As metal garage doors go, steel has it covered
Metal garage doors make popular choices for homeowners today for three solid reasons: price, strength, and security. You can pay a relatively low price for a basic metal door, or buy one with insulation that hikes up the cost but adds warmth and protection. The most popular choice in the country today is the steel door, often the best value for its cost. Aluminum is less expensive, but doesn't match steel's muscle.
Steel doors are sold with single-, double- and triple-layer construction. The greater the number of layers, the better the door's insulating properties, resulting in improved energy savings and reduced noise from outdoors. The best quality doors have vinyl-coated, polystyrene insulation sandwiched between panels of tough, 25-gauge steel. You can buy models with high-insulating R-values between 11.04 and 15.67.
Another selling point in favor of metal doors: They require very little maintenance. They wash clean with soap and your outdoor hose. They are treated to resist rust, warping, cracking and corrosion. An annual checkup is usually sufficient to inspect the door to ensure the bolts are snug. Galvanized steel doors typically come with longer warranties than wood models.
Metal garage door brands, colors and styles
For durability, ease of maintenance and safety, sectional roll-up doors have become the style of choice over tilt-up doors. They also take up less room in your garage. Steel and aluminum doors can be made to resemble wood. They come in panels that are flush, raised, ribbed and with options for single-strength or insulated-glass window lites. You can order lites in a range of styles, including colonial, wagon wheel, cascade, Waterford, sunset pattern or rectangular.
One of the better options for long-term flexibility is a galvanized steel door with a polyester finish coat over an epoxy primer. These doors can be repainted if you change the color of your home. You can also choose from a number of textures.
Standard, baked-on enamel colors include white, almond, adobe, red, beige, sandstone, tan, taupe, bronze, gray and duo-tone. One manufacturer, Martin, offers a selection of 77 powder-coat finishes for metal doors. In addition, you may choose from color-matched door accessories, including hinges, roller brackets, tracks and bearing plates. Drums, rollers and springs are not powder-coated.
Costs for metal garage doors on the market
Naturally, costs vary by features, options and materials. Even the quoted range of prices are subject to change by manufacturer. But here's a sampling of selected doors representing the range of options for 8-by-7 doors:
- Holmes Garage Doors 119962, White Steel Garage Door, double-layer insulation with 25-gauge steel, $294
- Clopay Value Series, single-layer, non-insulated, Charelston 608 non-insulated window lites (clear glass), $413
- C.H.I , single-layer, in one of five color and texture options, optional window inserts, 25-gauge steel, $605
- Clopay 4300, 2-inch, Insulated Sandwich premium door in one of eight factory finish paint color options, three-layer insulation, $785
- Wayne-Dalton Model 8300, 1 3/8-inch, Insulated Sandwich ready for custom paint or in one of four color options, R-11 insulating core, lifetime limited warranty, $740
Where to find a quality steel garage door
Steel garage doors can offer solid, low-maintenance, energy-efficient qualities when installed correctly. You can get an idea of the range of styles and options by visiting a local home improvement store or calling one of the major manufacturers, but most customers want their products installed by an experienced contractor. For information from local contractors on installation costs and the best materials for your type of home, you can fill out the form on this page to get started.