If you are considering upgrading your home with a new garage door or are preparing for the construction of your new home, choosing the best door to meet your needs will be an important decision which alters the curb appeal of your home for years to come. Since new garage door models are far more advanced than older styles, offering better insulation and protection, it pays to do your homework before assuming that either steel or wood is the best match for your situation.
While not the only options available, steel and wood still make up the majority of market choices for garage door construction materials. Both steel and wooden styles have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Steel has become the single most popular option, mainly due to its lower cost and maintenance requirements when compared to wood, but homeowners who particularly appreciate the curb appeal of a wooden door are often willing to spend the extra time and money on the initial purchase and upkeep of a wooden model, especially if the garage faces the road.
Steel Has Become the Most Popular Choice
Steel doors can handle humidity, rain, solar exposure, and heat far better than wooden models with less maintenance. Those of you who use your garage as a workshop or an extension of your living space should be concerned with how much insulating value your door provides, and steel typically leads the pack in this regard as well.
Rust is a common concern when most homeowners imagine steel with constant exposure to the elements, yet all but the cheapest styles are covered with a polyester or fiberglass coating that resists rust. If you do purchase a model that rusts, a simple sanding followed by touch up paint will easily correct the problem, leaving your door good as new.
Denting is the other main concern expressed in regards to steel garage doors. Yes, steel does dent, and those dents can be difficult to remove, so it pays to choose a door constructed from thicker gauge metal panels. The best steel doors are made with 24 gauge steel, which resists denting far better than the thinner 27 or 28 gauge models. Doors with a fiberglass overlay also add protection against dents, but will need to be repainted or restained every few years, as the color tends to fade.
Wood is the Choice When Appearance is Top Priority
No other material can match the beauty of a properly maintained wooden garage door. The least expensive models are constructed with a lightweight wooden frame, filled with foam insulation, then covered with plywood or a thin layer of hardwood. Some of these models may be competitive in price when compared to steel models, but higher end custom made wooden doors crafted from cedar, redwood or mahogany can cost as much as $10,000.
In order to withstand the outdoor elements, a wooden door needs to be repainted or refinished every few years. You'll never need to worry about denting or rust, however, and the price you pay for your new wood door can often increase the property value of your home in excess of what you paid for the door itself, due to the high curb appeal of the wooden look.
No one garage door material is best in all situations. With careful consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of each style, homeowners will be able to select a model that best meets their needs and budget requirements while providing beauty and functionality for years to come.