DIY Network

Garage Door Buying Guide (page 2 of 9)

Garage doors can take up the bulk of your home's facade and be a big part of the curb appeal. Before you buy, learn about the options, cost and how well they are insulated.

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Image courtesty of Clopay.

Technical rescue
Thankfully, many manufacturers are aware of option overload, and their websites are equipped with digital visualization tools that help you sort through possibilities with a click of the mouse.

  • Wayne-Dalton's slick Garage Door Design Center lets you upload a photo of your own house, then overlay hundreds of styles, window shapes and colors. No photo? Choose from stock images to approximate your home.
  • DoorView from Overhead Door Corp. lets you choose a house style to play with as you decide garage styles and colors. For a more personal touch, you can upload a shot of your house and receive a phone consultation.
  • The Door Designer from Amarr Door is a simple program that uploads architectural renderings onto stock house designs. When you're done, e-mail the finished design to Amarr for a price quote tailored to your area.

    Back to the basics

    Manufacturers have their proprietary techniques and methods for putting together garage doors, but the basics are these:

    • Single-layer construction features a simple outer layer of steel, fiberglass, or engineered wood. The basic doors are lightweight, which is easy on springs, and low cost. Their insulating value is negligible.

    • Double-layer construction has an inner and outer skin sandwiched around a layer of polystyrene board for rigidity, and an insulating value between R-4 and R-7.

    • Premium construction has inner and outer layers of high-quality steel, wood or fiberglass sandwiched around a thick layer of polystyrene or polyurethane insulation for maximum stiffness and insulating values that exceed R-15.