9 Key Factors to Look for When Replacing Your Garage Door

9 Key Factors to Look for When Replacing Your Garage Door

An old or broken garage door can be more than just a hassle. If left unaddressed, it can be a safety issue. How do you know when it’s time to purchase a new garage door? Most garage door manufacturers say to expect your garage door to last anywhere between 15 years to 30 years, although we’ve certainly seen them last longer. If your door is well into that life span range, spending money on repairs may not be the most cost-efficient option. 

Purchasing a new garage door is an important investment in the curb appeal and safety of your home. There are a number of great garage door options available to accommodate your taste and budget. Before you shop, it’s a good idea to know more about what’s available and what kind of doors are right for your home.

Signs to Consider Garage Door Replacement

There are many reasons your garage door may not be working properly. Sometimes there’s a problem with the track, opener or spring attached to the door. In many cases, the garage door itself is to blame for the problems you’re encountering when you try to open or close it. Because a garage door covers so much of your home’s exterior, investing in a new door is important for appearance, as well as your home’s safety and security. You might be ready to replace your garage door if you are experiencing problems with the following elements of your door: 

1. Appearance

If your garage door is hanging improperly, the color is faded or the door is cracked, it may be detracting from your home’s curb appeal. The door’s appearance isn’t just important for looks. A sagging garage door may be a sign of a problem with the door’s tracks or its structural integrity. Cracks in the door might take in moisture and expand over time, creating bigger and bigger cracks. 

2. Performance

If your garage door doesn’t open and close properly, this may be a sign it needs to be replaced. If you’ve had to call a repair company several times to address problems with opening or closing your door, it might be time for a replacement. A garage door that doesn’t go up and down as needed or doesn’t properly lock is a safety issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

3. Convenience

Does it seem like your door makes a lot of noise when it goes up and down? Do you have to get out of your vehicle and tinker with the door or coax it to open all the way? If you’ve experienced the hassle of a reluctant door or a door that doesn’t open without a lot of extra effort, it may be time to upgrade. 

What to Look for in a Replacement Garage Door

Homeowners want a garage door that’s beautiful, durable, functional and affordable. What many homeowners aren’t sure about is which of these factors should be the most important and how to choose from the options that are available. When it comes to selecting a garage door, it’s important to weigh these key factors: 

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1. Materials

Garage doors can be manufactured from a variety of materials, but the three that are most common include: 


  • Aluminum: Homeowners often choose aluminum when they want an inexpensive but sturdy garage door. Today, you can find aluminum garage doors in a variety of styles and colors. Aluminum may have a tendency to acquire dents, depending on the door’s thickness and insulation, so other homeowners prefer wooden doors.
  • Wood: Wooden garage doors are an elegant option, especially for older homes. They come in a variety of colors or stains and they are solid, sturdy doors that can keep you safe for years to come. However, wooden doors aren’t always the best choice for homeowners who live near the coast or in an area with a lot of humidity. These are also an investment because they require regular maintenance and refinishing to keep them looking their best. This is one reason why steel garage doors have become increasingly popular.
  • Steel: Steel doors are increasingly popular because they stand up to wet weather and high wind, and they don’t require as much upkeep. They can be designed to mimic the look of wood doors, so these doors are a go-to option for homeowners who want the elegance of a wooden garage door without the cost or the upkeep associated with wood. Steel doors are some of the easiest doors to insulate, providing homeowners with maximum insulation to keep comfortable temperatures inside where they belong.


2. Style

Garage doors can be purchased in a variety of styles that complement a home’s design and color scheme, including: 


  • Traditional garage doors: This style can be found throughout neighborhoods across America. Their characteristic look features squares or rectangles running horizontally across the door. Some have windows across the top, but others don’t. These doors can be painted to match a variety of home exteriors, and they pair well with traditional architecture.
  • Modern garage doors: Modern doors are typically found on homes that are designed with a contemporary flair. These garage doors can be identified by their clean lines and classic detail. Modern garage doors often have large glass-paneled windows, bringing plenty of natural light into the garage.
  • Carriage house garage doors: This style combines the old-fashioned, rugged look of a barn door with the modern convenience of an overhead garage door. While this style of door fits well with a variety of types of architecture, its rustic look nicely complements traditional, old-fashioned architecture. 


3. Design Options

Many of our customers don’t realize there are a number of customization options to choose from to make a new garage door stand out, including:


  • Panel designs: The panels on a garage door are available in long or short patterns, as well as raised or flush options. This choice is often influenced by the architecture of your home and the look you are hoping to achieve with your new door. 
  • Windows: Adding windows is a great way to add character to your garage door. They can also provide lots of natural light for homeowners who use their garage as a workshop or craft space. Windows can be added in a variety of different glass options, including a frosted window that prevents people from taking a peek inside or high-impact glass to protect doors in high-wind areas.
  • Decorative hardware: Decorative hardware is another great way to personalize a garage door design. Handles and hinges are most commonly found on carriage house style doors, but they can be incorporated into other styles as well. These options offer a unique, customized look on even the most traditional doors.


4. Cost 

Garage door prices vary widely depending on a variety of factors, such as size, material, style and finishes. Additions such as insulation and a new garage door opener can also impact the average cost of garage doors. When determining the cost of a new garage door, it’s important to include installation costs so you have a clear picture of what you’ll be paying when the new door is installed. 

Before you choose a garage door, it’s important to know what your budget is. That way, you can maximize your investment into your curb appeal and ultimately the sale price of your home without overspending. Knowing your budget is also a good way to narrow down your options. 



5. Energy Efficiency 

Purchasing an insulated garage door is a great way to reduce your energy costs and improve your home’s overall energy efficiency. The energy efficiency of a garage door is measured by its “R-value,” which is a measurement of the material’s ability to block the flow of heat in and out. When you’re looking at insulated garage doors, there are several different levels of insulation available. The higher the R-value, the better job it will do at insulating your home. 

If you live in an area with a moderate climate, an insulated garage door may not seem like a necessary investment. But consider where your garage is located. Most people have a garage attached to their home. This means the space likely shares at least one wall with the home’s interior. The better insulated your garage door is, the less heat exchange you may see through the shared wall. An insulated garage door can also have a big impact on the air temperatures if you have a room above the garage or use your garage as a workshop, gym or other living space.

6. Garage Door Opener

Homeowners often opt to purchase a new garage door opener at the same time they purchase a new garage door. It’s important to have a garage door opener with a lifting capacity that matches your new garage door’s weight. It’s also a good time to replace an old, noisy opener with a newer, quieter model. If you have children or pets living in your home and your garage door opener was manufactured before 1993, it’s essential to make sure your new opener has safety sensors that prevent the doors from fully closing if anything is in its path.

Modern garage door openers come with a number of upgrades offering the latest technology. If you live in an area prone to power outages, it’s also a good idea to purchase an opener with a backup battery feature. This add-on can ensure your garage door is still operable when the power isn’t working. 

If you were to experience an emergency during a power outage, this would allow you to get your car out of the garage and drive to safety if necessary. In fact, after a series of deaths due to people who couldn’t get their cars out of the garage during a power outage from wildfires, the state of California enacted a law requiring all garage door openers manufactured and sold after a certain date have a backup battery feature.



7. Safety 


Many homeowners are focused on the appearance of a new door and may forget the garage door is one of the most vulnerable entry points in a home. Burglars often try to break into a home using the garage door, so safety should be at the top of your list of what to look for in a garage door. Choosing a sturdy door, such as a steel or wooden model is an important way to prevent burglars from damaging the door to gain entry to your home. 

Some people opt not to incorporate windows into their garage door because they consider it a security risk. However, you can consider placing windows higher on the door or purchasing tinted or frosted glass that will restrict visibility from the outside. You can also purchase a garage door opener that has rolling code technology. This feature changes the entry code each time someone uses a remote to open the garage door so potential burglars can’t steal the code and gain entry. 

Safety isn’t just about preventing break-ins. It’s also about choosing a door that can stand up to the weather in your area without compromise. If you live near the coast or in an area prone to rain or humidity, it’s important to choose a steel or aluminum door because those materials won’t be compromised by incredibly moist weather. If you live in a high-wind area, consider wind-resistant garage doors. These doors are built to withstand heavy storms, especially hurricanes. 

8. Convenience 

Garage door openers can come with a variety of convenient features, including rolling code technology to prevent someone from stealing your entry code and gaining access to the garage. Many openers also have the functionality to use an app to control them from your smartphone or tablet. If you’re prone to leaving home and forgetting to close the garage door, that’s a handy feature to have.

9. Professional Installation

Though DIY home projects are common, garage door replacement should never be a DIY project. When you hire an experienced company to install your new garage door, you are paying for the peace of mind that comes from their expertise. Professional garage door installers know how to safely remove old doors and hang new ones. They can also install a new opener, track or other equipment needed to get the most out of your new door. 

When you pay for professional installation, you also get a warranty on the labor. If a problem arises, you have someone you can call to fix it without excessive expense or hassle. 



Contact New Jersey’s Garage Door Experts at Hunter Door

You need a company with design experts who can help you choose the perfect garage door and professional installation services that ensure a job done right. You need Hunter Door. We’ve been servicing South Jersey for the last 50 years, and we’re proud to sell high-quality garage doors and accessories from top brands like Clopay® and LiftMaster®. 

Our team of experienced service technicians is trained to handle any job. Besides offering design and installation services, we are proud to offer custom painting to ensure your new garage door will complement the other exterior colors of your home. Contact us today to get started with your new garage door.