Things to Know Before Buying and Installing a Garage Door


A garage door is an important feature of your home. Other than securing your vehicles and other belongings, it can dramatically improve your curbside appeal when properly maintained. It’s also one of the most common entrances and exit in most homes.

However, if your garage door is squeaking, shaking, dingy, not level, or constantly breaking down, it might be time to invest in a new garage door or call for garage door repair. But do you know what to look for when buying a new garage door? First, you need to think about what you want, and then consider a few more factors that make a garage door durable, reliable and worth your money.

Here is what you need to know.

1. Consider the garage doors material

Garage doors are typically made of metal, wood or vinyl material. The type of material has a big impact on the durability, functionality, and style of the door.28049bbd6920aa70882e0a2f336e76e58662010acc2e02e2a324abe7b015fdc7

•Metal (steel /aluminum): metal doors are probably the most popular doors today. Steel doors are also the most affordable compared to other materials. Aluminum doors are best for homeowners looking for lightweight doors, but they may not be as strong as steel doors. They are both available in different colors, typically insulated and require very minimal maintenance.

•Wood garage doors: these have been around for the longest time. They add natural beauty and curbside appeal at your front door and are also incredibly versatile. Depending on your style, they may be stained or painted. They’re however available in a wide price range, with the quality ranging from solid wood to wood composite construction. In general the more you will pay, the higher the quality will be. 

•Fiberglass/vinyl: vinyl and fiberglass doors are not as popular as wood and metal garage doors because they’re a little pricier. However, they tend to be scratch resistant and generally require very minimal maintenance. Their initial cost might be a little higher than the other materials, but their long-term cost is lower.

2. Garage door opener security feature

Security should definitely be one of your biggest priorities when planning for a new garage door installation. Modern garage doors often will feature Liftmaster garage door openers that come with rolling-code technology. This feature changes the access codes every time someone uses the garage door remote and prevents people from stealing your code. Some even have apps that you can install on your smartphone for remote monitoring and operation of your garage door. Sounds cool, right?


In addition to rolling codes, there are auto locking deadbolt features.  These deadbolts lock into your rail system when the door is closed.  With these in place, there is no way for someone to open the door via the coat hanger “hook and pull” trick on your emergency release cord. Liftmaster and Chamberlain provide models that offer this feature. 

3.Safety sensors for your garage door

If you have kids and pets, safety is something you don’t want to skimp on when choosing your next garage door. The most important component to look for here is the safety sensor. You’re probably not going to find any modern garage without this feature, but you should still check that it’s present and efficient. The sensor detects a person or object in the path of a closing door and triggers the door to auto-reverse and avoid crushing whatever is in the path.

4. Pay a little more for stronger garage door springs

Springs are responsible for moving your door up and down, and holding it in place. A majority of garage doors use the torsion springs, which you can usually see above the door. Standard torsion springs come with a rating of 10,000 cycles. That might sound like a lot, but if you open your door about 6 times a day, you will exhaust the 10,000 cycles in 5 years or less.

Sometimes spending just $50 extra can buy you a garage door spring rated 20,000 cycles, double the durability –and minimize your garage door repair service cost in the long term.

5.Garage Door Insulation

If you’re going to have your garage door attached to your home, then having an insulated door is a must. Installing an insulated door will prevent the hot-summer air and cold-winter air from coming into your house during the respective seasons. This will keep your utility bills at the minimum. If you live in a generally hot or cold environment, this would be a very crucial consideration.

Bottom line

That’s pretty much everything you need to know when buying a garage door. Simply consider the material, security, safety, insulation and the need for stronger springs. After deciding on the kind of garage door you want to buy, we strongly recommend that you seek assistance from a garage door repair/installation company and leave this part to trained and experienced professionals. Other than requiring skill and the right equipment, this task can be extremely dangerous if left in the hands of inexperienced homeowners or volunteers.

Compare listings