If you are looking to buy a new garage door, you might be very excited by the prospect or just want to get a replacement with minimal fuss and hassle. You might already have an image in your mind of how your door will look or have a checklist of wants and wishes.
Whether you are excited or not, it is crucial to understand what not to do when buying garage doors. Failing to consider five key things risks putting you in jeopardy. You might end up with garage doors that don’t fit, fulfill your needs, meet your expectations, or stand the test of time.
Never Guess Your Measurements
You might think that you will speed up the process of buying garage doors by taking the measurements yourself. Guessing or taking your own measurement is pretty much the riskiest thing you can do. If you make a mistake, you will be responsible for sorting out the problem and costs to do so.
Always get a garage door installation company to come to your home and take the measurements. They will take accurate sizes, and if they make a mistake, the onus and cost are on them to sort it out. Furthermore, you can talk through all the options available, and the garage door expert might highlight things you have not considered, such as the way the unit opens to maximise driveway space or obstructions inside your garage, such as electrical boxes or headroom restrictions.
Don’t Just Go On Price
It is fine to have a budget; most of us do. However, while you should stay within what you are comfortable paying, the cheapest option is rarely the best.
Paying a little more or choosing a reputable brand, such as Hörmann or SWS, will directly affect quality. The security and strength of the operating mechanism might be better, or parts may be galvanised or zinc plated to maximise their lifespan.
You also do not want to miss out on those little extras that can make such a difference. Garage doors can have safety features to protect children and pets, with a sensor that stops and reverses the door or someone is there. Or, how about adding the convenience of wireless smartphone monitoring and control?
The material that garage doors are made from will also alter the price:
- Steel – Steel is a popular choice and one of the most robust materials available. However, you may want to avoid steel if you live in a coastal town where saltwater is in the air and causes corrosion.
- Aluminium – Resisting rust and corrosion, aluminium is ideal for any environment that is regularly wet or damp.
- Fibreglass (GRP) – Fibreglass is durable, but cheap fibreglass garage doors are thin and prone to cracking in the extreme cold.
- PVC – PVC is a durable and low-maintenance choice.
With online quotes, you never know if everything is included. You are on your own when it comes to making choices about glazing and insulation, so an in-person quote is always best.
Don’t Forget Insulation
If garage doors lead into your home or you intend to use your garage space as a workshop, then insulation is something well worth adding. Options include extruded polystyrene and polyurethane. Polyurethane is 15-20% more expensive but performs significantly better.
The R-value indicates thermal performance, and the higher the number, the better the insulation. For example, two-inch polystyrene has an R-value of 9, whereas polyurethane has an R-value of 18. The benefits of opting for double skin, insulated garage doors also include extra security, with serious tools required to break through these.
There are many parts when installing garage doors, so taking a DIY approach would be a mistake for most people. Installation requires special tools for setting up the windings and springs, and parts under tension can cause injury if you don’t know what you are doing.
With professional installation, you will be advised of any maintenance schedule. For example, some electric and mechanical garage door mechanisms might need occasional oiling, whereas others use Kevlar or nylon belt drives, which require no maintenance at all.
For a site survey, quote, supply, and installation of garage doors, please don’t hesitate to contact the experts at WMGD.