Choosing The Appropriate Garage Door Material

Compare them to the new options and you’ll see a world of difference. 20 years ago that garage door you opened to take your bike outside was a bulky white heavy door. There wasn’t a lot of option back then because the function was the only priority. If it worked, you were in great shape.

Today, things are very different. Garage doors are an aesthetic part of your home. They add curb appeal, make the exterior more stylish and add security. To give consumers all of these benefits, manufacturers have added garage doors in a variety of materials. So when it comes to garage door replacement you need to carefully consider your options.

The problem is that having so many types available makes it hard to choose the right door. Even so, there are only four basic materials used, and they can be styled in hundreds of ways. To make things easier let’s look at the different garage door materials and discuss the merits and drawbacks of each.


Steel doors are low maintenance and have a corrosion-resistant coating. This type of door is also more resistant to dings and blemishes. Another advantage is that steel offers good temperature insulation, and in many cases, added insulation is possible. When shopping for a steel door, look for an insulated door to save energy.

You also want to consider the thickness of the steel panel. Low cost doors have thinner gauge steel and may not last as long as a door made with thicker steel. Mid-range priced doors usually have a 25 to 27 gauge steel (lower gauge means thicker steel).

The biggest advantage to using steel is that the material is resistant to humidity. It won’t warp or split. The material works best when the climate is humid.

Aluminum Doors

These doors are much like steel, except that they have optional faux designs and texturing. The advantage of aluminum is that it is lighter and less expensive than steel; however, it is more likely to dent from kicks, basketballs and car bumps.


Back in the 1920s and 1930s, garage doors were made of wood. If you are looking for a cool vintage look, wood might appeal to you. Wood doors come in a variety of colors and styles. The door that is least expensive in this category is the flat hardboard panel door. Stain-grade doors are more expensive, but they offer the warm feel of natural wood to your home.

This can also give you some nice curb appeal. Wood offers better insulation than steel, but are not as energy conservative as steel. These types of doors need maintenance and regular refinishing.

Wood Composite

If you are eco-friendly, you might want to consider a wood composite door. This material is a recycled wood product, made of wood fibers.

The material is as strong as steel but offers the look of wood. These doors can be painted or stained. Some people believe the composite doors are better than solid wood as they do not rot and split.


This is a relatively new material and not sold as frequently. The panels have an aluminum frame for durability. You can paint and style them. The biggest benefit to fiberglass doors is their durability.

They are more resistant to dents than other inexpensive materials. A plus for those living on the coast is that fiberglass is resistant to salt-water and won’t corrode. The drawback is that fiberglass is a poor insulator and the color can fade with harsh weather.

Aluminum & Glass

Full view doors are a new concept. These doors are made of aluminum frames and glass panels. The merit of these doors is that they are beautiful and add substantial curb appeal.These doors offer a clean modern look to the exterior of the house.

However, a glass garage door may not be very practical. The biggest drawback is a lack of privacy. With glass garage doors, everything in the garage is visible.

When it comes to insulation, you don’t have to worry too much. Most glass doors have insulated glass that maintain climate control. You can also find variations in opaqueness of glass. This type of door is more fragile than others as it is prone to breaking when hit by rocks, car or basketballs.

How to Choose a Door

When choosing the right garage door, you need to research your options, there is a lot to consider: maintenance, corrosion, weather, durability. Each of the different materials has its merits and drawbacks. When choosing the appropriate door, take into account the facade of the house and determine which material will add more curb appeal.

You also want to take durability into account. Make sure the material you choose will withstand the elements in the area you live. but also be durable enough to last for a number of years.


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