Making the Right Choice for Garage Door Materials

Garage Door Materials: How To Make The Right Choice For Your Home

If you feel that your garage door needs a replacement or a remodel, it can be one of the best choices you’ve made thus far for a home renovation project.  A garage door remodel with the best garage door materials delivers one of the best returns on investment for a home remodel.

In fact, you can get a 91.5% return on investment for a garage door replacement according to a report which estimates the costs and value retention of home renovation projects.  With the size and space of a garage door, taking as much as 30% of your home’s exterior, a remodel will also boost the curb appeal of your home.

Let’s take a look at the various types of garage door materials and their key features that can give you great benefits.

    Steel Garage Doors

Steel is the most popular material for garage doors because of its strength, durability, and abundance of design options it provides. It can be painted to match your exterior landscape and is also available in different textures, including those that mimic wood.

Included in its outstanding features are reasonable pricing, low maintenance, and availability in just about any style you like.  Steel panels are available in varying thickness that would match your needs.  These are:

  • Low-cost door with thin panels of 27- or 28-gauge steel
  • Mid Level doors that offer 25- or 26- gauge steel
  • Top-quality doors with at least 24 gauge
  • Commercial-grade doors that use thicker steel


Wood garage doors offer a distinct aesthetic appeal with its warm, classic touch that it can add to the exterior of your home.  Although they require more maintenance, they can be built to last and they provide excellent insulation.

You can build a garage door with layers or plies of wood to prevent them from warping.  They can also be factory-stained or painted or finished on-site to increase longevity.  The best types of wood for a garage door include cedar, redwood, fir, and meranti (luan).

There are also wood composite garage doors that are typically made with a wood frame covered with sheets of fiberboard.  Better models compose of higher-density fiberboard skins with realistic details like overlays and grooves to mimic real wood.  The cores are filled with polystyrene insulation.

Aluminum Garage Doors

If you want a garage door material that offers a modern, raw industrial look to your home’s exterior, an aluminum garage door can give you that bold statement.  These types of doors can be painted almost any color you choose with additional glazing options.

Many glass options are also available with your choice of clear, tinted, and translucent panels.  The full view aluminum garage doors are very lightweight and durable with minimum maintenance.

Though they eliminate the problem of rust, they are easier to dent than steel garage doors.

Fiberglass Garage Doors

Fiberglass garage door material is typically bonded to a steel frame and filled with polyurethane insulation to build a garage door.  Steel end caps are then installed to improve rigidity.  They are available in faux wood designs to give you the rustic look of wood.

The beneficial features of this garage door material include:

  • Durability because they are less affected by environmental stress and can be painted to offer great resistance to dents
  • Lightweight
  • Low-maintenance
  • Resistant to rust (perfect for coastal areas)

The downsides of fiberglass material are: they can break upon impact, poor insulator, and they can fade from weather exposure. 

Vinyl Garage Doors

This garage door material is difficult to dent or break because of its durability.  They are built upon steel frames and filled with polyurethane insulation.  They look similar to fiberglass garage doors except that they are available in fewer colors. Maintenance of vinyl garage doors only requires occasional housing. 

Compare Your Options for Garage Door Materials

Every garage door material has its merits and shortcomings.  Compare your options according to how long you want your garage door to last, your style preference, how well you can maintain it, your insulation options requirements, and how it matches to your landscape or exterior architecture.

Since garage door materials have come a long way in boosting your home’s curb appeal and value in so many different ways like improved strength and rigidity, better energy-saving insulation features, and with far more design and style options that you can choose from, it is definitely a worthwhile home improvement project.

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