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Choosing the Best Garage Door Material: Pros and Cons of 4 Common Materials

Choosing the best garage door material: pros and cons of 4 common materials

 

Garage doors are available in a variety of materials, such as steel, wood, fiberglass, and aluminum. Aside from the obvious differences in appearance, different garage door compositions may better suit your budget, climate, and aesthetic.

 

Continue reading to explore the pros and cons of the 4 most common garage door materials.

 


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| Steel

 

Cost: $-$$

Climates: All

 

Steel is a largely popular garage door material due to its design flexibility, durability, and overall value. Steel garage doors are available in an endless number of design options and provide a cheaper, more practical alternative to natural wood. Opt for insulation to strengthen your garage door and boost R-value. Find out if you need an insulated garage door.

 

Compared to wood garage doors, steel is significantly lighter-weight and easier to maintain. Accents Woodtones give you the beauty and texture of wood, with the durability and reliability of steel - explore our industry-leading faux wood garage doors

 

The primary disadvantage to steel is that it is susceptible to corrosion and rust. Rusting along the bottom section of a steel garage door is particularly common in areas where excess salt is used for de-icing in the winter months. To help preserve the life of your steel garage door, we recommend washing it at least twice a year to remove grime and dirt.

 


Pros
Cons

Low maintenance

Durable

Various style options

Economical

Moderate resistance to dents

Not a natural insulator

Scratches can rust if not fixed quickly


 

wood overlay carriage house garage door with madison window inserts
| Wood

 

Cost: $$$-$$$$

Climates: Best in mild climates

 

Wood garage doors provide any exterior with a sense of timeless elegance. As a renewable resource, wood offers a more eco-friendly option to consider when purchasing a new garage door. Available in a variety of Overlay Carriage House designs, wood types, and customization options, wood garage doors are an excellent option for homeowners wanting a custom, unique look.


In addition to the higher upfront cost of a wood garage door, it is also important to consider the cost of the maintenance required to preserve its beauty. Without proper, regular maintenance, a wood door will begin to fade, rot, warp, or chip.

 

Wood garage doors are best suited for mild climates. Drastic changes in outside temperatures as well as frequent contact with moisture (from rain, snow, or humidity) can cause wood to expand and warp as it absorbs this moisture. 

 


Pros
Cons

Beautiful, rustic look

Natural insulator

Various overlay designs

Field-staining to achieve desired look

Heavy and difficult to operate manually

Requires regular maintenance

Has potential to warp, swell or rot


 

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| Fiberglass

 

Cost: $-$$

Climates: Warm, humid climates

 

Fiberglass is often overlooked when homeowners are choosing a garage door material. Fiberglass, however, most closely mimics the defined grain texture of authentic wood. Unlike wood, however, fiberglass garage doors will not shrink, warp, or crack - making them particularly ideal for homeowners living in humid climates. 

 

Available in both overlay carriage house and raised panel designs, fiberglass provides an economical, low-maintenance alternative to wood. Because fiberglass is semi-transparent, this material will also allow more natural light into your garage. 

 

Fiberglass is best suited for warmer climates, and is not recommended for windy coastal areas. High winds can not only damage fiberglass, but also evoke a noise that many find irritating. Another important consideration is that fiberglass cannot be repaired if damaged; the garage door must be replaced entirely.

 


Pros
Cons

Won't warp, shrink, or corrode from moisture

Allows light into garage

Won't contract or expand from temperature changes 

Low maintenance

Must be replaced if damaged

Brittle and susceptible to wind damage

Has tendency to crack or yellow with age


 

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| Aluminum & Glass

 

Cost: $$-$$$

Climates: All* 

 

Aluminum and glass garage doors offer an eye-catching, contemporary look to a variety of design applications, both exterior and interior. Available in anodized coatings, 188 powder coat colors, and various glass options, Full-View aluminum and glass garage doors can be customized to fit your precise vision. 

 

Because aluminum is lighter than steel, it is also less durable. Strong winds or hail can cause dents in aluminum, which are difficult to fix without a specialist. We also recommend adding insulation to aluminum section rails to increase R-value and boost thermal protection for your garage space.

 

*While suitable in all climates, aluminum is sensitive to extreme heat - harsh summers can reduce the durability of this material. 

 


Pros
Cons

Naturally resistant to rust and corrosion

Customizable

Allows max. light into garage

Low-maintenance

Low R-value

Not fully waterproof

Less durable than steel

Privacy issues depending on glass selection


 

| Helpful Links

 

Design a garage door on DoorVisions

Find C.H.I. dealers in your area

Request a quote

Download the Residential Product Guide 

Order free color samples

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