Deciding on a Garage Door

New garage door options maximize durability, energy efficiency, performance and safety, without compromising on style.


If your garage faces the street, your doors will make a big impact on the look of your house. Photo courtesy of Clopay

If your garage faces the street, your doors will make a big impact on the look of your house. Photo courtesy of Clopay

By: Peter Walsh
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Shopping Basics: Construction and Budget

Garage doors typically have three construction options: single layer, double layer and triple layer. Single-layer construction offers a steel, wood or fiberglass skin without insulation. It's perfect for families with a low budget who need a secure place to house their cars.

Double-layer construction goes up a step in fabrication and price, adding a layer of polystyrene board and a thin back cover. The insulation makes the door more energy efficient and increases soundproofing and structural integrity.

10 Ideas for Garage Doors

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Contemporary Style

Garage doors can make up a large portion of your home's exterior design, and if facing the street, they may be the first thing visitors see. Here are some tips on how your doors can enhance your home's style. Photo courtesy of Clopay

Photo By: Clopay Door

Spanish Charm

Got a Mediterannean- or Mission-style home? Enhance it with a garage that adds to the architectural detail, featuring wooden doors with wrought-iron handles and hinges. Design by Robert Hidey

Modern Design Tips

For contemporary or modern homes, look for anodized metal frames holding clear or frosted acrylic inserts. Photo courtesy of Clopay

Most Popular Material: Fiberglass

Fiberglass garage doors are the easiest to maintain and come in nearly any design. They are paintable, so you can finish them to match the trim on your house. Design by KB Home

Farmhouse Details

Wooden garage doors, stained and finished with a clear coat of polyurethane, allow this home's country character to shine through. Photo courtesy of Clopay

Color Palette

Garage doors should complement or match your colors. Get ideas for exterior color schemes at ProGalleries. Photo courtesy of Clopay

French Country

Mix exterior door finishes to add interest. This French country design showcases a natural wood front door, while the garage door is painted in a cool, neutral beige. Design by Dahlin Group

Carriage House

For traditional homes, consider garage doors with classic carriage-style design. Photo courtesy of Clopay

The Benefits of Aluminum

Aluminum doors offer a clean, sleek design scheme, cost less and have fewer maintenance issues. Photo courtesy of Clopay

Customize Your Doors

From ornate glass inserts to specialty shapes, garage door panels add a custom touch to your exterior design. Look for paneling that doesn't overwhelm the style of your house. Design by JZMK Partners

The gold standard of garage doors is the triple-layer. It sandwiches a layer of insulation between two pieces of steel, wood or fiberglass. If you want maximum energy efficiency, soundproofing and structural integrity — and have extra room in the budget — this is the door for you.

Garage Doors in Hurricanes 02:27

Here are some ways to make a two-car garage door withstand a hurricane.

What's the Right Material?

The most popular choice of garage door material is a fiberglass door that is molded to look like wood. These are the easiest to maintain and come in nearly any design and color.

If you prefer real wood and don't mind painting or restaining regularly, choose redwood, cedar or hemlock. Steel doors also offer excellent security, cost less and have fewer maintenance issues than wood.



Photo courtesy of Cloplay

Photo courtesy of Cloplay

Insulated or Not?

If your garage is attached to your house, and the budget allows, choose a garage door that's insulated against noise and temperature. Unheated detached garages typically do not need a door with insulation.

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Next Up

Front Doors: Wood, Steel and Fiberglass

Create an inviting entryway with these tips for choosing a front door.

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