Ups & Downs of Garage Door Decisions

Posted at 5:45 AM, Nov 17, 2015
and last updated 2016-07-04 11:55:51-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- We usually don't think much about our garage door until it stops working... or it becomes an eyesore. From looks to safety features to energy savings, there's a lot to consider. In this Angie's List report, some tips to guide you through the ups and downs of garage door decisions.

Your garage door may be the first thing people notice when they pull up to your house, but appearance is just one factor when it comes to investing in a new one.

"When replacing your garage door, there are lots of choices, so you either want to visit the garage company's showroom or have them come out to your house. There's great technology nowadays where they can take a picture of your house and show you what different doors will look like on your home," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

The construction of the door is really important. It's the biggest moving part of your home and you want it to work well for a long time.

"The best-selling garage doors today are mostly steel garage doors, but carriage house designs are really growing in popularity," said garage door professional Justin Evans.

The average 16-by-7-foot steel door can cost from $750 up to $300, depending on thickness and insulation.  A rust-resistant aluminum door may be better for humid climates. Wood offers more options.

"Wood has classic charm. It's completely flexible in terms of design. You can get more designs in wood, more custom-type doors in wood than you can with any material," said Evans.

Something else to consider? Faux wood. It's less maintenance -- and less costly -- than real wood.  And don't forget how your garage door could affect your energy bill.

"If your garage is connected to your home, you should really consider investing in an insulated garage door – especially if you have a room above your garage. This will help your energy costs as well as reduce noise in your home," said Hicks.

The price of your new door should include the installation, but confirm that with your dealer.  If you're in a wind-prone area, a storm-ready door with a built-in reinforcement system is a good idea.

An automatic opener is a separate item, so make sure it has enough horsepower to easily raise and lower your door safely.

Remember you can catch the latest Angie's List report every Tuesday morning on WTXL Sunrise.