Sectional garage door: work horse or work of art?
Your garage door can represent 30 to 40 percent of the exterior of your home visible from the street, so it can have quite a visual impact. A sectional garage door is one of the most versatile types of residential garage doors; it is also the most common.
A sectional garage door has horizontal sections that are stacked vertically and hinged. When the door is raised, it rides on rollers fitted in tracks that hold the open door parallel to the ceiling and return it to a vertical position when it's closed.
Design your sectional garage door
The most popular material for sectional garage doors is steel but wood, aluminum, composite and fiberglass are also available.
Whether you're looking for simple and contemporary or want to make a statement with your garage door, you have many design choices:
- Panels: Flush, ribbed, raised, recessed and carriage door panels are a few of your options. You can also choose the number and configuration of the panels.
- Windows: Add aesthetic value and natural light with both acrylic and glass options, which can include tempered, insulated, frosted or designer glass such as glue chip or seeded.
- Hardware: Decorative hardware can also add just the right amount of visual appeal in black, copper, silver, bronze and gold.
However, keep in mind that the more options you add, the more your door is going to cost.
Pricing your garage door
Prices for garage doors vary greatly based on size, composition and construction, type of panels, finishes and color, insulation values and thickness, and whether or not windows are included.
For a basic 8-foot-by-7-foot door, the price is $630 for basic, non-insulated steel and $3,406 for a wood carriage house door, installed. Insulated steel doors in this size run from $700 to $900 depending on thickness, construction and manufacturer.
Popular garage door brands and colors
Top sectional garage door brands include Amarr, Clopay, Raynor and Wayne-Dalton, according to GaltTech.com, a company that produces DIY and household buying guides.
Standard colors for most garage doors are white, almond, sandstone, brown, gray, hunter green and black. Some companies also offer more bold design choices like bronze, ruby red, blue and azure. Golden oak, walnut and mahogany are the most common stains for wood doors.
The best garage doors are energy-efficient
You can lose a lot of energy through your garage door, so it makes sense to buy one that's insulated. According to the Haas Doors website, insulated steel doors provide greater soundproofing and five times the insulating value of wood. Although the cost of an insulated door is slightly higher, you can recoup the difference with lower utility bills.
The construction of a sectional garage door influences its energy efficiency. Single layer doors are non-insulated. Double layer doors have polyurethane or polystyrene insulation sandwiched between two sheets of galvanized steel (polyurethane delivers about twice the insulation of polystyrene for the same thickness); triple layer doors have an additional layer of steel. The garage door R-value is an indication of how well it insulates--the higher the number, the better it insulates; 7+ is a good standard, according to house-energy.com.
Where to find a garage door outlet or contractor
If you have a specific garage door brand in mind, most manufacturer websites have a search option to find dealers in your area that sell their products. Installing a sectional garage door is definitely not a DIY project, so complete the form on this page to find a contractor in your area.