10 Helpful Tips for Buying Your New Garage Door

what to look for when buying a garage door

You may need or want to buy a garage door because your current one has broken or you’re looking to give your home a facelift. Buying a new garage door is an important decision. Garage doors provide essential functionality and can be a crucial design statement for your home. Because of their necessity, you want to make sure you choose a new garage door that suits your wants and needs.

If you’re wondering what type of garage door is best for your house and what kind you should buy, you’ve come to the right place. When choosing a new door, there are a few things to be aware of to make the best decision for your home. Whether you’re considering your budget, design or home structure, some useful tips can help you learn what to look for when buying a garage door. Here are 10 things to know before buying a garage door.

10 Tips to Know Before Buying a Garage Door

By following these 10 tips, you’ll learn the essentials of what to keep in mind when shopping for a new garage door. This list can help the process become much easier.

1. Know What You’re Looking For

A great place to start when buying a garage door is to look at the door you currently have. Ask yourself what you like and dislike about it, what you wish it had, how you would improve it and other relevant questions. These questions can help you precisely pinpoint what things you’re interested in having in a new garage door. 

If your current door has some specific issues, keep those at the front of your mind. You don’t want to spend money on a new garage door only to deal with the same issues again. When you begin working with your garage door manufacturer, you can inform them of your concerns and work to avoid these in the future.

There are several other things to know before you start your garage door search:

  • Budget: Having a budget will help keep your decisions in check. With an established budget, you’ll know what doors and other options you can afford. Home renovations and improvements can quickly become more expensive than planned, so creating and keeping a budget will benefit you long term.
  • Door size: Having your door measurements before you begin choosing your new garage door will save you a lot of headaches. Keep your door’s measurements on hand to assist your garage door professional in helping you select and design your door. Knowing your door size can also help you stay within your budget.
  • Design styles: There are many door styles to choose from. Some design styles include Classic™, Canyon Ridge® with traditional carriage-house doors and raised panel. Raised panel doors can be combined with other styles. Choose a garage door that best suits your home’s architectural design and aesthetic. Keeping the same style throughout your home’s exterior will create a cohesive look.
  • Door materials: There are just as many garage door materials to pick from as there are designs. You can choose fiberglass, vinyl, steel, aluminum, plastic, wood or composite wood. Each type has its pros and cons. Steel is usually the industry’s go-to door material. Wood was once the industry favorite but has become less desirable recently due to its lack of durability and need for regular maintenance. 
  • Available features: Buying a garage door involves more than just considering the door itself. Account for features like springs, tracks, nylon rollers and keypads when purchasing a new door. 
  • Available accessories: What accessories will look and work best for your new door? Keypads, windows and knobs are just a few accessories to choose from when selecting your door.

2. Be Prepared to Shop With the Right Information

Gathering ideas about what type of garage door you’re looking for is a great way to prepare yourself to shop. One way to organize your thoughts is to start a mood board with the color, style, finish and any features and accessories you want to purchase with your door. When you go into a store with an idea of what you want, you can save yourself precious time and money.

Before you leave home, make sure you know what size door you’re buying. Having this essential measurement will help make the garage door buying process much more effective. Additionally, not all options or features may be available for all door sizes, which is another reason why it’s crucial to have this measurement. You don’t want to fall in love with a specific garage door only to find out it isn’t available for your size garage.

If you plan to work with a specific garage door manufacturer, it will benefit you to look at their selection of door styles, features and accessories before visiting their store.

know what size door you're buying

3. Understand Your Available Customization Options

The design options are nearly endless when buying a new garage door — several door styles and numerous features and accessories are available for your choosing. Understanding the different options available before you begin shopping will allow you to start the process with a clear vision of what you want for your home. 

A great place to start when exploring your options includes the garage door hardware. Garage doors can be loud when they open and close, and the noise can be particularly disruptive to others sleeping in your home, primarily if you use your door early in the morning or late at night. If you’re looking to have a quieter door, consider purchasing nylon rollers. Nylon rollers are ideal for quiet operation because they tend to make less noise than traditional metal rollers. 

4. Learn About Different Features

Features for your new garage door can include keypads, knobs and handles and windows. It’s usually within your best interest to choose features that complement your existing home exterior, like certain finishes or colors. Working with a well-versed designer can help you choose the best design choices for your new garage door. 

Your keypads can be the same color as your door, or you can get them in another complementary color. Like keypads, the doorknobs can coordinate with any metal already present in your home design to create cohesion. 

Windows are not always standard in garage doors. However, they can blend in with almost any design and add a unique design element to your door. The location of your garage door’s windows can vary from the entire length of the door to just the top part of it. Think about the level of privacy you want or need when deciding what size windows you’d like for your door.

5. Don’t Skimp on the Accessories

Quality over quantity is a common phrase, and buying a new garage door is no exception. If you’re on a tight budget, buying premium features may not be an option for you. However, if you have extra money to spend, investing in quality features can actually save you more money in the future. For example, handles and knobs consisting of durable, weatherproof materials will last longer and won’t need replacement as often. Some can last over a decade. 

Electronic systems like keypads and garage door openers offer another opportunity to invest a little more money. Purchasing a system with excellent reviews and more features can make your life with your new garage door easier.

If you decide to include windows on your door, strongly consider purchasing insulated windows. Insulated windows help protect the inside of your garage from fluctuating temperatures, which can also save you money on your electric bill and make your garage more energy efficient. Insulated windows may have a higher price tag, but they will safeguard items inside your garage from extreme cold or heat, which is well worth the money.

consider purchasing insulated windows

6. Buy a New Garage Door Opener

When searching for a new garage door, look at your current garage door opener. The door opener you are currently using may be just as outdated as your garage door. Your garage door opener won’t last forever, so buying a new one can save you in labor costs when you purchase your door. You may also be able to combine the garage door and door opener costs when making your purchase, saving yourself even more money. 

Garage door technology has improved with time, and some garage door openers now have smart technology that allows you to check your door’s status while away from your house. Remotely checking your door is an excellent feature if you’re going to be away from your home for some time and want to be sure it remains protected.

If you aren’t interested in buying a smart garage door opener, it can still be an excellent investment to purchase an entirely new opener. Having a new garage door opener can ensure that you have the best product available at the time to go with your brand new door!

7. Check and Upgrade Your Garage Insulation

Insulation is essential for garages because these spaces aren’t typically insulated like your home’s walls. As a result, they experience fluctuating temperatures throughout the seasons. These temperatures can damage anything you have stored in the garage, including your vehicle. By properly insulating this space, you can avoid unnecessary damage to your belongings and also save on utility bills. 

However, you may not have plans to re-insulate your garage. If you decide to buy a steel door, make sure you select the correct steel gauge to make up for not re-insulating the garage itself. To have adequate insulation, choose at least a 24-gauge steel door. The steel will be thinner if you choose a higher gauge, such as 25 or more. The lower the number, the thicker the door, and the better the insulation.

8. Choose the Correct Springs

There are two types of garage door springs: torsion and extension springs. Torsion springs are more difficult to install, as they go over the door’s opening. Because of how they work, they are better for heavier or wider doors — they distribute weight more effectively. However, they will also need more headroom. 

Extension springs offer a more straightforward installation. They come in pairs and extend across the ceiling, parallel to the door, and require less headroom than torsion springs. Regardless of what spring type you choose, always have a professional install the springs in your new garage door. They have the expertise and skill required to help you choose the right spring type and ensure it’s installed correctly.

9. Work With a Manufacturer

Working with a manufacturer can make the garage door buying process more manageable. They often have software that can show you a virtual design of your new door. If you’re unsure how some colors, finishes or features will look on your chosen door, the manufacturer can show you how each would appear by using this software. The software may also show you how a new garage door would look on your home. You can create this preview by uploading a photograph of your home and overlaying the new garage door design on it.

discuss any costs you don't understand

10. Ask for Clarity on the Quote Process If Necessary

While working with a manufacturer, you can ask them to create a quote or estimate for you. Your quote will range in price depending on the options you choose, including the door size, style, features and accessories. Your manufacturer or installer can adjust the quote before finalizing it. It’s important to speak with your garage door representative about any costs you don’t understand — make sure those costs are explained before the final installation is complete.

How to Choose the Right Garage Door for Your Needs

Conducting your own research and working with a manufacturer are the best ways to choose the right garage door for your needs. The garage door manufacturer can help you decide what door model will work best for your home, but only you know what specifics you’ll require. By conducting your own research, you can know ahead of time what you want and speak confidently to the manufacturer, who can then direct you to the right door to suit your home’s needs.

By keeping the above checklist in mind throughout the process, you can have an easier time deciding what kind of door you want and understanding how it will benefit your home the most.

Contact RCS Garage Doors Today

If you’re local to Charlotte, NC, and are looking for a new garage door, RCS Garage Doors is the best place to have your needs met. As a leading fixture in the Charlotte community for over 30 years, we have the knowledge necessary to guide you to find the perfect garage door for your home or business.

Our showroom provides numerous garage door options for you to explore, experts who can answer whatever questions you have about design or installation and resources to help you transform your current garage door setup from drab to fab. 

Contact us today to request an estimate for your new garage door, or visit our showroom in Charlotte to see how we can help you select a new door to fit your ideal style.

choose your door from RCS Garage Doors

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