upgrade or won’t replace anything other than the door, you may want to choose a style that’s similar to the existing model. But if you will upgrade or redesign the façade of your house, you may need to select a completely different type of garage door.

While there are no rules for matching the garage door style to a home’s exterior, you will find that some types of doors do or don’t go well with some types of design aesthetics. A carriage house door has a classic, old-world, or rustic look. This style won’t pair well with a contemporary industrial or sleek modern home. But a slick steel door or glass-paneled model will seem out of place with a rustic or shabby chic type of style.

Should You Add Windows to the Garage Door?

You’ve chosen a door and are ready to schedule the installation. Before you go ahead and agree to a price, ask the contractor about glass accents. A basic garage door is a solid panel or series of panels that don’t include glass. Windows may require you to pay an extra charge. If price is an issue, talk to the contractor about ways to replace your garage door while staying on budget. You may need to skip added windows or glass panels.

Even though price is sometimes a factor in the choice to add windows to your door, it isn’t the only issue to consider. Windows will impact the overall look of the door, its energy efficiency, and the interior environment of your garage. Without windows, a garage could turn into a dark, cave-like space. If you use the garage for something other than storage, you may want to add windows as a way to increase the natural light.

Do you want to learn more about your garage door options? Contact Shank Door for more information.