What's the best material for a garage door?

There are a lot of decisions to make when you buy a residential garage door, but choosing between garage door materials is straightforward with our pros and cons list.

Popular garage door materials

Residential garage doors are generally made from steel, wood, fiberglass, or aluminum. Aside from differences in appearance, certain garage door materials will suit specific budgets, climates, and aesthetics.


Cost: $-$$

Climates: All

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Steel is a popular garage door material because of its flexibility, durability, and value for money.

Steel garage doors are available in an endless number of design options and provide a cheaper, lower maintenance alternative to natural wood. Add garage door insulation to strengthen your steel door, save energy, and reduce noise pollution.

Compared to wood garage doors, steel is significantly lighter and easier to maintain. If you prefer the look of wood but want the durability and reliability of steel, there are some extremely lifelike faux wood options on the market.

The primary disadvantage of steel is that it’s 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.


Low maintenance


Various style options


Moderate resistance to dents

Not a natural insulator

Scratches can rust if not fixed quickly


Cost: $$$-$$$$

Climates: Best in mild climates

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Wood garage doors provide any home with a sense of timeless elegance. As a renewable resource, wood offers an eco-friendly option to consider when purchasing a new garage door.

Available in a variety of overlay carriage house garage door designs, wood types, and customization options, wood garage doors are an excellent option for homeowners wanting a custom, unique look.

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

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


Beautiful, rustic look

Natural insulator

Various overlay designs

Field-staining to achieve your desired look

Heavy and difficult to operate manually

Requires regular maintenance

Can warp, swell, or rot


Cost: $-$$

Climates: Warm, humid climates


Fiberglass is an often-overlooked residential garage door material, but it’s a great alternative to wood as it closely mimics its defined grain texture. Unlike wood, however, fiberglass garage doors don't shrink, warp, or crack, making them ideal for homeowners living in humid climates. 

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

Fiberglass best suits warmer climates but isn't recommended for windy or coastal areas. High winds can damage fiberglass and cause the door to make a noise that many find irritating. Another important consideration is that you can't repair fiberglass – the only option is to replace the door.


Won't warp, shrink, or corrode from moisture

Lets light into garage

Won't contract or expand from temperature changes 

Low maintenance

Must be replaced if damaged

Brittle and susceptible to wind damage

Can crack or yellow with age


Cost: $$-$$$

Climates: All climates, but aluminum is sensitive to extreme heat - harsh summers can reduce the durability of this material.  

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Aluminum garage doors designed with glass panes for a full view make an eye-catching, contemporary addition to your home.

Aluminum is resistant to corrosion, lightweight, easy to customize, and less likely to warp, crack, or rot than wood doors. It’s also good at withstanding exposure to UV rays without fading or deteriorating.

Compared to steel, it’s less durable. For example, strong winds or hail can cause dents in aluminum, which are difficult to fix without a specialist.


Naturally resistant to rust and corrosion


Allows max. light into garage


Low R-value

Not fully waterproof

Less durable than steel

Privacy issues depending on glass selection

Struggling to choose between garage door materials?

You'll understand residential garage door materials and their benefits now, but If you're unsure or need any help deciding which will work best for your home, talk to an expert.

Our local dealers are always here to give you advice, whether you're ready to buy or just researching.


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