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What to Look for When Buying a Garage Door for Your Home

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Looking for a new garage door? Whether you need to replace an old, worn-out garage or want to upgrade to something more stylish, you will find a wide array of choices. Garage doors can vary significantly in styles and materials. Keep these things in mind as you shop around.


First, measure your current garage door to determine which size you will need. Measure the width, height and thickness and take those measurements with you as you shop.


You will want to choose a style that complements and enhances your home’s exterior appearance.

  • Window panels can add light to the garage and look very inviting from the curb.
  • Carriage house panels can add additional character to traditional paneled doors.
  • Flush panels are generally flat, textured panels that frequently complement the
    adjacent wall area without attracting attention to the door.
  • Short raised panels add depth, and they look especially nice with Victorian homes that
    have the traditional detailed trim, with Colonial-style homes with symmetrical facades, or
    with Tudor homes.
  • Long raised panel doors can add character and distinction to a home’s exterior appearance.

Garage Door Construction

You will want to carefully consider the type of construction and materials used in the making of your garage door. Steel doors are common and generally quite economical. Many manufacturers market several colors, and many models can also be custom painted to complement the color of your home.

There are three types of doors:

  • Single-layer doors are made from one sheet of galvanized steel. These are typically the least expensive.
  • Double-layer doors have a galvanized steel front with a thick layer of polyurethane or polystyrene as a backing. The backing provides insulation and soundproofing qualities to the door.
  • Triple-layer doors are manufactured using the same material that are used in double-layer doors. However, the triple-layer door has another layer of galvanized steel over the polyurethane/polystyrene to protect it from damage. This additional layer adds strength, security and soundproofing. These may also come with thicker insulation for a higher R-value.


The hardware can be an inexpensive and easy method to upgrade the appearance of your new garage door. Adding stylish handle and hinge sets will give it a customized look.


This is the Internet of Things era, and even garage doors can be connected through the Internet. If you are replacing your garage door, now is a good time to think about security. Many security systems can come with a tilt sensor for the garage door that connects to the security system, giving you the capability of knowing whether your door is open or closed. You can control the door through your smartphone, tablet or computer.


Insulation is more critical if your garage is more of an extension of your home’s living space, such as a workshop, children’s rumpus room, laundry room, or hobby and craft space. If so, selecting a door that can provide insulation to maintain a comfortable temperature is wise. Look for these qualities:

  • R-value of at least 3 for temperate climates and up to an R-value of 10 for colder
  • Weather seals between panels.
  • Bottom seals or thresholds.

If your garage is used as an actual living space, choose the highest R-value to make heating and air conditioning the space much easier. This will save energy and dollars. And, if you are in a colder climate, remember that interior condensation formed on a non-insulated metal door may freeze creating ice buildup.

Take these tips with you from your Home Inspection Newtown, CT on your shopping excursions to ensure you get all the features you need.

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