What to Look for When Buying a New Garage Door  

What to Look for When Buying a New Garage Door

Whether you’re in the market for a garage door replacement or buying one for a brand-new house, it’s a big, exciting decision. You want to pick something that ticks all your boxes, from excellent safety features to a stunning look that adds curbside appeal to your property. In this compact garage door buying guide, you’ll learn how to pick the best option for your needs while adding value and style to your home.

What to Consider When Replacing a Garage Door

Before you dive into the specifics and start buying garage doors, it’s important to decide on the fundamentals. Think about why you’re replacing your existing door or what you want out of a new one, and let those reasons guide you when you make your garage door purchase.

If your current door lets too much heat in during summer, prioritize thermal regulation technology in your new one. If it shuddered at the sight of rough weather, look into doors designed for hurricane hotspots like Florida. That way, you’ll be satisfied with your door for years to come.

Essential Garage Door Safety Features

Garage doors are your home’s first line of defense. A robust garage door can keep your family safe, your belongings secure and your property private. There are three things a safe garage door needs to be:

1. A Defense Against Intruders

Your garage door must be made of tough, tamperproof material and equipped with intelligent technology to ensure only you and your family can access your garage. Modern security features to look for are:

  • A rolling code remote control and receiver: They change their automatically generated codes every time you use them, so bad actors can’t replicate them.
  • A built-in alarm system: It detects any tampering with the garage door, triggers a loud alarm and pings your smartphone so you’ll know if someone is trying to enter your garage.
  • Reinforced doors and hardware: Heavy-duty steel, aluminum and composite doors prevent intruders from entering the garage by force.

2. A Barrier Against the Elements

You need an excellent weather seal at the base of your garage door to keep water, drafts and insects from sneaking underneath. Pick a vinyl weather seal with a sturdy, rust-resistant aluminum retainer for a durable and effective solution.

3. A Safeguard Against Accidents

Safety mechanisms should be built into the garage door opener to stop it from closing if it touches any obstructions on the way down. Two features that every new automatic garage door needs are:

  • Safety sensors or photo eyes: These are mounted to either side of the door’s opening and use infrared beams that stop the door from closing if they detect any obstacles in the garage door’s path.
  • An auto-reverse mechanism: The garage door opener’s force sensor detects resistance as the door closes and immediately lifts the door back up if triggered, protecting people, vehicles and pets.

The Best Materials for Garage Doors

The Best Materials for Garage Doors

Picking the right material when buying a garage door is crucial. You want something that looks fantastic but covers all the essential bases — durability, safety, longevity and style. While choices abound, these three materials stand out as the best picks for a modern garage door replacement:

1. Steel Garage Doors

Steel is an excellent material for security and endurance. Steel garage doors come in many different styles, colors and finishes, from faux woodgrain to classic, brilliant white and beyond. If you want the durability of steel but prefer the look of real wood, consider a composite door with a sturdy steel construction.

2. Composite Overlay Garage Doors

Composite overlay doors are made from several layers of material to provide the best of both worlds — the strength of steel and the beauty of traditional wooden aesthetics. The door’s facade is molded from real timber to pick up its natural grooves and textures, while the galvanized, rust-protected metal outer shell adds the ultimate protection and resilience.

3. Natural Wood Garage Doors

If you’re after the real thing, natural wood doors are available in several colors, stains and species, including redwood, meranti and various cedar shades. Wood doors add old-world character to a property and can still accommodate thermoregulating insulation and modern garage door openers. 

Garage Door Styles That Complement Your Home

Your garage door sets the aesthetic tone for your property, bringing other aspects of your exterior decor together and making a statement about the family it protects. We’ve come a long way from the wooden swing-out doors of the early 1900s — although if that’s the look you’re going for, there’s a style for that. The three most popular aesthetics to consider when buying garage doors are:

1. Traditional Style

Traditional garage doors feature raised, beveled panels that create a symmetrical, classic, timeless look. They come in various hardy materials, including painted steel, faux wood steel and natural wood. Traditional garage doors can be customized with insulated windows of all finishes, including clear, frosted, seeded, obscure and rain.

2. Carriage-House Style

Sometimes called “barn-style doors,” carriage-house garage doors emulate the rustic aesthetic of yesteryear with present-day durability. While they’re made to look like they open outward, they are still convenient automatic overhead doors. They also have several insulated window options with removable grilles for easy cleaning.

3. Modern Style

Modern-style doors are made to complement contemporary architecture and feature stylish inlays. They are designed with clean lines and are available in several materials, like composite, aluminum, natural wood and steel. Windows installed with modern doors are sleek and elevated, giving your house character and class.

South Florida’s Changing Weather Patterns

The University of South Florida has been keeping a close eye on the weather patterns of the Sunshine State and has predicted it may be changing from a subtropical to a tropical climate. This shift has enormous implications for South Florida homes — particularly when it comes to staying cool. A well-insulated garage door can be the difference between mild, pleasant ambient temperatures and full-blown air conditioner mania. Doors with a higher R-value are better thermal insulators. Your options are:

1. Polystyrene Insulation

Polystyrene insulation boosts the comfort of your interior and reinforces your garage door. It’s cost-effective, can be installed aftermarket and is included in many of the doors we offer, including the Classic™, Coachman®, Canyon Ridge®, Gallery® and Modern Steel™ collections from Clopay®. Their R-values fall between 6.3 and 12.9.

2. Polyurethane Insulation

Polyurethane insulation technology is the forerunner in excellent thermoregulation, giving garage doors an R-value between 18.4 and 20.4. It keeps the inside of your garage between 10 and 20 degrees cooler during heat waves and adds rigidity and sturdiness to the door’s structure. Intellicore® insulation from Clopay® is the premium choice in garage door insulation and is available in all the collections we offer.

Tropicalization could also mean an uptick in hurricanes for Floridians. While the state experiences one hurricane per year on average, the warming Atlantic waters mean stronger, more frequent hurricanes may be a reality in years to come. Of all the garage door buying tips in this guide, this may be the most vital — purchase a garage door that can withstand heavy storms.

Hurricane Impact Garage Doors

In Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, your garage door purchase must meet certain impact-proof standards to comply with their code, specifically the large missile impact rating. Garage doors in these counties need heavy-gauge tracking, panels and springs to withstand flying debris during a storm. Insurers often give homeowners discounts if garage doors are up to code standards, too.

Why ADCO Garage Doors Are Perfect for Your Home

If you’re wondering where you can buy a new garage door in South Florida, you’re in luck. ADCO Garage Doors offers everything you’re looking for in a garage door replacement, from exceptional safety features to a wide selection of materials and styles. We specialize in hurricane-impact doors and advanced insulation solutions to meet the unique needs of South Florida homeowners. You can request a free, no-pressure quote or contact our expert team to discuss the best fit for you and your home.

Why ADCO Garage Doors Are Perfect for Your Home