How to Take Your Garage Door From Eyesore to Eye Candy
Garage doors are typically utilitarian in nature and architecturally bland - but they don't have to be. There are many different materials, styles, and features in garage doors today.
You can get your door in many finishes and colors to complement the design of your home. You can even get a garage door with windows. Windows in garage doors are not as strange as you may think. They provide architectural beauty to the outside of your home and allow natural light in to brighten up the space. There are many window design options for today's modern garage doors, just remember they will probably need hurricane protection.
All garage doors are not created equal. There are many things to consider when choosing a garage door (which of course must meet the Florida building code for hurricane resistance).
Here are some things to consider when choosing a garage door:
The door's material will impact how much annual maintenance is required, how much punishment it can take and how long it will last. For example:
- Steel doors offer a classic design as well as the traditional carriage house style. These doors are durable, needing only minimal cleaning and maintenance.
- Vinyl doors are longer lasting and suited to areas subjected to severe weather. They are rust-free, dent resistant and never need repainting.
- Fiberglass doors have the look of real wood with a natural grain appearance. They are made of durable steel but with a fiberglass skin.
- Real wooden doors offer classic craftsmanship. While they do require periodic maintenance (paint or stain), they make a perfect complement to any architectural style.
- Aluminum and glass doors offer the most sophisticated look and modern features, including a variety of glass options. While aluminum doors require no maintenance, they do not have the same level of insulation as the other doors.
Most people don't think that a garage door's insulation is important, however, it provides cost saving energy efficiency while reducing noise levels from the outside. Also, when you insulate your garage door, you are making the garage more suitable to use for things other than storage, including a work area or even a place for social gatherings. Although the room is not, and should not be, air conditioned space, the insulation helps reduce the heat from the outside.
An advantage of polyurethane insulated doors is that they provide added fire safety. This type of insulation acts as a barrier in reducing the amount of smoke and flames generated in a fire.
It is surprising how affordable garage doors have become. In most cases, people are guilty of doubling the price when they guess how much it will be. In general, the most expensive doors are those made of premium wood followed by fiberglass, steel, uninsulated steel and finally lower grade wooden doors.
It goes without saying that here in Florida you should also verify that there is a Florida Product Approval for the door, a permit is pulled for its installation, and that you are given copies of all the documentation for homeowner's insurance discount purposes. Without the proper documentation, your home owner's insurance rates may increase and you could have a problem when you go to sell your house.